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Why fees in a Mutual fund is as important as the returns !?

Mutual funds are investment vehicles which take advantage of time to compound the wealth of their investors.

But not only does the return compound overtime, fees do too and can affect the return negatively.

Types of Fees to keep in mind when investing in Mutual funds

1) Expense Ratio -

It represents the annual expenses of managing a mutual fund as a percentage of the fund's average net assets. This includes :

  • Fund management fees

  • Administrative expenses

  • Marketing and distribution expenses

  • other operational costs

2) Entry and Exit Loads -

These are fees charged when investors enter or exit a mutual fund scheme.Entry loads have been abolished in India since 2009 for most mutual funds.

However, exit loads may still apply, especially for short-term redemptions. These loads are usually a percentage of the redemption amount and are deducted from the investor's proceeds.

3) Asset Management Charges -

Asset management charges are levied by the fund house for managing the mutual fund.

They are typically a percentage of the average net assets under management (AUM) and cover the fund management expenses.

These charges are deducted from the fund's assets, reducing the overall returns for investors.

How Mutual Fund Fees Are Calculated

Mutual fund fees are calculated based on the rules and regulations set by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The expense ratio is calculated by dividing the total expenses of the mutual fund by its average net assets. Entry and exit loads are predetermined by the fund house and disclosed in the offer document. Switching fees and asset management charges are also determined by the fund house and are communicated to investors.

Impact of Fees on Investment Returns

Mutual fund fees can have a significant impact on investment returns over the long term. Higher fees can erode a substantial portion of the returns generated by the fund. Therefore, investors should carefully evaluate the fee structure and assess whether the potential returns justify the costs involved. It's important to note that past performance and the fund's investment objective should also be considered alongside the fee structure.

Comparing Mutual Fund Fees

When comparing mutual fund fees, investors should consider the expense ratio, entry and exit loads, switching fees, and asset management charges. It's advisable to compare fees within the same category of mutual funds and assess the value proposition offered by each fund. Investors should also consider the fund's historical performance, risk-adjusted returns, and the expertise of the fund manager.

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Fees

When evaluating mutual fund fees, investors should consider the following factors:

  • Investment Objective: Assess whether the fund's investment objective aligns with your financial goals.

  • Risk-Adjusted Returns: Evaluate the fund's historical performance, considering the level of risk taken to generate those returns.

  • Expense Ratio: Compare the expense ratios of similar funds to assess the competitiveness of fees.

  • Entry and Exit Loads: Determine if the fund charges any loads and evaluate the impact on short-term and long-term investments.

  • Fund Manager Expertise: Consider the track record and experience of the fund manager in managing the fund.

  • Fund House Reputation: Evaluate the reputation and credibility of the fund house.


Understanding mutual fund fees is essential for investors to make informed investment decisions in India. By comprehending the different types of fees, their calculation methods, and their impact on investment returns, investors can evaluate the overall cost of investing in mutual funds. It's crucial to carefully review fee disclosures, compare fees across similar funds, and consider other critical factors such as risk-adjusted returns and fund manager expertise.


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