What is Mutual Fund

A mutual fund is quite simply a collection of stocks, bonds, or other securities owned by a group of investors and managed by a professional investment company. 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.

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 mutual fund will have a fund manager who is responsible for investing the pooled money into specific securities (usually stocks or bonds). Mutual funds are one of the best investments ever created because they are very cost efficient and very easy to invest in (you don't have to figure out which stocks or bonds to buy)

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.

Advantages of Mutual Funds

A Professional Management - The primary advantage of funds (at least theoretically) is the professional management of your money. Investors purchase funds because they do not have the time or the expertise to manage their own portfolio. 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 you as an individual would pay.

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 Rs 1000 can be invested on a monthly basis.




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