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How to Invest in Mutual Funds?

Posted on 25-Mar-2024

6 min read

Transform your savings into wealth with our user-friendly guide on investing in mutual funds – the smart way to grow.

Table of Content

Investing in mutual funds can be a rewarding journey towards financial growth by following some of its guiding principles. If you are new to the world of investments, understanding the basics is crucial. Mutual funds pool money from various investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities. This provides an opportunity for individuals to participate in the financial markets without the need for in-depth market knowledge. 

In this guide, we provide a guide on how to invest in mutual funds. From selecting the right fund to understanding risk factors, this overview will equip you with the essentials for a successful investment journey.

How Do Mutual Funds Work?

Mutual funds function by consolidating investments from diverse individuals who share common investment goals, facilitated by an Asset Management Company (AMC). Subsequently, this pooled sum is strategically invested in accordance with the fund's specified investment objectives, which may involve securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments, commodities like precious metals, and similar assets.

The management of these funds is overseen by financial experts known as fund managers. These professionals work in alignment with the fund's designated investment objective, aiming to foster growth and appreciation of the invested amount for the benefit of investors.

To cover the costs associated with managing individual investments, AMCs levy an expense ratio. This ratio represents the annual maintenance fee charged for overseeing the funds. 

Investors accrue returns through regular dividends or interest and capital gains. Additionally, investors have the option to reinvest capital gains through a growth option or receive a steady income through the dividend option. In simpler terms, mutual funds represent a form of investment diversification.

How to Invest in Mutual Funds – Easy Steps to Follow

Here are 5 simple steps on how to start investing in mutual funds:

Step 1: Begin with risk profiling, i.e., understanding your risk appetite and capacity. It is crucial to understand the level of risk one can assume before delving into mutual fund investments.

Step 2: Post completing the risk profiling, the subsequent step involves asset allocation, where you need to diversify your funds among different asset classes. This allocation should encompass a blend of equity and debt instruments to maintain a balanced risk profile.

Step 3: The next step involves identifying funds that cater to each asset class. Subsequently, evaluating past performance or investment objectives can aid in comparing various mutual funds.

Step 4: Choose the specific mutual fund scheme you intend to invest in. You can then initiate the application process, either online or offline.

Step 5: Diversification of investments and consistent monitoring are vital to ensuring optimal results and maximizing profits.

How to Invest in Mutual Funds Online?

It is crucial to understand the process of investing in mutual funds through online channels. Investing in mutual funds online is a straightforward and quick procedure. It can be accomplished in one of following two approaches:

1. Creating an Account on the Official AMC Website:

The official website of the Asset Managment Company showcases a variety of mutual funds in different categories available for investment. To invest, you simply need to follow the instructions provided on the fund house's official website, complete all the required information, and submit the necessary details.

The Know Your Customer (KYC) process can also be conducted online (e-KYC), requiring only your Aadhaar number and Permanant Account Number (PAN). The information you provide undergoes verification on the backend, and upon successful validation, you can start your investment journey.

2. Through the AMC’s Mobile App:

To ease and quicken the process of investing in mutual funds, AMCs offer the convenience of mobile applications, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Both the AMCs' dedicated mobile apps and third-party mutual fund aggregators' platforms serve as avenues for investing in mutual funds.

The app enables investors to invest in mutual fund schemes, access account statements, execute buy or sell transactions, and retrieve other pertinent details about their investment portfolio. Additionally, investors can explore and invest in various funds offered by different fund houses. 

Additionally, you can invest in mutual funds offline, as AMCs continue to offer this option through their branches.

Things to Consider Before Investing in Mutual Funds

Once your account is set up, and you are aware of all associated costs, the next step in investing in Mutual Funds is selecting the appropriate fund. Here are some key considerations:

1. Identify Goals: 

Define your investment goals, whether it's for a new house, car, wedding, child’s education, retirement, vacation, etc. It is important that you have a clear picture of how much funds you want to accumulate and the duration required to achieve the goal.

2. Choose the Right Fund: 

Research thoroughly as the market offers numerous options. Evaluate funds based on your investment objective, risk appetite, and affordability. Seek assistance from a financial advisor if needed before you invest in mutal funds.

3. Evaluate the Investment Risks:

It is crucial to understand that each funds comes with its unique set of risks. High-return schemes often entail higher risks. It is prident to choose equity schemes if you have a high-risk appetite and want potential high returns, or choose debt schemes for lower risk with moderate returns.

4. Keep KYC Documents Updated:

KYC complaince is mandatory for mutual fund investments. Ensure your KYC is updated with a PAN card and valid address proof. Invest wisely and consider these factors to make informed decisions.

Costs Involved in Mutual Fund Investment:

Here are the expenses related to mutual fund investments that you should understand for a healthy investment journey:

1. Expense Ratio:

The expense ratio represents the proportion of average assets under management utilized for covering various expenses incurred by the AMC. These expenses include administrative costs, fund management, distribution, and other operational expenditures essential for running their businesses.

2. One-Time Charge/Transaction Fee:

Investors may be required to pay a nominal transaction fee. No transaction fee is imposed for investments below Rs. 10,000, although this may vary depending on the specific AMC.

Exit Load:

An exit load is applied when an investor withdraws funds before a specified holding period. The charge levied to discourage short-term trading. Exit load is calculated as a percentage of the prevailing Net Asset Value (NAV) of the scheme.

Securities Transaction Tax (STT) :

The STT is levied on the purchase or sale of mutual funds. It is designed to discourage excessive speculation in the stock market and to generate revenue for the government. Since it is collected by stock exchanges or depositors, it is typically borne by the investor. Here is the STT rates for different mutual fund schemes:
  • Close-ended schemes and ETFs: 0.001% of the traded value
  • Open-ended equity-oriented schemes: 0.25% of the traded value
  • Debt Mutual Fund units: No STT

Stamp Duty:

Stamp duty is levied on the issuance and transfer of mutual funds, regardless of whether the units are held in Demat or physical form. This direct tax is imposed by the government. Here are the stamp duty charges in different cases: 
  • Purchases, fresh instalments in existing SIPs and STPs, Switch-in, and Dividend reinvestment transactions: 0.005%
  • Transfer of units from one Demat to another and off-market transfers: 0.015%


In conclusion, investing in mutual funds offers a pathway to financial growth for both beginners and seasoned investors. Understanding the basics, such as risk profiling and asset allocation, lays a solid foundation for a successful investment journey. 

Utilizing online platforms or traditional methods, investors can easily access a diverse range of funds to match their investment objectives and risk tolerance. Crucial considerations include setting clear goals, choosing suitable funds, and staying informed about associated costs. With prudent decision-making and diligence in monitoring investments, mutual funds serve as a valuable tool for wealth accumulation and financial security.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about investing in mutual funds.

1. What are the first steps I should take to start investing in mutual funds?

Begin by idetifying your investment goals and assessing your risk appetite. This will help you determine the type of mutual fund that best suits your needs.

2. How do I choose the right mutual fund for my investment objectives?

Explore various mutual fund options that align with your goals and risk profile. Consider different fund categories like equity, debt, and hybrid funds, and select one that matches your investment horizon and risk tolerance.

3. Is it advisable to invest in multiple mutual funds?

Investing in a variety of mutual funds can be a good strategy for diversification, helping to spread risk and potentially improve returns. However, it's important to ensure that the overall investment portfolio aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

4. How frequently should I review my mutual fund investments?

Regular review of your mutual fund investments is important to ensure they continue to meet your financial goals and adapt to any changes in the market. Periodic assessments can inform decisions about rebalancing or adjusting your investment strategy.

5. Can I switch my investments from one mutual fund to another?

Yes, you have the flexibility to switch between mutual funds. This might be necessary due to changes in your investment goals, risk appetite, or shifts in market conditions. Be aware of any potential charges or tax implications associated with such switches.


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