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Investment

Investment

Understanding cyclical vs non cyclical stocks?

For enhanced safety, all companies tend to invest in a well-balanced investment. Giving careful thought to individual stocks is one of the strategies they may use to achieve this aim. While there are numerous approaches to choosing which stocks to buy, you as an investor could examine a stock’s fundamental character to differentiate between cyclical and non-cyclical firms.

Cyclical vs non-cyclical stocks

The words cyclical and non-cyclical stock describe how strongly a corporation’s stock value is connected to economic changes. Cyclical stocks are directly affected by the economy, but non-cyclical stocks handily beat the market whenever the financial system sees a decline. Investors cannot influence the nation’s economic cycles, but they can adjust their investment strategies to their peaks and troughs. Adapting to changes in the economy necessitates knowledge of how businesses interact with the market. There are significant disparities between businesses that are impacted by wider economic developments and companies that are completely resistant to them.

Cyclical stocks

Cyclical stocks are much more volatile than non-cyclical stocks because they fluctuate with economic growth. Because of this difference, cyclical stocks are referred to as aggressive stocks, while non-cyclical stocks are referred to as long-term investments.

Non-cyclical stocks

Non-cyclical stocks are typically lucrative irrespective of economic fluctuations since they manufacture or deliver commodities and services that humans constantly require, such as nutrition, electricity, health, and gas. Stocks of firms that manufacture these items/products are sometimes known as marketable securities since they tend to protect investors from the impact of an economic recession.

Risk factors and potential rewards

Cyclical stocks are associated with increased risk and a decent rate in the upward phase. Investing in cyclical stocks may result in large gains if done correctly. Non-cyclical stocks, on the other hand, would also provide lower risks and much more stable profits owing to their structure. Such stocks also assist in minimising waste when in a financial downturn.

Cyclical stock values are tend to be unpredictable since they follow the developments in the rest of the economy. Pricing for cyclical stocks rises as the income increases. Whenever the economy is weak, their stock values fall.

They track the whole economic cycle, from growth to the maximum, crisis to restoration. Cyclical stocks belong to firms that produce or sell products and services which are in limited supply whenever the industry is performing well. Clubs, tour operators, airlines, furnishings, high-end apparel stores, and automotive manufacturers are among them.

Features

Cyclical stocks

Non-cyclical stocks

Performance

Dependent on the economy

Independent of the economy

Beta

Higher than 1

Lower than 1

Volatility

High volatility No volatility
Risk High risk Low risk

The following are the best cyclical stocks in the stock market –

●      Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL)

●      TPI Composites, Inc. (NASDAQ: TPIC)

●      The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TJX)

●      The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS)

●      Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BF-B)

The following are the best non-cyclical stocks in the stock market –

●      The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO)

●      Philip Morris International Inc.

●      PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP): Pepsico globally sells food, snacks, and beverages.

 

Which stocks to invest in the stock market today?

Buying cyclical stocks necessitates an understanding of business movements. By evaluating market patterns, timing, and orientation, you as a savvy investor may balance the advantages of cyclical and non-cyclical stocks in your favour. A well-balanced portfolio should comprise a mix of both kinds of stock investment in your profile, selected depending on a lot of criteria, such as your risk tolerance.

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Investment

6 Reasons to Invest in the US Stock Market

Investments in the Indian stock market have grown amid the pandemic, with active investor accounts growing by a record 10.4 million last year. Many millennials and younger investors took to investing in stocks as the prevalence of stock trading apps, and online portals made it easy. Due to the pandemic-induced financial crisis, many also realized the importance of investing and how it can help them grow their savings and earn a passive income to help them realize their financial goals. However, the Indian stock market does not allow investors to invest in some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Apple and Google. These companies often provide high returns on investments. However, now there are several ways in which Indians can invest in the US stocks market.

Advantages of US Stocks Investments

  • Allows You to Diversify Your Portfolio

Each global economy has its ups and downs. However, they usually don’t register gains or losses at the same time. The US stocks market may experience strong growth when the Indian market is crashing. Thus, investing in more than one economy could help diversify risks and increase the probability of getting good returns on your investments.

  • Allows Global Investment

Companies from across the world are listed on the US stock exchange. So, simply by investing in the US stocks market, you can access companies from China, the UK, and so on.

  • Permits Investments in Different Sectors

The US stocks investments provide you with the opportunity to invest in upcoming companies across various sectors. It is one of the world’s most diversified stock markets, with Technology and Financial stocks making up only 34% of the total market cap. This can help you further diversify your portfolio and reduce investment risks.

  • Invest in the World’s Best-Performing Stocks

US stocks investments will enable you to own stocks of some of the best-performing companies globally, such as Facebook, Apple, Google, Tesla, and Netflix. The stocks of these companies have long been the favorite of global investors and usually provide high returns on investments. The stocks of these companies can often be out of the reach of small investors. However, the US stock market permits owning Fractional Shares. This means if the value of one share of a company is too high for you, you can buy a portion of it. This enables small investors to build an impressive portfolio of US stocks over time.

  • US Dollar Investment

The US dollar is one of the world’s strongest currencies. Thus, investing in dollars is a promising way to build future wealth and fulfill financial goals.

  • Buying US IPO stocks

The US stock market is currently experiencing an IPO boom. Over 279 companies have already gone public this year, while 100 more are set to IPO by the year’s end. This surge in IPOs is expected to continue until 2022, as more money is invested in upcoming startups. Investing in an IPO is often profitable as it enables investors to buy a company’s stock at a much lower price. Most companies’ stocks surge after they go public, thus providing almost instant profits to investors. Investing in the IPOs of high-profile companies like Airbnb and DoorDash has been successful for several investors.

How to Invest in the US Stocks Market?

The RBI’s Liberalized Remittance Scheme allows Indian investors to invest up to $25,0000 (around 1.9 crore rupees) annually in the US stocks market or US ETFs without any special permission. There are several different ways that you can begin US stocks investment. You can do so by opening a brokerage account or an overseas trading account with a domestic broker. Many domestic brokerage firms have tie-ups with US brokers and can act as your intermediaries. Similarly, you can open an overseas trading account with a foreign brokerage firm in India. You can also choose to indirectly invest in the US stocks market through exchange-traded funds or mutual funds that invest in the shares of US-listed companies. There are several US stocks apps and online trading portals available in India as well. These US stocks apps are easy to use and also allow you to invest small amounts.

How are US Stocks Investments Taxed

It should be noted that a flat 25% tax is applicable on your US stocks investments, which will be deducted directly by the country. However, due to the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and the US, investors can offset the tax already paid in the US.

Conclusion

With a GDP of $20.81 trillion in 2020, the US is currently the World’s second strongest economy, behind only China. The US stocks market is also one of the largest and most liquid stock markets in the world. Investing in US stocks can, thus, prove to be very beneficial and provide higher returns than investments made in Indian equities. Due to several online trading platforms, investing in US companies and stocks, in general, has also become much simpler. The concept of fractional ownership of stocks and the prevalence of US stocks app have also made such investments affordable and accessible to all. Therefore, intelligent investments in the US stock market can help you compound your wealth passively. However, such investments often carry high risks as well, especially for first-time investors.

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Investment

Hauser Insurance Gives Back to Community with Support of Talbert House

Hauser Insurance Group recently continued its philanthropic commitment to the Cincinnati community with its participation in the Fatherhood @ FC Cincinnati event.

The event served as a fundraiser for the Talbert House, a local charitable organization, and its Fatherhood Project, which helps men become more responsible, nurturing, and committed fathers.

Hauser Insurance was a Mentor Sponsor for the event, continuing a role it had played for the past several years. It’s all part of the company’s goal to support organizations that provide services designed to improve the quality of life for Cincinnati residents.

The August 2021 event was coordinated by the Hatton Foundation and served as the Talbert House’s annual fundraiser.

Attendees were able to enjoy an insiders’ look at the new TQL Stadium, which serves as the home for the MLS FC Cincinnati franchise. Guests were able to enjoy a three-hour event that featured a peek inside the normally off-limits team locker rooms and clubrooms.

Families could also enjoy refreshments, balloon artists, magicians, and games. Soccer-themed fun included dribbling course and penalty kicks.

There were also door prizes and fundraising raffles.

Helping to Build Stronger Families

Initially opened as a halfway house in 1965, Talbert House is named in honor of the late Ernest Talbert, a University of Cincinnati sociology professor.

While initially focusing on homeless men, today Talbert House services adults, children, and families. In 2020, the organization helped support 21,000 people in person and another 96,000 people via its prevention services and hotline.

A Commitment to Community

Hauser Insurance Group has long been committed to corporate philanthropy. Its charitable contributions also allow employees to volunteer in their communities.

Given that many local nonprofit organizations run on razor-thin budgets, Hauser Insurance believes in giving back in order to provide those agencies with operating capital to develop and expand offerings that support those in need.

As a nationally known insurance agency, Hauser has been providing customized insurance solutions and risk management services since its founding in 1971. Today, its customer base includes public companies, small businesses, family-owned firms, multinational corporations, and special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

Hauser Insurance has specialized expertise in helping private equity firms with advisory services, due diligence, risk management, and insurance products, both for the firms themselves and business acquisition targets.

Its risk advisory experts have years of experience and its brokerage area includes professionals with expertise in private equity transactions.

Its 2021 client base includes 70 private equity companies in 44 states. In 2020, the company assisted in nearly 200 private equity transactions.

Its due diligence services complement its ongoing risk management and insurance solutions. Hauser Insurance is able to provide transactional support, employee benefits services, and insurance brokerage all in one shop, led by a partner who understands the complexities of private equity.

Hauser Insurance provides risk management, due diligence, and insurance services to clients nationwide with full-service operations in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York City with additional offices in Kansas City, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.

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Investment

The Benefits of Investing in Your Twenties

Many young individuals appear to prefer deferring investment decisions until their financial situation becomes more stable, at least theoretically. Even with college debt and poor earnings, twenty-somethings are in a great position to enter the investment industry.

  • Time

While money may be scarce, young folks do have one advantage: time. There’s a reason Albert Einstein dubbed compounding, or the ability to expand investment by reinvesting returns, the “eighth wonder of the world.” Compounding allows investors to build wealth over time with only two requirements: the reinvestment of earnings and patience.

By the time the investor was 60, a $10,000 investment made at 20 had grown to almost $70,000. (based on a 5 percent interest rate). By the time you’re 60, a $10,000 investment made when you’re 30 would have yielded around $43,000, but a $10,000 investment made when you’re 40 will only get $26,000. Money can generate more wealth the longer it gets put to work.

  • Take further risk

The age of investment affects the risk that it can bear. Young people may afford to take more risk in investing activities with years of earnings ahead of them. While retired persons often gravitate to low-risk or risk-free assets, including bonds and deposit certificates (CDs), young adults can develop more aggressive portfolios that are more vulnerable and able to generate good profit.

  • By doing, you will learn.

Young investors have the freedom and time to learn from their triumphs and errors while studying an investment. Young folks have an edge since they have years to go through the markets. They develop their investing methods, as investing has a long learning curve. Younger investors can overcome investment blunders because they have the time to recover, just as they can tolerate more risk. Gurbaksh Chahal suggests the best options.

  • Technologically savvy

The younger generation is technologically literate, studying, researching, and implementing internet investing tools and approaches. Online trading platforms, chat rooms, financial and educational websites give chances for fundamental and technical research. Technology, such as online possibilities, social media, and applications, can help a young investor expand his knowledge, experience, confidence, and expertise.

  • Human Resources are a valuable resource.

Human capital can be thought of as the current value of all future incomes from the standpoint of an individual. Because the ability to earn a living is a prerequisite for investing and saving for retirement, investing in oneself—by gaining a degree, receiving on-the-job training, or learning advanced skills—is a worthwhile investment with a high return. Young adults frequently have a plethora of possibilities to improve their ability to earn good future salaries. According to Gurbaksh Chahal, taking advantage of these opportunities might be regarded as one of many types of investment.

Making well-planned investments isn’t just about saving for retirement. Many deposits, such as dividend stocks, can provide a steady source of income for the duration of the investment. Time, the ability to weather more risk, and the potential to boost future wages are advantages that twenty-somethings have over those who wait to start investing. Even if you have to start small, it is in your best interest to get started as soon as possible!

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Investment

The best place to sell a diamond ring

The diamond ring is a precious gift associated with wealth and luxury. They are expensive jewelry that is commonly used as a sign of engagement. They come in different styles like for instance: the halo style and the solitaire. Finding a place to sell a diamond ring can be difficult and also emotionally challenging. Various reasons can make one sell their diamond ring. Some of the issues include divorce issues or even debt. The best place to sell diamond rings is online.

The following tips will help you find the best diamond buyer online

  1. Be keen to ensure the buyer’s policy entails the estimated price. You can compare the buyers to find the best one for you. Many companies offer exaggerated estimates for marketing only.
  2. Search for the companies with incredible ratings. Get to know the reviews when choosing of selling the diamond ring to them.
  3. Confirm if the company is certified and uses the necessary equipment certified by your country or state.
  4. Know the key determining factors of your diamond ring. These factors include the 4 cs, namely cut, clarity, carat, and color. Cut refers to the shape of the diamond ring. The cut from the original gemstone will determine how light reflects from the ring. The cut is normally graded from excellent t poor. Clarity will be determined using a 10x magnifying lens. Clarity will be graded from I to IF. I am in the poorest grade while IF is the best grade. Carat will be determined by measuring both the height and the weight of the diamond ring. Diamonds ring can range from colorless to heavy color. The colorless ones are the most expensive as compared to the heavily colored ones. You can easily confirm the color of your diamond ring by holding it against a white piece of paper.

The best way to confirm if you are getting the best price for your diamond ring is to be knowledgeable about the value of your ring before selling it. Have a research about your diamond ring and have an idea about how much it is worth. Once you set the realistic price, you will be able to sell the diamond ring with a lot of confidence.

Advantages of selling a diamond ring online

1.     Cost-saving

You can easily sell the diamond ring from the comfort of your home without incurring unnecessary travel expenses. You do not need to go to the jewelry stores or pawn stores to get an estimate. All you need to do is to ship the diamond ring and wait for any offers to come.

2.     Easy comparisons

You can compare different online potential buyers using your web browser. You do not go to the jewelry stores to make the comparison.  This will make you make as many comparisons as possible.

3.     Up-to-date pricing

The online option provides easy access to updated diamond pricing information. This makes it possible to undertake any necessary adjustments. You can decide to increase the price based on the update on pricing.

Final words

In conclusion, the best place to sell diamond rings is online. The above article clearly illustrates the advantages and some tips to adopt when selling online. Selling via the online option is safe as compared to selling to jewelry stores.

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Investment

Stock market terms for novice investors

A stock market is a regulated place where investors can buy and sell shares or stocks, where demand and supply forces dictate their prices. The shares traded are from public companies. By purchasing shares of such publicly traded companies, an investor receives a percentage interest in those companies.

If a June 2021 report by Livemint, a financial daily, is any indication, investing in stock market has become a popular option among many individual investors. If you are looking to start investing in the stock market today, here are some common stock market jargon –

  • Bull market

The bull market signifies a period of sustained increases or the expectation of continuous increases over an extended period. Essentially, it indicates a good or strong economy.

  • Bear market

It is the opposite of a bull market. This market sees the prices of stocks constantly fall or expected to continue falling over longer periods. Conversely, investors tend to sell their shares as they expect the price to fall.

  • Initial Public Offering (IPO)

When any private corporation first offers its shares for sale on a stock exchange, it is referred to as an IPO. The purpose is usually to raise money from the public.

  • Order

An order enables buyers and sellers to trade stocks at a price they want – be it a market order, which is traded immediately at the current market price, or a limit order, which is done to trade at a specific price.

  • Ask price

It is the minimum price an investor will sell the share for.

  • Bid price

This is the maximum price a buyer will pay for a share.

  • Bid ask spread

A spread is the difference between the buy and sell prices. The lower the spread, the better the share’s liquidity.

  • Dividends

This is a portion of profits paid by a company to its investors. Any amount not distributed is re-invested in the business.

  • Trading volume

Trading volume means the number of shares that are traded on a stock exchange on a particular day.

  • Broker/Agent

An agent/broker is a person who, in exchange for a fee, buys and sells stocks on behalf of investors.

  • Intraday trading

Intraday trading entails the purchase and sale of stocks within a single trading day.

Getting started on your investment journey

Now that you understand the basic stock market terms, you can begin investing in the stock market. However, you need to have a demat account to deal in shares and a sound investment strategy to take advantage of prevailing market conditions. While you are it, it is also prudent to explore your stock market investment options with the help of a financial advisor. This will help you grow your wealth based on your appetite for risk.

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Investment

What You Need To Know Before You Sell Your Diamond

Perhaps you are having some old family jewelry that you don’t know what to do with, or they are gifts from your ex-partners, and you don’t want them anymore. The best thing would be to sell them to a reputable vendor. You can get a significant amount of money that you can use for something important.

However, selling diamonds can be quite an overwhelming task, especially if you have never done it before. You might end up getting scammed or get a lesser amount of money. So to make the task of selling your diamonds pretty simple and straightforward, we give you some of the essential things you need to know before selling your diamonds. Let’s get started!

  1. Know the value of what you got

First things first- before you look for a seller for your diamonds, you need to determine their worth. Diamond’s value is determined by 4Cs: cut, color, carat, and clarity.

  • Cut

The cut of the diamond is the first thing that a jewelry buyer will look at when determining its value. The cut of the diamond determines the shape and size of the diamond. The more unique and complicated a diamond’s cut is, the more expensive it will be.

  • Clarity

It refers to a diamond with no flaws. A diamond with few flaws has a higher value because it still has its natural characteristics intact. So if your diamond has no or few flaws, you are more likely to sell it at a higher price.

  • Color

Diamonds come in different colors, including white, yellow, pink, blue, and red. You need to know which colors are most valuable and ones that are less valuable. White diamonds are usually more valuable compared to diamonds tinted with other shades.

  • Carat

Carat basically indicates the size of the diamond. Many people think that the larger the diamond, the more valuable it is. However, this may not be true. Depending on the factors mentioned above, a smaller diamond can be more valuable than a larger diamond if it has better cut, clarity, and color.

  1. Figure out your selling options

When you want to sell diamonds, you have two options: sell it to the public or to a jewelry shop. Choosing a buyer doesn’t necessarily mean getting the best price; it depends on how quickly you want to settle the deal, how much you trust the buyer, and your negotiation and marketing skills. If you want to sell safely and quickly, you should opt for a jeweler, pawnbroker, or diamond dealer. You can also opt to give your diamond to a consignment shop or dealer to sell for you.

  1. Set a realistic price

If you want to sell your diamond as soon as you can, you need to set a realistic price. This can also help avoid any disappointment with the sale. The best way to determine price is by first asking how much the stone could be worth in a specific market and circumstances. You can also research yourself on sites that sell diamond and look for the prices of diamonds with similar characteristics as yours.

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Investment

DEBT MUTUAL FUNDS VS FIXED DEPOSITS- WHAT MAKES FOR A BETTER CHOICE?

Though Fixed deposits (FDs) are considered as traditional investment options, they still find a place in most Indian households. As per the reports of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released on June 2020, around 53% of average Indian household’s financial assets are dedicated towards fixed deposits as on March 2020. Though mutual funds are also seemingly popular among retail investors, these investment options raise to popularity in the recent decades. As per the date released by AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds in India), the AUM (asset under management) of mutual funds in India have grown at CAGR (compounded annual growth returns) of around 17% in the last twenty years. So, which of the above two investment options make for a better choice? Let’s understand and explore in this article.

What is a mutual fund?

Mutual funds are financial vehicles that are professionally managed by mutual fund experts known as fund managers. A fund house or an AMC (asset management company) pools the funds of several investors and invest in different securities basis the investment objective of the fund. Examples of such securities include cash and cash equivalents, stocks, money market instruments, bonds, etc. These fund managers have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the markets. You can invest in mutual funds either via a systematic and regular mode of investment – SIP (systematic investment plan) or lumpsum mode of investment.

What is a fixed deposit?

Fixed deposits are financial instruments provided by financial intermediaries such as NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Company) or banks that offers investors with a fixed rate of interests for a fixed duration. The government of India predetermines this interest rate every year. Hence, these are relatively safer investment options than mutual fund investments. In return, investors are not allowed to redeem the schemes before the maturity of the term. Unlike mutual fund investments, you cannot make an SIP investment in fixed deposits. You need to make a lumpsum investment to invest in fixed deposit schemes.

Mutual funds vs fixed deposit

Let’s understand the differences between fixed deposits and mutual funds by referring to the following table:

Parameter Fixed deposits Mutual funds
Interest rates Fixed Vary as they are market-linked
Investment objective To preserve wealth To generate wealth
Market conditions Returns are not dependent on market conditions Market conditions play a significant role to calculate mutual funds returns
Risk Relatively lower risk as returns are predetermined and fixed Relatively higher risk
Expenses FDs do not levy any additional costs to investors Mutual funds levy certain charges and fees
Tax Dependent of the investor’s income tax slab Tax on mutual funds are dependent on the type of mutual funds invested in and the holding period of the investment
Lock-in period 5 years Except ELSS funds that have a lock-in period of 3 years, mutual funds do not have lock-in period
Mode of investment Only lumpsum investment Either SIP (systematic investment plan) or lumpsum investment

Where should I invest?

The decision to invest in mutual funds or fixed deposit lies with an investor. You must check your financial objectives, investment duration, and risk profile before deciding the right investment option for you. That being said, if you’re looking to generate wealth, you are better off with mutual funds as they have the potential to generate significant returns when invested for a prolonged duration. Happy investing!

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Investment

Do ETF schemes offer better returns than other mutual funds?

As hard working individuals we like to believe that all this hard work will help us fetch some monetary gains in the future. However, the money we earn overtime, if we do not invest it appropriately then we might be able to improve our existing financial status. There are plenty of investment products out there available for investors, but the main problem lies in making an informed investment decision. People invest without having any clear perspective. This leaves them in a position where they do not know how and where to adequately invest.

If you carry some risk appetite and do not mind investing in market linked schemes to earn capital appreciation, you can consider investing in mutual funds. However, the problem that new investors face is they are confused about the several mutual fund categories and subcategories out there. Every mutual fund scheme carries a unique investment objective and asset allocation strategy yet finding the right scheme that suits your income needs can be exhausting.

Mutual funds and exchange traded funds are both favored by investors who have different investment needs. To understand the difference between these two we need to first understand them.

What is a mutual fund?

A mutual fund is a pool of professionally managed funds where the Asset Management Company pools financial resources from investors having a common investment objective and invests the capital raised across multiple asset classes and money market instruments. Mutual funds have an underlying portfolio of securities and the performance of a mutual fund scheme depends on the performance of these underlying assets and all the sectors / industries / commodities in which it invests.

What is an exchange traded fund?

Mutual funds are broadly categorized as actively managed funds and passively managed funds. Actively managed funds offer active risk management where the fund manager is constantly engaged in buy and selling securities to earn and profit from it. On the other hand, passive funds like exchange traded funds have fund managers but their role in running the fund is limited. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are designed in such a way that they try to replicate the performance of their underlying benchmark with minimal tracking error.

Mutual funds v/s ETFs

Parameter Mutual funds Exchange Traded Funds
Flexibility Mutual fund units can be brought and sold by investors by placing a request to the AMC Exchange traded funds can be bought and sold at their live NAV at the stock exchange pretty much like any other stock
Expense ratio Since mutual funds are actively managed funds, they have a high expense ratio Since there is very little participation of the fund manager who is involved in evaluating and reshuffling the portfolio, ETFs carry a low expense ratio
Commission There are no commission involved when buying and selling mutual fund units Since ETF units are traded live at the exchange behind each transaction there is a commission fee involved
Demat account One doesn’t need a demat account to buy or sell their mutual fund units One cannot trade with ETF units unless they set up a demat account
Lock-in period Except ELSS that has a 3 year lock-in period, mutual funds do not have any lock-in period ETFs do not have any lock-in period

It is really hard to determine whether which out of the two offer better returns. However, mutual funds like equity funds have known to offer risk adjusted returns over the long term. Investors who are good with trading may be able to buy and sell ETF units during live trading hours and generate capital appreciation. However, there is a high risk involved with both mutual funds and ETFs and retail investors must seek professional help if necessary.

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Investment

Who offers better returns? Direct stock investment or mutual funds?

The way Indian investors save is changing day after day. The trend now is slowly shifting with more and more opting out of traditional fixed income schemes like Bank fixed deposits, Public Provident Fund, Post Office Savings Scheme, etc. Although this is good in a way considering the low interest rates on offer (5% to 7%), retail investors are having a tough time determining whether they should switch to direct stock investment or mutual funds.

The primary reason why it makes sense to invest in mutual funds and stocks is because they have the potential to offer inflation-beating returns. But investors are often confused in deciding which investment avenue to choose between the two. Both mutual funds and direct stocks carry a high investment risk and investors are expected to determine their appetite for risk before making an investment decision.

What is a mutual fund?

A mutual fund is an investment product that pool financial resources from investors and invests the capital raised to achieve a common investment objective. A mutual fund invests in a diversified portfolio of securities across asset classes and money market instruments. The performance of a mutual fund scheme is highly related to the performance of all its underlying securities.

What is direct stock investment?

A direct stock investment takes place when an investor buys shares of a publicly listed company during live trading hours at the stock exchange. When an investor purchase shares of a company, he becomes the shareholder of the company.

Understanding the major differences between stocks and mutual funds

If you are new to investing, it is important to understand that direct stock investment is much riskier than mutual fund investment. Mutual funds invest across asset classes and fixed income securities and have a diversified underlying portfolio. This is not the case with direct stock investment because when you buy shares of a particular company you are only investing in that particular stock. Investing in stocks require extensive research whereas even a novice can invest in mutual funds and give themselves a chance to earn capital appreciation. Mutual funds offer active risk management as they have designated fund managers who are responsible for trading securities daily to help the scheme achieve its investment objective. With direct stock investment, investors are solely responsible for maintaining the hygiene of their portfolio and have to trade their shares to earn profit. However, mutual fund houses do not offer active risk management at free of cost. Investors have to pay annual management fee in the form of expense ratio which is levied on every mutual fund scheme.

Who offers better returns? Mutual funds or direct stock investment?

Mutual funds have the potential to offer far better risk adjusted returns as compared to stocks. That is because one single unit of a mutual fund scheme is a combination of multiple stocks. So, even if one asset class or underlying stock of a mutual fund fumbles, investments made in the other asset classes even out the losses. When it comes to direct stock investment, if the company whose stock you bought fumbles, the value of your shares will go down as well. Stocks are highly sensitive to market vagaries which is why a slight change in the market has a direct impact on its performance.

To earn long term capital appreciation, it is essential to diversify your investment portfolio. Stocks do not diversification whereas mutual funds do. Mutual funds offer active risk management, stock investment does not. With stocks, investors have control over their investment but with mutual funds investors can only buy units as the fund managers decide which stocks to buy or sell.

Before investing your hard earned money in either of the investment avenues, please understand your investment objective and invest according to your goals.

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