So after all the research for where to invest your money, you zeroed-in on Mutual Funds.
You are all set to invest. But like many of us, you may be wondering How To Select a Mutual Fund.
Today, we are going to help you. So, how should you choose your first fund? The good part about Mutual Funds is that they offer scheme categories that match almost every risk appetite & time horizon.
Categories To Select Mutual Fund
So let us take a look at some of the fund categories that could match your requirements:
Funds for investments up to 1 year
If you are investing for say, 1 week to 1 year, you have to stick to Debt Schemes. And specifically, don’t go beyond these 5 categories –
- Overnight Funds – when your horizon is for up to 1 week.
- Liquid Funds – When you are looking to invest for 1 week to 1 month
- Ultra Short Duration: for 1 to 3 month investment
- Low Duration Funds: for 3 to 6 month investment and
- Money Market Funds: for your investment that you can do for 6 months to 1 year
All these Scheme Categories are a far better alternatives for the same duration’s FDs that you would get in a bank.
Funds for 1-2 year investment horizon
For this investment duration too, you should stick to Debt Funds. Short Term Debt Funds can be a good category for this. These funds mostly lend to good companiesfor a period of 1 to 3 years.
If you complete 3 years they tend to deliver much better returns than Bank Fixed Deposits as you would pay far lower effective tax on your returns than what you pay on the interest you receive on FDs.
Funds for 2-3 year investment horizon
From debt funds, you can go for Banking and PSU Debt Funds. These funds lend only to banks and public sector companies, These companies have good credit rating & hence the risk is controlled, even if money is lent for a couple of years or more.
Hybrid Scheme category that suits a 2-3 year horizon is Equity Savings Funds. These funds put around 30-35% in stocks, 30-35%in equity securities that offer arbitrage opportunities, while the remaining is invested in debt.
Equity offers growth potential while debt adds stability. The arbitrage part is more or less risk-free as it buys and sells the stock at the same time to take advantage of different prices of the same stocks in different markets.
Funds for 3-4 year investment duration
ELSS Funds If you can lock-in your money for 3 years, you should go for ELSS funds. These funds have an added advantage of helping you save up to Rs. 46,800 in taxes every year, plus you get the growth potential of equities.
These are hybrid funds that buy stocks at low prices and sell automatically when the prices rise.
These funds keep changing the allocation to stocks & debt to generate optimal return & minimize risk.
Funds for 4-5 year investment duration
Aggressive Hybrid Equity Funds
If you want to control risk, go for Aggressive Hybrid Equity Funds.
They invest 65% -80% of your money into equityand 20%-35% of the money in debt. This is the ideal category for long-term investments for every first-time investor.
Another category for your 4-5 year horizon is Large Cap Equity Mutual Funds.
They invest in the Top 100 companies, some of whom are most loved brands like, HDFC Bank, SBI, Hindustan Unilever or Reliance Industries,etc.
These funds provide relatively stable returns and are not as volatile as other equity fund categories.
Multi cap Funds
A slightly aggressive cousin of Large Cap Mutual Funds, they follow a Diversified Portfolio strategy that gives your money exposure in companies of all sizes, across sectors.
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Funds for 5-7 year investment duration
Large and Mid Cap
These funds invest in a combination of India’s biggest and India’s fastest-growing mid-sized companies, giving you a mix of growth and stability.
Mid Cap Funds
These funds invest in mid-sized companies in India. The companies in this space are some of the fastest-growing companies.
For this reason, you can get market-beating returns. However, they can be volatile in the short to medium duration.
Funds for 7+ year investment horizon
Small Cap Funds
These funds invest in the smallest companies in India These companies have the potential to become mid and even large companies in the future and can give outstanding returns in this journey.
However, this space is extremely volatile, so you need to be prepared. Now that you know how to pick your first fund,time to get started on your investment journey.
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