Today, there are several thousands of mutual funds available in the market. Thus, it can be really difficult to ascertain which of them is the best for you. In order to efficiently filter out choices and narrow down the ones you need, you need to think of your future goals and the fees which can negatively affect long-term returns. The mutual fund calculator can prove to be very useful in this regard. Before we go through the various features of the calculator, let’s try to take a closer look at what mutual funds actually are.
What is a mutual fund?
Basically, a “mutual fund” refers to a shared fund that has been established in the form of a trust to pool money from a number of investors and invest the collected amount in shares of corporate bonds, government bonds, listed companies, short-term money-market instruments, gold or gold-related instruments, other assets or securities, or a combination of all these investments. These investments are based on the investment objectives mentioned in the offer document. Thus, a debt fund will largely invest its assets in bonds, whereas an equity mutual fund scheme will mostly invest in a portfolio of stocks.
The investments in a mutual fund are managed by a fund manager. Depending on the discretion of the AMC, there can be multiple fund managers as well. They manage the fund on a daily basis and decide when to sell and buy investments in accordance to the fund’s investment objectives. After pooling money, the mutual fund allots units – much like buying a company’s shares. The worth of every individual mutual find unit is known as its Net Asset Value. These assets are then invested in a set of bonds or stocks that the fund’s portfolio is comprised of. Based on the scheme’s investment objective, the fund manager then decides the portfolio allocation.
Mutual fund schemes are largely classified according to their tenor or maturity period, followed by their investment objective. Given below are some of the common classification systems used for mutual funds.
Types of mutual funds according to maturity period
- Open-ended mutual funds
- Close-ended mutual funds
- Types of mutual funds according to underlying asset allocation
- Equity mutual funds
- Debt mutual funds
- Hybrid mutual funds
- Solution-oriented funds
- Other mutual fund schemes
- Index funds
- Fund of funds
Now that we are well-acquainted with mutual funds, let’s understand how to use the mutual fund calculator to find out which one of these schemes is the best for you.
How to use the mutual fund calculator?
In order to use the mutual fund calculator, you simply need to follow the steps given below:
- Type in an initial investment amount in the given space.
- Insert the interest value or use slider to adjust.
- Add years as per you needs.
If you plan to make new investments regularly, as advised by experts, proceed to enter an annual contribution. Although a lot of mutual funds have minimum initial investments, brokers generally do away with that minimum as long as you are prepared to make monthly deposits.
Enter the number of years for which you are thinking of remaining invested in the fund. Naturally, if this time period is longer, you have a much better chance of making excellent profitable returns.
Enter an estimate of the mutual fund’s annual return. For this, you can look up the fund’s history of performance on the internet. However, keep in mind that you cannot accurately predict the fund’s future performance by looking at its past results.
At last, enter the annual fees or the mutual fund’s expense ratio. In this case, if the fees are lower, then a larger proportion of your cash will remain invested for growth in the long term.
Before using the calculator, you must remember that it assumes that you are only on the lookout for no-load, no-transaction-fee funds. Basically, this refers to mutual funds that do not mandate you to pay up fees or a sales commission for the sale or purchase of shares. Also, before buying a mutual fund (or making any kind of investment, for that matter), you will have to open up a brokerage account. That is a relatively simple process, but you need to be well-acquainted with the process and various types of brokerage accounts beforehand.
Today, millions of people all across the world invest in mutual funds. A number of retail investors are interested in mutual funds by virtue of their affordability, simplicity, and diversity. Mutual funds also possess the property of being highly liquid; in other words, you will be able to buy and sell them with relative ease. Thus, they are a good option to invest your hard-earned money in. The mutual fund calculator has been meticulously designed and programmed to make accurate calculations and help you efficiently with your investments. I hope you find it to be useful.