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Real Estate vs. Mutual Funds

What are Mutual Funds?

A mutual fund is pooled together capital from multiple investors to form one investment. Money in a mutual fund account can be invested in securities like stocks, bonds, and other assets to produce capital gains for investors. Professional financial managers operate mutual funds, and their primary responsibility is to allocate invested capital and maintain the fund’s investment objectives.

Investing in a mutual fund allows access to professional equities, bonds, and other securities’ portfolios. A mutual fund can include thousands of individual stocks or bonds, which are referred to as holdings. As the fund acquires investors, these investors do not own the holdings, investors in a mutual fund own a share of the mutual fund. For instance, let’s say you decide to invest in a mutual fund that includes shares of stock in Google, Inc, you as the investor, do not directly own Google, Inc stock, you own a share of the mutual fund that invests in Google, Inc stock.

Advantages to investing in a mutual fund provide diversification, versatility and accessibility:

  • Reaching Diversification: A mutual fund can offer complete diversification to an investor through the type or types of securities it invests in. To reach diversification in the stock market, an investor would have to invest in twenty plus individual stocks. One share in the right mutual fund can be a one-stop shop for acquiring diversification in an investment.
  • A Versatile Investment: As a mutual fund investor, you can pick and choose segments of the market you’d like your share of the fund to be put toward. If you are focused on specific areas of the market, it is possible for you to buy into a mutual fund that supports your investment vision.
  • Access Granted: Mutual funds offer access to many professional securities. Access and exposure to thousands of stocks is possible through shares of a mutual fund, allowing the investor to gain access to the entire market.

Real Estate vs. Mutual Funds Comparison Chart

INVESTMENT ASSET CLASS
REAL ESTATE
Mutual Funds
INVESTMENT
Hard Asset
REAL ESTATE
Real Estate Hard Asset
Mutual Funds
Mutual Funds Hard Asset
INVESTMENT
Inflation
REAL ESTATE
Real Estate Inflation
Mutual Funds
Mutual Funds Inflation
INVESTMENT
High Cash Yield
REAL ESTATE
Real Estate Cash Yield
Mutual Funds
Mutual Funds Cash Yield
INVESTMENT
Leverage
REAL ESTATE
Real Estate Leveraged
Mutual Funds
Mutual Funds Leveraged
INVESTMENT
Tax Advantage
REAL ESTATE
Real Estate Tax Advantage
Mutual Funds
Mutual Funds Tax Advantage
INVESTMENT
Equity Buildup
REAL ESTATE
Real Estate Equity Buildup
Mutual Funds
Mutual Funds Equity Buildup

Real Estate vs. Mutual Funds Comparison Details

Is a Mutual Funds a Hard Asset?

Since a mutual fund is not a tangible or physical item of worth that is owned by an individual or a corporation, it is not considered a hard asset.

Are Mutual Funds affected by Inflation?

Yes and no. If you decide to invest in international mutual funds that invest in the right growing companies, over time, your investment has the potential to grow faster than the rate of inflation. On the other hand, those who invest in mutual utility stock may benefit from their higher yields, but these investors will see the rise and fall of price with changes in the economy and rates of inflation.

Do Mutual Funds have a High Cash Yield?

Free cash flow yield is the ratio of free cash flow to the business' market capitalization but "Cash on Cash Yield" is slightly different. Mutual funds can provide what is called a mutual fund yield, which is the calculated income return.

Can Mutual Funds be Leveraged?

Depending on the size of their portfolio, mutual funds can be leveraged. The amount can be determined by borrowed capital.

Are there Tax Advantages from owning Mutual Funds?

Some mutual funds are tax free. For instance, mutual funds with more than 50% of assets in equities, i.e. government securities and long-term debt funds, are tax-free for the investor. Short and long term capital gains on equity oriented funds is chargeable to tax.

Do Mutual Funds build Equity?

Mutual Funds do not build equity. Unlike real estate, where equity buildup is possible through debt decreasing or property value increasing, mutual fund investments do not equate to ownership of the holdings or securities.

Risks of Investing in Mutual Funds

First and foremost, there is both market and liquidity risk investing in a mutual fund. Mutual funds invest in the stock market through bonds, shares of stock, and other securities. Fluctuations and declines in the market will affect any mutual fund's performance, and in a no buyer situation, i.e. a declining market, investors may not be able to sell their investments. Mutual fund investors are subject to the same risks that stock market and bond investors face. In a thriving economy, mutual funds can be a good option for an investor of any size.

In Summary

Many people consider investing in a mutual fund because of the market exposure, tax benefits, and pooled funds system. If you are thinking about investing into a mutual fund, you will need to weigh the cost of what a declining market could mean for your intended investment. By choosing to invest in real estate you eliminate the money market risk and can create higher yields for yourself. A bond issuer may not make good on their repayment, and a stock could plummet at essentially any time. A piece of land, however will never be valued at zero, and that is absolutely something to consider when you are ready to invest.

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