What is NFO in mutual fund and how it works?

What is NFO in mutual fund?

NFO stands for New Fund Offer, which refers to the launch of a new mutual fund scheme for the first time. It's similar to an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for stocks, where the fund house is trying to raise capital to invest in assets based on the scheme's objective.

How an NFO words?

1. Launch and Subscription Period:

  • The fund house announces the NFO with details like investment objective, fund manager, expense ratio, etc.
  • Investors have a limited period (typically 15-30 days) to subscribe to the scheme by investing a minimum amount.
  • During this period, units are offered at a fixed price, usually Rs. 10 per unit.

2. Fund Allocation and NAV Calculation:

  • Once the subscription period ends, the collected funds are used to buy securities according to the scheme's objective.
  • The Net Asset Value (NAV) is calculated, representing the value of each unit based on the underlying assets.

3. Trading and Ongoing Operations:

  • After calculating the NAV, the NFO closes, and the scheme officially launches.
  • Units can now be bought and sold at the prevailing NAV on stock exchanges, just like existing mutual funds.
  • The fund manager continues to manage the portfolio based on the scheme's objective.

Benefits of NFOs

  • Invest in a New Strategy: NFOs can offer exposure to innovative investment themes or strategies that established funds might not yet pursue. This can be appealing if you believe in the potential of that new approach.
  • Low Initial Investment: Units in an NFO are often priced at a fixed amount, typically ₹10 per unit, regardless of the fund's underlying assets. This can be attractive for new investors starting with smaller amounts.
  • Diversification Opportunities: NFOs with unique themes or sectors can help diversify your portfolio beyond existing funds, potentially reducing overall risk.
  • Lower Expense Ratio: In some cases, NFOs might launch with lower expense ratios than similar existing funds to attract investors. However, this isn't always the case, and expense ratios can change over time.

NFO advantages and disadvantages

NFO Advantages:

  • Access to New Strategies: NFOs can offer exposure to innovative investment themes, sectors, or strategies that aren't readily available in existing funds. This can be attractive if you believe in the potential of these new approaches.
  • Potential for Lower Costs: Some NFOs launch with lower expense ratios than similar existing funds to attract investors, although this isn't guaranteed and fees can change over time.
  • Diversification: Investing in NFOs with unique themes or sectors can help diversify your portfolio beyond existing funds, potentially reducing overall risk.
  • Psychological Appeal: The "newness" of an NFO can be appealing to some investors, particularly those seeking opportunities not available in established funds.

NFO Disadvantages:

  • No Track Record: As new funds, NFOs have no past performance history to assess their risk and potential returns. This makes them inherently riskier than established funds with proven track records.
  • Marketing Hype: NFOs are often heavily marketed, emphasizing their unique features and potential. Be wary of this marketing and do your own research to avoid rushed investment decisions.
  • Subscription Pressure: The limited-time availability of NFOs can create a sense of urgency, potentially leading to rushed decisions without proper due diligence.
  • Risk of Underperformance: New funds and strategies face the risk of underperforming compared to established funds with experienced fund managers.
  • Limited Diversification within NFO: While NFOs can add diversification to your overall portfolio, the diversification within the NFO itself may be limited, especially for close-ended funds with a fixed investment strategy.

Is NFO right for you?

NFOs can be an opportunity to invest in a new theme or strategy, but they also come with higher risk and uncertainty. Carefully consider your investment goals, risk tolerance, and research the fund thoroughly before investing in an NFO.


While both NFO and IPO involve raising capital, they cater to different entities and serve different purposes. Here's a breakdown of their key differences:


  • NFO: Launched by mutual fund houses to raise capital for a new mutual fund scheme.
  • IPO: Offered by companies to raise capital by issuing new shares and getting listed on a stock exchange.


  • NFO: To acquire funds to invest in various financial instruments as per the defined investment objective of the scheme.
  • IPO: To raise capital for business expansion, debt repayment, or increasing promoter stake liquidity.

Investment Unit:

  • NFO: Investors get units in the new mutual fund.
  • IPO: Investors get shares in the company.


  • NFO: Units usually have a fixed initial price (often ₹10 per unit) regardless of underlying assets.
  • IPO: Shares are offered at a determined price through a book-building process or fixed price mechanism.


  • NFO: Higher risk due to no past performance history and reliance on fund manager's skills.
  • IPO: Risk exists based on company financials, future prospects, and overall market conditions.


  • NFO: Units are traded on stock exchanges after launch, but the price fluctuates based on NAV.
  • IPO: Shares are traded on stock exchanges after listing, and the price fluctuates based on market forces.


  • NFO: Suitable for investors with moderate risk tolerance and seeking specific investment themes or strategies.
  • IPO: Suitable for investors with higher risk tolerance and understanding of company fundamentals and market dynamics.


NFOs can offer some potential benefits, but it's crucial to understand the inherent risks and weigh them carefully against your investment goals and risk tolerance. Thorough research, due diligence, and avoiding emotionally driven decisions are key before investing in any NFO. Remember, they're not suitable for everyone and come with potential downsides.

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