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Where do I invest?

by Money Puzzle   ·  June 15, 2019   ·  

Where do I invest?

by Money Puzzle   ·  June 15, 2019   ·  

Photo by from Pexels

Unfortunately, answer to the question in the headline will not be provided on a silver platter, you will have to do some work to reach there.  

Over the last month I met a few below 30s, combination of students and earners, who were well versed with digital payment platforms (no surprises there) and to my approval were either keen on starting their investments or already investing. As the young do, they wanted some quick answers, instant gratification as I refer to it, on where to invest. But experience has taught me, there are no easy answers in investing, the easy ones are usually not right anyway. 

While encouraging all who I meet to firmly take up mutual funds as their preferred choice of financial investments, I stop short of recommending schemes. Firstly, I am not a certified advisor and it would be unethical. Secondly, it may come across as biased advice since I don’t really probe them about life choices and risk-taking abilities.  

It occurred to me that age has very little to do with investing given that my 40 something friends are also asking this very question. Still, here is my guide to the answer, no free lunches here.  

Get an advisor? 

The good news is that you don’t have to go hunting for a ‘human’ to help you. Chances are that human advisors may not find it remunerative to advise students and young earners whose investment instalments are likely to be relatively small. Coming back to the good news, there are several digital or online options for advisory services. Some of the well-established, popular and quick solutions providers are platforms like,, and

You can get online on these websites, do a quick fill in of goals, dreams, desires and see what they recommend.  

To begin investing through any of these websites, you will have to give your personal and bank account details. However, keep in mind that the mutual funds you buy through any of these platforms are going to be in your name. Which means, you will receive communication from the fund house directly, you will receive consolidated statements from the registrars like CAMs and you will be able to communicate directly with the fund house about your investment. It also means that if tomorrow the online investment platform is no longer in existence, nothing will happen to your money or your investment.  

Now, how much will it cost you? In most of these platforms there are none or minimal advisory fees and other costs. While on Kuvera you will have access to direct plan for mutual funds, which means lower expenses for your individual schemes, the others offer investments in regular plans of mutual funds which have a slightly higher expense structure. What this means is that in case of Kuvera, your investment will cost you lesser as they don’t receive any commission on the sale of mutual funds, which, the other platforms do.  

The advisor receiving a commission for recommending a fund is actually fruitful as it makes them more accountable for what’s being recommended. However, offering direct versus regular plan is more a business model decision for the online platform rather than anything to do with your investment choices.

You should overlook this aspect and choose the platform that works best for your needs and goals. If you are confident about being able to sift through several mutual fund schemes without the help of an advisor and pick the most accurate solution for each of your goals, perhaps direct can work better. If not, don’t be reluctant and miserly to pick the platforms offering the slightly more expensive regular plan but with detailed solutions for achieving your goals.  

The common sense you need to apply 

These online platforms are sure to take you all the way to one (or more) specific mutual fund scheme catering to your investment requirements. But that doesn’t mean you should shut down your own head when it comes to applying some common sense.  

Here is what you should know before you start. 

  1. Are you investing for general wealth creation or to fund specific spends?
  2. Equity mutual funds will help you create long term wealth. Long term is not 1,2,3 years rather 7,10,15 years or anywhere thereabouts.
  3. Debt funds will help you achieve stability in return and regular income if you need. But frequent withdrawals will get taxed.
  4. If your online advisor is not recommending a combination of equity and debt funds, it’s a red flag. Don’t fall for thematic portfolios, keep it simple and linked to your specific financial goals.
  5. Your European vacation planned for next year is not a long-term goal – don’t invest in an equity fund for this.
  6. Buying a Rs 1 lakh worth mobile phone is a frivolous desire and should not feature as a goal at least for the next ten years.
  7. If you find that your investments or portfolio returns are negative and it worries you, speak/communicate with the online advisor. You may not be able to see them, but you are a customer.
  8. If your online advisor is not accessible easily, which means you are unable to connect with someone to answer your queries, don’t sign up.
  9. If you are going to do a direct transfer from the bank, ensure that permitted amount is limited to what you are investing each month.   

10. Remember the control is in your hands, you can redeem your money too soon or too late or just at the right time.

Most of these platforms offer flexibility in monthly investments through systematic investment plans, ensure that you take advantage of this feature.

The solutions are all out there, the action can be taken only by you. Don’t wait for another market correction or rally or event to make your investment step forward. Go ahead and do it now.

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