offset others that might be down.
2. Professional money management: As mentioned, mutual funds are run by investment professionals who research, analyze, and select stocks day in, day out—something not everyone has time to do.
3. Liquidity: This means you have easy access to your money when you want it. You can buy or redeem shares at almost any time at the net asset value, or NAV, which refers to the value of one share of the mutual fund.
4. Simplicity: Investors can take the burden off themselves because a fund provides a variety of services such as custody (holding your money), tax reporting, and other record-keeping services. Most mutual funds also offer 24-hour call centers and Websites where you can read about your fund’s performance or the overall market through quarterly reports and the portfolio manager’s commentary.
Despite the frustration of tax season, getting money back can make it a lot less painful. You can get your money even faster by electing direct deposit on your tax form. And though you can’t make up for lost time, the real question is how can you put your refund to work for you?
Mellody Hobson is president of Ariel Capital Management L.L.C./Ariel Mutual Funds, a Chicago-based mutual fund company and money management firm. She is also a regular contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America.