Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Types of Mutual Funds

Value Funds: Value funds are those mutual funds that tend to focus on safety rather than growth, and often choose investments providing dividends as well as capital appreciation. They invest in companies that the market has overlooked, and stocks that have fallen out of favour with mainstream investors, either due to changing investor preferences, a poor quarterly earnings report, or hard times in a particular industry.
Growth Fund: Growth funds are those mutual funds that aim to achieve capital appreciation by investing in growth stocks. They focus on those companies, which are experiencing significant earnings or revenue growth, rather than companies that pay out dividends. Growth funds tend to look for the fastest-growing companies in the market. Growth managers are willing to take more risk and pay a premium for their stocks in an effort to build a portfolio of companies with above-average earnings momentum or price appreciation.
Large CapFunds: Large cap funds are those mutual funds, which seek capital appreciation by investing primarily in stocks of large blue chip companies with above-average prospects for earnings growth.
Mid Cap Funds: Mid cap funds are those mutual funds, which invest in medium sized companies. As there is no standard definition classifying companies as small or medium, each mutual fund has its own classification for small and medium sized companies. Generally, companies with a market capitalization of up to Rs 500 crore are classified as small. Those companies that have a market capitalization between Rs 500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore are classified as medium sized.
Small Cap Fund: Small cap funds are those which invest in small sized companies.
Index funds: An index fund is a a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund) that aims to replicate the movements of an index of a specific financial market. An Index fund follows a passive investing strategy called indexing. It involves tracking an index say for example, the Sensex or the Nifty and builds a portfolio with the same stocks in the same proportions as the index. The fund makes no effort to beat the index and in fact it merely tries to earn the same return.
Enhanced Index Funds: An enhanced index fund chooses selectively among the stocks in a particular index in order to produce a slightly higher return. By contrast, an index fund strives to mirror the performance of a particular index by owning all the stocks in the index.
Income Funds: A mutual fund that primarily seeks current income rather than growth of capital. It will tend to invest in stocks and bonds that normally pay high dividends and interest.  
Sector Mutual Funds: Sector mutual funds are those mutual funds that restrict their investments to a particular segment or sector of the economy. Also known as thematic funds, these funds concentrate on one industry such as infrastructure, banking, technology, energy, real estate, power heath care, FMCG, pharmaceuticals etc. The idea is to allow investors to place bets on specific industries or sectors, which have strong growth potential.
Balanced funds: Balanced fund is also known as hybrid fund. It is a type of mutual fund that buys a combination of common stock, preferred stock, bonds, and short-term bonds, to provide both income and capital appreciation while avoiding excessive risk.
Closed End Fund: A closed-end mutual fund has a set number of shares issued to the public through an initial public offering. These funds have a stipulated maturity period generally ranging from 3 to 15 years. The fund is open for subscription only during a specified period. Investors can invest in the scheme at the time of the initial public issue and thereafter they can buy or sell the units of the scheme on the stock exchanges where they are listed.
Open End Funds: Open end funds are operated by a mutual fund house which raises money from shareholders and invests in a group of assets, as per the stated objectives of the fund. Open-end funds raise money by selling shares of the fund to the public, in a manner similar to any other company, which sell its stock to raise the capital. An open-end mutual fund does not have a set number of shares. It continues to sell shares to investors and will buy back shares when investors wish to sell. Units are bought and sold at their current net asset value.
Exchange traded funds (ETFs): Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) represent a basket of securities that is traded on an exchange, similar to a stock. Hence, unlike conventional mutual funds, ETFs are listed on a recognised stock exchange and their units are directly traded on stock exchange during the trading hours. In ETFs, since the trading is largely done over stock exchange, there is minimal interaction between investors and the fund house. ETFs can be categorised into close-ended ETFs or open-ended ETFs.
Equity Mutual Funds: Equity mutual funds are also known as stock mutual funds. Equity mutual funds invest pooled amounts of money in the stocks of public companies. Stocks represent part ownership, or equity, in companies, and the aim of stock ownership is to see the value of the companies increase over time. Stocks are often categorized by their market capitalization (or caps), and can be classified in three basic sizes: small, medium, and large. Many mutual funds invest primarily in companies of one of these sizes and are thus classified as large-cap, mid-cap or small-cap funds.
Fund of Funds: A fund of funds (FoF) is an investment fund that holds a portfolio of other investment funds rather than investing directly in shares, bonds or other securities. This type of investment is also known as multi-manager investment. Fund of funds can be classified into: Mutual fund FoF and Hedge fund FoF.
International Mutual Fund: International mutual funds are those funds that invest in non-domestic securities markets throughout the world. Investing in international markets provides greater portfolio diversification and let you capitalize on some of the world's best opportunities. If investments are chosen carefully, international mutual fund may be profitable when some markets are rising and others are declining.
Money Market Funds: A money market fund is a mutual fund that invests solely in money market instruments. Money market instruments are forms of debt that mature in less than one year and are very liquid. Treasury bills make up the bulk of the money market instruments. Securities in the money market are relatively risk-free.
No-Load Mutual Funds: Mutual funds can be classified into two types - Load mutual funds and No-Load mutual funds. Load funds are those funds that charge commission at the time of purchase or redemption. They can be further subdivided into (1) Front-end load funds and (2) Back-end load funds.
Regional Mutual Funds: Regional mutual fund is a mutual fund that confines itself to investments in securities from a specified geographical area, usually, the fund's local region. A regional mutual fund generally looks to own a diversified portfolio of companies based in and operating out of its specified geographical area. The objective is to take advantage of regional growth potential before the national investment community does. They may be some regional funds whose objective is to invest in a specific segment of the region's economy, such as banking, energy etc.

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