When it comes to securing our financial future, there are many investment options that come into play. One common dilemma investors face is whether they should continue their existing insurance policies or stop existing policies to start a much more popular option – a Mutual Fund SIP.
Comparing Apples To Oranges?
Life Insurance and SIP are two financial instruments that serve distinct purposes, yet many individuals find themselves at a crossroads, wondering which is better for their long-term financial goals. In this blog, we will explore the differences between Life Insurance and SIP, shed light on their respective pros and cons, and help you make an informed decision about where to invest your hard-earned money.
The Insurance and Investment Puzzle
Over the years, the majority of the population – the non-risk-taking people – have been investing in life insurance. The problem lies in the fact that major insurers offer complex mixtures of life insurance and investment, blurring the lines between the two. These plans come with high premiums, lower coverage, and lower returns. In essence, neither do you get good returns nor the appropriate life cover you should ideally have– as to have a high life cover, you have to shell out very high premiums.
In reality, insurance should serve the sole purpose of providing financial security to your loved ones in case of an unfortunate event. For this, a pure-term plan is your best bet – it offers life coverage without any investment component and is cost-effective compared to other insurance products.
It’s important to realize that insurance should not be considered an investment vehicle. Instead, for your investment needs, you should look to assets designed explicitly for saving and investing, such as equity mutual funds, ETFs, Equity shares, PPF, NPS, Fixed Deposits, etc. Does that mean you shouldn’t buy a Life Insurance policy? No. Life insurance is the best investment you can make if you have dependents. You can look for pure-term plans offered by LIC.
What About ULIPs?
Insurance companies – to make their offering more attractive – link their insurance packages with “units”. In other words, ULIPs are a mixture of insurance investment and stock or mutual fund investment.
While ULIPs do seem attractive on paper, when you read between the lines, you’ll see that the hidden charges and commissions eat away a significant portion of your premium. On top of that, from 2021 onward, any person who pays a yearly premium of more than 2.5 lakh can’t take advantage of 80C or 10(10D).
SIP – A Wise Investment Choice
SIP is a systematic approach to investing fixed amounts regularly into investment vehicles, typically mutual funds. It is a flexible and highly regulated investment method, making it an ideal choice, especially for novice investors. When considering long-term investments, equity investments often stand out as the top choice due to their potential for high returns. Mutual funds, accessible through SIPs, allow you to harness the power of the stock market while spreading risk through diversification. This approach aligns well with the objectives of long-term wealth creation. Although equity mutual fund SIPs have the potential to generate inflation-beating returns, the investment returns are not fixed and are subject to market volatility. Hence, investors should be watchful of selecting funds that do not match their investment horizon, goals, and risk appetite.
In the debate between Life Insurance or ULIP and SIP, it’s vital to remember that these financial instruments serve different purposes. So, if you are buying a LIC policy, buy a pure-term plan – don’t buy insurance products for the returns. While Mutual Fund SIPs are one of the best investment options available out there, the choice of appropriate investment vehicle depends on your financial goals, investment horizon, and risk appetite–you may have a goal where equity mutual fund SIP isn’t the best choice.
Consider your financial needs and consult with a SEBI-registered investment advisor to make well-informed decisions. In doing so, you can secure a better financial future for yourself and your loved ones while maximizing your investment potential.
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~ Nischay Avichal