What and Why Mutual Funds?

January 5, 2011   ·   0 Comments

Lesson 1: What are Mutual Funds?www.stockssavvy.com

A mutual fund is nothing more than a collection of stocks and/or bonds. You can think of a mutual fund as a company that brings together a group of people and invests their money in stocks, bonds, and other securities. Each investor owns shares, which represent a portion of the holdings of the fund.

You can make money from a mutual fund in three ways:

1) Income is earned from dividends on stocks and interest on bonds. A fund pays out nearly all of the income it receives over the year to fund owners in the form of a distribution.

2) If the fund sells securities that have increased in price, the fund has a capital gain. Most funds also pass on these gains to investors in a distribution.

3) If fund holdings increase in price but are not sold by the fund manager, the fund’s shares increase in price. You can then sell your mutual fund shares for a profit.

Every Mutual Fund has its own NAV i.e. Net Asset Value which changes according to the Mutual Fund You Pick. If It is a Debt Mutual Funs, Its NAV will increase gradually over a longer period of time. Equity linked NAV Increases/decreases on daily basis with increase/decrease in the price of the Stock the Mutual Fund has Invest In.

Apart from it, there are few Terms of Mutual Funds which one should be aware of:

Net Asset Value or NAV

NAV is the total asset value (net of expenses) per unit of the fund and is calculated by the AMC at the end of every business day.

How is NAV calculated?

The value of all the securities in the portfolio in calculated daily. From this, all expenses are deducted and the resultant value divided by the number of units in the fund is the fund’s NAV.

Expense Ratio

AMCs charge an annual fee, or expense ratio that covers administrative expenses, salaries, advertising expenses, brokerage fee, etc. A 1.5% expense ratio means the AMC charges Rs1.50 for every Rs100 in assets under management.

 A fund’s expense ratio is typically to the size of the funds under management and not to the returns earned. Normally, the costs of running a fund grow slower than the growth in the fund size – so, the more assets in the fund, the lower should be its expense ratio.

Load

Some AMCs have sales charges, or loads, on their funds (entry load and/or exit load) to compensate for distribution costs. Funds that can be purchased without a sales charge are called no-load funds.

Funds will also usually give you a choice either to receive a check for distributions or to reinvest the earnings and get more shares.

Why Mutual Funds ?

Professional Management – The primary advantage of funds is the professional management of your money. Investors purchase funds because they do not have the time or the expertise to manage their own portfolios. A mutual fund is a relatively inexpensive way for a small investor to get a full-time manager to make and monitor investments.

Diversification – By owning shares in a mutual fund instead of owning individual stocks or bonds, your risk is spread out. The idea behind diversification is to invest in a large number of assets so that a loss in any particular investment is minimized by gains in others. In other words, the more stocks and bonds you own, the less any one of them can hurt you (think about Enron). Large mutual funds typically own hundreds of different stocks in many different industries. It wouldn’t be possible for an investor to build this kind of a portfolio with a small amount of money.

Economies of Scale – Because a mutual fund buys and sells large amounts of securities at a time, its transaction costs are lower than what an individual would pay for securities transactions.

Liquidity – Just like an individual stock, a mutual fund allows you to request that your shares be converted into cash at any time.

Simplicity – Buying a mutual fund is easy! Pretty well any bank has its own line of mutual funds, and the minimum investment is small. Most companies also have automatic purchase plans whereby as little as $100 can be invested on a monthly basis.

After this Chapter, One should be able to Understand What are Mutual Funds & Why one should Buy Mutual Funds?

Return of a Good Mutual Fund in India is above 20 % per year over a Period of 5 Years.

In the Next Chapter, we will learn how to Pick up a Mutual Fund & what are the Kinds of Mutual Fund.

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Rajesh Singla

Rajesh is the founder & CEO of Stockssavvy, Stocks analyst,financial advisor by choice,software engineer by fate,biker,gamer,cricket lover n enthusiastic person. He believes in doing things not just to get by but to get Ahead...

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