NPR's business news begins with some good economic news.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 15,000 for the first time ever this morning. The S&P 500 also hit a record high. All of this came just after the release of a positive jobs report. The Labor Department says 165,000 jobs were created in April. Economist have been expecting about 150,000 new jobs last month.
Mutual funds, which have topped $13 trillion, are the way many Americans interact with the financial markets. You may have come across mutual funds when you set up an individual retirement account or a company-sponsored retirement account like a 401(k).
A "basket" of stocks, bonds or both, mutual funds are seen as safer to own than individual stocks. Having many in one basket spreads the risk, especially over time. But high fees, lack of diversification, or a focus on short-term gains can put your nest egg at risk.