Open Ended Mutual Funds: Meaning, Benefits, Comparison with Close Ended Funds

What are open-ended funds?

Open-ended funds are those mutual fund schemes that pool money from a large number of investors and remain open for investments, thereby issuing unlimited shares or units as the investments in the fund keeps on increasing. Here, Investors have the ability to directly make an investment into or exit from the scheme anytime as per their will.  Open ended funds are available on a continuous basis without any certain maturity term. These funds offer simple access in terms of liquidity. Trading of open-ended funds takes place any time after closing of a New Fund Offer (NFO). Units of open ended funds can be bought or sold at their Net Asset Value (NAV) which is updated on a daily basis. The NAV of a fund is based on the updated value or prices of the underlying securities in the fund's portfolio.

Advantages of open-ended funds

Open Ended Funds has numerous advantages some of which are mentioned below:

1. Liquidity

Open ended funds offer high levels of liquidity since there are no restrictions on withdrawals. The investors willing to redeem the fund units can do so at the latest Net Asset Value (NAV) on the day of redemption or NAV as per cut-off timings.

2. Access to track record

Open ended funds provide accessibility to track the performance of funds in markets over the years which can help investors to be more informative and make better investment decisions.

3. Systematic Options Available

Open ended funds offer systematic plans for usage by investors in order to make decisions regarding investments and withdrawals. The investors in open ended funds can use SIPs, SWPs & STPs which deploys systematic approach on making investments, withdrawals & transfers.

4. Diversified Portfolio

Open-Ended Funds invest in a variety of assets and hold a diversified portfolio of securities which facilitates in reducing risks associated with investments.

5. Low investment requirements

Open-ended funds require low minimum investments and thus makes it accessible for every kind of investor to make investments. Investments in some open ended funds can be made with as low as Rs.100.

Disadvantages of open-ended funds

Open ended funds have some disadvantages too, let's have a look at them:

1. Subject to market risks

Even when open-ended funds have very diversified portfolios which are managed by fund managers, these funds are still subjected to market risks. Net Asset Value (NAV) of these funds experience fluctuations & volatilities as per the market performances.

2. Exit Loads

Open-ended funds involve exit loads which are charges levied in case the investors chooses to exit from the fund. The loads are predefined and  are based on the tenure of investment.

3. Maintenance of cash reserves

The open ended funds need to maintain cash reserves to meet the redemption requirements of investors. Hence, they do not remain fully invested at a given point of time.

4. NAV updated once a day

The NAV of mutual fund schemes is updated just once a day after the closing of business day. 

5. Liquidity 

Liquidity can also prove to be a negative factor in the way that it might hurt the disciplinary approach of holding investments for long term. As investors might be willing to exit from their positions in gloomy market scenarios at low rates which could hurt returns.

Who should invest in open-ended funds?

Investors looking to invest in liquid instruments which do not carry any restrictions on withdrawals could invest in open ended funds. Also, depending upon their risk appetite, financial goals & investment horizon they can choose from a variety of open ended funds suitable to their needs.

Difference Between Open-Ended Funds and Close-Ended Funds

1.  Investment via Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)

Open-ended funds allow investors to invest via Systematic Investment Plans (SIP). On the other hand, Close-ended funds don’t allow this facility as investments are limited to the predefined term of the NFO only.

Also Read: What is Rupee Cost Averaging in SIP?

2. Supporting Systematic Withdrawal Plans (SWPs) and Systematic Transfer Plans (STPs)

Open-ended funds support Systematic Withdrawal Plans (SWPs), Systematic Transfer Plans (STPs) but close-ended funds don’t.

3. Duration

Open-ended funds don’t have any fixed tenure of investing or exiting from the fund whereas close-ended funds have fixed duration.

ParametersOpen-Ended FundsClose-Ended Funds
1. Investment via SIPAllowedNot Allowed
2. Supporting SWPs, STPsSupportedNot Supported
3. Fixed DurationNo Fixed DurationHas a fixed duration
4. LiquidityYesNo
5. InvestmentsLow minimum investmentsHigh minimum investments

Best Open-Ended Funds 

Some of the best open ended funds across different mutual fund categories include the following funds:

Best Open Ended Mutual Funds
FundsAUM (Cr.)3 Year returns%5 Year returns%
Best Large Cap Funds
ICICI Pru Bluechip Fund22,8752.195.96
Nippon India Large Cap9,983-1.653.32
Best Mid cap Funds
Axis Midcap Fund5,5118.647.30
DSP Midcap Fund6,9622.457.89
Best Small cap Funds
Nippon India Small Cap7,898-2.516.79
ICICI Prudential Small Cap1,1115.591.29
Banking & PSU Funds
ICICI Prudential Banking & PSU12,0967.688.82
HDFC Banking & PSU Fund6,4168.378.83
Corporate Bond Funds
HDFC Corporate Bond Fund18,3609.009.17
ABSL Corporate Bond20,0619.019.11

As of 04 August 2020

Open Ended Funds FAQs

1. What is the duration of entering and exiting an Open-ended fund?

Open-ended funds don’t have any fixed tenure of investing and exiting from the fund.

2. Are Open-ended funds a type of mutual fund?

Yes, open-ended funds are mutual fund schemes.

3. When can open-ended funds be redeemed?

Open-ended funds can be redeemed at any time by investors.

4. Do open-ended funds provide liquidity?

Yes, open-ended funds provide high levels of liquidity.

5. Are open-ended funds subjected to market risks?

Yes, open-ended funds are subjected to market risks even though they generally have a highly diversified portfolio managed by professional fund managers.

6. What are exit loads?

Open-ended funds involve exit loads which is simply the penalty charged to the investor in case he redeems units before a pre-defined term

7. Do open-ended funds provide accessibility to track record of funds?

Yes, Open-ended funds provide accessibility to track the performance of open-ended funds helping investors to make more informed decisions.

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