A mutual fund (MF) account statement contains a whole lot of information on your investments in the fund. Here's what they mean:
What is an MF account statement?
An MF account statement is a record of your investments with a fund house. As soon as you invest in a scheme, the fund house sends you a statement giving details of your holding pattern and your investments.
It's like a bank account passbook. So, every time you transact with the fund house for any scheme, the details are updated in the statement.
How do they work?
You get a statement as soon as you invest in a scheme. Account statements are scheme-specific and account number-specific. So, if you invest in, say, two schemes within the same fund house, you will get two separate account statements.
Subsequently, whenever there is any action in that particular scheme, like a dividend declaration, or additional units bought or sold, a fresh statement will be issued giving details of the latest and a few recent transactions. According to the rules, even if your account is inactive for an entire year, MFs have to send you the statements once a year.
Earlier, investors rarely received account statements if they bought only some initial units and then held them even for years.
How many to store
There is no thumb-rule that specifies the number of statements you must retain if you are invested in a scheme over a long term. A good policy, though, would be to keep the first statement of all the schemes and the ones of the preceding years. The others can be disposed periodically.
How to consolidate
As far as possible, joint accountholders should invest across all schemes within a single fund house under a single folio for any particular combination of investor names. This way, an account statement for any scheme would also carry a summary of the other investments made under a similar investor combination within the same MF.
This logic for holding all schemes of an MF in the same folio holds true for single investors as well.