1. Professional Management
Mutual Funds provide the services of experienced and skilled professionals, backed by a dedicated investment research team that analyses the performance and prospects of companies and selects suitable investments to achieve the objectives of the scheme. This risk of default by any company that one has chosen to invest in, can be minimized by investing in mutual funds as the fund managers analyze the companies’ financials more minutely than an individual can do as they have the expertise to do so. They can manage the maturity of their portfolio by investing in instruments of varied maturity profiles.
2. Diversification
Mutual Funds invest in a number of companies across a broad cross-section of industries and sectors. This diversification reduces the risk because seldom do all stocks decline at the same time and in the same proportion. You achieve this diversification through a Mutual Fund with far less money than you can do on your own.
3. Convenient Administration
Investing in a Mutual Fund reduces paperwork and helps you avoid many problems such as bad deliveries, delayed payments and follow up with brokers and companies. Mutual Funds save your time and make investing easy and convenient.
4. Return Potential
Over a medium to long-term, Mutual Funds have the potential to provide a higher return as they invest in a diversified basket of selected securities. Apart from liquidity, these funds have also provided very good post-tax returns on year to year basis. Even historically, we find that some of the debt funds have generated superior returns at relatively low level of risks. On an average debt funds have posted returns over 10 percent over one-year horizon. The best performing funds have given returns of around 14 percent in the last one-year period. In nutshell we can say that these funds have delivered more than what one expects of debt avenues such as post office schemes or bank fixed deposits. Though they are charged with a dividend distribution tax on dividend payout at 12.5 percent (plus a surcharge of 10 percent), the net income received is still tax free in the hands of investor and is generally much more than all other avenues, on a post tax basis.
5. Low Costs
Mutual Funds are a relatively less expensive way to invest compared to directly investing in the capital markets because the benefits of scale in brokerage, custodial and other fees translate into lower costs for investors.
6. Liquidity
In open-end schemes, the investor gets the money back promptly at net asset value related prices from the Mutual Fund. In closed-end schemes, the units can be sold on a stock exchange at the prevailing market price or the investor can avail of the facility of direct repurchase at NAV related prices by the Mutual Fund. Since there is no penalty on pre-mature withdrawal, as in the cases of fixed deposits, debt funds provide enough liquidity. Moreover, mutual funds are better placed to absorb the fluctuations in the prices of the securities as a result of interest rate variation and one can benefits from any such price movement.
7. Transparency
Investors get regular information on the value of your investment in addition to disclosure on the specific investments made by your scheme, the proportion invested in each class of assets and the fund manager’s investment strategy and outlook.
8. Flexibility
Through features such as regular investment plans, regular withdrawal plans and dividend reinvestment plans; you can systematically invest or withdraw funds according to your needs and convenience.
9. Affordability
A single person cannot invest in multiple high-priced stocks for the sole reason that his pockets are not likely to be deep enough. This limits him from diversifying his portfolio as well as benefiting from multiple investments. Here again, investing through MF route enables an investor to invest in many good stocks and reap benefits even through a small investment. Investors individually may lack sufficient funds to invest in high-grade stocks. A mutual fund because of its large corpus allows even a small investor to take the benefit of its investment strategy.
10. Choice of Schemes
Mutual Funds offer a family of schemes to suit your varying needs over a lifetime.
11. Well Regulated
All Mutual Funds are registered with SEBI and they function within the provisions of strict regulations designed to protect the interests of investors. The operations of Mutual Funds are regularly monitored by SEBI.
12. Tax Benefits
Last but not the least, mutual funds offer significant tax advantages. Dividends distributed by them are tax-free in the hands of the investor. They also give you the advantages of capital gains taxation. If you hold units beyond one year, you get the benefits of indexation. Simply put, indexation benefits increase your purchase cost by a certain portion, depending upon the yearly cost-inflation index (which is calculated to account for rising inflation), thereby reducing the gap between your actual purchase cost and selling price. This reduces your tax liability. What’s more, tax-saving schemes and pension schemes give you the added advantage of benefits under Section 88. You can avail of a 20 per cent tax exemption on an investment of up to Rs 10,000 in the scheme in a year

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