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Stocks vs Mutual Funds - Choose Your Right Investment Fit

Stocks vs Mutual Funds
by 5paisa Research Team 26/10/2021

With bank interest rates dwindling year on year and with every investor revelling in the equity market's raging bull run, more and more people are giving shares and mutual funds a whirl. Ironically though, plunging in without having done the groundwork of understanding these modes of investments is a precarious move. So if you have stopped to wonder which one would be the right choice for you, you have taken the first step just right. We are here to guide you on the rest.

Let us first get to the basics.

What are stocks/shares?

Stocks that you can buy and sell in the markets are part-ownership rights that you get in big listed companies. It is like you are contributing capital to these companies for their operations, only instead of loan you are participating as an equity holder. Unlike loans or debentures where there are assured interest payments, here you are exposed to the uncertainty in returns as it all depends upon how the company performs. 

And a Mutual Fund?

Well, you can imagine it as a large pool of money from thousands of retail investors that are then invested by experts (known as fund managers) in several hundred stocks or more. So when you buy a unit of the mutual fund, you are buying a proportionate share of that entire asset class maintained by the fund house. So in a way, you again become part-owner of all those companies that the fund has invested in.

In either case, you are participating as an equity investor, and you bear the risks and rewards that those shares are exposed to. Even then, they largely vary in terms of some features, and you can decide which is more suitable for you based on certain factors and  parameters:


When you are buying a particular stock or a few stocks, you are betting all your money on those few stocks only. There is little to no diversification, and here, you can either earn a lot of profits or end up in losses which exposes you to a lot of volatility. It is true you can cut that risk down if you can ably invest in multiple stocks and diversify your portfolio yourself.

Mutual Funds invest in a huge number of companies across various sectors that have negative correlations, to dilute the risk and optimise the returns. Such a huge level of diversification can rarely be achieved by an individual investor.

Active or Passive Investment Approach

If you are someone who can actively track, rebalance and shuffle your investments, direct stocks can give you higher returns when it is done in a disciplined and systematic manner. But if you cannot afford to invest so much time in researching and managing your portfolio, you should invest in a mutual fund and leave the rest to the experts. Then all you need to do track is your fund's average returns once in a while to avoid losing out on better opportunities.

Risk-Return Tradeoff

With very high growth stocks, you can time the market and get high returns in a short period. The downside is that the risk of the prices going down is equally high.

Mutual Funds have historically given great returns too, but more in the long run, as intense diversification mutes both the risks and returns in the short term.

Investment Amount

Even large-cap mutual funds have NAVs that are affordable for small investors just starting out. But most large-cap and blue-chip shares are relatively expensive, so you cannot diversify well if your investment amount is not sufficient. So if you are a new investor and are considerably risk-averse, a mutual fund might be the right place to begin.

Autonomy Vs Expert knowledge

The funds are managed by experienced fund managers who are well versed with the way of the market. While their rich expertise is an add-on to the other benefits, indeed, here, you do not have any autonomy to choose when and where to invest or divest.

If you are investing, holding and selling stocks yourself, you can have absolute freedom of decision. This is, of course, something that you would like to have if you have the skill and knowledge to gauge the market movements and economic cues.


Since the fund is managing your money by employing expert managers and incurring administration expenses, it is going to charge a commission/consideration from you. An expense ratio is expressed and charged as a percentage of assets managed by that fund.

In direct stock trading, however, you will only have to pay nominal brokerages when you buy and sell. 

Time Horizon

As we discussed earlier, it is possible to earn quick money in very high growth stocks if you are willing to bear a high risk. So if you are looking to achieve a financial goal in the short term, direct stocks might be worth the risk. Nonetheless, value stocks can also give you returns in the longer term.

In mutual fund investment, the returns start to swell only when you stay invested beyond 5-7 years. Equity stocks may give you higher returns in a shorter period but rarely earlier than 3 years.

Tax Savings

In terms of taxation of gains, both stocks and mutual funds enjoy a similar stance. There is no tax benefit in terms of deduction if you invest in direct equities, but ELSS Mutual Funds can save you taxes as they are eligible for deduction under section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

As you can see, both modes of investments have their innate pros and cons, and it is your outlook as an investor that largely matters when making the final choice. But hey, it's not all black and white when it comes to investing, so you can allocate your funds in a ratio that suits your profile and enjoy the best of both worlds.

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Top Pharma Mutual Funds To Invest In 2021

Top Pharma Mutual Funds To Invest In 2021
by 5paisa Research Team 26/10/2021

Ever since the global health crisis has fraught our lives, governments around the world have been increasingly investing in medical infrastructure. The developing nations have been seeing massive inflows of funds from intergovernmental pillar organisations and investors alike. 

The Indian government, too, is expected to spend about 2.5% of its GDP on health infrastructure by the end of 2025. As a consequence of this increasing global health awareness, the pharma sector has seen a quick rebound after the 2020 stock market crash due to the pandemic.

This sector is expected to rally in the near future, and if you are bullish on this sector too, we have come up with a comprehensive analysis on our top 3 picks among the Pharma Mutual Fund Schemes in 2021:

1) Nippon India Pharma Fund Growth

2) Tata India Pharma & Health Care Fund Growth

3) UTI Healthcare Fund Growth

Let's take a deep dive into all the factors, parameters and fund specific data that will help you make the best choice for yourself:


The longer the age of the scheme, and more importantly, the AMC, the surer you can be about its reliability and reputation. A higher age also means a lot of historical data will be available to you for a detailed analysis of its past performance. This doesn't mean you have to steer clear of new schemes as there are a lot of other factors to consider as well.

Asset Under Management

It is the total pool of funds that the fund managers are dealing with, and you could think of it as the fund's current portfolio value. A high AUM signifies that the scheme has amassed a lot of money from the investors and has also grown that amount over the years. It is a telltale sign of investors confidence along with the fund's ability to diversify its holdings.

Expense Ratio

Expressed as a percentage of the investment amount, the expense ratio is a measure of how much money would be charged from you as admin expenses. A higher expense ratio will mean your net returns would be lower. Compared to general funds, thematic funds generally charge a high expense ratio, but the overall returns can still be spectacular.

Asset Allocation

A sectoral or thematic fund can allocate its assets among large-cap, small-cap and medium cap shares which indicates the magnitude of the market capitalisation of the companies. Small companies are riskier to invest in, but they can also give you steep positive returns.

Top Holdings 

A closer look into the companies where the funds have concentrated most of their holdings can give you an insight into their future performance. Ideally, a larger holding percentage in fundamentally strong companies means that no matter the transitory ups and downs the returns should have a great average in the long run.


You must be thinking that this is the concluding factor in choosing the right scheme, but it is crucial to remember that the returns that are available in the records are only indicative of the fund's past performances. You can have a similar projection for the future, but they can always go awry. The smarter way to zero in on the best option is to refrain from giving too much emphasis on returns alone.

You see, there is no clear winner and all 3 of them have given great annualised returns over the life of the funds. Tata India is a comparatively younger fund, which explains why its lifetime returns are lower. In terms of category average returns, all three funds have performed higher than the mean, with the exception of last year, which saw a massive recovery in the markets. 

Since the players in the pharma and healthcare industry are not too many in number, all these Pharma Funds have holdings that substantially overlap with each other. So if you are holding units in two or more of these funds, you cannot really enjoy any diversification benefit. It is also not advisable to put all your money in a sectoral or thematic fund to avoid negative returns in case the industry tumbles due to unforeseeable economic consequences.

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5 Easy Steps to Mutual Fund Redemption & Exit

5 Easy Steps to Mutual Fund Redemption & Exit
by 5paisa Research Team 26/10/2021

Investors in mutual funds may invest and withdraw their money at any time throughout any business day, subject to any lock-in restrictions. Loads and capital gains tax apply to the redemption amount as well.


Investors who have reached their investment have the option of withdrawing their money in a variety of ways. So, if you fall in that ballpark, this post mentioned all the ways and steps that you need to follow for mutual fund redemption & exit.

5 Ways to Exit & Redeem Mutual Funds

Units of mutual funds may be redeemed online or offline. Redeeming mutual fund units may be accomplished in a number of ways, including those listed below:

1. Mutual Fund House Direct Redemption

As long as the lock-in period has not expired and the mutual fund units have been bought through a Mutual Fund House, i.e. the Asset Management Company (AMC), you may immediately connect with them and redeem all or part of your mutual fund units.

To terminate an account, you must redeem every single unit that the account contains. If just some units are redeemed, the account remains open. In addition to the aforementioned redemption procedure being completely online, you may also submit a completed redemption request form in person at the AMC.

After the request has been processed, you will be credited with the redemption amount through NEFT or get a check in the mail at the address you provided at registration.

2. Redemption through an Agent

In the event you invested in mutual funds via an agent, you will also be able to redeem your mutual funds through the same agency.

The agent sends your fully completed form to the AMC, together with information on the plan and folio, as well as the number of units you want to withdraw.

Once the AMC starts the redemption procedure, the money will be deposited into your bank account or a check will be sent to your address on file.

3. Redeeming Mutual Funds Using Certified Third-Party Portals

Some investors purchase mutual funds online via reputable third-party portals like 5paisa, which collaborate with fund houses to provide a wide range of top-rated mutual funds.

Mutual fund redemption requests may also be handled by these portals online, using a more streamlined procedure. The money is credited to your connected bank account as soon as the redemption request submitted via the site is approved.

4. Redemption through Demat Account

Certain individuals choose to invest in mutual funds through an online Demat or trading account. If you purchased mutual funds using a Demat account, you must also redeem them using that account.

A net asset value (NAV) payment against redeemed mutual funds is made electronically and paid immediately to the bank account associated with the Demat account.

5. Redemption through CAMS Website

For investors who want to redeem mutual fund shares from a variety of AMCs, CAMS (Computer Age Management Services) can help.

When a properly filled-out form is sent into the CAMS office, the requested funds are sent to the beneficiary's bank account within 2-4 business days of receiving it. Several AMCs use the CAMS office as a single point of contact for a wide range of services.


What is the Mutual Fund Redemption Timeline?

Once a redemption request has been completed, it cannot be changed or cancelled. So be careful. Once a request is received, it is handled by the NAV of the current business day, especially if it is received before 3 p.m. Unless otherwise specified, the following business day's NAV will be used instead.

3 Reasons Why Investors Might Exit a Mutual Fund

1. An Unexpected Financial Crisis

It's a good idea to keep a portion of your portfolio in open-ended mutual funds just in case anything unexpected happens. Selling off funds that were set up with a specific end in mind is a bad idea.

When redeeming your mutual fund units, keep in mind that there will be tax consequences as well as exit loads. To get the most out of flexible funds, invest over a longer period of time. Capital preservation and growth should always be the primary goals of investment.

2. Low Performance of the Scheme

In the event that your plan has been giving an underwhelming performance for some time, you should investigate the causes of the problem.

If the reason was a shift in your goals or a dramatic change in your portfolio mix, you may want to think about redeeming your fund(s) to get back on track. The recent performance of a fund should not be taken into consideration while redeeming.

In order to maximize their profits, investors should consider holding their investments for as long as feasible.

3. Non-delivery of the Promised fund Performance

Individuals put their money into mutual funds whose goals align with their own. As a result, choosing which funds to include in your investment portfolio depends heavily on the overall goal of the investment.

Active investors who are keeping tabs on the market may decide to sell or redeem their holdings if the outlook is bleak. When investing for the long term, a CRISIL study says that the odds of a fund producing good returns rise.


When it comes to meeting financial investment objectives and building wealth, investing in mutual funds is a long-term solution. However, mutual funds are also adaptable when it comes to how much money you want to put in and how long you want to keep it. It's critical to safeguard one's investment in mutual funds while making such a long-term commitment to wealth development.

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NSE Crosses 5 crore Unique Investors Mark

NSE Crosses 5 crore Unique Investors Mark
by 5paisa Research Team 26/10/2021

In a significant landmark, the National Stock Exchange announced that it had crossed the Rubicon of 5 crore unique investors. This is about 30% lower than the total demat accounts in India at 7 crore. However, that is more because there are scores of investors with multiple demat accounts. The 5 crore unique investors are mapped by PAN numbers.

According to the MD and CEO of NSE, Vikram Limaye, it took the NSE nearly 15 months to go from 3 crore unique investors to 4 crore unique investors. However, the journey from 4 crore unique investors to 5 crore unique investors has happened in just 7 months. Limaye expects the NSE to traverse the next journey to 10 crore unique investors in next 3-4 years.

The NSE has also noted in its press release that the total number of unique client codes registered with the NSE stood at 8.86 crore. While an investors is only allowed to have a single trading account with one broker, they are permitted to have trading accounts with different client codes with multiple brokers.

In the last one year, there has been a tremendous spread of the equity cult in India as is evident from the surge in trading accounts, fresh demat accounts opened and the record number of fresh mutual fund SIP folios opened. This has been underlined by scores of millennials joining the investment mainstream, many of whom are preferring direct equities.

In terms of state level contributions, Maharashtra contributed 17% of the unique investors followed by Uttar Pradesh contributing 10% and Gujarat contributing 7% of the new investors being registered. In fact, the top 10 states have accounted for a full 71% of the total new investors registrations in India via the NSE. 

An interesting trend pointed out by the NSE was that the new client registrations have been largely driven by non-metros. For example, the cities beyond the top-50 cities actually contributed to a whopping 57% of the new client account registrations. This is, perhaps, the first clear indication that the investors were not just growing in numbers but also in terms of a wider geographical spread.

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Bharti Airtel also signs for 4-year moratorium

Bharti Airtel also signs for 4-year moratorium
by 5paisa Research Team 26/10/2021

Almost a week after Vodafone Idea signed up for the 4 year moratorium, Bharti Airtel has also signed up for the moratorium. While Vodafone Idea had only signed up for moratorium on the spectrum dues, Bharti Airtel has signed up with DOT for moratorium on AGR charges and Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC). The last date for signing up was 29-October.

Check - Vodafone opts for 4 Year Moratorium on AGR Charges

In addition, the government has also given the telecom companies an offer by which they would be able to convert the interest portion of the moratorium period into an equity stake and offer it to the government. However, since the telecom companies have 90 days to take a final call on this issue, Bharti Airtel has not committed on this front.

Telecom companies opting for the moratorium on the AGR charges and the spectrum usage charges (SUC) would have to pay interest to the government at the rate of 2% above the incremental prime lending rate. This amount would be payable for the full 4 year period. However, telecom companies have the option to convert this portion into equity stake.

This was part of the relief package announced by the government last month for the telecom companies to relieve them from cash flow stress. While Bharti is not in such a serious financial crunch as Vodafone Idea, they did see merit in conserving cash flows for the time being so as to have a bigger war chest to take on competition from Jio.

Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel has already stated that their company would use the cash flows saved during the moratorium to aggressively build the network. In the case of Bharti, the interest component over 4 years alone would work out to Rs.10,000 crore so if they swap it with their equity stake, it would entail handing over 2-3% stake in Bharti Airtel to the government of India.

The more important consideration for Bharti Airtel is that this moratorium will free up cash flows to the tune of Rs.40,000 crore which will give them enough ammunition to ramp up networks and drive profitability in the interim. Telecom companies need to invest heavily in upgrading networks and in spectrum to become 5G ready.

Among other things, the Telecom Relief Package also allowed sharing of airwaves, 100% FDI and change in the definition of revenues on which AGR is payable.

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Axis Bank, Kotak Bank and Bajaj Finance Share Q2 Results

Axis Bank, Kotak Bank and Bajaj Finance Share Q2 Results
by 5paisa Research Team 26/10/2021

On 26th October, 3 heavyweight financials announced their results viz. Axis Bank, Kotak Bank and Bajaj Finance. Here is a gist of the 3 results announcements.

Axis Bank - Q2 Results

Axis Bank reported 4.17% increase in revenues in the Sep-21 quarter at Rs.20,967 crore. Profit after tax was up 84.5% at Rs.3,388 crore. Income from treasury was 4% up YoY while revenues from corporate banking were down 1.12%. Retail banking revenues were up 6.7%. Retail pressure showed as EBIT in retail banking almost halved due to spike in bad assets.


Rs in Crore






Total Income

₹ 20,967

₹ 20,127


₹ 20,056


Operating Profit

₹ 6,304

₹ 6,918


₹ 6,511


Net Profit

₹ 3,388

₹ 1,837


₹ 2,357


Diluted EPS

₹ 11.02

₹ 6.22


₹ 7.67


Operating Margins






Net Margins






Gross NPA Ratio






Net NPA Ratio






Return on Assets (Ann.)






Capital Adequacy







The good news for Axis Bank was that quarterly profits were at an all-time high on standalone basis, while the credit costs stood at 0.54%. The net slippages in the quarter were largely under control at 0.46% and the CASA ratio share improved 200 bps at 42%. The boost to net profits came from the sharp fall in provisions for doubtful assets by 60% at Rs.1,763 crore.

Axis reported 8% higher net interest income or NII for the quarter while net interest margins or NIM stood at a relatively healthy 3.9%. Gross NPAs and net NPAs fell on YoY basis, even as net profit margins at 16.16% was robust on a comparative basis.


Kotak Mahindra Bank - Q2 Results

Kotak Mahindra Bank reported 13.24% rise in total consolidated revenues in the Sep-21 quarter at Rs.15,342 crore. Net profits were up just about 1.43% YoY at Rs.2,989 crore although profits were up 65.5% on a sequential basis. The big boost to revenues at a consolidated level came from insurance with revenues growing 36% to Rs.5,083 crore.


Rs in Crore






Total Income

₹ 15,342

₹ 13,548


₹ 12,571


Operating Profit

₹ 4,365

₹ 4,345


₹ 3,377


Net Profit

₹ 2,989

₹ 2,947


₹ 1,806


Diluted EPS

₹ 15.06

₹ 14.89


₹ 9.11


Operating Margins






Net Margins






Gross NPA Ratio






Net NPA Ratio






Return on Assets






Capital Adequacy







EBIT contributions of treasury and corporate banking verticals of Kotak Bank were higher on a YoY basis, albeit marginal. However, EBIT of retail business fell 96% due to spike in asset stress in the retail business. Insurance also saw a sharp fall in EBIT due to a spike in claims paid and provisions for COVID-2.0. While NII was up just about 3% at Rs.4,021 crore, Kotak reported 4.45% NIMs., among the most robust in the peer group.

Customer assets at Kotak Bank grew 17% at Rs.256,353 crore on a YoY basis. Healthy CASA has been the hallmark of Kotak Bank and it improved further by 350 bps to 60.6%. While credit costs stood at 0.63%, gross NPAs increased 61 bps to 3.16%.

Check - Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank – Q1 Results


Bajaj Finance - Q2 Results

Bajaj Finance Ltd reported 18.6% growth in revenues for Sep-21 quarter at Rs.7,732 crore while net profits were up 53.5% at Rs.1,481 crore on a YoY basis. Bajaj Finance saw 16% spike in interest income YoY at Rs.6,687 crore and its fee and commission income also grew 27.4% at Rs.733 crore. The big story for Bajaj Finance in the quarter was the 28% spike in net interest income or NII at a healthy Rs.5,335 crore.


Rs in Crore






Total Income (Rs cr)

₹ 7,732

₹ 6,520


₹ 6,743


Operating Profit (Rs cr)

₹ 2,004

₹ 1,305


₹ 1,366


Net Profit (Rs cr)

₹ 1,481

₹ 965


₹ 994


Diluted EPS (Rs)

₹ 24.42

₹ 15.98


₹ 16.54








Net Margins







During the quarter, there was a 25% fall in impairment provisions on investments, while the loan losses and provisions fell from Rs.1,700 crore to Rs.1,300 crore. Gross NPAs fell 51 bps to 2.45% YoY. This ensured that the OPM or operating margins stood at 25.92%; nearly 500 bps better than the previous quarters.

The capital adequacy ratio of Bajaj finance is extremely comfortable at 27.68% with Tier-1 capital adequacy at 24.9%. Bajaj Finance saw its AUM grow by a healthy 23% while deposits grew 33% in Q2. Net margins for the Sep-21 quarter at 19.15% were 440 bps better than the previous quarters.

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