|What is a Mutual Fund?|
A Mutual Fund is a body corporate that pools the savings of a number of investors and invests the same in a variety of different financial instruments, or securities. The income earned through these investments and the capital appreciation realised by the scheme are shared by its unit holders in proportion to the number of units owned by them. Mutual funds can thus be considered as financial intermediaries in the investment business who collect funds from the public and invest on behalf of the investors. The losses and gains accrue to the investors only. The Investment objectives outlined by a Mutual Fund in its prospectus are binding on the Mutual Fund scheme. The investment objectives specify the class of securities a Mutual Fund can invest in. Mutual Funds invest in various asset classes like equity, bonds, debentures, commercial paper and government securities.
|What is an Asset Management Company?|
An Asset Management Company (AMC) is a highly regulated organisation that pools money from investors and invests the same in a portfolio. They charge a small management fee, which is normally 1.5 per cent of the total funds managed.
|What is NAV?|
NAV or Net Asset Value of the fund is the cumulative market value of the assets of the fund net of its liabilities. NAV per unit is simply the net value of assets divided by the number of units outstanding. Buying and selling into funds is done on the basis of NAV-related prices. NAV is calculated as follows:
|How often is the NAV declared?|
The NAV of a scheme has to be declared at least once a week. However many Mutual Fund declare NAV for their schemes on a daily basis. As per SEBI Regulations, the NAV of a scheme shall be calculated and published at least in two daily newspapers at intervals not exceeding one week. However, NAV of a close-ended scheme targeted to a specific segment or any monthly income scheme (which are not mandatorily required to be listed on a stock exchange) may be published at monthly or quarterly intervals.
|What are the benefits of investing in Mutual Funds?|
1. Qualified and experienced professionals manage Mutual Funds. Generally, investors, by themselves, may have reasonable capability, but to assess a financial instrument a professional analytical approach is required in addition to access to research and information and time and methodology to make sound investment decisions and keep monitoring them.
|Are there any risks involved in investing in Mutual Funds?|
Mutual Funds do not provide assured returns. Their returns are linked to their performance. They invest in shares, debentures and deposits. All these investments involve an element of risk. The unit value may vary depending upon the performance of the company and companies may default in payment of interest/principal on their debentures/bonds/deposits. Besides this, the government may come up with new regulation which may affect a particular industry or class of industries. All these factors influence the performance of Mutual Funds.
|What are the different types of Mutual funds?|
|(a) On the basis of Objective |
Equity Funds/ Growth Funds
|What are the different plans that Mutual Funds offer?|
Growth Plan and Dividend Plan
|What is Entry/Exit Load?|
A Load is a charge, which the AMC may collect on entry and/or exit from a fund. A load is levied to cover the up-front cost incurred by the AMC for selling the fund. It also covers one time processing costs. Some funds do not charge any entry or exit load. These funds are referred to as 'No Load Fund'. Funds usually charge an entry load ranging between 1.00% and 2.00%. Exit loads vary between 0.25% and 2.00%.
|What is Sales/Purchase price?|
Sales/Purchase price is the price paid to purchase a unit of the fund. If the fund has no entry load, then the sales price is the same as the NAV. If the fund levies an entry load, then the sales price would be higher than the NAV to the extent of the entry load levied.
|What is redemption price?|
Redemption price is the price received on selling units of open-ended scheme. If the fund does not levy an exit load, the redemption price will be same as the NAV. The redemption price will be lower than the NAV in case the fund levies an exit load.
|What is repurchase price?|
Repurchase price is the price at which a close-ended scheme repurchases its units. Repurchase can either be at NAV or can have an exit load.
|What is a Switch?|
Some Mutual Funds provide the investor with an option to shift his investment from one scheme to another within that fund. For this option the fund may levy a switching fee. Switching allows the Investor to alter the allocation of their investment among the schemes in order to meet their changed investment needs, risk profiles or changing circumstances during their lifetime.
|What is Shut-Out Period?|
After the closure of the Initial Offer Period, on an ongoing basis, the Trustee reserves a right to declare Shut-Out period not exceeding 5 days at the end of each month/quarter/half-year, as the case may be, for the investors opting for payment of dividend under the respective Dividends Plans. The declaration of the Shut-Out period is envisaged to facilitate the AMC/the Registrar to determine the Units of the unitholders eligible for receipt of dividend under the various Dividend Options. Further, the Shut-Out period will also help in expeditious processing and despatch of dividend warrants. During the Shut-Out period investors may make purchases into the Scheme but the Purchase Price for subscription of units will be calculated using the NAV as at the end of the first Business Day in the following month/quarter/half-year as the case may be, depending on the Dividend Plan chosen by the investor. Therefore, if investments are made during the Shut -Out period, Units to the credit of the Unitholder's account will be created only on the first Business Day of the following month/ quarter/half year, as the case may be, depending on the dividend plan chosen by the investor. The Shut-Out period applies to new investors in the Scheme as well as to Unitholders making additional purchases of Units into an existing folio. The Trustee reserves the right to change the Shut-Out period and prescribe new Shut- Out period, from time to time.
|Is there any minimum lock-in period for my units?|
There is no lock-in period in the case of open-ended funds. However in the case of tax saving funds a minimum lock-in period is applicable. The lock-in period for different tax saving schemes are as follows:
|Who are the issuers of Mutual funds in India?|
Unit Trust of India was the first mutual fund which began operations in 1964. Other issuers of Mutual funds are Public sector banks like SBI, Canara Bank, Bank of India, Institutions like IDBI, ICICI, GIC, LIC, Foreign Institutions like Alliance, Morgan Stanley, Templeton and Private financial companies like Kothari Pioneer, DSP Merrill Lynch, Sundaram, Kotak Mahindra, Cholamandalam etc.
|What are the factors that influence the performance of Mutual Funds?|
The performances of Mutual funds are influenced by the performance of the stock market as well as the economy as a whole. Equity Funds are influenced to a large extent by the stock market. The stock market in turn is influenced by the performance of the companies as well as the economy as a whole. The performance of the sector funds depends to a large extent on the companies within that sector. Bond-funds are influenced by interest rates and credit quality. As interest rates rise, bond prices fall, and vice versa. Similarly, bond funds with higher credit ratings are less influenced by changes in the economy.
|As a new investor how do I select a particular scheme?|
Choice of any scheme would depend to a large extent on the investor preferences. For an investor willing to undertake risks, equity funds would be the most suitable as they offer the maximum returns. Debt funds are suited for those investors who prefer regular income and safety. Gilt funds are best suited for the medium to long-term investors who are averse to risk. Balanced funds are ideal for medium- to long-term investors willing to take moderate risks. Liquid funds are ideal for Corporates, institutional investors and business houses who invest their funds for very short periods. Tax Saving Funds are ideal for those investors who want to avail tax benefits.
|What are the rights that are available to a Mutual Fund holder?|
As per SEBI Regulations on Mutual Funds, an investor is entitled to
|It is very often said that Mutual Funds have performed badly. Please explain?|
The performance of Mutual Funds is evaluated on the basis of absolute increase or decrease in its Net Asset Value (NAV). However a fund's performance should be evaluated on the basis of a comparison with the relevant indices and alternative instruments. The NAV varies from fund to fund. Therefore this argument is not entirely true. However some funds have performed poorly with their NAV quoting well below their original IPO price.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Mutual Funds in India,FAQs
Posted by Morgan at 3:42 PM