Showing a growing inclination for mutual funds among investors, the number of folios has grown by over 8 lakh in just one month to reach an all time high of 7.22 crore at the end of April 2018. This follows an addition of 1.6 crore investors account in entire 2017-18, over 67 lakh folios in 2016-17 and 59 lakh in 2015-16. Folios are numbers designated to individual investor accounts, though an investor can have multiple accounts. According to the data from Association of Mutual Funds in India on total investor accounts with 42 fund houses, the number of folios rose to a record 7,21,85,970 at the end of April this year, from 7,13,47,301 at the end of March 2018, a gain of 8.38 lakh.
Over the last few years, investor accounts have increased following robust contribution from retail investors, especially from smaller towns, and huge inflows in equity schemes. Folios in equity, equity-linked saving schemes (ELSS) grew by 7.35 lakh to 5.43 crore, besides, folios in balanced category surged by 1 lakh to 60 lakh during the period under review. However, folios declined in income funds and other ETF’s category. “After almost 2 months of volatility, the markets showed consistent recovery in April. The new financial year began with a positive sentiment that reflected in the increased confidence of new investors and secondly, February and March saw a slow down because of the long-term capital gain (LTCG) introduced,” said Harsh Jain, COO at Groww, an investment platform.
“The increase in new folios in April suggests that new investors have overcome their fears and realised that mutual funds still remain one of the most promising and flexible investment products for the long term,” he added. Essel Mutual Fund CIO Echoing Viral Berawala said,” Historically April used to be a seasonally weak month for financial savings. In the recent years both Fund houses and advisors have worked towards reducing the seasonality.”
Overall, mutual funds have seen an infusion of Rs 1.4 lakh crore, while equity and ELSS alone attracted an impressive inflow of around Rs 12,400 crore. This inflow has helped in increasing the total assets under management to to Rs 23.25 lakh crore in April-end from Rs 21.36 lakh crore at the end of March. Mutual funds are investment vehicles made up of a pool of funds collected from a large number of investors. The funds are invested in stocks, bonds and money market instruments, among others.