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In a time of inflation and economic uncertainty, stocks can seem like an appealing place to put your money because of their potential to gain value more rapidly than some other investments. But let’s face it: Most people lack the training, experience and time to successfully research and predict whether individual stocks will rise or fall over time.

That’s one reason why many investors turn to mutual funds that hold a basket of stocks and other securities. Index funds are one type of mutual fund. They’re called that because they seek to track the performance of a market index.

Read on for the ins and outs of index funds.

Read the full article in the Finances FYI section of The Seattle Times, sponsored by 1st Security Bank.