NEVER PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN A SINGLE BASKET!II A. DEBT INSTRUMENTS (1) PO Monthly Income Scheme(MIS): A deposit offered by the Post Offices(PO) which pays a monthly interest. Suited for retired individuals. (2) PO Recurring Deposit(RD): Another scheme from the Post Office which enables small periodic savings with as low as Rs. 10 a month. (3) Kisan Vikas Patra(KVP): Popular fixed income bonds which repay the principal and interest on maturity. (4) National Savings Certificate(NSC): Popular fixed income bonds which repay the principal and interest on maturity. (5) Bank Fixed Deposits: The most popular investment avenue in India. The deposits could bear a Fixed Rate or a Floating Rate of interest. Banks also offer Recurring Deposits. (6) Mutual Funds: Debt Mutual Funds score over deposits because of they are more tax efficient and more liquid. These include Income Funds, Monthly Income Plans and Liquid Funds. (7) Corporate Deposits: Apart from banks an investor can invest in deposits ofCorporates, NBFCs and other Financial institutions. These generally offer a higher rate of interest compared to bank deposits and have a higher risk. II B. Retirement Saving Avenues: (1) Senior Citizen Savings Scheme(SCSS): A government of India Scheme specially for retired individuals. (2) Public Provident Fund(PPF): The most popular tax saving scheme falling under the ‘EEE’ category of investments. (3) Employees Provident Fund(EPF): Mandatory contributions to the EPF required by law for all salaried employees result in this fund forming a part of every individuals’ portfolio. (4) New Pension Fund(NPS): Another ‘EEE’ category product, which helps one accumulate a corpus for his retirement days. (5) Annuities: The corpus accumulated for one’s retirement can be invested to earn monthly annuities to meet post retirement expenses. (6) Reverse Mortgage: A product recently introduced in India, it offers retired individuals monthly income against the security/mortgage of their house. II C. Government Bonds There are a number of securities issued by the Government of India available for investment based on their requirement: (1) RBI Bonds (2) State Government Bonds (3) NHAI/REC Bonds u/s 54EC for Capital Gains (4) NABARD Bonds u/s 80C (5) IIFCL Tax Free Bonds (6) 8% taxable Savings Bonds III. STRUCTURED PRODUCTS (1) Capital Protection with market participation Products: Generally restricted to the High Networth Individuals(HNIs), structured products come in different shapes and sizes. (2) Private Equity(PE) Funds: For the niche section of investors, these investments fall in the high risk high return category. IV. REAL ESTATE (1) Direct Investment: This involves buying physical residential and commercial properties including land. (2) Real Estate Funds: Just like Mutual Funds, real estate funds pool in the investors money and invest in real estate properties. This scores over direct investment because of lower transaction costs and professional management of the fund. (3) Real Estate Investment Trusts(REITs): A security that sells like a stock on the stock exchange and invests in real estate directly, either through properties or mortgages. Such securities are not yet available in India. V. COMMODITIES (1) Gold ETFs: The most popular and easiest route to gain exposure to investments in gold. (2) Direct Investments: Just like the direct equity route, one can get exposure to commodities both in the cash or Futures & Options market. VI. FOREX The largest market in the world in terms of volume, this is an investment product which is not yet popular among the retail investors in India.