Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs) are touted as safer debt instruments, with potential to earn higher than bank savings account and fixed-deposit. The popularity of FMPs appeal to investors who prefer to lock their investments at higher interest rates, when and where the trend for such rates are currently on the rise.
Higher earnings though are not assured as FMPs offer only indicative yields; denoting that actual gain that can be realized from investing on FMPs has chances of being lower or higher than the indicative yield stated at the time the FMP became available as New Fund Offer (NFO).
How Do Fixed Maturity Plans Work?
First off, FMP investment product becomes available by way of a New Fund Offer (NFO) coming from a mutual fund company. The latter intends to pool money that will be loaned out to a particular business at a fixed interest rate, over a fixed maturity period coinciding with the maturity date as the FMP investment. FMPs are heavily debt-oriented but protects the returns of investors from interest fluctuations.
Yet, in the event the business entity on which the debt scheme was awarded, fails to pay at maturity, this denotes that FMP investors will not receive the entire maturity value indicated during the launch of the NFO.
Who Invests in FMPs?
In light of its long term nature, FMPs however, are recommended as ideal investment products for investors who can park their money on long term investments of up to 3 years at the least, to 5 years at the most. The need to stay invested throughout the term is to harness the benefits of indexation of taxes pertaining to capital gains derived from long term investments.
FMP investors therefore who do not have liquidity requirements for the next 3 to 5 years, have better opportunities at raking in returns at a lower tax expense to earnings ratio.
Benefits of indexation of Taxes on FMPs relate to a specific tax rate on Long Term Capital Gains. As opposed to Savings or Time Deposit to which interests earned are immediately reduced by corresponding taxes withheld on interest earnings realized during short periods. The difference in taxation though, benefits those who have no liquidity requirements for at least three years.