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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/gtgt-maybe-im-confusing-growth-and-return-is-11227748.aspx

Subject:  Re: What To Do With A Large Cash Amount? Date:  9/5/1999  5:23 PM
Author:  TchrP Number:  13666 of 78166

>> Maybe I'm confusing growth and return. Is that the case?
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You may be confusing income and return.

Income from stocks is the amount paid in dividends. It represents a share of the company's profits that the company chose to distribute to the shareholders. Not all companies pay dividends, even if they are making a profit.

Mutual funds must distribute income received from their underlying investments at least once a year.

Mutual funds must also distribute the capital gains that they realized. Gains represent growth in the value of the underlying investments, but they only have to be distributed by the fund when they are "realized," meaning that the fund sold the underlying investment and took the profit.

So a mutual fund will often distribute three kinds of earnings in a year: income, short-term gains, and long-term gains.

Gains that the fund did not yet realize -- that is, where the fund continu