Mutual Fund investments are generally made through SIP by participants in the new economy. SIP is an acronym for Systematic Investment Plan. That means you invest fixed amounts at pre-determined periods in your mutual fund. Depending on the net asset value (NAV) on the date of your purchase, you will get units assigned to you. The three types available are: Quarterly SIP (invest in units once in 3 months), monthly SIP (every month) and daily SIP (every day). At the most trivial level, the return that a fund gives over a given period is just the percentage difference between the starting Net Asset Value (price of unit of a fund) and the ending Net Asset Value. Returns by themselves don't serve much purpose. The purpose of calculating returns is to make a comparison. Investors can approach distributor or the fund house directly and fill in application form giving bank account details, the duration of the SIP, the SIP amount and the date and frequency at which the SIP is to be directly debited from bank account into the mutual fund.

Employees, Professionals and Businessmen in the knowledge sectors get attracted to SIPs of mutual funds for the following reasons:

Rupee cost averaging:
Investors have no need to time the market for their entry while investing. The investments get averaged out by investing through SIP on monthly or quarterly basis in MF schemes. It reduces the risk of investing when markets are volatile.

Power of compounding:
Investments early in life helps to get the benefit of compounding on invested amount in long term. So, through SIP an investor can start investing nominal amount consider Rs 100, Rs 500 or Rs 1000 of his savings to get the benefits of compounding by investing in mutual funds.

Regular savings and investments are an easy way to build the corpus compare to investing a lump sum amount in one go.

Ease while investing:
You can choose the option of Auto debit/ECS while filling the SIP form of any monthly/quarterly date or give post dated cheques for the amount you wish to invest in MF schemes.

However, if we were to compare these best performing SIPs across time, the returns were highly volatile in the past. In the year 2008, these star performers wiped out nearly 50% of their investment because stock markets had a free fall. Hence, any investors in SIPs cannot hope to meet contingencies in future by selling them as the most opportune time to sell will actually determine the returns.  Group Funds are far superior to these SIPs as there is greater certainty of returns and if the member chooses to stay till the end of the fund tenure the returns can be the highest. Group Funds are more focused on different segments of the knowledge society and hence can be availed to generate higher returns while driving down the cost of borrowing in case of emergencies.