A mutual fund is a pool of money managed by a professional Fund Manager.
It is a trust that collects money from a number of investors who share a common investment objective and invests the same in equities, bonds, money market instruments and/or other securities. And the income / gains generated from this collective investment is distributed proportionately amongst the investors after deducting applicable expenses and levies, by calculating a scheme’s “Net Asset Value” or NAV. Simply put, the money pooled in by a large number of investors is what makes up a Mutual Fund.

Mutual Fund schemes could be ‘open ended’ or close-ended’ depending on its.maturity period.

OPEN-ENDED AND CLOSED-END FUNDS An open-end fund is a mutual fund scheme that is available for subscription and redemption on every business throughout the year, (akin to a savings bank account, wherein one may deposit and withdraw money every day). An open ended scheme is perpetual and does not have any maturity date.

A closed-end fund is open for subscription only during the initial offer period and has a specified tenor and fixed maturity date (akin to a fixed term deposit). Units of Closed-end funds can be redeemed only on maturity (i.e., pre-mature redemption is not permitted). Hence, the Units of a closed-end fund are compulsorily listed on a stock exchange after the new fund offer, and are traded on the stock exchange just like other stocks, so that investors seeking to exit the scheme before maturity may sell their Units on the exchange.

A mutual fund is set up in the form of a trust, which has sponsor, trustees, Asset Management Company (AMC) and custodian. The trust is established by a sponsor or more than one sponsor who is like promoter of a company. The trustees of the mutual fund hold its property for the benefit of the unitholders. AMC approved by SEBI manages the funds by making investments in various types of securities. Custodian, who is required to be registered with SEBI, holds the securities of various schemes of the fund in its custody. The trustees are vested with the general power of superintendence and direction over AMC. They monitor the performance and compliance of SEBI Regulations by the mutual fund. SEBI Regulations require that at least two-thirds of the directors of trustee company or board of trustees must be independent i.e. they should not be associated with the sponsors. Also, 50% of the directors of AMC must be independent. All mutual funds are required to be registered with SEBI before they launch any scheme.

An equity fund is a mutual fund scheme that invests predominantly in equity stocks.

In the Indian context, as per current SEBI Mutual Fund Regulations, an equity mutual fund scheme must invest at least 65% of the scheme’s assets in equities and equity related instruments.

Under the tax regime in India, equity funds enjoy certain tax advantages (such as, there is no incidence of long term capital gains tax on equity shares or equity funds which are held for at least 12 months from the date of acquisition). As per current Income Tax rules, an “Equity Oriented Fund” means a Mutual Fund Scheme where the investible funds are invested in equity shares in domestic companies to the extent of more than 65% of the total proceeds of such fund.

An Equity Fund can be actively managed or passively managed. > Index funds and ETFs are passively managed.

Equity mutual funds are principally categorized according to company size, the investment style of the holdings in the portfolio and geography.

The size of an equity fund is determined by a market capitalization, while the investment style, reflected in the fund's stock holdings, is also used to categorize equity mutual funds.

Equity funds are also categorized by whether they are domestic (investing in stocks of only Indian companies) or international (investing in stocks of overseas companies). These can be broad market, regional or single-country funds.

Some specialty equity funds target business sectors, such as health care, commodities and real estate and are known as Sectoral Funds.

There are different types of equity mutual fund schemes and each offers a different type of underlying portfolio that have different levels of market risk.

Large Cap Equity Fundsinvest a large portion of their corpus in companies with large market capitalization are called large-cap funds. This type of fund is known to offer stability and sustainable returns, over a period of time.

Large Cap companies are generally very stable and dominate their industry. Large-cap stocks tend to hold up better in recessions, but they also tend to underperform small-cap stocks when the economy emerges from a recession. Large-cap tend to be less volatile than mid-cap and small-cap stocks and are therefore considered less risky.

Mid-Cap Equity Funds invest in stocks of mid-size companies, which are still considered developing companies. Mid-cap stocks tend to be riskier than large-cap stocks but less risky than small-cap stocks. Mid-cap stocks, however, tend to offer more growth potential than large-cap stocks.

Small Cap Fundsinvest in stocks of smaller-sized companies. Small cap is a term used to classify companies with a relatively small market capitalization. However, the definition of small cap can vary among market intermediaries, but it is generally regarded as a company with a market capitalization of less than 100 crores. Many small caps are young companies with significant growth potential. However, the risk of failure is greater with small-cap stocks than with large-cap and mid-cap stocks. As a result, small-cap stocks tend to be the more volatile (and therefore riskier) than large-cap and mid-cap stocks. Historically, small-cap stocks have typically underperformed large-cap stocks during recessions but have outperformed large-cap stocks as the economy has emerged from recessions.

The smallest stocks of the small caps are called micro-cap stocks. While the opportunity for these companies to experience extreme growth is great, the risk to lose a large amount of money is also possible

Multi Cap Equity Funds or Diversified Equity Fundsinvests in stocks of companies across the stock market regardless of size and sector. These funds provide the benefit of diversification by investing in companies spread across sectors and market capitalization. They are generally meant for investors who seek exposure across the market and do not want to be restricted to any particular sector. They invest in companies across different market caps and hence reduce the amount of risk in the fund. Diversification helps prevent events that could affect a single sector for affecting the fund, and hence reduce risk.

Market capitalization (commonly known as market cap) is calculated by multiplying a company’s outstanding shares by its stock price per share. A company’s stock price by itself does not tell much about the total value or size of a company; a company whose stock price is say ₹500 is not necessarily worth more than a company whose stock price is say, ₹250. For example, a company with a stock price of ₹500 and 10 million shares outstanding (a market cap of ₹5 billion) is actually smaller in size than a company with a stock price of ₹250 and 50 million shares outstanding (a market cap of ₹12.5 billion).

Thematic Equity Funds: These funds invest in securities of specific sectors such as Information Technology, Banking, Service and pharma sector etc., which is specified in their scheme information documents. So, the performance of these schemes depends on the performance of the respective sector. These funds may give higher returns, but they also come with increased risks.

EQUITY LINKED SAVINGS SCHEME (ELSS): Equity-Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) is an equity mutual fund investment that invests at least 80 per cent of its assets in equity and equity-related instruments. ELSS can be open-ended or close ended. Investments in an ELSS qualify for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act within the overall limit of ₹1.5 lakh. The amount you invest in ELSS is deducted from your taxable income, which helps you lower the amount of income tax you are liable to pay. Investments in ELSS are subject to a three-year lock-in period and the returns from the scheme, i.e. dividends and capital gains, are tax-free

Investing in equity mutual funds comes at slightly higher risk as compared to debt mutual funds, but they also give your money a chance to earn higher returns. Now that you know more about different types of equity mutual funds, what are you waiting for? Contact your investment advisor today.


A debt fund is a mutual fund scheme that invests in fixed income instruments, such as Corporate and Government Bonds, corporate debt securities, and money market instruments etc. that offer capital appreciation. Debt funds are also referred to as Income Funds or Bond Funds.

There are various types of schemes in the debt fund category, which are classified on the basis of the type of instruments they invest in and the tenure of the instruments in the portfolio, as explained below:

Liquid & Money Market FundsSavings bank deposits have been the retail investors’ preferred investment option to park surplus cash. Most investors regard these as the only avenue while some believe parking surplus cash elsewhere can erode their capital and does not provide liquidity. CRISIL’s recent study draws attention to a more attractive option – Liquid Fund / Money Market Mutual Funds. The analysis underlines that surplus cash invested in money market mutual funds earns high post-tax returns with a reasonable degree of safety of the principal invested and liquidity.

Liquid Funds, as the name suggests, invest predominantly in highly liquid money market instruments and debt securities very short tenure and hence provide high liquidity. They invest in very short-term instruments such as Treasury Bills (T-bills), Commercial Paper (CP), Certificates Of Deposit (CD) and Collateralized Lending & Borrowing Obligations (CBLO) that have residual maturities of up to 91 days to generate optimal returns while maintaining safety and high liquidity. Redemption requests in these funds are processed within one working (T+1) day.

Income fundsThey invest primarily in debt instruments of various maturities in line with the objective of the funds and any remaining funds in short-term instruments such as Money Market instruments. These funds generally invest in instruments with medium- to long-term maturities.

Short-Term fundsShort-term debt funds primarily invest in debt instruments with shorter maturity or duration. These primarily consist of debt and money market instruments and government securities. The investment horizon of these funds is longer than those of liquid funds, but shorter than those of medium-term income funds.

Floating Rate funds (FRF)While income funds invest in fixed income debt instruments such as bonds, debentures and government securities, FRFs are a variant of income funds with the primary aim of minimizing the volatility of investment returns that is usually associated with an income fund. FRFs invest primarily in instruments that offer floating interest rates. Floating rate securities are generally linked to the Mumbai Inter-Bank Offer Rate (MIBOR), i.e., the benchmark rate for debt instruments. The interest rate is reset periodically based on the interest rate movement. The objective of FRFs is to offer steady returns to investors in line with the prevailing market interest rates.

Gilt FundsThe word ‘Gilt’ implies Government securities. A gilt fund invests in government securities of various tenures issued by central and state governments. These funds generally do not have the risk of default, since the issuer of the instruments is the government. Gilt funds invest in Gilts which have both short-term and/or long-term maturities. Gilt funds have a high degree of interest rate risk, depending on their maturity profile. The longer the maturity profiles of the instruments, the higher the interest rate risk. (Interest rate risk implies that there is an effect on the market price of debt instruments when interest rates increase and decrease. Market prices of debt instruments rise when interest rates fall and vice-versa.)

Interval FundsInterval fund is a mutual fund scheme that combines the features of open-ended and closed-ended schemes, wherein the fund is open for subscription and redemption only during specified transaction periods (STPs) at pre-determined intervals. In other words, Interval funds allow redemption of Units only during STPs. Thus between two STPs they are akin to closed-ended schemes and therefore, compulsorily listed on Stock Exchanges. However, unlike typical closed-ended funds, interval funds do not have a maturity date and hence open-ended in nature. Hence, one may remain invested in an Interval Fund as long as one wishes to like any open ended schemes. Hence, in a sense, interval funds are akin to Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs) with roll-over facility, as they allow roll over of investments from one specified period to another.

Interval funds are typically debt oriented products, but may invest in equities as well as per the scheme’s investment objective and asset allocation specified in the Scheme Information Document.

Interval funds are taxed like any other mutual fund, depending on whether the underlying portfolio is pre-dominantly invested in equities or debt securities. If the fund invests 65% or more of its corpus in debt securities, it is taxed like a non-equity fund. Likewise, if the fund invests 65% or more in equities, it is taxed like an equity fund.

Multiple Yield FundsMultiple yield funds (MYFs) are hybrid debt-oriented funds that invest predominantly in debt instruments and to some extent in dividend-yielding equities

The debt instruments assist in generating returns with minimum risk and equities assist in long-term capital appreciation. MYFs invest predominantly in debt and money market instruments of short-to-medium-term residual maturities.

Dynamic Bond FundsDBFs invest in debt securities of different maturity profiles. These funds are actively managed and the portfolio varies dynamically according to the interest rate view of the fund managers. Such funds give the fund manager the flexibility to invest in short- or longer-term instruments based on his view on the interest rate movement. DBFs follow an active portfolio duration management strategy by keeping a close watch on various domestic and global macro-economic variables and interest rate outlook.

Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs)FMPs, as the name indicates, have a pre-determined maturity date (like a term deposit) and are close-ended debt mutual fund schemes. FMPs invest in debt instruments with a specific date of maturity, lesser than or equal to the maturity date of the scheme, also enjoy the status of debt funds. After the date of maturity, the investment is redeemed at current NAV and the maturity proceeds are paid back to the investors.

The tenure of an FMP may range from as low as 30 days to 60 months. Since the maturity date and the amount are known beforehand, the fund manager can invest with reasonable confidence, in securities that have a similar maturity as that of the scheme. Thus, if the tenure of the scheme is one year then the fund manager would invest in debt securities that mature just before a year. Unlike in other open ended funds, where one can buy and sell units from the mutual funds on an ongoing basis), no pre-mature redemptions are permitted in FMPs. Hence, the units of FMPs (being close ended schemes) are compulsorily listed on a stock exchange/s so that the investors may sell the units through stock exchange route in case of urgent liquidity needs.

Monthly Income Plans (MIPs)MIPs are hybrid schemes that invest in a combination of debt and equity securities, but are typically debt oriented mutual fund schemes, as they invest pre-dominantly in debt securities and a small portion (15-25 per cent) in equities.

MIPs offer regular income in the form of periodic (monthly, quarterly, half-yearly) dividend pay-outs. Hence MIPs are preferred option for investors seeking steady income flows. Under MIPs, monthly income or regular dividend is neither assured nor is it mandatory for mutual funds to pay at stated intervals, because in a mutual fund scheme, the dividend is paid at the discretion of the mutual fund and is subject to availability of distributable surplus from realised gains.

Due to the equity exposure, MIP returns can be volatile and may suffer losses, making dividend pay-outs irregular - both in quantum and frequency or even skip dividend payment. In spite of this, MIPs have a history of providing higher returns after adjusting for tax and hence can be a better option.

Investors wary of fluctuating income from MIPs' dividend option can opt for Growth Option and a systematic withdrawal plan, or SWP, which allows regular redemption of a pre-determined amount. An SWP under an MIP can work as a regular source of income for investors. SWP works better when a person invests a large sum.

Liquid Funds, as the name suggests, invest predominantly in highly liquid money market instruments and debt securities of very short tenure and hence provide high liquidity. They invest in very short-term instruments such as Treasury Bills (T-bills), Commercial Paper (CP), Certificates Of Deposit (CD) and Collateralized Lending & Borrowing Obligations (CBLO) that have residual maturities of up to 91 days to generate optimal returns while maintaining safety and high liquidity. Redemption requests in these Liquid funds are processed within one working (T+1) day.

The aim of the fund manager of a Liquid Fund is to invest only into liquid investments with good credit rating with very low possibility of a default. The returns typically take the back seat as protection of capital remains of utmost importance. Control over expenses in the form of low expense ratio, good overall credit quality of the portfolio and a disciplined approach to investing are some of the key ingredients of a good liquid fund.

Most retail customers prefer to keep their surplus cash in Savings Bank deposits as they consider the same to be safest and they could withdraw the money at any time. Liquid Funds and Money Market Mutual Funds provide a more attractive option. Surplus cash invested in money market mutual funds earns higher post-tax returns with a reasonable degree of safety of the principal invested and liquidity.

Liquid funds are preferred by investors to park their money for short periods of time typically 1 day to 3 months. Wealth managers suggest liquid funds as an ideal parking ground when you have a sudden influx of cash, which could be a huge bonus, sale of real estate and so on and you are undecided about where to deploy that money. Investors looking out for opportunities in equities and long-term fixed income instruments can also park their money in the liquid funds in the meantime. Many equity investors use liquid funds to stagger their investments into equity mutual funds using the Systematic Transfer Plan (STP), as they believe this method could yield higher returns.

Liquid Funds typically do not charge any exit loads. Investors are offered growth and dividend options. Within dividend option, investors can choose daily, weekly or monthly dividends depending on their investment horizon and investment amount. Redemption payment is typically made within one working day of placing the redemption request. With mutual funds going online, individual investors with small sums can look at Liquid funds as an effective short-term investment option over their savings bank account.

A balanced fund combines equity stock component, a bond component and sometimes a money market component in a single portfolio. Generally, these hybrid funds stick to a relatively fixed mix of stocks and bonds that reflects either a moderate, or higher equity, component, or conservative, or higher fixed-income, component orientation

These funds invest in a mix of equities and debt, giving the investor the best of both worlds. Balanced funds gain from a healthy dose of equities but the debt portion fortifies them against any downturn.

Balanced funds are suitable for a medium-term horizon and are ideal for investors who are looking for a mixture of safety, income and modest capital appreciation. The amounts this type of mutual fund invests into each asset class usually must remain within a set minimum and maximum.

Although they are in the "asset allocation" family, balanced fund portfolios do not materially change their asset mix. This is unlike life-cycle, target-date and actively managed asset-allocation funds, which make changes in response to an investor's changing risk-return appetite and age or overall investment market conditions.

EQUITIES AND INFLATIONInvestors who have dual investment objectives favour Balanced Funds. Typically, retirees or investors with low risk tolerance prefer these funds for growth that outpaces inflation and income that supplements current needs. While retirees generally scale back risk as age advances, many individuals recognize the need for equity exposure as life expectancies increase. Equities prevent erosion of purchasing power and help ensure long-term preservation of retirement corpus

INCOME NEEDSThe bond component of a balanced fund serves two purposes: creating an income stream and moderating portfolio volatility. Investment-grade bonds such as AAA corporate bonds and Money market instruments interest income from periodic payments, while large-company stocks offer dividend payouts to enhance yield. Retired investors may take distributions in cash to bolster income from pensions and personal savings.

Secondarily, bonds hold much less volatility than stocks. Bondholders have a claim against assets of a company while stocks represent ownership, bearing all inherent risk if bankruptcy occurs. Hence, debt security prices do not move in lockstep with equities, and their stability prevents wild swings in the share price of a balanced fund.

TAXATIONEquity-oriented Balanced funds have a larger portion of their corpus (at least 65%) invested in stocks and qualify for the same tax treatment as equity funds. This means any capital gains are tax-free, if the investment is held for more than one year. However, these funds are more volatile due to the higher allocation to stocks.

Debt-oriented balanced funds are less volatile and suit those with a lower risk appetite. However, they offer lower returns and the gains are not eligible for tax exemption. If the investment is held for less than three years, the capital gains are treated as short term and taxed at the normal rates. But if the holding period exceeds three years, the gains are considered as long term and are taxed at 20% after indexation benefit, which can significantly reduce the tax.

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  • 9 out of 10 individual traders in equity Futures and Options Segment, incurred net losses.
  • On an average, loss makers registered net trading loss close to ₹ 50,000.
  • Over and above the net trading losses incurred, loss makers expended an additional 28% of net trading losses as transaction costs.
  • Those making net trading profits, incurred between 15% to 50% of such profits as transaction cost.


1. SEBI study dated January 25, 2023 on “Analysis of Profit and Loss of Individual Traders dealing in equity Futures and Options (F&O) Segment”, wherein Aggregate Level findings are based on annual Profit/Loss incurred by individual traders in equity F&O during FY 2021-22.