When choosing a mutual fund, there is no shortage of choices, but that can make it difficult to choose which one is right for you. Newer ior AMC. It is similarnvestment options are popping up all the time, offering alternatives to investors who want something different from the standard choices. So how do you know if these funds are ideal for you? To help investors navigate this changing world of funds, we’ve outlined what they need to know about new fund offerings and how they might impact their portfolios.
What is NFO or New Fund Offer?
An NFO is used to offer units in a mutual fund scheme to public investors for the first time. NFOs, other than ELSS can remain open for a maximum of 15 days.
Allotment of units or amount refund is done within 5 business days of closure of the scheme. Further, open-ended schemes re-open for sale and re-purchase within 5 business days of the allotment.
Three dates are relevant for the NFO of an open-ended scheme:
- NFO Open Date – This is the date from which investors can invest in the NFO
- NFO Close Date – This is the date upto which investors can invest in the NFO
- Scheme Re-Opening Date – This is the date from which the investors can offer their units for repurchase to the scheme (at the re-purchase price); or buy new units of the scheme (at the sale price, which is the NAV itself). The AMC announces Sale and Re-purchase prices from the Scheme’s Re-Opening Date.
For Close-ended Schemes, there is only the NFO Open Date and NFO Close Date. They do not have a Scheme Reopening Date, because the scheme does not sell or re-purchase units. Investors will need to buy or sell units in the stock exchange(s) where the scheme is listed.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Investing in NFOs
Advantages of Investing in NFOs
- Lower entry cost: NFO NAV value is fixed at ₹10. It is called the launch price. The lower entry cost is especially attractive to investors who wish to start with a smaller initial investment.
- Experienced fund manager: Companies often launch NFOs with well-experienced fund managers. This inspires investors’ confidence and attracts them to invest in the fund.
- Investing in new strategies: Close-ended NFOs invest using new and innovative strategies not offered by existing open-ended funds, allowing investors to diversify their mutual fund portfolios.
Disadvantages of investing in NFO
- Lack of track record: Since these funds are new products, they have no real track record and are difficult to evaluate in the early days. The more unique an NFO, the higher the risk of investing in untested strategies.
- No benefit of early investment: NFOs are not IPOs. Investors of IPOs can benefit from early investments when the stock price increases. However, mutual fund NAVs don’t increase or fall like stock prices. This is because mutual fund NAVs don’t change throughout the day like stock prices.
- Lower liquidity: NFOs usually have lower liquidity because they have fewer investors compared to established mutual funds. This may make it difficult for investors to exit their investments.
- Higher expense ratio: NFOs usually have a higher expense ratio during the early days, which may impact your final returns.
- Replication of an existing fund: Sometimes NFOs may follow the same investment style and objective as an existing mutual fund offered by the company, which can result in duplication in the investor’s portfolio without offering any unique benefit.
Types of New Fund Offers
NFOs are primarily two types: open-ended and close-ended
- Open-ended: Open-ended funds have no fixed maturity date. Investors can buy or sell the units at any time at a prevailing NAV value. These are suitable for investors who want flexibility and liquidity.
- Close-ended: These funds issue a fixed number of units at inception. They also have a fixed maturity date. Investors can only sell the units at the end of the investment period. These funds are suitable for investors who want to invest for a fixed duration and don’t bother about maturity.
Key Questions to ask before buying into a New Fund
There are a few questions you should ask when considering whether to invest in an NFO. For example – How long you will be investing in this fund? What is the fund’s fee structure? What is the fund’s investment strategy? Additionally, here are some more points to consider before you invest in an NFO:
Reputation of the Fund House/AMC:
To ensure that your money is invested wisely, evaluate the performance of the fund house across market cycles and relative to its peers to determine whether it is a good investment.
Examine all of the scheme-related documentation extensively to understand how the fund is invested and how the investment process works. Make sure your investment objectives align with those of the mutual fund to make it a worthwhile investment for your portfolio.
Risk Tolerance Levels:
Investing in NFOs is a risky venture because it does not allow you to conveniently evaluate the performance track record of existing funds. Prior to investing in NFOs, you should assess the risk level of the scheme and whether it is in line with your risk taking capacity.
When investing in NFOs, the investment horizon is critical as some have lock-in periods during which you must remain invested for a specified duration. This implies you may not be able to withdraw your money before the maturity date, and you may be charged an exit fee. Look at these aspects carefully prior to investing in NFOs and ensure that your investments are consistent with your investment timeframe and objectives.
Some related terms
The fund house or AMC is the fund’s investment manager and carries out all the fund-related activities of the Mutual Fund, like the purchase and sale of securities in the portfolio of various Mutual Fund schemes launched by the Mutual Fund.
The investment objective outlines the financial objective the scheme intends to achieve and spells out the level of risk it is likely to assume while trying to achieve this objective.
The document that contains the details of a particular mutual fund scheme offered to the public for investing is known as an Offer Document or Prospectus.
An Open-ended Mutual Fund is one which is launched once the NFO ends and allows you to enter and exit the fund anytime you wish to post-launch.
A New Fund Offer or NFO refers to the initial launch of a mutual fund scheme by an asset management company or AMC. It is similar to an IPO in the share market, as NFOs are intended to raise capital for the fund and attract investors. However, they are marketed in a less aggressive manner than IPOs and are targeted towards certain select groups of investors. If you are looking to invest in an NFO, it is recommended that you should do adequate research such as checking the fund’s expense ratio and the performance of previous funds offered by the investment company.
Is it good to invest in NFO?
NFOs are launched based on new investment ideas or to capitalise on potentially profitable opportunities. Hence, NFOs allow investors to diversify and explore new investment ideas. However, before investing, evaluating the investment philosophy of the new fund and seeing if it aligns with your overall investment plan can aid in better decision-making.
Is investing in NFO risky?
NFO investments are risky. With existing open-ended funds, it is easy to evaluate the past performance of the fund to gauge its future return rates and make an informed decision. But with NFOs, there is no way to track the fund’s performance in the future.
NFO or IPO: which is better?
IPOs are stock investments, whereas NFOs are new mutual funds. Mutual funds are suitable for low to moderate-risk investors. Unlike IPOs, there is no additional advantage to investing in an NFO.
How long is the NFO subscription period?
The NFO subscription period can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the plans of the AMC.