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Mutual funds are one of the best investment options for individuals who’re beginners in the stock exchange and don’t have the requisite proficiency to invest. Through a mutual fund, an investor could find professional knowledge of a fund manager and indirectly invest in equities.

They likewise provide a wide variety of options in debt schemes which a layman isn’t aware of or aren’t easily accessible to him. Mutual funds promote diversification, benefit and the minimal financial investment required is small. Also, the transaction expenses involved in investing in a mutual fund is very less. Discussed below are the broad categories of mutual funds that exist in India.

Categories Of Mutual Funds In India

Equity Funds

These schemes invest a major part of the investor’s funds in equities. The returns under these schemes are created by way of capital gains (profit recognized by fund manager) and dividends on stocks. If shares under a mutual fund portfolio increase in worth however not sold by fund supervisor, the notional worth of unrealised revenue is mirrored in a higher net possession value (NAV).

Equity funds are implied for investors with a high risk appetite. These funds could be more sub-classified as per their structure and financial investment objective:

Diversified Funds

The significant objective of these schemes is to create capital appreciation from a portfolio of equities. These can be structured in the kind of large-cap or mid-cap or huge & mid cap or mid & little cap or multi-cap funds.

Thematic Funds

These are sector certain schemes which typically buy all the companies operating in a particular sector. For example, financial, pharma, information technology, etc.

Tax Saving Funds

These are also known as equity linked savings schemes (ELSS). Their financial investment goal is to accomplish long term capital recognition from equities. An investment in ELSS up to Rs.1 lakh is qualified for deduction under section 80/C of the Indian Tax Act. They’ve a lock-in duration of three years after which an investor can decide to redeem the units or stay invested.

Index Funds

As the name recommends, these funds intend to generate returns that match the returns of any stock index. For instance, BSE Sensex, CNX Nifty, etc. A bulk of the equity mutual funds are usually open- ended schemes. These are liquid in nature and investors can buy and redeem them at any time from the fund business.

Debt Funds

These funds purchase fixed income instruments like government securities and business bonds. These funds earn returns in the form of interest earnings on debt paper and capital gains on trading safeties. Debt funds can be broadly categorized as follows:

Gilt Funds

These funds mostly buy government securities (G-secs). There’s no credit threat involved in G-sec papers as they’re backed by the government. However, these are exposed to variations in rate of interest. These sovereign papers might be long, medium or short-term in nature. Gilt funds are open-ended schemes.

Income Funds

Liquid Funds

These funds intend to offer liquidity and generate regular income by purchasing short-term debt instruments with maturities of less than a year. These are primarily money-market safeties like treasury expenses, certification of deposit and industrial paper. Fluid funds are suitable for those who wish to manage short term surplus and make optimal income. Institutional investors and corporates are the greatest factors to liquid funds.

Short Term Funds

These funds buy a mix of short-term corporate bonds and money-market instruments. The typical maturity of the portfolio of these funds is between 0.5-1.5 years. The primary financial investment goal of these funds is to offer safe returns and guarantee liquidity. However, these are exposed to inflation and credit risks.

Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs)

These are closed ended schemes which buy government paper and business debt. A fund manager hangs on to the FMPs till their maturity. As these have actually a defined end date, investors have a reasonable idea beforehand about the a sign yield of FMPs. However, the returns aren’t ensured as in the case of bank repaired deposits.

FMPs have a tax advantage over bank taken care of deposits. For a one year FMP, the tax exercises to be 10 per cent without indexation and 20 per cent with indexation. Relatively, a fixed deposit’s a tax rate of 30 per cent if one falls in the highest tax bracket.

Balanced Funds

These are additionally known as hybrid funds which buy a combination of equities and financial obligation safeties. These funds offer the twin objective of higher returns with stocks and capital conservation with stable returns with debt paper. There are two kinds of scheme under the balanced fund category. The first one is called monthly earnings plan (MIP).

These invest a major portion (about 70-80 per cent) of the investor’s cash in financial obligation paper and the rest in equities. These are suitable for low to medium risk hunger investors who’re seeking a slightly better return than fixed deposits and pure financial obligation mutual funds. As the name recommends, MIPs provide to provide regular income and liquidity by declaring dividends.

However, it’s completely at the discretion of the fund house to state dividends as and when a distributable surplus is readily available. Another kind of balanced fund is equity-oriented and comparatively risky in nature. These invest at least 60-70 per cent of the funds in equities and the rest in debt paper.