Q. I am 23. I started working in an IT company in August. My gross monthly salary is ₹20,000 and the net monthly salary is ₹15,000. I am still left with ₹10,000 after all the expenses. I have some knowledge about stock markets and mutual funds. So, I want to ask where and how much should I invest? and how much risk should I take?

Vishal Ghodake

A. How much risk you take depends on how much you want to preserve your capital and when you need the money back. If you have over 7 or 8 years’ time for your money to grow, then stock markets and equity funds will work. If your time frame is less than, say, 3 years, then it won’t. If it somewhere in between then use a combination of equity mutual funds and options such as FDs, PPF and so on.

If your time frame is long then consider investing about 50% of your salary in equity index funds such as Nifty 50, Nifty 500 and Nifty Midcap 150.

Invest the remaining 50% in traditional options such as PPF, EPF and FDs. You can slowly increase exposure to equity index funds. Do this for a year or two and start observing stock market and then see if you can take the volatility in shares directly. If so, start with stocks of bluechip companies and slowly extend your research to other companies by reading annual reports of companies and news events.

Q. I am 23 now and want to invest ₹10,000 a month. I am looking for less riskier options and moderate fluctuations. Which mutual fund/saving schemes suit me?

Rakesh

A. If your time frame is over 5 years, then consider about 30-40% in equity index funds such as the Nifty 50 and the rest in hybrid balanced advantage funds and ultra short debt funds. Do this only if you have first started investing in traditional options such as PPF or have some FD in quality banks. That will give you a foundation.

Q. I am a senior citizen. I having been investing in mutual funds for 8 years now. About a couple of years before I invested substantial funds in some regular growth funds of SBI. I got good returns too. But I have a very…

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