Everyone wants to be financially secure and well off by the age of 35-40. However, when we are in our 20’s, we tend to live life in the moment and forget saving for the future.
By: Sanjeev Sinha | Updated: November 27, 2017 2:25 PM | Financial Express
All of us have various financial goals in life. Everyone wants to be financially secure and well off by the age of 35-40. However, when we are in our 20’s, we tend to live life in the moment and forget saving for the future. This is not the right approach towards creating wealth. Therefore, to ensure that you are financially secure and on the right track with your money, here are 5 important investments that you must make before you hit your 30-year milestone:
1. Investment towards tax saving
Considering that you are working and earning, it is important for you to assess your tax liability and take advantage of tax deductions available under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. “By proper tax planning, you can not only reduce your tax liability but also save some more to invest towards your other goals. One of the best tax-saving instruments is Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS). It is a type of open-ended equity mutual fund wherein an investor can avail a deduction u/s 80C up to Rs 1.50 lakh for a financial year,” says Amar Pandit, CFA and Founder & Chief Happiness Officer at HapynessFactory.in.
2. Investment towards emergency corpus
There are various events like accidents, illnesses and other unforeseen events that we may encounter in our lives. These events should never occur, but if they do, one needs to be adequately prepared for the same. In critical cases, such events may hamper one’s ability to work and may even lead to a loss in earnings for a few months or years. Hence, “it is advisable to build a contingency corpus, which is equivalent to at least 5-6 months of living expenses. Further, your emergency fund should be safe and easily accessible (liquid in nature) at short notice, in case of an emergency. Hence, savings bank accounts and liquid mutual funds are two options for setting aside the emergency corpus. However, considering that liquid and ultra-short term mutual funds are more tax efficient in nature, it is advisable to park a major portion of your corpus in the same,” says Pandit.
3. Investment towards long-term goals
It is very important to save and invest towards your long-term goals such as marriage, buying a house, starting your own venture, retirement, and so on. You must start with determining how much each goal will need and the savings required to achieve the goal. Once the corpus is fixed, you can invest towards the goal regularly. As an investment strategy, start fixed monthly investments – SIPs (Systematic Investment Plan) in mutual funds. Always remember, the earlier you start investing towards your goals, the longer time your investments will have to grow and the more you will benefit from the power of compounding. Equity mutual funds which are growth oriented are a preferable investment option for long-term goals.
4. Investment towards short-term goals
There are many short-term goals that are recurring in nature, such annual vacation, buying a car or any asset in the near term and so on. For such goals, you are advised to park your funds in liquid or arbitrage mutual funds rather than a savings account. “Mutual funds are more tax efficient than savings accounts and also there are different funds for different time horizons. For example, for goals to be achieved within a year, you can opt for liquid or ultra-short term funds whereas for goals to be achieved post one year, you can opt for arbitrage funds,” advises Pandit.
5. Investment towards health and life cover
Life and health insurance typically are not supposed to be considered as investments. However, both are very important and must be considered as one of the priority money move to be made before turning 30. If you are earning and have a family dependent on you, you must assess and buy the right life insurance term cover for yourself. Further, with costs of health care and medical on the rise, any untoward illness without sufficient cover will have you dip into capital which is unnecessary. Hence, there cannot be any compromise on health insurance. Thankfully, there are various health covers available in the market today. You should opt for the right cover for yourself, depending on your needs and post considering all the options.
By pooling a lot of stocks or bonds, mutual funds reduce the risk of investing.
By ZeeBiz WebTeam | Updated: Wed, Nov 29, 2017 12:59 pm | ZeeBiz.com
Both stocks and mutual funds market are booming in India, but as an investor, we are often confused to choose between the two for our investment plans.
Investment in equity, bonds or funds comes with higher risk and higher reward, therefore, it is always better to first study about the scheme we plan to invest.
Mutual fund scheme is a pool of savings contributed by multiple investors. The term ‘mutual’ fund means that all risks, rewards, gains or losses pertaining to, or arising from the investments made out of this savings pool are shared by all investors in proportion to their contributions.
There are wide-range of mutual funds in India like – equity, debt, money market, hybrid or balanced, sector-related, index funds, tax-savings fund and lastly fund of funds.
Stock market are usually interesting source of income for both companies and share holders. Under the stock market, anyone can buy stakes of a company in whom they have faith.
Companies which have received better ratings by agencies are generally preferred the most. No matter what may be the circumstances, an investor holds on to the company’s stake for their regular source of income.
Which one is better for investment?
According to Motilal Oswal, if you are typically in your 20s to 30s belt, you can start building your investment portfolio with the help of mutual funds. You need to start off with a very minimum capital and you can find that your investment keeps growing at a gradual space.
The agency believes that for first-time investors, the mutual funds offer a tremendous scope for growth as your funds are invested in diversified forms of revenue generating sources.
On the other hand, Motilal believes that if an investor belongs to late 40s up until 70s of their age and are also seasoned investors, then investing in stocks is a good idea.
It further said that decades of exposure to the financial market helps you gauge the right type of equities, shares or stocks, you need to invest your money in.
Among many advantages of investing in mutual funds is that you can appoint fund managers to select funds, track performance, make appropriate asset allocations and cash-in your profits for you.
These managers try to ensure that an investor’s portfolio consists of well-performing funds, rather than those that might drag down the overall investment returns.
In case, you are stock market investor, and sell your holding within a period of one year, then you have to pay 15% as short-term capital gains tax.
As for mutual funds, there are no gains tax levied on the stocks that are sold by the fund. But one needs to remember that an investor must hold equity funds for a minimum of one year (the longer, the better, really) if they want to avoid paying capital gains tax on the investments.
If you venture into stock investments on your own, brokerage costs of 0.5-1% will be a common expense. Apart from this, you will also have to pay for demat charges.
BankBazaar stated that mutual funds pay only a fraction of the brokerage costs compared to what is charged to individual investors. Investors in Mutual Funds do not need demat accounts.
A well-diversified investment portfolio ideally has around 25-30 stocks, and this kind of portfolio is only achievable with a sizable corpus.
With investment in mutual funds, an investors can buy a certain number of funds which can be invested in various stocks.
The primary objectives of ELSS investments are long-term capital growth and tax saving.
Navneet Dubey | Nov 10, 2017 09:47 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
Most investors who invest in equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS) do so to save taxes under Section 80C of Income Tax Act. However, they tend to forget that the ELSS schemes can also help them to achieve their financial goal if they remain invested for a long time.
“The primary objective of ELSS investment is long-term capital growth and tax saving. Superior long-term growth is facilitated by the power of compounding. Power of compounding works best over a long investment horizon when gains are reinvested every time they accrue,” said Rahul Parikh, CEO, Bajaj Capital.
The schemes under ELSS category also gives you high inflation-beating returns, similar to PPF they also provide you EEE (exempt-exempt-exempt) benefit.
However, make sure you don’t commit the usual mistakes while investing in ELSS. Here are some of the common mistakes investors make while investing in these schemes:
Trying to time the market: Do not try to time the market when you are investing. Unless you have seasoned investors with a phenomenal understanding of the market, the chances are that you might not be able to identify the precise time to invest.
Ajit Narasimhan, Head – Savings and Investments, BankBazaar said that there is a high amount of uncertainty which makes it next to impossible to correctly predict events or their impact on the market and hence to time the market. Instead, focus on identifying a few good funds. Once you invest, have the patience to ride through the rough and tumble of the stock markets. “Equity investments grow by staying systematically invested for the long run. This is what makes SIP a good option as it averages the cost of investment over time and cancels out the effect of price fluctuation in the market,” he said
Not understanding the fund category: It very important to understand that most of the AMC’s design their ELSS tax saving mutual fund scheme on the basis of large cap, mid cap/small cap and accordingly their risk and returns vary. Here it is vital to first know your risk taking capacity that whether you will be able to risk or not. Take help from your financial adviser to know all holdings mentioned in your scheme and then choose the fund accordingly.
Investing at the last minute: Investment should be a planned activity and not at the spur of the moment.
Narasimhan points out for investments to be successful and provide the required returns, investors should have a financial goal in mind and a plan to work towards it. Leaving it to the last minute can lead to insufficient time to set your goals or create a viable investment plan. “Lack of time may imply that you may have to cut down your research and depend on someone else’s research and opinion to base your investment. This can be very dangerous as the goals, requirements, and risk appetite may not match. It may also cause the investor to invest in one go instead of small regular SIPs. This is an important factor as SIPs provide price averaging and take away the need to time markets,” he said.
Redeeming soon after the lock-in period ends: Minimum investment time period in equities should ideally be for 5-7 years and when you take a decision of redeeming your units before time as mentioned thereon, you may not gain much from it. The longer you remain invested, the more you gain from compounding effect and rupee cost averaging principle. You should always link your investment with a long time horizon financial goal.
Investing in too many funds: ELSS funds have a lock-in of 3 years, If you are investing in too many funds of the same category then it may become difficult for you to review your portfolio since you cannot exit before 3 years. Moreover, too much of diversification may also not help you in proper asset class analysis.
Choosing the dividend option: You should opt for growth option while investing in ELSS mutual fund schemes because if you opt for the dividend, you can lose on gaining from compounding effect. Parikh also said that investing in a growth option ensures that gains are reinvested and grow at the same rate as the principal investment. “However, in dividend payout option, the gains are not reinvested but are paid out and hence not available for compounding, resulting in lower long-term returns. When investing for long-term capital growth in any of the equity mutual fund, one should opt for the growth option,” Parikh said.
By Sanket Dhanorkar, ET Bureau|Updated: Oct 16, 2017, 11.20 AM IST
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has asked fund houses to classify their schemes into clearly defined categories. For long, there were no clear guidelines to categorise mutual funds. Fund houses even launched multiple schemes under each category, making scheme selection a confusing exercise for investors. To introduce clarity, Sebi has now asked fund houses to have just one scheme per category, with the exception of index funds, fund of funds and sector or thematic schemes.Mutual funds which have multiple products in a category will have to merge, wind up, or change the fundamental attributes of their products.
Simplification of choice, fewer options
At the broadest level, mutual funds will now be classified as equity, debt, hybrid, solution-oriented, and ‘other’. Equity schemes will have 10 sub-categories, including multicap, large-cap, mid-cap, large- and mid-cap, and small-cap, among others. The stocks of the top 100 companies by market value will be classified as large-caps. Those of companies ranked between 101 and 250 will be termed mid-caps, and stocks of firms beyond the top 250 by market cap will be categorised as small-caps. Debt and hybrid schemes will similarly be grouped into 16 and six sub-categories respectively.
In particular, people interested in debt and hybrid schemes will now be better placed to identify the right schemes. For instance, duration funds have been segregated into four sub-categories, based on the maturity profile of the instruments they invest in. Debt funds belonging to the broader ‘income funds’ category will now be identified as dynamic bond fund, credit risk fund, corporate bond fund, and banking and PSU fund, based on their unique characteristics. Similarly, segregation of hybrid funds—based on their equity exposure—as aggressive hybrid, conservative hybrid and balanced hybrid, will allow investors to better identify the type of hybrid fund they want to invest in.
“Now that scheme labelling is clearly linked to a fund’s strategy, the investor will clearly know what he is getting into. The fund category will define the scheme, and not its name,” says Kunal Bajaj, CEO, Clearfunds. Fund houses will also not be allowed to name schemes in a way that only highlights the return aspect of the schemes— credit opportunities, high yield, income advantage, etc.
Adherence to fund mandate
With strict classification of schemes, fund houses may not be able to alter the investing style or focus of their schemes, as they did earlier. For instance, mid-cap funds stray into the large-cap territory or across market caps, in response to market conditions, which dramatically alters their risk profile. Now, funds will be forced to maintain their investing focus. Any drastic change in style will constitute a change in the fundamentalattributes of the scheme, which would have to be communicated to the investors. For investors, this means they won’t have to worry about their chosen schemes altering mandates to something which doesn’t suit their needs or risk profile.
Better comparison with peers
Distinct categorisation of schemes will also enable a better comparison of funds within the same category. While the earlier largecap funds category had schemes with pure large-cap focus as well those with a sizeable mid-cap exposure, now such distinctly varied schemes won’t be clubbed together. This will further help investors identify the right schemes by facilitating a like-for-like comparison of funds. “All schemes of different AMCs within a similar category will have similar characteristics, which will enable customers to make a better ‘apples to apples’ comparison,” says Stephan Groening, Director, Investment Solutions, Sharekhan, BNP Paribas.
These schemes may be reclassified or merged
The new Sebi norms require funds to have only one scheme per category.
Note: This is only an indicative list. All schemes mentioned may be retained by the respective fund house. There may be other duplicate schemes from other fund houses also. Source: Value Research.
Sharp rise in fund corpus
Since fund houses will now be forced to merge duplicate schemes within the same categories, it may sharply increase the size of certain funds. This could hurt the scheme’s performance. “Some larger fund houses with multiple schemes will have to opt for mergers. This may lead to a sudden, sharp rise in the corpus of schemes, which could dent the fund’s returns,” says Vidya Bala, Head, Mutual Fund Research, FundsIndia. “There could also be an impact cost on the investor, as fund may rebalance or churn the portfolio to ensure the fund aligns with the category norms,” adds Bala. For instance, both HDFC Balanced and HDFC Prudence are aggressive hybrid funds, with a corpus of Rs 14,767 and Rs 30,304 crore. Merging the two will create a Rs 45,000 crore fund. However, it is more likely that the fund house may instead reposition one of the schemes in another category.
Possible fall in outperformance
While the new norms are likely to lead to better adherence to the fund style and mandate, it may result in reduction in alpha—outperformance compared to the index—for some schemes. Funds often tend to stray away from their chosen mandate in the pursuit of generating excess return over the benchmark index. Now, with limited flexibility to stray into another segment, some funds may find alpha generation more difficult than before, reckons Bala.
Need for portfolio review
Since fund houses will now have to align their product suite with these norms, there is likely to be a flurry of activity related to recategorisation of funds. In order to avoid merging certain duplicate schemes, these are likely to be renamed or reclassified into another fund category. Some funds may witness a change in scheme attributes to facilitate its repositioning. As such, over the next 5-6 months, several schemes may change colours. Investors would then have to undertake a thorough portfolio review to ensure their funds continue to meet their requirements, insists Bajaj.
On an average, the gross returns by active funds exceed returns from Nifty by more than 11%. This outperformance is after accounting for the costs of managing an active fund
Nilesh Gupta & G. Sethu | First Published: Mon, Oct 02 2017. 01 59 AM IST | Live Mint
In 1975, John Bogle launched the first ever passive fund, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and heralded an era of passive investing. Bogle was influenced by Eugene Fama’s view that the capital market was informationally efficient and that sustained success in stock picking was impossible. Since then, trading has increased; more and better investment research is being undertaken; high-speed communication networks have taken away the advantages to a privileged few; and most importantly, institutional investors dominate the markets. In this environment, it is not easy to pick stocks or enter and exit the market successfully and consistently. The torchbearer for passive investing today is the exchange-traded fund (ETF).
In the US, during FY 2003-16, total net assets of equity index funds increased by 3.5 times (from $0.39 trillion to $1.77 trillion), while that of active equity funds increased by just 0.7 times (from $2.73 trillion to $4.65 trillion). More importantly, during this period, a net amount of $1.29 trillion moved out of active equity funds while $0.46 trillion moved into index equity funds. Why is passive investing gaining over active investing? It’s because active investing has not been able to deliver returns (net of costs) that are more than from passive investing. Passive funds posted an expense ratio of 0.09% in 2016 while active equity funds were seven times more expensive with an expense ratio of 0.63%.
The FT reports that over a period of 10 years, 83% of active funds in the US underperform their benchmark, with 40% funds terminating before 10 years.
This global trend prompted us to examine the India story. Since 1992, Indian stock markets have seen many developments. Trading has increased; there are more institutional investors; regulations have improved; transactions have become faster; settlements have become shorter; number of analysts covering the market has increased; communication networks are good. We should expect active funds to struggle to beat the market, right? You could not be more mistaken.
We examined the returns and expense ratios of 448 actively managed mutual fund schemes from the period of FY 1996 till FY 2017, a total period of 21 years. We used their net asset values (NAVs) to compute the returns from holding these schemes for each financial year. Remember that the NAVs of mutual fund are published after deducting all the costs incurred in running the scheme.
In most of the years, when the market booms the active funds beat the index (such as Nifty) by a wide margin. When the market is bearish, their performance is mixed. In some bearish years, they beat the index, but often they lose much more than the index.
On an average, the gross returns by active funds exceed returns from Nifty total returns index by more than 11%. Remember that this outperformance is after accounting for the costs of managing an active fund. What about the costs of managing a mutual fund? The expense ratio for active funds from FY 2008 to FY 2017 averaged 2.32% per annum and for ETFs it was 0.61%, leading to a difference just greater than 1.7%. On an average, in India the extra returns provided by actively managed mutual funds have been much higher than the extra cost charged for delivering the return.
This is in contrast to the data from the US. Even in the halcyon 1960s, active funds in the US beat the market only by about 3%. What are the possible reasons for this outperformance? Some market experts argue that several quality stocks are not part of the index and hence index funds or ETFs cannot invest in them. Some note that the evolving nature of the market is not reflected in the index.
It may also be possible that the relatively smaller size of the mutual fund industry in India could be helping active fund managers get such high returns. In India, the mutual fund industry has only 13% of market capitalization as compared to 95% in the US. It is possible that in the past, mutual fund managers had better information available. If either of the reasons turn out to be true, we might find that, in the future, the actively managed mutual funds do not outperform the market by such large margins.
So, should Indian investors invest their savings in actively managed mutual funds? Irrespective of what the data says, the answer is not so simple. Here we have only considered the average returns of all actively managed mutual funds. A retail investor who is likely to invest only in a limited set of schemes would be concerned about choosing those schemes that give better returns in the future.
This analysis has not considered the risks taken by the mutual funds to get returns. A fund can easily beat the market by taking more risks. We need to compute the risk-adjusted returns to answer this question. On doing that, we may understand how the active funds in India generate such high returns compared to the market index. Is it a story of great fund management skills? Or is it inefficiency of the market? Or is it a case of taking high risks? Investors and the regulator have a responsibility to understand this.
Nilesh Gupta is assistant professor and G. Sethu is professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Tiruchirappalli
Sarbajeet K Sen | Sep 14, 2017 11:37 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
Poor performance of a fund must set the investor thinking on whether to continue with the investment.
When did you last review your mutual fund portfolio? Maybe a long time ago. Many investors might feel relaxed after investing in mutual funds with the thought that their money is safe with experts trained in investing and stock selection.
However, the mutual funds landscape is a mixed lot. There are good, high-performing funds and there are laggards who are unable to keep up with performance of the leaders.
Did you check which of these category of fund you have invested? If it is one of the top-performing ones, giving you good returns, you need not worry. But if it is one of the funds that have not performed well in comparison, it might be time to think of a switch to another fund.
So when did you last review your mutual funds investment portfolio to know whether it needs a change? If you do it periodically, well and good, but if you have not reviewed for a long time, you should assess how your various fund investments have been performing.
“Investors should review their mutual fund portfolio at least once in 6 months. They should look at the performance of the fund, the sectoral allocation that they chose and whether there have been any big changes,” S Sridharan, Business Head, Financial Planning, Wealth Ladder Investment Advisors
Sridharan says if the review shows that the fund has performed poorly, it should signal a possible exit and switch to another fund. “Poor performance of a fund must set the investor thinking on whether to continue with the investment. However, exit decision should not be based only on performance of the fund. Investors should look at other parameter like what went wrong and whether the fund manager has the capability of revising the portfolio to the positive side in the near future,” he said.
Vikash Agarwal, CFA & Co-Founder, CAGRfunds, says one should avoid unnecessary churn in portfolio. “The essence of money-making is regular investments in well-managed diversified equity mutual funds. One should avoid unnecessary churns in the portfolio which may enhance cost in terms of exit load and tax implications,” he said.
However, Agarwal says there can be multiple reasons which might merit a review and change of one’s mutual fund holdings. Some of these are:
–Continued underperformance of the fund such that the fund is unable to beat its benchmark
-The fund is able to beat the benchmark but the returns are not commensurate with the levels of risk being taken by the fund
-A particular stock/debt instrument holding which forms a significant holding of the fund is likely to underperform due to a fundamental issue. Example: If a fund has significant exposure to a company which has acquired a loss making company, it might merit a deeper review of the fund
–Change of fund manager: In case there is a change in fund manager, then it is useful to review the fund as the fund style and philosophy might undergo a change and it might not be suitable to investment objective anymore
“If your fund is showing such characteristics then it is ideal for you to exit and switch to a better managed fund,” Agarwal said.
Navneet Dubey | Sep 19, 2017 04:18 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
Equity mutual funds can give you good returns if you keep your money invested over a long period of time to overcome market cycles.
Your dream of becoming a ‘crorepati’ may seem difficult. But in reality, if you plan your finances and invest in the right instruments someday you will have your dreams realised someday. One of the best ways to try and achieve the crorepati dream could be investing in equity mutual funds for good returns over a long period of time. There is a definite correlation between the time and money. If you have less money to invest then you have to wait for a longer time to get your goal accomplished and if you have more money to invest you might reach your goal earlier if you plan and invest properly.
However, before investing in mutual funds, especially –equity MF’s, you should ask yourself two questions:
how much you have to invest and over how long to reach your Rs 1 crore destination.
Here we try to get you answer to both the questions.
How much to invest monthly?
As a young investor, you may easily take a higher risk by saving less amount and gain more returns to achieve your financial goals. While being in the middle of the age, you can take the moderate risk to head toward becoming a crorepati.
Thus, at an early age even if you have less money to invest, you can become crorepati by investing Rs 700 per month (which is the least amount) for 35 years, at an assumed 15% rate of return to accumulate the desired amount.
However if you start later, you need to invest more money to reach your financial goal. For instance, you will need Rs 5500 per month for 25 years, at an assumed 12% rate of return, you will be able to make Rs 1 Crore approximately.
A larger amount of Rs 13,500 per month for 20 years, at an assumed 10% rate of return, will enable you to make Rs 1 Crore.
How to select a fund?
To earn 12-15% of return on your investment, you need to select good equity stocks or one can go for equity mutual funds to mitigate the risk to an extent. While selecting, equity MF, you need also check that your portfolio should have mid-cap/small-cap funds for around 30-40% and the remaining 60-70% should have a diversified fund, a large-cap fund, etc. to maintain an aggressive portfolio with right asset mix.
Whereas to maintaining a return of around 10-12%, you should invest in balanced fund/hybrid fund, etc. to maintain a moderate risk portfolio. In such case, one can avoid or reduce the investment amount in mid-cap/small-cap funds or avoid making investments in risky stocks.
Are there alternatives?
Investing money in pension plans, NPS can also help you achieve this financial goal. However, the returns offered under such schemes are not stable and market linked. Moreover, in some instruments, returns are subject to change as per the government rules. Also, investing in an instrument like fixed deposits, national savings certificate, etc. may not help you achieve the goal within the maximum time period as mentioned thereon.
One should also have to remain invested for a longer time period and follow proper asset allocation strategy to achieve the target amount. It is must to take the help of a financial adviser before making such financial decisions.
In the grid given above, make sure you know that any investment made in equity mutual fund or equity stocks are not guaranteed. The returns are also volatile and not fixed as they are dependent on the financial market.