All FAQs

How do you make a budget?

There are five main steps involved in creating a personal financial plan and budget: 1. Determine your current financial situation 2. Develop your financial goals 3. Create and implement your budget plan 4. Review and revise the budget plan 5. Identify alternative courses of action

Why should you have an emergency or contingency fund?

Emergencies happen when you least expect them, and you may need money quickly to tide over them. An emergency fund can provide for when your income is affected or you are faced with a sudden major expense. Such financial emergencies can come in many forms – a layoff, strike or other job disruption; significant medical expenses; sudden home or car repairs, etc. Once the emergency has passed, you must rebuild your emergency fund as your income rises again. Most experts recommend you should set aside 6-12 months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund, but ultimately, you must set the amount that’s right for your circumstances.

How much time will it take to double your investment?

This depends on the rate of interest you receive on the investment. The rule of 72 comes in handy for a rough mental calculation – to find the number of years required to double your money at a given compound interest rate, you just divide the number 72 by the interest rate. For example, if you want to know how long it will take to double your money at 8% interest per annum, divide 72 by 8 – i.e. 9 years.

How much equity investment should you have?

There is a simple rule of thumb for roughly calculating your equity investment allocation, based on age (since age dictates the investment horizon and risk appetite). The rule is to simply subtract your age from the number 100. The resulting number is the rough percentage of equity exposure that will suit you – the remaining percentage can then be invested in debt. Remember that this is just an approximation, and the actual amount would be based on the detailed financial planning of the investor.

When should you start planning for your retirement?

Many people wrongly believe they only need to start financial planning when approaching retirement. In reality, retirement planning is a lifelong process. The earlier you start, the more time you have to grow your savings with the help of prudent investments, and the greater the benefits you can enjoy in your retired life.

What is personal finance?

Personal finance refers to all the decisions and activities of an individual or family regarding their money, including spending, saving, budgeting, investing etc. These decisions and activities can help people achieve their life goals, save tax and ensure financial security.

What is the difference between saving and investing?

People generally use savings for short-term financial goals, such as a vacation or a down-payment on a car. They tend to put these savings into financial products such as savings accounts – but the returns on these products are usually low. To achieve significant, long-term financial goals, people need to turn to investing. Putting money into investment tools like equity (stocks), bonds and mutual funds have potential to yield greater rewards over a long-term investment horizon.

What is asset allocation?

Asset allocation involves dividing an investment portfolio among different asset classes, such as equity, debt and cash/equivalents, according to an individual's goals, risk tolerance and investment horizon among other things. These three main asset classes have different levels of risk and return, so each of these tend to behave differently over a period of time.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a number that summarizes a person’s credit risk, based on a snapshot of their credit report data at a point in time. It is used to help lenders determine your creditworthiness, or how likely you are to be able to repay the loan you have applied for. The higher your credit score, the lower the assumed risk. A credit score has a bearing on not only the overall loan decision, but also on elements such as the loan term and the interest rate charged by the lender.

How many credit cards should you have?

As per experts you may have two credit cards – ideally from two different networks like Visa and Mastercard. This gives you a backup form of payment in case of fraud, robbery, card loss or network acceptance issues affecting one card. Different credit cards also offer you different kinds of rewards (cash back, miles, rewards points etc.). How many credit cards is too many? That depends on the individual – you should not have more cards than you can handle. Even if you have multiple cards, try to keep a control over your overall credit card utilisation.

What is financial planning?

Financial planning is the process of setting, planning, achieving and reviewing your life goals through the proper management of your finances. It is an important skill that helps you plan for your future and take control of your goals by setting realistic plans, evaluating alternatives and taking corrective measures to stay on track.

What are financial goals and how can one frame them?

Financial goals can be divided into two categories, short-term and long-term. Short-term goals might include clearing off debt, or starting a modest investment programme, to be ideally completed in less than 3 years. Long term goals might be a little more ambitious — purchasing a new house, for instance — and generally take longer to achieve. The key is not always about how quickly you set the money aside to achieve your goals, but that you put it aside consistently. When you are setting financial goals, it is important to make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals. • Specific – you have clear steps for reaching the goal • Measurable – you have a way to judge whether you are making progress • Achievable – the goal is realistic • Results-oriented – there is a defined result you are aiming to achieve • Timebound – you have a specific timeline in which you want to reach the goal

What are the major types of financial goals?

Your financial goals reflect the amount of money that you seek to amass over a defined period of time. You may have short-term goals like buying a car or planning for a vacation. You may also have long-term goals like a child’s education or wedding, purchasing a dream home or planning for your retirement. Financial planning will help you amass the money needed to achieve these goals.

Should you invest in mutual funds before you have a goal or plan?

Financial planning is important because it gives you a roadmap to achieve your financial goals at each stage of life. But don’t stop investing in mutual funds while you are in the process of planning – keep investing, so that your money keeps generating returns that can contribute to your eventual plan.

How are stocks classified based on their market capitalisation?

Market capitalisation refers to the total rupee market value of a company's outstanding equity shares. Equity shares of companies listed on stock exchanges are classified into large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks, based on the size of their market capitalisation. In India, market regulator SEBI has classified stocks of companies ranked 1-100 by full market capitalisation as large-cap stocks. Stocks of companies ranked 101-250 by full market capitalisation are called mid-cap stocks. Stocks of companies ranked 251 and below by full market capitalisation are called small-cap stocks.

How does ELSS help investors save tax?

An Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) is a type of equity mutual fund, with a three-year lock-in period, which qualifies for tax deduction under Section 80(C) of the Income Tax Act. The amount of tax that can be saved by investing in ELSS depends upon the investor’s tax bracket. Since ELSS investments are made in the equity markets, it has potentially to generate higher returns in the long run than other traditional investment options with tax saving benefits.

Should you clear your debts as you save for retirement?

Sound financial planning should involve clearing your debts before retirement, since paying off loans can get difficult when you have little or no income post-retirement. Remember, responsible borrowing is an integral part of financial planning. Personal loans and mortgages, for example, can help you achieve your financial goals, but over-indebtedness can jeopardise your financial plan. The key is to make sure you are in control of your credit, not the other way around. It’s also important to maintain a good credit record in case you need to borrow in the future.

How much money should you save towards retirement?

Retirement planning is the process of determining how you will set aside enough money so you can enjoy same standard of living after you stop working. Creating a retirement plan will help you determine how much money you will need after you retire, and help manage your finances to cover expenses in later years. A useful rule of thumb is at age of 30 years – 1x annual salary should be accumulated for retirement, at 40 years - 3x annual salary, at 50 years - 5x annual salary, at 60 years - 7x annual salary.

What is the relationship between bank depositors and the bank?

Bank depositors are effectively a bank’s creditors.

How much of your retirement corpus should you withdraw each year?

Your ‘sustainable withdrawal rate’ is the percentage of savings you can withdraw each year in retirement without running out of money. As a rule of thumb, withdraw no more than 4-5% of your savings in the first year of retirement, and then adjust that amount every year for inflation. This is only a rough guide, of course, and your goals may dictate otherwise – for instance, if you wish to travel more early in your retirement and less so later.

How much life insurance should you have?

Life insurance uses a concept called Human Life Value [HLV] to attach a monetary value to an insured's life, by assessing the financial loss a family would face if the insured were to die. This determines the maximum amount of insurance coverage needed. While this is the optimal cover, you may settle for a smaller amount depending on your financial position and planning.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is an agreement between you (the insured) and an insurer, whereby the insurer promises to pay a certain sum to a person you choose (your nominee) upon your death, in exchange for your regular premium payments.

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is a contract between the insurer and the insured, whereby the insurer agrees to pay medical expenses to the extent of an agreed sum, in the event of illness or injury to the insured.

How much health insurance should you buy?

There is no ideal amount – it varies from person to person and depends on a number of factors, including: * Your ability to pay premiums * Your age and your family members’ ages * Number of members in your family * Any pre-existing conditions * Senior citizens in your family

What is the minimum eligible age to buy health insurance?

By law, any person who is 18 years or above is eligible to purchase health insurance. For children below 18 years of age, the policy can be purchased by their parents.

Can you buy more than one life insurance plan?

Yes, you can buy multiple life insurance policies if you need, as long as you can pay the premiums and the total sum assured does not exceed what you need, which the insurer may calculate based on the Human Life Value of the insured.

Can health insurance premiums be paid in instalments?

Yes, health insurance premiums can be paid in different modes or instalment – yearly, half-yearly, monthly etc.

Who needs life insurance?

If anyone depends on you for either financial or domestic support, you may need life insurance. Here are some situations in which it would be necessary: 1. You have a family that depends on you financially, or you are planning to start a family. 2. You are a working person who contributes significantly to your household income 3. You have a loan, or are planning to apply for one.

Why should you buy life insurance?

Your life insurance needs will depend on a number of factors, including your marital status, the size of your family, the nature of your financial obligations, your career stage and your goals. For example, when you're young, you may not feel a great need for life insurance. However, as you take on more responsibilities and your family grows, your need for life insurance increases. Life insurance provides immediate, non-taxable monetary relief to family and dependents, in the event of the demise of the insured person.

What are the investment avenues available to investors in the securities market?

Investors can invest either directly in individual securities, or through a mutual fund among other investment avenues.

What is a Mutual Fund?

A mutual fund is a pool of money managed by a professional Fund Manager. A SEBI-registered trust first puts out an announcement, called the Scheme Information Document, offering to manage funds according to defined investment objectives. On this basis, it collects money from investors, which is then invested in equities, bonds, money market instruments and/or other securities. The gains generated from these investments are returned proportionately to investors (after deducting applicable expenses and levies) as per the scheme’s Net Asset Value (NAV).

What are the benefits of investing through mutual funds?

There are several benefits to investing through mutual funds. (1) Your funds will be managed by professional investment experts (2) Mutual Funds aim to reduce risk through diversification of investments (3) You can conveniently invest and withdraw money as per your requirements, subject to applicable loads, if any (4) You can choose from a range of alternative portfolio objectives too which suits your requirements (5) In certain cases, you may enjoy reduced transaction costs over investing yourself and achieve taxation efficiency also (6) Mutual funds are strictly regulated.

How is investing in banks (FD etc) different from investing in mutual funds?

Depositors (i.e., investors in banks) can claim their deposits back on demand, along with accrued interest. The interest rate is pre-fixed, and only that pre-fixed interest will be payable, subject to any withdrawal charges and interest deduction for early withdrawal. The bank is free to invest these deposits as per its own business requirements and the depositor cannot control this. On the other hand, unit-holders (i.e., mutual fund investors) can claim the Net Asset Value (NAV) of their investment on the day the investment is withdrawn. If the NAV on the day of redemption (i.e., withdrawal) is greater than the NAV on the day of investment, the unit-holder will realise a gain; if it is lower, the unit-holder will incur a loss. Meanwhile, the mutual fund must invest the money received from unit-holders strictly in accordance with the stated mutual fund scheme objectives. Since mutual funds are market-linked instruments, there is an opportunity to potentially earn higher returns over the long term than traditional investments, however there are no guarantees for the same.

Is the return on mutual funds linked to the performance of the fund?

Yes – the return on mutual funds is linked to the performance of the portfolio managed by the fund. The NAV of the respective schemes reflect this performance, which are published on a daily basis on the website of the AMC and AMFI website.

Do investors face risk in mutual funds?

A unit-holder does assume investment risk, including the possibility of reduction/loss of principal, because mutual funds invest in securities whose value may rise or fall.

What does professional investment management mean?

Every mutual fund scheme is managed by a professional fund manager, who makes investments in accordance with the scheme’s objective and investment strategy. In simple terms, the fund manager chooses the shares or debt instruments into which investments are to be made, and when to buy, sell or hold them, with a view to optimise gains. This requires experience and a deep understanding of markets, price fluctuations, company performance, risk management, among other things. It is a complex role and entails significant responsibility.

How do fund managers manage investors’ funds?

Fund managers choose investments that most effectively meet the investment objective of the scheme (as described in the prospectus) and have the best potential to deliver gains along with the risk undertaken in the portfolio. They must also decide when to buy, sell or hold a share/security, with a view to maximising gains for the scheme.

On what basis do fund managers make their investment decisions?

The decisions of fund managers are based on extensive study of market conditions and research on the financial performance of the sector, individual companies and specific securities among other factors.

How do market conditions influence the decision-making process?

Changes in market conditions can affect gains or even inflict losses on an investment. Fund managers closely monitor market conditions and adjust their portfolios when they change, with a view to avoiding losses and maximising gains for a given level of risk, while adhering to their investment objectives.

How do mutual funds reduce risk?

Mutual funds look to reduce risk in the portfolio by various means, chiefly by diversifying investments across asset classes, sectors and securities, so that potential losses in one area can be alleviated by potential gains in others.

What is the major advantage for retail investors offered by a mutual fund?

The biggest advantage for retail investors in mutual funds is portfolio diversification. One retail investor alone cannot invest directly in multiple shares or sectors to great effect – but the pooled savings of investors are substantial enough to be distributed across several companies and sectors.

Why do mutual funds have a wide range of schemes?

Mutual funds may offer a wide range of schemes to meet the various requirements of investors with different investment objectives and investment horizon. Each mutual fund scheme may follow its own investment pattern. Different combinations or patterns of investment help achieve different kinds of objectives from the market.

Why is investing in mutual funds cost-effective?

The collective nature of mutual funds enables standardisation and high economies of scale, which lowers investment costs. When an investor chooses to invest directly, costs like brokerage, depository participant charges, Securities Transaction Taxes (STT) etc. have to be borne by them individually. They must also expend time and effort to monitor the price movements of the shares in which they have invested. In the case of mutual funds, all of these costs are absorbed into the fund’s overall expenses, which are tightly controlled by regulators. Mutual funds also charge management fees which is also part of overall cost and is subject to regulatory limits.

Is there any regulation regarding the expenses that can be charged to unit-holders?

SEBI has set a regulatory ceiling on the fees that mutual funds can charge their investors.

What kind of investment timeline are mutual funds meant for?

Mutual fund schemes have different investment horizons (short, medium and long term) depending on their investment objectives and the instruments/securities they invest in. Investors should invest in mutual fund schemes considering the time required to meet their financial goals and basis their risk appetite.

Are mutual funds risk-free?

No – mutual funds are not risk-free investments, though they are strictly regulated to mitigate risk.

What are the different kinds of mutual funds?

Based on their structure, mutual funds can be classified as open-ended or closed-ended funds. An open-ended mutual fund gives investors the freedom and flexibility to enter and exit when they wish, subject to applicable exit load. Closed-ended mutual funds come with a stipulated maturity period, which means investors cannot buy units of the fund after its NFO period is over, and cannot exit before maturity. Closed-ended funds however may be listed on exchanges to provide liquidity.

What are the different categories of mutual funds based on their investment portfolios?

(1) Equity Schemes (2) Debt Schemes (3) Hybrid Schemes (4) Solution Oriented Schemes (5) Other Schemes

What are equity funds?

Equity funds invest predominantly in equity shares. Equities as an asset class tend to outperform other asset classes over longer period of time and are thus good investment options for capital appreciation. However equities are generally more volatile also and thus investors must consider the optimal mix in the portfolio as per their risk appetite.

What are the different types of equity funds?

The different types of equity funds include large-cap funds, mid-cap funds, small-cap funds, multi-cap funds, index funds, flexi funds, sector funds, equity-linked saving schemes (ELSS), among others.

What is market capitalisation?

Market capitalisation is one of the indicators for the total valuation of a company, based on its current share price multiplied by the number of total outstanding shares of the company.

How are stocks classified based on their market capitalisation?

Equity shares listed on stock exchanges are classified into large-cap, medium-cap and small-cap stocks, based on the size of the respective company’s market capitalisation. Stocks of companies ranked 1-100 by full market capitalisation are called large-cap stocks. Stocks of companies ranked 101-250 by full market capitalisation are called mid-cap stocks. Stocks of companies ranked 251 and below by full market capitalisation are called small-cap stocks.

What is a large-cap mutual fund scheme?

Large-cap mutual funds are open-ended mutual funds that invest at least 80% of their assets in equity stocks and related securities of large-cap companies.

What is a mid-cap mutual fund scheme?

Mid-cap funds are open-ended equity mutual funds that invest at least 65% of their portfolio in equity stocks and related securities of mid-cap companies.

What is a small-cap mutual fund scheme?

Small-cap mutual funds are equity mutual funds that invest at least 65% of their total assets in stocks and securities of small-cap companies.

What are index funds? What are the advantages of investing in an index fund?

An index fund is an open-ended fund that specialises in purchasing securities that represent or match a specific index (e.g. a fund that mirrors the components of the BSE Sensex). The advantages of investing in an index fund include diversification, low costs and transparency.

What are sector funds? What type of investors invest in sector funds?

A sector fund is an open-ended equity scheme which invests only in companies operating in a particular sector or industry (e.g. an auto fund would invest only in automobile companies). Given their limited diversification, these funds are better for investors willing to accept higher levels of risk.

What are Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS)? What type of investors invest in ELSS?

ELSS is a type of equity mutual fund, with a three-year lock-in period, which qualifies for tax deduction under Section 80(C) of the Income Tax Act. The objective of ELSS is to produce long-term capital appreciation for equity-oriented investors, and to help them save on income tax.

What are ETFs?

An exchange-traded fund, or ETF, is a fund that trades on an exchange, just like a stock. These funds track indexes such as the BSE Sensex and simply replicate the performance of the underlying index.

How are mutual funds classified in terms of the management of the portfolio? What are actively managed funds and passively managed funds?

Mutual funds are classified as actively managed or passively managed funds based on how the portfolio is managed. An actively managed mutual fund has an experienced fund manager and an analyst team to help make investment decisions on the fund corpus. Buying and selling may be done more frequently, as the fund’s goal is to outperform the market over long term or in other words to generate alpha. These funds have comparatively higher fees compared to passively managed mutual funds, which usually just replicate an underlying index. Buying and selling in passively managed funds is much less frequent, as the fund simply aims to replicate the performance of the index or in other words aims to provide beta

What is a value investment strategy?

Value investing is a strategy that involves picking stocks that appear to be trading for less than their intrinsic or book value. These ‘value’ stocks might be cheap but have the potential to generate higher earnings in the future, as the fundamentals of the company may be sound otherwise.

What is a debt fund? What is the principal source of return of debt funds?

Debt funds (also known as fixed income funds) concentrate their investments in debt securities. The principal source of return is the interest earned on the fixed income securities held in the portfolio and any gains/losses due to market movements

What are the various categories of debt funds?

Debt funds come in many forms, including overnight funds, liquid funds, ultra short-duration funds, low-duration funds, money market funds, medium-duration funds, medium- to long-duration funds, long-duration funds, dynamic bond funds, corporate bond funds, credit risk funds, banking and PSU funds, gilt funds, floater funds, among others.

What is a low-duration fund?

An open-ended low-duration debt scheme investing in debt and money market instruments such that the Macaulay duration of the portfolio is between 6 months to 12 months.

What is an ultra-short duration fund?

An open-ended ultra-short-term debt scheme investing in debt and money market instruments such that the Macaulay duration of the portfolio is between 3 months to 6 months.

What are the various money market instruments?

Money market instruments include commercial papers, commercial bills, treasury bills, government securities with maturity up to one year, call or notice money, certificate of deposits, permitted securities under a repo/ reverse repo agreement and any other instrument expressly permitted by RBI.

What is an asset allocation fund? What is the objective of an asset allocation fund and its benefit for investors?

An asset allocation fund provides investors with a diversified portfolio of investments across various asset classes. Popular asset categories for such funds include stocks, bonds and cash equivalents that may be spread out geographically for additional diversification. Their aim is to provide investors with well-diversified holdings and consistent returns, while sparing them the trouble of having to allocate assets themselves in different market conditions.

What are the two main mutual fund investment plans?

There are two types of plans for investors – direct plan and regular plan.

What are direct plan mutual funds?

Introduced by SEBI in 2013, Asset Management Companies (AMC) do not charge distributor expenses under direct plans, thus these plans have a relatively low expense ratio.

What are regular plan mutual funds?

In a regular plan, mutual funds are allowed to pay a commission to financial agents/distributors, which increases the overall expense ratio under the plan.

What are the popular modes of investment in mutual funds?

There are two popular modes of investments in mutual funds – Lump sum and Systematic Investment Plan (SIP).

What is a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)? In what frequency one can invest in SIP?

This is a plan offered by most mutual funds, wherein a fixed amount is invested at predefined regular intervals by an investor in the mutual fund of their choice.

What is lump sum investing in mutual funds? When should you choose to invest through a lump sum?

A lump sum investment is a one-time investment by an investor in a mutual fund scheme. Such an investment is best made when you have surplus cash that you are seeking to invest.

When should you choose to invest through SIPs?

SIPs are ideal when you want to invest at regular intervals and build it up over time. This can be done with a view to spread investments over a longer period and not look to time the markets.

What is a Systematic Transfer Investment Plan?

An STP or Systematic Transfer Plan moves a fixed amount of money from one mutual fund scheme to another scheme of the same fund house, at regular intervals.

What is an OTM?

An OTM, or One Time Mandate, is a one-time registration process wherein an investor authorises his banker to execute debits to his bank account, up to a certain limit, based on requests from the mutual fund company.

Can you invest in mutual funds without a PAN card number?

As per SEBI rules, investors can invest in units of mutual fund schemes only if they have a valid Permanent Account Number.

What documents/ formalities do you need to complete for investing in mutual funds?

PAN card, bank account in the investor’s name and completion of KYC procedures. Essentially documents which give proof of address and proof of identity of the investor are required.

In what ways can an investor complete the IPV (in-person verification)?

An investor can complete the IPV by either visiting any of the below mentioned intermediaries to submit their original documents, or through videoconferencing at a pre-agreed time with the concerned intermediary: - KYC Registration Agency - The Asset Management Company - The Mutual Fund agent/distributor - The Mutual Fund’s Registrar - Transfer Agents like CAMS or Karvy Computer Share Private Limited

Can NRIs invest in Indian mutual funds?

Yes, NRIs can invest in Indian mutual funds.

What criteria should guide the selection of a mutual fund scheme?

One should select a mutual fund scheme based on one’s investment time horizon, risk appetite, financial goals and after considering past performance of the scheme. The possibility of exit loads should also be considered among other factors.

What is NFO? What criteria should be considered while investing in an NFO?

New Fund Offer or NFO is the first subscription offering for any new fund offered by an asset management company (AMC). AMCs offer NFOs for a specific period, during which investors can buy mutual fund units at a specified offer price (after the NFO closes, they can buy units at the current NAV). Points to be considered while investing in an NFO include the track record of the fund house, the track record of the fund manager, costs associated with the scheme and tax implications, among other factors.

Is NFO the same as IPO?

An NFO is similar to an IPO, in that it is also launched to raise funds. The only difference is that an IPO refers to the sale of a company’s shares before its listing on a stock exchange, while an NFO is the first subscription offer for the units of a new mutual fund scheme.
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The information contained herein is provided by PGIM India Asset Management Private Limited (the AMC) on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other third-party sources believed to be reliable. However, the AMC cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information, assure its completeness, or warrant such information will not be changed. The information contained herein is current as of the date of issuance* (or such earlier date as referenced herein) and is subject to change without notice. The AMC has no obligation to update any or all of such information; nor does the AMC make any express or implied warranties or representations as to its completeness or accuracy. There can be no assurance that any forecast made herein will be actually realized. These materials do not take into account individual investor's objectives, needs or circumstances or the suitability of any securities, financial instruments or investment strategies described herein for particular investor. Hence, each investor is advised to consult his or her own professional investment / tax advisor / consultant for advice in this regard. The information contained herein is provided on the basis of and subject to the explanations, caveats and warnings set out elsewhere herein. The views of the Fund Manager should not be construed as an advice and investors must make their own investment decisions regarding investment/ disinvestment in securities market and/or suitability of the fund based on their specific investment objectives and financial positions and using such independent advisors as they believe necessary.