Why a Stable Value Fund Belongs in Your Retirement Portfolio

Understand the benefits of investing in a stable value funds for a secure and predictable return on investment.
Stable Value Fund
3 min
11 April 2024

A stable value fund is a crucial addition to your retirement portfolio as it provides a consistent and reliable source of income while prioritising the preservation of your capital. This conservative investment is particularly attractive to retirees who seek to protect their savings from market volatility and preserve their wealth for the long term. With their risk mitigation, inflation protection, and liquidity features, stable value funds offer an added layer of security and stability for long-term financial planning.

What is a stable value fund

Stable value funds are low-risk investments that offer higher yields. They feature a short-term bond fund with added insurance that shields investors from losing principal investment. This protects investors from market fluctuations and ensures a certain return regardless of whether the underlying asset loses value.

5 things to know about stable value funds

Here are five essential aspects to know about stable value funds that can guide you through their intricacies and help you confidently navigate the world of conservative investment options.

1. Fixed-income securities backed by guarantees

Stable value funds invest in fixed-income securities typically backed by guarantees from financial institutions such as banks or insurance companies. These guarantees assure investors that their principal investment will be protected, especially in times of economic downturns or market volatility. This feature makes them ideal for investors looking to preserve their capital and maintain a steady income flow.

2. Mitigation of various risks

  • Interest rate risk: Stable value funds are designed to mitigate interest rate risks as they invest in fixed-income securities with predetermined interest rates. This helps protect the fund's value from fluctuations in interest rates, which can negatively impact the prices of bonds and other debt securities.
  • Credit risk: Stable funds also address credit risks by investing in securities backed by guarantees from financially stable institutions. As such, the guarantee provider ensures that investors receive the promised returns even if the issuer of a particular security defaults.
  • Liquidity risk: Stable value funds help minimise liquidity risks by investing in securities that are highly liquid. This liquidity feature gives investors the flexibility and convenience to access their funds whenever needed, without significant penalties. It is ideal for investors who may need to access their capital in the short to medium term.

3. Inflation hedging

Returns from stable value funds often offset the inflation rate to some level. While these funds may not offer the same potential for high returns as equity investments, they provide a more predictable and consistent income stream that helps investors preserve the purchasing power of their capital over time. This makes stable value funds an essential component of a diversified investment portfolio, specifically for investors concerned about inflation interfering with the real value of their savings.

Pros of stable value funds

  1. Stable value funds ensure capital preservation, consistent returns, and low volatility.
  2. They prioritise safeguarding capital while providing steady income, mitigating risks, and offering liquidity.
  3. Their benefits, such as inflation protection and suitability for retirement portfolios, make them a reliable option for investors seeking to balance risk and return in their retirement plans.

Cons of stable value funds

  1. Stable value funds provide lower returns than riskier investments such as stocks and high-yield bonds, limiting the potential for long-term growth for investors.
  2. Inflation can erode the purchasing power of returns from stable value funds over time, reducing their effectiveness as a hedge against rising prices.
  3. While these funds maintain a stable net asset value, there can still be fluctuations in the market value of underlying securities.

Stable value funds are not money market funds

Stable value funds differ from money market funds in several aspects. While both provide steady returns and capital preservation, stable value funds invest in longer-term fixed-income securities, such as corporate bonds, which typically offer higher yields. This eventually translates to greater returns for investors over time. However, long-term fixed-income securities inherently involve higher risks than short-term securities, which are typically held by money market funds. Stable value funds are also highly prone to fluctuations in interest rates and credit risks associated with the underlying bonds. However, these risks can be efficiently managed through diversification and careful selection of investments.

Here is how to invest in stable value funds

In India, investing in stable value funds can be done through mutual funds and insurance products. Mutual funds offer options that invest in a mix of fixed-income securities, whereas insurance firms offer products with guaranteed returns. Investors must explore and select an appropriate product or fund that aligns well with their financial goals. These products are typically offered through online platforms or financial advisors. It is essential for investors to opt for funds that have a track record of consistent performance.

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