New Delhi - Driven by strong participation from retail investors, mutual fund (MF) houses have registered an addition of 1.6 crore investor accounts in 2017-18, taking the total tally to over 7 crore.
This follows an addition of over 67 lakh folios in 2016-17 and 59 lakh in 2015-16.
Folios are numbers designated to individual investor accounts, though an investor can have multiple accounts.
According to the data from Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) on total investor accounts with 42 fund houses, the number of folios rose to a record 7,13,47,301 at the end of March this year, from 5,53,99,631 at the end of March 2017, a gain of 1.59 crore.
Over the last few years, investor accounts have increased following robust contribution from retail investors, especially from smaller towns, and huge inflows in equity schemes.
Harsh Jain COO at Groww, an online mutual fund investment platform, attributed the impressive performance to investor awareness campaign by the industry, role played by mutual fund distribution platforms, demonetisation effect and strong retail participation from retail investors, especially from smaller towns.
Besides, investors are now shifting from traditional asset classes such as real estate and gold to financial asset class, he added.
Retail investor accounts -- defined by folios in equity, equity-linked saving schemes (ELSS) and balanced categories -- grew by over 1.5 crore to 5.94 crore during the period under review.
Overall, mutual funds have seen an infusion of Rs 2.72 lakh crore, while equity and ELSS alone attracted an impressive inflow of around Rs 1.7 lakh crore.
This inflow has helped in increasing the total assets under management by 26 per cent to Rs 23.05 lakh crore at the end of gone by fiscal from Rs 18.30 lakh crore at the end of March 2017.
Mutual funds are investment vehicles made up of a pool of funds collected from a large number of investors. The funds are invested in stocks, bonds and money market instruments, among others.