Mutual fund is a mechanism for pooling money by issuing units to the investors and investing funds in securities in accordance with objectives as disclosed in offer document. Investments in securities are spread across a wide cross-section of industries and sectors and thus the risk is diversifiedbecause all stocks may not move in the same direction in the same proportion at the same time. Mutual funds issue units to the investors in accordance with quantum of money invested by them. Investors of mutual funds are known as unitholders. The profits or losses are shared by investors in proportion to their investments. Mutual funds normally come out with a number of schemes which are launched from time to time with different investment objectives. A mutual fund is required to be registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) before it can collect funds from the public
Unit Trust of India was the first mutual fund set up in India in the year 1963. In late 1980s, Government allowed public sector banks and institutions to set up mutual funds. In the year 1992, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act was passed. The objectives of SEBI are – to protect the interest of investors in securities and to promote the development of and to regulate the securities market. As far as mutual funds are concerned, SEBI formulates policies, regulates and supervises mutual funds to protect the interest of the investors. SEBI notified regulations for mutual funds in 1993. Thereafter, mutual funds sponsored by private sector entities were allowed to enter the capital market. The regulations were fully revised in 1996 and have been amended thereafter from time to time. SEBI has also issued guidelines through circulars to mutual funds from time to time to protect the interests of investors. All mutual funds whether promoted by public sector or private sector entities including those promoted by foreign entities are governed by the same set of Regulations. There is no distinction in regulatory requirements for these mutual funds and all are subject to monitoring and inspections by SEBI.
Financial planning is the process of seeking to meet your life goals through the proper management of your finances. Financial planning helps you make advance provision for financial needs that will arise in the future. The objective of financial planning is to ensure that the right amount of money is available in the right hands at the right point in the future to achieve an individual's life goals.
Financial planning provides direction and meaning to your financial decisions. It allows you to understand how each financial decision you make affects other areas of your finances. For example, buying a particular investment product might help you save adequately to finance your child's higher education, or it may provide enough for a comfortable retirement. You can also adapt more easily to life changes and feel more secure that your goals are on track.
A financial planner is someone who uses the financial planning process to help you determine how to meet your life goals. The key function of a financial planner is to help people identify their financial planning needs, their present priorities and the products that are most suitable to meet their needs. He or she normally possesses detailed knowledge of a wide range of financial planning tools and products, but his primary role is to help clients choose the best products for each need. The planner can take a “big picture” view of your financial situation and make financial planning recommendations that are right for you.