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Understanding how mutual funds work could save you a ton of money in the long run

How mutual funds work — the $18.7 trillion industry fueling retirement in the U.S.
How mutual funds work

You've probably heard of mutual funds.

Even if you haven't — but you have a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored investment account — odds are you own one.

In fact, an estimated 100 million Americans have holdings in mutual funds as of 2017.

People use them to save for retirement, college or buying a house.

The mutual fund industry in the U.S. tops out at around $18.7 trillion.

Advisor fees could be the difference between losing or making money. When choosing a mutual fund, check your risk tolerance and any fees the fund carries.

Watch the video to see the basics behind mutual funds.

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.