How to choose the best mutual funds?
Mutual fund is one of the best investment option for a regular investor, where investors can select and invest in a mutual fund scheme according to their financial goals and risk taking capability. However, an investor can directly invest or hire a mutual fund advisor. If an investor is investing directly, they will invest through direct plans of mutual fund scheme and if investor invests through a mutual fund advisor, they will invest in a regular plan of mutual fund scheme.
What are the various types of Mutual funds available to investors?
1. Equity mutual fund scheme – These funds are directly invested in stocks and returns depends on how these stocks perform over a period of time. These schemes give high returns but are very risky if invested for short term. Investors should invest for long term, at least for five to ten years. There are 10 types of equity mutual fund schemes available based on the capitalization and tenure such as Multi Cap funds, Large Cap funds, Large and Mid-cap funds, Mid Cap Funds, small cap funds, Dividend Yield Funds, Value Funds, Contra Funds, Focused Funds, Sectoral or thematic funds and Equity linked saving schemes (ELSS).
2. Debt mutual fund scheme – This MF scheme directly invests in Debt Securities. Investors who want to invest for short term i.e less than 5 years, should invest in these schemes. These schemes are less risky than equity schemes and provide modest returns. There are 16 debt mutual fund schemes based on tenure and returns such as Overnight Funds, Liquid Funds, Ultra short duration funds, low duration Funds, Money Market Funds, Short duration funds, Medium duration funds, Medium to long duration funds, Long duration Funds, Dynamic Bonds, Corporate bond funds, Credit Risk Funds, Banking and PSU funds, Gilt Funds, Gilt funds with ten years duration and Floater funds.
3. Hybrid mutual fund scheme – This scheme invests in debt and equity schemes. Investors can select these scheme based on their risk appetite. There are six hybrid mutual funds available based on the allocation and investment pattern such as Conservative hybrid Funds, Balanced Hybrid Funds, Aggressive hybrid Funds, Dynamic Asset Allocation, Multi Asset allocation, Arbitrage Funds and Equity Savings.
4. Solution oriented Scheme – These Schemes are especially for a particular solution or goal such as child’s education or retirement. However, they have mandatory lock in period of 5 years.
Mutual Fund Charges:
Total Expenses which a particular Mutual Fund incurred is known as Expense Ratio and this measures per unit cost of the funds managed. Generally, expense ratio is charged around 1.5 to 2.5 percent of the weekly (average) net asset of schemes.
How to select best Mutual Funds?
1. Know your financial goals and risk appetite – As an investor, one must first analyse his financial goals. Ask questions like, what they are looking for, short term or long term investment? Do they want to go for high risk, high return or low risk medium returns? For what purpose is money needed like retirement or any other specific purpose? Do they need money in near future? Or they want to invest for lock in period? By answering these questions, Investor will get a clear picture of their financial goals.
2. Compare the Expense Ratio – Cost of owing some funds can be expensive so choose the lowest possible expense ratio. For example, if one fund has a cost of 0.50 percent while another has a cost of 1.5 percent as an expense ratio. Investors should choose according to the schemes and expense cost.
3. Avoid funds which have high turnover – It is important to see turnover rate for funds, as it impacts the tax rate. It is basically a percentage of the portfolio that is brought and sold in a particular year. Usually, portfolio with more than 50 percent turnover carry higher tax rates.
4. Hire Disciplined Management Team – Fund manager should be selected on basis of the past record track and portfolio manager with high talent and experience team should be chosen.
5. Select No load Mutual Fund – They are basically the fees, which are charged on assets (5% of assets usually). However, not all funds have charges. Investors should choose wisely, no load fund carry no charges and increases overall returns.
6. Check historical data and Diversify assets – investors should check historical data, reports and how they have evaluated them. Diversify whole portfolio, because in case an asset does not perform well due to some reasons, other asset class can balance them.
Some of the best mutual funds:
1. Nippon India US Equity Opportunities Fund – It has an expense ratio of 1.5% and has given returns around 15% per annum in 5 years.
2. ICICI Prudential US Blue Chip Equity Fund – Its expense Ratio is 1.79% and returns of 13.81% Per annum in last 5 years.
3. DSP World Gold Fund – Expense Ratio 1.9% and Returns around 12.81% per annum.