Investment – Choice Between Direct Investment in Stocks and Investment in Mutual Funds

Basics

Mutual Funds (MFs) are primarily engaged in investing in stocks. Then why should not one invest in stocks directly and what is the need for these funds? This question is answered below:

As investors, our priority always will be to focus higher profits in the shortest time. With this goal in mind, we look upon the avenues open for investment.

Time management

To directly invest in shares, one should require expertise to analyse and compare financial statements of the companies where we invest. By investing in mutual funds, one is essentially hiring a professional manager at an especially inexpensive price. It would be stupid to think that one knows more than these managers who have been around the industry for a long time and who have proper academic credentials. This not only saves our precious time but also provides the expertise.

Risk focus

With shares, one worry is that the company invested may go bankrupt. With mutual funds, that chance is next to nil. Since they typically hold anywhere from 25-5000 companies, all of the companies that it holds would have to go bankrupt.

By pooling a lot of shares (in a stock fund) or bonds (in a bond fund), MFs reduce the risk of investing. If one company in that sector has a bad manager, or a losing strategy, it is balanced by other companies that are performing better. This lowers the risk, thanks to diversifications.

Scope & schemes

Mutual funds operate variety of schemes-say Equity market, Bond Market, Debt market and so on. Once an investor invests in MF, he has the option of ” SWITCH” which means that he can change his risk perception periodically depending on the Economic Scenario which is not possible if one invests directly in Share Market. Secondly, most of them have the scheme of “SIP” that is Systematic Investment Plan whereby one can invest a fixed amount over a period of time and reap the benefits of price changes of shares over the period.

Liquidity

Investment in MF is as liquid as investment in stocks or better than that as some scrips can be sold only in market lots. That is no so in the case of investment in MF. Stocks can be much more difficult depending on what kinds you have invested in. CD’s offer no liquidity (not without a hefty fee) and bonds can be difficult, too. Some mutual funds also carry check writing privileges.