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Mutual Funds at Merrill Lynch

Important Information About Investing in U.S. Mutual Funds at Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch offers a comprehensive range of mutual fund investment options that includes more than 3,000 funds from more than 100 mutual fund companies. This competitive offering is supported by proprietary analysis and professional advice to help investors select the most appropriate funds for their investment strategy.

WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER MUTUAL FUNDS AT MERRILL LYNCH?
If you want to build a portfolio that is closely aligned with your wealth management objectives, while you benefit from the professional advice and analysis of a financial advisor, consider mutual funds at Merrill Lynch.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MUTUAL FUNDS AT MERRILL LYNCH?

Choose from over 3,000 funds

  • Merrill Lynch offers a comprehensive range of mutual funds to suit every kind of investor and investment strategy.

  • You have access to over 3,000 funds from more than 100 fund families.

  • Equity mutual funds allow investors to benefit from the long-term potential of equity investing without the concentrated risks associated with investing in a small number of companies.

  • In addition to equity mutual funds, you can select from a wide range of fixed-income funds, either taxable or tax-exempt, such as municipal bond funds.1 You also have a choice of balanced funds that combine equity and fixed-income securities.

  • Beyond the depth and breadth of our fund choices, you can benefit from:

    • Programs for automated investment that allow you to benefit from dollar-cost averaging and systematic withdrawal.

    • Fee-based investment management alternatives to address your long-term investment strategy.

A financial advisor can give you more information about these services.

Customize your mutual fund investments

  • So that your mutual fund choices suit your long-term investment strategy, you, with the help of a financial advisor, can identify your investing goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. This will serve as the basis of your asset allocation model-chosen from a spectrum that ranges from Capital Preservation to Aggressive Growth.

  • Ar financial advisor uses proprietary analysis tools to help you select appropriate funds for your individual profile, investment objectives and asset allocation model.

Diversify your investment allocations

  • Using your asset allocation, you and a financial advisor can diversify your funds by size, style and sector.

    • "Size" refers to the size of a company's capitalization or total market value, generally divided into small-cap (a total market value of less than $1 billion), mid-cap (between $1 billion and $5 billion) and large-cap (over $5 billion).

  • Large-cap companies, such as those represented on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, are generally considered less volatile investments than mid- or small-caps.

  • Small-caps may have the potential for higher returns, but usually carry greater risks.2

    • "Style" refers to the fund's overall investment strategy-typically value, growth or a blend. Value funds typically invest in stocks with low prices relative to earnings or assets. Growth funds generally invest in stocks with potential for above-average earnings and growth rates.

    • "Sector" refers to the type of industry in which a fund's holdings are invested, including areas such as energy, utilities, health care and technology.

    • To help reduce the risks of market volatility, a financial advisor can help you implement diversification into your overall investment strategy, using an effective combination of mutual funds.

    • Diversification and asset allocation do not assure a profit or protect against a loss in declining markets.

Benefit from dollar-cost averaging

  • Dollar-cost averaging serves as one of the best strategies for executing a long-term mutual fund investment plan.

  • Both Merrill Lynch's Automated Investment Program and Systematic Withdrawal Program use a dollar-cost averaging strategy to invest or withdraw regular fixed amounts in specific mutual funds on an ongoing basis.

  • You can invest monthly, quarterly, annually or on any other regular schedule that you choose.

  • This time-tested technique ensures that investors buy more shares when prices are low and fewer when prices are high, resulting in a lower average cost per share. It builds a portfolio over time while limiting the effect of the volatility and unpredictability of stock market cycles.

  • Neither dollar-cost averaging nor any other systematic investment program assures a profit or protects against losses in a declining market. Such a plan involves continuous investment in securities regardless of their fluctuating prices. Investors should consider their ability to continue their purchases through low-price periods.

As with other investments, mutual funds are subject to market conditions and other associated risks. There is no guarantee that any specific fund or investment strategy will meet its investment objectives. For a current prospectus of any mutual fund offered by Merrill Lynch, which contains more complete information, please contact a Merrill Lynch financial advisor. Before investing, carefully consider the investment objectives, risks and charges and expenses of the fund under consideration. This and other information may be found in the fund's prospectus. Read the prospectus carefully before you invest.

HOW CAN YOU GET STARTED?
Ask a Merrill Lynch financial advisor about how mutual funds can help you achieve the life you want.

1. Tax-exempt income may subject investors to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

2. Smaller companies typically have a higher risk of failure and historically have experienced a greater degree of market volatility than average.

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