What is the right time to exit a mutual fund?

Most of the personal finance investment discussions are centered around what is the right time to enter the mutual fund and choosing the right type of fund for you (Pl see earlier article   “Mutual fund is not a one size fits all product”). Once the investment is done, there is seldom any talk of when to exit from the fund. If the investment is doing well, we are reluctant to exit in anticipation of a further rise and if it falls below the principal value, we do not want to book a loss and hence we keep waiting for a recovery.

Just like it is important not to churn your investment very often to avoid lower yields, high charges and tax liabilities, it is also important not to hold on to investments for too long.

You should think of exiting from a mutual fund when –

  • The target is reached Once the fund has made the target profit set by you while investing, it is time to move out of it.
  • The fund isn’t performing as per expectations If the fund is not performing well relative to others in the same category.
  • Change in your personal risk profile Different stages in a person’s life (just started working, married with children, retired etc.), or changes in his financial profile alters his basic risk profile. Accordingly necessary changes should be made in his mutual fund portfolio.
  • Change in the basic attribute of the fund Often AMCs merge Mutual Funds, change the structure or investment style which could impact the fund performance and your investment objective may not be met.
  • Some negative news of the fund house If your mutual fund house is in news for wrong reasons like fraud, not adhering to investment norms etc, it is time to say goodbye.
  • Emergence of new and better investment opportunities – The market for financial products is constantly changing with new financial products being launched regularly. A new alternate investment avenue with superior features or lower expenses could be a reason for switching the fund.

If you are from a non-finance background or do not have a good understanding of the financial markets, please consult your financial advisor before makes any such changes.


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