Mutual Fund History
Worldwide, the Mutual Fund, or Unit Trust as it is called in some parts of the world, has a long and successful history. The popularity of the Mutual Fund has increased manifold. In developed financial markets, like the United States, Mutual Funds have almost overtaken bank deposits and total assets of insurance funds. As of date, in the US alone there are over 5,000 Mutual Funds with total assets of over US $ 3 trillion (Rs 100 lakh crores). In India,the Mutual Fund industry started with the setting up of Unit Trust of India in 1964. Public sector banks and financial institutions began to establish Mutual Funds in 1987. The private sector and foreign institutions were allowed to set up Mutual Funds in 1993. Today, there are 36 Mutual Funds and over 200 schemes with total assets of approximately Rs 81,000 crores. This fast growing industry is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
What Is a Mutual Fund ?
A Mutual Fund is a trust that pools the savings of a number of investors who share a common financial goal. Anybody with an investable surplus of as little as a few thousand rupees can invest in Mutual Funds. These investors buy units of a particular Mutual Fund scheme that has a defined investment objective and strategy .The money thus collected is then invested by the fund manager in different types of securities. These could range from shares to debentures to money market instruments, depending upon the scheme’s stated objectives. The income earned through these investments and the capital appreciation realized by the scheme are shared by its unit holders in proportion to the number of units owned by them. Thus a Mutual Fund is the most suitable investment for the common man as it offers an opportunity to invest in a diversified, professionally managed basket of securities at a relatively low cost.