Mutual Fund Brokerage Charges: What are the Different Types of Charges?

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Mutual Fund Brokerage Charges: What are the Different Types of Charges?

Mutual Fund Brokerage Charges: An Overview

In India, the main factor that drives investors to invest in mutual funds is the professional management and steady returns that its experts offer. Now, as a result of their capacity to produce more alluring returns than other conventional investing strategies, mutual funds are quickly emerging as one of the most popular investment vehicles. However, when your money is managed by a group of experts, there is a price to pay. They consequently demand a fee for this, which pays for both the compensation and other expenses associated with the investment. Investors need to be aware of the charges associated with buying mutual funds. 

When a group of experts manages your money, stocks are purchased and sold on your behalf, frequent investment updates are sent to you, commissions are paid to intermediaries, and so on. With the help of this article, we shall delve into understanding various mutual fund charges ranging from expense ratio and other transaction charges and identify the SEBI guidelines on mutual fund charges for both equity and debt instruments. 

Fundamentals of Mutual Fund Charges

Let us start by understanding the basics of mutual fund charges in India. 

What are Mutual Fund Charges?

It is quite difficult to manage a huge amount every day while trying to reduce market risk. As a result, SEBI-approved mutual fund providers charge a set fee for their services. It's quite difficult to manage a huge amount every day while trying to mitigate market risk. As a result, SEBI-approved mutual fund providers charge a set fee for their services.
This charge covers advising fees, administrative expenses, registrar and transfer agent charges, legal and audit costs, investment management costs, etc. Simply put, the expense ratio is the sum of all costs incurred in administering a mutual fund. Every mutual fund scheme levies this fee in order to handle money on behalf of investors. It is represented as a percentage and is charged yearly. 

Remember the NAV (Net Asset Value) is declared after all expenditures have been deducted, and it is stated as a percentage. According to the rules established by SEBI, a rise in AUM should result in a decrease in total expense ratio and vice versa.
The formula for calculating the total expense ratio:

The method for calculating a mutual fund's total expense ratio is as follows: TER = Total expenditure incurred in an accounting period multiplied by 100 / Total net assets of the fund.

SEBI Guidelines on Mutual Fund Charges

The table below provides the SEBI Guidelines for the expense ratio limit for equities and debt mutual funds

Average Net Assets (AUM)Limit for Equity Mutual FundsLimit for Debt Mutual Funds
Up to Rs.100 Crores2.5%2.25%
Rs.100 to Rs.300 Crores2.25%2%
Rs.300 to Rs.600 Crores2%1.75%
On the Balance Sheet1.75%1.50%

Different Types of Mutual Funds Charges in India

Briefly, mutual fund charges can be categorized as recurring charges or one-time charges. 

One-time Charges

Mutual fund loads are one-time costs paid on investing in a mutual fund scheme or withdrawing a mutual fund scheme. The following fees are applicable:

  • Entry Load: These fees are imposed while purchasing the units. The funds would sell units at a greater price than the NAV. The entrance load fees charged by various fund houses vary. Charges are typically 2.25% of the invested capital. However, according to a new SEBI regulation, fund firms can no longer levy an entrance load. 
  • Exit Load: Investors must pay this fee if they choose to redeem the mutual fund units. There is no set price for this. Depending on the scheme, exit load varies and ranges from 0.25 to 4 percent. This charge is set by the fund houses primarily to compel participants to remain for the lock-in period.  No exit load is applied if investors retain the investment for longer than the predetermined time frame.

Recurring Charges

Recurring mutual fund costs, which are assessed on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis, are also known as periodic fees. This fee is used to cover additional costs such as marketing, advertising, and portfolio administration. Following are some of the recurring charges:

  • Service and Distribution Fee: Investors must pay a distribution fee to the fund companies in order for them to promote and advertise a mutual fund. These marketing initiatives update the investors. Additionally, it aids the fund management in raising enough money.
  • Management Charges: The management fee is a cost incurred to compensate the mutual fund managers for their services and investment management. This is not included in other costs.
  • Switch Price: Changing between mutual funds is possible with some funds. Therefore, at a cost known as the Switch Price, you can switch from Scheme X to Scheme Y. The investment may be transferred whole or partially depending on the arrangement.
  • Account Fee: Some AMCs demand that you have a certain amount in your trading accounts at all times. If you don't fulfill the requirements for the minimum balance, AMC will withdraw the required amount from the mutual fund portfolio.

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There are a few things you ought to be aware of if you are new to the world of mutual funds but still want to profit from them, with investment fees qualifying as the most crucial one. Although the regulator specifies the expense ratio structure, it fluctuates depending on the amount of the fund's net assets. Smaller expense ratio with larger net assets; higher expense ratio with lower net assets. This has an effect on the returns produced by the particular mutual fund. The variation in expense ratio for funds like liquid assets would be one. In a nutshell, investors should carefully evaluate the expense ratio before making an investment.

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