What is NFO?

NFO is the launch period for a new mutual fund, enabling investors to purchase its units for the first time.
What is NFO?
4 mins read
8 Apr 2024

A New Fund Offer (NFO) marks the launch of a new mutual fund scheme, inviting investors to subscribe to its units at an initial price. NFOs offer a chance to access innovative investment strategies or capitalise on emerging market trends. During the NFO period, investors can purchase units directly from the fund house. These offerings often come with a specific investment objective, catering to various risk profiles and investment preferences. Evaluating the fund's strategy and potential returns is vital before considering participation. In this article, readers are going to learn about NFO meaning, NFO types, how NFO works and many more in detail.

What is NFO (New Fund Offer)?

A new fund offer (NFO) represents the inaugural offering of fund shares by an investment firm to potential investors. Much like an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the stock market, NFOs aim to gather capital for the fund and entice investors. Despite being marketed, NFOs are generally less aggressively promoted than IPOs, often targeting specific investor groups. Consequently, new fund offerings may not garner as much attention from individual investors as IPOs do. Before committing to an NFO, investors are advised to assess factors such as the expense ratio and the performance track record of previous fund offerings by the investment company. To keep abreast of new fund launches, investors can monitor press releases from various investment firms and specialised news outlets dedicated to compiling the latest fund-related information.

How does an NFOs work?

NFOs work similarly to other mutual funds, but there are some key differences to remember. First, they are open for a limited period, typically 15 days, during which investors can subscribe to the fund. Then, once the subscription period ends, the fund is closed for new investments, and the units are allotted to the subscribers. In the case of open-ended schemes, the new investments will be allowed after the allotment date.

Benefits of investing in NFOs

Some benefits of investing in NFOs include:

  • Investment in new strategies: NFOs launch fresh mutual fund schemes, offering investors the chance to invest right from the beginning. This can be attractive for those who want to start with a clean slate and witness the fund's journey from inception.
  • Expense ratio: During the New Fund Offer (NFO) phase, any costs accrued may not be levied against the scheme. However, once the scheme is introduced, expenses and an expense ratio will come into effect.
  • Low entry barrier: NFO units are typically priced at a fixed rate, often at Rs. 10 per unit. This makes them accessible to investors with modest budgets, allowing them to start with a relatively low initial investment.'
  • Opportunity for better returns: If the NFO is managed effectively and its investment strategy aligns with your financial goals, you could benefit from the fund's performance as it grows over time.
  • Novel investment themes: Certain NFOs introduce innovative or specialized investment themes or strategies, offering investors an opportunity to diversify their portfolios uniquely.
  • Potential for future growth: Effective management and alignment of the NFO's investment strategy with your financial objectives may lead to potential gains as the fund grows over time.
  • Expert management: NFOs are overseen by seasoned fund managers who make investment choices based on the fund's objectives and prevailing market conditions, potentially increasing the likelihood of attaining your investment targets.

Different types of NFOs

NFOs can be classified into three main types based on the structure and features of the mutual fund schemes:

  1. Open-ended funds: Open-ended NFOs allow you to invest in mutual fund units even after the initial offer period has closed. You can enter and exit these schemes at your convenience. After the offer period, you can buy open-ended fund units at the current NAV on any business day.
  2. Closed-ended funds: You can invest during the NFO period only. These schemes are issued for a fixed tenure. Once the NFO period is over, further investments in the fund are not allowed. Units held in Demat can be sold in secondary market after the funds get listed on the stock exchange. As per SEBI rules, all closed-end funds must be listed on the exchange.
  3. Interval funds: Interval funds represent the characteristics of both open-ended funds and closed-ended funds. These funds fall under the category of closed-ended funds, but they allow you to make purchases and redemptions through the AMC window at regular intervals. These intervals may occur annually or semi-annually, allowing investors to transact within specific timeframes.

Who should invest in NFOs?

NFOs are suitable for investors who have a long-term investment horizon and are willing to take risks associated with new schemes. It’s important to note that investors should read all scheme-related documents carefully before investing.

NFO – Important rules

SEBI regulations mandate specific accumulation requirements for New Fund Offers (NFOs):

  • Debt-oriented and balanced hybrid schemes must amass a minimum subscription of Rs. 20 Crore during NFO, while other schemes require at least Rs. 10 Crore.
  • NFO collections should involve a minimum of 20 investors to ensure broad participation.
  • The 20-25 rule stipulates that no individual investor can hold more than 25% of the scheme's corpus, preventing concentration of investment.
  • Fund houses launching NFOs must invest in the scheme, with SEBI now urging increased investment based on scheme risk levels.
  • Although SEBI has directed greater skin-in-the-game involvement, implementation specifics remain pending clarification, potentially impacting fund allocation across different schemes.

Things to keep in mind before investing in NFO

  • Reputation of the AMC: It is important to research the reputation of the Asset Management Company (AMC) before investing in their NFO scheme. A good reputation indicates that the AMC has a history of managing funds well and can be trusted with your investment.
  • Minimum Investment and exit load: The minimum investment required for an NFO scheme usually ranges between Rs. 500 to Rs. 5000. It is important to consider this amount and ensure that you have sufficient funds to invest in the NFO scheme. The Exit load should also be considered before investing in an NFO.
  • Nature of Instrument: The nature of the instrument should be considered before investing in an NFO scheme. The instrument should be aligned with your investment goals and risk appetite.
  • Objective of the Fund: The objective of the fund should be considered before investing in an NFO scheme. The objective should be aligned with your investment goals and risk appetite.
  • Features, Investment Objectives, and Underlying Investment Strategies of NFO Schemes: It is important to read the offer document carefully and understand the features, investment objectives, and underlying investment strategies of NFO schemes before investing.

How can you invest in NFO?

Investing in an NFO is accessible through various channels such as online investment platforms like Bajaj Finserv, brokers, and both online and offline modes offered by fund houses. Directly visiting the fund house website allows you to undergo the KYC process and apply for the NFO, selecting the desired number of units and payment basis. Following application submission, successful NFOs typically result in mutual fund unit credits within five days, facilitated by the fund house.

What happens after NFO closes?

After the closure of the NFO period for a new scheme, the mutual fund company typically dispenses the units within five days. In cases where allotment is not granted due to incomplete KYC norms or errors in application forms, the fund house promptly refunds the application money. Nonetheless, for open-ended mutual fund schemes, investors can continue purchasing units even after the NFO period, as these schemes remain accessible for entry or exit at any time. However, not all mutual fund schemes offer this flexibility.

Close-ended funds, for instance, limit unit purchases solely to the NFO period, as they do not permit entry or exit at any other time, thereby restricting investment opportunities to the NFO duration.

NFO disadvantages

Here are some of the disadvantages of investing in NFOs:

  • Lack of track record: New Fund Offers (NFOs) lack a performance history, making it challenging for investors to assess the fund house's expertise and the effectiveness of its investing strategy.
  • Nav stability: Unlike stocks, mutual funds' Net Asset Value (NAV) is not influenced by demand and supply, which can affect the attractiveness of NFOs for investors seeking immediate gains.
  • Limited special benefits: NFOs typically do not offer any special benefits or advantages during the initial period, further reducing their appeal to potential investors compared to established funds.


In conclusion, NFOs provide investors with an opportunity to invest in new and innovative strategies that existing open-ended funds may not offer. However, it’s important to note that investing in NFOs comes with its own set of risks and rewards. Investors should read all scheme-related documents carefully before investing.

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Frequently asked questions

Is it good to invest in NFO?

Investing in an NFO can be good if the scheme aligns with your financial goals, but it is essential to research and understand the fund's objectives and risks.

Is NFO better than IPO?

Comparing NFOs and IPOs depends on your investment objectives. NFOs are mutual funds, while IPOs are initial public offerings of company shares, so they serve different purposes.

Is Equity NFO taxable?

NFOs are subject to taxation like all other mutual funds. Equity NFOs, where the equity allocation is 65% or more, incur a 15% tax on short-term capital gains. Long-term capital gains up to Rs 1 lakh are tax-free, with gains exceeding this threshold being taxed at 10%.

Which Is the Best NFO to Invest in?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best NFO to invest in depends on your investment goals, risk appetite, and other factors such as the reputation of the AMC, past performance of similar schemes, and the nature of the instrument.

How Do I Choose an NFO?

To choose an NFO, you should consider factors such as the investment theme of the scheme, track record of the fund house and fund manager, costs associated with the scheme, tax implications, and the nature of the instrument. It is important to thoroughly analyze the new fund objective and read the offer document carefully before investing.

What Is the Meaning of NFO?

NFO stands for New Fund Offer. It is a subscription offer for a new mutual fund scheme launched by an Asset Management Company (AMC). The AMC issues fund shares to raise capital for purchasing securities.

Can I withdraw money from NFO?

No, you cannot withdraw money from a New Fund Offer (NFO) as it is a subscription period for purchasing units in a new mutual fund scheme.

Is NFO tax-free?

No, NFO investments are subject to taxation based on the type of mutual fund and the applicable tax regulations.

What are NFO benefits?

NFOs offer opportunities to invest in new schemes at an initial price, potentially benefiting from early growth opportunities and innovative strategies.

What is the minimum amount for NFO?

The minimum subscription amount for NFOs varies depending on the type of scheme, with debt-oriented and balanced hybrid schemes typically requiring in a range of Rs. 500 to Rs. 5,000.

How long does NFO last?

The duration of an NFO typically ranges from a few days to a few weeks, allowing investors a limited window to subscribe to the new mutual fund scheme.

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