What is Mutual Fund ?

To many people, Mutual Funds can seem complicated or intimidating. We are going to try and simplify it for you at its very basic level. Essentially, the money pooled in by a large number of people (or investors) is what makes up a Mutual Fund. This fund is managed by a professional fund manager.

It is a trust that collects money from a number of investors who share a common investment objective. Then, it invests the money in equities, bonds, money market instruments and/or other securities. Each investor owns units, which represent a portion of the holdings of the fund. The income/gains generated from this collective investment is distributed proportionately amongst the investors after deducting certain expenses, by calculating a scheme’s “Net Asset Value or NAV”. Simply put, a Mutual Fund is one of the most viable investment options for the common man as it offers an opportunity to invest in a diversified, professionally managed basket of securities at a relatively low cost.

Invest for long term – an advice routinely given by many Mutual Fund distributors and investment advisors. This is especially true in case of certain Mutual Funds – such as equity and balanced funds.

Let us understand why the professionals give such advice. What really happens in the long term? Is there a benefit of staying invested for long term?

Consider your Mutual Fund investment as a good quality batsman. Every good quality batsman has a certain style of batting. However, each good quality batsman would be able to accumulate lots of runs, if he continues to play for years.

We are talking about the record of a “good quality” batsman. Every good batsman would go through some good and poor performances. On average the record would be impressive.

Similarly, a good Mutual Fund would also go through some ups and downs – often due to factors beyond the control of the fund manager. An investor would benefit if one stays invested through these funds for long periods of time.

So, as long as you can afford, stay invested for long periods of time – especially in equity and balanced funds.

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