Tagged: ELSS

POW :: Tax saving season is here: These are the best ELSS mutual funds

Suresh KP | Feb 15, 2017, 05.48 PM | Source: Moneycontrol.com
Investing in tax saving ELSS mutual funds would help you to save tax u/s 80C as well as giving superior returns.

POW

Many of the tax payers are looking for various options to save income tax u/s 80C. While there are several options to save tax, one of the attractive ways is to invest in tax saving funds, technically known as ELSS.

What are tax saving funds?
Equity Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS) or tax saving funds provide tax exemption u/s 80C along with higher returns compared to any other tax saving option. Investments in ELSS upto Rs 1.5 lakh bring in tax deduction under section 80C.

Compared to other tax saving schemes like Tax saving FD, PPF, NSC etc, ELSS offers higher returns. However, a point to note is that these returns are not guaranteed. These ELSS have low lock in period of 3 years. Other instruments have lockin period ranging between 5 years to 15 years.

After taking into account these benefits lets look at five ELSS that can be considered as good investment options to save tax and create wealth.

1) Reliance Tax Saver Fund
This MF scheme objective is to generate long term capital appreciation from a list of stock portfolio and invests predominantly in equity and equity related instruments in India. This scheme has provided 20.3% annualized returns in last 5 years. Even in last 3 years, this scheme provided 30% annualized returns. This scheme is ranked by Crisil as Rank-3 (1 is vergy good performer and 5 is weak performer)

2) Axis Long Term Equity Fund
This tax saving scheme aims to generate regular long term capital growth from a diversified portfolio of equity and equity related securities in India. This mutual fund scheme is the top performer in the ELSS funds over five years time frame. This scheme has provided 21% annualized returns in last 5 years. Even in last 3 years, this scheme provided high returns of 24.9% annualized returns. This scheme is ranked by Crisil as Rank-4 (1 is vergy good performer and 5 is weak performer)

3) DSP BR Tax Saver Fund
The mutual fund scheme aims to generate medium to long-term capital appreciation from a diversified stock portfolio of equity and equity related securities along with tax savings. This mutual fund scheme is the top performer in the ELSS funds.This scheme has provided 20.4% annualized returns in last 5 years. Even in last 3 years, this scheme provided good returns of 26.6% annualized returns. This scheme is ranked by Crisil as Rank-1 (1 is vergy good performer and 5 is weak performer)

4) Birla SL Tax Relief 96 Fund
This mutual fund scheme aims for long term capital appreciation by investing upto 80% in equity and balance in debt related instruments. This scheme has provided 19.1% annualized returns in last 5 years. Even in last 3 years, this scheme provided good returns of 25.6% annualized returns. This scheme is ranked by Crisil as Rank-2 (1 is vergy good performer and 5 is weak performer).

5) Franklin India Tax Shield Fund
The MF scheme aims medium to long term growth of capital along with income tax rebate. This scheme has provided 17.5% annualized returns in last 5 years. Even in last 3 years, this scheme provided good returns of 24.3% annualized returns. This scheme is ranked by Crisil as Rank-3 (1 is vergy good performer and 5 is weak performer).

Smart investors would invest in a good ELSS mutual funds which helps them to save tax and also provides high returns compared to any other tax saving options.

The author of this article is founder of Myinvestmentideas.com.

Source:https://goo.gl/MxYfdc

POW :: Franklin India Taxshield: Old warhorse with a commendable record – Buy

NALINAKANTHI V | January 28, 2017 | Hindu BusinessLine
The fund has contained market downsides well while making the most of rallies

POW

As we enter the final quarter of the current fiscal, tax saver funds are now in focus. If you haven’t made your tax saver investment yet, you could use the next two months to invest in tax saver mutual fund schemes.

If you are looking for a fund with a consistent track record, old warhorse Franklin India Taxshield is an option to consider. Of course, equity tax saver schemes are only for those with a moderately high risk appetite and investment horizon of at least three years, since you cannot redeem your investment before that. Even though the lock-in period is three years, this fund will better suit investors with a minimum time frame of five years. Lumpsum investment may be a better option, given the lock-in period.

Launched in 1999, Franklin India Taxshield is among the most consistent performers in the equity linked saving schemes (ELSS) category. Over the last five years, the scheme’s daily one-year return has been higher than its benchmark, the Nifty 500 Index, almost 90 per cent of the time. It scores well on a risk-adjusted performance basis too, with a Sharpe ratio of 0.93. While this is a tad lower than that of peers such as Axis Long Term Equity (1.05) and Birla Sun Life Tax Relief 96 (0.97), it is higher than the average of funds in the category of 0.8.

While the fund has delivered benchmark-beating returns across three, five and ten-year time frame, its performance over a one-year period slipped due to the correction in banking and pharma stocks during September-October 2016. The fund has marginally reduced exposure to these two themes.

Strategies that worked

The fund has been able to contain downsides well during market falls and this has been on three counts.

One, higher large-cap slant compared to other funds in this category cushioned it during turbulent phases.

Second, the fund’s focus on quality stocks and strategy to stay away from momentum stocks also possibly aided performance during down cycles. Moving into defensive themes such as pharma and IT also shielded the fund from volatility.

Likewise, during recovery rallies too, the fund has managed to beat the benchmark by a considerable margin. Right sector shifts aided performance during the pull-back rallies.

Consider this — during the August 2013-March 2015 period, the fund gained nearly 110 per cent. This is higher than the 80 per cent gain for the benchmark during the same period.

Increasing exposure to cyclical themes such as financials, automobiles and industrials provided a leg-up to the fund’s performance.

The fund has managed good returns despite a relatively high expense ratio of 2.48 per cent. Peer funds such as Axis Long Term Equity (1.98 per cent), ICICI Prudential Long Term Equity (2.3 per cent) and Birla Sun Life Tax Relief 96 (2.29 per cent) have had a lower expense ratio.

Over a nine-month period, the fund has increased exposure to cyclicals such as financials, oil and gas, power and auto.

Stability in the economy post remonetisation and recovery thereafter should aid the fund’s performance. It has also reduced exposure to pharma stocks, which have been bogged down by regulatory woes.

Source: https://goo.gl/RJ0eK9

ATM :: Should you choose tax saving mutual funds over PPF?

Jignesh Shah – Capital Advisors | Jun 28, 2016, 09.36 AM | Source: Moneycontrol.com
How the PPF and ELSS score on various parameters. Here is how you can take an informed decision.

ATM

Recently one of my clients asked me – with 2.5% loss in Sensex over last one year, why not avoid tax saving mutual funds and instead go for investment in public provident fund? He has a point when we look at negative returns by stocks. But just one bad year, does not make tax saving funds a bad investment choice. There is much more one should ponder over before taking a decision.

Public provident fund (PPF) and tax saving funds (ELSS) are different products – former is fixed income instrument and the latter is an investment in stocks. ELSS can be a volatile journey and may not suit risk averse investors. However, it comes with the combination of two big advantages – lock in of just three years and a possibility of returns in excess of inflation.

PPF offers tax free assured returns in long term. But the returns may not remain attractive. The interest rate may drop below 8% given the falling interest rate regime we are into.

While some investors may want to include both these options in their portfolio, it makes sense to delve deeper into each one of them before you invest.

PPF – It is a scheme issued by the Government of India under the PPF Act of 1968. It is a fixed income security scheme that enables one to invest a minimum amount of Rs.500 and a maximum of Rs.150,000 per annum. PPF account matures after 15 years. So, the lock-in period for PPF investment reduces every year. Compared to this, with ELSS, every investment is subject to a fresh lock-in of three years.

Returns are not fixed. Interest rate for the year is notified by Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Interest rate for FY2016 is 8.7% p.a. and 8.1% for qtr ended Jun 2016, which is excellent for a debt product.

Individuals who are residents of India can ONLY open an account under the scheme. Only one PPF account can be maintained by an Individual, except an account that is opened on behalf of a minor. Thus, PPF account can also be opened by either parent under the name of a minor. However, each person is eligible for only one account under his/her name. Mother and father both cannot open Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts on behalf of the same minor. Thus, in case a couple has two children, they can maximum open four accounts i.e. two in their own accounts and two in the name of their children under guardianship of either of the parent. Also, non-resident Indians (NRIs) are NOT eligible to open an account. However a resident who becomes an NRI during the tenure prescribed under Public Provident Fund Scheme, may continue to subscribe to the fund until its maturity on a non-repatriation basis. However, such an account will not be eligible for extension of five years at the time of maturity, if at the time of maturity, an account holder is an NRI. Since 13th May, 2005, Hindu Undivided Family can NOT open an account under the scheme. However, accounts opened prior to that date may continue subscription to their account till maturity. They also can not extend the account any further, after this date.

One can have guaranteed and tax free returns by investing in a PPF account. Currently, deposits under PPF earn interest of 8.10% per annum. PPF investments are tax deductible, along with the fact, that the returns are completely, tax free. The lock in period of the PPF scheme is as long as fifteen years and can be extended in block of five years after maturity. Partial withdrawals can be made on the commencement of the seventh year.

Since, the return in PPF is guaranteed and is backed by the government, there is low risk associated with repayment. However, any investor who parks too much money in fixed-income assets can face other types of risk such as inflation risk. A high rate of inflation would erode the value of your savings. There is an issue of liquidity too – should the investor need the money for some emergency it would be difficult since the PPF has a lock-in period of 15 years

Other Features –
1. Premature withdrawal of funds – PPFs give a hard time when it comes to withdrawing investments before the maturity of 15 years is done. Partial withdrawals are permitted from the seventh year.
2. Loans – Having lock-in periods of 15 years and being stable financial instruments, from the third year, PPFs can easily be used as collaterals for availing loans for vehicles, housing and other secured loans.
3. Investment Security – Provided by the Government of India, PPFs offer rates that rarely change in a major way and are one of the safest possible investments one can make in India.

After initial maturity of 15 years, you can extend your PPF account in block of 5 years.

PPF falls in Exempt-Exempt-Exempt (EEE) category. Interest earned and the maturity amount is exempt from income tax.

Now, let us look at ELSS –
Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), is an instrument of savings and investment managed by many mutual funds. It is a diversified equity mutual fund. A minimum investment of Rs.500 is required and it has no cap on the maximum investment. It has a mandatory lock-in period of 3 years, after which all the investment and the returns can be withdrawn. These investments offer tax free returns as long term capital gains on equity funds are tax free. dividend on equity based mutual fund is exempt from dividend distribution tax as well. Being equity market linked investments, these have a higher risk, but also present a better case of gaining more returns than any other savings scheme that relies on fixed income instruments.

Other Features –
1. Premature withdrawal of funds – Premature withdrawal of funds from ELSS investments is not allowed – not until the lock-in period of 3 years is over.
2. Loans – Equity Linked Savings Scheme investments are market dependent instruments and can only be used as collaterals for availing loans for vehicles, housing and other secured loans after the lock-in periods are over. Better rates can be availed on loans, if investments are pledged with banks that offer the particular ELSS schemes
3. Comparison of risk and returns –

Should you invest in PPF or ELSS?
Your investment choice should be guided by your investment objectives and your risk tolerance level and liquidity requirements. Investors with high risk tolerance should invest in ELSS, while investors with low risk tolerance should invest in PPF. Over a long time frame, wealth creation potential is much higher with ELSS. Young investors should opt for ELSS, since they usually have high risk tolerance and a sufficiently long time horizon to ride out the volatilities associated with equity investments. As you approach retirement, your risk tolerance goes down and PPF is a better investment option in such a situation. Investors with moderate risk tolerance level can invest in both PPF and ELSS in accordance with their optimal asset allocation strategy.

Salaried individuals are mandatorily required to contribute a portion of their salary to employee provident fund (EPF). The EPF interest rate is similar to the PPF interest rate and the maturity amount is tax free. The EPF contribution of the employee as well as PPF and ELSS investments goes towards the section 80C tax savings. If you are not a salaried individual and looking for some safe fixed income saving option, PPF can be considered.

Returns –ELSS is expected to offer better returns than PPF in long term. Currently, average 5 year compounded return for ELSS schemes is 13.31% pa and average 10 year compounded return for ELSS schemes is 12.86% pa. This is far better than PPF rate of return of more than 8%.
Risks – Over longer term, volatility (price risk) reduces significantly, in equity instruments. There is little risk of capital in PPF, as it is backed by Central Government of India.

When investing, investors must also consider shortfall risk. This is the risk that an investment’s actual return will not be sufficient to generate the money needed to meet one’s investment goals. That is why equity is so crucial in an investor’s portfolio because good equity investments over the long term do provide returns which outpace inflation. According to inflation.eu, the average CPI in India over the past 10 years has fluctuated in wide range of 5.7% (2016) to 12.11% (2010).

If investors invested all their money in fixed return investments like PPF, there is a very high probability that they would not save sufficiently for retirement, unless they were earning obscene amounts of money.

Also, the return in PPF has declined over the years. From 12% at the turn of the century, it dropped down to 11%, then 9.5%, 9% and finally 8%+ where is languished for many years. Between FY12 and FY15 the rate hovered between 8.6% and 8.7%. If you take the average inflation by year, the CPI from 2008 to 2013 has fluctuated between 8.32% and 12.11%. All in all, the PPF has not done an excellent job in consistently beating inflation over the last few years. You need some equity to create wealth.

To sum up, if you are willing to take up some risk go with an ELSS, otherwise it is the good old PPF makes a better bet.

Source : http://goo.gl/30NIYP

ATM :: Young earner? Five financial mistakes you may regret later

By Sanjiv Singhal | Jun 20, 2016, 07.00 AM IST | Economic Times

ATM

Interact with a lot of young earners on a daily basis. These are men and women in the first 5-6 years of their working lives, with dreams and hopes that require money to achieve. Some of them are already saving, while others are not, but all are full of questions and want to know how to do it better. It doesn’t matter what job they have and how much they earn; there are mistakes that run through all their stories. Here are some of the most common ones:

“I bought a life insurance policy to save tax.”
The good thing about this confession is that the person understands he made a mistake. For most, it starts at the end of the year when they needed to submit their investment proof to the HR. They scramble around to figure out how and blindly buy an insurance policy (after all, insurance is a good thing to have, no?). Almost every other tax-saving option is better than life insurance. Tax-saving (ELSS) funds are the best option for young earners.

“I wasn’t sure where to invest, so I didn’t.”
When you don’t set aside money regularly, it sits in your bank account and often gets spent. This hurts in two ways. One, it doesn’t create wealth for you, which investing early does. Second, it forms unsustainable spending habits. Start by setting aside 5-10% of your salary every month in a debt fund or in a recurring deposit if you don’t know enough about mutual funds.

“I bought stocks to double my money because my friend did.”
This is a mistake often made due to lack of understanding about how stock investment works and a false sense of knowledge. Greed and stories of exceptional returns also spur one on. The best way to resist this is to check with friends and colleagues about how many actually earned such fantastic returns and how many lost money. Stock investing requires deep knowledge and time. As a young professional, you are better off committing this time to your job.

“I change jobs every year to increase my salary.”
This is not an investing mistake, but one of not investing in yourself. Sticking with a job gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in a specific area. It also gives you the time to learn softer skills – of working with people and managing them. This leads to better career prospects and more wealth.

“I forgot about my education loan.”
A lot of young earners are starting their financial lives with an education loan taken for an MBA or MTech. As they mostly work away from home, they may not get the communication from the bank, or choose to ignore it. The interest mounts up and they are left with a bigger repayment amount. Focus on education loan repayment in a disciplined manner. When you are done with the with the repayment, direct this amount to long-term investments. Avoiding these common mistakes is easy once you know about them. Spending time learning about the principles of money and investing is a good investment to begin with.

(The author is Founder & Head, Product Strategy at Scripbox)

Source: http://goo.gl/O7HPqf

ATM :: Mistakes to avoid in tax saving investment rush before March 31

By Babar Zaidi, ET Bureau | Mar 14, 2016, 10.30 IST | Economic Times

ATM

The 31 March deadline is barely two weeks away, but many taxpayers are yet to sew up their tax planning for the year. Either they were unfamiliar with the tax rules, confused by the array of options or just plain lazy. Whatever be the reason, they are now sitting ducks for unscrupulous distributors and financial advisers who capitalise on the approaching deadline and palm off high-cost investments to unsuspecting investors.

This week’s cover story is aimed at taxpayers who still have to invest under Section 80C. As a first step, calculate how much more you need to invest. Many taxpayers don’t know that tuition fees of up to two children is eligible for deduction under Section 80C. For many parents with schoolgoing children, this takes care of a large portion of their tax-saving investment limit.

Also, the principal portion of the home loan EMI and the stamp duty and the registration charges paid for a house bought during the year are all eligible for the deduction. If they include the contribution to the Provident Fund and premiums of existing insurance policies, they might discover that their tax planning is nearly taken care of. Use the table provided to calculate how much more you need to invest this year.

Mistakes to avoid in tax saving investment rush before March 31

 

Put small amount in ELSS
Your approach now should be different from what we advised earlier this year. In January, we had listed ELSS funds as the best tax-saving instrument. They are low on charges, fairly transparent, offer high liquidity, the returns are tax-free and they have the potential to create wealth. Also, you are under no compulsion to make subsequent investments. Investing in ELSS funds is easy because you can apply online. Many fund houses even pick up KYC documents from your residence. You can also get your KYC done online.

Mistakes to avoid in tax saving investment rush before March 31

However, at the same time, studies have shown that a staggered approach works best when investing in equity funds. It’s too late to take the SIP route in March and investing a large sum at one go can be risky. Investors who took the SIP route in top ELSS funds in 2014-15, have made money, but those who waited and invested lump sum in March 2015 are saddled with losses.

Unfortunately, not many investors understand the simple logic behind SIPs. Barely 15% of the total inflows into the ELSS category comes through monthly SIPs and nearly 25% of the total inflows are invested as lump sum in March. We suggest that you avoid putting a large sum at one go in ELSS funds and put only a small amount at this stage. It’s best to start an SIP after April in a scheme with a good track record.

Mistakes to avoid in tax saving investment rush before March 31

PPF and FDs are safe bets 
Unlike the ELSS funds, you can invest blindly in the PPF. If you already have a PPF account, just put the remaining portion of your Section 80C limit in it and be done with it. Opening a new account at this stage may not be feasible if you have to submit the proof of investment this week. Even if you manage to open an account, you will be cutting it too fine. If your investment cheque is not encashed by 31 March due to any reason, you may be denied the deduction for this year. Some banks like ICICI Bank allow online investments in the PPF, which is a better option than the offline route.

If you don’t have a PPF account, go for tax-saving fixed deposits or NSCs. They did not score very high rank in our ranking of tax saving instruments in January because the interest is fully taxable, which brings down the effective post-tax returns in the 30% tax bracket to less than 6%. However, with just two weeks left to go, they could be good options to save tax in a hurry. Sure, you will earn low returns, but there are no hidden charges or any compulsion to invest in subsequent years.

They will push you to buy insurance policies that can become millstones around your neck. Don’t sign up for insurance policies in a hurry. To make things easier for the buyer, the agent even does the paperwork. All the buyer has to do is sign the application form and write a cheque. But any investment that requires a multi-year commitment must be assessed in detail, so don’t let the agent force you into a decision.

In our January ranking, life insurance policies were at the bottom of the heap. Experts say it is not a good idea to mix insurance with investment. Buy a term plan for insuring yourself and invest in other more lucrative options than a traditional insurance policy that offers 6-7% returns. A costly insurance policy prevents you from investing for other goals. If you are paying a very high premium, it is advisable to turn the policy into a paid up plan. The insurance cover will continue but you can stop paying the premium.

Pension plans from insurance companies also rank very low. Even though 33% of the corpus was tax free on maturity, the low-cost New Pension System (NPS) was seen as a better alternative. Last year, the government announced an additional deduction of Rs 50,000 for investments in the NPS. This year’s Budget has made the scheme more attractive by making 40% of the corpus tax free on maturity.

Till a few months ago, opening an NPS account was considered an uphill task. You had to run around for weeks, even months, before the account became operative. This has now changed. Turn to Page 6 to know how you can take the online route to open an NPS account in just 25-30 minutes.

No proof? No problem

Salaried taxpayers are expected to submit proof of investment to their employers by mid-March. That window is nearly closed now. If you have not submitted the proof of your tax saving investments, TDS will be deducted from your March salary. But don’t let that stop you from investing now. If you are able to invest by 31 March, you can claim a refund of the excess tax deducted from your salary. However, you will get that money back only when you file your tax return in July.

Source : http://goo.gl/gZZqCR

ATM:: 9 smart ways to save tax

Babar Zaidi | TNN | Jan 11, 2016, 08.57 AM IST | Times of India

ATM

Do-it-yourself tax planning can be rewarding and challenging. Rewarding, because you can choose the tax-saving instrument that best suits your needs. Challenging, because if you make the wrong choice, you are stuck with an unsuitable investment for at least 3-5 years. This is where our annual ranking of best tax-saving options can prove helpful. It assesses all the investment options on seven key parameters—returns, safety, flexibility, liquidity, costs, transparency and taxability of income. Each parameter is given equal weightage and a composite score is worked out for the various tax-saving options.

While the ranking is based on a robust methodology, your choice should also take into account your requirements and financial goals. We consider the pros and cons of each option and tell you which instrument is best suited for taxpayers in different situations and lifestages. We hope it will help you make an informed choice. Happy investing!

ELSS FUNDS
ELSS funds top our ranking because of their tremendous potential, high liquidity and transparency. The ELSS category has given average returns of 17.8% in the past 3 years. The 3-year lock-in period is the shortest for any Section 80C option.

If you have already fulfilled KYC requirements, you can invest online. Even if you are a new investor, fund houses facilitate the investment by picking up documents from your house and guiding you through the KYC screening. ELSS funds are equity schemes and carry the same market risk as any other diversified fund. Last year was not good for equities, and even top-rated ELSS funds lost money. However, the funds are miles ahead of PPF in 3- and 5-year returns.

The SIP route is the best way to contain the risk of investing in equity funds. However, with just three months left for the financial year to end, at best, a taxpayer will manage 2-3 SIPs before 31 March. Since valuations are not stretched right now, one can put in a bigger amount.
SMART TIP
Opt for the direct plan. Returns are higher because charges are lower.

ULIP
The new online Ulips are ultra cheap, with some of them costing even less than direct mutual funds. They also offer greater flexibility. Unlike ELSS funds, where the investment cannot be touched for three years, Ulip investors can switch their corpus from equity to debt, and vice versa. What’s more, there is no tax implication of gains made from switching because insurance plans enjoy exemption under Section 10 (10d). Even so, only savvy investors who know how to use the switching facility should get in.
SMART TIP
Opt for liquid or debt funds of the Ulip and gradually shift the money to the equity fund.

NPS
The last Budget made the NPS attractive as a tax-saving tool by offering an additional tax deduction of Rs 50,000. Also, pension fund managers have been allowed to invest in a larger basket of stocks.

Concerns remain about the cap on equity exposure. Besides, the taxability of the NPS on maturity is a sore point. At least 40% of the corpus must be put in an annuity. Right now, the income from annuities is taxed at the normal rate.
SMART TIP
Opt for the auto choice where the equity exposure is linked to age and comes down as you grow older.

PPF AND VPF
It’s been almost four years since the PPF rate was linked to the benchmark bond yield. But bond yields have stayed buoyant and the PPF rate has not fallen. However, the government has indicated that it will review the interest rates on small savings schemes, including PPF and NSCs. If this is a worry, opt for the Voluntary Provident Fund. It offers that same interest rate and tax benefits as the EPF. There is no limit to how much you can invest in the VPF. The contribution gets deducted from the salary itself so the investor does not even feel it go.
SMART TIP
Allocate 25% of your pay hike to VPF. You won’t notice the deduction.

SUKANYA SAMRIDDHI SCHEME
This scheme for the girl child is a great way to save tax. It is open only to girls below 10. If you have a daughter that old, the Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme is a better option than bank deposits, child plans and even the PPF account. Accounts can be opened in any post office or designated branches of PSU banks with a minimum Rs 1,000. The maximum investment in a financial year is Rs 1.5 lakh and deposits can be made for 14 years. The account matures when the girl turns 21, though up to 50% of the corpus can be withdrawn after she turns 18.
SMART TIP
Instead of PPF, put money in the Sukanya scheme and earn 50 bps more.

SENIOR CITIZENS’ SCHEME This is the best tax-saving instrument for retirees. At 9.3%, it offers the highest interest rate among all Post Office schemes. The tenure is 5 years, extendable by 3 years. Interest is paid quarterly on fixed dates. However, there is a Rs 15 lakh overall investment limit.
SMART TIP
If you want ot invest more than Rs 15 lakh, gift the amount to your spouse and invest in her name.

BANK FDS AND NSCs
Though bank FDs and NSCs offer assured returns, the interest earned on the deposits is fully taxable. They are best suited to taxpayers in the 10% bracket or senior citizens who have exhausted the Rs 15 lakh limit in the Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme.
SMART TIP
Invest in FDs and NSCs if you don’t have time to assess the other options and the deadline is near.

PENSION PLANS
Pension plans from insurance companies still have high charges which makes them poor investments. They also force the investor to put a larger portion (66%) of the corpus in an annuity. The prevailing annuity rates are not very attractive. Pension plans launched by mutual funds have lower charges, but are MFs disguised as pension plans. Moreover, they are debtoriented plans so they are not eligible for tax benefits that equity plans enjoy.
SMART TIP
Invest in plans from mutual funds. They offer greater flexibility than those from life insurers.

INSURANCE POLICIES
Traditional life insurance policies remain the worst way to save tax. Still, millions of taxpayers buy these policies every year, lured by the “triple benefits” of life insurance cover, longterm savings and tax benefits. Actually, these policies give very little cover. A premium of Rs 20,000 a year will get you a cover of roughly Rs 2 lakh. The returns are very poor, barely 6% if you opt for a 20-year plan. And the tax-free income is a sham. Going by the indexation rule, if the returns are below the inflation rate, the income should anyway be tax free. The problem is that once you sign up for these policies, they become millstones around your neck.
SMART TIP
If you can’t afford to pay the premium, turn your insurance plan into a paid-up policy.

Source: http://goo.gl/DWqo4K

ATM :: Yearly bonus can help create long-term wealth

TNN | Apr 7, 2015, 06.55AM IST | Times of India
ATM
It’s the start of the financial year 2015-16. This is also the time when every investor should put in place a plan for investing and saving on taxes using all the options that the government has given to them. However, according to financial planners and advisors, while putting in place a long-term financial plan, the main aim should not be tax savings. The main aim should be to build the required corpus for the goal for which you are investing. Here are some tricks that will help you build wealth in the long run without much thought…

Use your bonus wisely

This is the time lot of people get a bonus. According to top of ficials at mutual fund houses and financial advisors, rather than spending on things that may not be an absolute necessity, you can invest the whole or a major part of the bonus in an equity mutual fund. Let us assume that you get a bonus of Rs 3 lakh this year and you put the whole amount in an equity mutual fund.

Now let us also assume that every year your bonus increases by 10% while the equity fund you are investing in, over a 10 year period, gives you a return of 12% per annum.At the start of the second year, your bonus is Rs 3.3 lakh and at the start of the third year it is at about Rs 3.6 lakh. At this rate, at the start of the 10th year, your yearly bonus will be about Rs 5.7 lakh. But if you have invested your yearly bonus every year in the equity fund that gave an annual return of 12%, your total corpus at the end of the 10th year will be a little over Rs 80 lakh. This looks like a staggering amount, but there is no magic in it.

Make good use of ELSS

According to financial planners and advisers, equity-linked savings plans (ELSS) floated by mutual fund houses are one of the best tax saving options for investors. This is because in the long term they have the potential to generate an average annual return of 12%, saves on taxes under section 80C of Income Tax Act and has a lock-in of just three years.

The returns from all ELSS are also tax free while the costs are around 2.5% per annum, one of the lowest for similar products. In comparison, most of the other tax-saving options cannot generate as high a return, costs are higher and returns are taxed on redemption. A combination of some of these factors makes such products unattractive in comparison to ELSS. So suppose after taking care of your contributions to provident fund, home loans, etc, you are still left with about Rs 60,000 to invest to save taxes under section 80C, go for one or more SIPs aggregating Rs 5,000 per month so that your yearly contribution is Rs 60,000.At about 12% average annual return, in 10 years, this can grow to be a Rs 11.6 lakh corpus.

Use excess cash intelligently

If you keep your excess cash that you need at a short notice, you probably keep it in your savings bank account. However, a better alternative is to keep it in a liquid fund of a good mutual fund house. Compared to 4-6% annual return that you can get in your savings bank account, liquid funds on an average has given a return of over 7.5% in the last five years while some of the best liquid schemes have returned over 8.6%. This higher return comes at a slightly higher risk and slightly less liquidity , that is about 24 hours, compared to money at call in case of savings bank accounts. So, if you can manage your cash inflows and outflows well, you can put your extra money in liquid schemes and earn much higher returns. There’s alternative to FDs Fixed maturity plans (FMPs) are a good alternative to fixed deposits (FDs). If you are keeping your money in FDs for three years or more, FMPs of similar maturities can give you a much better return as FMPs enjoy long-term capital gains tax advantages if the money is kept for more than three years. FDs do not enjoy similar benefits.

Source : http://goo.gl/KowGgd