Everything you need to know about hybrid funds


If you’re setting sail on your mutual fund investment journey, the term ‘hybrid funds’ might sound somewhat alien. So, let’s demystify this. Hybrid funds, as the name suggests, are a type of mutual fund that invests in a blend of equities (stocks) and fixed income securities (bonds, treasury bills). But why should this matter to you as an investor? Let’s uncover this in this handy list of crucial things you should know about hybrid funds.

Things to know about hybrid funds

1. Types of hybrid funds

There are different types of hybrid funds, each with a unique risk-reward balance. Aggressive hybrid funds primarily invest in equities (around 65-80%), with the remainder in debt instruments. Balanced hybrid funds invest equally in equities and debt. Conservative hybrid funds have a higher allocation to debt (around 75-90%) and a smaller equity component.

2. Diversification

The blend of equities and debt securities provides a diversification advantage, reducing the risk associated with investing in a single asset class.

3. Suitability

Hybrid funds are suited to investors seeking income generation (from the debt component) and capital appreciation (from the equity component), all in one investment instrument.

4. Risk

The risk level of a hybrid fund depends on its asset allocation. Aggressive hybrid funds have higher risk due to their significant equity exposure, while conservative hybrid funds carry less risk due to their debt dominance.

5. Return potential

Again, the potential returns depend on the fund’s equity-debt mix. Aggressive hybrid funds have higher return potential, albeit with more risk, while conservative hybrid funds offer moderate returns with lower risk.

6. Asset allocation

Hybrid funds maintain a pre-determined asset allocation. Depending on the type of hybrid fund, this allocation is managed dynamically by the fund manager based on market conditions, aiming to optimise returns.

7. Inflation protection

Hybrid funds, due to their equity component, offer a valuable safeguard against inflation, which has the potential to erode the real value of mutual fund investments focused solely on fixed-income instruments. By including equity assets in their portfolio, hybrid mutual funds can better position investors to withstand the impact of inflation and preserve their purchasing power over time.

8. Ideal for beginners

If you’re a new investor and unsure about your risk tolerance, hybrid funds could be a good starting point. They offer a taste of both equities and debt, helping you understand your comfort with market volatility.

9. Investment horizon

Hybrid funds are generally best suited for medium to long-term investment horizons. The exact duration would depend on the specific type of hybrid fund you choose.

10. Taxation

The tax treatment of hybrid funds depends on the equity component. If the equity portion is 65% or more, the fund is treated as an equity fund for tax purposes. Otherwise, it’s treated as a debt fund.

To wrap up

In conclusion, hybrid funds offer a unique blend of income and growth potential, making them a versatile addition to any investment portfolio. Their ability to navigate different market conditions and offer diversification across asset classes makes them an appealing choice for both new and seasoned investors.

However, like all investments, hybrid funds also come with risks, and it’s essential to consider your financial goals, risk appetite, and investment horizon before investing. Understanding the fund’s asset allocation and its alignment with your objectives is also crucial. Consult with a financial advisor if you’re unsure. After all, investing is a journey, and having the right guide can make all the difference.

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