Key Mutual Fund Benefits Professional management. Portfolio managers supply the knowledge and technical expertise for buying, monitoring, and selling securities on a daily basis. Flexibility. Mutual funds enable you to customize your investment portfolio. You can choose from a wide variety of investment styles and objectives to suit your investing profile. For example, some funds may focus on long-term appreciation, whereas others may focus on generating current income. You can also adjust quickly to changes in your lifestyle or your market outlook. Diversification. Most mutual funds invest in dozens to perhaps hundreds of securities, offering a level of diversification that individual investors would find difficult to maintain without a large investment of time and money. Diversification is a method used to help manage investment risk; it does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss. Mutual funds are sold by prospectus. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained from your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest. Index Funds An index fund is a type of mutual fund constructed to match or track the components of a market index, such as the S&P 500 Index.* Index funds often aim to provide broad market exposure and low portfolio turnover. The performance of an unmanaged index is not indicative of the performance of any specific security. Individuals cannot invest directly in such an index. *The S&P 500 is an unmanaged group of securities that is considered to be representative of the U.S. stock market in general. Target-Date Funds These hybrid mutual funds generally include a mix of assets (stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives) that automatically shift over time as the account holder ages. The target date is the approximate date when an investor plans to withdraw his or her money — typically the expected year of retirement (such as 2035, 2045, or 2055). The further away the date is, the greater the risks that the target-date fund usually takes. As the target date grows closer, the mix of investments generally becomes more conservative. The “glide path” is a formula that determines how the asset mix will change over time. Two funds with the same target date often have different investment holdings, turnover rates, and glide paths. Therefore, you must look beyond the target date to evaluate whether a particular fund is an appropriate investment. Keep in mind that the principal value of fund shares is not guaranteed, and there is also no assurance that a target-date fund will meet its stated objectives.