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"Investing Pathways" is an educational site designed to benefit persons who would like an introduction to investing.

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The American Association of Individual Investors is an independent nonprofit corporation formed in 1978 for the purpose of assisting individuals in becoming effective managers of their own assets through programs of education, information, and research.



FEATURED ARTICLE

Fund Investors' Biggest Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

Understanding how different investments work is the first step toward profitable investing. The second is making sure you—and your mutual fund manager—always maintain the correct wealth-building mindset. That is particularly important now, when many experts expect single-digit stock returns over the next decade or so.

To become the best possible investor you can, it is imperative to avoid the big mistakes. Behavioral finance researchers investigate how human beings study and act on investment information and their findings can benefit investors.

Those who invest directly in stocks are particularly prone to making devastating mistakes, perhaps even experiencing Enron-style setbacks.

But mutual fund investors are not insulated against these mistakes. In fact, a fund manager can compound any mistakes made by fund owners—after all, professionals are human. Thus, it should come as no surprise that behavioral finance research makes a strong case for buying and holding low-cost, broadly diversified index funds.