Direct Vs Regular Mutual Funds: Which are Better?

Mutual funds are available in two versions – regular mutual funds and direct mutual funds. When exploring direct vs regular mutual funds, a major difference that emerges is that direct mutual funds do not have a distribution commission, while regular mutual funds do. Due to this, the expense ratio is higher for regular funds. This is one of the main reasons why direct-neutral funds are considered better as compared to regular ones. However, let’s go deeper into the comparison to figure out the best option.

Direct vs. Regular Mutual Funds

Some of the key differences between direct vs regular mutual funds and regular mutual funds are:

Lesser Expense Ratio

The expense ratio is lower for direct mutual funds. Hence, when a scheme charges a 0.2% expense ratio, it means that 0.2% of AUM will be utilised to cover the administrative and operating expenses of the funds.

Several people take the help of an expert mutual fund advisor or some local financial advisor when they invest in regular funds.

However, the fees paid to the advisor come from your pocket. It is reduced from your investment amount and given to the agent or advisor. This mostly comes under the expense ratio of the fund. Hence, with higher commissions comes a higher expense ratio for MFs.

Under direct plans of mutual funds, no distribution charges or commission fees exist. However, one must note that direct mutual funds still have expense ratios, albeit usually lower than those of regular mutual funds.

Greater Returns

The returns of a direct mutual fund are more than the regular version of a similar mutual fund. The reason behind this is the expense ratio. The expense ratio is lesser for a direct plan versus a regular plan.

Higher NAV

The net asset value of a direct mutual fund is greater than the regular version of a similar mutual fund. It presents the value of one unit of a mutual fund and is calculated by considering the total assets owned by the fund and divided by the number of outstanding units.

The assets owned by the fund vary between debt instruments, such as bonds, and the ventures and equity instruments, such as company shares. In some situations, cash also comes under the part of owned assets. The complete tally of these instruments is determined to acknowledge the assets owned by the fund.

When the fees paid to the agents are avoided, the amounting NAV goes higher. As a result, as compared to regular funds, direct funds have a greater NAV of the same mutual fund.

Lesser Chances of Being Misled

Even though retail investors might think that being in touch with an advisor might be helpful for the investment, they are not entirely correct. By looking at the consumer forum, you can acknowledge that there are a number of complaints filed against advisory agents who misled investors and stole millions. While there have been cases of misconduct, many advisors provide valuable guidance and support to investors. Additionally, not all advisors work on a commission basis, as some operate on a fee-for-service model. However, with direct funds, the probability of these activities is lesser.

Being in Control

You are in complete control of your mutual fund investments with direct funds. Being in control also means that you must do your own homework and study about funds. Making a little effort from your side goes a long way. You can gain a complete understanding of the way in which mutual funds work, AMCs process transactions, give KYC updates, and perform several other social tasks that can make you an empowered investor.

Even though the general population is dependent on commission-based agents for their investments, it is helpful to take an active approach from your side for long-term financial goals.

Direct Vs. Mutual Funds: Which is Better?

Carefully choosing between direct and mutual funds is essential as it affects your financial outcomes and investment journey. Making the right choice depends on carefully acknowledging the differences in overall returns, commissions, and expense ratios.

If you are well-learned in the world of investment and have an in-depth understanding of the market, regular mutual funds might not offer satisfactory additional benefits. Hence, investors must choose from direct mutual funds, where they get complete control and higher returns due to lesser expenses.

Direct mutual funds typically have lower expense ratios compared to regular mutual funds; focusing solely on this aspect isn’t wise for investors. Other factors, such as fund performance, investment strategy, and investor goals, should also be considered.

However, if you are a beginner in the world of investing, starting with regular mutual funds through financial intermediaries is a better choice. An intermediary plays a major role in providing regular monitoring and making required portfolio adjustments to enhance your investment returns.


The trick to making a wise sip investment decision is to select the type of mutual fund that aligns well with the aspirations, risk, appetite and financial circumstances of the investors. Whether you prefer the support and guidance offered with regular mutual funds or value lower expenses and autonomy, your decision must reflect your expertise in individual goals.