Open-ended or open mutual funds are much more common than closed-ended funds and meet the true definition of a mutual fund – a financial intermediary that allows a group of investors to pool their money together to meet an investment objective– to make money! An individual or team of professional money managers manage the pooled assets and choose investments, which create the fund’s portfolio They are established by a fund sponsor, usually a mutual fund company, and valued by the fund company or an outside agent. This means that the fund’s portfolio is valued at "fair market" value, which is the closing market value for listed public securities. An open-ended fund can be freely sold and repurchased by investors.
Close-ended or closed mutual funds are really financial securities that are traded on the stock market. Similar to a company, a closed-ended fund issues a fixed number of shares in an initial public offering, which trade on an exchange. Share prices are determined not by the total net asset value (NAV), but by investor demand. A sponsor, either a mutual fund company or investment dealer, will raise funds through a process commonly known as underwriting to create a fund with specific investment objectives. The fund retains an investment manager to manage the fund assets in the manner specified.