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LOOK AT MUTUAL FUNDS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO LOW-YIELDING CD'S

 LOOK AT MUTUAL FUNDS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO LOW-YIELDING CD'S
 HARTFORD, Conn., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- With interest rates at historic lows, yields on certificates of deposit have fallen to the point where about the only comfort investors can take is that they have FDIC insurance. But today, savers are searching for alternatives that still give them a "comfort factor," said Christian Thwaites, vice president of Aetna Mutual Funds.
 "Until now, many savers have stayed away from stocks. While the stock market continues to grow, individual investors fear that stock markets are a fast-paced and arcane world, best left to professionals who can monitor them full time," Thwaites said.
 He added that "That's why more and more investors are turning to another means of building their savings: mutual funds. They're a simple, effective way to ensure that savings are in the hands of investment professionals, who are schooled in the markets' workings and make their financial expertise accessible to all investors."
 In mutual funds, instead of purchasing individual stocks or bonds, investors buy shares in selected, professionally-managed portfolios of securities. When the value of the portfolio rises, the value of the mutual fund's shares increase accordingly. And, of course, the reverse is also true, Thwaites explained.
 Choosing the right mutual fund, however, can still be confusing for someone new to the investment scene. There are an array of choices, each making competing claims and offering a variety of investment goals. But there are really only three basic issues for any investor to consider. Thwaites listed them:
 -- Reputation: Look for a company that has repeatedly demonstrated its integrity and its concern for its standing among investors, he said.
 -- Performance: Even though past performance is no guarantee of future results, a mutual fund management company that has treated its customers' money well over time is showing that it values its responsibilities.
 -- Investment Goals: "This is a personal decision that depends on the investors' financial situation and tolerance for risk. Investors should ask for the mutual fund company's literature and prospectuses, then read them carefully," Thwaites said.
 Thwaites pointed out that "At Aetna Mutual Funds, our objective is to help the new investor build a portfolio of mutual funds, tailored to his or her personal investment goals. These funds are supervised by the same team of seasoned investment professionals who successfully manage the pension and variable annuity portfolios."
 The funds, he said, feature conservative management, low initial investments and free transfers.
 He listed five types of funds, with specific investment goals, as being among the choices first-time investors in mutual funds should consider:
 -- Total Return: Maximum gains by investing in stocks, bonds and money market instruments.
 -- Growth and Income: Long-term growth of capital and income, by investing in common stocks and convertible bonds.
 -- International Growth Funds: Long-term capital growth, by investing in common stocks of established companies outside the United States.
 -- Bond Funds: Current income and growth, by investing in high- grade corporate bonds and U.S. Government securities.
 -- Money Market Funds: Preservation of capital and current income, by investing in high-quality, short-term securities.
 Investors, he noted, may find their goals change over time. That's not uncommon -- and why it may be best to choose a "family" of mutual funds which allows them to "transfer" or switch between funds without penalty.
 "In short, mutual funds offer an alternative to low-yielding certificates of deposit or many types of bonds. Investors can often find they may improve their returns, without taking on too much additional risk," Thwaites said.
 -0- 9/22/92
 /CONTACT: GCI Corporate & Financial, 212-546-2200, or fax, 212-546-1435 or 212-546-1768/ CO: Aetna Mutual Funds ST: Connecticut IN: FIN SU:


GK-SM -- NYPFNS14 -- 1962 09/22/92 06:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 22, 1992
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