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Best Hybrid or balanced funds are a class of mutual funds that invest across both equity and debt securities to balance the risk-reward ratio. We have covered the following in this article on the best hybrid funds:

1. Introduction to Best Hybrid Funds

Hybrid funds, as the name suggests, invest across both equity and debt securities to constitute a diversified portfolio. Investing in these funds is a better way of diversifying your portfolio rather than separately investing in several individual securities. Hybrid funds are further classified into equity-oriented hybrid and debt-oriented hybrid funds depending on their equity exposure. If equity exposure is more than 65%, then it is said to an equity-oriented hybrid fund. If not, it is a debt-oriented fund.

2. Top 10 Best Hybrid Funds

The table below shows the top-performing hybrid funds based on the past 3-year and 5-year returns:

 

Fund

3-Year Returns

5-Year Returns

Link

Kotak Asset Allocator Fund Growth

9.30%

10.04%

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SBI Magnum Medium Duration Fund Regular Growth

9.38%

9.91%

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Mirae Asset Hybrid Equity Fund -Regular Plan-Growth

4.89%

9.52%

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Canara Robeco Equity Hybrid Fund Growth

6.93%

9.35%

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ICICI Prudential Asset Allocator Fund(FOF) Growth

6.52%

9.24%

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ICICI Prudential Regular Savings Fund Growth

7.23%

8.85%

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DSP Equity & Bond Fund Growth

4.50%

8.57%

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Kotak Debt Hybrid Growth

6.04%

8.09%

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SBI Equity Hybrid Fund Regular Growth

4.59%

8.07%

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Kotak Equity Hybrid Regular Growth

4.01%

7.99%

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3. Who Should Invest in Hybrid Funds?

Investing in hybrid funds is suitable for those who are willing to take some risk in exchange for the potential to earn much higher returns than debt funds. Anybody looking to diversify their portfolio should consider investing in these funds. If you are not willing to assume higher levels of risk and are looking to gain exposure to a portfolio dominated by debt securities, then you may invest in debt-oriented hybrid funds. The exposure of these funds towards equity is on the lower side, generally less than 35%. These funds are relatively stabler than equity funds and may provide higher returns than debt funds. If you are looking to gain exposure to an equity-oriented portfolio having some exposure toward debt securities, then you may consider investing in hybrid funds. The debt exposure of these funds is restricted to under 35%. This gives you the benefit of diversification and the presence of debt securities mitigates market volatility to some extent.

4. Taxability of Hybrid Funds

The dividends offered by any mutual fund scheme are added to your overall income and taxed as per the income tax slab you fall under. This method of taxation of dividends is referred to as the classical way of taxing dividends. Until Budget 2020, dividends were made tax-free in the hands of investors as the fund houses paid dividend distribution tax (DDT). The taxation of capital gains of hybrid funds depends on their type. If the fund is debt-oriented, then the fund is taxed like any other debt mutual fund. If it is equity-oriented, then the rules of taxation of equity funds apply. Therefore, it is important to know the fund’s type you are choosing to invest from the tax point of view.

5. Risks Associated With Hybrid Funds

Generally, hybrid funds are regarded as a higher level of risk as compared to a debt fund but lower as compared to an equity fund. The fund manager strives to balance the risk-reward ratio by modifying the composition of the fund’s portfolio by following the prevailing market trend. Hybrid funds carry all the risks that come associated with both equity and debt securities. These funds carry credit risk, interest rate risk, market risk, liquidity risk, concentration risk and volatility risk. All hybrid fund investors automatically assume all these risks on gaining exposure to a hybrid fund.

6. Things to Consider Before Investing in a Hybrid Fund

You have to consider the following points before investing in a hybrid fund: Risk profile You need to assess your risk profile and choose to invest in that hybrid fund whose risk levels are matching yours. Investment horizon If your investment horizon is shorter than five years, then you may consider investing in a debt-oriented hybrid fund. If it is longer than five years, then you may choose to invest in an equity-oriented hybrid fund. Equity-oriented portfolios require longer tenures to mitigate market volatility to a greater extent. The type of hybrid fund Since the rate of taxation of capital gains offered by hybrid funds depends on their type, you should essentially be aware of the type of hybrid fund you are choosing to invest in. This helps in planning your taxes better.

7. Advantages of Investing in Hybrid Funds

The following are some of the advantages of investing in hybrid funds:

  • As these funds invest across both equity and debt securities, it naturally gives you the benefit of diversification.
  • The fund manager modified the composition of the portfolio depending on the market conditions. He tries to reap the best out of both equity and debt segments.
  • These funds are known to provide higher returns than a debt fund while carrying lower levels of risk.
  • First-time equity investors may consider getting started by investing in a hybrid fund. This gives them a controlled exposure to equities.

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