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In the last quarter of the financial year, we are likely to encounter advertisements and sales pitches for how ELSS mutual funds are better than other tax saving instruments. A common sales pitch is that ELSS mutual fund investments are locked for three years and hence the fund manager can deploy funds without worrying about redemption pressure. Some have even suggested that this lock-in will help get better returns.

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If you ever wanted to get a list of all mutual funds benchmarked to the Nifty Next 50 or the Nifty Free Float Midcap 100, or simply wanted a listing of mutual funds and their benchmarks, your search ends here 🙂

Here is a list of 508 equity mutual funds (excluding ones closed for sales) and their benchmarks as listed at Value Reseach.

This is the benchmark distribution. The data is in the sheet below.

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Each month, I publish equity mutual fund lump sum and SIP returns; upside capture, downside capture and capture ratios over 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 year periods determined up to Jan 5th 2017. This can be used as a screener to quickly select mutual funds.

Pranav Date wrote a code to match the Value Research fund name and category with appropriate AMFI scheme code. This is a crucial step as it would be very difficult to manually do this for 414 equity funds.

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In the recent past, three mutual funds houses (Reliance, DSP Black Rock and SBI) have launched a facility in which it buys back units from its investors and instantly credits the equivalent value into a registered bank account. At first sight, this seems like a wonderful idea. However, on closer inspection, we begin to understand why SEBI has reportedly "expressed concern" about this move.

Thanks to Anish Mohan's research (see below), none of the schemes that offer instant redemption are liquid funds. They are, what is informally known as ultra-short term funds. Informally because, with the exception of liquid funds (that can only invest in bonds maturing on or before 91 days), there are no rules with regard to where other debt fund schemes can(not) invest. So we should not be surprised if a "banking and PSU" debt fund holds about 20% of GOI bonds with the hopes of riding the interest rate fall.

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In this guest post, Anish Mohan presents a step-by-step guide to applying online for an MF Utility account. MF Utility is the transaction aggregation portal run jointly by a consortium of 26 mutual fund houses. It offers investors way to invest in direct mutual fund plans (and switch from regular) via a single portal. It has now been in operation for just over a year now and has continuously evolved for the better, thanks to fantastic management/support team led by MD and CEO, Ve Ramesh.

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