Demystifying equity mutual funds: What you need to know.

what is equity mutual fund
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From the outside, the stock market may seem fascinating. Yet, most people are hesitant about investing their hard-earned money in stocks because of the multiple layers of information one must process to make an informed decision. Which is why equity mutual funds can be a good investment vehicle as they invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks and are managed by an expert.

Equity mutual funds come in various types, each with its own unique features and risk levels. Investors can choose the type that aligns with their investment goals and risk tolerance and embark on a journey towards potential long-term capital appreciation.

What is equity mutual fund?

Equity mutual funds are a type of investment fund that pools money from multiple investors to invest primarily in stocks or equities of publicly traded companies. They are managed by professional fund managers who make investment decisions on behalf of the investors based on the fund's investment objective and strategy.

Equity mutual funds provide investors with an opportunity to participate in the potential growth of the stock market but also come with risks associated with stock market fluctuations. They are suitable for investors with higher risk tolerance and a long-term investment horizon, as they aim to generate higher returns compared to other types of investments over the long run.

Some of the types of equity mutual funds

Mid-Cap Funds: These funds invest in stocks of mid-sized companies, which are relatively smaller than large-cap companies but still have potential for growth. Mid-cap funds carry moderate risks and can generate higher returns compared to large-cap funds, making them suitable for investors with a higher risk tolerance.

Small-Cap Funds: These funds invest in stocks of small-sized companies, which are typically newer and have higher growth potential but also higher risk. Small-cap funds are considered more aggressive and suitable for investors with a high-risk appetite and a long-term investment horizon.

Multi-Cap Funds: These funds have the flexibility to invest in stocks of companies across different market capitalizations, including large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap companies. They offer diversification and flexibility in the investment portfolio, making them suitable for investors looking for a balanced approach to equity investing.

Flexi-Cap funds: These funds invest across large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks. Flexi-Cap funds must have a minimum of 65% of total assets in equity and equity-related instruments.

Sector Funds: These funds invest in stocks of companies in a particular sector or industry, such as technology, healthcare, or financial services. They are suitable for investors who want to focus on a specific sector or industry and are willing to take higher risks associated with that sector.

Index Funds: These funds aim to track the performance of a market index, such as the S&P 500 or the Nifty 50, by investing in stocks that make up the index. They offer low costs and a passive investing approach, making them suitable for investors looking for a cheaper investment option with relatively lower risks.

Dividend Yield Funds: These funds invest in stocks of companies that have a history of paying regular dividends. They are suitable for investors looking for regular income along with potential capital appreciation.

Advantages of investing in equity mutual funds

Potential for higher Returns: Equity mutual funds have the potential to generate higher returns compared to other investment options, such as fixed deposits or bonds. Over the long term, equities tend to outperform other asset classes, which can result in higher wealth accumulation.

Professional Management: Equity mutual funds are managed by experienced fund managers who have expertise in stock selection and portfolio management. They continuously monitor and rebalance the portfolio to optimize returns based on market conditions and investment objectives.

Diversification: Equity mutual funds provide diversification by investing in a portfolio of stocks of different companies and sectors. This helps in spreading risk and reducing the impact of any single stock or sector's performance on the overall portfolio.

Flexibility: Equity mutual funds offer flexibility in terms of investment amount, investment horizon, and investment goals. Investors can choose from different types of equity funds based on their risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial goals, and can easily switch between funds as their investment needs change.

Accessibility: Equity mutual funds are easily accessible to retail investors, allowing them to participate in the stock market with relatively lower amounts compared to direct stock investments. This makes it easier for small investors to diversify their investment portfolio and benefit from the potential of equities.

Liquidity: Equity mutual funds are generally liquid, allowing investors to redeem their investments and exit the fund at any time, subject to certain terms and conditions. This provides investors with the flexibility to access their investments when needed.

Tax Benefits: Equity mutual funds also offer potential tax benefits. Long-term capital gains from equity mutual funds are currently tax-free up to a certain limit, making them an reasonably attractive option for investors.

Taxation on equity mutual funds

If equity mutual fund units are sold before one year, the resulting gains are considered short-term capital gains and are taxed at a rate of 15% plus 4% cess. On the other hand, long-term capital gains from equity funds are taxed at a rate of 10% plus 4% cess, but only if the gains in a financial year exceed Rs.1 lakh. Long-term capital gains up to Rs.1 lakh are completely tax-free. It's important to note that tax rates and exemptions are subject to change as per current tax laws in India, and it's recommended to consult with a qualified tax advisor for up-to-date information.

Factors to consider while investing in equity mutual funds

Aligning your investments with your financial goals increases the likelihood of success. Consider the following factors when investing in equity funds:

  • Investment Goal
  • Investment Horizon
  • Risk Appetite


How do equity funds work?

Invest in equity funds via SIP or lumpsum, and the professionally managed fund invests in stocks on your behalf.

Are equity funds a good investment option?

Equity funds offer long-term capital appreciation through exposure to the stock market, making them a favourable long term investment option.

Who should invest in Equity funds?

Equity funds are ideal for investors seeking long-term capital appreciation and willing to take risks associated with the stock market.

What is the Taxation on Equity Mutual Funds?

The taxation on equity mutual funds varies based on the holding period, with short-term capital gains taxed at 15% plus cess and long-term capital gains taxed at 10% plus cess for gains above Rs. 1 lakh. LTCG up to Rs. 1 lakh are tax-free.

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 an 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.