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Mutual Funds for Kids

As many parents would attest, educating children about investing is no easy task. And getting them interested is even harder.

Wheaton, Ill.-based Monetta Family of Mutual Funds is looking to change that. In December, the company launched the (MYIFX) Young Investor Fund (MYIFX), a mutual fund targeted at children and teenagers to help them develop an interest in investing.

The fund invests half of its assets in exchange-traded funds that track the S&P 500. They use ETFs, says Robert Bacarella, founder, president and co-portfolio manager of Monetta funds, because they provide low-cost diversification. And over 10 years, index-based products have proved to beat active managers the vast majority of the time.

Borrowing from Wall Street legend Peter Lynch's mantra "Invest in what you know," the other half of the fund is in stocks of large-cap companies that are familiar to kids.

Top holdings include Walt Disney (DIS), Coca-Cola (KO) McDonalds (MCD), Blockbuster (BBI), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Mattel (MAT), Kellogg (K), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), Hasbro (HAS) and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT).

Bacarella says the idea stemmed from his experience trying to teach his own children about investing.

Since the fund, one of six Monetta manages, only launched in December, there isn't much track record to go by. However, according to Morningstar, the fund is down 1.61% for the year as of March 5 (thanks to the market slump), yet is still beating the S&P 500, which is down 2.78%.

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