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What is Systematic Transfer Plan (STP)?

Systematic Transfer Plan (STP) is a mutual fund plan through which an investor transfers a fixed amount. It is transferred from one mutual fund i.e source scheme to another mutual fund i.e. target scheme. The transfer is periodical within the same mutual fund company. Usually, investors invest a lump sum amount in a liquid fund providing a standing instruction. The instruction to transfer a fixed amount in an equity-oriented mutual fund.

This way an investor invests systematically in an equity-oriented mutual fund. While he benefits from the higher returns from liquid funds, averages out the rupee cost and balances the investment among liquid and equity portfolios.

STP in Mutual Fund Example

An investor can invest a lump sum amount say Rs 1 lakh in Axis Liquid Fund (G), and opt for a monthly STP of Rs 10,000 per month to invest in Axis Bluechip Fund (G)
Here, Axis Liquid Fund (G) is the source mutual fund and Axis Bluechip Fund (G) is the target or destination mutual fund.

Types of Systematic Transfer Plans (STP) in a Mutual Fund

  • Fixed STP: In a fixed STP, an investor can transfer a fixed amount at a fixed period from one mutual fund to another. The amount and the frequency being fixed. An investor must be careful while making this decision and opt for the approach best suited for his/ her investment goals.
  • Capital Appreciation: In a capital appreciation option, an investor transfers the returns earned or the profit made from the source mutual fund to the destination mutual fund. This way he/ she ensures the security of the capital amount investment in the source mutual fund. While investing the profits in the destination fund.
  • Flexi-STP: In a Flexi STP, an investor has a choice to transfer a variable amount to the destination mutual fund. This way he/she ensures the transfer is as per the market volatility and fluctuations. Example- An investor can choose to transfer a higher amount in a source mutual fund if the NAV is dipping and vice-versa.

Features of a Systematic Transfer Plan (STP)

  • Minimum amount and frequency: There is no restriction on the minimum amount of investment in an STP. However many AMCs recommend an investment of Rs 12,000 in the source mutual fund for a systematic transfer plan.
    The minimum capital transfer from the source fund to the target fund of 6 transfers is mandatory.
  • Entry and exit load: The entry load is not applicable on a systematic transfer plan. But SEBI allows AMCs to charge an exit load not exceeding 2%.
  • Discipline: A systematic transfer plan enables an investor to invest in a disciplined manner and develop a planning attribute among the investors.
  • Taxation on STP: Every transfer from one fund to another is a redemption of the source fund and a new investment. Hence, every redemption will have a tax implication. Due to a minimum of 6 transfers, at least 6 redemptions followed by 6 tax implications.
    The capital transfer within the first 3 years from a liquid or debt fund to an equity fund results in a short term capital gain/ loss (STCG). The gain will be added to the total income. The tax payable will be as per the applicable tax slab. The applicability of tax slab depends on the total income and type of tax payer.
    Even with the tax implications, the returns on the liquid funds will be higher than the returns on fixed deposits investment and savings bank account interest keeping historical returns in mind.

How Systematic Transfer Plan Work in Mutual Funds?

An STP transfers automatically a fixed amount from one fund to another. An investor needs to choose the fund from which the investment must be transferred. And also, the fund in which the transferred fund must be parked.

STP in Mutual Fund: Example

Mr. Arun invests a lump sum amount of Rs 12 lakhs in a liquid fund opting for STP in a equity mutual fund.

Total amount investedSource FundTarget FundFrequencyFixed amountBalance
Rs 12 lakhsLiquid FundEquity FundMonthly for 2 years i.e. 24 transfersRs 50,000 per transferDay1

In year1, Rs 6 lakhs will be invested in the equity fund and Rs 6 lakhs will stay invested in the liquid fund.

In year2, another Rs 6 lakhs will be invested in the equity and no amount in the liquid fund. The entire Rs 12 lakhs will stay invested in the equity fund.

Benefits of Systematic Transfer Plan

  • Rupee Cost Averaging: Just like SIP, in STP also a fixed amount is invested at regular intervals in the destination fund or target fund. STP plan ensures averaging out the cost of investors. This done by purchasing more units at a lower NAV and lesser units at a higher NAV.
    The fund manager will additionally purchase units of the mutual fund scheme systematically over a period of time. Hence the investor gets the benefit of rupee cost averaging reducing the per-unit cost of investment.
  • Rebalancing Portfolio: In an STP, the mutual fund investment portfolio aims for a balance between equity and debt. An STP plan rebalances the portfolio by moving the funds from debt mutual fund to equity mutual fund and vice-versa.
    If the investment in debt increases, money can be allocated to equity funds by opting for an STP. If the investment in equities increases, the money can be switched from an equity mutual fund to a debt mutual fund.
  • Consistent and Higher Return: By opting for an STP plan, an investor stays invested in the source mutual fund i.e. liquid fund. On the other hand, investing regularly in the target mutual fund i.e. equity mutual fund. An investor will enjoy the returns earned from equity mutual funds while earning returns from liquid mutual funds. At the same time, staying protected as part of the investment is still invested in a liquid fund.

How to Start a Systematic Transfer Plan?

With Scripbox Smart Transfer Plan, you can park your lump sum investment in liquid funds. Then gradually move towards equity funds. Here you can aim to beat the volatile market, aim for higher returns and opt for algorithmically-selected best funds for best performance.

Just follow the below simple 3 steps and stay invested

  • Decide how much you would like to invest in Equity depending on your financial goals. We algorithmically-select the best mutual funds for you.
  • Choose the tenure. Select the time frame within which your lump sum amount invested must be moved to the target or destination mutual fund
  • Set up an automatic transfer. Just make the lump sum source mutual fund investment. The monthly amount transfer from liquid mutual fund to equity mutual fund takes place automatically

You can easily change the recommended mutual funds and the monthly amount.

Check Out STP Calculator

Who Should Invest via Systematic Transfer Plans?

A systematic transfer plan STP is suitable for investors who have a lump sum amount to invest. Simultaneously, wish to invest in equity mutual funds to earn high returns to financial goals. But worry about investing a lump sum amount in an equity fund and the market timing risk.

The investors can choose to park the lumpsum amount in a liquid fund earning returns. Additionally, opt for STP and systematically transfer a fixed amount at regular time intervals in an equity mutual fund.

Out of the lumpsum amount, a fixed amount is transferred to equity mutual funds. Here an investor earns returns on the remaining amount invested in a liquid fund as well as enjoys the returns on the equity invested investment.

Things to Remember While Investing via STP

  • STP is a good option for investors who have a lump sum amount. An investor is ready to invest in equity slowly and steadily for an effective.
  • There is no minimum amount restriction but the minimum of 6 transfers is mandatory. This transfer comes with an exit load.
  • By opting for an STP, an investor can reduce the market risk by investing systematically. However, he cannot eradicate risk associated with the equity market and its fluctuations
  • STP is all about the discipline and planning of each transfer and staying invested. An investor must be patient and should not opt-out only because of market fluctuation and changes in the expected returns. This can be a short-term affair but the bigger picture lies in staying invested.

You may also like to read about the SIP vs STP

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