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Mutual Funds are a must have in any investor’s portfolio. The ease of investment, diligently designed asset allocation, professional fund management and, above all a disciplined mode to build a long-term corpus are the elements that add to the appeal of mutual funds. While you can rely completely on the expertise of the fund manager, it is very important that you are aware of certain factors before you invest in the Mutual Funds and also track the performance of the Mutual Fund on a regular basis.
About Best Performing Mutual Funds
Types of Funds
There are various types of mutual funds in the market such as Equity Funds, Debt Funds, Balanced Funds and Money Market funds. You need to be aware about the objectives of each of these funds and check if your investment objectives are in line with these funds. Equity funds have high return-high risk potential while debt-funds are low on risk with limited returns. On the other hand, there are balanced funds which offer the best of both worlds.
It is very important that your risk profile is considered before making an investment. Your risk appetite is your willingness to shoulder losses in case the market doesn’t move the way you expected it to. If you are willing to go through the downturn, you can invest your money in equities or high-risk funds. If you are a cautious investor, then you can choose to protect your capital by investing in debt funds.
Expense ratio is used to measure the cost of administration and management of the fund. The SEBI has mandated that the expense ratio will be limited at 2.50%. The expense ratio for actively managed fund is higher than that of passively managed fund. Hence, you must also compare the expense ratio of various funds across the similar categories.
The duration of investment is as important as the quality of investment. Funds are exposed to investments in market which are subject to short-term fluctuations. This hampers the return capacity of the funds. If you have chosen to invest in equity-based mutual funds, you need to stay invested in it at least for a period of 7 years, so that the short-term fluctuations are smoothened out
You need to evaluate the performance of Mutual Funds by following a holistic process. The various factors that you need to consider while analysing the performance of a Mutual Fund are:
Equity Funds invest more than 60% of the assets in listed equities. Rest of the funds are invested in debt securities to balance the risk profile and support redemption. These funds are riskier but generate high-return over a long-term.
Hybrid or Balanced Funds are schemes which invest money across asset classes. In some cases, the exposure to equities is more than debt securities, while in other cases it is vice-versa. The rationale behind the allocation of assets is to strike an ideal balance between risk and returns.
This mutual fund type is less risky and invests in debt-market instruments like bonds, debentures, government securities and other fixed income securities. Debt funds can be short-term or long-term. The returns will be in the form of interest income and capital appreciation.
Gilt fund invests money primarily in Government securities over long-term. Government debt is normally devoid of credit-risk. So, if you do not want to any worries about risk, Gilt funds are for you.
Equity Linked Savings Schemes or Tax Savings funds have a lock-in of 3 years and the investments are eligible for exemption under section 80C. The risk element for these funds is higher, but they also generate higher returns.
The allocation of assets for these funds replicate a particular index listed on the stock exchange, let’s say the Sensex or Nifty.
Money market assets such as Certificate of Deposit (CD), Commercial Paper (CP), Call Money and T-Bills, are highly liquid and risk-free. This scheme allocates funds to these instruments. Money Market Funds are best suited to those who want to invest safely over short-term.
P.S: The above lists are indicative and the order of the funds is not necessarily the order of the ranking.
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