Mutual funds are money-managing institutions set up to professionally invest the money pooled in from the public. These schemes are managed by Asset Management Companies (AMC), which are sponsored by different financial institutions or companies.
Each unit of these schemes reflects the share of investor in the respective fund and its appreciation is judged by the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the scheme. The NAV is directly linked to the bullish and bearish trends of the markets as the pooled money is invested either inequity shares or in debentures or treasury bills. Indian Mutual Funds unveils this multi-dimensional avenue, with its intricacies, in a fashionable manner as mutual funds up-hold ample scope of generating decent returns by some thoughtful investment.
Background of the Art
Mutual fund units and shares are purchased through a broker or directly from the mutual fund. The mutual fund and purchaser decide for themselves whether they wish to deal through brokers or deal directly without a broker. In this description, the term “portions” will be used to refer to all shares or units in a mutual fund, as those terms are defined by established practice with. For the purposes of the invention, whether a mutual fund is structured to distribute shares or units is irrelevant since the method is applied to each type of holding in the same way.
One means of providing brokers with compensation involves a mutual fund selling scheme known as “front end loaded” where the broker is given a commission based on a percentage of the total price of portions purchased. For example, if a purchaser wishes to purchase 100 portions of $10 value each, the up-front purchase price paid is $1050 of which $1000 is invested in the mutual fund and $50 commission or 5% service fee goes to the broker.
Another compensation scheme is known as “back end loaded” or “deferred sales charge”. Deferred sales operate in a manner which effectively hides the compensation to the mutual fund broker from the purchaser. Following the same example, the up-front price paid by the purchaser for the same purchase (100 portions at $10 each) is $1000. However, the broker is paid a service fee of $50 or 5% immediately by the mutual fund. To pay the broker, the mutual fund must borrow the $50 and mutual funds initially operate at a deficit for this reason until they become well established. Of course there are various provisions to penalize purchasers if they wish to sell their portions before a period after the initial sale to recoup the broker service fee, mutual fund management expenses and discourage migration of capital. For example, a penalty of 6% may be charged for sales of mutual fund portions in the first year after purchase, 5% the second year, 4% the third year and so on. The purchaser does not readily perceive the cost of the broker service fees but due to the severely reduced liquidity of their mutual fund investment and monetary penalties, this cost is incurred never-the-less.
Rules for investing in mutual funds
Be a long-term investor
You should have a long term horizon. Short-term trading will make brokers rich and not investors and the income tax department will also be happy. Mutual funds are diversified and therefore, their gains and losses are likely to be lower than what it would be in case you are investing in an individual security. However, major fluctuations are highly uncommon in mutual funds. So what make sense is to leave your capital in a mutual fund for a long time and let it compound. So the key point is Buy and Hold. It also requires to you do a reality check on yourselves so that you can define your goals and priorities before entering the market.
When you invest in the market is more important than the market timing. Always enter the market with long term thinking. Do proper researches before investing set your priorities and goals, ascertain your risk profile. Also very importantly you should keep yourself abreast with the daily market news. One should not do impulsive purchase allowing emotions overpowering the sense of reason.
Know yourself and then What You Are Buying
The first step towards achieving your goals would be to know yourself, your risk appetite and accordingly make the investments. Once you have discovered yourself, explore the market and find out the kind of funds available in the market. Firstly, get a hang on the style and strategy followed by a fund by reading the available material. This will help in diversifying the portfolio and also in assessing potential risks. In general, large-cap value funds are less risky than small-cap growth funds.
Be A Disciplined Investor
Once you’ve chosen some funds, you may stick with them. It is not necessary that one should always go with the tide. Even the unpopular groups tend to outperform in subsequent years. Investing a regular amount of money at regular intervals may add a good value to your portfolio. Make a systematic investment plan which in all probability likely to offer reasonable returns.
Know How Much You Pay
There is one famous saying that Money saved is money earned. So it’s always better to pay less than it is to pay more. Expenses are very important with your larger-cap, lower-risk funds, and less critical with small-cap funds and other higher-risk categories. You can afford to be lenient with the expense of a small-cap or a sector equity fund. Actually, the strength of the mutual fund lies in its simplicity. Don’t follow the bandwagon
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