Top 10 Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021

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In this post, I will publish my Top 10 Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021 for my blog readers. If you are a reader of my blog for a long, then you know very well that I publish my Top 10 Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India on yearly basis.

Also Read on FinMedium:  Should You Invest in India Real Estate and Where to Start

Let me recap of what I have recommended last year.

Top 10 Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2020

If you remember, last year I stayed away from active fund recommendations and adopted the passive funds (Index Funds) and the reasons are as below:-

I want to share few of my Tweets of past where I hinted and shared why I am adopting the Index Funds.

By adopting the Index investing, you are ending the search for BEST MUTUAL FUND COMPANY and BEST FUND MANAGER. The only risk you can’t avoid is market risk, which you have to manage by proper asset allocation between debt and equity (I mean at the portfolio level).

However, adopting Index investing requires a lot of patience. Because even though many claims to be patience, they take knee jerk reaction when the market starts to fall.

The negativity of Index Funds is that there is no downside protection as the fund manager has to replicate the index. He can’t take his call and make sure to keep in cash mode during the market fall. Hence, the Index Funds will fall equally like Index.

During this phase, many investors start to compare the Index Funds with Active Funds (which may be managed the downside protection well) leading to come out from Index Funds.

However, if one did the proper asset allocation with debt and equity (within equity also) with respect to their goals, then we can easily protect such a downfall at the portfolio level.

Paying a higher fee for active funds is justified only if the fund manager generates more than ONE PERCENT compare to Index Funds CONSISTENTLY. If it is not possible, then there is no point in adopting the active funds.

It is a proven record that no Fund Manager on this EARTH can beat the Index consistently. Hence, few years of underperformance may cost in a big way than the few years overperformance.

Willing to share the quotes of few whom I admire a lot:-

“The winning formula for success in investing is owning the entire stock market through an index fund, and then doing nothing. Just stay the course.”
– John C. Bogle, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

“If I had to summarize my views on investing, it’s this: Every investor should pick a strategy that has the highest odds of successfully meeting their goals. And I think for most investors, dollar-cost averaging into a low-cost index fund will provide the highest odds of long-term success.” – Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money (Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness)

It is the toughest task for ME and YOU to find such a RAREST of RARE SPECIES (FUND MANAGER) who can generate CONSISTENTLY more than 1% higher returns than the BENCHMARK.

How to choose the Best Index Funds?

When you decided to invest in Index Funds, you have to just concentrate on three aspects of the funds and they are as below.

# Expense Ratio:-Lower the Expense ratio is better for me.

# Tracking Error:-It is nothing but how much is the fund deviated in terms of returns with respect to the Index it is benchmarked. Lower the tracking error means better the fund performance.

# AUM:-Higher the AUM means better the advantage for the fund manager to manage the liquidity issues.

Basics of Investing Mantras

Now before jumping to investing, you must have an idea of what are the basics of investing. I repeat this exercise on yearly basis in my blog post. But still find the same type of questions from the readers. Hence, to give you the clarity, I am writing once again.

As per me, before jumping into investment, one must aware of how well they are preapred for emergencies. Emergencies may be like loss of life, meeting with an accident, hospitalization or sudden income loss or job loss.

Hence, at first cover yourself with proper Life Insurance (Term Life Insurance where the coverage should be at least 15-20 times of your yearly income). Refer my post “Top 5 Best Online Term Insurance Plans in India 2020“. You must have your own health insurance (rather than relying on employer provided health insurance). Refer my post “Top 5 Best Health Insurance Plans in India 2020” and “Top 5 Super Top-up Health Insurance Plans in India 2020“. Buy around 15 to 20 times of your monthly salary corpus as accidental insurance. Then finally create an emergency fund of at least 6-24 months of your monthly commitment.

Once these basics are done, then think of investing. If your basics are not done properly, then whatever the investment building you are creating may tumble at any point of time. Let us move on and understand the basics of investing.

You must have a proper Financial Goal

I noticed that many investors simply invest in mutual funds just because they have some surplus money. The second reason may be someone guided that mutual funds are best in the long run compared to Bank FDs, PPF, RDs, or even LIC endowment products.

If you have clarity like why you are investing, when you need the money and how much you need money at that time, then you will get better clarity in selecting the product. Hence, first, identify your financial goals.

You must know the current cost of that goal. Along with that, you must also know the inflation rate associated with that particular goal. Remember that each financial goal has its own inflation rate. For example, education or marriage cost of your kid’s is different inflation that the inflation rate of household expenses.

By identifying the current cost, time horizon and inflation rate of that particular goal, you can easily find out the future cost of that goal. This future cost of the goal is your target amount.

I have written a separate post on how to set your financial goals. Read the same at “Financial Goals – How to set before jumping into investing?

Asset Allocation is MUST

Next step is to identify the asset allocation. Whether it is a short-term goal or long-term goal, the proper asset allocation between debt and equity is a must. I personally suggest the below-shared asset allocation strategy. Remember that it may differ from individual to individual. However, the basic idea of asset allocation is to protect your money and smoothly sail to reach the financial goals.

If the goal is below 5 years-Don’t touch equity product. Use the debt products of your choice like FDs, RDs or Debt Funds.

If the goal is 5 years to 10 years-Allocate debt:equity in the ratio of 60:40.

If the goal is more than 10 years-Allocate debt:equity in the ratio of 40:60.

While choosing a debt product, make sure that the maturity period of the product must match your financial goals. For example, PPF is the best debt product. However, it must match your financial goals. If the PPF maturity period is 13 years and your goal is 10 years, then you will fall short of meeting your financial goals.

Return Expectation

Next and the biggest step is the return expectation from each asset class. For equity, you can expect around 10% to 12% return. For debt, you can expect around 6% to 7% returns.

When your expectations are defined, then there is less probability of deviating or taking knee-jerk reactions to the volatility.

Portfolio Return Expectation

Once you understand how much is your return expectation from each asset class, then the next step is to identify the return expectation from the portfolio.

Let us say you defined the asset allocation of debt:equity as 40:60. Return expectation from debt is 6% and equity is 10%, then the overall portfolio return expectation is as below.

(60% x 10%) + (40% x 6%)=8.4%.

How much to invest?

Once the goals are defined with the target amount, asset allocations are done, return expectation from each asset class is defined, then the final step is to identify the amount to invest each month.

There are two ways to do it. One is a constant monthly investment throughout the goal period. Second is increasing some fixed % each year up to the goal period. Decide which suits best to you.

I Hope the above information will give you clarity before jumping into equity mutual fund products.

How many mutual funds are enough?

How many mutual funds do we have? Is it 1, 3, 5 or more than 5? The answer is simple…you don’t need more than 3-4 funds for investing in mutual funds. Whether your investment is Rs.1,000 a month or Rs.1 lakh a month. With a maximum of 3-4 funds, you can easily create a diversified equity portfolio.

Having more funds does not give you enough diversification. Instead, in many cases, it may create your portfolio overlapping and leads to underperformance.

Taxation of Equity Mutual Funds for 2020-21

Remember that Equity Funds and Debt funds are taxed differently. Hence, you must understand the taxation part as well before jumping into investment. I tried to explain the same in the below image.

Mutual Fund Taxation FY 2020-21

The rate of taxation is as below for the FY 2020-21 is as below.

Mutual Fund Taxation FY 2020-21

Below is the DDT Rates applicable to Mutual Funds after the Budget 2020.

DDT for Mutual Funds FY 2020-21

I hope the taxation part is clear to all of you. If you still have doubt, then refer my latest post ” Mutual Fund Taxation FY 2020-21 (AY2021-22)“.

Top 10 Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021

Now let us move on and share with you my Top 10 Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021.

Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021 -Large Cap

Last year I recommended two Large Cap Index Funds. I am retaining the same funds for this year too.

# UTI Nifty Index Fund-Direct-Growth

# HDFC Index Fund Sensex Plan-Direct-Growth

Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021 -Mid Cap

Last year, I recommended two Nifty Next 50 Index Funds over the 2019 active funds. This year also, I am retaining the same funds for my recommendations in Mid Cap Funds. I have given the reasons for my I am not adopted the separate Mid Cap but adopting the Nifty Next 50 as my Mid Cap consideration as below.

Refer to the below image shared by Mirae Asset AMC.

Nifty Next 50 Vs Nifty Mid Cap

Nifty Next 50 is actually an essence of both large cap and mid cap. Because of this, it acts with the same volatility like mid cap. Hence, I am suggesting Nifty Next 50 as my mid cap fund than particular Mid Cap Active or Index Funds.

I am continuing my last year choices :-

# ICICI Pru Nifty Next 50 Index Fund-Direct-Growth

# UTI Nifty Next 50 Index Fund-Direct-Growth

If you are not fond of this idea, then you can choose active funds also. My recommendation from active funds in mid cap category are:-

# HDFC Mid Cap Opp Fund-Direct-Growth

# Franklin India Prima Fund-Direct-Growth

Personally, I am creating a blend of Nifty 50 and Nifty Next 50 with 50:50 or 70:30 to fill the gap of Large Cap and Mid Cap with these two categories of Index Funds.

However, those who already invested in active mid cap funds can continue and slowly move to Nifty Next 50.

Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021 -Multi-Cap

Last year I recommended Parag Parikh Long Term Equity Fund and Axis Multi-Cap Fund. I am retaining both funds as usual.

# Parag Parikh Long Term Equity Fund-Direct-Growth

# Axis Multi Cap Fund–Direct-Growth

Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021 -Small Cap

I personally not recommending any Small Cap to my clients. However, if you know how to time the market and play with your money, then you can experiment with these two funds which last year also I recommended.

# DSP Small Cap Fund-Direct-Growth

# Frankin India Smaller Companies Fund-Direct-Growth

Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021 – Equity Oriented Balanced Funds or Aggressive Hybrid Fund

Last year I recommended HDFC Hybrid Equity Fund and Franklin India Equity Hybrid Fund. This year too, I am retaining the same funds due to their consistent long-term performance.

# HDFC Hybrid Equity Fund-Direct-Growth

# Franklin India Equity Hybrid Fund-Direct-Growth.

You may have a look at ICICI Pru Equity and Debt Fund or Mirae Asset Hybrid Equity Fund.

Finally, my list of Top 10 Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021 is as below.

Top 10 Best SIP Mutual Funds to invest in India in 2021

Even though in the above post, I have shared ELSS Funds, I don’t think they are the right products to choose from just because of tax benefits. I have written a detailed post on why you have to ignore ELSS Funds “Mutual Funds for Tax Saving – Why you must avoid?“.

What is my style of construction Equity Portfolio?

I have listed all the funds above. However, I suggest constructing the portfolio as below within your equity portfolio.

50% Large Cap Index+30% Nifty Next 50+20% Hybrid Funds

50% Large Cap Index+30% Nifty Next 50+20% Multi Cap Funds

50% Large Cap Index+20% Nifty Next 50+30% Hybrid Funds

50% Large Cap Index+20% Nifty Next 50+30% Multi Cap Funds

Disclosure:-I have investments in HDFC Index Fund Sensex Plan and HDFC Hybrid Fund as equity part of my daughter’s educational goal. Also, I have investments in UTI Nifty Index Fund, ICICI Pru Nifty Next 50 Index Fund, and HDFC Hybrid Fund as equity part of my retirement goal.

Conclusion:-These are my selections but it does not mean they must be universal selections. Hence, if you have a different opinion, then you can adopt so. You also noticed that I have not changed my recommendations from what I recommended last year. I hardly change my stance. In the end, investing is a BORING and LONG TERM journey 🙂 Best of LUCK!!

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Basu Nivesh

Basu Nivesh

Basav is a SEBI Registered Investment Adviser (SEBI RIA) practicing the Fee-Only Financial Planning Service. He is a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and blogger at Basu Nivesh. He services around 300+ satisfied clients.
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