Different mutual funds will have different minimum investments. There are some types of funds like hedge funds and institutional funds that could have minimums of $1,000,000, but the typical mutual fund minimum runs in the $500-$3,000 range for the initial investment.
The fund minimum also varies depending on the type of account. Some companies have lower initial purchase amounts for IRA accounts. For example, Vanguard Funds require a $3,000 minimum initial purchase for its mutual funds held in nonretirement accounts and IRA's, but only a $2,000 minimum for Education Savings accounts. Some fund companies even allow the minimum to be met through systematic purchases as low as $25 per month.
Investing the minimum amount in a fund is fine, however make sure you know what the fee or load is to purchase the fund. A fund that charges a load, which is a upfront percentage of the amount invested, can cost you typically from 1% to 5%. A $1,000 investment with a front end load of 5% will cost you $50, which means only $950 will be invested into the mutual fund. Some funds are no-load funds, but there may be a transaction fee. A $50 transaction fee on a $500 minimum investment would be like paying a 10% load!
A lot of the online brokers funds that they offer that are no-load and no transaction fee. Ask them for their No-load NTF list if you're looking to save on fees (Just make sure you also review the management expenses of the fund so you're not paying too much. High expenses more than 1% can have a significant impact on performance).
You also might consider ETF's (electronically traded funds), which are mutual funds that trade on a stock exchange. They don't have minimum investments (aside from buying at least one share), and many of the online brokers have a list of assorted ETFs that trade commission free.
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