Hybrid funds are popular among investors for the fine balance they provide between risk and reward. There are sub-categories within hybrid funds including aggressive hybrid, balanced advantage and equity savings, which are preferred among investors. The selection between the three should rely on the investment horizon and therefore the risk-taking ability of the investor.
Equity saving schemes are hybrid funds that invest in equity, debt and arbitrage securities proportionally. The equity component helps beat inflation while debt and arbitrage portions act as a cushion to attenuate downside volatility. They provide moderate capital appreciation and a gradual income. Such schemes are suitable for moderate risk investors. Equity and therefore the derivative exposure is cumulatively considered to be equity so these funds are more tax efficient than conservative hybrid funds.
Equity savings fund is that the most conservative hybrid strategy among the three. These schemes invest 30- 40% in equities, 25-35% in equity arbitrage and therefore the rest 25-35% in debt. The use of arbitrage a strategy makes it novel offering within the hybrid space. The structure helps it to supply the good thing about equity taxation at a way lower risk compared to other equity dominated funds.
How they work?
The overall exposure to equity in equity savings funds ranges from 65 to 90%. Open-end investment company schemes, which have over 65% equity allocation enjoy equity taxation; long run capital gains (investing holding period of quite 1 year), and dividends are tax free. However, some of the equity exposure is hedged and this reduces the danger of those funds considerably. The active or un-hedged equity allocation of equity savings funds ranges between 20-30% with the target of capital appreciation.
40-70% of the portfolio of equity savings funds is allocated to completely hedged equity positions with the target of generating arbitrage or innocuous profits. 10-35% of the portfolio is invested in fixed income and securities industry instruments with the target of generating income. Therefore, 70-80% of the portfolio has low volatility and generates regular income. Over a sufficiently long investment horizon, the active equity allocation may generate capital appreciation for investors.
What are the major advantages?
Less volatility: High proportion of debt and arbitrage keeps the returns somewhat stable compared to equity heavy funds such as aggressive hybrid funds.
Tax efficiency: Tax efficiency: As equity saving scheme is treated as an equity fund, the taxation is lower compared to debt funds.
Diversification: Risk averse investors can get the good thing about diversification through this fund because it provides exposure equity, debt and arbitrage opportunities.
Who should invest?
Investors searching for decent returns without venturing into high risk funds should consider equity savings as an option. Thanks to the tax-efficiency, it is the popular hybrid category for conservative investors. Even retirees, who are receptive taking limited exposure to equities, can consider investing in these funds.
Different hybrid funds have different risk levels. In equity savings fund, the chance is on the lower side. One must consider this fund anyone who desires decent returns but don’t want to require much risk. because of low equity exposure, the fund seems suitable for brief to medium term goals, where the investment horizon is between 2-4 years.