Mutual Fund

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Gone are the days when an individual’s active income was sufficient to earn a livelihood and meet all financial requirements. However, nowadays, earning passive income has become a necessity for a fulfilled lifestyle.. Regardless of how significant your savings are, their value will decrease over time if it’s sitting idle in your bank account. Since inflation is on a roll, it is perhaps the best time to invest in a mutual fund.

The Canadian market is overflowing with a plethora of investment options like stocks, bonds, money market accounts, and real estate. Hence, individuals may find investing to be an intricate and overwhelming task. With Canada mutual fund, you don’t need to worry about making investment decisions, monitoring stock performance, and altering your investment tactics over time. A mutual fund does it all for you.

If you are curious to know how mutual funds work and why you should choose them over other investment options, have a rundown on this mutual fund guide.

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What is a Mutual Fund?

A mutual fund is a kind of finance vehicle made up of a pool of money accumulated from various investors to invest in underlying securities such as bonds, stocks, money market instruments, and other assets.

Unlike stocks, mutual funds are managed by professional fund managers. They allocate the fund’s assets and try to generate capital gains or income for mutual fund investors.

A mutual fund is designed and maintained to match the investment objectives specified in its prospectus. It provides individual or small investors with access to professionally managed portfolios of bonds, equities, and other securities. Hence, each shareholder participates proportionally in the losses or gains of the fund.

Mutual funds invest in multiple securities, and performance is often tracked as the change in the total market cap of the fund — derived by the aggregating performance of the underlying investments.

How do Mutual Funds Work?

Before we know how it works, you must know that a mutual fund is both an actual company and an investment. Because of its dual nature, it might appear strange to many but it’s no different than a share of AAPL, which represents Apple Inc.

Similarly, a mutual fund investor buys partial ownership of the mutual fund company and its assets. The difference between the two is that Apple develops innovative devices and tablets, while a mutual fund company deals in the business of making investments.

Typically, mutual fund investors earn a return from the mutual fund in three ways:

  • In mutual funds, income is derived from interest on bonds and dividends on stocks held in the fund’s portfolio. A fund pays out almost all of the income it got over the year to fund owners in the form of distributions. Funds often provide investors with a choice either to reinvest the earnings and receive more shares or to get a check for distributors.
  • In case the fund sells securities with increased prices, it has a capital gain. Most funds also pass on these gains to investors in a distribution.
  • If the price of fund holding increases and the fund manager doesn’t sell it, the price of the fund’s share will increase. You can then sell your mutual fund shares for a profit in the market.

Why Invest in Mutual Funds?

Mutual funds (MF) are easy to buy, accessible, and come with a healthy amount of built-in diversification. They are some of the most popular investment vehicles for professional investors and amateurs alike.

MFs are usually an ideal option for investors seeking to diversify their portfolios. Instead of investing all-in on one industry or company, a mutual fund invests in various securities to try and minimize your portfolio’s risk.

Unlike stocks, you don’t need to manage everything yourself. The mutual fund managers will do it all for you. With mutual funds, you can enjoy instant liquidity and get tax benefits.

If you are a first-time investor, you must first start with mutual fund investment as it is less risky than the stock market.

Benefits of Invest in Mutual Funds

A mutual fund gathers money from various investors and invests in a diverse range of underlying securities. It is considered one of the greatest investment tools for increasing wealth. Regardless of your investment horizon and risk appetite, there is a mutual fund for everyone. Given below are some of the top benefits of mutual fund investment in Canada.

Begin Investing with a Small Amount

You can start investing with as little as $100 or less in mutual funds. Even if you don’t have a big chunk of money for investment, you can still start your investment journey through Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs). Through a SIP, the investor can and invest according to the market and financial conditions. Not only will SIP offer great returns but it will also help infuse the investment habit.

You Don’t Need to Manage Everything Yourself

Unlike stocks, you don’t need to manage mutual funds on your own. Mutual fund managers will manage your portfolio, analyze the performance of several securities in the market and decide whether to buy or sell them. The only thing you have to do is to put in the investment amount.

Instant Liquidity

One of the most significant benefits of mutual funds is that you can redeem the units with ease whenever you want. You can withdraw your investment the moment things go south such as in case of an underperforming mutual fund or if you face an unexpected financial crisis. You will get the redemption amount in your linked bank account typically within one to three business days, depending on the type of mutual fund.

It Helps Diversify Your Investments

Investing the entire money in a single stock, security or asset could be risky. Mutual funds let you diversify your investments by investing in various securities and asset classes. Therefore, even if the equity market suffers or crashes, your risk would be minimal to a huge extent.

Help You Review the Past Performance before Investing

You can view the past performance of the mutual fund to understand how it has performed so far. You can utilize the information to discover a fund having a lower risk profile but renders good returns. However, one must note that past performance can’t be a guarantee for future performance.

Types of Mutual Fund in Canada

The Canadian financial market offers various types of mutual funds, which are as follows:

  • Money Market Funds
  • Fixed Income Funds
  • Equity Funds
  • Balanced Funds
  • Index Funds
  • Specialty Funds
  • Funds-of-Funds

Money Market Funds

These funds invest in fixed income, and short-term debt from corporations, governments, and banks. They might possess certificates of deposits, commercial paper (promissory notes that companies issue), and U.S. Treasuries.

Money market funds are considered one of the most secure forms of investments. However, this also means that the fund will offer you comparatively lower returns than others with higher risks.

A money market fund is a right place to put your money when you are skeptical about where to invest. These are low-risk investments and guarantee more income than a traditional savings account. Since they are also completely a liquid form of investment, you can sell out your holdings to get your money back whenever you need it.

Fixed Income Funds

Such a fund invests in bonds and other securities that generate a fixed rate of return. The aim is to beat inflation (which depreciates the value of your money) and form a steady stream of dependable income with little risk.

Typically, owning a fixed-income fund means available funds from entities highly unlikely to default, such as governments and massive corporations. As such, fixed-income funds buy government securities or bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds, and high-yield corporate bonds.

Fixed-income funds are prevalent because they are known as one of the safest forms of investments (although no investment is entirely safe). That being said, it also implies that such funds have low-income potential.

Equity Funds

Equity funds aim at growing faster than fixed-income funds or the money market. Therefore, there’s usually a higher risk that you could lose money. However, you get an option to choose from various types of equity funds comprising those that specialize in income funds ( which hold stocks that pay large dividends), growth stocks (which don’t usually pay dividends), small-cap stocks, mid-cap stocks, large-cap stocks, value stocks, or combination of these.

Balanced Funds

Balanced funds are sometimes also known as asset allocation funds. They combine equity securities and fixed-income securities together. The objective of such a fund is to generate better returns than fixed-income funds without stepping on as much risk as an equity fund demands.

Usually, such schemes use a formula to calculate the amount of funds that needs to be invested in different types of securities. For example, a conservative balanced fund may invest 80% of its funding into bonds and the remaining 20% into stocks. An assertive balanced fund may chase more growth by investing up to 70% of its funding in stocks.

Index Funds

Index funds monitor the performance of a specific market index, such as the S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Such a fund invests in every company registered in that index. Therefore, whenever the index goes up, the value of the fund increases and vice-versa.

The fund managers manage index funds passively by simply matching the fund’s holding with the index. The manager isn’t required to conduct any research or perform any analyses, or even make any decisions. This implies that the fees of index funds are incredibly lower than other actively managed funds (like equity funds or specialty funds). With lower fees, more of your money will be invested back into the fund to grow.

Speciality Funds

Sometimes also referred to as alternative funds, specialty funds are funds that focus on specific mandates. It includes real estate investment trusts, managed futures, and commodities. In various cases, the specialty funds aren’t open to the public. People can invest in them only if they work with a certain investment bank or manager.

Such funds can specialize particularly in special causes like environmental preservation, healthcare innovation, or social responsibility. A specialty fund may also only invest in organizations that power themselves with renewable energy and dodge others that depend on fossil fuels.


As the name suggests, it’s a fund that invests in other funds. It’s the ultimate form of diversification in which your holdings may extend across tens of thousands of securities, by investing in single funds-of-funds. Such a mutual fund makes your return less volatile, hence, reducing the risk of losing money.

Mutual Fund Costs

The cost of frequent stock trades sums up instantly for individual investors. Gains generated from the stock’s price increment can be cancelled out by the costs of achieving a single sale of an investor’s shares of a specified company.

However, the cost of trading with mutual funds is distributed to all investors in the fund. Hence, the mutual fund finances the economics of scale and often results in a lower cost per individual than if those investors would self-purchase the investments. Several brokerage firms offering full-service earn money off of these trading costs.

Most online brokers possess mutual fund screeners on their websites to help you discover mutual funds that match your portfolio. You can also find funds that you can purchase without generating a transaction fee or funds that levy low management fees. To cover the labour and cost of maintaining the fund, the mutual fund charges an ongoing fee so that you don’t have to pay every time you invest in a mutual fund.

Things to Consider as a First-Time Investor

The Canadian mutual fund market is brimming with a large number of fund options. While making investment choices could be a good thing, it may be daunting sometimes. Given below are some important things to consider before you start investing:

Establish a Financial Roadmap

Before you begin investing, you must formulate a plan and ask yourself a few questions that will help you determine your investment goals. They are:

  • Why do I need to invest?
  • How much can I invest?
  • How long will I be investing to reach the goal?
  • How much can I afford to lose?

Comprehend Risks

Understanding your risk tolerance is pretty crucial, especially when you are a first-time investor. How would you feel if you lost a few or may all the money you invested? 

Usually, beginners think that they are more tolerant of losses than they actually are. Therefore, when riskier investments begin to depreciate, they usually panic and end up selling them. 

However, proceeding with a considered approach and reward will ensure that you invest in line with your capacity for loss.

Choose the Right Fund Type

Choosing the right fund type could be an arduous task for many as it requires more than just reading about various mutual funds. Typically, mutual fund experts advise balanced or debt funds for beginners as it comes with minimal risks. Also, such a fund offers steady returns.

Comprehend Risks

Understanding your risk tolerance is pretty crucial, especially when you are a first-time investor. How would you feel if you lost a few or may all the money you invested? 

Usually, beginners think that they are more tolerant of losses than they actually are. Therefore, when riskier investments begin to depreciate, they usually panic and end up selling them. 

However, proceeding with a considered approach and reward will ensure that you invest in line with your capacity for loss.

Choose the Right Fund Type

Choosing the right fund type could be an arduous task for many as it requires more than just reading about various mutual funds. Typically, mutual fund experts advise balanced or debt funds for beginners as it comes with minimal risks. Also, such a fund offers steady returns.

Be Tax Efficient from the Beginning

When people start investing, they usually begin with a fairly small pot and might think tax efficiency isn’t a big concern. However, investing is a long-term process and hence, you must consider the potential value of your investments in the future. 

For instance, if you are investing now for your retirement, then by the time you reach that age, you may have gotten a considerable amount. In case you haven’t invested in tax-efficient options such as a pension, then you may end up paying a bigger amount of tax. 

Diversify Your Portfolio

Diversification is one of the most significant aspects of any investment. It stabilizes your portfolio over an economic downturn. Investing in a single or specific company, sector, or market may expose you to unforeseen risks in one particular area. Investing across diversified asset classes, sectors, and regions will help in mitigating potential losses and maximizing long-term returns.

Choose SIPs over Lump-Sum Investments

If you are investing in equity instruments for the first time, then you must choose to invest via SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). While a lump sum investment comes with the risk of catching a stock market peak, SIP will distribute your investments over time and invest across market levels.

Keep KYC Documents Updated

Whether you are investing in a stock market or mutual fund, you need to complete your KYC (Know Your Customer) process. It’s a government regulation for most financial transactions in the country. Usually, KYC helps in identifying the source of funds and preventing money laundering. As a KYC compliant investor, you must have a valid PAN card and address proof. 

Open a Net Banking Account

It's crucial to have active internet banking on your bank account, in case you are seeking to invest in mutual funds. While mutual funds also let you invest through cheques and debit cards, doing it through net banking proves to be a faster, more efficient, and secure process to make investments.

Seek Guidance from a Financial Advisor

The market is flooded with thousands of mutual fund options and the performances of the funds also need to be monitored. As a result, the entire process of mutual fund investment can be tiresome and overwhelming. Hence, it’s advisable to approach a mutual fund expert or distributor to seek guidance, in case choosing an appropriate mutual fund is a strenuous task for you.

Disadvantages of Mutual Funds

Like most investment options, mutual funds also have some disadvantages, which must be analyzed before you choose to invest in one. Some of the common cons of mutual funds are listed below:

  • Fund Evaluation:Often, investors find it arduous to perform extensive research and estimate the value of different funds. The net asset value (NAV) of mutual funds renders investors the value of a fund’s portfolio. 

  • Fluctuating Returns: funds don’t offer any fixed guaranteed returns. Therefore, you must always be ready for any eventuality comprising your mutual fund value depreciation.
  • No Control: fund managers manage every kind of mutual fund. In various situations, a team of analysts may support the fund managers. As a result, you don’t have any control over your investment. 
  • Costs:Based on the changing market scenarios, the value of the mutual fund may vary. Moreover, you may have to pay certain fees and expenses that come with the professional management of a mutual fund. Such expenses and fees aren’t required in case you are buying stocks or securities directly in the stock market. 
  • Diversification:Often referred to as one of the biggest advantages of a mutual fund, sometimes diversification could be a risk if it is over-diversification. Consequently, it may raise the fund’s operating cost, dilute the relative advantages of diversification and require greater due diligence. 
  • Past Performances: Companies issue ratings and advertisements for a mutual fund, which only indicates the past performance of a fund. However, you must note that the strong past performance of a fund doesn’t ensure a similar performance in the future. 


Ans: Different mutual funds schemes require different investment amounts per instalment. You can start by investing typically $500 or less per instalment in a mutual fund through the SIP.

Ans: In Canada, you can choose to invest in a fund-of-funds that further invests in Canadian mutual funds. Or you can also connect with a mutual fund house offering the requisite facility.

Ans: There are two ways you can invest in gold through mutual funds — either online or offline directly visiting the mutual fund house. You can also You may invest in Gold ETFs or gold funds either online or offline directly with a mutual fund house. You can also invest in these funds with the help of a mutual fund distributor.

Ans: Yes, if you are a student above 18 years of age, then you can easily invest in mutual funds. You may opt for direct plans of mutual funds and invest through AMC (Asset Management Company). You can also aim for regular plans of mutual funds through a broker.

Ans: Similar to other securities, mutual fund investments are too subject to losses. Nevertheless, the mutual fund is meant to fulfil the objective of reducing investment risks. Therefore, they can often be less risky than other forms of investments due to their diversified nature.

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Table of Content

  • What is a Mutual Fund?
  • How do Mutual Funds Work?
  • Why Invest in Mutual Funds?
  • Benefits of Invest in Mutual Funds
  • Types of Mutual Fund in Canada
  • Mutual Fund Costs
  • Things to Consider as a First-Time Investor
  • Disadvantages of Mutual Funds