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4 ULIP investment tips one should never forget

July 18, 2018

Picking the best restaurant or cafe is a much easier task today, thanks to the internet! All that you need to do is, check out the online reviews, ambience, photographs and of course the day's menu and offers! Just like you select a restaurant or cafe after reviewing the above factors, you should choose investment solutions after knowing how a particular investment would work for you.

Over the years ULIPs have gained popularity as an investment tool because of its dual advantage of providing a life cover and of creating wealth through market-linked returns. Let's find out in this piece how to choose ULIP plan for your investments.

1. Identify your life goals

Before you begin investing, the first step you take is to identify the reason why you are investing. Make a list of your life goals. When you invest towards specific goals, your investments become streamlined. For example, imagine you want to go on a world cruise with your wife in ten years. Now determine the amount you need to fulfil this goal. A simple calculator with basic inflation rate will tell you the approximate money you need. Based on this information, you can identify how much you need to invest in a Unit-linked insurance plans to support your life goals.

2. Evaluate your risk appetite

There is a common mantra in investing: higher the risk, higher the returns. However, taking high risks is not everyone's cup of tea. Some investors are more interested in capital preservation and steady returns. Your ability to take risk depends on your income. If you expect to earn better each year, you can withstand risk and allocate funds accordingly. Investment products should cater to the varying risk appetite of investors. That's why, ULIPs are one of the preferred investment options available for you no matter what your risk appetite is. You can invest from low risk debt funds or balanced funds to high risk equity funds in ULIPs to meet your life goals.

3. Know the charges

Charge structure in ULIPs vary from one plan to another. Thus it is important to understand the charges associated with ULIPs before you invest in them. This will give you a better understanding of your money that is being invested in one or more funds. Insurers deduct a small amount from your premium before investing them in market-linked funds. The amount deducted goes towards various charges like premium allocation charge, mortality charge, fund management charge and policy administration charges. The overall charges however have been capped by IRDAI at 3% of gross yield for policies with term of up to 10 years and 2.25% for policies with more than 10 years term. The good part is that few new-age ULIPs have zero premium allocation charge and policy administration charge, and some are even returning back the mortality charges on maturity of policy, making ULIPs more cost-effective.

4. Assess the flexibility of your investment

Your investments should be dynamic and flexible in nature so that they can be modified as per your need and risk appetite. The structure of ULIPs is such that it allows you to customize your life insurance plan as per your life goal, needs and risk appetite. ULIP investment allow you to choose your premium payment option to be either monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. This provides you the flexibility to make small contributions every month in a systematic manner rather than investing a large amount annually. ULIPs also provide the option to switch between the equity or debt funds to capitalise on market upturns or downturns.

These tips can help you make better investment choices when you put your money in ULIPs. With steady and regular investments in ULIPs, you may end up with a large corpus of money to fulfil your life goals right on time.

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