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1. How do I invest in a mutual fund scheme?

If you are positively looking to invest just keep your eyes open you will find information about new schemes through print and TV advt. alternatively, you can also contact a mutual fund agent and distributors. They will help you with additional information, filling up relevant forms and applying for the scheme.

2. What should I look for in an offer document?

Answer : An offer document contains useful information about the scheme required to be given to the prospective investors by the mutual fund. An investor should look for the main features of the scheme, risk factors, initial issue expenses, recurring expenses charged to the scheme, entry or exit loads, sponsor’s track record, educational qualification and work experience of key personnel including fund managers. More importantly, you may also want to check the performance of other schemes launched by the mutual fund in the past.

3. How do mutual funds generate returns on my investments?

Answer : Mutual fund generate returns from your investment in three ways. A fund may receive income in the form of dividends and interest on the securities it owns. A fund will pay its shareholders nearly all of the income it has earned in the form of dividends. Secondly, the price of the securities a fund owns may increase. When a fund sells a security that has appreciated, the fund makes a gain. Most fund houses usually distribute these gains in the form of dividends. Lastly, if a fund does not sell but holds on to securities that have appreciated, the value of its NAV increases. A higher NAV reflects a higher value of investment. If you decide to sell your units, you will earn by making a profit.

4. How do I get to know where my money has been invested?

Answer : By law mutual fund are required to disclose full portfolios of all their schemes on a half-yearly basis. They publish these in leading newspapers. Some mutual fund even send the portfolios to their unit holders. The scheme’s portfolio shows investment made in each security viz. equity, debentures, money market instrument, government securities and other. You also get to know their proportions, market value and NAVs. These portfolio statements are also required to disclose illiquid securities in the portfolio, investment made in rated and unrated debt securities, non- performing assets etc.