Some sources indicate that closed-end funds are different from mutual funds, while others include them as a category of mutual funds.

For example, on one Investopedia page (http://www.investopedia.com/articles/exchangetradedfunds/08/etf-mutual-fund-difference.asp) it says "Mutual funds can typically be broken down into two types..." and lists closed-end funds along with open-end funds as a type of mutual fund. It seems like that is incorrect, but I wanted to make sure.

On another Investopedia page (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/closed-endinvestment.asp), it says a closed-end fund is "like a mutual fund."

A different page (http://www.investorwords.com/3173/mutual_fund.html) defines a mutual fund as "An open-ended fund operated by an investment company...":

On an SEC page (https://www.sec.gov/fast-answers/answersmfinvcohtm.html) defining types of investment companies, it says:

"The federal securities laws categorize investment companies into three basic types:

Mutual funds (legally known as open-end companies); Closed-end funds (legally known as closed-end companies); ...."

  • Why was this downvoted? – quid Apr 7 '17 at 21:34
  • I think because I originally tried to link the URLs but deleted the footnotes that were automatically created (thinking the text would still be linked), and as a result the URLs were delinked from the text. – Natalie Apr 7 '17 at 21:47

This is another semantics question. Again what matters is how the words are commonly used, as the usage came about long before the technical definitions.

In this case, when people say "mutual fund," they are often including both unit investment trusts and closed end funds. Despite the labels the SEC has given in order to differentiate them, I'd say it's common (typical) practice to think of a closed-end fund as a type of mutual fund, rather than a different category altogether. That's the way I've seen it used, anyway.


Not according to the SEC:

A mutual fund is an SEC-registered open-end investment company that pools money from many investors and invests the money in stocks, bonds, short-term money-market instruments, other securities or assets, or some combination of these investments. The combined securities and assets the mutual fund owns are known as its portfolio, which is managed by an SEC-registered investment adviser. Each mutual fund share represents an investor’s proportionate ownership of the mutual fund’s portfolio and the income the portfolio generates.

And further down:

Mutual funds are open-end funds.

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