If you search personal finance in Google, you will receive over a thousand articles, blogs and newspaper links suggesting various methods to
improve your financial health and build up wealth for your future. However, most of the information will be centered around few options mostly dealing in types of mutual funds and their benefits. But is personal finance limited to mutual fund only?
Or do mutual funds extinguish other investment opportunities?
In March 2020, when Covid hit the entire world, government and bank regulators brought forward new ways to get people to invest their money.
With ‘no contact dealings’ became the norm of every industry, demat accounts were being opened in minutes without visiting any office, (Common Account Number) CAN made online operations smooth as butter and online banking made transactions hassle free.
Although investment in mutual funds is necessarily demeaning, it may be worth to explore some other avenues that may just be the future of investment.
Alternate Investment Funds (AIF): A unique way of investment, wherein funds of various investors are pooled in and managed by a qualified group for the benefit of these investors.
Compared to mutual fund, AIF deals not just in the conventional options of equity or debt, but also invests in sectors such as private equity, hedge funds, real estate, etc. ‘Alternate’ means investing in conventional and non-conventional avenues to diversify your investments.
Bonds are debt securities that are issued by private and public corporations to satisfy their working capital or capital expenditure. Again an unconventional method of investment albeit secured and return earning.
These bonds are rated by independent institutions such as CRISIL, which is similar to CIBIL score. Here, higher rating indicates more security on the bonds. Risk in this type of investment is minimal since they are not performance-linked like equity. There’s RBI Retail Direct Scheme where government bonds are also available.
Peer to peer lending
This entails lending small amount of money to verified borrowers but in an unsecured manner but at a higher rate of interest.
Various P2P platforms offer services to borrowers and lenders to get together and transact.
Lenders are provided with details of verified borrowers. The interest range starts from 7% to 13% while funds can be provided from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,00,000.
With opening of Demat account now faster than availing a credit card, the listed stocks on NSE and BSE are at your finger tips. This investment options might be high in risk, however, careful research and study of the companies might help in identifying the next multi-bagger stock.
If not multi-bagger, one can always invest in blue chip stocks and enjoy the returns without spending on fund manager commission on mutual funds.
Foreign equity: Recently, the SEBI and Stock exchange opened the most-awaited gateway for investors to invest in foreign stock. Now, sitting at your home, you may own stocks of Google, Apple, etc. However, currently, only a handful of stocks are available for investment. These stocks could aid in your investment portfolio.
This could potentially be a jackpot option if you could get the opportunity to invest in one. Usually, start-ups or unicorn businesses are always in need of funds, if you study their financials and have confidence in their business project, you could get some stake in the company at cheap rate.
Once these start-ups or unicorns receive their share of success, you can either sell the stake to the promoters at the existing valuations or when the stocks are listed on any exchange and receive handsome profits.
Gone are the days when you need to visit banks for renewal of FDs or opening of recurring deposit accounts, now it is time to go online or change your service provider. With ‘no contact delivery’ the world has moved to ‘no contact investment’ and this is the future of personal finance.
(Viral Bhatt is Founder of Money Mantra — a personal finance solutions firm)