Monthly Investment Plan (MIP) is an investment instrument specially designed for conservative investors. If you are worried about the risks involved in stocks and want to play safe, read on to know about MIP in this quick guide.
Mutual funds, like any other investment scheme, bear a certain amount of risk. Quite often, traditional investors are sceptical of the risks involved in them. Such investors can opt for a Monthly Income Plan (MIP), a comparatively safer scheme. MIP is a debt-oriented mutual fund that gives monthly income according to the fund's performance. MIP comes under the Hybrid Mutual Fund category and aims to provide an alternative source of periodic pay-outs to the investor.
A Monthly Income Plan is ideal for pensioners and small investors who want to have an alternate source of income with minimal market-related risks. Although similar monthly income schemes (MIS) are available in Post-Office and banks, following features of MIP give it an edge over other schemes:
Being a debt fund, MIP bears a comparatively lower risk. There is no limit on investment for MIP.
You don't have to pay any processing charges and exit load charges cannot exceed 1%.
Returns on investments in MIP is generally higher than that offered by Fixed Deposits (FDs) and MIS schemes of Post-Office.
Unlike a few other investment options, there is no lock-in period for MIP that results in high liquidity.
According to the way they handle returns, you can divide the mutual fund monthly income plans into the following two types:
In this plan, instead of paying the profit back to the investor at regular intervals, it gets added to the capital. As the profit gets accumulated, your corpus grows. Although this MIS does not give you a steady inflow of profits, it results in wealth creation.
Under this scheme, you get dividends in the form of periodic pay-outs. You can choose to receive the pay-out monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annually while buying Monthly Income Plan
Since Monthly Income Plan is a debt-oriented mutual fund, your earnings under this scheme are taxable as explained below:
Although an investor does not have to pay any tax on dividends, the company levies a Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) of ~ 25% (plus surcharge and cess) while dispensing dividends for an investor. Effective DDT works out to be 29.2%. For example, if a mutual fund declares a 100 paise per unit dividend, the investor receives only 70.8 paise as 29.2 paise goes towards DDT.
Tax on Short Term Capital Gains (STCG): If you dispose of the mutual funds in less than three years, its profits are liable to be taxed as per your income tax slab.
Tax on Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG): However, if you retain the mutual funds for more than three years, the profits invite a tax of 20% after indexation.
Now that you are aware of the MIP types, its advantages, and taxes, should you buy them? MIP is a low-to-moderate risk monthly investment scheme viable for the following investors:
If you are used to investing in Fixed deposits or post offices and getting ~6-8% returns, you can switch to a monthly investment scheme. The returns on these low-risk schemes usually lie between 10-12%.
If you are a retired or semi-retired professional, MIP can serve as a back-up source of income in addition to your pension. You can utilize the periodic paybacks from these schemes to meet your contingency expenses.
The future is unpredictable, and it doesn't hurt to have an alternate source of income for unforeseen situations. This short guide gives you an introduction to the monthly investment scheme as an additional source of periodic income. Being a low-risk instrument, it can be your stepping stone into the world of market-based investments.