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Updated January 2nd, 2024 at 16:11 IST

SIP or lump sum? Know which investment approach is right for you

Novice equity investors often grapple with the choice between Systematic Investment Plans (SIP) and lump sum investments. Here, you can discover which suits you

Leechhvee Roy
Mutual fund investments
Mutual fund investments | Image:Pixabay
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People often grapple with the question of where to best allocate their funds Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) or lump sum investments. Both SIP and lump sum arе invеstment mеthods that catеr to divеrsе financial goals, risk tolеrancеs and invеstmеnt horizons. Experts shed light on the intricacies of SIP and lump sum investments to help investors make informed choices

"For salaried professionals with a monthly income, SIPs are the ideal investment route. However, when you have a lump sum ready for the equity markets, investing it all at once is often the better choice. Keeping money idling in your bank account carries an opportunity cost that can erode your long-term gains," said Aastha Gupta, CEO, Share India FinCap.

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SIP & lump sum explained

Lump sum investing is about committing your entire capital to the market at once. For instance, if you have Rs 1 lakh to invest in the NIFTY 50 index fund, you purchase a proportional number of units, and your investment mirrors the NIFTY 50 index.

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On the flip side, SIP involves making regular, periodic investments. Suppose you aim to invest Rs 25,000 each month in the NIFTY 50 Index Fund for a duration of 10 years. This sum is deducted from your bank account on a monthly basis and is directed into the scheme on a specific date. In return, you receive units equivalent to your monthly investment and the Net Asset Value (NAV) for that particular month. Over time, these units accumulate and appreciate.

Advantages of SIP investments

Rupee cost averaging: SIP spreads investments over time, reducing the average cost of acquisition. This strategy mitigates the impact of market volatility, resulting in more predictable returns.

Discipline in investing: SIP instills financial discipline by automating contributions, ensuring that a portion of one's income is consistently allocated to investments.

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Mitigating market timing risks: SIPs accumulate more units when markets are down, effectively lowering the average purchase price. This approach is particularly effective in managing market volatility.

Flexibility: SIP offers investors the flexibility to adjust investment amounts, pause contributions, or make withdrawals, catering to various financial situations.

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Who should consider SIP investments?

  • Novice investors seeking a straightforward and disciplined approach.
  • Young professionals with limited resources to initiate their investment journey.
  • Long-term investors with financial objectives like retirement planning or education funding.
  • Risk-averse individuals desiring to shield their investments from market turbulence.
  • Those with irregular income streams.
  • Retirees and senior citizens seeking a steady income source.

 

Advantages of lump sum investments

Short-term debt funds: Lump sum investments are well-suited to short-term financial goals, especially in the context of debt mutual funds, where SIP may be less advantageous.

Capitalising on windfalls: Lump sum investments are ideal when individuals come into a substantial sum of money, be it through a windfall, inheritance, or asset sale.

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Seizing market opportunities: Lump sum investments are adept at leveraging market opportunities, particularly in periods of asset undervaluation or market downturns.

When to opt for lump sum investments

Choosing lump sum investments is astute in a rising market. However, when market uncertainties prevail, Systematic Transfer Plans (STP) can offer a solution. STP permits investors to shift funds from one mutual fund to another, potentially outperforming a traditional savings account. By electing short-term debt funds and equity funds within the same fundhouse, investors can navigate market fluctuations effectively.

Choosing between SIP and a lump sum investment hinges on the interplay of factors such as the investment amount, alignment with financial objectives, time horizon, risk tolerance, and the nature of one's investment goals," Gupta added.

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"In essence, it's not an 'either/or' scenario between SIP and lump sum; rather, they can complement each other. The choice hinges on individual financial goals, circumstances, and risk appetite. Irrespective of the chosen approach, commencing investments early remains a cardinal rule to harness the benefits of compounding for long-term gains," said Amit Gupta, MD, SAG Infotech.

Key considerations for mutual fund investment

According to experts mutual fund investment demands a clear definition of your financial goals and a careful evaluation of your risk tolerance.

"Diversify wisely, watch out for low expense ratios, and remember that past performance doesn't guarantee future outcomes. Assess the fund manager's expertise, consider exit fees and taxes, and make sure your investment horizon matches your goals. Stay vigilant by monitoring and adjusting your investments regularly to maintain alignment with your objectives," Amit Gupta added.

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Published November 29th, 2023 at 14:27 IST

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