Driven by strong participation from retail investors, mutual fund (MF) houses have registered an addition of nearly 70 lakh investor accounts in 2016 taking the total tally to nearly 5.3 crore. This follows addition of 56 lakh folios in 2015 and more than 22 lakh in 2014. In the last two years, investor accounts increased on account of robust contributions from smaller towns. Folios are numbers designated to individual investor accounts though one investor can have multiple ones.
According to the data from Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on total investor accounts with 43 active fund houses, the number of folios rose to a record 52,820,155 at the end of last month, from 45,853,274 in December-end 2014, a gain of 69.67 lakh. Retail participation, which continued its momentum from 2015, has shown remarkable resilience to market volatility last year too. Besides, huge inflows in equity schemes have contributed to the upside, as per market experts.
Retail investor accounts -- defined by folios in equity, equity-linked saving schemes (ELSS) and balanced categories -- grew by 52 lakh to more than 4.22 crore. Overall, mutual funds have seen an infusion of Rs 2.86 lakh crore, while equity and ELSS alone attracted an impressive inflow of around Rs 51,000 crore. A mutual fund pools the assets of its investors and invests the money on behalf of them. It provides diverse investment instruments like stocks and bonds without requiring investors to make separate purchases and trades.