Best Debt Funds- Best Performing Debt Mutual Funds to invest in 2020

Best Debt Funds - Consider the best performing debt mutual funds to invest in 2020 with Scripbox.com. Find the list of best debt funds in India on the basis of Returns, Latest Nav, Ratings, Performance etc”.

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Best Debt Mutual Funds

Better than FD

Benefits
  • point

    Lower tax if you withdraw after 3 years

  • point

    Scripbox pre-selects the 3 best debt mutual funds for you from over 5900 debt mutual fund schemes.

  • founder-logo

    Axis Liquid Fund Growth

    • Debt
    • Liquid
    ₹ 25,859.54 Cr
    Fund Size
    ₹ 0
    Min Investment
    10+ Yrs
    Age
    6.8%
    Return (3yr)
  • founder-logo

    Kotak Savings Fund Growth

    • Debt
    • Ultra Short
    ₹ 9,147.83 Cr
    Fund Size
    ₹ 1,000
    Min Investment
    15+ Yrs
    Age
    7.35%
    Return (3yr)
  • founder-logo

    ICICI Prudential Savings Fund Growth

    • Debt
    • Low Duration
    ₹ 17,338.61 Cr
    Fund Size
    ₹ 1,000
    Min Investment
    17+ Yrs
    Age
    7.79%
    Return (3yr)
Short Term Money
Better than FD
  • 1-5 years
    Recommended
  • 6-8%
    Growth Rate
  • No lock-in
short-term
point

Lower tax if you withdraw after 3 years

point

Scripbox pre-selects the 3 best debt mutual funds for you from over 5900 debt mutual fund schemes.

What are Best Debt Mutual Funds?

A debt mutual 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.

The selection of assets for a debt mutual fund is based on the credit rating. A higher credit rating gives a higher assurance that the interest will be paid regularly and the principal amount invested will be repaid upon the maturity of the investment.

What are the Advantages of Investing in Debt Mutual Funds?

Below are the advantages of investing in debt mutual funds:

Debt mutual funds carry less risk than equity mutual fund, this scheme is ideal for an investor seeking stability

These funds are highly liquid and an investor can anytime convert his investment into cash quicker than any other comparable investment option.

The amount invested in debt mutual funds can easily be transferred to an equity mutual fund or any other scheme as per an investor’s choice. Such options are not available in other investment options. Example- FD can be closed but cannot be transferred

Higher potential returns as compared to other interest providing options like FD and deposits in a savings bank account

When a debt mutual fund is combined equity mutual funds, a portfolio is more stable due to diversification

Who Should Invest in Debt Mutual Funds?

Debt mutual funds are suitable for investors who wish to earn a fixed and regular income with less or no risk involved for a short duration. Usually, investors stay invested from a short to medium period. Accordingly, investors choose the funds which match their investment horizon.

A Liquid fund is suitable for investors who look for a short term investment and generally park their surplus money either in fixed deposits or savings bank accounts. Liquid funds can be withdrawn anytime just like a savings bank account and provide returns in the range of 7% to 9%.

How are Debt Mutual Funds Taxed?

The gains arising from debt mutual funds are taxed under Capital Gains depending on the holding period of the investment.

Short Term Capital Gain- STCG arises if the investment is held for less than 3 years from the date of investment in the fund

STCG is levied on the capital gain arising from investment in a debt fund held for a period less than 3 years. The capital gain will be added to the total income of an investor and rate of tax will be as per the income tax slab rate

Long Term Capital Gain- LTCG arises if the investment is held for more than 3 years from the date of investment in the fund

LTCG is levied on the capital gain arising from investment in a debt fund held for a period more than 3 years. LTCG is taxed at a rate of 20% after indexation.

Indexation is a method of calculating the effect of inflation on the underlying asset. This effect is calculated from the date of purchase to the date of sale of the investments.

Once indexation is applied, the purchase price is inflated. This provides an equilibrium in terms of inflation between the purchase price and sale price. Hence the quantum of capital gain is decreased due to indexation

Taxation of Debt Mutual Fund
Period of holding Less than 1 year 1 year to 3 year More than 3 years
Taxation STCG- Taxed at Slab Rate STCG- Taxed at Slab Rate LTCG- 20% after indexation

What are the Things to Consider as an Investor?

Types of debt mutual fund

There are many types of debt mutual funds depending on the interest rate and maturity. An investor who wishes to invest in debt mutual funds must also consider which type of fund is most suitable for his investment terms.

The different types of debt mutual funds are listed below:

  1. Dynamic Mutual Fund
  2. Income Funds
  3. Short Term and Ultra Short- Term Mutual Fund
  4. Liquid Funds
  5. Credit Opportunities Fund
  6. Fixed Maturity Plans

Risk

Debt mutual funds also carry risk and an investor must be aware and considerate of these risks while choosing debt mutual funds. The types of risk are listed below

Interest rate risk- Due to market fluctuation in interest rate, the fund value may fluctuate as well

Credit Risk- The risk of default in payment of the interest amount and principal amount invested. Here, the higher the credit score of a debt mutual fund the more reliable it is.

Cost

The fund houses charge a fee in exchange for maintenance of the fund known as expense ratio. An investor must choose the fund with lower expense ratio when compared to peer funds in the category

Investment horizon and objective

A period of 3 months to 12 months is considered ideal for investing in liquid funds, to invest for a longer period an investor must consider investing in short-term bond funds. An investor must also set the ultimate objective of his investment and accordingly select amongst the different types of funds.

How to Choose the Best Debt Mutual Funds?

Before selecting the best mutual funds, an investor must consider the below factor to ensure higher return and safer investment

Average maturity of debt funds

The maturity of any debt fund is a very important criterion for any investor before selecting the most suitable debt fund to match with investment horizon and investment goals. Often, this is missed by investors and results in unnecessary risk.

The duration or maturity of a debt fund is important because it helps in optimizing returns at a given risk and maturity. Example- a liquid fund has an average maturity ranging from a few days to a month and it is a better option for an investor looking for an investment option for a few days. On the other hand, for investors looking for an investment option for say a year, short-term debt funds will be an ideal option.

Interest rate

In debt funds one the most important factors is the interest rate prevailing in the economy. An investor must understand the market environment wr.t. Interest rate and its fluctuations.

The interest rate is directly related to the price or NAV of the bonds. With an increase in interest rate, the price of the bonds falls and vice versa. While the interest rate increase, new bonds are introduced in the market which is attractive for new investors and values higher than current bonds. Here a repricing of current bonds takes place.

A debt fund portfolio which involves such older bonds will be impacted. With a rise in the interest rate, value of these older bonds will decrease, having a negative impact on the overall portfolio.

Example

During the period of rising interest rates in the market, long term debt funds are at a higher risk. In such a scenario, investing in short term debt funds and liquid funds are a safer and better option

An investor who has a better understanding will always benefit from market conditions.

Current yield and portfolio yield

The yield is the measure of interest income generated by the bonds. A higher coupon or yield of the invested debt instruments or bonds would mean a higher coupon of the entire portfolio.

The yield to maturity (ytm) of a fund means the present yield of the fund. An investor must always be keen to know-how is the extra yield being generated on the existing funds. Is this extra yield being generated through funds with lower quality? If this is the case it would mean the fund may default later.

Credit rating of the portfolio

A credit rating is provided to all the debt instruments and bonds. This rating reflects the ability of the instrument or bond to repay the amount invested. The higher the rating, the lower is the level of default risk.

An investor who wants a safe and secure option for investment must consider AAA or AA+ rated instruments and bonds

Expense Ratio

An expense ratio is a fee charged for the management of the portfolio. An expense ratio differs from fund to fund.

BPS is a unit to measure interest rates wherein one bps is equal to 1/100th of 1%.

Example

Liquid funds have an expense ratio of up to 50 bps while other debt funds charge up to 150 bps.

The expense ratios lower the net returns earned by the portfolio. Hence an investor must consider the expense ratios before selecting funds.

Some Of The Best Debt Mutual Funds

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