What is capital loss?

The journey of investing isn’t always smooth sailing. Sometimes, investors encounter setbacks in the form of capital losses. While the dream is to see your investments flourish, understanding capital loss meaning is crucial for making responsible financial decisions.

What is capital loss?

A capital loss occurs when you sell an investment for less than what you originally paid for it. This difference between the purchase price and selling price represents the capital loss on your investment.

What is capital loss in mutual fund?

Just like individual stocks, mutual funds can also experience capital losses. This can happen due to various factors, such as:

Market downturns: When the overall market declines, the value of the underlying assets in the fund, like stocks or bonds, also decreases, leading to a lower NAV and potential capital losses for investors.

Changes in interest rates: Bond-heavy funds are particularly sensitive to interest rate changes. Rising interest rates can lead to a decrease in the value of existing bonds, potentially causing capital losses for the fund.

Fund management: While rare, certain investment decisions made by the fund manager could lead to potential losses if the market doesn't respond as expected.

Along with the capital loss definition, it is imperative to talk about the impact of capital losses and how to manage them. It's important to remember that capital losses are only realised when you sell your investment. If you hold onto your fund units despite a temporary decline in NAV, the loss remains unrealised on paper. However, even unrealised losses can impact your investment decisions and emotional well-being.

While capital losses are an inevitable part of investing, there are strategies to mitigate their impact:

Long term investing: A long term investment horizon allows you to ride out short-term market fluctuations and potentially recover from losses over time.

Diversification: Spreading your investments across different asset classes and funds can help mitigate the impact of losses in any single area.


While capital loss is a vital metric, one should ideally avoid letting it sway one’s investment choices. Prioritise assessing the fund's holistic performance and investment strategy for a comprehensive perspective. Seek guidance from a financial advisor on handling capital losses and constructing a robust investment portfolio. Understanding capital loss and its effects prepares you to confidently navigate your investment journey, making informed decisions to manage market fluctuations.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
This document should not be treated as endorsement of the views/opinions or as investment advice. This document should not be construed as a research report or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. This document is for information purpose only and should not be construed as a promise on minimum returns or safeguard of capital. This document alone is not sufficient and should not be used for the development or implementation of an investment strategy. The recipient should note and understand that the information provided above may not contain all the material aspects relevant for making an investment decision. Investors are advised to consult their own investment advisor before making any investment decision in light of their risk appetite, investment goals and horizon. This information is subject to change without any prior notice.