From equity mutual funds to bank fixed deposits, investment planning needs a careful analysis of the returns and the tenor mutual funds.
While you might think and even argue that you are saving enough, but that may only help you meet some of your planned or unplanned expenses. Bank FDs, for instance, have attracted the maximum investment, mostly because they are a safe source of investment where the rate of return remains fixed for the selected term. However, is that return enough for you? The purpose of investing, in fact, should be to make your money earn higher returns for you in the future.
If you are planning to start now, know that investment planning needs a careful analysis of the return and the time-frame.
Public Provident Fund – One of the safest and secure long-term investment avenues is PPF. Experts also highly recommend it because it is a totally tax-free investment. This comes with a lock-in of 15 years which enables you to earn higher interest on your investments. You can also extend your investment time-frame, with five years slab after the maturity of 15 years. The minimum period of investment, however, is 6 years after which you can withdraw your investments. You can also take a loan on the balance of your PPF account, in case of any financial emergencies. The current interest rate effective from January 1, 2018, on PPF is 7.6 per cent per annum compounded annually.
The company fixed deposits – These are unsecured investments governed by the Companies Act under Section 58A. Company FDs are placed with financial institutions and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) for a fixed term and carry a certain rate of interest. Company FDs are highly risky because in case the company defaults, you cannot sell the fixed deposits to recover the capital. Also while investing in these FDs select the investment period very carefully as you are not allowed to withdraw money before the maturity date.
Mutual funds – Investments in mutual funds have grown, both for the short-term and the long-term. the best approach is to invest in MFs through systematic investment plans or in a lump sum. The risk profile, however, depends on the funds you invest in. While the debt funds invite less risk and are suitable for risk-averse investors, the risk is comparatively higher in equity funds and are suggested for investors who can take the risk. The investment amount and time period should be chosen depending on your age and financial goals.
Gold investment – This is one of the most popular and sought-after investment options in India. To invest in gold, you can either buy through a gold deposit scheme, gold ETF (exchange-traded fund), gold mutual funds or gold bars. Gold mutual funds and ETFs are a highly liquid investment as they allow investors to hold the gold in a paperless form and sell them in stock exchanges.
Bank fixed deposits – If you are looking to invest for a short duration, you can opt for a bank fixed deposit. Ideally, for one year, these give the highest rate of interest. FDs have attracted the maximum investment, because of their fixed returns. Though you can make a premature FD withdrawal with an interest deduction, you cannot break a tax-saving FD that is locked in for a period of five years.