Target maturity funds may help beat interest rate volatility

Mumbai: Fixed income investors unnerved by the volatility in interest rates and looking for predictable returns with low credit risk in debt mutual funds could opt for target maturity schemes, said investment advisors. This category of debt funds passively invests in bonds of a similar maturity constituting the fund’s benchmark index. On maturity of the fund, investors are returned their investment proceeds. This product is open-ended.

Financial planners said target maturity funds hold a quality portfolio comprising government securities, PSU bonds and state development loans (SDLs). Credit risk in these papers tends to be low.

“These products work as a good substitute for investors with a five-year-plus time horizon looking to earn more than bank fixed deposits,” said Viral Bhatt, founder, Money Mantra.

While a fixed deposit with a bank offers 5.0-5.5% for five years, investors could earn about 5.9-6.3% from a target maturity fund with a tenure of about six years.

“By investing in long maturity bonds of 5-6 years, investors can earn 150 to 200 basis points higher than short-term bonds. As and when yields rise, they will rise sharply in the short-term maturity segment than long term, thus reducing the MTM (mark to market) impact to some extent on long-term bonds,” said Niranjan Avasthi, head (products), Edelweiss AMC. Investors in such target maturity funds that mature in the next 5-6 years could earn anywhere between 5.9% and 6.3%.

For instance, Edelweiss Nifty PSU Bond Plus SDL Index Fund 2026 has a yield to maturity (YTM) – percentage rate of return – of 5.90%. The new fund offer of ICICI Prudential PSU Bond Plus SDL 40:60 Index Fund that matures in September 2027 with a tenure of six years has a yield of 6.25% while the NFO of Aditya Birla Sun Life Nifty SDL Plus PSU Bond Sep 2026 60:40 Index Fund has a YTM of 5.93%.

Some financial planners believe the product is best suited for investors planning for a goal.”Target maturity funds work well for investors who have a goal that matches the maturity of the fund or ends slightly before the maturity,” said Nirav Karkera, head of research, fisdom.

Investors who hold these schemes for more than three years get the advantage of indexation benefit.