The Skinny on Mutual Fund Investing

Mutual fund investing is a lot like Thai cooking. Everyone has heard of it, most know a little something about it, but very few actually know how to do it and do it well. To invest in mutual funds wisely, it is important to have a good grasp on what mutual funds are, how they work, and what the risks involved may be. The fact that mutual fund investments are often considered safer than stocks, options, and other investments often misleads people to think that their investment in mutual funds are risk free. This, as you will see, is not the case.

The Risks of Mutual Fund Investing

First of all, mutual fund investments are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal insurance program or government agency. Even in cases where mutual funds are purchased through a bank (some may even bear the name of the bank), it is possible to lose money when mutual fund investing. Also mutual fund investments come with costs and fees that can affect the amount of return you receive on a mutual fund investment. It is important to know the costs of mutual fund investing before buying the funds. The Securities and Exchange Commission offers an online mutual fund investment cost calculator at its website which allows potential mutual fund investors to investigate the costs associated with the mutual fund they are interested in.

What is a Mutual Fund Anyway?

A mutual fund is actually a company that operates by taking money from a group of investors (all those that buy the fund) and then invests it in stocks or bonds, short term money market instruments, securities, options, or some combination of these investments. If the investments pay off, the investors make money. Because most mutual funds are run by people with a certain amount of financial savvy and stock market experience, mutual fund investing is often considered rather safe, but the potential for loss is real and must be considered.

Mutual fund investing can be advantageous because there are a number of federal regulations in place that are designed to protect investors. The actual investments that the fund makes are watched closely by market analysts and financial managers whose job it is to make appropriate decisions regarding the mutual fund's investments. The downsides include costs, taxes, and fees which must be paid regardless of how the fund performs.

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In The News:

Here are the mutual fund favourites in April  MoneycontrolMaximum month-on-month change in value was seen in TCS, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Stock markets @ record high: 3 tips for mutual fund investors  Times NowNew Delhi: Stock markets grab all eyeballs when the headline equity indices hit record highs or near the previous all-time high levels. From traders to long-term ...
A young investor’s guide to mutual funds  Economic TimesMany young investors, who are barely a year or two old in their career, are eager to start investing in mutual funds. ETMutualFunds.com receive many queries on ...
Large cap index mutual funds continue to outshine actively-managed large cap schemes  Economic TimesLarge cap index funds are outperforming the actively-managed large cap mutual fund schemes in the past one-year period. Kotak NV 20 ETF is topping the ...
D-Street’s mandate not clear yet, best to stagger your bets: Experts  Economic TimesThe return of the BJPled NDA government has eased political uncertainties on Dalal Street but that should not be a reason for investors to put money in stocks in ...
Stocks vs Mutual Funds: Which is a Better Option to Invest?  EntrepreneurStocks and Mutual Funds have their own set of hiccups, which are better to know before making your investments.
Reliance Capital to exit MF biz, use funds to cut debt  Economic TimesMumbai: Reliance Capital, the financial services business of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group (ADAG), has decided to exit mutual funds by selling its entire ...
Why do wealth managers recommend multi cap mutual funds?  Economic TimesMany wealth managers believe multi-cap funds are a good starting point for long-term investors, specially those using SIPs for wealth creation.
Finance Ministry to launch ETF with bank stocks, fin institutions this fiscal  LivemintAfter the resounding success of CPSE ETF and Bharat-22 ETF, the govt is looking at diversifying the ETF basket by including stocks PSU banks, financial ...
Markets show they're finally waking up to global wall of worry  Economic TimesThe move against Huawei has forced market participants to ditch the rose-tinted glasses.
Investing in mutual funds? Size of fund doesn't matter  Economic TimesA bigger MF is not always a better fund. If you come across a well-performing small fund, invest in it.
Hot and Cold Stocks of Mutual Funds in April 2019  MoneylifeIn April 2019, Larsen & Toubro and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation(HPCL) were the most preferred stocks of Indian mutual funds.
Vetri Subramaniam, UTI Mutual Fund, talks about which stock segments he favours now  Economic TimesIndia's growth trajectory has been consistent over the past two decades and many firms have performed well across cycles, Vetri Subramaniam, Group President ...
FinMin to launch ETF with bank stocks, financial institutions this fiscal  Moneycontrol.comThe Finance Ministry is planning to launch an exchange traded fund (ETF) consisting of stocks of PSU banks and financial institutions this fiscal and will soon ...
Sebi allows mutual funds in exchange traded commodity derivatives  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Tuesday allowed mutual funds to participate in exchange-traded commodity derivatives ...
Indians won’t invest in stocks, debt till election 2019 ends  QuartzInvestors in India are waiting the election out. In April, inflows into equity mutual funds (MFs) dipped to their lowest levels since January 2017, according to data ...
How concentrated is your mutual fund portfolio?  LivemintA concentrated portfolio can backfire badly if the fund manager's strategy goes wrong.A portfolio with few stocks can fall sharply if share prices of most stocks in ...
What to buy now? Brokerages pitch over 30 stocks to ride Modi 2.0 wave  Moneycontrol.comWith the Modi government back in the saddle, the focus of the market will shift to the growth cycle, with RBI expected to be more accommodative.
As market prepares for Modi 2.0, here are 13 stocks to invest in for five years  Moneycontrol.comEarly trends put NDA in a comfortable position to form the government that has, to an extent, already been factored by the market after exit polls.
Retail Investors Should Take Exposure To Midcap Stocks Through Mutual Fund Route: Ankit Jain, Mirae Asset Global Investments  BW BusinessworldIn an interview with BW Businessworld, Ankit Jain, Fund Manager, Mirae Asset Global Investments (India), talks about Consumption led funds, lending rates and ...
MF holdings of auto stocks at record low: Motilal Oswal study  BusinessLineMutual funds' holdings of auto sector stocks stood at a record low in April, finds a study by broking house Motilal Oswal Securities. The weightage of the auto ...
What netas invest in: mutual funds, Reliance, KF shares  Deccan HeraldFixed deposits and tax-free bonds seem to be among the most favoured financial investments for the political leaders fighting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, while ...
How Vanguard Patented a Way to Avoid Taxes on Mutual Funds  BloombergControversial heartbeat trades help the funds avoid taxable gains.
7 Smart Mutual Funds for Income Investing | Dividends  U.S. News & World ReportThese funds offer management and strategy rather than following a specific index.
Monetary policy and Budget could be game changers for markets in the near term  Moneycontrol.comThere can be minor bumps and bouts of profit booking due to the elevated levels, but events like monetary policy and Budget can be game changers which can ...
Stay away from stock tips  LivemintIf taming the stock market was easy, everyone would do it.Losing money in market is real and facing volatility is part of the deal.
Holding of mutual funds in private lenders at a fresh high in April  Business StandardThe holding of mutual funds (MFs) in private banks saw its weightage increase to a new high of 19.3 per cent in April — the seventh straight month of increase.
More active managers are beating the stock market again thanks to the trade war: Goldman Sachs  MarketWatchActive stock pickers are having one of their best years since the financial crisis, and these money managers can thank rising U.S.-China trade tensions for their ...
Equity funds record highest ever exposure in banking stocks in March 2019  Business TodayAs per the latest data available from the SEBI, overall deployment of equity funds in bank stocks grew around 52 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in the month ...
FPIs pull out Rs 4,375 crore in May so far  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: Foreign investors have pulled out a net amount of Rs 4,375 crore from the Indian capital markets in May so far, driven by global and domestic ...
These new retirement tips can improve your saving and spending decisions  MarketWatchBest New Ideas in Retirement series offers solid, straightforward help with your plans.
What Type of Mutual Fund Schemes Should You Invest in? Know Here  News18Equity funds are mutual funds which invest majorly in equity stocks of listed companies. They are considered to be risky but they tend to give higher returns in the ...
For new investors, starting SIP in Nifty50 and Nifty Next 50 is ideal: HDFC Securities  Moneycontrol.comFor *fresh* investors, starting with SIP in Nifty 50 and Nifty Next 50 is ideal. On the way, they have to learn about evaluating stocks and their valuations, Deepak ...
IT, pharma and telecom top sectoral picks for MFs in April  Economic TimesIn the absence of earnings growth triggers, which has shrunk the universe of investible ideas, leading fund houses have resorted to selling more of a part of their ...
Mutual Fund Update: Stocks that attracted fund managers in April 2019  Dalal Street Investment JournalIf we look at the March 2019 data, then the energy sector was the one that featured on top of the buying done by the fund managers. However, the story in the ...
Invest in These 4 Thrivent Mutual Funds for Great Returns  NasdaqThrivent Mutual Funds is part of Thrivent Financial and had more than $134 billion worth of assets under management as of December 2018. It serves at.
Reliance MF writes down debt exposure to 2 other ADAG firms  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Reliance Mutual Fund (RMF) said late on Sunday it was writing down the value of its holdings in Reliance Commercial Finance (RCFL) and Reliance ...
Liquidity Scare: NBFC stocks slide on fears of spillover  Economic TimesAny default or downgrades in NBFC space will have a cascading impact on the entire sector.
Golden Cross | Midcap and small cap indices are set for fresh bull trend, says ICICI Direct  Moneycontrol.comNifty midcap and small-cap indices are witnessing the Golden Cross phenomenon, indicating a bullish shift in trend direction, along with the maturity of 14-month ...
A Look At How To Ride Out Stock Market Storms  NPREscalating trade wars and volatile markets cause some investors to make hasty decisions that can lead to financially damaging decisions. But there are ways to ...
Stop! Too many stocks, mutual funds are not good for you; Buying too many may not get you more  The Financial ExpressHandling the overall risk of investments is crucial, but not at the cost of not meeting your financial goals. Over-diversification can do this.
Bech de kya? How to answer this question in stock market  Economic TimesThe phone rang. And I was not surprised. This name always lights up my phone screen when the market hits a new level – high or low. And the question is ...
Forget Warren Buffett: This fund manager has walloped the stock market over the past decade  MarketWatchWhen the “Woodstock of Capitalism” took place a few weeks ago, aka Berkshire Hathaway's BRK.A, -0.37% BRK.B, +0.19% annual meeting, the Warren Buffett ...
Shadow banks feel sting as mutual funds cut exposure  Economic TimesMF investments in commercial paper and bonds dropped to Rs 3.24 lakh crore at the end of March.
People Want to Buy Uber Stock  Bloomberg“Uber IPO Is Oversubscribed by Day Two of Roadshow,” it says here, but I would say that Uber Technologies Inc.'s initial public offering was oversubscribed by ...
China Stocks at the Mercy of Foreigners Like Never Before  BloombergThe record pace of foreign selling in China's equities matters now more than ever. While overseas traders are quickly souring on yuan assets, they've also never ...
What Makes Berkshire Hathaway Shares Better Than an Actively Managed Mutual Fund?  Motley FoolTo start with, the company is a lot more than Warren Buffett's carefully selected stock portfolio.
For First-time Investors, Here's All You Need to Know about About Mutual Funds  News18It is that time of the year again when the question of where to invest your money clouds your head. If you are a new investor planning to put in money in mutual ...
3 Japan Funds to Gain From a Robust Economy  NasdaqJapan has showcased resilience in times of global economic slowdown. Its first-quarter GDP nudged up, putting to rest speculation about an impending.
Best And Worst Q2 2019: Technology ETFs And Mutual Funds  Seeking AlphaThe Technology sector ranks eighth in Q2 2019. Based on an aggregation of ratings of 430 stocks in the Technology sector. TDIV is our top-rated Technology ...
Stocks post decade-high weekly gains  DAWN.comKARACHI: Investors heaved a sigh of relief as the stock market posted recovery after snapping the seven-successive-week selling spree that had seen the ...
Top 10 stocks that mutual fund managers bought and sold in March 2019  Moneycontrol.comData for equity flows into mutual funds for March came as a breather after a weak February. An increase in net inflows in equity and income category led to the ...
Best And Worst Q2 2019: Healthcare ETFs And Mutual Funds  Seeking AlphaThe Healthcare sector ranks fifth in Q2'19. Based on an aggregation of ratings of 325 stocks in the Healthcare sector. PJP is our top-rated Healthcare sector ET.
Millennials, Don't Let This 1 Mistake Ruin Your Financial Future  The Motley FoolThe Great Recession had a huge impact on every generation, but perhaps none more so than millennials who came of age during this challenging time.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance: Vanguard is offer new fund focusing on environmental, social and governance characteristics  Richmond.comIn another sign that sustainable investing is here to stay, Vanguard announced it would launch its first actively managed fund with a focus on environmental, ...
What India's top three mutual funds bought and sold in March  Economic TimesIndias largest money manager held 1.5 trillion rupees in equities.
The Wild Frauds Are the Good Ones  BloombergThere seem to be two basic approaches to financial fraud. One approach is to pretend to do a real thing as accurately as possible, with the minimum necessary ...
Stocks gain 7.65pc in outgoing week on attractive valuations  The News InternationalAfter a decade, the benchmark KSE-100 shares index recorded the highest weekly gain of 7.65 percent or 2537 points, mainly owing to clarity on the interest ...
Can mutual funds give multibagger returns like stocks?  Economic TimesStocks can be multibaggers. They can offer extraordinary returns in a very short period. Can mutual funds ever do that? This was a question thrown at Rajeev ...
Wall Street Isn’t Buying What Silicon Valley Is Selling  The Wall Street JournalPrivate investments in six of the 10 best-funded U.S. tech startups to go public since 2015 have fallen from the peak levels they hit in funding rounds before the ...
5 of the Best Vanguard Funds to Buy  Investorplace.comAnother year, another batch of jaw-dropping inflows to Vanguard exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds. Focusing on ETFs for a moment, as of May 17, ...
Govt tweaks rules, increases limit to disclose investment in stocks, mutual funds for employees  Economic TimesNew Delhi: The Centre has increased the over 26-year-old monetary limit on disclosure of investment in shares and mutual funds by employees to six months of ...
I want to invest Rs 1 crore in stocks and mutual funds for 5 years. How should I invest?  Economic TimesYou may consider the following asset allocation: 40% in large-caps; 40% in large and mid-cap, or multi-caps; and remaining 20% in mid- and small-cap funds.
10 Rules for Financial Success  Barron'sThe true measure of financial success isn't how much money you make—it's how much you keep. That's a function of how well you're able to save money, ...
7 stocks most favoured by mutual funds over last one year  Economic TimesAs the markets hit a speed bump, stocks favoured by mutual funds appear to be safer bets.
Active mutual funds fail to reflect index gains  Economic TimesThe Nifty, which has hit all-time highs for the second time in April, has advanced 12% in the last one year. But these gains are yet to reflect in many mutual funds' ...
Mutual funds or direct equity investment – which is better?  Economic TimesOne big question that often dogs investors is which investing option should they opt for: mutual fund or direct equity? Katalyst Wealth's Ekansh Mittal ends your ...
Mutual Funds increase holding in ‘attractively valued’ oil & gas stocks  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Mutual funds have been adding shares of oil and gas companies such as GAIL, HPCL, BPCL and ONGC over the last few months, encouraged by ...
Mutual funds shooting themselves in the foot?  Economic TimesWhat if banks take a leaf out of Kotak and HDFC Mutual Funds' decision to direct investors to come another day to get their money instead of paying them on the ...
Mutual funds bet big on these 30 stocks in November; do you own any?  Moneycontrol.comThe Indian equity market rose about 5 percent in November but what was more heartening to see was inflows into mutual funds. Investors pumped Rs 1.4 lakh ...
Mutual funds sell several blue chips stocks, buy mid-caps in March  Business StandardDomestic money managers were seen pruning their holdings in several blue-chip stocks, including Reliance Industries (RIL) and Housing Development Finance ...
What top 5 money managers bought and sold in February  Economic TimesFebruary was the fourth consecutive month of decline in net investment into equity mutual funds.
As equity mutual funds' returns turn negative, debt outperforms  Economic TimesGains of 13% in the Sensex have not benefited equity fund investors, for whom returns in traditional debt funds investing in government bonds may have been ...
Why your core equity portfolio should be in index mutual funds  Economic TimesInvestors flock to the performing fund “after” it has beaten the index. Fund selection is not an exact science, and there will be hits and misses.
27-year-old rule changed: Disclosure limit on MF, stock investment up for bureaucrats  Economic TimesGroup A and B officials had to intimate government if total transaction in shares or MFs exceeded Rs 50K.
Here’s a better tool to judge mutual fund performance than simple 1-year, 3-year returns  Economic TimesOne invests in mutual funds to earn potentially higher returns than those in traditional investment products, and I'm sure everyone looks at the one-year, ...
What top mutual funds bought and sold last month  LivemintMumbai: Inflows into Indian equity mutual funds in January were the smallest in two years as heightened market volatility and political uncertainty cooled ...
Should I increase investments in mutual funds once I have more money to invest?  Economic TimesI am a 19-year-old student. I want to invest Rs 2,500 per month in mutual funds for 7-8 years. Can I increase the investment amount with time—once I have more ...
Check out what top five mutual funds bought & sold during October selloff  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: Mutual funds stood resilient as industry's asset base increased to Rs 22.23 lakh crore in October in spite of a heavy correction in the domestic ...
New SIP investors feel the pain as equity fund returns disappoint  Economic TimesSip by sip: That's how the average Indian had a taste of equities in the past couple of years. But the steady road to riches, which involved monthly mutual fund ...
These are fertile grounds for long-term stock pickers, says Samir Rachh of Reliance Mutual Fund  Economic TimesSmall cap funds are going through a rough patch after a bull run in 2017. etmutualfunds.com spoke to Samir Rachh, fund manager, Reliance Small Cap Fund, ...
Mutual funds garner over Rs 65,000 crore in Jan  Economic TimesMUMBAI: The mutual fund industry added assets worth Rs 65,439 crore in January 2019, taking total assets under management to Rs 23.37 lakh crore.
Why it is a bad idea to always look for outperformers while investing in mutual funds  Economic TimesOne of the most important features that any investor, wealth adviser or anyone in the financial media looks for in an investment product is its track record in ...
How stocks picked by mutual funds over 2014 to 2017 have performed  Economic TimesWhile the most wanted stocks of 2014 and 2015 have done well, the recent picks have disappointed.
Diversify equity portfolio with international funds  Economic TimesAs a part of diversifying your equity portfolio, wealth managers believe investors should diversify geographically using mutual funds. They can do this by ...
Debt mutual funds with Zee exposure send investors into a tizzy  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Worries about the prospects of debt mutual funds holding securities of Subhash Chandra's Essel Group entities have resurfaced after Kotak Mutual ...
Top 30 stocks that fund managers bought & sold in March; do you own any?  Moneycontrol.comData for equity flows into a mutual funds for March came as a breather after a weak February. Increase in net inflows in equity and income category led to the ...
Quantum Mutual Fund uses cash pile to buy stocks cheap  Economic TimesQuantum Long Term Equity Value Fund, where value investing is the pronounced fund allocation theme, has brought down the level of cash at its plan to the ...
BJP’s Amit Shah has diversified stock investment portfolio; Rahul Gandhi prefers mutual funds  Economic TimesShah held shares worth Rs 17.56 cr as of March 22, while Gandhi has MFs worth Rs 5.19 cr.
Three large mutual funds opposed to L&T’s takeover of Mindtree  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Three large mutual funds holding shares of Mindtree are opposed to L&T's hostile takeover attempt of the mid-sized software company.
Mutual funds' exposure to banks hits 3-month low of Rs 1.88 lakh crore in Sept  Economic TimesMutual funds' holding of banking stocks declined by over Rs 21,600 crore to Rs 1.88 lakh crore in September, driven by the correction in equity markets.
Financial planners recommend new fund from Mirae Mutual Fund  Economic TimesConsistent performance of the existing equity mutual fund schemes at Mirae has prompted financial planners to suggest the Mirae Asset Focused Fund to ...
Mutual funds may need smart bets on smallcap stocks to beat ETF show  Economic TimesSmallcap stocks could see up to ₹1 lakh cr inflow as fund managers look for potential winners: Analysts.
Flows to equity mutual funds rebound as rally spurs risk appetite  Economic TimesStock funds took in about 118 billion rupees ($1.7 billion), the highest since October.
What India's top three mutual funds bought and sold in February  LivemintMUMBAI: Inflows into Indian equity mutual funds in February were the smallest in more than two years as savers held back investments amid market volatility ...
At least 100 MF schemes own these stocks; that should mean something, right?  Economic TimesDomestic institutional investors have become one of the key market drivers in recent years.
How income from stocks and mutual funds are taxed for an individual  Moneycontrol.comCapital gains from transfer of unlisted share are considered as STCG where period of holding is less than or equal to 24 months, and LTCG when holding period ...
Best small cap mutual funds to invest in 2019  Economic TimesHere is the monthly update on our recommended small cap mutual fund schemes. We are happy to inform you that there are no changes in the recommendation ...
What India's top three MFs bought and sold in January  Economic TimesStock funds took in a net Rs 6160 crore, the least since January 2017.
Top fund houses are busy lapping up PSUs; what’s behind this new-found love  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: India's top three mutual funds, which manage over Rs 9 lakh crore in debt and equity assets, added a number of PSU stocks to their schemes in ...

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