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What are the advantages and disadvantages of investing in debt funds?

Pijush Kanti Biswas

Debt fund is a mutual fund which invests most of the money gather from investors into fixed income instruments like corporate bonds, government bonds (both state and central), bonds issued by banks, certificate of deposit, treasury bills etc.

Advantages of investing in debt funds:

1.    Debt funds are best option for an investor with low risk appetite.

2.    Help fund houses to bring in stability in the portfolio for diversification of mutual funds.

3.    Debts fund are highly liquid which can be easily converted in to cash that too within a day time.

4.    No deduction of taxes or TDS on the earning from debt funds. Taxes to be paid only when an investor sell or withdraw fund units and depending on period of the investment.

5.    Provide better returns on investment as compared to bank FDs and parking surplus money in savings account.

6.    Debt fund has low transaction cost as compared to the other mutual fund.

 Disadvantages of investing in debt funds:

1.    Return on investment is very low as compared to equity mutual funds.

2.    While it is true to say that debt funds are relatively safer than equity funds, but they are not risk free like the way bank fixed deposits (FDs) are. The risk in debt funds comes from different sources and three most important risks are change in interest rate risk, credit risk and lack of liquidity. For further detail, check on: https://groww.in/questions/are-debt-funds-safe

3.    Due to presence of various debt funds it often become very confusing for a new investor to find suitable debt fund for investing.

4.    As these debt funds are managed by the professionals from fund houses, individual investors are left with no control on their day to day activities.

5.    Debt funds are associated with extra costs like transaction cost, salary for fund manager, marketing cost etc.

So, debt funds are best suited for investors with surplus amount of money lying idle with them and interested in earning better returns than normal saving accounts or bank FDs with very low risk appetite risk.

Happy Investing!                                       


Advantages of investing in debt funds are:

  1. No impact of equity market volatility- Debt funds invest in interest bearing instruments like corporate bonds, money market instruments, etc. Therefore, the volatility in the equity market does not affect your investment.
  2. High degree of liquidity- In case of an emergency you do not need to break your investment as a whole and can withdraw the amount of money you want and let the remaining as invested.
  3. Better returns after tax- After three years of investment the returns from debt funds are treated as long term capital gains and is are taxed at 10 or 20% with indexaton. Also, there is no TDS in debt funds.

Disadvantages of investing in debt funds are:

  1. Risk- Even though debt funds invest in government bonds, money market instruments there is still a slight chance of the government of the corporate declaring itself as bankrupt, or default in payment of interest. This makes debt funds slightly more riskier than FDs.
  2. Vast variety available- There are a large number of options available in the market to choose from and hence it gets a little confusing for the investor to choose funds suitable for him.
  3. Less control- Investors have no control over the day to day activities of the fund as it is managed by professionals.
  4. Cost- There is cost associated with the fund such as selling, professional management cost etc. However, debt funds provide better returns despite the costs associated with it. 




Debt funds are funds which invest money in long term bonds, debentures, commercial papers and other fixed income assets. They are of various types funds varying in terms of liquidity, tenure of funds, risk etc.


Advantages of investing in debt fund Schemes


1.    Professional Management- Investments in these funds are managed by professional fund managers who invest in the debt assets with highest returns pertaining to a particular risk level which might not be easy to find for individual investors.

2.    Investments in debt mutual funds usually give a higher return than investments in fixed deposits of banks and post office savings schemes.

3.    Systematic Investments- investments in fixed deposits are made in lump sump amounts whereas investments in debt mutual funds can be made in the form of SIP thus helping in creating long term wealth accumulation over a period of time.

4.    Flexibility- Debt mutual funds do not have any fixed lock-in period and thus give their investors the liberty of withdrawing their money at any point of time.


Disadvantage of investing in debt mutual funds


1.    Fees- Debt mutual funds usually charge an expense ratio their investors as a percentage of their assets under management. This fees marginally reduces the return for their investors. These expenses depend on factors like the level of specialisation, investment strategies, AMC policies etc.

2. Suitability- A debt mutual fund may slightly differ with the investors's objectives in terms of risk, objectives, returns etc.


Many investment options are available for those investors who want to invest their money by taking exposure to minimal risk. Investment in Fixed Deposits and Debt-oriented Mutual Funds generate fixed returns, unlike investment in the stock market.

Debt-oriented funds are basically Mutual Fund schemes whose objective is to preserve capital vis-à-vis generate return each year. The money collected from investors choosing to invest in debt funds are invested largely in corporate or government bonds, bills and paper, or a specific category of bonds based on industry or credit rating. Money-market fund is another type of debt fund. These are typically short term investments like government bills and notes, and highly rated corporate bonds with maturity period up to one year.


Apart from the advantages that come with investing in Mutual Funds, investing in debt-oriented funds provide the following advantages:

·        Investing in individual bonds would require the investor to wait for them to mature or sell them in the secondary market for profit, whereas by investing in debt fund, the investor can take a back seat and let the professional manager generate return and trade a wide range of securities throughout the year

·        Investments in debt funds are not affected by equity market volatility and are thus ideal instruments for investors with a very low risk appetite

·        Debt securities are more stable as compared to equity. Therefore, investors can benefit from this stability, and the benefits of stability can also set off the disadvantages that the investor may face by investing in another equity fund.


·        Debt funds are not devoid of risk. Though they invest in government securities, money market instruments and corporate deposits, the investors are still exposed to risk of default or bankruptcy of concerned parties. This makes it more risky as compared to traditional Fixed Deposits.

·        Stock funds have consistently outperformed debt funds. This is because the investor is exposed to more risk as compared to debt funds.

To conclude, debt funds are highly liquid and safer investment options for those who do not want to take any risk of the stock market. 

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