A. If a fund regularly trails other funds that invest in similar securities, consider replacing it. The poor performance is more often than not a reflection on the relative expertise of the asset management company.
A. A scheme that invests primarily in other schemes of the same mutual fund or other mutual funds is known as a FoF scheme. An FoF scheme enables the investors to achieve greater diversification through one scheme. It spreads risks across a greater universe.
A. A Mutual Fund is a vehicle for investing in stocks and bonds. It is not an alternative investment option to stocks and bonds, rather it pools the money of several investors and invests this in stocks, bonds, money market instruments and other types of securities. Buying a mutual fund is like buying a small slice of a big pizza. The owner of a mutual fund unit gets a proportional share of the funds gains, losses, income and expenses
A. The price or NAV a unitholder is charged while investing in an open-ended scheme is called sales price. It may include sales load, if applicable.
Repurchase or redemption price is the price or NAV at which an open-ended scheme purchases or redeems its units from the unitholders. It may include exit load, if applicable.
A. The company that manages a mutual fund is called an AMC. For all practical purposes, it is an organized form of a money portfolio manager. An AMC may have several mutual fund schemes with similar or varied investment objectives. The AMC hires a professional money manager, who buys and sells securities in line with the fund's stated objective.
A. Some Asset Management Companies (AMCs) have sales charges, or loads, on their funds (entry load and/or exit load) to compensate for distribution costs. Funds that can be purchased without a sales charge are called no-load funds. Entry load is charged at the time an investor purchases the units of a scheme. The entry load percentage is added to the prevailing NAV at the time of allotment of units. Exit load is charged at the time of redeeming (or transferring an investment between schemes). The exit load percentage is deducted from the NAV at the time of redemption (or transfer between schemes). This amount goes to the Asset Management Company and not into the pool of funds of the scheme.
A. NAV is the total asset value (net of expenses) per unit of the fund and is calculated by the Asset Management Company (AMC) at the end of every business day. Net asset value on a particular date reflects the realisable value that the investor will get for each unit that he his holding if the scheme is liquidated on that date.
A. SIP works on the principle of regular investments. It is like your recurring deposit where you put in a small amount every month. It allows you to invest in a MF by making smaller periodic investments (monthly or quarterly) in place of a heavy one-time investment i.e. SIP allows you to pay 10 periodic investments of Rs 500 each in place of a one-time investment of Rs 5,000 in an MF. Thus, you can invest in an MF without altering your other financial liabilities. It is imperative to understand the concept of rupee cost averaging and the power of compounding to better appreciate the working of SIPs.
SIP has brought mutual funds within the reach of an average person as it enables even those with tight budgets to invest Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 on a regular basis in place of making a heavy, one-time investment.
While making small investments through SIP may not seem appealing at first, it enables investors to get into the habit of saving. And over the years, it can really add up and give you handsome returns. A monthly SIP of Rs 1000 at the rate of 9% would grow to Rs 6.69 lakh in 10 years, Rs 17.83 lakh in 30 years and Rs 44.20 lakh in 40 years.
Even for the cash-rich, SIPs reduces the chance of investing at the wrong time and losing their sleep over a wrong investment decision. However, the true benefit of an SIP is derived by investing at lower levels. Other benefits include:
The cardinal rule of building your corpus is to stay focused, invest regularly and maintain discipline in your investing pattern. A few hundreds set aside every month will not affect your monthly disposable income. You will also find it easier to part with a few hundreds every month, rather than set aside a large sum for investing in one shot.
2. Power of compounding
Investment gurus always recommend that one must start investing early in life. One of the main reasons for doing that is the benefit of compounding. Letís explain this with an example. Person A started investing Rs 10,000 per year at the age of 30. Person B started investing the same amount every year at the age of 35. When they attained the age of 60 respectively, A had built a corpus of Rs 12.23 lakh while person Bís corpus was only Rs 7.89 lakh. For this example, a rate of return of 8% compounded has been assumed. So the difference of Rs 50,000 in amount invested made a difference of more than Rs 4 lakh to their end-corpus. That difference is due to the effect of compounding. The longer the (compounding) period, the higher the returns.
Now, instead of investing Rs 10,000 each year, suppose A invested Rs 50,000 after every five years, starting at the age of 35. The total amount invested, thus remains the same -- Rs 3 lakh. However, when he is 60, his corpus will be Rs 10.43 lakh. Again, he loses the advantage of compounding in the early years.
3. Rupee cost averaging
This is especially true for investments in equities. When you invest the same amount in a fund at regular intervals over time, you buy more units when the price is lower. Thus, you would reduce your average cost per share (or per unit) over time. This strategy is called 'rupee cost averaging'. With a sensible and long-term investment approach, rupee cost averaging can smoothen out the market's ups and downs and reduce the risks of investing in volatile markets.
People who invest through SIPs capture the lows as well as the highs of the market. In an SIP, your average cost of investing comes down since you will go through all phases of the market, bull or bear.
This is a very convenient way of investing. You have to just submit cheques along with the filled up enrolment form. The mutual fund will deposit the cheques on the requested date and credit the units to oneís account and will send the confirmation for the same.
5. Other advantages
∑ There are no entry or exit loads on SIP investments.
∑ Capital gains, wherever applicable, are taxed on a first-in, first-out basis.
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A. Open-ended schemes can issue and redeem units any time during the life of the scheme while close-ended schemes cannot issue new units except in case of bonus or rights issue. Hence, the number of units of an open-ended scheme can fluctuate on a daily basis while that is not the case for close-ended schemes. Another way of explaining this difference is that new investors can join the scheme by directly applying to the mutual fund at applicable net asset value related prices in case of open-ended schemes while that is not the case in case of close-ended schemes, where new investors can buy the units from secondary market only
A. Unit Trust of India was the first mutual fund set up in India in the year 1963. In early 1990s, Government allowed public sector banks and institutions to set up mutual funds.
In the year 1992, Securities and exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act was passed. The objectives of SEBI are Ė to protect the interest of investors in securities and to promote the development of and to regulate the securities market.
As far as mutual funds are concerned, SEBI formulates policies and regulates the mutual funds to protect the interest of the investors. SEBI notified regulations for the mutual funds in 1993. Thereafter, mutual funds sponsored by private sector entities were allowed to enter the capital market. The regulations were fully revised in 1996 and have been amended thereafter from time to time. SEBI has also issued guidelines to the mutual funds from time to time to protect the interests of investors.
All mutual funds whether promoted by public sector or private sector entities including those promoted by foreign entities are governed by the same set of Regulations. There is no distinction in regulatory requirements for these mutual funds and all are subject to monitoring and inspections by SEBI. The risks associated with the schemes launched by the mutual funds sponsored by these entities are of similar type.
A. Fund managers are responsible for implementing a consistent investment strategy that reflects the goals and objectives of the fund. Normally, fund managers monitor market and economic trends and analyse securities in order to make informed investment decisions
A. Venture Capital is the fund/initial capital provided to businesses typically at a start-up stage and many times for new/ untested ideas. Venture capital normally comes in where the conventional sources of finance do not fit in. Venture capital funds are mutual funds that manage venture capital money i.e. these funds aggregate money from several investors who want to provide venture capital and deploy this money in venture capital opportunities.
Typically venture capital funds have a higher risk/ higher return profile as compared to normal equity funds and whether you should invest in these would depend on your specific risk profile and investment time-frame.
A. Just as you would buy a computer that fits your needs and budget, you should choose a mutual fund that meets your risk tolerance and your risk capacity levels (i.e. has similar investment objectives as your own). Typical investment objectives of mutual funds include fixed income or equity, general equity or sector-focused, high risk or low risk, blue-chips or turnarounds, long-term or short-term liquidity focus. You can use our Find-A-Fund query module to find funds whose investment objectives match yours.
You can also read our expert article on Investment in Mutual Funds to understand how best to find a mutual fund to meet your needs and what other factors to consider while evaluating mutual funds for investment.
A. An abridged offer document, which contains very useful information, is required to be given to the prospective investor by the mutual fund. The application form for subscription to a scheme is an integral part of the offer document. SEBI has prescribed minimum disclosures in the offer document. An investor, before investing in a scheme, should carefully read the offer document. Due care must be given to portions relating to main features of the scheme, risk factors, initial issue expenses and recurring expenses to be charged to the scheme, entry or exit loads, sponsorís track record, educational qualification and work experience of key personnel including fund managers, performance of other schemes launched by the mutual fund in the past, pending litigations and penalties imposed, etc.
A. For example, as you grow older you might adopt a more conservative investment approach, pruning some of your riskier (equity-oriented) funds
A. Mutual funds are required to despatch certificates or statements of accounts within six weeks from the date of closure of the initial subscription of the scheme. In case of close-ended schemes, the investors would get either a demat account statement or unit certificates as these are traded in the stock exchanges. In case of open-ended schemes, a statement of account is issued by the mutual fund within 30 days from the date of closure of initial public offer of the scheme. The procedure of repurchase is mentioned in the offer document.
A. Mutual funds are investment vehicles, and you can use them to invest in asset classes such as equities or fixed income. moneycontrol recommends that you use the mutual fund investment route rather than invest yourself, unless you have the required temperament, aptitude and technical knowledge.
In this article we discuss why and how you should choose mutual funds. If you would like to familiarise yourself with the basic concepts and workings of a mutual fund, Understanding Mutual Funds would be a good place to start.
A. The cost of investing through a mutual fund is not insignificant and deserves due consideration, especially when it comes to fixed income funds. Management fees, annual expenses of the fund and sales loads can take away a significant portion of your returns. As a general rule, 1% towards management fees and 0.6% towards other annual expenses should be acceptable. Carefully examine load the fee a fund charges for getting in and out of the fund.
A. Firstly, we are not all investment professionals. We go to a doctor when we need medical advice or a lawyer for legal guidance, similarly mutual funds are investment vehicles managed by professional fund managers. And unless you rate highly on the Investment IQ Quiz, we recommend you use this option for investing. Mutual funds are like professional money managers, however a key factor in their favour is that they are more regulated and hence offer investors the ability to analyse and evaluate their track record.
Secondly, investing is becoming more complex. There was a time when things were quite simple - the market went up with the arrival of the first monsoon showers and every year around Diwali. Since India started integrating with the world (with the start of the liberalisation process), complex factors such as an increase in short-term US interest rates, the collapse of the Brazilian currency or default on its debt by the Russian government, have started having an impact on the Indian stock market. Although it is possible for an individual investor to understand Indian companies (and investing) in such an environment, the process can become fairly time consuming. Mutual funds (whose fund managers are paid to understand these issues and whose asset management company invests in research) provide an option of investing without getting lost in the complexities.
Lastly, and most importantly, mutual funds provide risk diversification: Diversification of a portfolio is amongst the primary tenets of portfolio structuring (see The Need to Diversify). And a necessary one to reduce the level of risk assumed by the portfolio holder. Most of us are not necessarily well qualified to apply the theories of portfolio structuring to our holdings and hence would be better off leaving that to a professional. Mutual funds represent one such option.
A. Having made an investment in a mutual fund, you should monitor it to see whether its management and performance is in line with stated objectives and also whether its performance exceeds or lags your expectations. Unlike individual stocks and bonds, mutual fund reviews are required less frequently, once in a quarter should be sufficient.
A review of the fundís performance should be carried out with the objective of holding or selling your investment in the mutual fund. You might need to sell your investment in a mutual fund if any of the events below apply