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Where should I invest? Mutual Funds or Fixed Deposits

Paramita Das

Financial reform has become one of the most important elements of the fast-growing economy along with increased needs and expectations of the people. People not only want to save but also multiply their savings to meet their requirements. This is only possible through investments. There are a lot of instruments where you can park your money and let it grow. Now the major confusion arises, whether it is better to invest in Fixed Deposit or Mutual Fund.

Fixed Deposit is definitely one of the safest instruments where a person can fix his money and earn a fixed rate of return. But why not aim at higher returns?

In order to decide, which the better option between the two is, you need to first understand the difference between Mutual Fund and Fixed Deposit.

The Comparison:-

1. The meaning

A  mutual fund is an investment option available to the investors where the  money collected from them is invested in stocks, bonds or other types of  investments.

A  Fixed deposit gives you an option to deposit a lumpsum money in your bank for  a fixed period at a specified rate of interest.

2. What returns can you expect

The  Rate of return on Mutual Fund depends on the market fluctuations.

The  Rate of return on FD is fixed depending on the period during which it is held  in the bank.

3. Risk Factor

Risk  Factor of Mutual fund depends on the type of mutual fund. Equity mutual funds  have more risk associated with them than Debt mutual funds as they depend on  the performance of the stock market.

Fixed  Deposits, as mentioned earlier, are one of the safest instruments. However,  there are risks associated with FD as well, for instance, there might be Bankruptcy  situation when  the bank might not have enough money to pay  you back.  

4. Can we diversify?

Mutual  Funds help to diversify your investments as the funds are invested in  different assets like bonds, equity, gold, etc.

Fixed  Deposits do not help you to achieve diversification.

5. What about liquidity?

Mutual  Funds are highly liquid as the investors can sell and redeem their  investments anytime they want. However, an investor might need to pay exit  load in case of certain mutual funds for withdrawing money before a given  period of time.

Fixed  Deposits are not liquid as the bank charges penalty for withdrawing money before  maturity.

6. Pattern of investment

Money  can be invested in mutual funds through SIPs starting from 500/-

Fixed  deposits only give you the option of doing lumpsum investment.

7. How are they taxed

Tax  on Mutual Fund is charged on the basis of the holding period- short term or  long term.

Tax  on FD is charged depending on the individual’s tax slab.

8. How long is the money locked

Mutual  Fund provides a tax benefit scheme known as ELSS whose lock in period is 3  years

Lock-in  period in case of Tax saving Fixed Deposits is 5 years.


Why should you invest in Mutual Funds? :-

If you don’t have sufficient money to invest in lump-sum, then you can invest in Mutual Fund where the investment can be done in SIPs starting from 500/- or 100/-. Mutual Fund is definitely riskier than Fixed Deposit. However, Christy Raedeke said, “If there is no risk, there is no reward”. If you have high income and high risk appetite, you must definitely invest in Mutual Fund and earn higher returns out of it. If you want to invest in long term tax saving scheme, then ELSS is a better option to choose as it will generate higher returns in the long run.

When to choose Fixed Deposit as an investment option? :-

Whenever you invest in Mutual Fund, you need to acknowledge the fact that the market is very uncertain. None of the investments are completely risk free. Fixed Deposits are undoubtedly less risky than Mutual Funds as they are government backed. However, in extreme occurrence in which a bank defaults or goes bankrupt, deposits can be insured upto 1,00,000/- only. You can choose to invest in Fixed Deposits if you’re planning to invest your money for less than 12 months considering the market performance for the past few years. Fixed Deposits being less volatile and less risky than Debt Mutual Funds, you can invest in Fixed Deposit for a short term goal.

Tax Saving Fixed Deposit being a debt instrument is safer than any equity based tax saving approach.

Hence, in short run you can invest in Tax saving Fixed Deposit to keep your money secure and earn a fixed rate of return out of it.

Where to Invest:-

Now considering these differences, you can decide which investment option you need to choose in order to attain your financial goal by evaluating your savings, your risk capacity, time horizon and financial goals.


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About the Author
Paramita Das
As a financial analyst at 7Prosper, Paramita Das addresses the needs of individuals by planning and implementing wealth management strategies. She believes in establishing meaningful and long term relationship with her clients to inspire them to work towards their financial goals.

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