Mutual funds must provide a copy of the fund’s prospectus to shareholders after they purchase shares, but investors can—and should—request and read the mutual fund’s prospectus before making an investment decision. There are two kinds of prospectuses: The statutory prospectus and the summary prospectus. The statutory prospectus is the traditional, long-form prospectus with which most mutual fund investors are familiar. The summary prospectus, which is used by many mutual funds, is just a few pages long and contains key information about a mutual fund. The SEC specifies the kinds of information that must be included in mutual fund prospectuses and requires mutual funds to present the information in a standard format so that investors can readily compare different mutual funds.
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