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Flexicap fund or index fund: Which is the better investment to reach 1cr and why?

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Flexicap fund

Long-term wealth creation through disciplined investment in mutual funds is one of the most effective ways for investors to reach monetary goals like accumulating Rs. 1 crore. Two of the most popular mutual fund categories for achieving this are flexi funds and index funds. Both have their advantages, but which one is better suited to reach that Rs. 1 crore target through consistent SIP investments over 15-20 years? Let’s evaluate flexicap funds and index funds to see which could be the better vehicle to create that large corpus.

Flexicap funds – Versatility and active management

Flexicap funds, as the name suggests, have the flexibility to invest across large, mid, and small-cap stocks. They are not constrained by market capitalization limits. This gives fund managers the versatility to capitalize on opportunities across the market cap spectrum based on their research and analysis of companies. Flexicap funds are actively managed, which means the fund manager has discretion over stock selection and portfolio allocation depending on market conditions and outlook.

Key advantages of flexicap funds

  • Ability to capitalize on opportunities across large, mid and small-caps: Fund managers can shift allocation between market caps based on where they see maximum potential. This helps capture upside from different areas of the market.
  • Experienced fund management: Top flexicap funds are run by some of the most experienced fund managers in the industry who have long and successful track records. Their market knowledge and stock picking ability gives flexicap funds an edge.
  • Potential for higher returns: Since flexicap funds have more flexibility, they aim to generate superior long-term returns by dynamically moving between market caps over different periods. Historical returns of top flexicap funds have often been higher than benchmarks.

Index funds – Low-cost passive investing

Index funds track established market indices like the Nifty 50 or Sensex. They provide passive exposure to a pre-defined segment of the overall market. Index fund portfolios mirror the constituents and weightages of underlying benchmarks with minimal variations.

Some key merits of index funds include

Low cost structure: Since index funds are passively managed, they have very low expense ratios, sometimes less than 0.1-0.2% p.a. This helps retain more returns for investors.

Benchmark returns: Index funds aim to deliver returns equivalent to their underlying indices which have historically generated ~12% returns over long periods in India.

No stock picking risk: Removes the risk of fund manager bets on individual stocks going wrong. Performance is dependent only on how the broader market index fares.

The path to Rs. 1 crore wealth creation

To evaluate which category – flexicap or index fund – could be better suited for achieving the Rs. 1 crore goal, let’s consider a simulation of 15-20 years of monthly SIP investments in both. This can be calculated using a mutual fund interest calculator.

Flexicap fund SIP:

– Rs. 10,000 monthly SIP

– 15% annualized long term returns (avg. returns of top funds)

– 30% tax on long term capital gains

– After 20 years: Rs. 1.43 crore

Index fund SIP: 

– Rs. 10,000 monthly SIP

– 12% annualized returns (historical Nifty returns)

– 25% tax on index funds (lower portfolio turnover)

– After 20 years: Rs. 1.16 crore

While the flexicap fund SIP shows marginally higher projected corpus due to potential for superior returns from active management, the costs are higher too. Index funds provide a simple way to gain market exposure at minimal fees which allows more investment capital to remain invested.

Conclusion

Both flexicap funds and index funds have merits for long term wealth creation. For investors focused solely on the Rs. 1 crore goal, index funds may provide a more certain way to reach it through lower costs despite potential for marginally lower historical returns. Flexicap funds remain better for those willing to take on slightly higher risk and taxation for a possible higher return outcome over the long run.