6 Mins

All of us have bank accounts and most of us even have surplus amount lying in that account. The first step to financial planning is having an emergency fund. It should cover at least a minimum of 3-6 months of expenses. It is usually advised to keep this amount in the savings bank account as it is considered most liquid. Also, it can earn up to 4% interest per annum. But what if I say there are better ways to earn a higher interest rate on the emergency fund and is considered the next best liquid alternative to a savings account. Wouldn’t you want to choose the best alternative? But first, let’s see what the savings account offers.

Savings Account

Savings account in different banks in India offers interest rates varying from 3.5%-6.25%. On average, most banks offer 4% and the same would be used throughout the article for comparison. A savings account is considered the most liquid form of investment with immediate redemption. It is as good as having cash in hand but stored in a safe place. A savings account is risk-free. The interest earned is assured. Also, the banks do no change the rates frequently and are consistent over a period of time. The interest earned on a savings account is tax-free till Rs 10,000 and TDS threshold is Rs 40,000 (to be implemented from April 1st, 2019). However, this interest income is still taxable as per individuals tax slab.

What are liquid funds?

Liquid Funds are debt mutual funds that invest in very short-term market instruments such as government securities, treasury bills, and call money. They invest in low-risk securities. Their average maturity is much lower than any of the funds. They invest in securities which have maturity up to 91 days. Also, the average return of liquid funds is around 7-9%. If you are looking at investing your surplus money for a short time and worried about locking your money in fixed deposits then liquid mutual funds are the right thing for you.

Benefits of liquid funds

Liquid funds offer the following benefits:

No lock-in period: Liquid funds do not any lock-in period.

Easy redemption: Redeeming liquid funds is very easy and the money will be credited in 1-2 days in the individual’s bank account.

Lowest interest rate risk: Of all the debt funds available in the market liquid funds have the least interest rate risk.

Better returns than a savings account and FD: One can expect a return of 7-9% from liquid funds per annum which is better than savings bank interest (4%) and return from FD (6%). Also, the returns post inflation from liquid funds is around 5-8% and from a savings account and FD is 2% and 3.5% respectively.

No minimum balance required: In savings bank account one has to maintain a minimum balance. But with liquid funds, there is no limit on minimum or maximum investment.

Different plans available: Liquid funds are available for different time periods like daily, weekly, monthly, dividend and growth plans. One can choose any plan based on their requirements and tenure.

It is very clear from these benefits that investing in liquid funds is very beneficial than leaving the money idle in a savings bank account. Out of all the liquid funds available in the market Upwardly has shortlisted the following top funds to invest in.

Top liquid funds

Upwardly presents to you the top liquid mutual funds for 2019:

Fund NameAnnualised Return (1Yr)
Axis Liquid Institutional Growth7.49%
DHFL Pramerica Insta Cash Fund Growth7.49%
Reliance Liquid Fund Growth7.49%
UTI Liquid Fund Cash Plan Institutional Growth7.47%
L&T Liquid Fund Growth Option7.45%

Axis Liquid Institutional

Axis Liquid Institutional fund aims to provide a high level of liquidity with reasonable returns commensurating with low risk through a portfolio of money market and debt securities. It primarily invests in money market instruments such as a certificate of deposits (CoD), treasury bills, commercial papers etc. The average maturity is 0.12 years. The top instrument break-up is as follows: Commercial Paper (75.38%), Certificate of Deposit (19.60%), Treasury Bills (9.20%), Bills Rediscounting (4.22%), Debenture (2.14%) and State Development Loan (1.67%). The fund has outperformed its category over the years consistently. The fund gave 7.96% (annualized) return since its inception in 2009.

DHFL Pramerica Insta Cash Fund

DHFL Pramerica Insta Cash Fund seeks to deliver reasonable market-related returns with lower risk and higher liquidity through a portfolio of debt and money market instruments. Also, portfolio managers actively monitor, review and manage portfolios based on the outlook on interest rates and liquidity etc. for necessary rebalancing.  The portfolio comprises securities with a residual maturity of less than 91 days. The average maturity is 0.14 years. The top instrument break-up is as follows: Commercial Paper (60.00%), Treasury Bills (22.77%), Certificate of Deposit (20.40%), Debenture (5.86%), Fixed Deposits (2.83%), and Non-Convertible (1.89%). The fund gave 7.94% (annualized) return since its inception in 2007.

Reliance Liquid Fund

Reliance Liquid fund aims to generate optimal returns consistent with moderate levels of risk and high liquidity by investing in debt and money market instruments. The average maturity is 0.16 years. The top instrument break-up is as follows: Commercial Paper (48.70%), Certificate of Deposit (43.20%), Treasury Bills (6.26%), Bills Rediscounting (4.14%), Fixed Deposits (3.04%), and State Development Loan (2.56%). The fund gave 7.40% (annualized) return since its inception in 2003.

UTI Liquid Fund Cash Plan Institutional

UTI Liquid Fund aims to generate steady and reasonable income with low risk and high level of liquidity. The portfolio is made up of money market securities and high-quality debt instruments. It invests a minimum of 65% in money market instruments and a maximum of 35% in Debt Securities. The average maturity is 0.15 years. The top instrument break-up is as follows: Commercial Paper (67.59%), Certificate of Deposit (26.77%), Short Term Deposit (5.34%), Non-Convertible (1.40%), State Development Loan (1.17%) and Net Payables (-2.27%). Also, the fund has outperformed its category over the years consistently. The fund gave 7.39% (annualized) return since its inception in 2003.

L&T Liquid Fund Growth Option

The fund aims to generate reasonable returns while maintaining safety and providing the investor with superior liquidity. Investments are predominantly made in a well-diversified and highly liquid portfolio of money market instruments, government securities, and corporate debt. The average maturity is 0.13 years. The top instrument break-up is as follows: Commercial Paper (81.43%), Certificate of Deposit (27.47%), Debenture (2.04%), Bonds (1.97%), Bonds/Debentures (0.41%) and Repo (0.08%). The fund has outperformed its category over the years consistently. The fund gave 7.79% (annualized) return since its inception in 2000.

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