In the past few years, ELSS has become the most popular tax saving option in India. But just because everyone is investing in ELSS does not mean that you too should blindly invest in ELSS.
While ELSS has the shortest lock-in period of 3 years among all other tax saving options, in essence it is still an equity fund. So, when you invest in ELSS, your investment is subject to market risks and volatility.
Therefore, today we will understand scenarios where you should not invest in ELSS.
1. You should not invest in ELSS if you expect guaranteed returns: As mentioned earlier, ELSS are equity funds i.e. they invest 80% of their corpus in equity and equity related instruments. This makes them prone to market fluctuation and risks. So, if you want to generate guaranteed returns while saving tax, then you should not invest in ELSS.
2. You should not invest in ELSS if you want liquidity: ELSS funds are compulsorily (and statutorily) locked-in for 3-years. This means that under no circumstances can you redeem from ELSS funds before the lock-in period is complete. This is quite unlike other tax saving options like PPF, Insurance policies etc which have a premature withdrawal option. So, if you want short-term liquidity, then you should not invest in ELSS.
3. You should not invest in ELSS if you are scared of the stock market: If you are a conservative risk taker, then ELSS funds are not suitable for you. You should rather invest in PPF, NSC, 5-Year Bank FD etc.
4. You should not invest in ELSS if you are in post-retirement stage: Senior citizens have a lot of conservative tax saving options which also offer a higher rate of return like the 5-year Bank FDs. These investments also have the option for premature withdrawal, which is perfect for retirees, which may have emergency liquidity needs.
5. You should not invest in ELSS if you are investing at the end of the year: To gain maximum returns from your ELSS investments, you should try to invest in ELSS through a systematic investment plan instead of lumpsum investment so that you get rupee cost-averaging. If you do decide to invest in ELSS via lumpsum, then invest as close to the start of the financial year as possible i.e. in April itself. This will ensure maximum compounding.
6. You should not invest in ELSS if your investment time horizon is less than 5 years: While ELSS has a lock-in period of 3 years, you should not invest in ELSS if you cannot hold the investment for minimum 5 years since it is an equity fund and needs ample time to grow. So, if your time horizon is short-term, then you should not invest in ELSS.
To sum up, do not invest in ELSS if:
- You want guaranteed returns
- You have a conservative risk profile
- You want high immediate liquidity
- Your investment time horizon is less than 5 years
- You are in your post-retirement and want liquidity.
- You are investing in ELSS at the very end of the financial year.
If you are a long-term investor, with a medium-high risk profile and want to create wealth, while also saving taxes, then ELSS is the best tax saving option for you.
Here is the list of the Best ELSS funds in India for 2020-2021:
|Best ELSS Funds||RankMF Rating||1 Year||3 Years||5 Years||Since Inception|
|Axis Long Term Equity Fund||5 Star||3.04%||7.94%||10.83%||16.07%|
|Canara Robeco Equity Tax Saver Fund||4 Star||13.85%||9.58%||11.23%||18.45%|
|Aditya Birla Sun Life Tax Relief ’96 Fund||4 Star||1.69%||1.73%||8.95%||9.83%|
|UTI Long Term Equity Fund||4 Star||7.35%||3.28%||8.34%||10.29%|
|Kotak Tax Saver Fund||4 Star||4.57%||3.87%||9.57%||10.97%|
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