HomeMarketsStart Smart: The ABCs of Mutual Funds - A Beginners Guide

Start Smart: The ABCs of Mutual Funds – A Beginners Guide

Welcome to our in-depth mutual fund tutorial, designed specifically for beginners like you who are eager to embark on a journey towards financial success and security. We’ll explain the complexities of mutual funds in this post, giving you the information and assurance you need to make wise investment choices. We are here to help you every step of the way, whether you are an experienced investor looking for new opportunities or completely uneducated in the world of finance.

What Are Mutual Funds?

A mutual fund is a collection of funds that is professionally managed by a fund manager. A trust that invests money in stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and/or other securities after collecting funds from a number of participants who have similar investing goals.

Because of their simplicity, adaptability, and benefits from diversification, mutual funds are a common investment choice. The best thing about mutual funds is that they offer a variety of investors the chance to invest. There are currently over 47 registered mutual funds in India, offering various programs to meet the changing demands of various investors.

The various types of mutual funds that are offered can be roughly categorized depending on structure, asset class, and investing objectives.

Further, funds can be divided into groups based on risk.

Mutual Funds’ Structure

Mutual funds can be:

  • Open-ended funds : No time or quantity restrictions apply when using these funds to make purchases. At the Current net asset value, investors can enter or exit at any time throughout the year. Investors looking for liquidity should consider open-ended funds.

  • Close-ended funds : When you invest in a closed ended mutual fund scheme, your money is locked in for a set amount of time. Closed ended schemes can only be purchased during the NFO (new fund offer) period, and the units can only be redeemed after the scheme’s tenure (lock-in period) or NFO has passed. Here, redemption is bound by the maturity date.

  • Interval funds: Interval mutual funds, a hybrid of open-ended and closed-ended funds, allow trades during particular times decided by the fund house. When the trading window opens, investors have the option of either buying or selling their units. Additionally, no trades will be allowed for a minimum of two years. Investors wishing to save a lump sum of money for a short-term financial objective, say within the next three to twelve months, should consider these funds.  

Mutual Fund Asset Class

According to asset class, mutual funds are categorized as follows:

  • Equity funds : Equity funds make investments in corporate stock, and the performance of the stock market affects how much money they make. They can be divided into further categories based on their characteristics, such as ELSS, Focused Funds, Large-Cap Funds, Mid-Cap Funds, and Small-Cap Funds, Dividend yield Funds, Value Funds etc. If you have a long time horizon and a high risk tolerance, invest in equities funds. Additionally, over time, equity funds may produce considerable profits. As a result, these funds also typically carry a higher level of risk.

  • Debt funds : Debt funds put money into fixed-income assets like corporate bonds, treasury bills, and other securities issued by governments and by private companies. Debt funds can provide consistency and a source of income with only minimal risk. These plans can be further divided into duration-based groups, including low-duration funds, liquid funds, overnight funds, credit risk funds, Banking and PSU Funds, gilt funds etc.

  • Hybrid Funds : In order to balance out debt and equity, hybrid funds invest in both debt and equity securities. Depending on the fund House, the investment ratio may be fixed or variable. Balanced or aggressive funds are the two main categories of hybrid funds. Multi asset allocation funds are ones that make investments across at least three asset classes.

  • Money Market Funds : These are funds that invest in short-term securities like T-bills and commercial paper. For individuals searching for immediate but modest profits, they are regarded as secure investments. The names “money markets” and “cash markets” both refer to financial markets that are characterized by a high level of risk, including credit, reinvestment, and interest risk.

  • Solution-Oriented Funds : These mutual fund plans are for specific objectives like saving money for your own retirement or for your children’s college or wedding. They have a minimum five-year lock-in duration.

Start Smart: The ABCs of Mutual Funds - A Beginners Guide

Investing goals-based mutual funds

According to investing goals, the various mutual fund kinds are as follows:

  • Growth Funds : Growth funds invest money largely in equities stocks with the intention of generating capital growth. These are regarded as risky funds that are best for individuals with a long investment horizon. Investors looking for large returns over a lengthy period of time may find these funds to be an appealing alternative.

  • Liquidity Funds : To provide liquidity, money is generally invested in short- or extremely short-term products, such as T-Bills, CPs, etc. They are regarded as low risk investments with moderate returns that are best suited for investors with short investment horizons.

  • Pension Funds : Mutual funds invested in with a very long-term goal are called pension funds. They are mainly designed to offer consistent returns around the time the investor is prepared to retire. The returns on these investments can be received as a pension, lump payments, or a combination of the two.

  • ELSS Funds (Tax Saving Funds) : These funds primarily invest in stocks. Under the Income Tax Act, investments made in these funds are eligible for deductions under 80C. They are regarded as having high risk, but if the fund does well, they can also have major earnings.

  • Fixed Maturity Funds : These funds invest capital in debt market securities that mature at the same time as the fund itself or at a time that is reasonably close to it.

  • Capital Protection Funds : These funds divide their assets between investments in equities markets and fixed-income instruments. This is done to make sure that the invested principal is protected.

Risk taking

Depending on their personal risk tolerance, investors may also decide to invest in mutual funds. Usually made for short periods of time, very low-risk and low-risk funds aim to reduce market risk. However, they also produce low returns.

In order to balance risk, hybrid and medium-risk funds invest a portion of their assets in debt instruments, whereas high-risk funds have a significant equity exposure. Typically, the likelihood of big returns increases with risk.

Every mutual fund must include a risk-o-meter for investors to use in determining if the risk exposure matches their risk tolerance.


Keep in mind that your most effective tool when you enter the world of mutual funds is education.You may find it easier to connect with certain financial goals if you are aware of the many mutual fund classifications.

Investors must carefully study their policy documents before investing because mutual funds always carry some level of risk, no matter how little. Reading the contract would also be a good idea to make sure that the investors have a clear understanding of what they have purchased and all the amenities that come with it.

To determine your returns and monthly investments for mutual fund investing alternatives, use the SIP calculator online.

The world of mutual funds is right at your fingers; take advantage of the chance and start on the road to financial success right away.



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