We feel that this is a good initiative from all perspectives. It will help retail investors be aware of Mutual Funds and they can benefit by investing in Mutual Funds judiciously. The investors might still need the help of financial planners or professionals in selecting the right products but the final decision that they take will be more informed. This will also help them in asking the right questions to their advisors. At the same time, the industry will benefit as the overall market size will grow and they will have more business. In the current scenario many people do not want to consider mutual funds as a savings or investment vehicle. Mutual funds do not feature in many investors’ financial plans.
Let us look at some of the initiatives taken by various Mutual Fund houses that we can use to understand and enhance our knowledge.
- Birla SunLife has started an investor awareness website - http://www.janotohmano.com/. The website has information, videos, glossary and FAQs on mutual funds for both first time investors as well as those who invest in mutual funds already.
- HDFC Mutual Fund has some pages on their website dedicated to MF investor education.
- Tata Mutual Fund has a ‘Knowledge Centre’ its website. There are different sections for educating prospective MF investors. You can have a look here -http://www.tatamutualfund.com/#. The section ‘Prof. Simply Simple’ has articles on demystifying financial concepts and animated videos explaining different terminologies. Other sections with more in depth articles and FAQs and glossary focusing on mutual funds are also present.
- ICICI Prudential has also taken steps in the direction of this initiative. It has adopted the print, outdoor and digital media to spread awareness among mutual fund investors. ICICI Pru had launched a program –‘Invest Correctly’ which had various campaigns on various aspects of Mutual Funds investments.
It remains to be seen if this really helps in investor awareness/education or does it merely serve as an advertising vehicle.
Have you used or come across any of these awareness initiatives. Do you think they help retail investors? We would love to know your thoughts and opinions on these education tools.
SEBI has mandated that MFs spend a particular amount on investor awareness. Many mutual fund houses have taken steps towards this aspect. It is good as if this is done in the right sense it will help the investors positively and also expand the market.