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What is the Meaning of SIP?

The full form of SIP in mutual funds is Systematic Investment Plan. It is not an asset class or an investment instrument. It is, in reality, one of the methods of investing in mutual funds. Therefore, SIP refers to investment in mutual funds regularly with a fixed amount of money in a disciplined manner.

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Plans that will help you to achieve your life goals across multiple time frames.

The other method of investing in mutual funds is a one-time lump-sum investment.

SIP meaning is it helps you invest a fixed amount of money regularly in various mutual funds schemes depending on your financial goals. You have the potential to create long-term wealth, by investing a small sum of money through Systematic Investment Plan. The Systematic Investment Plan approach suits people with regular cash flow or a fixed salary.
For example – You want to build a fund of Rs. 5.4 Lakhs in 3 years for foreign travel trip. By starting a monthly SIP investment for Rs. 15,000, you can achieve the goal conveniently.

Systematic Investment Plan is the best way to get into the habit of saving and investing regularly. Apart from that, if you start Systematic Investment Plan early you have a longer investment horizon to avail benefits of the power of compounding. Additionally, a SIP investment avoids timing the market. SIP investment is least affected by the market volatility due to rupee cost averaging. When the markets are high, you purchase a fewer number of units as compared to the down market.

How do SIP in Mutual Fund Works?

The Systematic Investment Plan works in three stages. This is how it works;

Stage 1 – SIP Mandate

Investors need to give a mandate (authorization to invest via SIPs) to invest in MF  This can be done online by selecting the “Systematic Investment Plan” option while you are investing. But for the offline method, you need to fill a mandate form and submit it along with the application form. Also, on the form, you need to indicate your choice for the date (on which the amount will be invested) and the amount. If done subsequently, then the mandate forms can be submitted online through your MF account.
In the offline method, you need to submit the mandate to the office of the mutual fund house, Karvy, or CAMS.

Stage 2 – Auto Debit/ ECS

When you give a mandate, the fund house auto-debits your bank account for the indicated Investment amount through standing instruction. The funds are then transferred through ECS for investing in a MF scheme. Likewise, the subsequent investment amounts will also be auto-debited at your indicated Systematic Investment Plan interval. This way, you need not worry about missing any payments.

Stage 3 – Allotment of Mutual Fund Units

The amount debited from your bank account is utilised for purchasing MF units. And, you are allotted MF units at the closing NAV of the day of money transfer or realisation of the cheque. Let us understand how it works with the help of an example.
Suppose you start a Systematic Investment Plan of Rs. 1000 on the 5th of a particular month. Then Rs. 1000 will be auto-debited from your specified bank account on the 5th of every month and will be utilised in buying units of the MF. Also, the MF units will be purchased at that day’s closing NAV.

With every payment, you will receive units of the particular MF scheme, which will get added to your mutual fund account. Hence, Systematic Investment Plan is like indicating “How Much” and “How Often” you will invest in a mutual fund scheme.

Recommended Read: How to Invest in SIP?

Benefits of SIP Investment

Power of Compounding

Systematic Investment Plan helps compound returns over the long term. In other words, when you invest through the Systematic Investment Plan route, the earnings are reinvested into the mutual fund scheme. Thus, when the returns are reinvested, the compounding effect comes into play, which aids in the creation of further wealth.

Low Investment

Systematic Investment Plan is a set amount that you invest each month. This helps reduce the pressure of investing a large lump-sum amount at a time. You can invest any amount that is comfortable for you and use SIPs to create a significant corpus over time.

Lower Average Costs

While you invest consistently over time, you gain more units when prices are low and fewer units when prices are high. This contributes to the reduction of your average cost of investment.

Convenience

SIPs are an extremely convenient way to invest your money. They do not necessitate extensive market research or being proactive in response to market movements. This enables small investors to invest their capital easily.

Brings Financial Discipline

SIP meaning in mutual fund is that you have to invest a particular sum of money at regular intervals. That brings financial discipline where you first allocate money for savings and investing for future expenses. This means that you are getting financially disciplined and are consciously planning for the financial needs for the coming days. Being disciplined, helps you make logical decisions and make prudent investments.

Simple and Convenient

It brings convenience while investing, in a sense, you can choose any amount of Rs. 500 or more  depending on your cash flows.  Additionally, the SIP investment process is automated. Once set, you do not require to worry at every investment interval. A fixed amount gets deducted from your bank account. This fixed amount gets deposited to the mutual fund house for purchasing units. The mutual fund units get credited in your mutual fund’s account.

Investing across market cycles

When the markets are low the same Systematic Investment Plan amount can purchase a higher number of units. In higher market cycles you get lower units. Overall, the investor is least affected by the market volatility using Systematic Investment Plan as compared to a lump-sum investment. Because lump-sum investment could be at a high or low price but in Systematic Investment Plan allows the cost to be spread over a period and you get an average purchase price. Thus, this also gives a benefit of rupee cost averaging. 

Phased Investment

Using Systematic Investment Plan you are purchasing a smaller number of mutual fund units every month. Thus helping you to invest in a phased manner over a period of time.

Top Performing Mutual Funds for SIP to Invest in 2022

Fund NameCategoryTill Date CAGR
Canara Robeco Bluechip Equity Fund(G)Large Cap Fund12.5%
Parag Parikh Flexi Cap Fund(G)Flexi Cap Fund18.5%
Canara Robeco Emerging Equities Fund(G)Large & Mid Cap17.4%
Nippon India Value Fund(G)Value Fund15.8%
Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund(G)Tax Saving18.5%
DSP Tax Saver Fund(G)Tax Saving14.4%
Franklin India Feeder Franklin U.S. Opportunities Fund(G)US Equity15.2%
ICICI Prudential US Bluechip Equity Fund(G)US Equity15.4%
Kotak Gold Fund(G)Gold6.5%
HDFC Gold Fund(G)Gold4.4%
ICICI Prudential Liquid Fund(G)Liquid7.2%
HDFC Overnight Fund(G)Overnight Fund5.8%
Nippon India Arbitrage Fund(G)Arbitrage6.8%
HDFC Floating Rate Debt Fund(G)Floating Rate7.8%
Aditya Birla Sun Life Money Manager Fund(G)Money Market6.8%
Aditya Birla Sun Life Savings Fund(G)Ultra Short Duration7.4%

Recommended Read: Best Mutual Funds for SIP

Features of Systematic Investment Plan

Small Investment Plan

As the name suggests, SIP full form can also be a Small Investment Plan. SIP helps you start a mutual fund investment with a smaller amount in comparison to a lump-sum where you need a larger sum of money for investment.
You can start an SIP for an amount as small as Rs. 500 per month. As your income grows , you can increase the Systematic Investment Plan amount.

Regular Investment Intervals – SIP Approach

SIP in mutual fund means it allows investment at regular intervals. You have the flexibility to choose the investment cycle, be it, weekly, monthly or quarterly. A regular investment approach  makes you disciplined in savings and investments.
The regular investment is a better option for investors as compared to a one-time single investment. Your investment is spread over time and you benefit from rupee cost averaging.

Fixed Investment Amount

SIP investment is that the investment amount is fixed when starting a Systematic Investment Plan. However, you can use the “SIP-Top Up option” offered by various mutual fund houses to make an additional contribution.
Systematic Investment Plan amount cannot be decreased. You need to cancel the existing Systematic Investment Plan and start afresh if you want SIP investment plan for a lower amount.

Option to Pause Investment

You can ‘pause’ the investment for a temporary period of one month to three months. Which is useful if you face financial crunch. The Systematic Investment Plan does not stop during ‘pause’. It starts automatically at the end of the pause period. You need to check with your mutual fund house for the pause facility.

Flexibility to Shorten or Extend the SIP Interval

It provides you the flexibility in changing your investment intervals into weekly, monthly, or quarterly SIPs. You can make an online or a written request to change your existing SIP interval.

No Cap on Maximum SIP Amount

The minimum amount of SIP investment is Rs. 500. It gives you the benefit of investing a smaller amount.On the other side, there is no restriction for the maximum amount for SIP investment plan. You can choose to invest Rs. 1000, ten thousand, lakhs or even a higher amount using Systematic Investment Plan. As an investor, you have the flexibility to invest any sum of money through SIP investment plan. But make sure that you have the fixed Systematic Investment Plan amount on a regular basis for the period of the Systematic Investment Plan.

Cancel SIP

SIP investment comes with the option to cancel. If you want to stop your SIP investment plan or cancel for any reason, then you can do so by logging into your account online and opting for canceling the SIP anytime. The offline method would require you to fill the SIP cancel form and submit to the mutual fund house. Additionally, you can remove the AMC as a biller from your bank account.

Factors to Consider While Starting SIP Investment Plan

Keep the following factors in mind while investing in SIP:

SIP Amount

SIP amount meaning is that You have the flexibility to choose the investment amount. You can start Systematic Investment Plan with a minimum amount of Rs. 500. Pick any amount depending on your monthly income (cash flows) and the investment objective. For example, if you are in a position to save and invest Rs. 5,000 monthly for purchasing your dream car then do that.

SIP Investment Plan Tax Benefits

If your investment objective is tax savings then you can do an SIP of Rs. 12,500 per month to get Rs. 1.5 Lakhs tax deduction under section 80C of the Income Tax Act. There is no upper limit for the SIP amount.

SIP Frequency

The frequency of SIP investment Plan is usually weekly, monthly or quarterly. SIP mode of investment depends entirely on you. Analyse your cash flows to know when you receive money. For example, the salaried person gets a monthly income. For him, a monthly SIP frequency is best. The best way is to choose a SIP frequency is to pick a period that is aligned with your cash flows.

SIP Tenure

The SIP tenure can be one year, three, five or ten years until your investment objective is fulfilled. In case of open-ended mutual funds, you can even have a Perpetual SIP that will continue forever until you stop it. Hence, there is no fixed tenure, you can keep on investing until your financial goal (investment objective) is achieved.

Purpose

Systematic Investment Plan is not an investment instrument. The Systematic Investment Plan objective is the same as the investment objective of the mutual fund. For example, if you are investing through Systematic Investment Plan in Equity mutual funds to build a corpus for retirement, then your Systematic Investment Plan purpose is for retirement.
Likewise, if you are investing in Debt mutual funds having an investment objective of providing liquidity (goal – emergency funds). Then your Systematic Investment Plan purpose is creating emergency funds.

How to Calculate Capital Gain on Mutual Fund SIP?

Capital gains are profit made from the sale of an asset such as land, property, mutual funds, shares etc. To calculate capital gains, mutual funds are classified into types, namely, equity and debt funds. For equity funds, the short term is any time before one year from the purchase of the fund. While the long term is after one year from the purchase of the mutual fund. For debt funds, short term is any time before 36 months or three years from the date of purchase. While the long term is any time after 36 months from the date of purchase.

Systematic Investment Plan can be done for both equity and debt funds. However, it is usually preferred for equity funds. Capital gains can be estimated using the following formula:

Capital Gains = Value of the fund (at the time of sale) – Cost of the fund.

In SIP investment done on a monthly basis, each Systematic Investment Plan is considered as an independent investment. For example, when an investment is made in January 2019, the long term for that investment will be in January 2020. Similarly, for a investment in February 2019, February 2020 is when the investment will be considered long term. So when an investor redeems the investment before completion of one year, it is considered a short term.

Example

Let’s take the example of Mr Karthik, who invested INR 10,000 a month starting January 2019. In January 2020, he wanted to withdraw INR 20,000. The NAV of the fund when he invested in January was INR 10, and February was INR 11. In January 2020, the NAV INR 15.

The number of units Mr Karthik received in January was 1,000 (10,000/10), and February was 909 (10,000/11)

The capital gain for January would be:

(INR 15 – INR 10 ) * 1000 units = INR 5,000

The capital gains for February would be:

(INR 15 – INR 11) * 909 units = INR 3,636

The gains from January would be long term capital gains, and the gains from February would be short term capital gains.

How to Withdraw Money from a SIP Mutual Fund?

An investor can choose to withdraw their investments either periodically or as a lump sum. In other words, one can choose the Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) route in case they want to cash out at regular intervals. On the other hand, an investor can also make a lump sum withdrawal in case they need a lump sum amount. Also, in case the SIPs have a lock-in period, then they can withdraw periodically after the lock-in is over. Furthermore, it is important to meet the minimum withdrawal requirement of the funds. This information is often mentioned in the disclosure document. One can redeem their funds by filling the redemption form. They can redeem through any of the following ways:

How to Calculate SIP Returns?

One can calculate SIP returns using the future value of the annuity (FVA) formula.

FVA = C [ ((1+r)^n) – 1]  * [(1+r)]/r

Where, C = the investment

r = the rate of interest

n = duration of the investment in months

Let’s take the example of Ms Divya, who invests INR 15,000 per month for a tenure of 30 months and expects a return of 10% per annum. The investment returns for Ms Divya can be calculated using the above formula.

FVA = 15,000 [((1+10%/12)^20 – 1] * [1+10%12)]/ 10%/12

FVA = INR 5,13,093.17

The investment is INR 4,50,000, and the returns are INR 63,093.17. Hence the total value of the investment after 30 months is INR 5,13,093.17.

Conclusion

SIP stands for Systematic Investment Plan. Systematic Investment Plan is a powerful yet convenient method that has the potential to create a long-term wealth corpus. You benefit from rupee cost averaging and power of compounding. Also, Scripbox, through its blog, creates investor awareness that allows an investor to educate themselves about Mutual Funds. It is convenient and helps in building a prudent habit of regular saving and investing in the long run. Investing in Systematic Investment Plan for long term helps boost your returns. It allows you to make a fixed periodic investment in a selected MF scheme. SIP investment Plan is a powerful method that brings you the benefit of investing in a MF at a low cost and flexibility to choose the investment amount and frequency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Top-Up SIP?

Top-up SIP is a facility that allows investors to increase their SIP instalment amount at predetermined intervals by a defined amount. The annual SIP top-up amount can be defined as a percentage or a fixed sum in addition to the initial SIP contribution.

Are all SIP plans tax saving?

No, all SIP plans are not tax saving. Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) is the only type of mutual fund that qualifies for tax saving under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Investments up to INR 1,50,000 per annum are eligible for a tax deduction. Therefore, only ELSS mutual fund SIPs qualify for tax savings. Also, it is important to note that ELSS funds have a three year lock-in period.

What are the Types of SIP?

There are 7 Different Types of SIP’s are there.
1. Regular SIP
2. Top-Up SIP
3. Flexible SIP
4. Perpetual SIP
5. Trigger SIP
6. SIP with Insurance
7. Multi SIP

How do I withdraw tax saving mutual fund sip?

Every SIP investment in a tax saving mutual fund has a three year lock-in period. Therefore, you can withdraw the money after the three year lock period. You can redeem the funds through the asset management company or online portal or agent or demat account or through CAMS. You just have to fill the redemption form or raise a redemption request and submit it. Through online portals such a Scripbox, one can redeem their investments with just a click of a button.

Is SIP return tax-free?

Returns from mutual fund SIP aren’t tax-free. However, the tax rate varies as per the type of fund. For equity funds, short term capital gains are taxable at 15% per annum. And long term capital gains are taxable at 10% per annum (if the gains exceed INR 1,00,000). For debt funds, the short term capital gains are taxable at the investor’s respective income tax slab rates. And long term capital gains are taxable at 20% with indexation benefit and 10% without indexation benefit.

How to Invest in SIP Online?

Investing in SIP online is quite easy and can be done within a couple of minutes. The following steps will help you start your SIP investments instantly:
1. Visit Scripbox website
2. Login/ Sign Up and quickly answer some questions
3. Set a goal for your investments
4. Decide investment amount
5. Review the mutual fund schemes
6. Click on the Invest button
7. Keep all the necessary documents handy
8. Become KYC compliant
9. Set up SIP mode and date
10. Submit to complete the transaction

Which is better: SIP or one-time?

The choice between SIP or one-time investment largely depends on the investor’s investment goals and availability of funds. For example, if you are comfortable investing a small amount at regular intervals, SIPs are the best choice. On the other hand, if you are holding some cash and looking for immediate investment, you can invest the sum as a lumpsum investment. Alternatively, you can invest the lump sum amount in a fund and do a Systematic Transfer Plan (STP) on a regular basis to average out the market volatility.

Can I Withdraw SIP anytime?

Yes, you can withdraw your SIP investments anytime. However, most mutual funds charge an exit load (around 1%) for withdrawals within 1 year. Therefore, consider these costs before exiting your SIPs. Furthermore, you will not be able to withdraw your ELSS SIPs until the lock-in period is completed. Each SIP of ELSS funds will have a three-year lock-in period.

How to Stop a SIP?

You can stop SIPs anytime. For physical application, you will have to inform the AMC or the distributor through which you have made your investments. You can simply log in to your profile and stop the SIP for online applications. Through Scripbox, just log into your profile, select the fund for which you would like to stop the SIP and click on the ‘Stop’ button.

What is NAV in SIP?

Net Asset Value is the per unit price of a mutual fund scheme. Mutual fund units are bought and sold at the NAV price. NAV is the market value of all the securities that are held in the fund portfolio. The fund houses are required to publish the NAV of a fund at the end of each day.

How to Open a SIP Account?

You can open a SIP account either online or offline. For offline SIP investments, you will have to submit all the documents and the SIP form along with cheque/ cash/ DD and provide an investment mandate. For online investing, create a profile on the AMC website or FinTech platform and invest in the funds. Here you can complete your e-KYC online itself.

How to select mutual funds for SIP?

Selecting mutual funds for SIP depends on the investor’s investment objective, investment tenure and risk tolerance levels. For example, large-cap mutual funds are suitable for investors with high-risk tolerance levels and long-term investment objectives. Equity mutual funds are best suited for long-term financial goals because, in the long term, the market volatility can be averaged out.

How to redeem SIP mutual funds online?

Redeeming SIP mutual funds online is very simple. Just log in to the portal, and select the fund that you wish to redeem. Click on the redeem button, and the redemption request will be submitted. It may take up to 2-3 working days for debt mutual funds and about 3-4 working days for equity mutual funds.

How to increase the SIP amount?

To increase your SIP amount, you can opt for a top-up sip. It can be a percentage or a fixed sum in addition to the initial SIP contribution. If the top-up option isn’t available, you can simply start a new SIP in the same fund.

What is a SIP in the share market?

A systematic Investment Plan (SIP) in mutual funds is a mode of investing where investors can save regularly. At frequent intervals, say, every month, you can invest in the fund to build the desired corpus over time. The SIP way of investing is automated, i.e., the investment amount will automatically be deducted from your bank account through a mandate.

How to change the SIP date?

You cannot change the SIP date for an existing and ongoing SIP. In case you want to change the date, you will have to stop the existing SIP and start a new one with the new date.

Which is better: SIP or FD?

In comparison to FD, SIP is a better investment option. This is because SIP offers greater investment flexibility, diversification, tax benefits, and superior returns. Though SIP doesn’t guarantee returns like FD, they have the potential to generate significant returns in the long term.

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