There is a growing uptake for various forms of investment among Indians today. According to a study by IBEF, “As of November 2020, Assets Under Management (AUM) managed by the mutual fund industry stood at Rs. 30 lakh crore (US$ 407.39 billion). Inflow in India’s mutual fund schemes via the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) route reached Rs. 82,453 crore (US$ 11.70 billion) in 2019. Equity mutual funds registered a net inflow of Rs. 8.04 trillion (US$ 114.06 billion) by the end of December 2019.”

Mutual fund investments might be short term or long term in nature of course, but numbers are similarly sky-high for long-term investment products as well, it would appear. The study also revealed that by 2025, the investment corpus in India’s insurance could touch US$ 1 trillion. In 2020 – a financially difficult year as most would agree – the insurance sector still witnessed excellent uptake. Total first year premium of life insurance companies reached Rs. 2.59 lakh crore (US$ 36.73 billion) during the 2020 fiscal.

If you too want to join the increasingly large number of smart long term investors in India, you probably have goals such as financing your childrens’ higher education (and maybe destination weddings). You are planning for a safe and comfortable, maybe even plush, early retirement. You have a ton of destinations on your bucket list and you also want to have finances in place for any and all sorts of contingencies.

If you invest right and for the long term, you can probably actually achieve all of the above. Let us look at five long term investment strategies that work to help you achieve your long term goals.

PPF

Public Provident Fund locks in your money for fifteen years, also giving you a tax benefit during the year of investment. The minimum annual investment amount is Rs 500 and there is no upper limit. If you miss a year, you need to pay a Rs 50 penalty in the following year. The rate of interest on PPF is announced every quarter and at present (until March 31, 2021) stands at 7.1%. Interest on PPFs is compounded annually.

PPF is relatively risk free since it is a government scheme and it certainly works for long-term investors with its 15 year investment horizon and compulsory annual investment. However do keep in mind that fluctuating interest rates mean that you cannot 100% foresee what amount you will get on your investment’s maturity.

PPF is also popular because in addition to tax exemption to the extent of premium paid, the interest earned, maturity amount finally gained are also exempt from tax – well, as of now. Who knows what the scene will be 15 years from now.

ULIP

Unit Linked Insurance Plans give investors insurance cover and the opportunity for growth. You pay a certain annual premium. That premium is divided up – some of it goes towards your insurance cover, some of it goes into mutual funds chosen by you and some of it goes into costs (basically admin charges and fees for managing the money that goes into those funds).

ULIPs are seen as a relatively secure way of dabbling with mutual funds because the regulations have put a cap on the charges and net reduction in yield for the investor.

Alternatively, investors might want to approach life insurance and capital growth as two separate investment headers and that brings us to our next point.

Life Insurance

In this type of investment, you pay usually an annual premium for a certain number of years and should you happen to die during those years, your beneficiaries (so your spouse, your children, dependant parents and so on) get a sum that is pre-guaranteed by the insurance company. This sum is agreed upon at the time of signing on the policy, before you pay your first premium.

Today Life Insurance also offers the option of a critical illness cover (that also gives the policyholder medical insurance should they be very unfortunately struck by any diseases, like Cancer, for example).

Then there are Term Insurance plans where, should you outlive your policy period, you get the sum you paid as premium back. This might be 10 to 15 years long wherein you invest every year. A term insurance plan might also follow a monthly payout. If you plan your investments such that the monthly payouts coincide with the start of your early retirement, and you make enough of investments, your investments can pay out the equivalent of a salary by way of interest.

Mutual Funds

Once you have set yourself up with some guaranteed, sustained returns and sufficient savings, you do have some room to take risks in the pursuit of potentially high returns. Opt for low risk mutual funds that invest more heavily in debt rather than equity, if you are still wary. Debt refers to debentures and government bonds, or in other words, debt refers to stock market investment with minimal risk. Equity refers to stocks. You can check the debt-equity investment ratio of mutual funds before investing. You could also choose to go with ELSS which are typically safer (they invest 65% in debt).

If you are open to higher risk you can opt for other types of mutual fund investments like Fund of Funds and mutual funds that track international stocks. You could even try ETFs which are mutual funds that are traded on the stock market.  You could opt for a variety of large cap, small cap and midcap funds and even look at high performing funds that invest in a larger proportion of equity.

Since you invest in mutual funds by purchasing units and the price of these units (or the NAV) fluctuates constantly, you could go with an SIP (where the same amount is invested every month on the same date in the same fund) to average osut the cost of your investment.

Stocks

For a lot of old-timers, the very idea of investing in the stock market sends shivers down their spines. However, today it is much easier to avoid shady investments because stock market investing has gone online. You don’t need a stock broker because trading platforms like Angel Broking are now app based (which means you have direct access to stocks via your phone, anytime and anywhere). Nobody can mess around with your stocks because you get real time, on the go updates. You can also pre-set to sell before you lose more than X amount and to sell as soon as you hit X profit amount. Technology has transparency and automation possible.

Additionally, a long-term game is usually a safer strategy on the stock market, especially when investing in companies that sell staples and essentials. To play it safe one can also only invest in value stocks, where the price of the stock is currently trading lower than would be justified for its fundamentals. The Stock Market presents a universe of opportunities for you, so don’t make a call just based on this post, do your own research, find out which long term investment source works best for you.

Remember, EveryoneCanInvest irrespective of age, gender and even occupation or earnings. Choose plans that are right for you. Get started with (or get better at) your financial planning with Angel Broking.