Previous post, I wrote about Personal Finance Management- as to how you could budget your monthly expenses and I was requested by many of you to write on different Investment Options. This post is dedicated to them and each one of you. I hope you find the needful in this post.
There are many reasons for which people invest their hard earned money. It may be for their children’s higher education, marriage, funding for post-retirement life or to live a comfortable lifestyle. Over all the stated reasons, the main aim is to attain financial stability for long term.
Most people generally believe that to earn more, you need to work more. But then there will be no spare time left to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The motto is to work smartly and invest wisely.
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Investing means putting your money to work for you–it’s a different way to think about how to make money. Growing up, most of us were taught that you earn an income only by getting a job and working hard. And that’s what most of us do. But there is a limit to how much we can work and how much money we make out of it; not to mention the fact that having a bunch of money is no fun if we don’t have the leisure time to enjoy it.
Since you cannot create a duplicate of yourself to increase your working time, you need to send an extension of yourself–your money–to work for you. In that way, while you are working for your employer, sleeping, reading the paper, or socializing with friends, you can also be earning money elsewhere. Simply put, just making your money work for you increases your earning potential whether you receive a raise or not, decide to work overtime, or look for a higher paying job.
I have listed the best options for you to invest your hard earned money in different platforms available. It is always better to diversify your money in various investment instruments.
If you are looking to invest your money, then this post will certainly help you to provide 11 instruments in which you could look into before finalizing your decisions.
1. REAL ESTATE:
Real estate sector did hit hard in India after demonetization. But, it still is the most lucrative option available for investment. They have medium risk as the value of a property keeps ascending every six months. Real estate investment could range anything from commercial, housing, retail to manufacturing.
2. MUTUAL FUNDS:
If you a investor ready to take some risk, mutual funds are the best investment option for you. It balances risks and returns. You can choose funds from low risks, medium risks, high risks. As the risk increases, probability of higher returns are more. Mutual funds give much better returns over other investment methods.
SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) mode of investment has become popular in the past few years. A certain amount can be invested regularly on monthly basis, and brings about discipline in investment. Option of Auto-debiting from your bank account is available. Over long term, it builds a good portfolio.
The benefits are higher when it is started at a very young age and invested for long terms, say 15-20 years, as it will provide you the benefit of compounding.
You can start investing in mutual funds with as little as Rs.500 per month. Of course, you can invest in lump sum too.
3. PUBLIC PROVIDENT FUND:
This is the most popular option to invest your wealth for long term and the returns are tax-free. PPF account can be opened in any private/ nationalized bank or nearest post office. Annual minimum investment is Rs.500 and maximum is Rs.1,50,000.
The money you invest in PPF is locked in for a period of 15 years and you earn a compounded interest on it. If you are willing to extend the fund, you could so by five years.
Advantage of this type of investment is that it has tax benefits and you could take a loan against your PPF balance. It helps to build a large corpus by the retirement stage.
The only disadvantage of this fund is that the amount gets locked in for 15 years and you cannot withdraw the cash, which could be the hindrance. A partial withdrawal is possible , only after 6th year.
4. FIXED DEPOSIT (FD):
Though an age old investment instrument, I would recommend FD as the last means of investing , as the interest rates have decreased dramatically in the past few years. And, also it is not tax efficient. They aren’t the best instruments, but are relatively safe compared to other investment methods. Interest rates have fallen to nearly 6%.
Who doesn’t fancy Gold? From time immemorial, the yellow metal has been the pride of assets. It is considered to be “women’s best friends“. It is an excellent long term investment. If you see the growth, it has attained in the past 10 years, you would certainly notice triple-fold spike in growth.
If you are open to take risks, stock market is the best option. But you definitely need to do your homework to know in which stocks you want to invest. If you find it a bit difficult, you can always take a professional help. However, there is no guaranteed return. You can opt it as a part of your portfolio.
One tip is always invest for long-term an in good companies which are run by strong management. All you need is a valid demat account for investing in a company’s share.
I kept mentioning risky options of investing and I am aware some of you reading this post are not a risk taker when it comes to finance, as it is your hard earned money.
You can benefit from safer options , by investing in bonds. Economic market provides several good bonds which provide high return on investment, and are regulated by the government. And yes, they too are long term investment plan. For example, 7.7% interest is offered on a 10 year bond.
However, bond prices tend to increase when interest rates fall and vice versa.
8. EQUITY LINKED SAVINGS SCHEME (ELSS):
Compared to PPF, Bonds and other tax-saving instruments which fetch you upto 8% returns,top ELSS funds can give you returns anywhere near 12%. They are limited units and definitely one of the best investment option.
9. INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING (IPO):
IPO’s happen only once for each company. It, hence, is once in a lifetime opportunity.
When IPO is being offered by a reputed company, their stock value is certain to increase during listing.
There are two ways you could benefit from IPO: either sell your stocks and earn a decent amount or stay invested for a long term.
10.UNITED LINKED INSURANCE PLAN (ULIP):
This plan is provided by the insurance companies. They invest in equity and debt market both. Unlike a pure insurance policy, it gives you both insurance and investment under single integrated plan. There are many plans to choose from based on the objective of investment and the risk appetite of the investor.It is eligible for tax benefit.
11. POST OFFICE SAVINGS:
It is considered as the safest investment instrument in India from ages. But, the rate of interest is low compared to other options. Many monthly schemes are available in India Post.
You could visit the nearest Post Office for opening an account and start investing . They yield higher return than bank FD’s. There is no tax deduction on source.
Some of the PO saving schemes are:
- National Savings Certificate (NSC)
- National Savings Scheme (NSS)
- Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP).
On a last note,
long term investments offer you several advantages. One is they give you compound interest as in Mutual Funds and Fixed Deposits. Second is, they are tax efficient, as in Mutual Funds.
Long term investments are those that are held for more than 3 years, but I suggest you to invest for over 15-20 years for higher returns by the result of compounding.
Plan your investment considering your financial goals and the amount of risks you are ready to take. Long term investments works best, when you leave it untouched, but do keep a tab over your investment. Since you are not able to access your money after investing, I suggest you to make sure that you have your emergency fund ready with you, set aside, before investing in any means.
It is always better to diversify your money into different platforms. Invest in various instruments for better returns and to have balanced risks. I suggest you not to invest all your money into a single channel.
I hope you enjoyed the post and it has helped you think over investment methods. Feel free to leave comments and your views. Let me know if there are other better ways of investing. In case you want detailed content over each investment instrument, let me know in the comment section below, and I shall definitely try to post them in upcoming blogs if you need them.
Good luck Investing!!
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