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    What is the Regulatory Body for Mutual Funds?
Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulatory body for all the mutual funds. All the mutual funds must get registered with SEBI
    What are the benefits of investing in Mutual Funds?
There are several benefits from investing in a Mutual Fund:
Small investments:
Mutual funds help you to reap the benefit of returns by a portfolio spread across a wide spectrum of companies with small investments.
Professional Fund Management:
Professionals having considerable expertise, experience and resources manage the pool of money collected by a mutual fund. They thoroughly analyse the markets and economy to pick good investment opportunities.
Spreading Risk:
An investor with limited funds might be able to invest in only one or two stocks/bonds, thus increasing his or her risk. However, a mutual fund will spread its risk by investing a number of sound stocks or bonds. A fund normally invests in companies across a wide range of industries, so the risk is diversified.
Mutual Funds regularly provide investors with information on the value of their investments. Mutual Funds also provide complete portfolio disclosure of the investments made by various schemes and also the proportion invested in each asset type.
The large amount of Mutual Funds offer the investor a wide variety to choose from. An investor can pick up a scheme depending upon his risk/ return profile.
All the mutual funds are registered with SEBI and they function within the provisions of strict regulation designed to protect the interests of the investor.
    What are the different types of Mutual funds?
Mutual funds are classified in the following manner:
a) Mutual funds are classified in the following manner:
Equity Funds/ Growth Funds
Funds that invest in equity shares are called equity funds. They carry the principal objective of capital appreciation of the investment over the medium to long-term. They are best suited for investors who are seeking capital appreciation. There are different types of equity funds such as Diversified funds, Sector specific funds and Index based funds.
Diversified funds
These funds invest in companies spread across sectors. These funds are generally meant for risk-averse investors who want a diversified portfolio across sectors.
Sector funds
These funds invest primarily in equity shares of companies in a particular business sector or industry. These funds are targeted at investors who are bullish or fancy the prospects of a particular sector.
Index funds
The money collected from the investors is invested only in the stocks, which represent the index. For e.g. a Nifty index fund will invest only in the Nifty 50 stocks. The objective of such funds is not to beat the market but to give a return equivalent to the market returns.
Tax Saving Fund
These funds offer tax benefits to investors under the Income Tax Act. Opportunities provided under this scheme are in the form of tax rebates under the Income Tax act.
Debt/Income Funds
These funds invest predominantly in high-rated fixed-income -bearing instruments like bonds, debentures, government securities, commercial paper and other money market instruments. They are best suited for the medium to long-term investors who are averse to risk and seek capital preservation. They provide a regular income to the investor.
Liquid Funds/Money Market Funds
These funds invest in highly liquid money market instruments. The period of investment could be as short as a day. They provide easy liquidity. They have emerged as an alternative for savings and short - term fixed deposit accounts with comparatively higher returns. These funds are ideal for corporates, institutional investors and business houses that invest their funds for very short periods.
Gilt Funds
These funds invest in Central and State Government securities. Since they are Government backed bonds they give a secured return and also ensure safety of the principal amount. They are best suited for the medium to long-term investors who are averse to risk.
Balanced Funds
These funds invest both in equity shares and fixed-income -bearing instruments (debt) in some proportion. They provide a steady return and reduce the volatility of the fund while providing some upside for capital appreciation. They are ideal for medium to long-term investors who are willing to take moderate risks.
b) On the basis of Flexibility
Open-ended Funds
These funds do not have a fixed date of redemption. Generally they are open for subscription and redemption throughout the year. Their prices are linked to the daily net asset value (NAV). From the investors' perspective, they are much more liquid than closed-ended funds.
Close-ended Funds
These funds are open initially for entry during the New Fund Offering (NFO) and thereafter closed for entry as well as exit. These funds have a fixed date of redemption. These funds are open for subscription only once and can be redeemed only on the fixed date of redemption. The units of these funds are listed on stock exchanges (with certain exceptions), are tradable and the subscribers to the fund would be able to exit from the fund at any time through the secondary market.
    What are the different investment plans that Mutual
      Funds offer?
Growth Plan and Dividend Plan
A growth plan is a plan under a scheme wherein the returns from investments are reinvested and very few income distributions, if any, are made. The investor thus only realizes capital appreciation on the investment. Under the dividend plan, income is distributed from time to time. This plan is ideal to those investors requiring regular income.
Dividend Reinvestment Plan
Dividend plans of schemes carry an additional option for reinvestment of income distribution. This is referred to as the dividend reinvestment plan. Under this plan, dividends declared by a fund are reinvested in the scheme on behalf of the investor, thus increasing the number of units held by the investors.
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