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5 best investment options for women

Pubali Neogy
·5-min read

Investing your hard-earned money can be a daunting task, especially if you are a novice. A quick internet search can overwhelm you with numerous schemes and products and leave you confused.

To help fix your problem, we have listed five safe investment options. Scroll down to learn more:

Fixed deposits

Easily the safest and simplest, you can start here. Fixed deposits offer much higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. They have a lock-in period ranging from 7 days to 10 years. Withdrawing funds before maturity, will result in a certain amount of penalty – usually 0.5 percent to 1 percent – being charged by the bank. Some banks, however, allow premature withdrawals with zero penalty.

All banks and NBFC’s offer FDs and to invest in one, all you need to do is quickly compare the latest interest rates offered by the leading banks and then simply go to the bank’s website and open an FD account.

If you are a senior citizen, you can enjoy a slightly higher rate. There’s also a tax-saver FD covered under section 80C of the Income Tax Act that lets you invest up to Rs.150000 a year and enjoy tax savings. It has a lock-in period of 5 years.

Public provident fund

Backed by the government, it’s the second-best option for you. Returns are guaranteed and the amount invested is also deducted from taxable income of up to Re.1 lakh. But the icing on the cake is tax free returns. Can it get any better?

Annually, you can invest Rs500 to Rs.1.50 lakh. You can either invest the whole amount at one go or in over 12 instalments in a year. This makes it an ideal choice for those without a fixed source of income. The rate of interest on your investment is reset every quarter by the government in line with market rates. The current interest rate is 7.10 percent.

The lock-in period of 15 years is a bit of a dampener but the idea is to let you create a corpus for your retirement. Besides, you can always partially withdraw the funds after completion of 6 years. You can also take out a loan against your PPF account between the 3rd and 5th year.

You can open a PPF account in any Post Office in India and also in public banks and designated private banks.

Mutual funds

Stock markets are notoriously volatile. You bet right, you multiply your money. Yet, sometimes, even your best bet can go wrong wiping out every penny you invested. Overall, it’s a risky proposition and the pandemic has made it even more so.

But that shouldn’t stop you from trying it out. Mutual funds allow you to reap the benefits of the market while avoiding the downsides. They do so by reducing risk through diversification – a process in which your money is invested in various proportions between stocks, bonds and fixed deposits of different companies. When stock prices rise, you make a profit. When the market corrects itself, the bonds and fixed deposits in your portfolio will you get some fixed returns.

Experienced fund managers take care of your money, which means you needn’t have a finger on the pulse of the market. They charge a brokerage fee for it and you also have to pay capital gains tax on your profits.

There are a range of funds available in the market today. Depending upon your risk appetite, you just have to pick one. The stock heavy ones are risky but can almost double your money. The less risky ones are more into bonds and fixed deposits but guarantee you a certain return. There are also purely equity funds and debt funds.

Some funds, such as ELSS (Equity Linked Saving Schemes) allow you to save on tax.

SIPs

Systematic investment funds or SIPs offer an easier way of investing in the markets. A type of mutual fund, it lets you invest a small amount every month – it could be as less Rs.500 though most funds require a minimum of Rs.1000 investment.

This has many advantages. First, you don’t need to have a substantial saving (when you invest in mutual funds, you put in a lump sum at once). A fixed amount is debited from your bank account at regular intervals to be invested in SIPs.

Investment in SIPs is for one year minimum. If you wish to discontinue at any point, you simply need to inform 15 days prior to the payout. Your SIP will be discontinued and you can withdraw the money whenever you want. This flexibility, enables you to stem losses whenever the market is going down.

National pension scheme

Saving for retirement starts from the moment you start earning. Every month you not just set aside a certain amount but also invest it in various schemes to build a corpus for your retirement.

The government-backed national pension scheme, as the name suggests, is meant just for that. It offers various pension solutions and you can choose one to suit your requirement. For instance, you can choose to invest in equity, bonds, government securities and others, depending upon your preference. You can also let your funds be invested automatically in different assets.

Since it’s a pension scheme, the sum matures only when you reach your retirement age of 60. The accumulated interest is tax free. If you choose to withdraw the whole of it, then 40 percent of the maturity proceeds are tax free. If you opt to get it in the form of a pension post maturity, the amount will be taxed like regular income.

More stories on Women & Health and Women & Wealth — Yahoo India's special on International Women's Day 2021, here.

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Women's Day 2021 | Yahoo India

Women's Day 2021 | Yahoo India

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