This module provides a comprehensive look at mutual funds and other pooled investments, including unit investment trusts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) including leveraged and inverse ETFs, exchange-traded notes (ETNs), guaranteed investment contracts (GICs), stable value funds, and business development companies (BDCs). Selecting a mutual fund, including potential pitfalls, is also covered.

5-1 Explain the characteristics, structure, types, and objectives of unit investment trusts and closed- and open-end mutual funds.
5-2 Explain the characteristics and objectives of exchange-traded funds.
5-3 Explain key concepts that apply to leveraged and inverse mutual funds and ETFs.
5-4 Understand the unique risks, regulatory concerns, and suitability requirements of leveraged and inverse ETFs.
5-5 Explain the characteristics and objectives of ETNs, GICs, and BDCs.
5-6 Analyze mutual fund data to determine critical factors in selecting funds for investment. 5-7 Evaluate mutual fund alternatives to select an appropriate fund to meet given client objectives and risk profiles.

Author: Craig Kinnunen, MS, CFP®

Craig Kinnunen, MS, CFP® is an associate professor at the College for Financial Planning. Prior to joining the College, Craig enjoyed a long and successful career in personal financial planning and wealth management. Craig’s enthusiasm for financial planning extends beyond the classroom, as he also spends time providing pro bono financial education and individual financial counseling to members of the Colorado National Guard. Craig earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Northern Michigan University and followed that up with a master of science degree in finance from the University of Colorado in Denver. You can contact Craig at

Complexity Level: Advanced