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The Ideal Mutual Fund Investment Platform Is Here

As I have repeatedly pointed out... mutual funds are the best way to invest in equities, debt and gold.

However, the process of investing in mutual funds has not been easy. This is especially true after the Direct Plans were introduced a few years back.

MF Utilities, launched earlier this year, has brought in unparalleled convenience to mutual fund investing (more particularly if you propose to make direct investments).

Let's explore:

In case you are not aware, you can invest in mutual funds either 
(a) directly with the particular asset management company [Direct Plans], or
(b) through a mutual fund distributor [Regular Plans].

If you invest directly, you save on the recurring expenses every year. Since no intermediary is involved, the annual fund management charges of Direct Plans are lower than the Regular Plans. Over time, this reflects in better returns, courtesy the effect of compounding. However, your inconvenience level increases as you have to deal, separately and individually, with each asset management company (AMC).

In short, with Direct and Regular Plans, there is a trade-off between Cost and Convenience.

By providing a single platform to invest in Direct Plans of various schemes across different AMCs, MF Utilities has eliminated the "inconvenience" angle while retaining the benefit of "lower cost".

In addition, it offers a host of additional features, making MF Utilities as on date the best platform for mutual fund investing and managing your portfolio.

The key benefits of MF Utilities are enumerated below.

One. It is a Mutual Fund Industry's initiative and owned by various SEBI-registered AMCs under the aegis of AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds in India). So no middleman or agents are involved.

Two. There's no cost for any transaction. Hence, all Direct Plans are available free of cost.

Three. Out of around 40 AMCs, 25 are already currently linked to MF Utilities... and more are expected to join in the due course of time. So, virtually any fund can be bought on this platform.

Four. When you open an account with MF Utilities, you are allotted a CAN [Common Account Number, which is linked to your PAN]. All your existing folios get automatically linked to this CAN, and become available to either buy/sell more units in that folio. As a bonus, this also includes the folios that you might have forgotten.

Five. All transactions can be done online at the click of mouse, on the 'single' MF Utility Platform. Hence, no need to manage different User IDs and Passwords for various AMCs.

Of course, for those who prefer, even the offline option for transacting is available. The necessary forms can be submitted to any POS (Point of Sale) which includes CAMS and Karvy offices.

MF Utility hugely simplifies the management and distribution of mutual fund investments.

Six. The best part is that there is no need to do anything to create a new folio. If one is not holding any folio with an AMC then nothing needs to be done. Simply buy the fund. Automatically your new folio will be created and all details including nomination will be updated in this new folio. No 'extra' paper work at all.

Seven. One nomination for all folios. While filling the CAN form, you specify the nomination. And, all future folios created will have this nomination updated by default. No hassles and no risk of missing any nomination.

Eight. The bank accounts that you specify at the time of creating CAN, get linked by default to all the folios (whether created in the past or in future). One can link multiple accounts, with one bank being the default bank. Hence, single bank mandate for all folios across all AMCs.

Nine. You want to hold your mutual funds in the demat form? No problem. Just mention your demat number at the time of creating your CAN. Thereafter, whenever you want to invest in any scheme, you will see the demat option and you can select the same.

Ten. For SIPs, it's much easier. You just need to register your bank account for PayEezz; and all future transactions whether lump sum or SIP can be done with just one PayEezz Number. All SIPs for any fund from any AMC can be scheduled (or modified) using your PayEezz. Nothing else needs to be done.

Eleven. It provides 24*7 access to Common Account Statement, Composite Portfolio information, Portfolio holding and scheme related information, besides the Alerts, Triggers and Reminders.

Twelve. By the way, MF Utilities is not just an individual investor's platform. It also empowers the distributors and registered investment advisors; by providing the convenience of online request submissions, improving their back office efficiency, consolidated view of each customers' investments and much more.

MF Utilities is a boon for any investor (and also the distributor) who is time constrained and wants the easiest way possible to manage his (or his clients') mutual fund investments... in one platform with minimal clicks and transactions.

In short, to say the least, it's a GREAT tool that hugely simplifies the management (and distribution) of mutual fund investments.

[Thanks to Harish Jindal, one of the most avid readers of this blog, who has contributed this post (with a few additions and edits from my end).]

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