Most investors want to make investments in such a way that they get sky-high returns as fast as possible without the risk of losing the principal money they have invested. And this is the reason why many investors are always on the lookout for top investment plans where they can double their money in few months or years with little or no risk.
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However, it is a fact that investment products that give high returns with low risk do not exist. In reality, risk and returns are inversely related, i. So, while selecting an investment avenue, you have to match your own risk profile with the risks associated with the product before investing. There are some investments that carry high risk but have the potential to generate high inflation-adjusted returns than other asset class in the long term while some investments come with low-risk and therefore lower returns.
There are two buckets that investment products fall into - financial and non-financial assets. Financial assets can be divided into market-linked products like stocks and mutual funds and fixed income products like Public Provident Fund , bank fixed deposits. Non-financial assets - most Indians invest via this mode - are the likes of gold and real estate. Here is a look at the top 10 investment avenues Indians look at while savings for their financial goals. Direct equity Investing in stocks may not be everyone's cup of tea as it's a volatile asset class and there is no guarantee of returns.
Further, not only is it difficult to pick the right stock, timing your entry and exit is also not easy. The only silver lining is that over long periods, equity has been able to deliver higher than inflation-adjusted returns compared to all other asset classes. At the same time, the risk of losing a considerable portion of capital is high unless one opts for stop-loss method to curtail losses.
In stop-loss, one places an advance order to sell a stock at a specific price. To reduce the risk to certain extent, you could diversify across sectors and market capitalisations. Currently, the 1-, 3-, 5 year market returns are around 13 percent, 8 percent and To invest in direct equities, one needs to open a demat account. Equity mutual funds Equity mutual funds predominantly invest in equity stocks. As per current Securities and Exchange Board of India Sebi Mutual Fund Regulations, an equity mutual fund scheme must invest at least 65 percent of its assets in equities and equity-related instruments.
An equity fund can be actively managed or passively managed. In an actively traded fund, the returns are largely dependent on a fund manager's ability to generate returns. Index funds and exchange-traded fund ETFs are passively managed, and these track the underlying index. Equity schemes are categorised according to market-capitalisation or the sectors in which they invest. They are also categorised by whether they are domestic investing in stocks of only Indian companies or international investing in stocks of overseas companies.
Currently, the 1-, 3-, 5-year market return is around 15 percent, 15 percent, and 20 percent, respectively. Read more about equity mutual funds. Debt mutual funds Debt funds are ideal for investors who want steady returns.
They are are less volatile and, hence, less risky compared to equity funds. Debt mutual funds primarily invest in fixed-interest generating securities like corporate bonds, government securities, treasury bills, commercial paper and other money market instruments. Currently, the 1-, 3-, 5-year market return is around 6. Read more about debt mutual funds. It is a mix of equity, fixed deposits, corporate bonds, liquid funds and government funds, among others. Based on your risk appetite, you can decide how much of your money can be invested in equities through NPS.
Currently, the 1-,3-,5-year market return for Fund option E is around 9. Read more about NPS. Since the PPF has a long tenure of 15 years, the impact of compounding of tax-free interest is huge, especially in the later years. Further, since the interest earned and the principal invested is backed by sovereign guarantee, it makes it a safe investment.
Read more about PPF. Under the deposit insurance and credit guarantee corporation DICGC rules, each depositor in a bank is insured up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh for both principal and interest amount. As per the need, one may opt for monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, yearly or cumulative interest option in them. The interest rate earned is added to one's income and is taxed as per one's income slab.
Read more about bank fixed deposit. As the name suggests, only senior citizens or early retirees can invest in this scheme.
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SCSS can be availed from a post office or a bank by anyone above SCSS has a five-year tenure, which can be further extended by three years once the scheme matures. Currently, the interest rate that can be earned on SCSS is 8. The upper investment limit is Rs 15 lakh, and one may open more than one account. Read more about Senior Citizens' Saving Scheme.
These bonds come with a tenure of 7 years. The bonds may be issued in demat form and credited to the Bond Ledger Account BLA of the investor and a Certificate of Holding is given to the investor as proof of investment.
Senior citizens get an additional 0. Taxation : The interest rate earned is added to one's income and is taxed as per one's income slab. If the interest earned is more than Rs 10, a year across all branches of the bank, there is a tax deduction at source TDS by the bank. Read more about bank fixed deposits. In case of a default, the depositors have the last right on the company's asset.
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Both, manufacturing companies and non-banking finance companies NBFCs issue such deposits but it's only the former who have a short-term deposit option. Company deposits offered by NBFCs come with tenures of more than one year. Liquidity : Although, premature exit is allowed, it's at the company's discretion to honour it. Further, there are penalties in place depending on the tenure the deposits are held before applying for surrender. Return : The interest rate on these deposits may be percent higher than bank FD but the risk of losing the entire principal and not just the interest is high, even if the deposits carry high ratings.
As per the need, one may opt for monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, yearly or the cumulative interest option. Currently, most such deposits are offering around 7. If the interest earned is more than Rs 5, a year across all branches of company, TDS will be cut by the company. Read more about company deposits. Post office time deposits Tenure : One can invest in post office time deposits which have tenures of 1, 2, 3 and 5 years. Liquidity : The interest payments in case of time deposits are annual. The premature withdrawal of a time deposit is not allowed before the expiry of six months.
One may surrender the deposits after that, however, the amount of interest recovered in case of premature withdrawal of the deposit will be at a reduced rate of interest. Returns : Once invested, the returns are fixed and assured with sovereign guarantee for the entire period. For short-term, one may invest in a 1-year time deposit where the interest is payable annually, but calculated quarterly. Every quarter, the rates are re-set by the government which applies only on fresh investments made in that quarter of the year.
Currently, April-June, , the rates are 6. Recurring Deposits In all the other short-term options, the investment has to be done once, i.
However, if one wants to save regularly for a short-term, say for 6, 9 or 12 months, a bank recurring deposit RD can come in handy. In RD, one has to invest at a regular intervals for a fixed period and up on maturity will receive a lump sum amount. Most banks allow investing in a RD online.
Tenure : One may open RD for a tenure as low as 6 months and then in multiples of 3 months, up to 10 years. Liquidity : Generally, the RD account has a minimum lock-in period of one month. In the case of premature closure within a month, no interest is paid to the depositor and only the principal amount is returned. On pre-mature withdrawal of the deposit, interest will only be calculated at the rate applicable for the period of the deposit. Returns : The interest rates for recurring deposits will be the same as the rate applicable for a regular bank FD. The interest rate will be applicable as on date of making the first instalment.
If the interest earned is more than Rs 10, a year including interest on bank deposits across all branches of the bank, TDS will be cut. Sweep-in FD For parking funds for the short term, one generally keeps it in a bank savings account which offers the highest liquidity. Here's a alternative - A sweep-in fixed deposit known by different names like money multiplier or 2-in-1 account.
One may open such a sweep-in FD by visiting a bank branch or through Net banking. Tenure : Though you the option to fix the tenure of the FD, most banks give a fixed tenure of 12 months. Liquidity : The premature withdrawal penalty is usually around 0. Returns : The interest rate is mostly similar to that of bank FDs. If the interest earned is more than Rs 10, a year across all branches of the bank, TDS will be cut by the bank. Read more about Sweep-in FDs. Debt mutual funds Below are four debt funds which may be used to park funds for the short-term as the maximum maturity of the underlying securities in them is not more than 12 months.
Tenure Liquid fund: Here, the investment is made into debt and money market securities with maturity of the underlying securities up to 91 days. Ultra-short duration fund : Investments are made into debt and money market instruments where the maturity of the underlying securities is between 3 months and 6 months.
Low duration fund: The investment is made into debt and money market instruments where the maturity of the underlying securities is between 6 months and 12 months. Money market fund : The investment is made into money market instruments where the underlying securities have a maturity of up to one year. Liquidity : The liquidity is high in these funds and units can be redeemed in quick time. Returns : The returns, however, are not assured nor fixed. Currently, you can earn about 7 percent per annum.
For optimum results, match your investment horizon with the maturities of underlying securities of these funds and then invest. Taxation : Gains made under 36 months of holding them are to be added to one's income and taxed accordingly. However, gains made above 36 months are taxed at 20 percent post-indexation. Read more about debt mutual funds.
What you should do When the requirement is to invest only for the short term, the post-tax returns should not be overlooked. In all the above investment options, the income earned gets added to one's total income in that financial year and taxed according to one's income slab.
Further, if you need to invest for a short duration, remember, it will be more for capital preservation rather than wealth creation. It's good not to compromise on safety for that extra bit of return in the short-term. Base your decision to invest primarily on safety and liquidity of the investment rather than hinging on the returns. Click here for all you need to know about filing income tax return this year.
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