Recent efforts by the Indian government to weed out black money from the economy and increase the tax base have called for a paradigm shift in the way people in India choose to save their money. The pumping out of cash from the economy has brought the citizen to a point where he is considering alternative investment options to save his money. This has led to an increase in the number of people who are now investing in the securities and derivative market. With a boom in the stock market over the past year, people are now more inclined to invest in securities, while carefully trying to avoid losses. It is the success of these markets that Long term capital gain tax found its way into the Budget announcement in February this year.
What are Hedge Funds and Mutual Funds?
Hedge funds and Mutual Funds are investment funds made by the fund management companies. The aim of these is to generate profits by investing in more than single entity i.e. through a diversified portfolio.
How do they work?
Investment from different parties gets pooled into a single portfolio. Both (Hedge Funds and Mutual Funds) of these play the stock, invest in land, real estate, currencies and derivatives in order to have high capital gains. They decide upon different investment options with the will of maximising the profits and create a single portfolio out of it.
What are the differences between Hedge Funds and Mutual Funds?
Hedge Funds are regulated by SEBI and are registered under SEBI, Alternative Investment Funds Regulation 2012. A Hedge Fund should have a minimum corpus of Rs. 20 Crores and minimum investment of Rs 1 Crore by each investor or member of the fund.
Whereas, Mutual Funds are regulated under Securities and Exchange Board of India (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996. A firm interested in opening Mutual Funds must register as trusts under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 and set up a separate Asset Management Company, with the net worth of the parent company / AMC be amounting to at-least Rs 5 Crores.
Hedge Funds may at times be only available to a list of high profiled businesses and individuals. They are entrusted with total autonomy and are are allowed to take key decisions at all times. This luxury is not available to the Mutual Fund investors. Owing to the low budget nature of their clients, they are required to be more cautious.
When it comes to liquidity, hedge funds are somewhat stricter. One cannot withdraw their shares whenever they want to. There is a lockup period, during which one cannot withdraw their stake. In the case of mutual funds, one can withdraw their funds whenever they want to.
In the light of recent developments in the Indian securities ecosystem, hedge funds and mutual funds serve as lucrative investment options for corporates and public alike.