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    By: Bijan Biswal
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    By: Bijan Biswal
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    Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are both based on the concept of pooled fund investing and follow a passive, indexed strategy to track or replicate representative benchmark indices. Pooled funds pool securities to provide investors with a more diverse portfolio. The pooled fund concept primarily provides diversity and economies of scale, allowing managers to reduce transaction costs by using pooled investment funds to conduct big lot share transactions.

    Mutual Funds:

    In 1924, MFS Investment Management launched the first mutual fund in the United States. Since then, mutual funds have offered investors a diverse range of pooled fund options. While some mutual funds are administered passively, many investors seek them out for the added value they can provide under an actively managed approach. Active management, rather than simply following an index, is the fundamental differential for these investors, as they rely on a professional manager to design an optimal portfolio.

    Mutual funds, as the premier actively managed investment alternative, have some additional complexity. Management costs for mutual funds are often greater since managers have a more challenging job choosing the appropriate securities to meet the portfolio's strategy. Mutual funds have also been a part of the full-service brokerage transaction process for a long time. The fundamental objective for the structure of share classes is to provide a full-service offering, which may also include certain additional fee concerns.

    Mutual funds are designed to be available in a variety of share classes. Each share class has its own fee structure, which requires the investor to pay a broker various forms of sales loads. Different forms of operational fees apply to different share classes.

    The expense ratio is a thorough representation of a mutual fund's operational fees to the investor. Management fees, operational expenses, and 12b-1 fees make up the expense ratio. 12b-1 fees are a key distinction between mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

    To cover the expense of selling the mutual fund through full-service brokerage agreements, 12b-1 fees are required. 3 Because the 12b-1 fees are not required for ETFs, the mutual fund expense ratio may be significantly higher.

    An investor's understanding of mutual fund pricing is also critical. The price of mutual funds is determined by their net asset value (NAV), which is calculated at the end of each trading day. Standard open-end mutual funds can only be purchased and sold at their NAV, which means that an investor placing a trade during the trading day must wait for the final price to be determined before completing their transaction.

    Exchange-traded fund (ETF):

    The first exchange-traded fund (ETF) was created in 1993 to monitor the S&P 500 index, and by the end of 2017, there were over 3,400 ETFs. Regulations required these funds to be passively managed with securities that tracked an index. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shortened its ETF clearance procedure in 2008, allowing actively managed ETFs for the first time.

    ETFs have long been popular among index investors looking to acquire exposure to a specific market segment while also benefiting from sector diversity. Smart-beta funds have grown in popularity in recent years, with assets increasing by roughly 20% annually for the past five years. A smart beta ETF is a form of customised index product based on a factor-based index technique that is available through ETFs. This customization allows investors to choose between index options with certain fundamental qualities that can outperform in many circumstances. ETF options have widened as smart beta index funds have evolved, providing investors with a wider range of passive ETF options.

    Fees are another key factor for ETF investors to consider. Sales load fees are not charged on ETFs. If a commission is necessary for trading them, investors will pay it, though many ETFs trade for free. When it comes to operating cost, ETFs differ from mutual funds in several ways.

    For a variety of reasons, ETF expenditures are typically lower. Because many ETFs are passive funds that do not require stock analysis from the fund manager, they offer reduced management fees. Because less trading is required, transaction fees are usually lower. As previously stated, ETFs do not impose 12b-1 fees, lowering the overall expense ratio.

    ETFs have a different pricing structure than mutual funds. When comparing the two, this is a crucial factor to consider. ETFs, like stocks, trade on exchanges throughout the day. Many investors want real-time trading and transaction activity in their portfolio, thus this active trading may appeal to them. Overall, an ETF's price reflects the real-time pricing of the securities in its portfolio.

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    Taxes (Special Considerations):

    Mutual funds and ETFs are taxed in the same way that any other investment is taxed. When selling their shares for a profit, investors must pay either the short-term or long-term capital gains tax. Short-term capital gains apply to stocks that have been held for less than a year before being sold. The profit from shares sold after a year or longer is included in long-term taxes.

    Short-term taxes are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Long-term capital gains are taxed at different rates based on the investor's ordinary income tax bracket: 0%, 15%, or 20%. 7 Dividends received from mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) must also be taxed. Ordinary dividends are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Long-term capital gains rates apply to qualified dividends.

    Because mutual funds pay capital gains distributions to investors, they often have significant tax implications. Taxes apply to the capital distributions made by the mutual fund. Because ETFs rarely pay out capital distributions, they can provide a small tax benefit.

    This benefit vanishes for investors who put their money in a tax-advantaged vehicle like a 401(k). Contributions to 401(k)s and other eligible plans are tax-deferred. Deposited funds are not subject to income tax, up to specific yearly restrictions. Furthermore, the account's investments can grow tax-free and trades are not subject to taxes.

    There are several risks and rewards of mutual funds-



    Regular Income Generation

    Portfolio Diversification

    Economy of Investment

    Fulfilment of Financial Goals

    Tax Benefits




    Liquidity Risk

    Macroeconomic Risk

    Credit Risk

    Interest Rate Risk

    There are 8 types of mutual funds based on risk-

    1- Debt funds

    2- Equity funds

    3- Money Market funds

    4- Index funds

    5- Income funds

    6- Balanced funds

    7- Fund of funds

    8- Speciality funds

    Sometimes, people ask that Can we invest in mutual funds through banks?

    The answer is yes. You can invest directly in fund schemes that you want to invest in at your bank through a Demat and Online Trading Account: If you have a demat account, you can use it to purchase and sell mutual fund schemes.


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Bijan BiswalThursday , June 10 , 2021


    Mr Bijan is the man behind www.paisababu.com. He is a well qualified (B.com, MCA, MBA, LLB ) and entrepreneur having more than 20 years expertise in Business. He engaged in blogging for many years. Paisababu.com blog is ranked as one of the Top Personal Finance Blog in India. He is not affiliated with any financial product, service provider, agent or broker. The purpose of this blog is to spread financial awareness and help people in achieving excellence for money.to make ware people about various financial products in India for their use. Please note that the views expressed on this Blog/Comments are clarifications meant for reference and guidance of the readers to explore further on the topics. These should not be construed as investment advice or legal opinion.

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