A mutual fund is a professionally-managed form of collective investments that pools money from many investors and invests it in stocks, bonds, short-term money market instruments, and/or other securities. In a mutual fund, the fund manager, who is also known as the portfolio manager, trades the fund's underlying securities, realizing capital gains or losses, and collects the dividend or interest income. The investment proceeds are then passed along to the individual investors. The value of a share of the mutual fund, known as the net asset value per share (NAV), is calculated daily based on the total value of the fund divided by the number of shares currently issued and outstanding.
Mutual Funds in India
Mutual Fund is an instrument of investing money. Nowadays, bank rates have fallen down and are generally below the inflation rate. Therefore, keeping large amounts of money in bank is not a wise option, as in real terms the value of money decreases over a period of time.
One of the options is to invest the money in stock market. But a common investor is not informed and competent enough to understand the intricacies of stock market. This is where mutual funds come to the rescue.
A mutual fund is a group of investors operating through a fund manager to purchase a diverse portfolio of stocks or bonds. Mutual funds are highly cost efficient and very easy to invest in. By pooling money together in a mutual fund, investors can purchase stocks or bonds with much lower trading costs than if they tried to do it on their own. Also, one doesn't have to figure out which stocks or bonds to buy. But the biggest advantage of mutual funds is diversification.
Diversification means spreading out money across many different types of investments. When one investment is down another might be up. Diversification of investment holdings reduces the risk tremendously.
On the basis of their structure and objective, mutual funds can be classified into following major types: