Individuals looking to grow their wealth often look for investment opportunities, and monitor them periodically. Over time, these investment instruments may need a revisit, as the financial landscape continues to change at a faster pace.
With stock exchanges rising and falling rapidly, governments and financial institutions launch new schemes or change interest rates that could impact your old investments.
As we sit in the middle of 2018, technology is bringing in new investment options like cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer lending. However, both, as of now, do not have a government approval and are high-risk options. It is safe to avoid them till the markets mature and government comes up with any regulations.
Stocks have been volatile since early this year and real estate still will take some time to gain customer confidence. So, what are the best investment options in 2018?
Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs)
While gold has always been a favourite investment amongst Indians and people who get lured by the appreciation of the prices of the yellow metal can consider the ‘Sovereign Gold Bonds’, which besides the price appreciation can earn you an interest too at the rate of 2.5% per annum. These come with a lock-in period of five years.
In case of an emergency, SGBs can be used as collateral to avail loans. If there’s a pressing financial urgency, you can look for pre-approved offers by Bajaj Finance. These offers are pre-assigned and can be availed in fastest possible time, which not just saves your time, but also helps you tide over the situation.
An endowment policy is a good investment option for people with bad spending habits. Apart from providing insurance cover, an endowment policy will help you save some portion of your income regularly over a specified period. At the time of maturity, you will get a lump sum amount that can be reinvested into some other instruments. However, the term of maturity in endowment policy is higher and demands a long-term commitment from the customers.
Mutual funds (MFs)
Mutual funds are another good investment option to put your money. If are looking for a short-term investment and a safe bet, debt funds could be considered. Equity funds while could get high returns, in the long run, guarantee no returns and are susceptible to market risks. It is prudent to track the performance of your mutual funds from time to time and reinvest into some other schemes or instruments if need be.
Experts will usually advise you against considering insurance products as investment options. However, unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) allow you to have the best of the both — an insurance cover as well as market-linked gains. ULIPs also offer tax benefits u/s 80C of the Income Tax Act at the time of investment. Payouts too — at the time of maturity — are exempt under u/s 10(10D).
Fixed Deposits (FDs)
Fixed deposits or term deposits are a low-risk and very popular investment option in India. They are immune from fluctuating market rates and hence you don’t need to spend hours researching and managing your money in search of better returns.
Flexible tenures, no TDS deduction on interest earned up to 10,000 per annum are some great features of FDs. NBFCS Fixed Deposit is one great option that offers a high-interest rate of up to 8.45%. You can use the online FD Calculator to find out how much you can gain at the time of maturity of the FD.
Another good thing about FDs is that you can avail a loan — up to 75% of the principal — against your FDs during an emergency.