Mutual funds are not making money.
I have been doing sip for 3 years still my returns are still negative.
It has eaten up my hard earned money, so I do not even want to redeem it. It is really risky to invest in a mutual fund.
This is what my one old friend said when I told him that I am an investment advisor now and I advise on mutual funds and insurance.
I had sympathy for him. There were many like him. Either they were victims of mis-selling or they invested in mutual funds just because their colleagues did that.
So, I asked him, Have you ever invested in liquid funds , if you did not know anything about mutual funds.
He saw me doubtfully, I could see how much he might have suffered due to loss of capital in his SIP.
And he asked, Now, What is liquid fund ?
I told him, a liquid fund is similar to your bank savings. It doesn’t fluctuate more like your equity investment.
Because it doesn’t invest in the stock market at all.
So, where does it invest if not the stock market, doesn’t all mutual funds invest in the stock market ? He asked.
I said, no, it is to invest in the money market. It is a type of debt market where corporations and the government raise money to meet their short term needs.
So, it earns fixed interest. Your bank savings interests work in a similar way.
Then he got more interested about this topic and asked me more about it.
I thought, there are many people like him who don’t know types of mutual funds.
There are many types of mutual funds to cater your particular financial needs like short term savings to long term wealth building.
You should be first clear with your needs and then go for any suitable mutual fund type.
Liquid funds are types of mutual funds that you can use to park your money for a short term like some months.
It is a very useful type of mutual fund which never got a well deserved coverage like equity mutual fund.
So, I thought of writing a detailed post on everything about liquid mutual funds.
After reading this post, I am sure you will be able to understand what is liquid fund. and why you should have it.
What is liquid fund ?
I guess, now you might have some idea about liquid funds.
Let us take it a little further.
It is a type of mutual fund. So, just like any other mutual fund, it is also a pool of money.
But here, money is invested in liquid asset classes.
Now, you might be thinking, what is a liquid asset class?
So the answer is, in finance terms, liquid asset means any asset where it is easiest for you to convert it into cash immediately as per your need.
Now, take some examples to understand it.
You invested your money to buy a home or a land. Now, due to some emergency you need money.
Do you think you will get money immediately by selling your home or a piece of land?
No, you can not. First it takes time to find buyers and after finding buyers, long regulatory requirements you need to follow.
So it takes a lot of time to get cash from it to make it for your emergency.
Now, according to definition, do you think it is a liquid asset ?
It is certainly not !
Now, imagine the same scenario and your money is in your bank account or you did a fixed deposit of your money.
You can withdraw money immediately from your bank savings right.
And fixed deposits you can withdraw with some penalties.
But, you will have cash in your hand faster than selling a property.
Now, again the same question. Is bank savings and FD liquid assets ?
Yes , certainly they are.
Back to our liquid funds. Question may arise
How liquid fund works ?
In Liquid funds, just like in bank savings or in fixed deposits money is invested in some debt instruments for fixed interest rates.
Big corporate houses with good credit ratings and government raises money for the short term by issuing short term papers.
Because the paper’s maturity duration is short, like 14 days. Liquid funds are less risky.
But at the same time, against safety , it gives comparatively low returns.
Any good liquid fund would earn you as similar to bank savings accounts interest rates per annum.
What is the difference between debt fund and liquid fund ?
Well, Liquid fund is one kind of debt mutual fund. But the maturity of papers is short, like 14 days.
While there are many types of debt funds.
It can be a short term debt fund , medium term debt fund or a long term debt fund.
It just depends on the time duration of maturity of papers where money is invested.
In any kind of debt fund, the income source is fixed interest earned on capital.
Longer the duration of the debt fund, more the risk of interest rates fluctuation.
But in long term debt funds you may earn higher interest rates compared to liquid funds.
Because in liquid funds companies with high credit ratings are only allowed to raise money.
High credit ratings means, those companies enjoy raising debts at low interest rates, but surely your money is in the safest hands in the market.
Which is better ? FD or liquid fund ?
Answer is both are best. More important thing is what is your investment duration.
Both instruments have their own pros and cons.
We will discuss it.
Liquid fund is a good instrument, if your goal is just to park money for the short term.
Like you are shortly planning to make a big purchase like a car, a home, or planning to buy some shares or gold.
But, if your purchase is some months away due to any circumstances, then a liquid fund is the best instrument to park your money.
It will earn interest a little bit more than your bank savings. And you can anytime get money in your bank account within a day.
You can withdraw from your liquid fund any time. And there is no exit load on it after 7 days of investment.
You can not do the same with Bank fixed deposits.
Bank fixed deposits will attract a penalty on premature withdrawal.
So, go for fixed deposits if your investment horizon is 1 year or more than that.
One benefit of a fixed deposit is that it provides a capital guarantee of 5 lakh rupees by RBI , in case of default by bank.
While in a liquid fund, there is no such guarantee given.
But yeah, chances of such defaults are rare due to high regulations.
If you are a beginner to mutual funds and not comfortable with volatility, then you can start with a liquid fund.
Park your lump sum in a liquid fund, it will give steady returns.
And later you can move to an equity mutual fund.
How to select liquid fund ?
Before you start picking a mutual fund, always make sure to see how old the fund house is.
Old fund houses like HDFC , Franklin, SBI and Nippon are well experienced in handling liquid funds.
They have long history of good consistent returns as well
Now, we will see some interesting details about liquid funds of selected fund houses. So, here are some liquid funds example
HDFC Liquid fund
Launched in the year 2000, HDFC liquid fund is one of the oldest liquid funds in India. It has approximately 60 thousand crore rupees assets under management in liquid funds.
And this fund has a history of steadily giving good returns in the line of bank savings account’s returns.
This fund is considered good with better stability.
SBI liquid fund
This is another big mutual fund house in India.
SBI mutual fund is the biggest fund house in India in terms of equity assets.
SBI liquid fund has a long history of providing consistent returns.
It was launched in the year 2007 and it has approximately 50 thousand crore rupees assets under management in liquid funds.
Just like HDFC, SBI liquid fund too offers steady annual returns in the line of bank savings accounts.
Go for a liquid fund, if your need is to park money for a short duration. Liquid fund is the best option to park money for some months. But if your goal is to build wealth, then this fund is not for you. Wealth building is possible with equity mutual funds over the long term. Liquid funds can just provide you capital safety which you require in the short run. But along with capital safety, you are also earning some interest over it which may be slightly above the bank savings account.
Now i will answer some frequently asked questions related to liquid funds
Can we do SIP in liquid funds?
Yes, You can. SIP is possible in liquid mutual funds. But it should always be remembered that the purpose of SIP is to achieve financial discipline on a monthly basis. So, it is generally done to build wealth over the long term and rupee cost averaging in the short term. Liquid funds are the safest form of mutual funds. They provide low returns and capital safety.
So, you can not build wealth over the long term with liquid funds. Purpose of a liquid fund is just to park lump sum money for the short term. Or if you are uncomfortable with equity mutual funds, then you can start with liquid funds and later move that amount systematically to equity funds.
Is liquid fund better than RD ?
Liquid fund and RD both offer similar kinds of returns. In RD you invest money on a monthly basis, while in liquid funds you can either SIP or invest lump sum amount. Basic difference here is, in liquid funds you can withdraw your money at any time and you can receive money to your bank account in one working day. While in RD premature withdrawal may attract a penalty. So, choose any of these products as per your time duration of investment.
Which are the best liquid mutual funds to invest in 2021 ?
I would advise to go with old fund houses for investing in liquid funds. Because old fund houses bring long experience and stability in managing liquid funds. Some good liquid funds to invest in 2021 are Nippon liquid fund, SBI liquid fund, Franklin liquid fund and HDFC liquid fund.