Mutual funds can be a smart place to start investing. They’re easy to access and don’t require you to read any balance sheets or even know what a balance sheet is. They’re also less likely to leave you high and dry than an individual company, which is more likely to go out of business.

“A mutual fund is an investment vehicle that pools many individual investors’ money together and is managed by professional investment managers,” says Dennis Baish, senior investment analyst and portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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