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Several investors are often apprehensive of investing in the markets given the current market situation. As a result, these investors are often on the lookout of safer investment options that can help them take a defensive position in the market. One such great investment option for such investors can be hybrid mutual funds. Hybrid funds ensure graded exposure to equity as per your risk profile. Different types of hybrid funds aim to cater to varying goals of investors. In this article, we will understand about hybrid funds, their types and why you should invest in hybrid mutual funds.

What is a balanced fund?

Balanced funds, commonly known as hybrid mutual funds are a type of mutual funds that contain both stock and bond component in a predetermined ratio in a single investment portfolio. The stock component in the fund helps the fund to earn higher returns on their portfolio, while the bond component in the fund helps to diminish the risk exposure of the fund.

Types of hybrid funds

There are different types of balanced funds an investor can choose from. Let’s have a look at some of these mutual funds. Balanced advantage funds or BAF is a hybrid fund wherein the fund manager determines the equity allocation in the fund. On the other, aggressive hybrid funds or AHF invest around 65% to 80% of their assets in equities and equity-related instruments. In the next category, equity savings funds have an equity exposure of around 20% to 40% as per the fund’s investment objectives. The remaining corpus in equity savings fund is allocated to debt instruments and hedged equity.

Advantages of balanced mutual funds

There are several benefits of investing in hybrid funds. Let’s look at a few of these advantages enjoyed by hybrid investors:

  1. Investment discipline – Hybrid funds decide their asset allocation to equity and debt instruments as per the investment objectives of the portfolio. As market movements are not uniform, this ratio of asset allocation might get distorted. If the equity markets experience rally, the originally decided ratio might work in the favor of equities.
  2. Flexibility – In all equity-fund categories, with the exception of flexi-cap funds, fund managers are bound to invest in these funds in a specific ratio. For instance, ELSS mutual funds are mandated to invest a minimum of 80% of their assets in equity investments. Multi-cap funds are mandated to invest at least 25% of assets in small-cap, mid-cap, and large-cap funds. Large-cap funds are authorized to invest in the companies of top 100 stocks. However, hybrid funds offer flexibility to investors to determine their asset allocation mix as per their financial objectives, risk profile, and investment horizon.
  3. Tax aspect – The equity component in balanced funds is taxed similar to equity funds and the debt component in hybrid funds are taxed similar to debt funds. If you are still confused about the tax aspect on their investments, you might consider availing of the services of a financial expert.

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