One should always look to invest in savings schemes in order to grow his/her wealth and also to have enough money stashed away for a rainy day. Investments like these keep one covered when it comes to medical/financial emergencies or even for meeting future goals like the higher education of one’s children, buying one’s own home, building a retirement fund and so on.
Even for risk averse investors, there are an ample amount of investment avenues available in the market. There are various investment options which are quite popular and then are those which are not. The most attractive part of the popular ones is the security that they offer.
There are several investment schemes available in this regard. Here are the few of the best investment schemes that you can consider:
Public Provident Fund (PPF)
PPF is also a safe, government backed long-term investment option. The amount you deposit in PPF is tax-free and the interest earned is also non-taxable. PPFs have lock-in periods of 15 years which can be extended for another 5 years. PPF investments are secure and help you earn good returns over a fixed period of time. You can invest a maximum of Rs.1,50,000 annually in your PPF account and get the returns at maturity which is a period of 15 years and it can also be extended for the next five years. However, this is an ideal long-term investment which does not have any liquidity
National Saving Certificate
NSC or National Saving Certificate is a popular option which also offers tax savings along with guaranteed monetary returns. You can invest in NSC through any post office for a period of 5 years. The interest rate is fixed by the Government and is reviewed on a quarterly basis. However, the interest rate does not change during the NSC tenor once you have made your investment. The rates are good and a minimum investment of Rs.500 can be made. There is no upper limit. You can claim tax deductions up to Rs.1,50,000 under Section 80C on this investment. The interest earned, however, is taxable.
You can invest in mutual funds in case you wish to benefit from higher returns garnered via debts and equities. You can balance the return and risks based on your own preferences and risk appetite. Investing through mutual funds in stocks is better as compared to direct investments made in the stock market. You can consider a SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) in this regard. Investing a mutual fund can prove to be a viable proposition in case you are ready to take major risks. Mutual funds are usually managed by professional managers and invest in market instruments. However, these are risky investments and are dependent on market volatility and fluctuations.
Fixed Deposit Plans
Fixed Deposits make for the safest investments and are also completely hassle-free. You only deposit a particular sum for a specified period and earn a fixed rate of interest. Most banks and NBFCs offer FDs at varying rates of interest ranging between 6.5-8% on an average. Senior citizens earn 0.25-0.50% extra in terms of interest. You can choose the tenor you want ranging between 7 days and 10 years. You can easily withdraw money whenever you need by paying a minimum amount as a penalty.
You can choose the interest payout frequency, i.e. monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/annually. You can compound your annual interest income and reinvest it to earn even higher returns when the deposit matures. You will benefit the most if you choose a tenor between 12 and 60 months. Investing in a FD is probably the safest and best way to grow your money without any additional hassles or worries. Fixed Deposit investments are free from market risks and you can grow a particular sum of money for a specified period and fixed rate of interest. The returns are good and you can also get a loan against your Fixed Deposit should you be in urgent need of cash. FDs make for the most practical investment options without a doubt.
Equity-Linked Savings Scheme- This mutual fund scheme will help you save taxes with deductions allowed up to Rs.1,50,000 under Section 80C and there are lock-in periods of 3 years. You can earn good returns but there is always a risk attached to these investments. There is no maximum limit on the investment but the minimum investment amount is Rs.500.
You can directly invest in purchasing equity or shares in companies. However, these investments, while promising good returns, are the riskiest of all. You have to possess immense knowledge of the stock market and should continually monitor and manage your investments accordingly. There are huge risks of losing money in case of any market fluctuations.
Real Estate Investments
You can choose to invest in real estate with an eye on long-term gains. However, real estate is not a liquid investment and there are risks of erosion in property values although there can be gains as well.
Investing in Gold
You can invest in Gold ETFs, gold deposit schemes or other gold mutual funds. Although the returns can be good in this case, these investments are also risky since the price of gold is highly volatile in the current scenario.
Post Office Saving Schemes
You can invest smaller amounts in post office saving schemes which offer decent returns. The interest is quite low although risks are also very low.
Unit-Linked Insurance Plans
Unit-Linked Insurance Plans or ULIPs are also risky investments since these invest in equity and debt markets although returns can be good at times. However, this is not an investment for those averse to taking risks.
You can also consider investing in bonds which are Government regulated since these often earn good returns.
These are several attractive investment plans which you can choose from. Their features differ from one another, and so you must select accordingly. Always choose a combination of absolutely safe investment options like fixed deposits and PPF investments along with nominal investments in ELSS or mutual fund schemes if you have the risk appetite for the same.