Fund of Funds: Meaning, Things to consider as an investor and More

Updated on: Jan 11th, 2022


7 min read

Fund of Funds (FoF) is a mutual fund scheme that invests in other schemes of mutual funds. Similar to how funds invest in stocks and bonds, the Fund of Funds invests in other mutual fund schemes. So, depending on your investment objective, this mutual fund scheme may invest in debt and equity.

What is Fund of Funds?

A Fund of Fund is a mutual fund scheme that invests in other mutual fund schemes. In this, the fund manager holds a portfolio of other mutual funds instead of directly investing in equities or bonds. A given FoF may invest in a scheme of the same fund house or another fund house. The portfolio is designed to suit investors across risk profiles and financial goals. The investors get an opportunity to benefit from the diversification as a result of investing in numerous fund categories.

The FoF can be domestic as well as overseas. In the case of foreign FoF, the fund manager invests in units of offshore mutual fund schemes. He/she ensures that the target fund’s investment philosophy and risk profile matches with that of the fund’s mandate. The main objective is to create wealth over the long run.

Who should invest in Fund of Funds?

The Fund of Funds is a good bet for small investors who do not wish to take higher risk. The diversification of funds helps to reduce the risk. This is also a great medium of investment for an investor with small amounts of funds available for investment each month. In addition to this, investors who have an investment horizon of five years or more may think of investing in this fund.

Most sought-after Fund of Funds in India

Of the many Fund of Funds available in India, the four most sought-after FoFs include:

Asset Allocation Funds

Asset allocation funds are mutual funds that invest in a varied class of assets. These assets range from equity-oriented, debt-oriented or even other asset classes such as gold, other metals, and commodities. Visit ClearTax for more information on asset allocation investment options.

Gold Funds

These funds invest in various forms of gold such as physical gold. They also invest in stocks of gold mining companies.

Foreign or International Fund of Funds

International funds are investments in mutual funds comprising bonds and shares of global companies.

Multi-manager Fund of Funds

Funds of Funds

A multi-manager fund is one that consists of many professionally managed funds but is a single portfolio.  

Things to consider as an investor

Fund of Funds relies on the principle of deriving the maximum benefit out of single but diversified investment plans. As an informed investor, you must weigh the pros and cons of this scheme before making any investment decision. Select an experienced fund manager and know your risk tolerance, transactional timelines, and tax implications, among other things. Listed below are some of the benefits and drawbacks of investing in Fund of Funds that one should be mindful of.

Advantages of Investing in Fund of Funds


If you wish to rebalance your assets, there will be no tax on capital gains for this internal transaction. Therefore, when your fund of funds are rebalanced to maintain a said allocation between debt and equity, there will be no tax on capital gains.

Ease of Handling

There is just one NAV to track and only one folio. This makes it easy to handle the reduced number of funds that require managing.

Professional Fund Management Services

Investing in fund of funds allows you to try out investing in professionally managed funds before they can venture out on investing individually.

The Credibility of Portfolio Managers

As Fund of Funds requires the backgrounds of its managers to be checked and verified, you can be assured that a credible person handles your funds.

Opportunity for investors with limited capital

Fund of Funds allows investors who possess only limited wealth to partake in diversified underlying assets. These assets would otherwise be hard for such investors to access individually.  

Disadvantages of Investing in Fund of Funds

High Expense Ratio

Fund of Funds incurs expenses just like any other mutual fund schemes. But unlike mutual funds, there is an extra cost involved. Apart from the general management and administrative fees, there is an added expense about the underlying funds. Despite the FoF expense ratio being just 1%, as an investor, you will still pay this amount on every fund that the FoF owns.

Tax implications

Short-term capital gain tax according to the income tax slab of the investor would be applicable if sold before 36 months. If the units are sold after 36 months, a long-term capital gain tax of 20% with indexation is levied.

Too much diversification

Fund of Funds invests in many funds which further invest in several securities. This gives rise to the possibility of the Fund of Funds, ending up owning the same stocks and securities through different funds. This reduces the potential for diversification.  

Top 5 Fund of Funds in India

Listed below are some of the top picks from the Fund of Funds available in India, based on the past three years returns. Investors may choose the funds based on a different investment horizon as well, like, five years or ten years returns and financial ratios.

Fund of Funds

1 year3 year5 year
Aditya Birla Sun Life Global Commodities Fund16.583.192.35
Kotak Gold Fund-Regular Plan7.413.521.59
SBI Gold Fund7.13.591.58
HDFC Gold Fund6.583.651.82
Axis Gold Fund5.791.890.09

Note: The order of funds is not indicative of any recommendations on the part of ClearTax. Investors may choose the funds as per their goals. Returns are subject to change. Fund of Funds can be the right investment choice for an investor with limited experience and limited funds.

Fund of Funds like mutual funds are subject to market risk and therefore mandate the investor acquaint him/herself with the market risks and the strategies of investment. Not sure if Fund of Funds is the right fit for you? Visit ClearTax for the option of choosing from a mix of hand-picked funds tailored to meet your investing needs.  

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Quick Summary

Fund of Funds (FoF) is a mutual fund scheme that invests in other mutual fund schemes depending on the investor's objectives, with domestic and foreign options available. It offers diversification, ideal for small investors and those with a five-year horizon. Popular FoFs include Asset Allocation Funds, Gold Funds, and International Funds. Consider aspects like tax benefits, professional fund management, and downsides such as high expenses and tax implications when choosing FoFs.

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