Mutual funds are a popular way of investing money in the stock market. They allow investors to pool their money and buy a diversified portfolio of securities, such as stocks, bonds, and other assets. Mutual funds are managed by financial professionals who aim to generate returns for the investors.
However, not all mutual funds are the same. They differ in their risk and return profiles, as well as their investment objectives and strategies. One type of mutual fund that is suitable for investors who want to balance risk and return is the conservative hybrid fund.
What are conservative hybrid mutual funds?
Conservative hybrid funds are a type of hybrid fund that invests predominantly in debt securities and a small portion in equity securities. According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), conservative hybrid funds must invest at least 75% of their total assets in debt instruments and up to 25% in equity and equity-related instruments.
The main objective of conservative hybrid funds is to provide regular income and capital preservation to the investors, while also generating some capital appreciation from the equity exposure. Conservative hybrid funds are suitable for investors who have a low to moderate risk appetite and a medium to long-term investment horizon.
Who should invest in conservative funds?
Conservative funds are ideal for investors who want to earn steady returns with minimal volatility. They are also suitable for investors who want to diversify their portfolio and reduce the overall risk. Conservative funds may help investors achieve their financial goals, such as retirement planning, children’s education, or saving for a large purchase.
Conservative funds are not meant for investors who are looking for high returns or who have a high risk tolerance. They are also not suitable for investors who need liquidity or who have a short-term investment horizon.
What to consider before investing in conservative mutual funds in India
Before investing in conservative mutual funds in India, investors should consider the following factors:
- Risks and returns: Conservative hybrid funds have lower risk and lower return potential than pure equity funds or aggressive hybrid funds. They are less affected by the market fluctuations and interest rate changes than equity funds, but more than pure debt funds. Conservative hybrid funds can also face credit risk, liquidity risk, and reinvestment risk, depending on the quality and maturity of the debt securities they invest in. Investors should assess their risk profile and return expectations before choosing a conservative hybrid fund.
- Expense ratio: Expense ratio is the annual fee charged by the fund house for managing the fund. It includes the management fee, administrative fee, distribution fee, and other charges. Expense ratio reduces the net return of the fund for the investors. Investors should compare the expense ratios of different conservative hybrid funds and choose the one that offers the best value for money.
- Taxation: The taxation of conservative hybrid funds depends on the holding period of the investment. If the investment is held for less than three years, the capital gains are taxed as per the investor’s income tax slab rate. If the investment is held for more than three years, the capital gains are taxed at 20% with indexation benefit. Indexation benefit allows the investor to adjust the cost of acquisition of the investment with inflation, thereby reducing the taxable capital gains. Investors should consider their tax implications before investing in conservative hybrid funds.
Benefits of conservative mutual funds
Conservative mutual funds offer several benefits to the investors, such as:
- Profits: Conservative hybrid funds may provide regular income and capital preservation to the investors, as they invest mainly in debt securities that pay fixed interest. They also generate some capital appreciation from the equity exposure, which can boost the overall returns. Conservative hybrid funds can help investors secure their profits and achieve their financial goals.
- Low risk: Conservative hybrid funds have lower risk than pure equity funds or aggressive hybrid funds, as they have a lower exposure to the stock market. They are less prone to market fluctuations and interest rate changes than equity funds. They also have lower risk than pure debt funds, as they have a diversified portfolio of debt securities with different maturities and credit ratings. Conservative hybrid funds can help investors reduce their risk and protect their capital.
- Diversified investment: Conservative hybrid funds offer a diversified investment option to the investors, as they invest in both debt and equity securities. They can help investors balance their risk and return, as well as optimise their asset allocation. Conservative hybrid funds can also help investors benefit from the different market cycles and opportunities.
Conservative hybrid funds are suitable for investors who have a low to moderate risk appetite and a medium to long-term investment horizon. They offer several benefits, such as , low risk, and diversified investment. Investors should consider their risk profile, return expectations, expense ratio, and taxation before investing in such funds.