Which is the Best Target Maturity Fund (TMF)?
Target maturity funds offer returns closer to the YTM if the investments are held till maturity. In addition, the fund generates accrual returns. Thus, the changing interest rates do not impact the fund’s total returns on maturity. The best target maturity fund largely depends on the investor’s goal and investment horizon. Target maturity MFs are available from 1 year to 15 years. Thus suitable for short, medium and long-term goals.
For example, a target maturity MF of September 2026 holds bonds that mature close to September 2026. The fund’s returns are close to the YTM when held to maturity. Thus, the best target maturity fund will be the one that aligns with your investment horizon and offers a higher net YTM.
Net YTM = YTM – Expense Ratio.
The following are the Best Target Maturity Funds
Why Should You Invest in Best Target Maturity Funds?
The current economic scenario indicates inflation risk, liquidity measures and no further rate cuts from RBI. In such scenarios, it is best to opt for investment options that help you generate more or less stable returns. Thus, investing a portion of your money in low-risk schemes that match your investment horizon will help in generating good portfolio growth.
Target maturity funds suit a variety of investment horizons. They are available for short, medium and as well as long-term goals. However, liquidating these investments before maturity may attract interest rate risk. Only when you hold these funds to maturity will you be able to enjoy returns closer to the YTM.
Are Target Maturity Funds a Good Investment?
Yes, target maturity funds are a good investment when the interest rate scenario in the country is unfavourable. These funds offer a reasonable predictability of returns. Moreover, TMFs mimic the underlying bond index and invest in bonds with similar maturity as the fund’s stated maturity. As a result, investing in these funds has a greater potential to generate higher growth than tax-free bonds. Historically, yields of tax-free bonds are in the range of 4.9% to 5%. While target maturity MFs are offering better returns at around 6.8% to 6.9%.
Furthermore, investors can benefit from indexation when investing for more than three years. Thus, the returns you generate from this scheme can be tax efficient.
Moreover, these funds have a relatively lower level of risk. However, this is not the only benefit of target maturity funds. They are suitable for investors not just looking for predictable returns but also for capital preservation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a target maturity fund?
Target maturity funds are debt funds that invest in bonds with a similar maturity. These are passive funds that mimic the underlying bond index. The portfolio comprises bonds with maturities that align with the fund’s stated maturity.
How do target maturity MFs work?
Target maturity MFs are passive debt funds that track the underlying bond index. TMFs have a homogenous portfolio, as the fund invests in bonds with a similar maturity. The bond is held until maturity, and all the interest payments during the holding tenure are reinvested into the fund. Therefore, target maturity MFs operate in accrual mode.
Currently, these funds invest only in government securities, PSU bonds and State Development Loans (SDLs).
Who should invest in the best target maturity MFs?
TMFs are suitable for investors looking at predictable returns in the medium to long term. These are low-risk investment options that also protect the investor’s capital.
Are returns from best target maturity funds predictable?
Yes, the return from TMFs is more or less predictable since the fund holds bonds with a similar maturity. Moreover, the returns are predictable only when the investments are held up to maturity. Investors can expect returns close to the YTM of the fund. In the case of earlier withdrawals, the yield may be lower.
How are target maturity MFs taxed?
Target maturity MFs are more tax efficient than traditional investment options. These funds are taxable, like debt mutual funds. If the investment horizon is more than three years, the returns are taxable at 20% with an indexation benefit. For an investment horizon of less than three years, the returns are added to the investor’s taxable income and are taxable at the applicable slab rate.