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A twist on the mutual fund is the exchange traded fund, or ETF. These ever more popular investment vehicles pool investments and employ strategies consistent with mutual funds, but they are structured as investment trusts that are traded on stock exchanges, and have the added benefits of the features of stocks. For example, ETFs can be bought and sold at any point throughout the trading day. ETFs can also be sold short or purchased on margin. ETFs also typically carry lower fees than the equivalent mutual fund. Many ETFs also benefit from active options markets where investors can hedge or leverage their positions. ETFs also enjoy tax advantages from mutual funds. The popularity of ETFs speaks to their versatility and convenience. Types of Funds. 5. Securities Industry Regulations 6. FINRA Conduct Rules 7. Taxation Issues 8. Retirement and College Savings Plans. 13. Customer Accounts. As mentioned at the beginning of this section, there are over 8,000 mutual funds on the market today. The objectives of these mutual funds vary depending on the goals of the portfolio manager. Determining which mutual fund best suits a particular investor requires knowing the financial needs, investment objectives and risk tolerance of that person.