SIP VS. Mutual Funds

SIP and Mutual Funds sound similar, but they are not the same. Most investors get confused with these terminologies and try finding the difference between SIP and mutual fund. This is not the case as SIP happens to be a part of the wider concept of mutual funds. Let us understand both in details for forming a clearer picture.

What is Mutual Funds?

A mutual fund, as the name suggests, is a pool of assets, created by an asset management company (AMC), where an investor can get ownership of units in proportionate to his/ her investment. The investor is free to choose if he/she wants to invest in equity funds, debt funds or hybrid etc. funds. This choice is made by them based on the risk bearing capacity as well as their individual financial goals.

Mutual Funds offer the advantage of diversification to investors as the investor can spread investments across varied asset classes and thus create a balanced portfolio. With diversification, the risk associated with one asset class is countered by the other, which helps investors to not lose out on the entire investment, if one of the assets goes through a turbulent period. Another important advantage of Mutual Funds is the professional management it provides through a fund manager who has the expertise to professionally manage the mutual fund portfolio, buy sell shares based on market movements and conduct timely research.

Mutual Funds also offer tax advantages to those investors who invest in ELSS mutual funds. ELSS funds qualify for tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. You can invest maximum Rs 150,000 in a financial year to avail the tax benefit.

You can invest in mutual funds either in lump sum or through SIP. Lump sum is one time investment while SIP is staggered investment wherein you can invest a fixed amount in certain interval over a chosen period of time.

What is SIP?

SIP is the short form of systematic investment plan. While mutual fund is an investment product or instrument, SIP is a method of investing in mutual funds. As the name suggests, through a mutual fund SIP you can invest systematically over a period of time and create a corpus to meet your different financial goals. As you can see, SIP is not different from Mutual Funds, it is a part of it.

SIP brings discipline in investing by making sure the investor deposits small but regular amounts in a chosen scheme, over time. One can choose the frequency of investment here such as daily, weekly, monthly, fortnightly or yearly, and follow that diligently for building a corpus. On choosing a frequency and date, the money automatically gets debited from the bank account of the investor.

In summary, SIP or systematic investment plan is simple, user friendly, hassle free and a convenient way of beginning your journey in Mutual Fund investments.

SIP vs mutual fund - Other than SIP, you can also invest lump sum amounts in mutual funds. For example – you have Rs 1 Lakh in hand and you want to invest in mutual funds. You can invest the same in one go without any commitment to invest again in that fund. This is also known as one-time investment in mutual funds.

In summary, those investor who want to know what is the difference between sip and mutual fund or what is the difference between mutual fund and SIP should note that the both cannot be compared simply because, mutual fund is an investment product, while SIP is a way of investing in it.

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Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

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