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How do I buy the units of a fund?" someone asked me the other day. This query was followed by a mail from a reader who wanted to know if he had to buy mutual fund units from the stock market.
For all of you who are plagued with similar questions, here is the answer.
We have listed five ways in which you can buy your fund units.
1. Get in touch with the Asset Management Company
The first step is to track the AMC -- as fund houses are known -- online.
Once you get onto their Web site, you will get their office addresses, phone numbers and a contact e-mail address. You will even be able to transact online with some of them.
Online addresses of the AMCs
ABN AMRO Mutual Fund
Benchmark Mutual Fund
Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund
BOB Mutual Fund
Canbank Mutual Fund
Chola Mutual Fund
Deutsche Mutual Fund
DSP Merrill Lynch Mutual Fund
Escorts Mutual Fund
Fidelity Mutual Fund
Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund
GIC Mutual Fund
HDFC Mutual Fund
HSBC Mutual Fund
ING Vysya Mutual Fund
J M Financial Mutual Fund
Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund
LIC Mutual Fund
Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund
Principal Mutual Fund
Prudential ICICI Mutual Fund
Reliance Mutual Fund
Sahara Mutual Fund
SBI Mutual Fund
Standard Chartered Mutual Fund
Sundaram Mutual Fund
Tata Mutual Fund
Taurus Mutual Fund
UTI Mutual Fund
Invest online with the mutual fund
Some mutual fund Web sites allow you to invest online. However, you must check if you have an account with the banks they have partnered with.
For example, Prudential ICICI Mutual Fund allows you to buy funds online if you have a banking account with any of the following banks: Centurion Bank, HDFC Bank [Get Quote], ICICI Bank [Get Quote], IDBI Bank and UTI Bank [Get Quote].
You can buy units of SBI [Get Quote] Mutual Fund's schemes only if you have an account with the State Bank of India or HDFC Bank.
Get in touch with the fund house
By going online, you will be able to locate the fund house's address and phone number (toll free number in some cases). You can call and request them to send an agent over.
Or, if you want, go over personally. Do make an appointment; you may end up wasting time if the person you want to speak to is not available.
Some, like Prudential ICICI Mutual Fund, have a form you can fill and submit online. Do so and they will send someone over to meet you.
2. Visit your bank
A number of banks are mutual fund agents.
Just walk into your branch and ask if they are selling any funds. See if they have a tie-up with the fund house you want to invest in.
3. Ask around
Ask your colleagues, neighbours, friends and relatives. Someone will know an agent. Just ask them for his contact details or ask that he get in touch with you.
4. Visit the AMFI website
The Web site of the Association of Mutual Funds in India has a list of mutual fund agents across the country.
Under the heading Investors Zone, you will find another one called ARN Search. This refers to the AMFI Registration Number.
Click on it and you will arrive at a search page. You can locate an agent in your vicinity by just putting in your PIN code or name of your city.
5. Check the online finance portals
Do you have an online trading account? Then you could check if they also sell mutual funds online.
If you do not have an online trading account and are considering opening one, you could look for a player that offers both.
Some like ICICI Direct sell funds online. But you must have a trading account with them. Others, like India Bulls and Motilal Oswal, do not have this facility online but if you call and leave your contact details, they will send an agent over.
Here are some of the prominent players.
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