A systematic investment plan i.e., (SIP) is an investment mode through which you can invest in mutual funds. As the term indicates, they are a systematic method of investing fixed amounts of money periodically. Investments can be made either monthly, quarterly or semi-annually etc. When you invest steadily in this manner, it can become easier to meet your financial goals.
How do SIPs work?
When an investor invests through a SIP, they allocate a fixed sum of money in a given period. This amount helps the investors to purchase a certain number of fund units. If this continues for a long time, one gets to invest in the fund during the highs and lows, i.e., investors don’t need to time the market to make their investments. Market timing can be a risky proposition as one can invest at the wrong time. A SIP investment can remove this factor of unpredictability. After deciding on the investment tenure and frequency, investors can choose to automate their investments by giving standing instructions to their banks. While an investor will start small while making the first investment, it does not mean that the invested amount will remain the same until the time of redemption. Sometimes, an investor might opt to increase their contributions to the SIP as their financial state improves. If you are not sure by how much you should increase your investments, listed below are the ways by which you can determine how much you can increase your investments:
- Align the current affordability with your desired financial goals:
Consider this. You aim to accumulate ₹3 crore retirement corpus in the next 30 years. If you were to start investing immediately, you will need to set up a monthly SIP mutual fund investment of ₹13,271 to achieve this assuming that the interest rate is 10%. But you may fall short of affording this amount thanks to several shorter-term responsibilities like high monthly expenses, kids’ education, loan EMIs or SIP payments for shorter-term goals. That’s where the step-up feature comes in. By taking a 10% annual increase in your annual SIPs, you can achieve the target corpus of nearly ₹7,400. It is possible to use a simple reverse SIP calculator (with top-up) to work this out. All you will need to input is the required corpus amount, the number of years, annual top-up percentage and expected rate of return.
- Check your expected income increments and planned expenses:
Most investors can gauge their income increments to some extent. Especially if you are employed, an annual increment is almost a given. If you were to expect an annual increment of 8-10%, would you limit your SIP increments to make it easy for your personal expenses? Mostly not. Most of the times, a rise in income does not result in a commensurate hike in expenses. Most of the fixed expenses tend to remain broadly the same (subject to inflation of course). This means an investor is left with more surplus to divert to their investments and that means they can increase their SIP investments.
Top-ups in a systematic investment plan are like a bonus for investments. Stepping up SIPs can help with things like covering inflation. Therefore, instead of fixing SIPs and forgetting about them, try topping them up each year to compound your investment. Please keep in mind that to reach your financial goals, the key is to be consistent with your SIPs. Even if an unplanned contingency prevents you from topping up in a certain year, you can always make up for that in subsequent years by re-working your calculations.
Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.