Target Date Funds

A target date fund is a fund of funds with an investment objective aligned with a specific timeframe. To maximize returns, the fund will initially invest aggressively. As the target date approaches, the focus shifts to attempting to ensure money is available when it's needed. The fund will likely reallocate to invest in more conservative products with lower rates of return.

Typically, target date funds' names contain the year on which their investment schedule is focused. So, for example, if you're going to retire in 2030, you might invest in a 2030 fund. Yet, because each fund has its own set of managers, one 2030 fund's investment style can differ appreciably from that of another 2030 fund. Consequently, before you invest, it is important to look at the makeup of the individual funds in which the fund invests.

Like other funds of funds, target date funds tend to have higher fees than individual mutual funds because of the greater professional oversight. You may decide, though, that the benefits of this approach to saving for retirement or other long-term goals offset the greater cost.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of a mutual fund carefully before investing. A prospectus contains this and other information. A mutual fund prospectus is available through www.scottrade.com or through a Scottrade branch office. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing