Number of mutual funds in the U.S. 1997-2021
What are mutual funds?
Mutual funds are financial vehicles pulling investors’ money to buy a diversified portfolio of financial instruments. Depending on the investment fund strategy, defined in fund prospectus, mutual funds can invest money in different asset classes. These different fund types appeal differently to investors, depending on the economic climate. Some investment funds also take other factors into consideration. SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) funds, for example, only invest in companies engaging in socially- or environment-friendly activities.
Mutual fund outlook
Since 2000, over two in five U.S. households have owned mutual funds. Over the same period, the total net assets of these funds has more than doubled. This is likely because these funds provide an easy, relatively safe investment option that shows modest returns, which appeals to long-term investors such as those saving for retirement.