A Mutual fund is essentially a "bucket: of investments
The NAME mutual fund fund came from all of the investors having a ?Mutual" objective .... whether it be to invest in stocks, bonds, a blend of things. international stocks, etc
Mutual funds have some reporting requirement (relative to tax ) that other investments don't ... for example ... mutual funds have to pay out their dividends and capital gains every year in the form of "mutual fund dividends" ... where am INDIVIDUAL stock or a piece of land, for example will not pay capital gains until it's actually sold
OF course ... if the mutual fund is inside an IRA (as with any other investment inside an IRA) the tax doesn't affect the owner/investor until the money is actually distributed from the IRA "shell."
Today, there afre mutual fund "families," (companies), such as Vanguard or Fidelit,y who market and manage mutual funds of ALL kinds.... Bond funds, stock funds, money market funds, balanced funds that have both stocks and bonds in them, etc.
Here's the definition form "Investopedia." : http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mutualfund.asp
I still don't see you coming into the chat session, so I'll move us to the "Q&A" mode. … Maybe that will help … (We can still continue a dialogue there, just not in real-time chat, as we can here) … Please let me know if you ave ANY questions at all.
Let me know ...