How do mutual funds work

The Asset Management Company (AMC), i.e. the company which manages the mutual fund raises money from the public. The AMC then deploys the money by investing in different financial securities like stocks, bonds etc. The securities are selected keeping in mind the investment objective of the fund. For example, if the investment objective of the fund is capital appreciation, the fund will invest in shares of different companies. If the investment objective of the fund is to generate income, then the fund will invest in fixed income securities that pay interest. Each investor in a mutual fund owns units of the fund, which represents a portion of the holdings of the mutual fund. On an ongoing basis, the fund managers will manage the fund to ensure that the investment objectives are met. For the services the AMCs provide they incur expenses and charge a fee to the unit holders. These expenses are charged against proportionately against the assets of the fund and are adjusted in the price of the unit. Mutual funds are bought or sold on the basis of Net Asset Value (NAV). Unlike share prices which changes constantly depending on the activity in the share market, the NAV is determined on a daily basis, computed at the end of the day based on closing price of all the securities that the mutual fund owns after making appropriate adjustments.

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