New Delhi, Dec. 10 -- As the stress in the economy continues, equity market investors must be prepared for lower returns. While nothing much can be done about that, protecting the returns assumes greater significance in such a scenario. So when evaluating schemes, it becomes important to look beyond the risk and return parameters and consider other elements of the portfolio that can impact their performance. Here are four such elements that can put a drain on the effective returns from your mutual fund investments.

Expense ratio

The expense ratio is the cost that is charged to meet the operating expenses of a fund such as fund management, administrative and legal costs and auditor and registrar and transfer agent fees. The net asset val...