What is Growth Fund: Know Meaning, Features, and Types

A growth fund is a mutual fund that invests in growth stocks to achieve capital appreciation.
What is Growth Fund: Know Meaning, Features, and Types
3 mins read
11 Apr 2024

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.

What is a growth fund?

Growth funds are a category of mutual funds designed to achieve capital appreciation by investing in stocks of companies with strong growth potential. The primary objective of growth funds is to deliver substantial returns over the long term by focusing on businesses expected to experience above-average growth compared to other companies in the market.

These funds typically invest in sectors or industries characterised by innovation, expanding market opportunities, and increasing revenue. Growth fund managers employ a growth-oriented investment strategy, selecting stocks with the anticipation of significant future earnings and share price growth. While growth funds can be more volatile than other types of mutual funds due to their emphasis on high-growth stocks, they also offer the potential for substantial returns.

Investors attracted to growth funds are usually those seeking capital appreciation and are willing to tolerate a higher level of risk in pursuit of potentially higher returns. It's crucial for investors to align their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon with the characteristics of growth funds to make informed decisions that suit their financial goals.

How do growth funds work?

Growth funds provide investors with a diversified portfolio comprising high-growth stocks. These mutual fund schemes allocate investments to companies recognised for their potential to achieve substantial revenue and profits, aiming to maximise capital appreciation for investors.

Although considered one of the riskier mutual fund options, growth funds appeal to investors with a medium-to-long-term investment horizon who can withstand short-term market volatility.

These funds typically avoid companies with high dividend yields, prioritising capital gains and aiming to deliver robust returns. Any gains generated by the scheme are reinvested back into the portfolio, leveraging the compounding effect that distinguishes growth funds and attracts investors.

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.

Benefits of investing in growth funds

Investing in growth funds offers investors a host of advantages. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Potential for substantial growth and returns:

While there are no guarantees, growth funds have the potential to deliver significant returns, especially in favourable market conditions.

2. Professional management:

Skilled fund managers carefully select stocks of companies with promising growth prospects, making informed decisions to potentially enhance returns despite inherent risks.

3. Diversified portfolio:

Growth funds typically hold a diverse mix of high-growth stocks, spreading risk across multiple investments and reducing vulnerability to market fluctuations.

  1. Reinvestment opportunities: One unique advantage of growth funds lies in their ability to reinvest earnings and gains into further expansion or research and development, potentially strengthening the fund's performance over time.

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 Rs. 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.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the meaning of growth fund?

A growth fund is a type of mutual fund that primarily invests in stocks of companies with the potential for significant capital appreciation. These funds focus on companies expected to grow at an above-average rate compared to the broader market.

How do growth funds make money?

Growth funds make money through the capital appreciation of their underlying investments. As the stock prices of the companies, they hold increase over time, the value of the fund's assets rises, allowing investors to profit when they redeem their fund shares.

How is fund growth calculated?

Fund growth is typically calculated by measuring the change in the fund's net asset value (NAV) over a specific period. This NAV growth reflects the combined performance of the fund's underlying investments.

Are growth mutual funds safe?

Growth mutual funds carry a higher level of risk due to their focus on companies with growth potential. While they offer the potential for higher returns, they can also be subject to market volatility and downturns. Investors should assess their risk tolerance and investment objectives before investing in growth funds.

What is growth vs value mutual fund?

Growth and value are two distinct investment styles in mutual funds. Growth funds aim for stocks with high growth potential, while value funds seek stocks perceived to be undervalued. The choice depends on an investor's risk tolerance and investment goals.

What are the benefits of growth funds?

Growth funds offer the potential for higher capital appreciation as they invest in companies with strong growth prospects. They suit investors seeking long-term wealth accumulation and can be advantageous during bullish market phases.

Should I invest in a growth fund?

Whether to invest in a growth fund depends on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon. If you aim for capital appreciation over the long term and can tolerate market volatility, a growth fund might align with your investment strategy.

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