How to Invest in Mutual Funds?

5 Simple Steps to Invest in Mutual Funds Online

  1. Understand your risk capacity and risk tolerance. This process of identifying the amount of risk you are capable of taking is referred to as risk profiling.
  2. The next step is asset allocation. Once you identify your risk profile, you should look to divide your money between various asset classes. Ideally your asset allocation should have a mix of both equity and debt instruments so as to balance out the risks.
  3. Then you should identify the funds that invest in each asset class. You can compare mutual funds based on investment objective and past performance.
  4. Decide on the mutual fund schemes you will be investing in and make the application online or offline.
  5. Diversification of your investments and follow-ups are important to ensure that you get the best out of your investment.
 Mutual Fund Investment

Types of Mutual Funds

Mutual funds types are broadly classified on the basis of - investment objective, structure, and nature of the schemes. When classified according to the investment objective, mutual funds can be of 7 types - equity or growth funds, fixed income funds or debt funds, tax saving funds, money market or liquid funds, balanced funds, gilt funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Based on the structure, mutual funds can be of 2 types - close-ended and open-ended schemes. When mutual funds are classified on the basis of nature, they can be of 3 types - equity, debt, and balanced. There is an overlap in the classification of some schemes like equity growth funds which can fall under classification based on investment objective as well as classification based on nature.

We have explained some of the types of mutual funds, below:

Growth or Equity Schemes - These funds invest in equity shares and the investment objective is capital gains over medium or long-term. They are associated with high risks as they are linked to the highly volatile stock markets but over long term, they offer good returns. Hence, investors having a high appetite for risk find these schemes to be an ideal investment option. Growth funds can further be classified into diversified, sector, and index funds.

Debt Funds - Also known as fixed income funds, they invest in fixed income or debt securities such as debentures, corporate bonds, commercial papers, government securities, and various money market instruments. For those who seek a regular, steady, and risk-free income, debt funds can be an ideal choice. Gilt funds, liquid funds, short-term plans, income funds, and MIPs are the subcategories of debt funds.

Balanced Funds - These funds invest in a mix of debt instruments and equity shares. Investors can expect a regular income and growth at the same time with these funds. They offer a good investment option for investors who are ready to take moderate risks over medium or long-term.

Tax Saving Funds - Anyone looking to grow their capital while also saving tax can opt for tax saving schemes. Investors can enjoy tax rebates under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 through tax saving funds, also known as equity-linked savings schemes.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) - An ETF trades in a stock exchange and owns a basket of assets such as bonds, gold bars, oil futures, foreign currency, etc. It offers the flexibility of purchasing and selling units on the stock exchanges throughout the day.

Open-ended schemes - In an open-ended scheme, units are bought and sold continuously and hence, allows investors to enter and exit according to their convenience. Purchase and sale of funds are done at the Net Asset Value (NAV).

Close-ended schemes - In this type of scheme, the unit capital is fixed and only a specific number of units can be sold. The units in a close-ended scheme cannot be bought by the investor after the New Fund Offer (NFO) has passed which means they cannot exit the scheme before the end of the term.

Costs associated with investing in Mutual Funds

The fund value is calculated as per the Net Asset Value (NAV), which is the value of the fund’s portfolio net of expenses. This is calculated after every business day by the AMC.

AMCs will charge you an administration fee, which covers their salaries, brokerage, advertising and other administrative expenses. This is usually measured using an expense ratio. The lower the expense ratio, the lower the cost of investing in that Mutual Fund.

AMCs may also charge loads, which are basically sales charges incurred by the company in the form of distribution costs.

If you are unfamiliar with associated charges, you might get into a position where the profits from your investment are reduced considerably due to overhead expenses. So, it’s a good habit to read the fine print for details on expenses and fees related to a Mutual Fund.

How to Invest in Mutual Fund

How to invest in Mutual Funds in Detail

Before you decide to invest in a mutual fund, it is important to keep the below points in mind. Doing so will help you choose the right kind of funds to invest in, and help you accumulate wealth over time.

  1. Identify your purpose for investing -

    This is the first step towards investing in a mutual fund. You need to define your investment goals which can be - buying a house, child’s education, wedding, retirement, etc. If you do not have a specific goal, you should at least have a clarity on how much wealth you wish to accumulate and in how much time. Identifying an investment objective helps the investor zero in on the investment options based on level of risk, payment method, lock-in period, etc.

  2. Fulfill the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements -

    In order to invest in a mutual fund, investors need to comply with the KYC guidelines. For this, the investor needs to submit copies of Permanent Account Number (PAN) card, Proof of Residence, age proof, etc. as specified by the fund house.

  3. Know about the schemes available -

    The mutual fund market is flooded with options. There are schemes to suit almost every need of the investor. Before investing, make sure you have done your homework by exploring the market to understand the different types of schemes available. After you have done that, align it with your investment objective, your risk appetite, your affordability and see what suits you best. Seek the help of a financial advisor if you are not sure about which scheme to invest in. In the end, it is your money. You need to ensure that it is used to fetch maximum returns.

  4. Consider the risk factors -

    Remember that investing in mutual funds comes with a set of risks. Schemes that offer high returns is often accompanied with high risks. If you have a high appetite for risk and wish to accomplish high returns, you can invest in equity schemes. On the other hand, if you do not want to risk your investment and are okay with moderate returns, you can go for debt schemes.

After you have identified your investment objectives, fulfilled the KYC requirements, and explored the various schemes, you can start investing in mutual funds. A bank account is also a mandate while making a mutual fund investment. Most mutual fund houses will ask for a physical or an online copy of a cancelled cheque leaf bearing the IFSC (Indian Financial System Code) and MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) of the bank.

Ways to invest in Mutual Funds

There are different ways in which mutual fund investments can be made. They are:

  1. Offline investment directly with the fund house

    You can invest in schemes of a mutual fund by visiting the nearest branch office of the fund house. Just ensure that you carry a copy of the below documents -

    • Proof of Address
    • Proof of Identity
    • Cancelled Cheque Leaf
    • Passport Size photograph

    The fund house will provide you with an application form which you will need to fill and submit, along with the necessary documents.

  2. Offline investment through a broker

    A mutual fund broker or a distributor is someone who will help you through the entire process of investment. He will provide you with all the information you need to make your investment including the features of various schemes, documents needed, etc. He will also offer guidance on which schemes you should invest in. For this, he will charge you a fee which will be deducted from the total investment amount.

  3. Online through the official website

    Most fund houses these days offer the online facility of investing in mutual funds. All you need to do is follow the instructions provided on the official site of the fund house, fill the relevant information, and submit it. The KYC process can also be completed online (e-KYC) for which you will need to enter your Aadhar number and PAN. The information will be verified at the backend and once the verification is done, you can start investing. The online process of investing in mutual funds is easy, quick, and hassle-free and hence, is preferred by most investors.

  4. Through an app

    Many fund houses allow investors to make investments through an app which can be downloaded on your mobile device. The app will allow investors to invest in mutual fund schemes, buy or sell units, view account statements, and check other details concerning your folio. Some of the fund houses that allow investments through an app are SBI Mutual Fund, Axis Mutual Fund, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, Aditya Birla SunLife Mutual Funds, and HDFC Mutual Funds. Some apps like myCAMS and Karvy allow investors to invest as well as access the details of all their investments from multiple fund houses, on one platform.

Why should you invest in Mutual Funds?

As stated above, mutual funds are professionally managed investment vehicles that will compound your money over a long term. Mutual funds may invest in a variety of instruments like equity, debt, money market, etc., and fetch favourable returns on your investment. There are more reasons why you should invest in mutual funds and we have picked the top ones for you below:

  1. Professional management

    Mutual funds are managed by professional fund managers who research and keep a track of the markets, identify the rights stocks, and buy and sell them at an appropriate time so as to generate favourable returns on your investment. Fund managers also analyse the performance of firms before they decide to invest in their stocks. Also, when you buy units of a mutual fund scheme, the scheme information document (SID) will have the professional summary of the fund manager which includes the number of years of work experience, the kind of funds managed, and the performance of the funds managed by him/her. So, you can be rest assured that your money is in the right hands.

  2. Higher returns

    Compared to term deposits such as Fixed Deposits (FDs), Recurring Deposits (RDs), etc., mutual funds offer better returns on your investments by investing in a variety of instruments. Equity mutual funds present an excellent opportunity to investors to enjoy higher returns but at the same time are accompanied with high risks and hence, are ideal for investors with a high risk appetite. Debt funds, on the other hand, offer lower risk and fetch better returns than term deposits.

  3. Diversification

    Perhaps one of the greatest benefits that mutual funds offer is diversification. By investing in a wide range of asset classes and stocks, mutual funds reduce the risk by diversifying the portfolio. Therefore, even if one asset/stock is not performing well, the performance of other assets can balance it out and you can still enjoy favourable returns on your investment. To reduce the risk further, you can diversify your portfolio by investing in different kinds of mutual funds. Seek the help of a financial advisor if you are not sure about which funds to invest in and how to diversify or balance your portfolio.

  4. Convenience

    Investing in mutual funds has been made quick, hassle-free, and simple by many fund houses who offer the online facility of investing. Just by clicking a few buttons, you can start investing in a mutual fund scheme of your choice. Even the KYC process can now be done online and investors can invest up to Rs.50,000 using the e-KYC facility. However, for investments above Rs.50,000, investors are required to complete the physical KYC process.

  5. Low cost

    You can start investing in a mutual fund for as low as Rs.5,000 (lump sum) and Rs.500 for a monthly SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). Therefore, you do not have to wait to accumulate a large sum in order to start investing. Also, if you invest in a Direct Plan of a mutual fund scheme, you do not have to pay any additional commission to distributors or agents.

  6. Disciplined investing

    To cultivate a habit of regular investing, mutual funds offer a facility known as a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP). An SIP allows investors to invest small amounts regularly, the frequency of which can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly. An auto-debit facility can be set up for your SIP where a fixed sum will automatically be debited from your bank account every month. An SIP offers an excellent way to invest regularly and without having to manually invest each time.

    Now that you know about the benefits of investing in mutual funds and how to invest in them, start investing and see your wealth grow.

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    However, deciding the right time to redeem a mutual fund is extremely important for the investors to reap the maximum profit. Even though the investors tend to redeem units when the market is jittery, at times uncertain markets can also end up giving good returns. This is why it is important to consult with the fund manager or financial advisors before taking the call. Read More...

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    Since the managers have a great impact on the sales and retention of a fund, the AMCs maintain a pool of experienced fund managers so that a fund can be immediately allotted to a new manager after the current manager moves off. In this way, they try to retain the customers from departing after the leave of a particular manager. In absence of a dedicated fund manager, the customers have to be more alert and keep on tracking the fund’s performance. Read More...

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    The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) has revealed that the Indian mutual fund industry which constitutes of 43 players, closed 2019 fiscal with net inflows of Rs.1.10 lakh crore despite the challenges faced. However, there has been a dip of almost half of the numbers posted in FY18 which was Rs.2.71 lakh crore. The decline in the net inflows has been attributed to lower inflows from debt schemes and equity funds. A 37% decline was faced by equity funds which include the equity-linked savings schemes to Rs.1.07 lakh crore from the previous Rs.1.71 lakh crore. Even debt funds faced a hard time with outflows of Rs.1.25 lakh crore in FY19 against the previous Rs.9,128 crore recorded a year ago. As a surprise, liquid funds who had experienced outflows during the initial 6 months of FY19, managed to close the year with net inflows when it registered Rs.76,000 crore worth of net inflows. In FY18, these funds had recorded net outflows worth Rs.2,936 crore. During the review period, the assets of liquid funds rose by 32% to Rs.6.07 lakh crore.

    12 April 2019

  • Mutual funds conclude FY19 with growth of 11.41% in its AUM

    The end of 2019 fiscal was good for the mutual funds industry when it ended the year with a growth of 11.41% in its Assets Under Management (AUM) at Rs.23.80 lakh crore. The data was revealed by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) which further revealed that the rise in the net inflows in equity and income categories in the month of March resulted in the growth of the AUM on an annual basis. The industry had posted an AUM of Rs.21.36 lakh crore during the same period last year. In February this year, the AUM increased by 2.73% on a monthly basis. Rating agency ICRA has disclosed that the month of March saw the mutual fund industry posting net outflows of Rs.22,357 crore while in February, it witnessed outflows of Rs.20,083 crore. In February, the net outflows from the money market/liquid category double from Rs.24,509 crore to Rs.51,343 crore. In the meantime, the income category witnessed net outflows of Rs.13,896 crore in March 2019 and Rs.4,214 crore in February. Inflows in equity funds rose by over 120% on a month-on-month basis.

    11 April 2019

  • Stocks of Granules India, Federal Bank, Coal India, etc., expected to double their profits in Q4

    With the fourth quarter approaching, it is being viewed as a major trigger for the market in the short term amid the upcoming general elections. The results of Q4 are predicted to the same as the previous quarter that showed strong financials. Experts believe that firms are likely to post double-digit growth in the earnings as the corporate investment cycle has begun. There is also an improvement in the risk appetite and the outlook for GDP growth looks strong. The growth numbers are expected to be pushed further by the low base effect. Experts also expect the Nifty50 earnings to rise by a 19% CAGR over the next 3 years with the maximum growth expected from FY20 due to the steep jump in the earnings of the banking & finance sector and lower base. The top 10 stocks that are expected to double their net profit on a year-on-year basis are GE T&D, Alkem Laboratories, Granules India, Strides Pharma, Allcargo Logistics, Equitas Holdings, Federal Bank, ICICI Bank, Shriram Transport, and Coal India.

    10 April 2019

  • Stocks of Godrej Properties plunge after it acquires majority stake in Wonder Space Properties

    The stock prices of Godrej Properties hit a 52-week high after it gained 6% in the early trading hours on 5 April. The stocks of the realty major were trading at Rs.967.50 and this comes after the company made an announcement that it has increased its stake in Wonder Space Properties while also adding a new residential project in Navi Mumbai to its hat. Godrej Properties now owns 96.03% of Wonder Space Properties after it acquired its equity shares from Shubh Properties. Earlier Godrej Properties held 25.1% stakes in the company. Wonder Space Properties is involved in the construction and development of the areas in the National Capital Region (NCR). After the acquisition comes into effect, Wonder Space will become a subsidiary of Godrej Properties. Godrej Properties also made an announcement of the company adding a new residential project in Navi Mumbai. On the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the shares of Godrej Properties were trading at Rs.961.85 with a gain of 5.20% or Rs.47.55.

    5 April 2019

  • Stocks of Reliance Industries hit 52-week high; Tata Motors up by 7%

    The domestic capital market closed on a positive note on 1 April with the Sensex closing a gain of 164 points while there was an addition of 45 points by Nifty which was trading at 11,669. In the meantime, the Nifty Metal index closed at a gain of 2% dragged by gains from Tata Steel, Hindalco Industries, NALCO, Jindal Stainless, Hindustan Zinc, SAIL, Jindal Steel & Power, and Hindustan Copper. The session also saw PSU banks closing at a positive note with the top performers being Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Indian Bank, Syndicate Bank, and Union Bank of India. In the realty segment, stocks of DLF were trading low with a loss of 3% followed by Prestige Estates, and Sobha. Zee Entertainment dipped by 3% followed by the stocks of INOX Leisure, Jagran Prakashan, and DB Corp. The top losers in the FMCG space were Hindustan Unilever, Britannia Industries, GSK Consumer, and United Spirits. Meanwhile, Tata Motors gained 7% and was the top performer in the Nifty index followed by Hindalco Industries, Wipro, and Maruti Suzuki.

    2 April 2019

  • Stocks of Tata Motors rally by 5.6% on predictions of strong Q4 results

    The share prices of Tata Motors jump by 5.6% in the early hours of 1 April 2019 after the firm issued a statement that it has expectations of strong results in its financials in the March quarter. In the last one year, the stocks of Tata Motors were one of the biggest losers dipping by 46% on concerns surrounding the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). On the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), its stocks were trading at Rs.183.45 with gains of Rs.9.15 or 5.25%. On 29 March 2019, Tata Motors reaffirmed that the fourth quarter results are expected to show improved financial results despite its disappointment over S&P’s decision to downgrade the JLR. The firm also expects the fourth quarter to witness significant positive cashflows. The S&P Global Ratings had downgraded the credit rating of JLR and Tata Motors on 28 March and now JLR is planning on executing its product plans and project charge turnaround strategy to yield 2.5 billion pounds of cashflow improvements by March 2020. Weakness in the profitability of JLR was the main reason cited by S&P for the down gradation.

    1 April 2019

  • Stocks of Federal Bank, Tata Power, Andhra Bank, Lupin, etc., in news

    The stocks of Federal Bank are buzzing as it has decided to enter into a partnership with Ripple Inc., for cross border remittance via its network. Ripple Inc. is a firm that supports blockchain global remittance. In the meantime, Andhra Bank has issued 1,14,56,72,061 shares to the government of India at Rs.28.42 per equity share on a preferential allotment basis. Tata Power signed the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking for 5 years for 676.69 MW of power supplied from its Trombay Thermal and Hydro Plants. In other news, Lupin, a pharmaceutical company launches Fluocinonide Ointment USP in the US. The drug is supposed to relieve inflammatory and pruritic manifestations. In another news, Tata Steel acquired 27,97,000 shares on a preferential basis which aggregates to Rs.1,79,56,74,000 and 34,92,500 of convertible warrants. With this, the holding of Tata Steel in the firm increased to 55.06% from 50.09%. The stocks of Trent also found place in news due to a resolution passed by the board to raise funds by issuing commercial papers (CP) worth around Rs.100 crore.

    29 March 2019

  • 30 stocks in the BSE 500 index rallies in the range between 30% and 99%

    Handsome gains were witnessed across sectors in the D-Street when the BSE 500 index gained 9% in one month. As many as 30 stocks rallied in the range between 30% and 99% and these include stocks that scorched in September and October owing to issues like liquidity crisis, governance issues, and mixed earnings. The top 30 stocks include the ones of Suzlon Energy Limited, Dilip Buildcon Limited, Manpasand Beverages Limited, Edelweiss Financial Services Limited, Finolex Cables, Sunteck Realty Limited, Adani Power Ltd., Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Repco Home Finance Ltd., Indiabulls Integrated Services Ltd., Allahabad Bank, NBCC (India) Ltd., Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd., Prism Johnson Ltd., Jindal Securities Ltd., and Can Fin Homes Ltd.

    The Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) also seem to be in a bullish mood on hopes of the Modi government returning to power. The small-caps and mid-caps were among the most favored stocks. In the Nifty50 index, 4 stocks from the PSU segment were the highlight. The PSU stocks that witnessed gains were of BPCL, HPCL, NTPC, and IOC with gains of 21%, 35%, 21%, and 29% respectively. The remaining 5 among the top 10 stocks were from the banking and financial sector. These stocks are of Bajaj Finserv, IndusInd Bank, YES Bank, SBI, and ICICI Bank with gains in the range between 15% and 17%.

    25 March 2019

  • Stock prices of Reliance Industries rise post the announcement of EWPL acquisition

    The share prices of Reliance Industries witnessed gains of about 1% in the early trading hours of 15 March. This comes after the Reliance Group announced that Brookfield will buy the East West Pipeline (EWPL) for Rs.13,000 crore. The EWPL, previously known as the Reliance Gas Transporation Infrastructure Ltd., was said to be in losses and Brookfield has filed a preliminary placement memorandum for the acquisition. The acquisition will be carried out by the India Infrastructure Trust, an InvIT set up by Brookfield as the sponsor and 90% investor.

    At the moment, the Pipeline is operated by Pipeline Infrastructure Private Limited, the 100% of the equity interest of which will be acquired by the InvIT. The existing investment of RIL in preference shares valued at Rs.4,000 crore will be retained and at the end of 20 years, it will be converted into equity. Further, after 20 years. Reliance Industries will possess the right to acquire the equity shares of PIPL at an equity price of Rs.50 crore. 10% gains were seen by the stocks of RIL over the last month hitting a life-time high of Rs.1,361.45. On the Bombay Stock Exchange, the stocks of RIL was trading at Rs.1,347.50 with gains of 0.47% or Rs.6.30.

    15 March 2019

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