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What is a Mutual Fund?
Mutual fund is a mechanism for pooling money by issuing units to the investors and investing funds in securities in accordance with objectives as disclosed in offer document.
Investments in securities are spread across a wide cross-section of industries and sectors and thus the risk is diversified because all stocks may not move in the same direction in the same proportion at the same time. Mutual funds issue units to the investors in accordance with quantum of money invested by them. Investors of mutual funds are known as unitholders.
The profits or losses are shared by investors in proportion to their investments. Mutual funds normally come out with a number of schemes which are launched from time to time with different investment objectives. A mutual fund is required to be registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) before it can collect funds from the public.
What is Net Asset Value (NAV) of a scheme?
The performance of a particular scheme of a mutual fund is denoted by Net Asset Value (NAV).
Mutual funds invest the money collected from investors in securities markets. In simple words, NAV is the market value of the securities held by the scheme. Since market value of securities changes every day, NAV of a scheme also varies on day-to-day basis. The NAV per unit is the market value of securities of a scheme divided by the total number of units of the scheme on any particular date. For example, if the market value of securities of a mutual fund scheme is INR 200 lakh and the mutual fund has issued 10 lakh units of INR 10 each to the investors, then the NAV per unit of the fund is INR 20 (i.e.,200 lakh/10 lakh). NAV is required to be disclosed by the mutual funds on a daily basis.
What are the different types of mutual fund schemes
- Schemes according to Maturity Period:
- Schemes according to Investment Objective:
A mutual fund scheme can be classified into open-ended scheme or close-ended scheme depending on its maturity period.
An open-ended fund or scheme is one that is available for subscription and repurchase on a continuous basis. These schemes do not have a fixed maturity period. Investors can conveniently buy and sell units at Net Asset Value (NAV) per unit which is declared on a daily basis. The key feature of open-end schemes is liquidity.
A close-ended fund or scheme has a stipulated maturity period e.g., 3-5 years. The fund is open for subscription only during a specified period at the time of launch of the scheme. Investors can invest in the scheme at the time of the new fund offer and thereafter they can buy or sell the units of the scheme on the stock exchanges where the units are listed. In order to provide an exit route to the investors, some close-ended funds give an option of selling back the units to the mutual fund through periodic repurchase at NAV related prices.
A scheme can also be classified as growth scheme, income scheme or balanced scheme considering its investment objective. Such schemes may be open-ended or close-ended schemes as described earlier. Such schemes may be classified mainly as follows:
Growth/Equity Oriented Scheme
The aim of growth funds is to provide capital appreciation over the medium to long- term. Such schemes normally invest a major part of their corpus in equities. Such funds have comparatively high risks. These schemes provide different options to the investors like dividend option, growth, etc. and the investors may choose an option depending on their preferences. The investors must indicate the option in the application form. The mutual funds also allow the investors to change the options at a later date. Growth schemes are good for investors having a long-term outlook seeking appreciation over a period of time.
Income/Debt Oriented Scheme
The aim of income funds is to provide regular and steady income to investors. Such schemes generally invest in fixed income securities such as bonds, corporate debentures, Government securities and money market instruments. Such funds are less risky compared to equity schemes.
However, opportunities of capital appreciation are also limited in such funds. The NAVs of such funds are affected because of change in interest rates in the country. If the interest rates fall, NAVs of such funds are likely to increase in the short run and vice versa. However, long term investors may not bother about these fluctuations.
The aim of balanced schemes is to provide both growth and regular income as such schemes invest both in equities and fixed income securities in the proportion indicated in their offer documents. These are appropriate for investors looking for moderate growth. These funds are also affected because of fluctuations in share prices in the stock markets. However, NAVs of such funds are likely to be less volatile compared to pure equity funds.
What is sector specific funds/schemes?
These are the funds/schemes which invest in the securities of only those sectors or industries as specified in the offer documents, e.g., Pharmaceuticals, Software, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Petroleum stocks, Information Technology (IT), Banks, etc. The returns in these funds are dependent on the performance of the respective sectors/industries. While these funds may give higher returns, they are riskier compared with diversified funds, investors need to keep a watch on the performance of those sectors/industries and must exit at an appropriate time. They may also seek advice of an expert.
What are Tax Saving Schemes?
These schemes offer tax rebates to the investors under specific provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 as the Government offers tax incentives for investment in specified avenues, for example, Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) under section 80C and Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme (RGESS) under section 80CCG of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Pension schemes launched by mutual funds also offer tax benefits. These schemes are growth oriented and invest pre-dominantly in equities. Their growth opportunities and risks associated are like any equity-oriented scheme.
- Has lock-in period of 3 years (which is shortest amongst all other tax saving options)
- Currently eligible for deduction under Sec 80C of the Income Tax Act upto ₹1,50,000
What is a Fund of Funds (FoF) scheme?
A scheme that invests primarily in other schemes of the same mutual fund or other mutual funds is known as a FoF scheme. A FoF scheme enables the investors to achieve greater diversification through one scheme. It spreads risks across a greater universe.
What are Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)?
ETFs are mutual fund units that investors can buy or sell at the stock exchange. This is in contrast to a normal mutual fund unit that an investor buys or sells from the AMC (directly or through a distributor). In the ETF structure, the AMC does not deal directly with investors or distributors. Units are issued to a few designated large participants called Authorized Participants (APs). The APs provide buy and sell quotes for the ETFs on the stock exchange, which enable investors to buy and sell the ETFs at any given point of time when the stock markets are open for trading. Buying and selling ETFs requires the investors to have Demat and trading accounts.
What is a capital protection-oriented scheme?
A capital protection-oriented scheme is typically a hybrid scheme that invests significantly in fixed-income securities and a part of its corpus in equities. These are close-ended schemes that come in tenors of fixed maturity e.g., three to five years.
Structure of the scheme - Example
If the fund collects INR 100, it invests INR 80 in fixed-income securities and INR 20 in equities or equity related instruments. The money is invested in such a way that the INR 80 portion is expected to grow to become INR 100 in three years (assuming that the scheme has a maturity period of three years). Thus, the aim is to preserve the INR 100 capital till maturity of the scheme.
Thus, the scheme is oriented towards protection of capital and not with guaranteed returns. Further, the orientation towards protection of capital originates from the portfolio structure of the scheme and not from any bank guarantee or insurance cover. Investors are neither offered any guaranteed/indicated returns nor any guarantee on repayment of capital by the scheme.
What is NFO?
NFO stands for a New Fund Offer. When a new fund is launched for investors, it is known as an NFO. A NFO could also be the launch of additional units of a close-ended fund.
What is sale and repurchase/redemption price?
The price or NAV a unit holder is charged while investing in an open-ended scheme is called sales price.
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.
What is expense ratio?
Expense ratio represents the annual fund operating expenses of a scheme, expressed as a percentage of the fund’s daily net assets. Operating expenses of a scheme are administration, management, advertising related expenses, etc.
An expense ratio of 1% per annum means that each year 1% of the fund’s total assets will be used to cover expenses. Information on expense ratio that may be applicable to a scheme is mentioned in the offer document. Currently, in India, the expense ratio is fungible, i.e., there is no limit on any particular type of allowed expense as long as the total expense ratio is within the prescribed limit.
What is a consolidated account statement (CAS)?
A CAS details all the transactions and investors‟s holding at the end of the month including transaction charges paid to the distributor, across all schemes of all mutual funds, by an investor.
A CAS for each calendar month is issued to the investors in whose folios transactions have taken place during that month. A CAS every half yearly (September/ March) is issued, detailing holding at the end of the six month, across all schemes of all mutual funds, to all such investors in whose folios no transaction has taken place during that period
What is a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)?
A SIP allows an investor to invest regularly. One puts in a small amount every month that is invested in a mutual fund. A SIP allows one to take part in the stock market without trying to time it or second-guess its movements.
For example : X decides to invest INR 1,000 per month for a year.
When the market price of shares fall, X benefits by purchasing more units; and is protected by purchasing less when the price rises as explained below.
Approx. number of units
investors will get at 1000
Within one year, X has 1,186 units by investing just INR 1,000 every month at an average cost of 12000/1186.15 = 10.1170. This is as against 12,000/10 = 1,000 units or 12000/11.5 = 1043.5 units or 12000/9 = 1,333.3 units if X had invested lump sum on 1 Jan, 1 Jun or 1 May, respectively.
What is Rupee Cost Averaging?
Rupee Cost Averaging does not produce sudden, dramatic profits but generates sustained growth over the long term despite short-term fluctuations in the market. Opting for a Systematic Investment Plan for a Mutual Fund Scheme gives investors the advantage of Rupee Cost Averaging.
What is a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP)?
Under a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP), an investor redeems a fixed number of mutual fund units at regular intervals.
What is a Systematic Transfer Plan (STP)?
An STP is a plan that allows investors to give consent to a mutual fund to periodically transfer a certain amount / switch (redeem) certain units from one scheme and invest in another scheme of the same mutual fund house.
Taxation on Mutual Fund Redemptions:
Taxation of Capital Gains Offered by Mutual Funds
The taxation rate of capital gains of mutual funds depends on the holding period and type of mutual fund. The holding period is the duration for which the mutual fund units were held by an investor. In simple words, the holding period is the time between the date of the purchase and sale of mutual fund units. Capital gains realized on selling units of mutual funds are categorized as follows:
Short-term capital gains
Long-term capital gains
Shorter than 12 months
12 months and longer
Shorter than 36 months
36 months and longer
Hybrid equity-oriented funds
Shorter than 12 months
12 months and longer
Hybrid debt-oriented funds
Shorter than 36 months
36 months and longer
The short-term and long-term capital gains offered by mutual funds are taxed at different rates.
Can non-resident Indians (NRIs) invest in mutual funds?
Yes, non-resident Indians can also invest in mutual funds. Necessary details in this respect are given in the offer documents of the schemes.
What should investors look into an offer document?
An abridged offer document [known as Key Information Memorandum (KIM)], which contains very useful information, is required to be given to the prospective investors 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. Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks. An investor should carefully read all the scheme relate documents. Due care must be given to portions relating to main features of the scheme, risk factors and recurring expenses to be charged to the scheme, loads, sponsor’s 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.
When will the investors get certificate or statement of account after investing in a mutual fund?
Mutual funds are required to dispatch certificates or statements of accounts within five working days 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 five working days from the date of closure of initial public offer of the scheme and/or from the date of receipt of the request from the unitholders. The procedure of repurchase is mentioned in the offer document. Also, AMCs are required to send confirmation specifying the number of units allotted to the applicant by way of email and/or SMS‟s to the applicant’s registered email address and/or mobile number as soon as possible but not later than five working days from the date of closure of the initial subscription list and/or from the date of receipt of the request from the unitholders.
What is PMS?
A Portfolio Management Service (PMS) is a service which provides professional management of investments to create wealth. It aims to cater to the investment needs of individuals or entities with high net worth value by providing them with investment solutions.
Who is portfolio Managers?
A Portfolio Manager is a body corporate, which, pursuant to a contract with a client, advises or directs or undertakes on behalf of the client (whether as a discretionary Portfolio Manager or otherwise) the management or administration of a portfolio of securities or funds of the client.
What is discretionary & non-discretionary portfolio management service?
In discretionary portfolio management service, the Portfolio Manager individually and independently manages the funds and securities of each client in accordance with the investment objective of the fund.
Under the non-discretionary portfolio management service, the Portfolio Manager manages the funds in accordance with the directions of the client.
What is minimum investment/Ticket size for PMS?
The Portfolio Manager is required to accept minimum INR 50 Lacs or securities having a minimum worth of INR 50 Lacs from the client.
Can NRI invest in PMS?
Yes, NRIs can invest in the PMS through the NRE or NRO accounts. There are some additional compliance/documentation requirements for NRI clients. Our relationship manager will help the NRI client with this documentation.
Is partial Withdrawal allowed in PMS?
The client may withdraw partial amounts from his portfolio, in accordance with the terms of the agreement between the client and the Portfolio Manager. However, the value of investment in the portfolio after such withdrawal shall not be less than the applicable minimum investment amount.
What fees can a portfolio manager charge from its clients for the services rendered by him?
SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 2020 provide that the portfolio manager shall charge a fee as per the agreement with the client for rendering portfolio management services. The fee so charged may be a fixed amount or a performance-based fee or a combination of both. However, no upfront fees shall be charged by the portfolio manager directly or indirectly to the clients. The agreement between the portfolio manager and the client shall, inter-alia, also include the quantum and the manner of fees payable by the client for each activity for which service is rendered by the portfolio manager directly or indirectly.
On what basis is the performance of the portfolio manager calculated?
The performance of a discretionary portfolio manager is calculated using time weighted rate of return (TWRR) method for the immediately preceding three years or period of operation, whichever is lesser. SEBI Circular No. SEBI/HO/IMD/DF1/CIR/P/2020/26 dated February 13, 2020, interalia, provides information on reporting of performance by Portfolio Managers and also a client reporting format which includes information on the performance of the client account, portfolio manager and the appropriate benchmark
What kind of reports can the client expect from the portfolio manager?
The portfolio manager shall furnish periodically a report to the client, as per the agreement, but not exceeding a period of three months and such report shall contain the following details, namely;
- the composition and the value of the portfolio, description of securities and goods, number of securities, value of each security held in the portfolio, units of goods, value of goods, cash balance and aggregate value of the portfolio as on the date of report;
- transactions undertaken during the period of report including date of transaction and details of purchases and sales;
- beneficial interest received during that period in the form of interest, dividend, bonus shares, rights shares, etc;
- expenses incurred in managing the portfolio of the client;
- details of risk foreseen by the portfolio manager and the risk relating to the securities recommended by the portfolio manager for investment or disinvestment;
- default in payment of coupons or any other default in payments in the underlying debt security and downgrading to default rating by the rating agencies, if any;
- details of commission paid to distributor(s) for the particular client
What are the rules governing services of a Portfolio Manager?
The services of a Portfolio Manager are governed by the agreement between the portfolio manager and the investor. The agreement should cover the minimum details as specified in the SEBI Portfolio Manager Regulations. However, additional requirements can be specified by the Portfolio Manager in the agreement with the client. Hence, an investor is advised to read the agreement carefully before signing it.
Can a Portfolio Manager impose a lock-in on the investor?
Portfolio managers cannot impose a lock-in on the investment of their clients. However, a portfolio manager can charge applicable exit fees from the client for early exit, as laid down in the agreement subject to provision of SEBI Circular No. SEBI/HO/IMD/DF1/CIR/P/2020/26.
What is the difference between PMS & MF?
- In PMS, the investors directly own the stocks while the stocks are owned indirectly in case of mutual fund via units.
- Mutual funds do a one-size-fits-all approach to investing based on scheme objectives. In case of PMS, it varies based on the risk appetite and individual objectives.
- PMS is less prone to exposure restrictions. For example, mutual funds have a cap of 10% of AUM in a single stock. There is no such capping condition for PMS.
- The fees in case of mutual fund is fixed and built into the expense ratio. However, in the case of PMS, it can vary on a case-to-case basis based on performance.
- The ticket size in mutual funds is as low as Rs.5,000 for lump-sum investments and Rs.1,000 for SIPs. In case of PMS, the bare minimum is Rs.50 lakhs.