Benefits Of Asset Allocation In ULIPs
ULIPs offer many benefits to investors. Right from a life insurance cover to market-linked investment opportunities, the ULIP benefits available to investors are many and varied. Among the many beneficial features that ULIPs come with, asset allocation is an important one. To understand what asset allocation is and what the ULIP benefits linked to proper allocation are, let us begin by understanding the answer to the fundamental question - what is a ULIP plan?
What is a ULIP plan?
A Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) is an investment option that offers the policyholder the dual benefit of investing in either equity funds or debt funds (or both), while also providing life insurance coverage. In simple terms, ULIP provides wealth creation opportunity and a life insurance cover, so the policyholder gets the advantage of insurance and investment.
So, now that you know the basics, let us move on to understand the concept of asset allocation in Unit Linked Insurance Plans, which is the reason for many ULIP benefits.
What is asset allocation?
As you have seen above, ULIPs offer policyholders the choice of investing in different funds. Asset allocation is the practice of allocating the premium paid across the funds offered by these plans, so you can reap optimal ULIP benefits.
Here is a closer look at the types of funds that you can allocate your assets between.
1. Equity funds
As the name clearly suggests, equity funds invest in the equity stocks of companies listed on the stock exchange. Professional fund managers who perform the research needed to identify the best stocks to invest your funds in generally manage these funds. Depending on the category of companies they invest in, equity funds can be of different types, like small-cap, mid-cap, or large-cap, among others. The primary objective of asset allocation in equity funds is to give the policyholder the benefit of market linked capital appreciation.
• Risk factor - Generally high risk investments
• ULIP returns - Typically higher, especially over the long term
2. Debt funds
These funds invest in financial instruments like corporate bonds, government securities, and fixed income bonds. The element of guaranteed returns associated with debt funds adds some stability to your investments. Therefore, if you are looking for investments that come with lower risk, asset allocation to debt funds may be a good idea. This is what makes these funds preferred by conservative investors.
• Risk factor - Generally considered as medium-risk investments
• ULIP returns - Typically low to medium over the long term
Benefits of proper asset allocation
It is important to allocate your money smartly across the different funds offered by ULIPs. You can choose a combination of funds to make up your portfolio. A ULIP calculator comes in handy if you are unsure of how much to invest in your plan. Proper asset allocation comes with many advantages.
Here is a closer look at the ULIP benefits you can enjoy when you allocate your money smartly across the options available to you.
1. Your portfolio will match your risk profile
Some investors are conservative, while others may be more open to taking on a higher level of investment risks if it means there is also a possibility of higher returns. Asset allocation makes it possible for you to choose funds according to your risk profile, so you can put together an investment portfolio that is convenient for you, while simultaneously enjoying the dual benefits of investment and insurance.
2. You can achieve your life goals smoothly
As an investor, you are likely to have many life goals charted out for the years ahead. These will no doubt include short-term goals as well as long-term goals. Asset allocation among the funds available can help you achieve your life goals as planned, since you can choose the funds that may help you in gaining the kind of returns you seek. A ULIP calculator also comes in handy if you wish to align your asset allocation with your life goals.
3. You can benefit from market movements
Asset allocation is not a one-time activity. Most ULIPs today offer policyholders the option to switch funds a certain number of times during each policy year. As an investor, you can make use of this facility to align your investments with the market movements. For instance, if the markets are taking a bullish turn, you could increase your equity allocation, and in the case of a bearish scenario, you could divert your money to debt funds instead.
Asset allocation gives investors many advantages, many of which are exclusive to ULIPs. If you are a beginner investor who is unsure of investing directly in the equity markets or not sure about which debt instruments to choose, ULIP plans may help resolve that dilemma since they allow you to allocate your money across a mix of pre-existing funds. Ensure to use a ULIP calculator before you make your investments, so you can make informed decisions.
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