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What are diversified equity mutual funds

As per definition, diversified equity mutual funds are purely equity funds which invest in a large number of stocks across different sectors. The objective is to diversify unsystematic risks and generate highest risk adjusted returns. Company specific and sector specific risks are unsystematic risks. Equity Linked Savings Schemes are essentially diversified equity mutual funds, which enjoy tax benefits under Section 80C of Income Tax Act. Balanced Funds (hybrid equity oriented funds) and Sector Funds (e.g. Infrastructure Funds, Banking Funds, Technology Funds, Pharma Funds etc) are not diversified equity funds.

Some research houses (e.g. CRISIL) and publications employ a stricter definition for diversified equity funds. As per their definition diversified equity funds are equity funds, which invest in stocks across different sectors and market segments. In other words, as per this definition, diversified equity funds in addition to investing in stocks across different industry sectors (e.g. Banking, oil and gas, cement and construction, automobiles, technology, pharmaceuticals, capital goods, FMCG, power, infrastructure etc), also invest in stocks across different market segments in terms of market capitalization (i.e. large cap, midcap, small cap and micro cap companies). These funds are also known as flexicap or multicap funds.

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