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Mutual Fund

It is an investment vehicle that comprises of moneys collected from several investors. This money is invested in securities such as bonds, stocks and other money market instruments. They are operated by knowledgeable money managers who analyze the market and invest the money accordingly with an aim to generate good returns.

Returns are mainly of two types – capital gains or income from such investment such as interest/dividend. The mutual fund keeps tabs of investments in the form of “units”. An investor can increase his units by investing more money or can withdraw his existing units at the applicable NAV (Net Asset Value).It is one of the most effective tools for investment in this day and age.

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:

1) Increase in diversification.
2) Liquidity on a daily basis.
3) Professional investment management.
4) Capacity to participate in investments that may be available only for larger investors.
5) Convenience as well as service.
6) Government oversight.
7) 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.

 

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