|Reference: mutual funds as bondholders|
A mutual fund is an open-end professionally managed investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities. These investors may be retail or institutional in nature. The term is typically used in the United States, Canada, and India, while similar structures across the globe include the SICAV in Europe ('investment company with variable capital') and open-ended investment company (OEIC) in the UK.
Mutual funds have advantages and disadvantages compared to direct investing in individual securities. The advantages of mutual funds include economies of scale, diversification, liquidity, and professional management. However, these come with mutual fund fees and expenses.
Primary structures of mutual funds are open-end funds, unit investment trusts, closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Mutual funds are often classified by their principal investments as money market funds, bond or fixed income funds, stock or equity funds, hybrid funds, or other. Funds may also be categorized as index funds, which are passively managed funds that match the performance of an index, or actively managed funds. Hedge funds are not mutual funds as hedge funds cannot be sold to the general public.
In finance, a bond is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond issuer to the holders. The most common types of bonds include municipal bonds and corporate bonds. Bonds can be in mutual funds or can be in private investing where a person would give a loan to a company or the government.
The bond is a debt security, under which the issuer owes the holders a debt and (depending on the terms of the bond) is obliged to pay them interest (the coupon) or to repay the principal at a later date, termed the maturity date. Interest is usually payable at fixed intervals (semiannual, annual, sometimes monthly). Very often the bond is negotiable, that is, the ownership of the instrument can be transferred in the secondary market. This means that once the transfer agents at the bank medallion stamp the bond, it is highly liquid on the secondary market.
Bonds are bought and traded mostly by institutions like central banks, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies, hedge funds, and banks. Insurance companies and pension funds have liabilities which essentially include fixed amounts payable on predetermined dates. They buy the bonds to match their liabilities, and may be compelled by law to do this. Most individuals who want to own bonds do so through bond funds. Still, in the U.S., nearly 10% of all bonds outstanding are held directly by households.
Normally a individual bondholder has no much influence on the company, esp. No voting rights. But a investment fund or mutual fund may have enough influence to be consulted at least, independend of being written or not.