Investor’s Dilemma : Are ULIPs just another Mutual Fund??

ulips

At almost every investor mind a question is generally cropped up: “What is the difference between a ULIP and a Mutual Fund?”

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The reason, perhaps for the wide extent of confusion, lies largely in the way ULIPs have been sold by agents. As just another mutual fund.

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Unit Linked Insurance Policies (ULIPs) as an investment avenue are closest to mutual funds in terms of their structure and functioning.

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As is the case with mutual funds, investors in ULIPs is allotted units by the insurance company and a net asset value (NAV) is declared for the same on a daily basis.

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Similarly ULIP investors have the option of investing across various schemes similar to the ones found in the mutual funds domain, i.e. diversified equity funds, balanced funds and debt funds to name a few.

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Generally speaking, ULIPs can be termed as mutual fund schemes with an insurance component.

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Mutual Fund is a body corporate that pools the money from individual/corporate investors and invests the same on behalf of the investors /unit holders, in various investment avenues like equity shares, Government securities, Bonds, Call money markets etc., as per the pre-specified objective and distributes the profits earned from such investment.

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In India, Mutual Funds are registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).


ULIPs vs Mutual Funds

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ULIPs are a mix of investment and insurance. 🙂

But very long term investment, not even medium term.

Insurance companies themselves admit, that if your investment horizon is anything less than 7 years, don’t even consider a ULIP.

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Charge structure in a ULIP is vastly different from a mutual fund.

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ULIP investors also have the flexibility to alter the premium amounts during the policy’s tenure.

The freedom to modify premium payments at one’s convenience clearly gives ULIP investors an edge over their mutual fund counterparts.

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In mutual fund investments, expenses charged for various activities like fund management, sales and marketing, administration among others are subject to pre-determined upper limits as prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

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Insurance companies have a free hand in levying expenses on their ULIP products with no upper limits being prescribed by the regulator, i.e. the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

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ULIPs also allow you to switch from debt to equity within the same scheme, at no extra charge.

So if you want to get the benefits of long term investment and risk cover in one single product, ULIP is the product for you.

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So it is not an issue, of whether a mutual fund is better or a ULIP. It is about your need.

Both can co-exist in your basket of needs. 🙂

So identify your needs with a financial planner and then pick the product suitable for you.

🙂

ULIPs are a mix of investment and insurance. But very long term investment, not even medium term.

Insurance companies themselves admit, that if your investment horizon is anything less than 7 years, don’t even consider a ULIP.

Charge structure in a ULIP is vastly different from a mutual fund.

ULIP investors also have the flexibility to alter the premium amounts during the policy’s tenure.

The freedom to modify premium payments at one’s convenience clearly gives ULIP investors an edge over their mutual fund counterparts.

In mutual fund investments, expenses charged for various activities like fund management, sales and marketing, administration among others are subject to pre-determined upper limits as prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Insurance companies have a free hand in levying expenses on their ULIP products with no upper limits being prescribed by the regulator, i.e. the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

ULIPs also allow you to switch from debt to equity within the same scheme, at no extra charge. So if you want to get the benefits of long term investment and risk cover in one single product, ULIP is the product for you.

So it is not an issue, of whether a mutual fund is better or a ULIP. It is about your need.

Both can co-exist in your basket of needs.

So identify your needs with a financial planner and then pick the product suitable for you.

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