Which Fidelity Mutual Funds Should I Pick?

As an investor, the long-term performance of your financial portfolio will hinge on many different factors. Many thousands of books have been written on the subject of retirement investing. Hundreds of financial experts and stock-pickers have build lucrative careers on common-sense investing strategies as well as individual stock picks. However, it's important to note that generalized market-making advice has its limits. Under pressure, even the most successful financial pundits will admit that there's no substitute for thorough due diligence. If you wish to shore up your finances and ensure that you'll have enough money to fund your retirement, you'll need to spend a great deal of time researching and maintaining the individual components of your portfolio.

It's also important to note that many personal-finance experts advise against buying into mutual funds. Since mutual funds typically carry high expense ratios and other fees, they may not be the most efficient form of investment vehicle. These days, many former mutual fund investors have migrated to exchange-traded funds. Like mutual funds, these vehicles are comprised of baskets of stocks or other financial instruments. This diversification protects them from wild, localized market swings. Unlike mutual funds, exchange-traded funds are highly liquid and can be purchased on the open market. In addition, they carry fewer fees and expenses.

If you're set on buying shares in professionally-managed mutual funds, you'll earn solid returns with Fidelity's fund family. The company has consistently leveraged its funds to produce market-beating profits and industry-leading dividend payouts. Although the past performance of its funds doesn't guarantee that Fidelity will remain a superior choice in the future, it appears to have held up well in the face of a changing market.

As a major financial institution, Fidelity offers a wide range of mutual funds. To make the proper selections from among these various instruments, you'll need to consider the ultimate goals of your investment plan.

If you're still young and wish to save for your retirement, consider splitting your money equitably between a safe, low-return fund and an aggressive, high-return fund. This compromise will help you to protect a solid chunk of your wealth from volatility without forcing you to miss out on stock-market surges. If you're getting older and want to preserve your wealth in the event of a prolonged economic downturn, opt for a more conservative mixture of funds. Many of Fidelity's mutual funds invest in conservative dividend stocks and safe, low-yield bonds.

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