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Deciding on whether to invest in stocks or mutual funds is based on how much of a risk tradeoff you are willing to put your investment through. For higher returns, you will have to be willing to take greater risk.

  1. Understanding Stocks and Mutual Funds
  2. When investing as a novice
  3. Tracking your investment
  4. Risk and Return
  5. Tax Gains
  6. The cost of Investing
  7. Diversification
  8. Control on your investment
  9. Time
  10. Investment Horizon

 

 1. Understanding Stocks and Mutual Funds

When compared on a risk factor, stocks happen to be far riskier than mutual funds. The risk in mutual funds is spread across and hence reduced with the pooling in of diverse stocks. With stock,s one has to extensive research before investing, especially if you are a novice investor. Visit ClearTax for more details on the various areas of investments. In the case of mutual funds, the research is done, and the fund is managed by a mutual fund manager. This service though is not free and comes with an annual management fee that is charged by the fund house.
 

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2. When investing as a novice

If you are a new investor with little or no experience in the financial markets, it is advisable to start with mutual funds as not only the risk is comparatively lesser but also because the decisions are made by an expert. These professionals have the insight to analyze and interpret financial data to gauge the outlook of a prospective investment.
 

3. Tracking your investment

With an investment in mutual funds, you have the benefit of a fund manager who has extensive expertise and experience in the field. Whether it is picking the stocks or monitoring them and making allocations, you do not have to worry about any of it. This service is not available in the case of stock investments. You are responsible for picking and tracking your investment.
 

4. Risk and Return

It is already established that mutual funds have the advantage of reducing the risk by diversifying a portfolio. Stocks on the other hand are vulnerable to the market conditions and the performance of one stock can’t compensate for the other.
 

5. Tax Gains

Remember when investing in stocks, you will be liable to pay 15 percent tax on your short-0term capital gains if you sell your stocks within a span of one year. On the other hand, there is no tax on capital gains on the stocks that are sold by the fund. This can mean substantial benefits for you. The tax saved is also available for you to invest it further thus making way for further income generation through investment. But you will have to hold on to your equity for more than a year in order to avoid paying that short-term capital gains tax.

 
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6. The cost of Investing

Though you have to pay a fee to mutual fund managers unlike in the case of stocks that you buy individually, the economies of scale also come into play. It is true that active management of funds is an affair that does not come free of cost. But the truth is that due to their large size, mutual funds pay only a small fraction of the brokerage charges that an individual shareholder pays for brokerage. Individual investors also have to pay the charges for DEMAT which is not needed in the case of mutual funds.
 

7. Diversification

A well-diversified portfolio should include at least 25 to 30 stocks but that would be a huge ask for a small investor. With mutual funds, investors with small funds can also get a diversified portfolio. Buying units of a fund allows you to invest in multiple stocks without having to invest a huge corpus.
 

8. Control on your investment

In the case of mutual funds, the decision pertaining to the choice of stocks and their trading is solely in the hands of the funds manager. You do not have control over which stock is to be picked and for what duration. As an investor, if you invest in mutual funds you do not have the option to exit from some stocks that are in your portfolio. The decisions pertaining to the fate of the stocks rest in the hands of the fund manager. This way, an individual investing in stocks has more control over their investment than an investor who invests in mutual funds.
 

9. Time

When you invest directly, you will need to invest a lot more time and research into your stock while in the case of mutual funds you can be passive. The fund manager is the one who invests his time to manage your portfolio.
 

10. Investment Horizon

When investing in mutual funds, remember that you will have to give the funds at least 5-7 years to generate good returns as these have a longer-term growth trajectory. In the case of stocks, you can get quick and good returns if you choose the right stocks and sell them at the right time.

Still unsure about which investment option to choose from? Visit ClearTax to explore your options for investment from a diverse offering of investment schemes.

 

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