Medium to Long Duration Funds invest in the debt and money market instruments with duration ranging between 4 to 7 years. These funds are volatile during fluctuations in interest rates and suitable for medium-term financial goals.
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Investing in the right mutual funds is challenging. Mutual fund investments are useful for investors with a clear investment goal and who have a significant risk appetite. Medium to long duration funds provides investors an opportunity to generate good returns with a moderate degree of liquidity. These schemes invest their corpus in a range of debt and money market securities.
Medium to Long Duration Funds invest in the debt and money market instruments. The Macaulay duration of these investments is between 4 to 7 years. These funds are highly sensitive to changes in interest rates. The bond price falls with a rise in interest and rises when the interest rate falls. Interest rate fluctuations affect debt funds as it disturbs the prices of the underlying bonds in the fund portfolio.
Debt funds are classified on the basis of their tenure. Following are the maturity periods of Debt funds:
You must pick the right duration of the fund to get the best returns on your investment. An ideal duration is one which matches your financial goals. Besides, the tenure of debt funds you must also review the risk involved. As debt funds are prone to risk, so is your investment in medium to long duration funds. As well as, if you are okay with exposing your portfolio to some level of risk, you can invest in these schemes.
Medium to long duration funds seeks to generate higher returns in comparison to medium and low duration funds. These funds are volatile during fluctuations in interest rates. Consequently, their returns are better in a falling interest rate scenario.
The following are benefits of investing in Medium to Long Duration mutual funds:
Although Medium to Long Duration Mutual Funds generate higher returns they also have some disadvantages.
Following are the disadvantages of investing in medium to long duration funds:
Investors with a medium to long term investment objective can invest in these funds. You must have an investment horizon of four to seven years. In such a scenario you can expect a high return in comparison to both low duration and medium duration funds. Your investment in medium to long duration funds will help you achieve medium-term financial goals.
Medium to long duration funds also help you diversify your portfolio while protecting it from stock market volatility. You earn returns from investment in this scheme through a combination of interest earnings and capital gains.
You can enjoy higher returns by investing in medium to long duration funds than putting your money in fixed deposits of similar tenure. Investors in the higher income tax brackets can avail tax-efficient returns from these schemes. Medium to long duration funds are also recommended for investors expecting higher returns in a falling interest rate scenario.
These funds are also advisable to risk-averse investors looking to park their money. Considering the majority of investments made by these funds are in high credit-rated debt securities the associated risk is low. Consequently, you can earn moderate returns from them while keeping your exposure to risk minimal.
The volatility of debt mutual funds is relatively less in comparison to equity mutual funds. Its returns are not driven by market fluctuations. It depends on the credit risk of the underlying debt securities. If you cannot tolerate volatility and want to earn reasonably good returns then you can opt for medium to long duration funds.
You can invest in medium to long duration funds by matching their duration with your financial goals. They are useful to achieve your medium-term goals like paying off a loan or renovating your house.
You must invest in these funds for a longer tenure. A time horizon of four to seven years is ideal for good returns. Investors investing in medium to long term mutual funds for more than 5 years can expect to earn high returns. The reason for this is the tenure of debt instruments in which these schemes invest. The maturity period of their portfolio is usually more than 4 years. You must understand frequent outflows from any mutual fund affects its performance. Your return will be affected negatively if you withdraw from the fund before the maturity of debt securities.
Medium to long duration funds are prone to interest rate risk as they invest in government bonds of a longer duration. The fund could lose value if the interest rates rise. The Macaulay duration of these schemes is four to seven years. They are affected by the fluctuations in the interest rate cycle due to a longer maturity period. However, as these funds invest a large portion of their corpus in government securities, the credit risk is lower.
You must consider checking the fund portfolio for better clarity. Reviewing the track record of the fund house and fund manager is an essential step. Review these before investing in any debt fund.
The medium to long term funds are subject to similar tax regulations as other debt funds. The tax is levied according to their holding period. Short-term capital gains (STCG) are applicable after a holding period below 36 months. The tax calculation will depend on your income tax slab.
Long-term capital gains (LTCG) are levied for a holding period of 36 months or more. The tax liability for these gains is 20% with the indexation benefit. The benefit of indexation allows you to adjust for inflation by raising the purchase price of your medium to long term funds.
Your dividend earnings from medium to long duration funds are a part of your taxable income. The tax payable on dividends will depend on your income tax slab. Although, dividends were tax-free in the hands of the investors before the Union Budget 2020. The dividend distribution tax (DDT) was earlier being paid by Mutual fund houses before distributing the dividends to the investors.
You can invest in debt funds to generate returns for a specific investment objective. Medium to long-duration funds provide good returns accompanied by some risk. You must consider a fund house that actively manages your investment and its underlying components.