January 29 , 2013
Mutual fund agents are distributors through whom you can buy or sell mutual fund units. Locate a mutual fund agent close to you by entering area details on AMFI's mutual fund distributor locator page at http://www.amfiindia.com/ArnSearch_Frm_Po.aspx
Mutual fund brokers could be individual agents or corporate agents. These days most mutual fund agents or brokers have online portals (eg your bank ISAs, fundsindia, etc) through which clients can manage their transactions online. For the service they provide you pay an annual percentage fee. Apart from this mutual fund agents make hefty commissions from the fund houses you invest in every year until you withdraw investments. You pay for this indirectly because this fee comes from expense ratio charged on you by the fund house.
Plus remember that if the broker also doubles up as an adviser you are in unsafe hands because there are chances that he/she might highly recommend those funds that pay higher commission than the funds suited for your need. If you educate yourself about selecting the right funds and are willing to stretch yourself a bit for the initial one-time procedures you will be able to keep a significant amount by the end of your investment years that would otherwise be pocketed by an agent.