Where to invest and Why?

by Vpalkar CA V Paalkar & Co.

Some readers are asking me where to invest. I have been guarded with my answers and start with the observation that since everyone has different financial goals and risk appetite, my recommendation may not work for him or her.

But when my elder brother asked me this question, I did not have an escape route anymore. And I had a responsibility too. After all I can't vanish from him after a year or so!

Let's take a look at some of the popular options available which are Bonds, Stocks, Real Estate, Mutual Funds (MFs), Unit Linked Insurance Policies (ULIP) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF).

Now I'll try to rate them on four parameters of investing. i.e. 1) Growth, 2) Liquidity, 3) Security and 4) Expenses  

Growth: Stocks, MFs and ETFs top the rankings here. Over a period of over 5 years, the Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is above 15% in comparison to 8% in Bonds. ULIPs begin to give a good growth only after 5 years or so because initially they are very expensive. Real estate is on a fairytale run these days too

Liquidity: Again, Stocks, MFs and ETFs score heavily while Bonds and ULIPs have a lock-in period or have substantial surrender charges. Real estate scores low here (You have to be lucky to get good buyers at the right time).

Security: I would rate all of them at par over a long-term of over 5 years. But you may get into a bad stock or real estate which are unsecured. Otherwise also, stocks and real estate are very volatile and can affect your blood pressure too!

Expenses: ETF is the least expensive with charges of around 0.5% compared to 2% from MFs and much more in ULIPs (especially in the initial years). Stocks too, are the least expensive, provided you get into the right stocks at the right time.

Based on the short analysis, I would recommend ETFs. Read more about ETFs here. But as I said earlier, one man's meat could be another man's poison. Moreover, the diversification rule says that one should not keep all our eggs/ apples (for the vegetarians) in one basket.

So let us take a look at the various options, one at a time.

Shares: Investing in the equity market directly is exciting and sexy. You are in the thick of things and learn a lot in the process. Though the volatility and the information overload makes it a daunting task, investing in stocks is not rocket science. One should start with identifying a list of 10-15 companies out of 3-5 sectors which you know about and interests you. You can then keep a tab on their management team, financials, and future outlook and over a period of time, and will be able to take a call on them.

Real Estate: I feel that one has to be plain lucky to get into a good deal and be able to get the right buyer at the right price and time. I can't think of any other factor other than luck. So if you feel you are blessed and have the right tip, go for it. Otherwise, it's a no-no.

Mutual Funds: One should allocate their time to investment decisions in proportion to their income generation goals. Also, convenience and hassle free investing should be a major factor. Mutual Funds fit the bill where Fund Managers are into it full time. If you van identify fund managers who have consistently performed over last 3-5 years, nothing like it. The fund manager also has the muscle power of crores of Rupees and is able to take entry and exit decisions impartially. MFs continuously churn their portfolio. When MFs buy and sell stocks, they don't have to pay capital gains as you would do when you churn. With Systematic Investment plans (SIP), you can start investing with as low as Rs 500 per month. But MFs have its own loading and administrative charges and the fund managers make merry on your hard earned money.

Exchange Traded Funds: While the index fund has given a one-year return of 42% last year, diversified equity schemes (MF) could only come up with 34% returns. Diversified equity funds usually have large expense ratios compared to index funds. For example, the expense ratio of Banking BeES, an index fund, is only 0.45, while it is anywhere between 2-2.50% for diversified equity schemes. That's why I recommend ETFs.

ULIPs: Unit linked insurance policies combine two products, i.e. Insurance and Mutual Funds. In the initial few years, ULIPs are very expensive. But in case you don't want any hassles of investing, and you have a tried and tested Insurance agent who is almost part of your family, then ULIPs are for you.

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About Vpalkar CA Freshman   V Paalkar & Co.

2 connections, 0 recommendations, 30 honor points.
Joined APSense since, July 16th, 2020, From Mumbai, India.

Created on Feb 2nd 2021 05:26. Viewed 447 times.


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