What is a Mutual Fund?
is a mechanism for pooling the resources 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 reduced.
Diversification reduces the risk because all stocks may not move in the same direction in the same proportion at the same time. Mutual fund issues units to the investors in accordance with quantum of money invested by them. Investors of mutual funds are known as unit holders.
The profits or losses are shared by the investors in proportion to their investments. The mutual funds normally come out with a number of schemes with different investment objectives which are launched from time to time. A mutual fund is required to be registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) which regulates securities markets before it can collect funds from the public.
What is the history of Mutual Funds in India and role of SEBI in mutual funds industry?
Unit Trust of India was the first mutual fund set up in India in the year 1963. In early 1990s, Government allowed public sector banks and institutions to set up mutual funds.
In the year 1992, Securities and exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act was passed. The objectives of SEBI are – to protect the interest of investors in securities and to promote the development of and to regulate the securities market. As far as mutual funds are concerned, SEBI formulates policies and regulates the mutual funds to protect the interest of the investors. SEBI notified regulations for the mutual funds in 1993. Thereafter, mutual funds sponsored by private sector entities were allowed to enter the capital market. The regulations were fully revised in 1996 and have been amended thereafter from time to time. SEBI has also issued guidelines to the mutual funds from time to time to protect the interests of investors.
All mutual funds whether promoted by public sector or private sector entities including those promoted by foreign entities are governed by the same set of Regulations. There is no distinction in regulatory requirements for these mutual funds and all are subject to monitoring and inspections by SEBI. The risks associated with the schemes launched by the mutual funds sponsored by these entities are of similar type.
How is a mutual fund set up?
A mutual fund is set up in the form of a trust, which has sponsor, trustees, asset management company (AMC) and custodian. The trust is established by a sponsor or more than one sponsor who is like promoter of a company. The trustees of the mutual fund hold its property for the benefit of the unitholders. Asset Management Company (AMC) approved by SEBI manages the funds by making investments in various types of securities. Custodian, who is registered with SEBI, holds the securities of various schemes of the fund in its custody. The trustees are vested with the general power of superintendence and direction over AMC. They monitor the performance and compliance of SEBI Regulations by the mutual fund.
SEBI Regulations require that at least two thirds of the directors of trustee company or board of trustees must be independent i.e. they should not be associated with the sponsors. Also, 50% of the directors of AMC must be independent. All mutual funds are required to be registered with SEBI before they launch any scheme.
Click here to view the trust deed document
What are the advantages of investing through a Mutual Fund.
There are various benefits to investors for investing through Mutual Funds. Some of them are listed below
Mutual Funds hire full time professionals who have the proficiency and experience to manage the large pool of money collected by the Mutual Funds. Fund Managers analyse the stock and the market before making the investment for their investors.
Convenience and Flexibility
The process of investing in a mutual fund is easier than dealing directly in the security markets. Mutual Funds offers lot of investor friendly services, the units can be bought or sold by unit holder using mail, telephone or the internet, making it convenient for the investors. It gives the exposure to the diversification of portfolios by investing of few hundreds in the Mutual Funds.
A mutual fund helps the customers to participate in a diversified portfolio for as little as Rs.5,000/-, and even lesser. Mutual funds buy and sell large amounts of securities at a time and reduce transaction costs, thereby helping to bring down the average cost of the unit for individual investors.
Mutual funds provide regular updates and information on the value of your investments. They provide complete portfolio disclosures of the investments made by various schemes under each asset type in the form of the Factsheet. Also the present value of the investments can be checked daily by tracking the scheme’s NAV.
Mutual Funds units can be bought and sold on any business day and the Investors have the easy access to their money. You can get your money quickly at the Net Asset Value related prices from the Mutual Funds itself.
Mutual Funds invest in wide range of securities. It spread its risk by investing in a large number of stocks and bonds. This limits the investment risk by reducing the effect of a possible decline in the value of any security.
An investment in Mutual Funds provides a variety of tax benefits to the Investors. Investments held in equity funds for a period of 12 months or more qualify for tax exemption under long term capital gains benefits and in case of debt funds benefits of indexation are available. Also, the investments in equity-linked savings schemes qualify for tax rebate under Section 80 C of the Income Tax Act.
Rupee Cost Averaging
Mutual Funds provide a tool of investing a specific amount at regular intervals, regardless of the investment's unit price. As a result, investors can buy more units when the price is low and fewer units when the price is high, which means lower average costs per unit over time. This is normally referred as systematic investment plan (SIP
What is Net Asset Value (NAV) of a scheme?
The Net Asset Value (NAV) of a mutual fund is the price at which units of a mutual fund are bought or sold. It is the market value of the fund after deducting its liabilities. The value of all units of a mutual fund portfolio are calculated on a daily basis, from this all expenses are then subtracted. The result is then divided by the total number of units the resultant value is the NAV. NAV is also sometimes referred to as Net Book Value or book Value.
Calculation of NAV Mutual fund assets usually fall under two categories – securities & cash. Securities, here, include both bonds and stocks. Therefore, the total asset value of a fund will include its stocks, cash and bonds at market value. Dividends and interest accrued and liquid assets are also included in total assets. Also, liabilities like money owed to creditors, and other expenses accrued are also included.
The Mutual Fund will value its investments according to the valuation norms, as specified in Schedule VIII of the SEBI (MF) Regulations, or such norms as may be specified by SEBI from time to time.
Formula to calculate Net Asset Value (NAV) = (Assets – Debts) / (Number of Outstanding units)
Here: Assets = Market value of mutual fund investments + Receivables + Accrued Income
Debts = Liabilities + Expenses (accrued) the market value of the stocks & debentures
The Mutual Fund NAV
shall be calculated up to two decimal places. However the AMC reserves the right to declare the NAVs up to additional decimal places as it deems appropriate. Separate NAV will be calculated and disclosed for each Option. The NAVs of the Growth Option and the Dividend Option will be different after the declaration of the first dividend.
The AMC will calculate and disclose the first NAV of the Scheme within a period of 5 business days from the date of allotment. Subsequently, the NAVs will be calculated for all the Business Days.
Rounding off policy for NAV:
For this Scheme, NAV will be declared upto two decimal places & the second decimal will be rounded off to the next higher digit if the third decimal is or more than 5 i.e., if the NAV is 10.137 it will be rounded off to 10.14.
However, there can be no assurance that the investment objective of the scheme will be achieved.
What is a procedure for an investment in a Mutual Fund.
Once the investor has decided for an investment in a Mutual Fund, he has to fill up the Mutual Funds application form, attach the payment instrument in the form of a cheque or a demand draft and submit it at any of the funds official point of acceptance centres before the cut off time. The investor will have to invest in rupees and units will be allotted to him in fractions depending upon the NAV of the scheme.
Investor is require to read the instructions carefully provided in the KIM alongwith the application forms before filling in the same.
Investor may also, please note, that the PAN number is mandatory for all the unit holders irrespective of the amount invested by them and the same need to be certified by Financial advisor or notary and should be attached alongwith the application forms.
Please also note, with effect from January 01, 2011, KYC compliance is mandatory for all categories of investors irrespective of the amount invested. Investor need to comply with the KYC (Know your customers) formalities and require to attach self attested copy of PAN and address proof or attested by either the bank manager or notary alongwith the KYC forms. If the investor is already compliant with the KYC, he has to attach the copy of the acknowledgement letter provided by CVL (CDSL Ventures Ltd).
What is a procedure to Repurchase / Redeem the units of a Mutual Fund / Insta Access Facility
If the scheme is open ended scheme, the investor have to send the repurchase request slip, duly completed and signed as per mode of operation, to any of the official points of acceptance centres. It is possible to place a repurchase requests on the Internet as well. The redemption can be done for all units, partial units, or for an amount.
Redemption proceeds can be either directly credited to the investors account OR cheques are issued with the investors bank details printed on them mandatorily.
Instant Access Facility (IAF)
IAF facilitates credit of redemption proceeds in the bank account of the investoronthe samedayofredemptionrequest subjecttofollowingconditions:
-IAF is allowed only through online mechanism and only for resident individual investors.
-While observing the extant cut-off timings with respect to repurchase (i.e. redemption), under IAF, following NAVs shall be applied:
a.where the IAF application is received up to 3.00 pm - the lower of
--NAV of previous calendar day and
--NAV of calendar day on which application is received.
b. where the IAF application is received after 3.00 pm –the lower of
--NAV of calendar day on which such application is received, and
--NAV of the next calendar day.
-The monetary limit under IAF shall be INR 50,000/- or 90% of latest value of investment in the scheme, whichever is lower.
This limit shall be applicable per day per scheme per investor.
Conditions under which IAF may be suspended or unavailable
- Complete CBS (Core Banking System) account number of the investor is NOT registered in the folio along with IFSC code
- Investor’s bank is NOT Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) enabled
- General shutdown of banking and internet network
- Redemption amount is less than Rs. 500/-
- Redemption amount is more than the maximum permissible amount per day
- Redemption amount in terms of units is more than allotted units at the time of redemption
- Redemption towards the lien marked or freeze units
- Redemption towards the units held in Demat mode
- AMC maintains certain cash reserves towards instant access facility. Any excess redemption request beyond available cash surplus shall be processed as normal redemption.
What is a procedure to switch the units, can it be switch across different fund houses.
A switch request will have to be filled and submitted to any of the official points of acceptance centers before the cut off time. Switch can be done for either partial or all units or for an amount under a particular scheme to another scheme of the same fund as mentioned by the investor under the same folio. Switch of units across different fund houses is not allowed.
What is a Sale price
Sale price is a price at which the fund house sells / offers mutual fund units to investors; this is nothing but the NAV of the respective Scheme of Mutual Fund. For investor who wants to invest in Mutual Fund, the units are offered at NAV of the respective Scheme of Mutual Fund.
For Example – If investor A wants to invest Rs. 5,000/- in XYZ Scheme of Mutual Fund. The NAV of Mutual Fund Scheme XYZ is Rs. 15 per unit. Investor’s Investments & Mutual Fund unit allocation in Scheme XYZ is calculated as follows:-
Investment of Investor A = Investment Amount / Sale Price
= 5,000 / 15
= 333.3333 units
This means investor A will be allocated 333.3333 units of Mutual Fund Scheme XYZ.
What is a Redemption / Repurchase price?
Repurchase price is a price at which fund house repurchases the mutual fund units back from the investor. For investor who wants to redeem his mutual fund units, the units are repurchased at respective scheme NAV less Exit Load (If Applicable)
For Example - If Mutual Fund Scheme XYZ is having NAV of Rs. 15 & Exit Load of 1% then the repurchase price would be calculated as follow:
Repurchase Price= NAV *(1- Exit Load %)
= 15 *(1-0.01)
This means the investor will realise Rs. 14.8500 per unit if he redeems from Mutual Fund Scheme XYZ. In case of no exit load the NAV & repurchase price are same.
What are the risks involved in investing in a mutual fund.
Almost all the financial products are exposed to marked risk, the same goes with the Mutual Fund as well. Mutual funds are not risk free and the level of risk involved depends on the type of fund (Equity, Debt, Hybrid, etc). Mutual funds are always safer than the direct investments in the stock markets as the mutual funds are managed with the expertise of fund managers.
What are the different types of mutual fund schemes?
Schemes according to Maturity Period:
A mutual fund scheme can be classified into open-ended scheme or close-ended scheme depending on its maturity period.
Open-ended Fund/ Scheme
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) related prices which are declared on a daily basis. The key feature of open-end schemes is liquidity.
Close-ended Fund/ Scheme
A close-ended fund or scheme has a stipulated maturity period e.g. 5-7 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 initial public issue 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. SEBI Regulations stipulate that at least one of the two exit routes is provided to the investor i.e. either repurchase facility or through listing on stock exchanges.These mutual funds schemes disclose mutual fund NAV
generally on weekly basis.
Schemes according to Investment Objective:
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. Equity funds
have comparatively high risks. These schemes provide different options to the investors like dividend option, capital appreciation, 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. Debt funds
are less risky compared to equity schemes. These funds are not affected because of fluctuations in equity markets. 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 funds 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. They generally invest 40-60% in equity and debt instruments. 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.
Money Market or Liquid Fund
The Money Market or Liquid Funds
are also income funds and their aim is to provide easy liquidity, preservation of capital and moderate income. These schemes invest exclusively in safer short-term instruments such as treasury bills, certificates of deposit, commercial paper and inter-bank call money, government securities, etc. Returns on these schemes fluctuate much less compared to other funds. These funds are appropriate for corporate and individual investors as a means to park their surplus funds for short periods.
These funds invest exclusively in government securities. Government securities have no default risk. NAVs of these schemes also fluctuate due to change in interest rates and other economic factors as is the case with income or debt oriented schemes.
Index Funds replicate the portfolio of a particular index such as the BSE Sensitive index, S&P NSE 50 index (Nifty), etc These schemes invest in the securities in the same weightage comprising of an index. NAVs of such schemes would rise or fall in accordance with the rise or fall in the index, though not exactly by the same percentage due to some factors known as "tracking error" in technical terms. Necessary disclosures in this regard are made in the offer document of the mutual fund scheme. There are also exchange traded index funds launched by the mutual funds which are traded on the stock exchanges.
What are 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, 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 more risky compared to 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. e.g. Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS). Pension schemes launched by the 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.
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. An FoF scheme enables the investors to achieve greater diversification through one scheme. It spreads risks across a greater universe.
What is a Load or no-load Fund?
A Load Fund is one that charges a percentage of NAV for entry or exit. That is, each time one buys or sells units in the fund, a charge will be payable. This charge is used by the mutual fund for marketing and distribution expenses. Suppose the NAV per unit is Rs.10. If the entry as well as exit load charged is 1%, then the investors who buy would be required to pay Rs.10.10 and those who offer their units for repurchase to the mutual fund will get only Rs.9.90 per unit. The investors should take the loads into consideration while making investment as these affect their yields/returns. However, the investors should also consider the performance track record scheme performance
and service standards of the mutual fund which are more important. Efficient funds may give higher returns in spite of loads.
A no-load fund is one that does not charge for entry or exit. It means the investors can enter the fund/scheme at NAV and no additional charges are payable on purchase or sale of units.
Can a mutual fund impose fresh load or increase the load beyond the level mentioned in the offer documents?
Mutual funds cannot increase the load beyond the level mentioned in the offer document. Any change in the load will be applicable only to prospective investments and not to the original investments. In case of imposition of fresh loads or increase in existing loads, the mutual funds are required to amend their offer documents so that the new investors are aware of loads at the time of investments.
What is an assured return scheme?
Assured return schemes are those schemes that assure a specific return to the unitholders irrespective of performance of the scheme.
A scheme cannot promise returns unless such returns are fully guaranteed by the sponsor or AMC and this is required to be disclosed in the offer document.
Investors should carefully read the offer document whether return is assured for the entire period of the scheme or only for a certain period. Some schemes assure returns one year at a time and they review and change it at the beginning of the next year.
Can a mutual fund change the asset allocation while deploying funds of investors?
Considering the market trends, any prudent fund managers can change the asset allocation i.e. he can invest higher or lower percentage of the fund in equity or debt instruments compared to what is disclosed in the offer document. It can be done on a short term basis on defensive considerations i.e. to protect the NAV. Hence the fund managers are allowed certain flexibility in altering the asset allocation considering the interest of the investors. In case the mutual fund wants to change the asset allocation on a permanent basis, they are required to inform the unitholders and giving them option to exit the scheme at prevailing NAV without any load.
How to invest in a scheme of a mutual fund?
Mutual funds normally come out with an advertisement in newspapers publishing the date of launch of the new schemes. Investors can also contact the agents and distributors
of mutual funds who are spread all over the country for necessary information and application forms. Forms can be deposited with mutual funds through the agents and distributors who provide such services. Now a days, the post offices and banks also distribute the units of mutual funds. However, the investors may please note that the mutual funds schemes being marketed by banks and post offices should not be taken as their own schemes and no assurance of returns is given by them. The only role of banks and post offices is to help in distribution of mutual funds schemes to the investors.
Investors should not be carried away by commission/gifts given by agents/distributors for investing in a particular scheme. On the other hand they must consider the track record of the mutual fund and should take objective decisions.
Can non-resident Indians (NRIs) can invest in mutual funds.
Yes, NRIs can invest in a mutual funds, the offer document of the schemes provide the information on how NRIs can subscribe to the schemes of mutual fund in India. For more details, please refer the ‘NRI section
How much should one invest in debt or equity oriented schemes?
An investor should take into account his risk taking capacity, age factor, financial position, etc. As already mentioned, the schemes invest in different type of securities as disclosed in the offer documents and offer different returns and risks. Investors may also consult financial experts before taking decisions. Agents and distributors may also help in this regard.
How to fill up the application form of a mutual fund scheme?
An investor must mention clearly his name, address, number of units applied for and such other information as required in the application form. He must give his bank account number so as to avoid any fraudulent encashment of any cheque/draft issued by the mutual fund at a later date for the purpose of dividend or repurchase. Any changes in the address, bank account number, etc at a later date should be informed to the mutual fund immediately.
What should an investor look into an offer document?
An abridged offer document, which contains very useful information, is required to be given to the prospective investor 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. An investor, before investing in a scheme, should carefully read the offer document. Due care must be given to portions relating to main features of the scheme, risk factors, initial issue expenses and recurring expenses to be charged to the scheme, entry or exit 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 investor get certificate or statement of account after investing in a mutual fund?
Mutual funds are required to despatch certificates or statements of accounts within six weeks 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 30 days from the date of closure of initial public offer of the scheme. The procedure of repurchase is mentioned in the offer document.
How long will it take for transfer of units after purchase from stock markets in case of close-ended schemes?
According to SEBI Regulations, transfer of units is required to be done within thirty days from the date of lodgment of certificates with the mutual fund.
As a unit holder, how much time will it take to receive dividends/repurchase proceeds?
A mutual fund is required to despatch to the unit holders the dividend warrants within 30 days of the declaration of the dividend and the redemption or repurchase proceeds within 10 working days from the date of redemption or repurchase request made by the unit holder.
In case of failures to despatch the redemption/repurchase proceeds within the stipulated time period, Asset Management Company is liable to pay interest as specified by SEBI from time to time (15% at present).
Please refer SID and SAI of the respective schemes to know the process of claiming unclaimed redemption & dividends
Click here to go to SID and SAI section.
Can a mutual fund change the nature of the scheme from the one specified in the offer document?
Yes. However, no change in the nature or terms of the scheme, known as fundamental attributes of the scheme e.g.structure, investment pattern, etc. can be carried out unless a written communication is sent to each unit holder and an advertisement is given in one English daily having nationwide circulation and in a newspaper published in the language of the region where the head office of the mutual fund is situated. The unit holders have the right to exit the scheme at the prevailing NAV without any exit load if they do not want to continue with the scheme. The mutual funds are also required to follow similar procedure while converting the scheme form close-ended to open-ended scheme and in case of change in sponsor.
How will an investor come to know about the changes, if any, which may occur in the mutual fund?
There may be changes from time to time in a mutual fund. The mutual funds are required to inform any material changes to their unit holders.
Apart from it, many mutual funds send quarterly newsletters to their investors. At present, offer documents are required to be revised and updated at least once in two years. In the meantime, new investors are informed about the material changes by way of addendum to the offer document till the time offer document is revised and reprinted.
How to know the performance of a mutual fund scheme?
The performance of a scheme is reflected in its net asset value (NAV) which is disclosed on daily basis in case of open-ended schemes and on weekly basis in case of close-ended schemes. The mutual fund NAV
are required to be published in newspapers. The NAVs are also available on the web sites of mutual funds. All mutual funds are also required to put their NAVs on the web site of Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) www.amfiindia.com and thus the investors can access NAVs of all mutual funds at one place
The mutual funds are also required to publish their performance in the form of half-yearly results which also include their returns/yields over a period of time i.e. last six months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and since inception of schemes. Investors can also look into other details like percentage of expenses of total assets as these have an affect on the yield and other useful information in the same half-yearly format.
The mutual funds are also required to send annual report or abridged annual report to the unit holders at the end of the year.
Various studies on mutual fund schemes including yields of different schemes are being published by the financial newspapers on a weekly basis. Apart from these, many research agencies also publish research reports on performance of mutual funds including the ranking of various schemes in terms of their performance. Investors should study these reports and keep themselves informed about the performance of various schemes of different mutual funds.
Investors can compare the performance of their schemes with those of other mutual funds under the same category. They can also compare the performance of equity oriented schemes with the benchmarks like BSE Sensitive Index, S&P CNX Nifty, etc.
On the basis of performance scheme
of the mutual funds, the investors should decide when to enter or exit from a mutual fund scheme.
How to know where the mutual fund scheme has invested money mobilised from the investors?
The mutual funds are required to disclose full portfolios of all of their schemes on half-yearly basis which are published in the newspapers. Some mutual funds send the portfolios to their unit holders.
The scheme portfolio shows investment made in each security i.e. equity, debentures, money market instruments, government securities, etc. and their quantity, market value and % to NAV. These portfolio statements also required to disclose illiquid securities in the portfolio, investment made in rated and unrated debt securities, non-performing assets (NPAs), etc.
Some of the mutual funds send newsletters to the unit holders on quarterly basis which also contain portfolios of the schemes.
Is there any difference between investing in a mutual fund and in an initial public offering (IPO) of a company?
Yes, there is a difference. IPOs of companies may open at lower or higher price than the issue price depending on market sentiment and perception of investors. However, in the case of mutual funds, the par value of the units may not rise or fall immediately after allotment. A mutual fund scheme takes some time to make investment in securities. NAV of the scheme depends on the value of securities in which the funds have been deployed.
If schemes in the same category of different mutual funds are available, should one choose a scheme with lower NAV?
Some of the investors have the tendency to prefer a scheme that is available at lower NAV compared to the one available at higher NAV. Sometimes, they prefer a new scheme which is issuing units at Rs. 10 whereas the existing schemes in the same category are available at much higher NAVs. Investors may please note that in case of mutual funds schemes, lower or higher NAVs of similar type schemes of different mutual funds have no relevance. On the other hand, investors should choose a scheme based on its merit considering performance track record of the mutual fund, service standards, professional management, etc. This is explained in an example given below.
Suppose scheme A is available at a NAV of Rs.15 and another scheme B at Rs.90. Both schemes are diversified equity oriented schemes. Investor has put Rs. 9,000 in each of the two schemes. He would get 600 units (9000/15) in scheme A and 100 units (9000/90) in scheme B. Assuming that the markets go up by 10 per cent and both the schemes perform equally good and it is reflected in their mutual fund NAVs
. NAV of scheme A would go up to Rs. 16.50 and that of scheme B to Rs. 99. Thus, the market value of investments would be Rs. 9,900 (600* 16.50) in scheme A and it would be the same amount of Rs. 9900 in scheme B (100*99). The investor would get the same return of 10% on his investment in each of the schemes. Thus, lower or higher NAV of the schemes and allotment of higher or lower number of units within the amount an investor is willing to invest, should not be the factors for making investment decision. Likewise, if a new equity oriented scheme is being offered at Rs.10 and an existing scheme is available for Rs. 90, should not be a factor for decision making by the investor. Similar is the case with income or debt-oriented schemes.
On the other hand, it is likely that the better managed scheme with higher NAV may give higher returns compared to a scheme which is available at lower NAV but is not managed efficiently. Similar is the case of fall in NAVs. Efficiently managed scheme at higher NAV may not fall as much as inefficiently managed scheme with lower NAV. Therefore, the investor should give more weightage to the professional management of a scheme instead of lower NAV of any scheme. He may get much higher number of units at lower NAV, but the scheme may not give higher returns if it is not managed efficiently.
How to choose a scheme for investment from a number of schemes available?
As already mentioned, the investors must read the offer document of the mutual fund scheme very carefully. They may also look into the past track record of performance of the scheme or other schemes of the same mutual fund. They may also compare the performance with other schemes having similar investment objectives. Though past performance of a scheme is not an indicator of its future performance and good performance in the past may or may not be sustained in the future, this is one of the important factors for making investment decision. In case of debt oriented schemes, apart from looking into past returns, the investors should also see the quality of debt instruments which is reflected in their rating. A scheme with lower rate of return but having investments in better rated instruments may be safer. Similarly, in equities schemes also, investors may look for quality of portfolio. They may also seek advice of experts.
Are the companies having names like mutual benefit the same as mutual funds schemes?
Investors should not assume some companies having the name "mutual benefit" as mutual funds. These companies do not come under the purview of SEBI. On the other hand, mutual funds can mobilise funds from the investors by launching schemes only after getting registered with SEBI as mutual funds.
Is the higher net worth of the sponsor a guarantee for better returns?
In the offer document of any mutual fund scheme, financial performance including the net worth of the sponsor for a period of three years is required to be given. The only purpose is that the investors should know the track record of the company which has sponsored the mutual fund. However, higher net worth of the sponsor does not mean that the scheme would give better returns or the sponsor would compensate in case the NAV falls.
Where can an investor look out for information on mutual funds?
Almost all the mutual funds have their own web sites. Investors can also access the NAVs, half-yearly results and portfolios of all mutual funds at the web site of Association of mutual funds in India (AMFI) www.amfiindia.com. AMFI has also published useful literature for the investors.
Investors can log on to the web site of SEBI www.sebi.gov.in and go to "Mutual Funds" section for information on SEBI regulations and guidelines, data on mutual funds, draft offer documents filed by mutual funds, addresses of mutual funds, etc. Also, in the annual reports of SEBI available on the web site, a lot of information on mutual funds is given.
There are a number of other web sites which give a lot of information of various schemes of mutual funds including yields over a period of time. Many newspapers also publish useful information on mutual funds on daily and weekly basis. Investors may approach their agents and distributors to guide them in this regard.
Can an investor appoint a nominee for his investment in units of a mutual fund?
Yes. The nomination can be made by individuals applying for / holding units on their own behalf singly or jointly. Non-individuals including society, trust, body corporate, partnership firm, Karta of Hindu Undivided Family, holder of Power of Attorney cannot nominate.
If mutual fund scheme is wound up, what happens to money invested?
In case of winding up of a scheme, the mutual funds pay a sum based on prevailing NAV after adjustment of expenses. Unit holders are entitled to receive a report on winding up from the mutual funds which gives all necessary details.
How can the investors redress their complaints?
Investors who wish to lodge a complaint on SCORES are requested to register themselves on www.scores.gov.in by clicking on “Register here”. While filing the registration form, details like Name of the investor, PAN, Contact details, Email id, Aadhaar card number(optional), CKYC
ID(optional) etc. (Annexure A) may be provided for effective communication and speedy redressal of the grievances. Upon successful registration, a unique user id and a password shall be communicated to the investor through an acknowledgement email / SMS.
An investor shall use login credentials for lodging complaint on SCORES (“Login for registered user” section).
The complainant may use SCORES to submit the grievance directly to Mutual Fund and the complaint shall be forwarded to the entity for resolution. The entity is required to redress the grievance within 30 days, failing which the complaint shall be registered in SCORES
In order to enhance ease, speed & accuracy in redressal of investor grievance, the investor may lodge a complaint on SCORES within three years from the date of cause of complaint, where; Investor has approached the Mutual Fund for redressal of the complaint and,
The concerned Mutual Fund rejected the complaint or,
The complainant does not receive any communication from the Mutual Fund or,
The complainant is not satisfied with the reply given to him or redressal action taken by the Mutual Fund.
What is the procedure for registering a mutual fund with SEBI ?
An applicant proposing to sponsor a mutual fund in India must submit an application in Form A along with a fee of Rs.25,000. The application is examined and once the sponsor satisfies certain conditions such as being in the financial services business and possessing positive net worth for the last five years, having net profit in three out of the last five years and possessing the general reputation of fairness and integrity in all business transactions, it is required to complete the remaining formalities for setting up a mutual fund. These include inter alia, executing the trust deed and investment management agreement, setting up a trustee company/board of trustees comprising two- thirds independent trustees, incorporating the asset management company (AMC), contributing to at least 40% of the net worth of the AMC and appointing a custodian. Upon satisfying these conditions, the registration certificate is issued subject to the payment of registration fees of Rs.25.00 lacs For details, see the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996.