Close Ended Mutual Funds

A closed-ended mutual fund scheme is where your investment is locked in for a specified period. Continue reading the blog to explore more.
Close Ended Funds
4 mins

In a closed-ended mutual fund scheme, your investment remains locked in for a predetermined duration. Subscription to closed-ended schemes is only possible during the new fund offer (NFO) period, with redemption of units permitted after the lock-in period or upon the scheme's tenure conclusion.

Among the various types of mutual funds, close-ended mutual funds present a unique investment structure that distinguishes them from their open-ended counterparts. Understanding the characteristics and functionalities of close-ended mutual funds is crucial for investors. This article aims to provide details about close-ended mutual funds, shedding light on their features, benefits, and considerations for potential investors.

What are closed-ended funds?

A close-ended mutual fund is an equity or debt fund which is initiated with a predetermined number of units issued by the fund house upon its launch. Following the conclusion of the new fund offer (NFO) window, the purchase or redemption of units in a close-ended fund becomes unfeasible for investors. These funds are introduced through an NFO and subsequently enter the market for trading, like stocks, featuring a fixed tenure of maturity. While the net asset value (NAV) dictates the true value of the fund, the trading price can fluctuate either above or below this benchmark, contingent on the interplay between unit supply and demand. In simpler terms, a close-ended fund 'closes' its investment phase post-launch, remaining sealed until its maturity date. This puts a higher level of flexibility in the fund manager’s hands to actively pursue the predefined investment objectives of the fund.

How do close-ended funds work?

Once the asset management company initiates a new fund offer, investors secure units of this scheme at a designated price. As the NFO period concludes, new investors are barred from joining the scheme, and invested investors are unable to exit prior to the scheme's maturity. Upon reaching maturity, the scheme is dissolved, and the invested funds are transferred to investors at the prevalent net asset value on the specified date. However, should any investor wish to exit before the maturity period concludes, they can opt to trade the units on the secondary markets.

A closed-end mutual fund's inception often involves an initial public offering to generate capital for the fund. Contributors to the mutual fund receive units in exchange for their financial input. These units are subsequently listed on the secondary market, where trading takes place in accordance with supply and demand. Like its name, a closed-end mutual fund refrains from issuing new units or buying back existing ones. Units of a closed-end fund are introduced just once. The only way to participate in this fund later is through the acquisition of existing units available in the open market.

Features of close-ended funds

  • Close-ended mutual funds lack liquidity during the lock-in period, limiting redemption options until this period concludes.

  • Investment opportunities in close-ended schemes are restricted to the new fund offer (NFO) phase, eliminating prior track records. Additionally, Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) are not applicable.

  • Averaging facilities are unavailable once the NFO period ends, as investment opportunities cease.

Types of investments in close-ended funds

There are primarily two key types of investments within closed-end funds:

  1. Bond Closed-End Funds: The predominant composition of assets in closed-end funds comprises bond funds. Inherent in all closed-end bond funds are market risk and credit risk. Market risk involves the potential impact of increasing interest rates, which could lead to a decrease in the value of the fund's bond holdings. Typically, market risk results in greater fluctuations in the net asset value (NAV) when the remaining maturity of a portfolio security is longer.
  2. Equity Closed-End Funds: The vulnerability of seeing a decline in their NAV and market price is a shared risk among all equity closed-end funds. Factors such as the operational and financial health of the stock's issuer, market dynamics affecting the issuer's industry, or the overall state of the stock market can influence the value of a specific stock within a fund's portfolio.

Advantages of close-ended funds

Listed below are the advantages of close-ended funds:

  • Potential for capital appreciation: The share price of a closed ended mutual fund may appreciate over time, just like the price of a stock. This can provide investors with the potential for capital gains.
  • Ease of access: Closed ended mutual funds are traded on the stock exchange, so they are highly accessible. This means that investors can easily buy and sell shares of the fund on the stock exchange.
  • Stability: Closed-ended funds grant fund managers a stable asset base since investors can't redeem units prematurely. The absence of constant redemptions eliminates liquidity concerns, enabling strategic planning aligned with investment objectives.
  • Market price dynamics: Like equity shares, closed-ended fund units are traded on stock exchanges, their prices shaped by supply and demand. High demand and low supply can drive unit prices significantly above the scheme's nav.

How to evaluate close-ended funds before investing

The concept of a closed-end mutual fund entails that redemption is only possible upon reaching maturity. While this offers certain tax advantages, it also allows for easy trading on exchanges, providing liquidity benefits. Open-ended funds typically have minimal withdrawal restrictions. However, choosing the right investment necessitates careful consideration of individual requirements and goals. For long-term investors, closed-end mutual funds may offer increased stability, as fund managers have more freedom in investment decisions without concerns about redemptions.

Key factors to assess before investing in closed-end funds include:

  • Risk-adjusted returns
  • Benchmark comparison
  • Relative performance compared to peers
  • Portfolio quality, particularly the caliber of stocks
  • Track record and expertise of the fund manager

Who should invest in a closed-ended mutual fund?

  1. Long-Term Investors: Closed-ended funds are suitable for long-term investors who can commit their funds for this duration without needing liquidity.
  2. Goal-Oriented: Investors with specific financial goals, like saving for a child's education or creating a retirement corpus, can use closed-ended funds to match the fund's maturity with the target date.
  3. Risk Tolerance: These funds may invest in a variety of assets, including equities, which can introduce risk. Investors should have an appropriate risk tolerance and an understanding of market volatility.
  4. Patience: Since these funds don't allow redemptions before maturity, investors must be patient and prepared to stay invested throughout the fund's tenure.
  5. Averseness to Frequent Changes: Investors in closed-ended funds should be comfortable with the fund manager's strategy and avoid frequently changing their investment portfolio.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it good to invest in closed-end mutual fund?

Investing in closed-end mutual funds can be beneficial due to potential tax advantages and liquidity benefits from exchange trading. However, careful consideration of individual financial goals and risk tolerance is essential before investing.

What are the benefits of a closed-end fund?

Closed-end funds offer potential tax advantages and liquidity benefits through exchange trading. Additionally, they may provide stability for long-term investors, as fund managers have greater investment flexibility without concerns about frequent redemptions.

What is the risk of closed-end funds?

Risks associated with closed-end funds include market volatility, liquidity concerns, and potential for discounts or premiums to net asset value (NAV). Additionally, leverage utilised by some closed-end funds can amplify investment risks.

Can I sell a closed-end fund?

Yes, closed-end funds can be sold on the secondary market through exchanges. However, the price at which they are sold may be influenced by market demand, leading to potential discounts or premiums to NAV.

How to choose a closed-end fund?

When selecting a closed-end fund, consider factors such as risk-adjusted returns, benchmark comparison, relative performance with peers, portfolio quality, and the track record and competence of the fund manager.

Is closed-end fund taxable?

Yes, closed-end funds are subject to taxation on dividends and capital gains. Investors may also incur taxes when selling shares at a profit. The tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and prevailing tax laws.

What is the maturity of closed-end funds?

Closed-end funds have a predetermined maturity date, after which they typically liquidate and distribute proceeds to shareholders. Until maturity, investors can trade shares on the secondary market, subject to market conditions.

What happens when a closed-end fund matures?

When a closed-end fund matures, it typically liquidates its assets and distributes proceeds to shareholders. Investors receive their proportionate share of the fund's net asset value (NAV) based on their holdings.

Do closed-end funds have NAV?

Yes, closed-end funds calculate their net asset value (NAV) by dividing the total value of the fund's assets by the number of outstanding shares. However, closed-end funds may trade at a premium or discount to their NAV due to market demand and other factors.

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The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute any financial advice. The content herein has been prepared by BFL on the basis of publicly available information, internal sources and other third-party sources believed to be reliable. However, BFL cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information, assure its completeness, or warrant such information will not be changed. 

This information should not be relied upon as the sole basis for any investment decisions. Hence, User is advised to independently exercise diligence by verifying complete information, including by consulting independent financial experts, if any, and the investor shall be the sole owner of the decision taken, if any, about suitability of the same.