Posts tagged: bonds

NPS Assets Investment Crosses Rs 1 Lakh Crore Mark

asset investments ideasThe National Pension System (NPS) is a voluntary defined contribution plan for retirement income. Individuals aged between 18 and 60 years can open a Tier I and Tier II account. They need to contribute a minimum amount of INR 6,000 per annum to the Tier I NPS account.

The contribution is invested among different asset classes, such as government bonds, corporate bonds, and equities. Contributors can indicate their investment choice to maximize their returns on investments.

Although the NPS was launched in 2009, it did not gain much popularity initially. Individuals shied away from investing in the NPS because of its complexity and a general lack of clarity related to their contributions.

However, in the previous year’s Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took a huge step towards increasing the popularity of this tax saving investments plan. He made contributions of up to INR 50,000 tax deductible under the section 80 CCD (1B) of the Income Tax Act. This deduction was over and above the existing benefit available for investments up to INR 1.5 lakhs under the section 80 CCE. This offers individuals a total tax deduction benefit of INR 2 lakhs under sections 80 CCD (1) and 80 CCD (1B).

As a result, an increased number of investors started investing in the National Pension System. Assets under management for the NPS crossed INR 1 lakh crores for the first time since the launch of this tax saving scheme.

Working of the NPS

Individual subscribers

They can open their NPS accounts with any of the “Point of Presence (POP)” appointed by the regulatory authority, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). They need to fill and submit the Common Subscriber Registration Form (CRSF) to the POP along with KYC documents and initial contribution. On successfully opening an account, users receive a Welcome Kit comprising the Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) card and other related documentation. The PRAN is unique for each subscriber and portable, giving you flexibility even if you change your job or location.

Tier I is the pension account while Tier II is the investment account. Withdrawals from Tier I accounts are limited and help to create the retirement corpus. Tier II is a voluntary investment facility and the amounts from this account can be withdrawn without any limitations.

Corporate subscribers

The corporate model for this tax saving scheme was made available from December 2011. It was customized to suit the requirements of different companies and employees. The NPS is an option offered for providing additional retirement benefits to the personnel, and can be made mandatory by the companies for their employees.

Companies can join this tax saving investments scheme through the POP. Employers who contribute to this pension plan on behalf of their employees also receive tax advantages, which make it attractive for them. Companies can claim such benefits for an amount that is up to 10% of the employees’ salaries (basic + dearness allowance) through deduction as business expenses.

The Advantages of High Yield Bonds

financial bonds detailsA high yield bond, also known as a junk bond, is one that has an inferior credit rating when compared to corporate, treasury, or municipal bonds. The greater amount of risk associated with these bonds, however, conversely result in a higher yield than most traditional bonds. The two leading rating agencies S&P and Moody’s rate these bonds lower than BBB and Baa respectively.

There are, however, several advantages to investing in high yield bonds. There are also techniques you can use to lower the risk attached with these bonds. Forming high yield mutual funds will reduce the loss that you will incur in the event that a company defaults. Some of the benefits of these junk bonds are:

Increase Your Income

The yield of junk bonds can actually far surpass those of the traditional government or corporate bonds or even certificates of deposit. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that the high yield bonds are generally considered ‘risky’. This unfortunate risk assessment means that companies with low credit ratings need another hook. This arrives in the form of higher interest rates on the money invested. Thus, in the event that the company does well, you will receive much more money than you invested. The second explanation is that these bonds have very little correlation to the traditional investment market. This way you can still make a profit even if the stock market’s performance declines.

Capital Growth

The advantage with investing in companies with poor credit ratings is that these ratings are not fixed. The improvement of the market, industry, or corporation that you have financed with, can usually affect the credit rating of the company. This means that the credit rating can go up. This would automatically result in the rise in the price of your high yield bond. This is known as capital appreciation. You can observe growth in your capital due to a number of reasons including improved reports, mergers, acquisitions, or other economy-related events.


Junk bonds may not be the safest asset to invest in. There are, however, still some ways that companies attempt to take the sting out of any defaults. For instance, it is a much better option to own bonds in a company than to be a shareholder in the same corporation. In the event a corporation is forced to liquidate, bondholders have a better claim to the capital structure of a company than stockholders. This means that they are more likely to receive payment. The discrepancy between the initial investment and the final payment is known as the ‘recovery rate’. The assets of a deteriorating company will be first divided among the bondholders before the shareholders. Even investors who hold bonds with a very low rating are more likely to be reimbursed than the average stockholder.

High yield bonds may be a more volatile investment than more traditional investments, but their considerable income yield may be well worth the risk. Furthermore, there are many ways that you can negate these risks with high interest rates and mutual funds. This ensures that your venture is a little more reliable.

Guide to the Different Kinds of US Bonds Available Today

All about US bondsBorrowing money is something that’s hard to avoid, both for individuals and large organizations. Even if you have an ample budget, some investments require more. In a large scale, the government and companies issue bonds to aid in borrowing large sums of money. They receive these funds by issuing bonds, which investors purchase. Most bonds have a maturity date, which is when the issuer must pay the investors back. When this occurs, the investor is awarded additional compensation on top of whatever their initial investment was.

The concept of bonds is fairly straightforward, but identifying the different kinds of bonds available today in the US can be daunting to someone with little bond and investment experience. Yet it’s certainly something to look into, with two primary advantages: purchasing bonds can strengthen one’s financial portfolio, and help them stay knowledgeable about market trends. Substantial income can be earned through investing in the right bonds. In general, the types of bonds are grouped by the type of organization or individual that issues them. There are four primary types of bonds that one can purchase in the US:

Municipal bonds are issued by local government, often to provide funding for local projects like improving school districts, sewage systems, publicly owned airports, and rehabilitation centers. Any capital gain from a municipal bond is taxable, and may be counted as income if sold at a profit prior to maturity. Still, many municipal bonds are exempt from interest via state and/or federal income tax, though this tax advantage does result in lower interest rates.

Your tax bracket is important to keep in mind when deciding to purchase municipal bonds. Use the Taxable Equivalent Yield – which is Tax-exempt yield divided by (1 – your marginal tax rate) – to help identify the yield on a taxable municipal bond. There are tools that calculate Taxable Equivalent Yield, as well. In general, tax-free municipal bonds are not useful for low income brackets, as the taxes they are saving may not compensate for the lower interest rates.

Corporate bonds are issued by corporations in order to expand their business. Its maturity date is often after a year from its issue date, with the occasional “commercial paper” corporate bonds having a shorter maturity span. Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and other rating services provide an estimate on whether a corporate bond issuer will be able to meet scheduled payments, with the ‘AAA’ rating having the lowest risk and ‘D’ having the highest risk. Using these ratings can help investors avoid high-risk investments.

Mortgage Backed Securities is a security that involves mortgages, often many mortgages. The multitude of mortgages involved makes it perhaps the most high-risk form of bond investment, but it can also result in some of the highest yields. This is how it works: mortgages are sold to either an investment bank or government agent that combines these loans into a tidy security, which investors can purchase. Unlike other bonds, which have a maturity date, mortgage-backed securities are paid off periodically.Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac are the most common entities that issue mortgage-backed securities.

U.S. Government Securities present some of the most diverse types of bonds. They are issued by the US Department of Treasury, and exist in periodic additional payments to the bondholder, in addition to the principal amount being reimbursed at the maturity date. The government is the largest issuer of debt securities, and as a result these are considered some of the safest fixed-income investment opportunities. Different types of U.S. government securities include a T-Bill, U.S. Treasury Note, U.S. Treasury Bond, Savings bonds, and zero-coupon bond, the latter of which pays no interest but is issued at a discount that depends on the maturity length. You can purchase U.S. government securities directly though the US Department of Treasury.