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Most people generally invest with the objective of obtaining higher returns and with the minimum risk involved. To achieve this objective, most of the investors seek a proper investment plan which not only achieves the desired results but also keeps a tab on the risk profile of the investor.

As a general principle, the higher the risk, the higher the return and vice versa. Investors should carefully choose an investment plan according to their risk appetite. This should be carefully evaluated as it will impact the overall risk-return profile of the investor.

The investment plan should be capable of meeting the investment objective and generate a handsome return at the same time.

Best Investment Plan
best investment plan

Types of Investments Plans Based on Risk

Based on the risk appetite of the investor, investments are classified into different risk levels called low risk, medium risk and high risk. Now, let us look at these classifications in details:

Low-Risk Investments

Low-risk investments are instruments that provide a fixed income and are not affected by the volatile movements in the stock market. Investments included in this category are fixed deposits, bonds, debentures, etc. The common factor amongst all these investments is that they provide fixed returns and are not dependent on the stock market.

For instance, a fixed deposit can be done for a varied time period, but there are certain instruments like government bonds and insurance policies that can provide better returns but have a longer lock-in period.

The investor needs to carefully evaluate his/her risk profile from time to time in order to make suitable investments.

Medium-Risk Investments

These investments carry a higher-risk but are capable of offering higher returns as well. There is also a component of ‘debt’ involved in such instruments which is dependent on the interest rates movement in the markets. The top products in this category are debt funds, balanced mutual funds, hybrid funds and index funds.

High-Risk Investments

This category of investments includes stocks of companies listed in the stock exchange, equity mutual funds etc. These instruments carry a high degree of risk but at the same time can offer significant returns. The tenure of such instruments is not fixed and can vary depending on the investor’s preference.

Best Investment Plans in India 2020

Before making any investment, investors need to consider the outcome of their investment. For example, many investors invest their money for capital appreciation, some do it to ensure their financial security etc.

The ‘actual value’ via investment only comes when the investors make an informed decision on the type of investment product that would complete their requirements

By investing in some of the best investment plans in India, investors can achieve their financial goals within the specified period of time. Furthermore, the key also lies in staying invested till the completion of the tenure of the plan. Let us discuss some of the options available

Mutual Funds

Investors looking for investment over a long-term period find mutual funds as the best for their financial goals. A mutual fund is a market-linked scheme that pools the money from the investors and invests in financial instruments like equity, debt, money market etc.

Mutual funds offer better returns than all other investment plans provided the investors are willing to keep themselves invested in the long-run. There are specifically three categories under which we can classify these funds:

  1. Equity Mutual Fund
  2. Debt Mutual fund
  3. Hybrid Mutual Fund

Let us understand a bit about each of the above:

Equity Mutual Fund

Equity mutual funds are funds that invest in the shares of the companies of different market capitalization. While compared to other instruments, the risk is higher in equity funds, but there is also a possibility of higher returns.

Below is a table summarizing the best equity funds:

Fund NameCategory
Kotak Standard Multicap GrowthDiversified
Mirae Asset Large Cap Fund Regular GrowthLarge Cap
Axis Bluechip Fund GrowthLarge Cap
Invesco India Growth Opportunities Fund-GrowthDiversified

Debt Mutual Fund

A debt fund is a mutual fund scheme that invests in fixed income generating instruments with lesser risk and lesser volatility like Certificate of deposit, Corporate Bonds, treasury bills, commercial paper. Debt mutual funds are also popularly known as Bond Funds or Fixed Income Bonds

The main objective of this fund is to provide regular and fixed interest during the investment period. Also, aim for capital appreciation for an investor.

For investors, who are looking for more stable returns, debt-instruments are considered as a suitable investment product. Apart from offering better returns, these instruments are highly liquid in nature, meaning it can be converted into cash much faster than other instruments.

Below are some of the best-recommended debt funds:

Fund NameCategory
Axis Liquid Fund GrowthLiquid
Kotak Savings Fund Growth Ultra Short
ICICI Prudential Savings Fund GrowthLow Duration

Hybrid Mutual Fund

Hybrid funds invest money in both equity and debt instruments. By investing in both, it allows the option to divest the investors’ fund along with risk and return.

Depending on the money invested in either equity or debt instruments, hybrid funds are specifically classified under 2 categories:

1. Equity-Oriented Hybrid Fund

These funds allocate more than 65% of the total funds in equity and the rest in debt instruments and money market securities.

2. Debt-Oriented Hybrid Fund

Debt oriented- hybrid funds allocate more than 65% of the total fund in fixed income debt instruments, money market instruments like corporate bonds, government securities, treasury bonds, etc. the rest of the fund is allocated to equity i.e. shares and stocks of companies.

ELSS

Equity Linked Savings Scheme or ELSS are tax saving mutual funds which invest the majority of their fund in equity schemes. ELSS comes with a mandatory lock-in period of 3 years and provides tax benefit up to 1.5 lac per year.

This serves as an ideal investment product for investors who are looking to save their tax and also obtain better returns. However, ELSS is a comparatively much risky product and the investors need to stay invested throughout the investment period in order to take advantage of the product.

As with every mutual fund product, Equity Linked Savings Scheme allows the investors to invest either a lumpsum amount or do a SIP. In addition, investing through SIP mode allows the investors to take the benefit of the rupee cost averaging.

Below are some of the best-recommended ELSS funds:

Fund NameCategory
Motilal Oswal Long Term Equity Fund – Regular Plan-GrowthTax Saving
Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund -Regular Plan-GrowthTax Saving

Bank Fixed Deposit

Fixed deposits are another popular investment product amongst the investors. It offers a fixed return over the investment period and the interest is payable either monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly.

The investment in bank fixed deposits can be made via the respective bank’s website or by visiting the branch. Fixed deposits offer interest rate ranging from 6.5% to 7.0% and also provide various tenure for investment.

There are tax-saving fixed deposits as well which offer benefits up to 1.50 lac per annum under section 80C of the income tax act.

Key takeaways
  • Tax-saving instruments
  • Offers varied tenure for investments
  • Attractive interest rate
  • Safer instrument

NPS

National Pension Scheme or NPS, as commonly referred, is a retirement plan for salaried individuals who are looking to save money for their retirement. NPS is equally popular and is managed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.

Furthermore, investing in NPS offers benefits under the income tax act under section 80CCD(1) and 80CCD(1B). However, NPS contributions are lock-in until retirement. On retirement, 60% of the fund is withdrawable. The rest 40% of the fund is utilized in purchasing annuities. 

The underlying money collected in the National Pension Scheme account is managed by the pension fund managers like:
  • LIC Pension Fund
  • SBI Pension Funds
  • ICICI Prudential Pension Funds
  • UTI Retirement Solutions
  • HDFC Pension Management
  • Kotak Mahindra Pension Funds
  • Birla Sunlife Pension Management

Key Takeaways

  • Pension Schemes are regulated by PFRDA, which makes it transparent and trustworthy.
  • Gives the investors the option to choose their own funds
  • It is simple to operate, providing the investor to operate through Tier-1 and Tier-2 pension schemes accounts.
  • KYC is a prerequisite for investing. Currently, the documents required for KYC are address proof, financial proof, identity proof like aadhar card and pan card

Provident Fund

Provident Fund is one of the safest investment options when it comes to investing. Public Provident Funds have a lock-in period of 15 years which can further be extended by another 5 years. A facility of loan is also provided against the balance standing in the investor’s account.

A PPF account investment of up to Rs. 1.5 Lakhs under section 80C is available for deduction under the Income Tax Act. The documents required are address proof and identity proof like aadhar card, pan card,

Financial YearTime PeriodReturns (per annum)
2020-2021April 2020 – June 20207.1%
2019-2020January 2020 – March 20207.9%
2019-2020October 2019 – December 20197.9%
2019-2020July 2019 – September 20197.9%
2019-2020April 2019 – June 20198.0%

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a government savings scheme with an intention to secure a girl child’s future. The girl child must be 10 years of age or younger to open an account under this child plan. This child plan carries a higher rate of interest, tax deduction, and other In the case of twin girls, the third account can also be opened.

The interest rate is fixed by the government and reviewed quarterly. The interest rate for the financial year 2019-2020 is 8.50% compounded annually

National Savings Certificates

National Savings Certificate (NSC) is a tax saving investment with the aim to encourage small or medium savings backed by the Central Government. 

The National Saving Certificates are available at all Post Office branches and promoted by the Central Government. The risk is very low as the Central Government manages the scheme

An investor can purchase National Saving Certificates from an Indian Post Office for a maturity period of 5 years

Senior Citizens Saving Scheme (SCSS)

Senior Citizens Saving Scheme (SCSS) aims at providing a regular and monthly income. SCSS is applicable for senior citizens with 60 years of age and above. It is available at a certified bank and all the post offices across India. The lock-in period is five years. Section 80C income tax deductions cover the principal amount, and the interest is tax-free.

SCSS is an investment scheme for senior citizens looking for a monthly income post their retirement.

Short Term Debt Mutual Fund

Short Term mutual fund is an open-ended debt scheme investing in instruments having a duration between 1 year and 3 years. Moreover, it offers a highly safe investment avenue with stable returns.

The duration of 1 to 3 years helps you earn an additional interest income and provides you a higher reinvestment opportunity when compared to liquid funds.

Short-term funds are best for conservative investors who want to grow their money without fluctuations like equity.

Gold Funds/ ETF

Gold funds/Gold ETF have become a popular investment in recent times. It has offered better returns thereby beating inflation.

It is inversely related to the stock market. Generally, gold performs best when the markets are down. Gold funds also provide an opportunity to diversify your overall investment portfolio.

Unit-Linked Insurance Plans (ULIP’s)

Unit Linked Insurance Plan acts as a combination of insurance and investment products. A policyholder makes the payments towards the premium either monthly or yearly. The out of this a portion goes towards insuring the policyholder. Lastly, it invests the balance amount just like a mutual fund like equity or debt-oriented mutual funds.

The premiums that are paid by the investors are invested in the funds of their choice after deducting various expenses such as allocation charges, policy administration charges etc. The fund houses allocate the units on the net amount in the proportion of their investment. 

Unit-linked Insurance Plans offer the twin benefit of insurance and savings. Apart from generating higher returns, it’s also an investment product which takes care of the protection needs of the investors

Liquid Funds

Liquid mutual funds invest the pooled corpus of investor’s money in highly liquid and safe instruments. The objective of the liquid fund is to provide seamless fund availability at all times.  

Liquid funds are necessary to create an emergency pool of funds to meet life exigencies like sudden medical expenses and temporary income loss.

The returns from liquid funds are higher than the traditional bank accounts, which offer 3.5% to 4% returns. So, you can use liquid funds to park your surplus money until you finalize your investment avenue. 

An investor can consider Liquid funds for creating provisions for payment of bills, fees, and monthly rentals.

Fund NameCategory
Axis Liquid Fund Growth Mutual Funds InvestmentsLiquid
Tata Liquid Fund Regular GrowthLiquid

Comparison between best investment plans

Below is a comparison of the best investment plans:

Investment PlanLock-in periodRiskWho should invest
Public Provident Fund15 yearsOffers complete capital protection and risk-free return as PPF is backed by the governmentInvestors looking for long term goals such as retirement, child education etc.
Unit-Linked Insurance Plans5 yearsRisk is dependent on market volatility. Any movement in the same will have an impact on the net asset value.Investors having a long-term horizon over 5 years and saving for long-term goals like buying a car, house etc.
National Pension SchemeTill the age of 60 yearsThe risk is dependent on the markets and the tenure of the investmentInvestors looking for pension plans their retirement early on and has a low-risk appetite
Fixed DepositTax saving fixed deposits has a lock-in period of 5 years.The biggest risk associated with FD is interest rate risk, which is the risk of the investor’s money being locked up for a long period of time at a lower return.Risk-averse individuals can invest in the fixed deposit.
Short Term Debt Mutual Fund

No lock-in period. Moderate riskyInvestors who do not have a high-risk tolerance for their capital and seek to have returns better than their fixed deposits
Gold ETFNo lock-in period. Much less as compared to physical goldIdeal for all kinds of investors.Can be traded in lower denomination as well.
Debt Mutual FundNo lock-in period. The key risks to consider for Debt Mutual funds are credit risk and interest rate risk.Investors who have less risk tolerance should invest in Debt-Mutual funds.
Equity Mutual fund3 years

For Equity Mutual funds, it is much risky as it invests in the stocks of companiesInvestors who can take more risk should invest in Equity Mutual funds for better returns in the long-run
Hybrid FundsNo lock-in period.Moderately risky as it invests in both equity and debt instruments.Investors who are looking to diversify their investment portfolio.

Modes of investing

SIP

A systematic investment plan (SIP) is a method of investment which is allowed by mutual funds to investors, to invest the money in installments instead of lumpsum payment. This frequency of investment can be either weekly, monthly or quarterly.

A fixed amount is debited from the investor’s bank account and is invested in the specified mutual fund. The fund house alocates the units on the current net asset value (NAV).

SIP allows the investors to be more disciplined towards their investment amount target. Additionally, it offers the flexibility to invest without the burden of lumpsum investment.

Investors can use our SIP Calculator to evaluate their investments and manage their investments.

Lumpsum

A lumpsum investment method is when the investor deposits a significant sum of money on a particular mutual fund scheme. As compared to SIP, there is no fixed day to deposit the same and can be made at any point of time.

Things to Consider while Choosing the Best Investment Plan

Investment Objective

It is important to understand the purpose of the investment for which the investor is looking to make the investment. This can be for the creation of a large corpus or a retirement fund or to repay an existing loan.

Indeed, knowing the investment objective helps you clearly identify the target amount and the assets that can help you reach the goals. 

Investment Period

The investment tenure can be either short-term and medium to long-term. Creating a corpus of funds for repaying a loan, taking a foreign vacation etc. are some of the short-term objectives for which investment is made. The investors mostly treat 3 years as a short-term period

Medium-term financial goals can be buying a house and repay a loan that you want to achieve Up-to 7 years. Retirement plans and creating a corpus for children’s education or marriage are long-term investment goals.  

For Short-term goals you can prefer using debt investments. Whereas equity investment is a preference for long-term investments. Of course, knowing the investment period will help you select an appropriate investment plan.

Tax Efficiency

Certain investment plans offer the advantage of tax exemption under different sections of the Income Tax Act. For example, ELSS, PPF, NPS, ULIPs and tax-saving fixed deposits investment plans offer tax benefits.

Likewise, you need to check taxation of the returns. The PPF returns are entirely exempt from taxes whereas returns from ELSS are partially taxable. Whereas, the earnings from tax-saving fixed deposits are fully taxable.

Ways to Invest

You also need to check the investment methods available. The online investment methods are quick, paperless and hassle-free. Whereas offline methods are time-consuming and require loads of paperwork.

You can invest in mutual funds online using an online mutual fund investment platform. Scripbox is an investment platform that helps you select the appropriate scheme, invest, track, manage and redeem your mutual fund investment from a single account. 

Investment Flexibility

Certain investment plans like tax-saving fixed deposits require you to invest a lump sum amount upfront. 

On the other hand, mutual funds that offer the SIP method of investment helps the investors to invest a small amount at a regular interval. This allows the investor to manage their cash flow and also maintain financial discipline at the same time.

How to invest in a Mutual Fund with Scripbox?

You can invest in algorithmically and scientifically selected mutual funds to grow your money, and meet your life goals

You can invest in Scripbox recommended mutual funds in India by following the below-mentioned steps:

  1. Firstly, login to Scripbox
  2. Then click on ‘ Let’s Get Started’
  3. Begin your investment journey by setting up your investment goal
  4. Select the mode of investment i.e. monthly SIP, one time or STP
  5. Now enter the amount of investment
  6. Lastly based on the amount of investment, the recommended funds will be provided. You can even change the funds and the distribution of the amount
  7. Finally, select the payment mode and proceed toward the payment

Conclusion

Investment plans help you grow money to fulfill your upcoming life events. In addition, they help you save and invest systematically. But you need to be prudent while selecting the best plans. 

To conclude, your choice among investment options in India should match your investment objectives, the tenure and your understanding of risk. 

Published on January 6, 2020