What is Growth Fund?

Learn more about growth funds, their features and types.

3 mins
01 August 2023

A growth fund is a type of mutual fund or Exchange traded fund (ETF) which qualifies as an investment strategy that focuses on investing in companies with significant potential for above-average revenue and earnings growth. These funds capitalise on the growth prospects of such high growth companies, aiming to generate substantial capital appreciation over the long term.

The underlying philosophy of a growth fund centers on the belief that the selected companies will experience accelerated earnings and share price appreciation, outperforming the overall market and value-oriented investment strategies.

However, it is essential to understand the associated risks and carefully consider one's investment objectives before committing to a growth fund strategy.

Growth fund features:

Understanding how a growth fund works is essential for investors looking to capitalise on the growth prospects of dynamic companies and achieve their financial goals.

1. Selecting Growth-Oriented Companies:

At the core of a growth fund's strategy is the careful selection of companies with robust growth potential. Fund managers analyse various factors, such as revenue growth, earnings per share, market trends, competitive advantages, and management's track record. The goal is to identify companies that are poised for substantial expansion and are likely to outperform their peers in the market.

2. Diversification:

To manage risk effectively, growth funds typically diversify their holdings across multiple growth-oriented companies and sectors. Spreading investments across different industries and companies helps mitigate the impact of individual company-specific risks. By diversifying, growth funds seek to achieve a balanced exposure to various growth opportunities.

3. Active Portfolio Management:

Growth fund managers engage in active portfolio management, continually monitoring and adjusting the fund's holdings based on market conditions and the growth prospects of individual companies. They aim to optimise the fund's performance by seizing emerging growth opportunities and trimming positions in companies with reduced growth potential.

4. Focus on High-Growth Sectors:

Growth funds often have a strong bias towards high-growth sectors,. These sectors tend to exhibit above-average growth rates compared to more mature industries, making them attractive targets for growth-focused funds.

5. Growth vs. Value Investing:

It's important to distinguish growth funds from value funds. While growth funds prioritise capital appreciation and invest in companies with robust growth potential, value funds focus on undervalued companies with solid fundamentals and potential for price appreciation.

6. Long-Term Perspective:

Growth companies often reinvest their profits back into the business to fuel expansion, the potential for short-term dividends may be limited.

7. Risk Tolerance:

Growth funds, like all investments, carry inherent risks. The higher growth potential of the companies they invest in also entails higher volatility.

Who should invest in growth funds?

Growth funds offer a compelling investment option. While they come with inherent risks, growth funds have the potential to generate attractive returns over time, making them suitable for specific types of investors. Here, we explore who should consider investing in growth funds and the factors to consider when making this investment choice.

1. Investors with a Long-Term Horizon:

Growth funds are ideal for individuals with a long-term investment horizon. The nature of these funds involves investing in companies with substantial growth potential that may take time to realise. Patient investors willing to hold their positions for several years or more are more likely to benefit from the potential capital appreciation that growth funds can offer.

2. Risk-Tolerant Investors:

Investing in growth funds comes with a higher level of risk compared to more conservative options. Growth companies can be subject to greater market volatility, and their stock prices may experience significant fluctuations. As such, investors with a higher risk tolerance and a willingness to withstand short-term market fluctuations may find growth funds aligning well with their risk appetite.

3. Those Seeking Capital Appreciation:

Investors seeking capital appreciation rather than immediate income or dividends may find growth funds appealing. These funds primarily focus on investing in companies expected to experience above-average growth in earnings and value over time. For those looking to build wealth through long-term growth potential, growth funds can be an attractive choice.

Types of Growth Funds:

  1. Large-Cap Growth Funds: These funds invest in large-cap companies that are expected to experience above-average growth rates. They focus on well-established companies with a track record of growth and stability.
  2. Mid-Cap Growth Funds: Mid-cap growth funds invest in medium-sized companies that have the potential for significant growth but may carry higher risk compared to large-cap companies.
  3. Small-Cap Growth Funds: These funds invest in small-cap companies, which are often in their early stages of growth. They have the potential for rapid expansion, but they also carry higher risk.

4. Sector-specific Growth Funds: Some growth funds concentrate their investments within specific sectors or industries. These sector-specific growth funds allow investors to focus on areas they believe will experience substantial growth in the future. Examples of sector-specific growth funds include technology, healthcare, renewable energy, or consumer discretionary funds.

5. International or Global Growth Funds: International or global growth funds invest in growth-oriented companies outside the investor's home country. These funds provide exposure to global growth opportunities and can diversify a portfolio beyond domestic markets. Investing internationally introduces currency risk and additional complexities, but it also offers access to diverse markets and potential high-growth regions.

Tax implication on growth funds

Investing in growth funds introduces important tax considerations that can significantly affect overall investment returns. When an investor sells growth fund units at a profit, it triggers a capital gain, subject to either short-term or long-term capital gains tax, based on the holding period. Short-term capital gains, arising from units held for one year or less, are taxed at the investor's regular income tax rate, while long-term capital gains, from units held for over a year, face a lower tax rate.

For instance, if Ramesh purchased growth fund units in India for INR 50,000 and sold them for INR 70,000 after 15 months, the INR 20,000 capital gain would be liable for long-term capital gains tax at 10%, resulting in a tax liability of ₹2,000. Being mindful of these tax implications is crucial for investors in making informed decisions and optimising after-tax returns.

Growth mutual funds present an attractive opportunity for investors seeking higher returns and capital appreciation. As with any investment decision, it is essential to understand the risk factors and align the investment with your financial goals and risk appetite. Conduct thorough research, consult with a financial advisor, and invest wisely to make the most of the potential offered by growth funds. Remember, a well-planned and disciplined approach can unlock the growth potential of your investment portfolio.