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Mutual Fund & SIP

Mutual funds are a type of certified managed combined investment schemes that gathers money from many investors to buy securities. There is no such accurate definition of mutual funds, however the term is most commonly used for collective investment schemes that are regulated and available to the general public and open-ended in nature. Hedge funds are not considered as any type of mutual funds.

Mutual funds are identified by their principal investments. They are the 4th largest category of funds that are also known as money market funds, bond or fixed income funds, stock or equity funds and hybrid funds. Funds are also categorized as index based or actively managed.

In a mutual fund, investors pay the funds expenditure. There is some element of doubt in these expenses. A single mutual fund may give investors a choice of various combinations of these expenses by offering various different types of share combinations.

The fund manager is also known as the fund sponsor or fund management company. The buying and selling of the funds investments in accordance with the funds investment is the objective. A fund manager has to be a registered investment advisor. The same fund manager manages the funds and has the same brand name which is also known as a fund family or fund complex.

As long as mutual comply with requirements that are established in the internal revenue code, they will not be taxed on their income. Clearly, they must expand their investments, limit the ownership of voting securities, disperse most of their income to their investors annually and earn most of their income by investing in securities and currencies.

Mutual funds can pass taxable income to their investors every year. The type of income that they earn remains unchanged as it gets transferred to the shareholders. For e.g., mutual fund distributors of dividend income are described as dividend income by the investor. There is an exception: net losses that are incurred by a mutual fund are not distributed or passed through fund investors.

Mutual funds invest in various kinds of securities. The various types of securities that a particular fund may invest in are mentioned in the funds prospectus, which explain the funds investments objective, its approach and the permitted investments. The objective of the investment describes the kind of income that the fund is looking for. For e.g., a "capital appreciation" fund generally looks to earn most of its returns from the increase in prices of the securities it holds rather than from a dividend or the interest income. The approach of the investment describes the criteria that the fund manager may have used to select the investments for the fund.

The investment portfolio of a mutual funds investment is continuously monitored by the funds portfolio manager or managers who are either employed by the funds manager or the sponsor.

Advantages of Mutual funds are:

  • Increase in diversification.
  • Liquidity on a daily basis.
  • Professional investment management.
  • Capacity to participate in investments that may be available only for larger investors.
  •  Convenience as well as service.
  • Government oversight.
  • Easier comparison

There are different types of Mutual funds as well. Here are some of them.

Open-end funds
In open-end mutual funds, one must be willing to buy back their shares from investors at the end of every business day at the net asset value that is calculated for that day. Most of the open-end funds also sell shares to the public on every business day. These shares are also priced at a particular net asset value. A professional investment manager will oversee the portfolio, while buying or selling securities whichever is appropriate. The total investment in the funds will be variably based on share buying, share redemptions and fluctuation in the market variation. There are also no legal limits on the number of shares that can be issued.


Close-end funds
Close-end funds generally issue shares to the public just once, when they are created via an initial public offering. These shares are then listed for trading on a stock exchange. Investors, who dont wish any longer to invest in the funds, cannot sell their shares back to the funds. Instead, they must sell their shares to another investor in the market as the price they may receive may be hugely different from its net asset value. It may be at a premium to net asset value (higher than the net asset value) or more commonly at a lesser to net asset value (lower than the net asset value). A professional investment manager will oversee the portfolio, in buying or selling securities whichever is appropriate.


Unit Investment Trusts
UIT or Unit Investment Trusts issue shares to the public just once when they are created. The investors in turn can cash in on the shares directly with the fund or they may also sell their shares in the market. UITs do not have any professional investment managers. Their portfolio of securities is established by the creation of the UITs and does not undergo any changes. UITs in general have a limited life span, which is limited at their creation.

What is a Systematic Investment Plan?
A Systematic Investment Plan or SIP is a smart and hassle free mode for investing money in mutual funds. SIP allows you to invest a certain pre-determined amount at a regular interval (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.). A SIP is a planned approach towards investments and helps you inculcate the habit of saving and building wealth for the future.

How does it work?
A SIP is a flexible and easy investment plan. Your money is auto-debited from your bank account and invested into a specific mutual fund scheme.You are allocated certain number of units based on the ongoing market rate (called NAV or net asset value) for the day.
Every time you invest money, additional units of the scheme are purchased at the market rate and added to your account. Hence, units are bought at different rates and investors benefit from Rupee-Cost Averaging and the Power of Compounding.

Rupee-Cost Averaging
With volatile markets, most investors remain skeptical about the best time to invest and try to time their entry into the market. Rupee-cost averaging allows you to opt out of the guessing game. Since you are a regular investor, your money fetches more units when the price is low and lesser when the price is high. During volatile period, it may allow you to achieve a lower average cost per unit.

Power of Compounding
Albert Einstein once said, "Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it... he who does not... pays it." The rule for compounding is simple - the sooner you start investing, the more time your money has to grow.

Example
If you started investing Rs. 10000 a month on your 40th birthday, in 20 years time you would have put aside Rs. 24 lakhs. If that investment grew by an average of 7% a year, it would be worth Rs. 52.4 lakhs when you reach 60.

However, if you started investing 10 years earlier, your Rs. 10000 each month would add up to Rs. 36 lakh over 30 years. Assuming the same average annual growth of 7%, you would have Rs. 1.22 Cr on your 60th birthday - more than double the amount you would have received if you had started ten years later!

Other Benefits of Systematic Investment Plans
Disciplined Saving - Discipline is the key to successful investments. When you invest through SIP, you commit yourself to save regularly. Every investment is a step towards attaining your financial objectives.

Flexibility - While it is advisable to continue SIP investments with a long-term perspective, there is no compulsion. Investors can discontinue the plan at any time. One can also increase/ decrease the amount being invested.

Long-Term Gains - Due to rupee-cost averaging and the power of compounding SIPs have the potential to deliver attractive returns over a long investment horizon.

Convenience - SIP is a hassle-free mode of investment. You can issue a standing instruction to your bank to facilitate auto-debits from your bank account.

SIPs have proved to be an ideal mode of investment for retail investors who do not have the resources to pursue active investments.

Contact Us [through the Query form in right hand side] to learn more about Systematic Investment Plans and to start saving today!