Your Questions

What is the risk of investing in Mutual Funds?

We have all heard: “Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks.” Ever wondered what are these risks?

The video (coming soon) on the left talks about the various types of risks.

Not all risks impact all the fund schemes. The Scheme Information Document (SID) helps understand which risks apply to your selected scheme.

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What is KYC?

KYC is an acronym for "Know Your Customer" and is a term used for Customer Identification Process as a part of Account Opening process with any financial entity. KYC establishes an investor’s identity & address through relevant supporting documents such as prescribed photo id (e.g., PAN card, Aadhar card) and address proof and In-Person Verification (IPV).

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How do Mutual Funds help manage risk?

Risks appear in many forms. For example, if you own a share of a company, there is a Price Risk or a Market Risk or a Company Specific Risk. The share of just that company may dip or even crash due to any of the above reasons or even a combination of these reasons.

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When should I start investing in Mutual Funds?

There is a beautiful Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

There is no reason why one should delay one’s investments, except, of course, when there is no money to invest. Within that, it is always better to use Mutual Funds than to do-it-oneself.

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How will I evaluate my risk profile?

Every individual investor is unique. Not only with regards to investment objectives but even in approach and view of risk. This is what makes Risk Profiling absolutely crucial before investing.

A Risk Profiler is essentially a questionnaire that seeks an investor’s answers to questions about both “ability” and “willingness”.

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What is the co-relation between risk and return?

In Mutual Funds, one often hears, ‘more the risk, more the return’. Is there truth in this?

If ‘risk’ is measured as either, probability of loss of capital or as swings and fluctuations in investment value, then asset classes like equity are undoubtedly the riskiest, and money in a savings bank account or in a government bond is of course least risky.

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What are the benefits of investing in Mutual Funds?

Many of us dread the thought of managing our own investments. With a professional fund management company, people are put in charge of various functions based on their education, experience and skills.

As an investor, you can either manage your finances yourself, or hire a professional firm. You opt for the latter when:

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Are all Mutual Funds risky?

Every investment we make involves a risk, only its nature and degree varies. The same applies to Mutual Funds too.

All Mutual Fund schemes do not carry the same risk when it comes to returns on investment.

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Is there some external help I can get to plan my financial goals?

“My son is in the 9th grade. I am not sure what his interests are or what stream in education he should pursue. Should he go for Science, Commerce or Arts? Can someone help?” Many parents have such concerns. That is where one may approach an education, or a career, counselor, who has evaluated various options available for youngsters.

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Choosing a Mutual Fund is too confusing?

Yes, there are several types of Mutual Fund schemes – Equity, Debt, Money Market, Hybrid etc. And there are many Mutual Funds   in India managing several hundreds of schemes amongst them. So it may appear that zeroing on a scheme is actually a very complex and confusing affair.

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Are fund managers necessary?

The answer is a huge, resounding YES! It is important to note that experience in managing money/making investments plays a vital role in generating good performance. The more the experience, the better is the probability of making profitable investment decisions.

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Who keeps a record of my investments?

All Mutual Funds in India are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Mutual Fund regulations clearly define the roles and responsibilities of Asset Management Companies (AMC) and Custodians. It’s vital to remember that every investor has to complete an effective KYC process before investing.

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How do I know which fund is right for me?

Once an investor has decided to invest in Mutual Funds, he has to make a decision of which scheme to invest in – Fixed Income, Equity or Balanced and which Asset Management Company (AMC) to invest with? 

Firstly, discuss freely with your advisor what your objective is, what time period you’re comfortable with, and what your risk appetite is.

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What is the benefit of staying invested in the long term?

Invest for long term – an advice routinely given by many Mutual Fund distributors and investment advisors. This is especially true in case of certain Mutual Funds – such as equity and balanced funds.

Let us understand why the professionals give such advice. What really happens in the long term? Is there a benefit of staying invested for long term?

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Can I remove money on all days or only on particular days?

An open end fund permits redemptions on all business days. If a redemption request is handed over at an Investor Service Centre on a non-business day, or after a specified cut-off time, say 3:00 p.m., then it is processed on the next business day. Redemptions are processed at that particular day’s Net Asset Value (NAV).

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Does long term mean less risk?

Investments in Mutual Funds require the appropriate time horizon. Having the right time horizon, not only provides a better chance of getting expected, investment returns, but also lowers the risk in the investment.

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How much of my investment can I withdraw?

Majority of Mutual Fund schemes are open end schemes, which allow an investor to redeem the entire invested amount without any time restrictions.

Only under few instances  schemes impose a restriction on redemption, under extraordinary circumstances, as decided by the Board of Trustees.

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What kind of returns should one expect from Mutual Funds?

Imagine asking: At what speed do vehicles run?

Can you generalize the answer for the whole category? Different vehicles run at different speeds – even within one category, e.g. cars, while a car made for city roads may run at a certain maximum speed, the one made for racing can run much faster.

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How often can I remove my money?

An investor has no restriction on redeeming money from an open ended scheme. While there may be an exit load in certain cases, which impacts final amount realised, all open end schemes offer liquidity as a great benefit.

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When can I withdraw my investment?

An investment in an open end scheme can be redeemed at any time. Unless it is an investment in an Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), wherein there is a lock-in of 3 years from date of investment, there are no restrictions on investment redemption.

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How soon can I withdraw my money from Mutual Funds? Are there any charges?

Mutual Funds are one of the most liquid assets, i.e. it is one of the easiest to convert into cash. In order to redeem funds through offline mode, the unit holder needs to submit a signed Redemption Request form to the AMC's or the Registrar’s designated office. The form requires details like unit holder’s name, folio number, scheme name, and number of units to redeem.

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What are loads?

On a long-distance road journey, sometimes a toll is charged when you enter the road or the bridge, and sometimes when you exit. In many cases, the toll bridge company is allowed to charge the toll only for a certain number of years to recover the building costs. After that period is over, the company is not allowed to charge the passengers any toll.

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Is there an advantage in investing in funds with an exit load?

Let’s consider a Balanced Fund, which aims to provide growth and capital appreciation from the equity portion, and income and stability from the debt portion. This scheme still carries considerable risk, as the portion of equity could be as high as 75%. This is recommended only for investors with a healthy risk appetite and long term time horizon.

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What is Dividend?

A Dividend is a distribution of earnings from a stock or a Mutual Fund. In a Mutual Fund scheme a dividend is distributed when the fund has booked profits on sale of securities in its portfolio.

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How do I choose a Mutual Fund scheme?

Imagine asking a travel agent, “How should I choose my mode of transport?” The first thing he/she will say is, “Depends on where you want to go.” If I were to travel to a distance of 5 kms, an auto rickshaw might be the best option, while for a journey from New Delhi to Kochi, a flight might be the best.

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Don’t let money go. Let it grow!

Do different types of Mutual Fund schemes offer different kinds of returns?

“Why should one invest in Mutual Funds? We keep hearing about poor performance of many Mutual Funds. And Mutual Funds offer no guarantees. Given these limitations, is there any reason why someone should consider investing in Mutual Funds at all? Do they perform at all?”

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Are there different products for different age groups?

There are different categories of mutual funds. How does one go about selecting which fund to invest?

In fact, there are certain investment options available in the market that are promoted for certain age groups, e.g. savings schemes for senior citizens, children’s funds and plans, etc.

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Can Mutual Funds help create wealth?

Business and commerce allows us to create wealth by investing our money with those who are on the path to creating wealth. We can be investors in businesses of entrepreneurs, by investing in stocks of various companies. As the entrepreneurs and the managers run their businesses efficiently and profitably, the shareholders get the benefits.

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Why don't Mutual Funds give a fixed rate of return like a saving account or FD?

The returns in a Mutual Fund portfolio are a function of many things, like the avenues one has invested in, the way various markets move, the ability of the fund management team, and the investment period.

Since many of these factors are uncertain, the returns cannot be guaranteed, unlike a fixed deposit where these factors are absent, at least to some extent.

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A plan for every goal

Yes, Mutual Funds are ideal to help you plan your life goals!

·   Mr. Rajput eventually wants to move away from the city, into a farmhouse on a hill station when he plans to retire after 15-20 years.

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Should goals be for the long term only or short term?

Narendra aims to accumulate enough to make the down payment for his dream house. He started an SIP in some Mutual Fund schemes. Though he was falling a tad short, he was comfortable with what he had accrued.

He got a pleasant surprise when his company announced a big cash reward for some star employees, and he was one of them.

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What are the taxation rules and implications in Mutual Funds?

One of the key benefits of investing in a Mutual Fund is the wide range of tax benefits to the ordinary resident investor.

Under Sec 10(23D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, any income received by a Mutual Fund is completely exempt from tax. This means that Mutual Fund schemes do not pay any tax on profits made by sale of securities in their portfolio.

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Aren’t safe investments enough to meet financial goals?

One must keep in mind that the regular expenses as well as the cost for various financial goals rise over a period. If the inflation is at 6% per year, the cost of a goal doubles over approximately 12 years. However, if the inflation is at 7%, the doubling happens roughly in ten years.

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Are there different funds for different types of goals?

With so many Mutual Funds schemes in the market, often one may wonder which scheme may be the best. But, understanding the meaning of “best” is more important.

Often, people tend to select the “best” performers of a recent past period – schemes that have delivered highest returns in the recent past.

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How can one track a Mutual Fund performance?

In this digital and information age, it has become relatively easy to keep track of investment and portfolio performance. While advisors are irreplaceable partners in your financial journey, it is best for investors to have a little knowledge about their own investments. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit with mind-boggling spread-sheets and graphs.

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How do I fulfill my financial goals?

To begin with, it is important to select the right scheme for your investment need. Look at it this way.

How do you decide what mode of transport you should take when you travel? Whether you want to walk it up, take an auto rickshaw, a train or a flight, it all depends on your destination, on your budget and travel time available.

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Do Mutual Funds issue a passbook?

While banks and certain small savings schemes issue a passbook, Mutual Funds do not issue a passbook, they issue an Account Statement instead. The main purpose of a passbook is to keep track of all transactions with a bank: deposit, withdrawals, credit of interest etc.

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How is ULIP different from Mutual Fund?

A ULIP is Unit-Linked Insurance Plan. It is a life insurance policy with an investment component that is invested in various financial markets. The returns generated by the investment component determine the value of the policy. However, the sum assured on the death of the policy holder may not be a function of the market – the minimum sum assured may remain unaffected.

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What is an ELSS?

An ELSS is an Equity Linked Savings Scheme, that allows an individual or HUF a deduction from total income of up to Rs. 1.5 lacs under Sec 80C of Income Tax Act 1961.

Thus if an investor was to invest Rs. 50,000 in an ELSS, then this amount would be deducted from the total taxable income, thus reducing her tax burden.

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How can I track my investments on a regular basis?

Investors often wonder how to go about tracking the progress of my investments.

It is like chasing a target in a cricket match. In a cricket match, the team batting second knows the equation – how many runs, how many wickets and how many overs.

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How do I start/stop a SIP? What happens if I miss an instalment?

Before you make any Mutual Fund investment, you need to complete a KYC process. This is done through submission of certain documents as proof of identity and proof of address. The process of starting or stopping an SIP is extremely convenient and easy. How to start an SIP is explained in the graphics on the left.

What happens when you skip an installment or two?

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₹ 500 se toh sirf shuruwaat hai

You can start investing in Mutual Funds with just ₹ 500 a month!

People feel that to earn meaningful returns, large sums must be invested in Mutual Funds. Well, you can start by investing as little as 500 per month and gradually increase your investment as your income rises.

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Can I start with ₹ 500, and keep adding?

The popular investment concept for creating wealth is ‘Start Early. Invest Regularly. Stay invested for Long Term’. Even if the investment is as low as ₹ 500, it is important as it marks the beginning of a journey.

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How can I start investing in Mutual Funds?

Investing in Mutual Funds requires you to complete a few basic formalities. Such formalities may either be completed directly with an Asset Management Company (AMC) at their office, or authorized point of acceptance (PoA), or through an authorized intermediary such as an advisor, banker, distributor or broker.

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Have Mutual Funds been around for a long time?

Collective and pooled investments have existed in various traditional formats across the world for some time. Mutual Fund as we know it came into existence in 1924, with creation of Massachusetts Investors Trust.

The Mutual Fund industry growth was accompanied by three broad trends:

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Long term. Short term. Your choice.

Are Mutual Funds ideal for short term or long term?

“Mutual Funds could be a good saving tool for short term.”

“You must be patient with your Mutual Fund investments. It takes time to deliver results.”

People regularly come across both the above statements, which are clearly contradictory.

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What is a Direct Plan / Regular Plan?

All Mutual Fund Schemes offer two plans- Direct and Regular. In a Direct Plan, an investor has to invest directly with the AMC, with no distributor to facilitate the transaction. In a Regular Plan, the investor invests through an intermediary such as distributor, broker or banker who is paid a distribution fee by the AMC, which is charged to the plan.

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So can I invest now, for my vacation 8 months later?

Articles about Mutual Funds are usually written for planning to achieve certain long term specific goals, and investors assume that other goals, especially short term cannot be achieved.

Let us break this myth with an example.

Ramesh, a travel junkie got to satisfy his wanderlust, when the company he worked for achieved success and rewarded its employees with bonuses.

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What are the best Mutual Fund schemes for a five-year period?

Let us understand what could be a proper answer to the above question.

Through numerous interactions with investors, we feel that in most cases the hidden, oft-unexpressed need is to find out the scheme that would deliver outstanding returns over the period that the investor plans to invest.

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Why invest in gold funds when we can invest in gold?

A Gold ETF is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that aims to track the domestic physical gold price. They are passive investment instruments that are based on gold prices and invest in gold bullion. In India, Gold is usually held in ornament form, which has a certain making and wastage component (usually more than 10% of bill value). This is eliminated when investing in a Gold Fund.

 

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How can I get a monthly income from Mutual Funds?

Some people invest in Mutual Funds for a regular income, and they usually look at options of getting a dividend. Thus many schemes, especially debt oriented schemes, have monthly or quarterly dividend options. It is important to note that dividends are distributed from the profits or gains made by the scheme and are in no way guaranteed every month.

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How diverse is the acceptance of Mutual Funds in India?

After its launch in 1964, Mutual Funds have grown to manage assets over 17.37 lakh  crores (as on Jan 31, 2017).

This impressive growth is because of a strong Indian economy, better regulation, entry of reputed Indian and Foreign Asset Managers, and increasing acceptance of Mutual Funds as a preferred asset class amongst Indian investors.

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At what age should one start investing?

Rahim and Suresh moved to Mumbai as opportunities to earn and spend were higher.

Suresh looked at the income opportunity and decided to enjoy life. Rahim, on the other hand, decided to save and invest his earning, in order to survive in the city.

Rahim was concerned when he learnt about Suresh’s lifestyle and tried explaining him the benefits of saving young with numbers.

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Why should one invest in Mutual Funds?

One should never invest in Mutual Funds, but should invest through them.

To elaborate, we invest in various investment avenues based on our requirements, e.g. for capital growth - we invest in equity shares, for safety of capital and regular income - we buy fixed income products.

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Why was KYC introduced in financial markets?

One of the main reasons for KYC to be introduced in financial markets was to limit/prevent cases of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. In order to do that, the source and destination in case of any financial transaction must be found out. This is where KYC was strengthened and in cases of investments and bank accounts, these processes were made mandatory and stringent.

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What is the ideal amount to start investing in a mutual fund?

Several questions rest in a potential investor’s mind regarding the ideal amount to invest. People consider Mutual Funds as just another investment avenue. Is it really the case? Is a Mutual Fund just another investment avenue like a fixed deposit, debenture or shares of companies?

A Mutual Fund is not an investment avenue, but a vehicle to access various investment avenues.

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Won’t I need a large amount to invest in Mutual Funds?

People think that Mutual Funds are elite investments made only for the wealthy. The fact is: one does not need large sum to invest in Mutual Funds, you can start with a sum as low as ₹ 500, or 5000 depending on the kind of fund you choose.

Why keep the minimum amounts as low as these?

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