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Mutual Funds can be categorized basis the asset class they invest in.
Broadly, there are 3 categories –
Funds that invest in equity shares are called equity funds. They carry the principal objective of capital appreciation of the investment over the medium to long-term. The returns in such funds are volatile since they are directly linked to the stock markets. They are best suited for investors who are seeking capital appreciation. There are different types of equity funds such as Diversified funds, Sector specific funds and Index based funds.
These Funds invest predominantly in high-rated fixed-income-bearing instruments like bonds, debentures, government securities, commercial paper and other money market instruments. They are best suited for the medium to long-term investors who are averse to risk and seek capital preservation. They provide regular income and safety to the investor.
Funds investing in Commodity Market falls under this category There are various sub classifications, which are listed below:
These funds invest in companies spread across sectors. These funds are generally meant for risk-taking investors who are not bullish about any particular sector.
These funds invest primarily in equity shares of companies in a particular business sector or industry. These funds are targeted at investors who are extremely bullish about a particular sector.
Tax Saving Funds
These funds offer tax benefits to investors under the Income Tax Act. Opportunities provided under this scheme are in the form of tax rebates U/s 88 as well saving in Capital Gains U/s 54EA and 54EB. They are best suited for investors seeking tax concessions.
Liquid Funds / Money Market Funds
These funds invest in highly liquid money market instruments. The period of investment could be as short as a day. They provide easy liquidity. They have emerged as an alternative for savings and short-term fixed deposit accounts with comparatively higher returns. These funds are ideal for Corporates, institutional investors and business houses who invest their funds for very short periods.
These funds invest in Central and State Government securities. Since they are Government backed bonds they give a secured return and also ensure safety of the principal amount. They are best suited for the medium to long-term investors who are averse to risk.
These funds invest both in equity shares and fixed-income-bearing instruments (debt) in some proportion. They provide a steady return and reduce the volatility of the fund while providing some upside for capital appreciation. They are ideal for medium- to long-term investors willing to take moderate risks.
An arbitrage fund is a type of equity mutual fund that tries to take advantage of the price differential (of the same asset) between two or more markets or market segments. Arbitrage Funds are treated like an equity fund for the purpose of taxation, hence there is no DDT (It means you save 28.33%). On an average arbitrage funds give close 8-8.5% IRR which is ‘take home’ to the investor, provided he stays invested for one year
Accrual-oriented funds focus on earning interest income from the coupon offered by bonds. In duration funds, in contrast, the focus is on generating a significant portion of returns from the capital appreciation that occurs when interest rates decline. Accrual funds too could earn some returns from capital gains, but these typically tend to be a small portion of their total return.