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Conservative hybrid funds: What are These and Why Should you Invest in Them?

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Conservative hybrid funds: What are these and why should you invest in them?

Hybrid mutual funds that invest in a mix of debt and equity instruments have become increasingly popular with Indian investors in recent years. Within this category, conservative hybrid funds focusing more on fixed income are ideal for investors with a moderate risk appetite. Let’s understand these funds better.

Balancing risk and return

Conservative hybrid funds typically target an asset allocation of 65-80% in debt and cash instruments while maintaining 20-35% exposure to equities. This allows them to provide less volatile returns than pure equity funds while still generating potentially higher returns than fixed income schemes over the long run.

The debt component helps lower the overall risk level through interest income and capital appreciation of bonds. Whereas equity investments add an opportunity for higher capital gains alongside dividend payouts to enhance returns. Such a balanced portfolio approach creates an optimal risk-return profile suitable for most moderate investors.

Better than bank FDs and savings accounts

In the current interest rate regime, bank fixed deposits and savings accounts offer very low single-digit annual returns that merely help to beat inflation. Conservative hybrid funds present an improved investment outlet for both short-term and long-term financial goals.

While still maintaining high credit quality in debt holdings, the equity allocation has the potential to boost overall returns into the 7-10% range after accounting for taxes. This makes them a smart parking place for surplus capital compared to traditional savings instruments.

Handle market volatility better

Periods of significant stock market volatility can severely impact pure equity schemes with large NAV fluctuations. Conservative hybrid funds are able to manage downside risks better due to their debt allocation constituting over 65% of their portfolio in most cases.

Even during sharp market corrections, the fall in NAV tends to be lower for these funds. And the debt component continues generating regular returns through interest payouts and maturities. This makes them more suitable for investors with low to moderate risk appetites.

Complementary to retirement planning

Conservative hybrid funds address an important need for investors saving and investing for goals like children’s education, retirement, etc. that are 5-10 years or more away.

By choosing schemes focused on high credit quality assets, investors can benefit from both regular income flows as well as capital appreciation potential over the long run. This complements Traditional pension or Provident Fund assets well for enabling a comfortable retirement phase.

Best conservative hybrid fund types

Some top fund categories within the conservative hybrid space for Indian investors to consider include:

  • Aggregate Bond Funds: Focusing on sovereign securities, PSU bonds and AAA rated corporate papers.
  • Conservative Hybrid Funds: Targeting 65-80% allocation to high-grade bonds and cash, with 20-35% in large-cap stocks.
  • Corporate Bond Funds: Investing in AA+ and higher rated corporate debt securities.
  • Banking & PSU Debt Funds: Holding government and public sector bonds to high standards of safety.
  • Low Duration Funds: Maintaining shorter average maturity profiles of 1-3 years for lower interest rate volatility.

Systematic investment best approach

Rather than lump sum investments, following the SIP route in one or two conservative hybrid funds well suits their long-term goals. SIPs promote rupee cost averaging and ensure regular returns through all market phases. This lessens the impact of short-term fluctuations and helps create wealth over 5-10 years.

In summary

Conservative hybrid mutual funds stand out as a balanced investment avenue enabling both income and capital appreciation. By focusing mainly on high credit quality debt assets while maintaining some equity diversification, they offer a great risk-adjusted alternative to bank deposits and pure equity funds. Through proper scheme selection and the SIP discipline, they can greatly aid long-term financial planning and goals.

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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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