There are many mutual funds to choose from. Common are fixed income funds. These are for more conservative, risk-averse investors who are often older and more interested in regular, periodic returns. Such funds tend to invest in bonds or other instruments paying a steady income stream. However, for those seeking to capitalise on the natural resource boom, commodity funds may be worth considering. There are also balanced funds which buy preferred stock, common stock, and either long- or short-term bonds to provide investors capital and income appreciation while steering clear of undue risk. 'Absolute return funds are like hedge funds,' said Catherine Mow, vice-president for investor advisory services at JP Morgan Asset Management. 'Our company has a wide range of them to provide absolute returns in uncertain times.' Absolute return funds adopt either long or short strategies and can offer positive returns for investors in tumultuous periods.