Dezerv

Debt Mutual Funds

Debt Mutual Funds invest in fixed-income securities such as government bonds, corporate bonds, treasury bills, and other money market instruments.

time horizon

1-3 years

total funds

731 Funds

total aum

₹17,70,462 Cr Total AUM

Debt Mutual Funds

Explore Debt Funds

Fund nameFund sizeExpense Ratio
3Y Returns
Bank of India Credit Risk Fund Direct Growth
Bank of India Credit Risk Fund Direct Growth

Credit Risk Moderately High risk

₹128 Cr1.19%39.8%
Aditya Birla Sun Life Medium Term Plan Direct Growth
Aditya Birla Sun Life Medium Term Plan Direct Growth

Medium Duration Moderately High risk

₹1,864 Cr0.85%13.3%
Bank of India S/T Income Direct Growth
Bank of India S/T Income Direct Growth

Short Duration Moderate Risk

₹77 Cr0.5%12.5%
UTI Credit Risk Fund Direct Growth
UTI Credit Risk Fund Direct Growth

Credit Risk Moderately High risk

₹389 Cr0.89%11.7%
UTI Dynamic Bond Fund Direct Growth
UTI Dynamic Bond Fund Direct Growth

Dynamic Bond Moderate Risk

₹513 Cr0.69%11.2%
DSP Credit Risk Fund Direct Growth
DSP Credit Risk Fund Direct Growth

Credit Risk Moderately High risk

₹193 Cr0.4%10.6%
UTI Bond Fund Direct Growth
UTI Bond Fund Direct Growth

Medium to Long Duration Moderate Risk

₹300 Cr1.24%10.2%
Nippon India Strategic Debt Fund Direct Growth
Nippon India Strategic Debt Fund Direct Growth

Medium Duration Moderately High risk

₹118 Cr0.5%10.1%
Baroda BNP Paribas Credit Risk Fund Direct Growth₹147 Cr0.79%9.8%
Nippon India Credit Risk Fund Direct Growth₹1,029 Cr0.7%9.2%

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All About Debt Mutual Funds

What are Debt Mutual Funds?

Debt Mutual Funds invest in fixed-income securities such as government bonds, corporate bonds, treasury bills, and other money market instruments.

These funds are less risky than equity funds since they function similarly to bank deposits. Your money is lent to the government or companies at a fixed or floating interest rate for a specific duration, which guarantees the safety of your invested capital.

You receive regular interest payments on your principal amount and you get your principal back once the investment period is over with capital appreciation or depreciation based on the prevailing market conditions throughout the investment duration.

Where do Debt Mutual Funds Invest?

Debt Mutual Funds invest primarily in fixed income instruments. Let’s look at some of the most prominent ones:

Corporate Bonds

Corporate Bonds are issued by PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings) and Private Sector Companies. Most debt mutual funds categories invest in corporate bonds.

Government T-Bills and Bonds

Debt mutual funds also invest in government debt instruments like T-bills (Treasury Bills) and Bonds. T-bills are government securities that mature in less than 1 year whereas government bonds tend to have longer maturity periods.

Very Short Maturity Instruments like TREPs

Short maturity debt fund categories are required to invest in very short-maturity instruments like TREPs (Tri-Party Repos), T-Bills (Treasury Bills), CPs (Commercial Papers), and Certificates of Deposit (CDs).

How do Debt Mutual Funds work?

Debt Mutual Funds are like a shared investment pot. Many people put their money into this pot, and a team of finance experts called fund managers manage it by buying different types of debt instruments.

Imagine the pot as a pie. You get a slice of the pie or a unit when you put your money in. The more you put in, the bigger your slice or more units.

Now, the money from the pie is used to earn more money. That extra money is paid out to investors through regular interest payments.

One tricky part of Debt Mutual Funds is how they are affected by something called interest rates. Consider interest rates as a seesaw: when one side goes up, the other goes down.

When interest rates increase, the value of existing bonds decreases, which can lead to a decline in the fund's NAV. Conversely, when interest rates fall, the value of existing bonds increases, which can increase the fund's NAV.

Interest rates ↑ Bond Prices ↓

Interest rates ↓ Bond Prices ↑

Why invest in Debt Mutual Funds?

Debt Mutual Funds offer several benefits to investors:

  1. Stable Returns: These funds have a track record of providing consistent and predictable returns.
  2. Lower Risk: These funds primarily invest in fixed-income securities like bonds and treasury bills. These securities offer a fixed rate of return which are issued mainly by trustworthy institutions or big corporations, which make them less risky.

While some level of risk is still involved in these funds, it is generally considered to be lower than that of equity mutual funds.

  1. Diversification: Incorporating Mutual Debt Funds into an investment portfolio can offer increased diversification and the potential to mitigate overall risk.
  2. Liquidity: With debt mutual funds, you can purchase or sell your units whenever necessary, giving you quick access to your invested funds. You can rest assured that your assets will be readily available when required.

Debt Mutual Funds vs Equity Mutual Funds vs FDs

NameSuggested Investment PeriodRisk & Returns
Overnight Fund1 DayLow
Liquid Fund1-91 daysLow
Ultra Short Duration Fund3-6 monthsLow to Moderate
Low Duration Fund6-12 monthsLow to Moderate Risk
Money Market FundUp to 1 yearLow to Moderate Risk
Short Duration Fund1-3 yearsModerate
Medium Duration Fund3-4 yearsModerate Risk
Medium to Long Duration Fund4-7 yearsModerate to High
Long Duration FundMore than 7 yearsHigh Risk
Dynamic Bond FundVariableHigh Risk
Corporate Bond FundVariableModerate to High Risk
Credit Risk FundVariableHigh Risk 
Banking and PSU FundVariableModerate Risk
Gilt FundVariableLow Risk
Gilt Fund with 10-year Constant Duration10 yearsLow Risk
Floater FundVariableModerate Risk

Note: Here, risk and returns are amongst debt mutual funds and not compared to other investment classes like equities or FDs, which have completely different risk and return profiles.

Types of Debt Mutual Funds

Investment TypeRiskReturnsLiquiditySuitability
Debt Mutual FundsLower risk compared to equity funds. They are subject to interest rate, credit, and liquidity risks.The returns are not fixed and depend on the performance of the underlying securities. They generally offer better returns than FDs.High liquidity as they can be redeemed on any business day.Suitable for investors with a low to medium risk appetite, looking for stable returns over a short to medium-term period.
Equity Mutual FundsHigher risk as they invest in stocks. They are subject to market volatility.Potential for high returns over the long term, but the returns are not guaranteed and depend on the performance of the stock market.High liquidity as they can be redeemed on any business day.Suitable for investors with a high-risk appetite, looking for high returns over the long term.
Fixed Deposits (FDs)Very low risk as they offer guaranteed returns.The returns are fixed and known at the time of investment. However, the returns are generally lower than those offered by mutual funds.Liquidity can be a concern as premature withdrawal can lead to penalties.Suitable for conservative investors looking for guaranteed returns with no risk of capital loss.

Remember, the choice between Debt Mutual Funds, Equity Mutual Funds, and FDs depends on your financial goals, risk appetite, and investment horizon. It's always a good idea to diversify your investments across different asset classes to spread the risk.

Who should invest in Debt Mutual Funds?

Debt Mutual Funds are suitable for a variety of investors:

  1. Conservative Investors: If you value stability and want to stay out of the unpredictable nature of the stock market, then Debt Mutual Funds might be an attractive option for you.
    These funds can provide a steady income stream while protecting your capital, making them a good fit for conservative investors prioritising financial security.
  2. Risk-averse Investors: If you're worried about market volatility and its effects on your investments, debt mutual funds may be a suitable choice. These funds invest in fixed-income securities that are typically less volatile than equities and are known for preserving their investors’ capital.
  3. Diversification Seekers: If you’re highly exposed to stocks and real estate, investing in debt mutual funds is a great option to consider. By diversifying your investments, you can lower your portfolio's overall risk.

How to pick the right Debt Mutual Fund for your needs?

Risks

While Debt Mutual Funds are typically less risky than equity funds, they are not entirely devoid of risk. They can be affected by factors such as interest rates, credit, and liquidity.

  1. Interest Rate Risk: Debt Mutual Funds mainly consist of fixed-income securities, and their prices depend heavily on prevailing market interest rates. In other words, when interest rates go up, the prices of these securities go down, and vice versa. This is known as interest rate risk.
  2. Credit Risk: Debt Mutual Funds invest in debt instruments issued by various entities, such as government bodies and corporations. However, a risk is involved if the issuer fails to meet their payment obligations, resulting in losses for the fund. This is called credit risk, which is more significant for funds that invest in lower-rated securities for higher returns.
  3. Liquidity Risk: This risk refers to the possibility of not being able to buy or sell investments at a fair market price on time.

Expense Ratio

Professional fund managers manage Debt Mutual Funds and charge a fee for their services, also known as the expense ratio. This fee can reduce your returns, so comparing the expense ratios of various funds before investing is essential.

Investing in low expense ratio funds is beneficial as high-expense ratio funds eat into your profits.

Fund Manager's Track Record

When investing in Debt Mutual Funds, it is crucial to consider the fund manager's track record as their investment decisions significantly impact the fund's performance.

Financial Plan

When considering investing in Debt Mutual Funds, reflecting on your financial goals is essential as they can heavily influence your decision. If your goal is to preserve your capital and have a steady income flow, then Debt Mutual Funds may be a suitable option. However, equity funds could be a better choice if you aim for high capital growth.

Credit Quality of Holdings

The quality of the investments in a fund can significantly affect its risk level and potential returns. Funds that invest in secure securities, such as government bonds, are generally safer but provide lower returns.

In contrast, funds that invest in less secure securities, such as low-rated corporate bonds, offer higher returns but come with a higher level of credit risk.

Yield to Maturity (YTM)

YTM estimates the total returns a fund can generate if all the securities in its portfolio are held until maturity. A higher YTM generally indicates higher expected returns but might also involve higher risk.

Taxation on Debt Mutual Funds

New debt mutual fund taxation rules came into effect on 1st April 2023. So taxation of your debt mutual fund capital gains may vary depending on when you made the investment.

STCG on Debt Mutual Funds

  • For investments made before 1st April 2023: All gains registered within 3 years from investment are taxed at your marginal income tax rate
  • For investments made after 1st April 2023: Unchanged

LTCG on Debt Mutual Funds

  • For investments made before 1st April 2023: All gains registered after 3 years from investment are taxed at 20% flat tax rate with the benefit of indexation
  • For investments made after 1st April 2023: From 1st April onwards, all debt capital gains lose LTCG and indexation benefits and will be taxed like STCG - at your marginal income tax rate.

Dividend Distribution Tax on Debt Mutual Funds

  • Dividends are received from debt mutual funds when you invest in their IDCW (Income Distribution Cum Withdrawal) option.
  • Dividends received are taxed at your marginal income tax rate.
  • TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) at 10% is applicable on dividends received in excess of Rs 5,000 per AMC per financial year.

Conclusion

If you want to diversify your investment portfolio and get regular income, Debt Mutual Funds are worth considering. 

However, like any investment, they have risks. Before investing, you should assess your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon to understand the potential risks involved.

Still got questions?
We're here to help.

While Debt Mutual Funds are generally considered safer than equity funds, they are not entirely risk-free. They are subject to interest rate, credit, and liquidity risks.

Debt Mutual Funds suit conservative investors seeking stable returns and capital preservation. They are also suitable for short-term investors and those looking to diversify their investment portfolios.

Choosing the right Debt Mutual Fund depends on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon. It's also important to consider the fund's past performance, the fund manager's expertise, the fund's expense ratio, and the quality of the portfolio.

Matching the investment horizon with the scheme ensures that your money is invested for a suitable duration, reducing the risk of premature withdrawal or exposure to market volatility.

Other Types of Mutual Funds

Disclaimers: Data can be sourced from Morningstar, Bloomberg, CRISIL, etc. Information gathered and provided herein is believed to be from reliable sources.
Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

Mutual Fund distribution services are offered through Dezerv Distribution Services Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dezerv Investments Private Limited (collectively referred to as “Dezerv”) with AMFI Registration No.: ARN- 248439.Read More