MF Wrap: Mutual Fund-related queries increased on Google search in last 3 years

Investor education by the Association of Mutual Funds in India and mutual fund houses have started yielding results as a slew of investors are keen to know about mutual funds, systematic investment plans, SIP calculator and other related queries.

This was revealed in a report by BCG and AMFI titled “Unlocking the 100 lakh crore opportunity” which stated that google search for mutual funds and MF related queries such as SIP, SIP calculator and how to invest in mutual funds had increased significantly in the last three years between 2015 and 2018.

The report said that Google search trends indicated that top keyword searches excluding company-specific searches were often focused on tools and calculators.

Google trend BCG Report

The analysis of Google data also shows the increasing usage of online channels was from B15 cities. Out of the total monthly search volumes related to mutual funds, B15 cities accounted for 38 percent in 2018, which was merely 11 percent in 2015.

Further, most of these searches were done from mobile devices. The growth was more concentrated in mobile-based devices rather than desktops.

For instance, 70 percent and 62 percent of online searches for SIP in B15 and T15 towns respectively were through mobile devices.

With most searches on tools and calculators, the report recommended introducing such facilities on AMC and distributors websites.

“Digital should be leveraged not only as a sourcing channel but also for providing tools and calculators required by different customer segments to make choices as well as analyze their portfolio performance. Such platforms could be one way of engaging with investors continuously,” the report said.

According to the report, Google data also showed that search volumes for “SIP” registered a six-time increase in B15 cities across all devices from 2015 to 2018.

Mobile devices saw a 16-time increase in search volumes for the same keyword during the last three years.

“This surge in the online presence of investors coupled with an increasing regulatory push towards awareness of direct plans is likely to aid the growth of direct digital channels with individual investors,” said BCG-AMFI report.

Investor awareness

After more than two decades in the MF industry, one can finally say that it is “hence proven” that – “awareness is the key to success for every right business”.

While mutual funds, as an investment avenue, have been an option for investors since 1965, today – with the help of more awareness in the right direction – the industry is able to explain benefits of mutual funds to more and more investors.

The market and commodities regulator, SEBI, has been taking efforts by striking all the right chords with its stress on investor education.

AMFI’s “Mutual Fund Sahi Hai” campaign is one of the most popular advertising campaigns.

Of the total financial savings and assets in the country, the share of MFs has increased in the last three years to 14 percent in March this year from 10 percent in 2016.

Growing investor interest in mutual funds has led to an addition of over 1.11 crore new folios in the financial year 2018-19.