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Investment Basics
Investment Basics
 

1. How is investing different from savings?

Saving is putting aside a part of your earnings for future use. It is usually done by keeping your money in extremely safe and liquid avenues like a bank savings accounts, FDs, PPFs, etc.

This way, your money is safe and even fetches a nominal interest rate of 6-9%. However, the inflation rate, which in reality is well over 10%, keeps eating into your purchasing power over a period of time.

To stay ahead of the inflation, you need options that provide an interest rate of at least 12-15%. This is where investments come into the picture. Investments could be in anything ranging from a small business to rare antiques to gold coins, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estates, etc. It is the process of putting your money in assets which will generate relatively higher returns over time, making you wealthier with each passing year .

2. Why is investing a smart idea?

One of the best ways to secure your future – besides a healthy diet – is a healthy bank balance.
And generally, there are two ways of making money: one by working for it, and the other by making your money work for you. Investments are for those who prefer the latter.

When you invest, your money is planted in areas where it can really grow and flourish. In which case, your robust financial health beats inflation hands down. This is where investments have an upper hand over money kept in a ‘savings’ account.

With clever investments, you'll have a lot more money for things like retirement, education, recreation – or you could pass on your riches to the next generation so that you become your family's most cherished ancestor!

So come to think of it, in today’s world investing isn’t just smart – it’s an essential.

3. How can I manage my finances?

When it comes to managing finance and investment planning, you need to be sure about your financial goals. It could be buying a second home, financing a wedding, funding your child’s education, ensuring a regular income post retirement and so forth.

For each goal, you need to consider:

  • Your risk appetite
  • Your time frame

So if you have more time to reach your goals, you can afford to take more risks with equities that have the potential for higher growth. Plus, you can also ride out short term market volatility. And more time gives your money the power of compounding too. Which means, you actually need to save less to reach your goal.

4. What are the different investment options?

Bonds (Debt)
A bond is a financial asset issued by governments, companies, banks, public utilities and other large entities which can come under fixed-income securities.

When a bond is purchased, your money is lent out to a company or government. In return, they agree to give you an interest on your money and eventually pay you back the amount you lent out. Bonds in a way are quite safe and stable but they come at a cost. Because there is little risk, the returns are also limited.

Stocks (Equity)

Stock is a security issued in the form of shares that represent an ownership interests in a company. The owners of the company’s stock are called stockholders or shareholders and they receive profit or loss of the company as per the percentage of stock they own. The benefit of owning a stock is that you profit as the company profits. However, stocks are volatile as they fluctuate in value on a daily basis and the returns aren't guaranteed. But the upside is that equities have relatively higher potential returns when compared to bonds.

Mutual funds

Quite simply, a mutual fund is a mediator that brings together a group of people and invests their money in stocks, bonds, and other securities. Each investor owns shares, which represent a portion of the holdings of the fund. Thus, investment in mutual funds is one of the most viable investment options for the common man as it offers an opportunity to invest in a diversified, professionally managed basket of securities at a relatively low cost.

Alternative investments: Options, Futures, FOREX, Gold, Real Estate, Etc.

Besides debt and equity, there are alternative investment instruments which are generally high-risk but high-return options which need expertise before going any further. For a novice, these are the territories best left unchartered.

5. What are money markets and money market instruments?

Money Market is a part of financial market where instruments with high liquidity and very short term maturities are traded. Due to highly liquid nature of securities and their short term maturities, money market is treated as a safe place.

Investment in money market is done through money market instruments. Money market instruments meet short term requirements of the borrowers and provides liquidity to the lenders. Common Money Market Instruments are Treasury Bills (T-Bills), Repurchase Agreements, Commercial Papers, Certificate of Deposit, Banker’s Acceptance, etc.

6. How do I invest with a limited amount?

For regular investment,

most mutual fund schemes have a Systematic Investment Plan.You can start with a modest amount of Rs. 250/- every month/quarter and this can be invested in any scheme of your choice as most mutual funds have this facility for their schemes.

7. What are debt markets and debt market instruments?

The debt market is the market where fixed income securities of various types and features are issued and traded.

Debt markets are therefore, markets for fixed income securities issued by Central and State Governments, Municipal Corporations, government bodies and commercial entities like Financial Institutions, Banks, Public Sector Units, Public Ltd. companies and also structured finance instruments.

Debt instruments are a way for markets and participants to easily transfer the ownership of debt obligations from one party to another. Typically those instruments that have a maturity of more than a year are called debt market instruments. Some of the  common types include mortgages, loans, bonds, leases and notes.

8. What is the difference between bonds and debentures?

Both bonds and debentures are instruments available to a company to raise money from the public. However, there are a few stark differences between the two.

Bonds are more secure than debentures, but the rate of interest is lower. In bankruptcy, bondholders are paid first, but liability towards debenture holders is less. Also, those with debentures get periodical interest while bond holders receive accrued payment upon completion of the terms.

9. What affects the bond prices?

There are three key factors that affect bond prices:

  • Interest rates: The price of a debenture is inversely proportional to changes in interest rates that is in turn dependent on various factors. When the interest rates go down, the existing bonds will become more valuable and the prices will move up until the yields become the same as the new bonds issued during the lower interest rate scenario.
  • Credit quality: When the credit quality of the issuer deteriorates, market expects higher interest from the company and the price of the bond falls, and vice versa.
  • Maturity period: A longer maturity instrument will rise or fall more than a shorter maturity instrument.

10. What affects the interest rates?

The factors are largely macro-economic in nature:

  • Demand/supply of money: When economic growth is high, demand for money increases, pushing the interest rates up and vice versa.
  • Government borrowing and fiscal deficit: Since the government is the biggest borrower in the debt market, the level of borrowing also determines the interest rates. On the other hand, supply of money is done by the Central Bank by either printing more notes or through its Open Market Operations (OMO).
  • RBI: RBI can change the key rates (CRR, SLR and bank rates) depending on the state of the economy or to combat inflation. RBI fixes the bank rate which forms the basis of the structure of interest rates and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR), which determines the availability of credit and the level of money supply in the economy. (CRR is the percentage of its total deposits a bank has to keep with RBI in cash or near cash assets and SLR is the percentage of its total deposits a bank has to keep in approved securities. The purpose of CRR and SLR is to keep a bank liquid at any point of time. When banks have to keep low CRR or SLR, it increases the money available for credit in the system. This eases the pressure on interest rates and interest rates move down. Also when money is available and that too at lower interest rates, it is given on credit to the industrial sector that pushes the economic growth)
  • Inflation rate: Typically a higher inflation rate means higher interest rates. The interest rates prevailing in an economy at any point of time are nominal interest rates, i.e., real interest rates plus a premium for expected inflation. Due to inflation, there is a decrease in purchasing power of every rupee earned on account of interest in the future; therefore the interest rates must include a premium for expected inflation. In the long run, other things being equal, interest rates rise one for one with rise in inflation.

11. What is yield curve?

The relationship between time and yield on securities is called the Yield Curve. The relationship represents the time value of money - showing that people would demand a positive rate of return on the money they are willing to invest today for a payback into the future.

12. What is yield to maturity (YTM)?

It is the annualised return an investor would get by holding a fixed income instrument until maturity. It is the composite rate of return of all payouts and coupon.

13. What is average maturity period?

It is a weighted average of the maturities of all the instruments in a portfolio.

14. What is a Credit Rating?

Credit Rating is a process conducted by a rating organisation to evaluate the credit worthiness of the issuer with respect to the instrument being issued or a general ability to pay back debt over the specified period of time.

The rating is given as an alphanumeric code that represents a graded structure or creditworthiness. Typically the highest credit rating is that of AAA and the lowest being D (for default). Within the same alphabet class, the rating agency might have different grades like A, AA and AAA and within the same grade AA+, AA- where the "+" denotes better than AA and "-" indicates the opposite. For short term instruments of less than a year maturity, the rating symbol would be typically "P" (varies depending on the rating agency).

In India, there are four rating agencies -

  • CRISIL
  • ICRA
  • CARE
  • Fitch

15. What is "SO" in a rating? [AAA (SO)]

Sometimes, debt instruments are so structured that in case the issuer is unable to meet repayment obligations, another entity steps in to fulfill these obligations. A bond supported by the guarantee of the Government of India may be rated AAA (SO) with the SO standing for structured obligation.

16. What is the power of compounding?

Returns on investments exhibit the effect of compounding. It means that the returns earned on the investment in the first year, gets added to the amount in subsequent years and fetches its own returns.

Thus, if you invest Rs. 1 crore today in equity at 15%, the corpus would grow to Rs. 4 crore in 10 years time. In contrast, in a fixed deposit at 7%, the corpus would only be Rs. 2 crore in 10 years time.

17. What are equity assets?

Corporates can raise money in two ways – by either borrowing (debt instruments) or issuing stocks (equity instruments) which signify ownership and a share of residual profits. The equity instruments are typically of two types – common stock and preferred stocks.

  • Common stock (or a share): It stands for an ownership position and provides voting rights.
  • Preferred stock: It has features of both common stock and bonds and hence a "hybrid" instrument. Preferred stock holders get paid dividends which are stated in either percentage-of-par (the value at which the stock is issued) or in rupee terms. If the preferred stock had a Rs.100 par value, then a Rs.6 preferred stock would mean that a Rs. 6 per share per annum in dividends will be paid out. This fixed dividend gives a bond-like characteristic to the preferred stock.

18. How does an investor in equities make money?

Dividend and capital gains are the two ways in which investors get returns on their investments. Dividend gains depend on earning levels of the particular company and the decision of its management.

18. How does an investor in equities make money?

Dividend and capital gains are the two ways in which investors get returns on their investments. Dividend gains depend on earning levels of the particular company and the decision of its management.

Capital gains occur when the market price of the shares rises above the level at which the investment was made. If you invested Rs.10,000 by buying 100 shares of X company at a price of Rs.50 and sold all the 100 shares later at a price of Rs.100, you would have made a capital gain of Rs.5000.

Sale value of Shares (Rs.100 x 100) Rs.10,000
Value of original investment (Rs.50 x 100) Rs. 5,000
Capital gain Rs. 5,000

19. What are main approaches used for analyzing stocks and forecasting future movements?

The behavior of the price movement of a stock is said to predict its future movement. One such approach is called technical analysis and is based on the past movements of the individual stocks as well as the indices.

Here the idea is plotting the price movements over time to discern certain patterns which can assist in predicting the future price movements of the stocks. On the other hand there is "fundamental analysis", where the forecasting is done on the basis of economic, industry and company data. Technical analysis is used more as a supplement to fundamental analysis rather than in isolation.

20. What are equity markets?

These are markets for financial assets that have long or indefinite maturity i.e, stocks. Generally such markets have two segments – primary and secondary markets. New issues are made in the primary market and outstanding issues are traded in the secondary market (i.e., the various stock exchanges).

21. As a new investor, what documents would I need in order to start investing in a mutual fund scheme?

Once you’ve decided which scheme you want to invest in, all you need to do is fill up a few forms and drop it at the nearest IDFC AMC. Click here to find out the required documents below.

22. What would be the applicable NAV for purchases/subscription (including switch in)?

Liquid schemes - IDFC Cash Fund

i) In respect of valid application received upto 2.00 p.m on a day at the official point(s) of acceptance and funds for the entire amount of subscription/purchase a per the application are credited to the bank account of the respective Liquid Scheme/Plans before the cut-off time i.e available for utilization before the cut-off time- the closing NAV of the day immediately preceding the day of receipt of application shall be applicable.

ii) In respect of valid application received after 2.00 p.m on a day at the official point(s) of acceptance and funds for the entire amount of subscription/purchase a per the application are credited to the bank account of the respective Liquid Scheme/Plans on the same day i.e available for utilization on the same day- the closing NAV of the day immediately preceding the next business day shall be applicable and

iii) Irrespective of the time of receipt of application at the official point(s) of acceptance, where the funds for the entire amount of subscription/purchase as per the application are not credited to the bank account of the respective Liquid Scheme/Plans before the cut-off time i.e not available before the cut-off time- the closing NAV of the day immediately preceding the day on which the funds are available for utilization shall be applicable.

Additional Provision for Switch-in to Liquid Scheme from other schemes of IDFC MF

i) Application for switch-in is received before the applicable cut-off time. (3.00 p.m)

ii) Funds for the entire amount of subscription/purchase as per the switch-in request are credited to the bank account of the respective switch-in liquid schemes before the cut-off time. (3.00 p.m)

iii) The funds are available for utilization before the cut-off time, (3.00 p.m) by the respective switch-in schemes.

Non liquid schemes (Other than Liquid Schemes/Plans) i.e. IDFC Money Manager Fund - Treasury Plan, IDFC Money Manager Fund- Investment Plan, IDFC Super Saver Income Fund - Short Term Plan, IDFC Super Saver Income Fund - Medium Term Plan, IDFC Super Saver Income Fund - Investment Plan, IDFC Ultra Short Term Fund, IDFC Dynamic Bond Fund, IDFC Government Securities Fund - Investment Plan, IDFC Government Securities Fund - Short Term Plan, IDFC Government Securities Fund - Provident Fund Plan, IDFC Infrastructure Fund (IDFC IF), IDFC Banking Debt Fund (IDFC-BDF), IDFC Classic Equity Fund, IDFC Premier Equity Fund, IDFC Imperial Equity Fund, IDFC Sterling Equity Fund, IDFC Tax Advantage Fund, IDFC Arbitrage Fund, IDFC Arbitrage Plus Fund, IDFC Asset Allocation Fund of Fund (MP, CP & AP), IDFC Equity Fund, IDFC Nifty Fund, IDFC Monthly Income Plan & IDFC All Seasons Bond Fund.

For subscriptions / switch - ins less than Rs 2 lakhs:

1) In respect of valid applications received upto 3.00 p.m on a Business Day by the Fund along with a local cheque or a demand draft payable at par at the official point(s) of acceptance where the application is received, the closing NAV of the day on which application is received shall be applicable.

2) In respect of valid applications received after 3.00 p.m on a Business day by the Fund along with a local cheque or a demand draft payable at par at the official point(s) of acceptance where the application is received, the closing NAV of the next Business day shall be applicable.

3) However, in respect of valid applications, with outstation cheques/demand drafts not payable at par at the official point(s) of acceptance where the application is received, closing NAV of the day on which cheque/demand draft is credited shall be applicable.

For subscriptions / switch – ins equal to or more than Rs 2 lakhs:

1) In respect of valid applications received for an amount equal to or more than Rs. 2 lakhs upto 3.00 p.m on a Business Day at the official point(s) of acceptance and funds for the entire amount of subscription/purchase (including switch ins) as per the application are credited to the bank account of the respective Scheme before the cut-off time i.e available for utilization before the cut-off time - the closing NAV of the day shall be applicable

2) In respect of valid applications received for an amount equal to or more than Rs. 2 lakhs after 3.00 p.m on a Business Day at the official point(s) of acceptance and funds for the entire amount of subscription/purchase (including switch ins) as per the application are credited to the bank account of the respective Scheme before the cut-off time of the next Business Day i.e available for utilization before the cut-off time of the next Business Day- the closing NAV of the next Business Day shall be applicable

3) Irrespective of the time of receipt of application for an amount equal to or more than Rs. 2 lakhs at the official point(s) of acceptance, where funds for the entire amount of subscription/purchase as per the application are credited to the bank account of the respective Scheme before the cut-off time on any subsequent Business Day - i.e available for utilization before the cut-off time on any subsequent Business Day the closing NAV of such subsequent Business Day shall be applicable.

The aforesaid provisions shall also apply to systematic transactions i.e Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), Systematic Transfer Plan (STP).

Additional Provision for Switch-in Application / Schemes for amount of Rs 2 lakhs and above

i) Application for switch-in is received before the applicable cut-off time. (3.00 p.m)

ii) Funds for the entire amount of subscription/purchase as per the switch-in request are credited to the bank account of the respective switch-in liquid schemes before the cut-off time. (3.00 p.m)

iii) The funds are available for utilization before the cut-off time, (3.00 p.m) by the respective switch-in schemes.

Please note that further to SEBI circular Nos. SEBI/IMD/Cir. No. 11/142521/08 dated October 24, 2008, Cir/IMD/DF/19/2010 dated Nov 26, 2010 and CIR/IMD/DF/21/2012 dated Sept 13, 2012, the following will be effective from March 04, 2013 for all Equity and Debt schemes (excluding Liquid Schemes):

All transactions of purchases and additional purchases (excluding Switches, SIP/STP and triggered transactions) received on the same business day in the same scheme (including transactions at option level-dividend, Growth, Direct) will be aggregated, irrespective of whether individual transaction amount is above or below Rs. 2 lacs, on the basis of investor/s PAN where the investor holding pattern is the same and the closing NAV of the day on which funds are available for utilization will be applied if the aggregated amount of the investment so calculated is Rs. 2 lacs and above.

In case of joint holdings, transactions with similar holding structures would be considered for the purpose of aggregation. However, transactions in the name of minor received through guardian would not be aggregated with the transaction in the name of same guardian.

APPLICABLE NAV (for Sales/ Redemption Switch-out)

IDFC-CF : Applicable NAV for redemptions including switch-outs

Where the application is received up to 3:00 pm - the closing NAV of the day Immediately preceding the next business day after the day of application.

Where the application is received after 3:00 pm - the closing NAV of the next business day after the day of application.

The Mutual Fund shall under normal circumstances, endeavour to despatch the redemption proceeds within one business day (T+1) from the date of acceptance of redemption request at the official points of acceptance of transactions but as per Regulations under no circumstances, later than ten business days from the date of acceptance of the request.

For other schemes - Applicable NAV for redemptions including switch-outs

Where the application received is up to 3:00 pm closing NAV of the day of application shall be applicable. An application received after 3:00 pm closing NAV of the next business day after the day of application shall be applicable.

 
 
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