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Hybrid Fund

Updated on April 4, 2024
Article byKhalid Ahmed
Edited byKhalid Ahmed
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Hybrid Fund?

A hybrid fund is a type of investment fund that combines the features of both equity and debt funds. The purpose of a Hybrid Fund is to provide investors with a well-rounded investment option that can adapt to changing market conditions.

Hybrid funds

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By combining equity and debt instruments, it aims to generate steady income while allowing for potential capital appreciation. This makes hybrid funds suitable for investors seeking moderate risk and returns. Their importance lies in providing diversification and flexibility to investors, enabling them to benefit from the potential growth of equity investments while mitigating risk through fixed-income securities.

Key Takeaways

  • Hybrid funds offer a balanced approach to investing by combining equities and debt instruments. They aim to provide potential growth through equities while offering stability and income through debt.
  • Hybrid funds provide diversification across different asset classes, spreading the investment risk. The combination of equities and debt helps to mitigate the impact of market volatility and provides a smoother investment experience.
  • They aim to balance growth and stability, making them suitable for investors with moderate risk tolerance.
  • Hybrid funds are managed by experienced professionals who dynamically adjust the asset allocation based on market conditions.

Hybrid Fund Explained

A Hybrid Fund is an investment vehicle that combines the features of multiple asset classes, typically stocks (equity) and bonds (debt), into a single fund. It provides investors with a diversified portfolio that can capture the potential growth of equity investments while providing stability and income through debt instruments.

They balance risk and return by allocating assets across different investment types. Fund managers can actively manage the allocation and adjust the portfolio composition based on market conditions and investment objectives. This flexibility allows hybrid funds to adapt to changing market dynamics and optimize returns.

Investing in these funds can benefit investors looking for a moderate level of risk diversification. It provides an opportunity to participate in potential equity market gains while reducing volatility by including fixed-income securities. This makes them suitable for investors with varying risk tolerances and investment goals.

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Types

Let us look at the types of Hybrid Funds:

  1. Balanced Funds: These funds maintain a relatively fixed allocation between stocks and bonds. They aim to provide a balanced mix of growth and income by investing around 60-75% in equities and the remaining portion in fixed-income securities.
  2. Aggressive Growth Funds: These funds have a higher allocation to equities, typically around 80-90%. They aim for significant capital appreciation by investing primarily in growth-oriented stocks, while a smaller portion may be allocated to bonds or other fixed-income instruments.
  3. Tactical Allocation Funds: These funds can dynamically adjust their asset allocation based on market conditions. The fund manager actively shifts the allocation between equities and bonds to take advantage of perceived opportunities or to manage risk during different market phases.
  4. Target Date Funds: These funds are designed for retirement planning and have a specific target date, such as 2030 or 2050. As the target date approaches, the asset allocation gradually shifts from more aggressive investments (higher equity allocation) to more conservative investments (higher fixed income allocation).

Examples

Let us look at the examples to understand the concept better.

Example #1

As per the article by Value Research, aggressive hybrid funds are investment options that combine equity and debt components. These funds allocate a significant portion of their portfolio to equities, aiming for higher growth potential. They also allocate a smaller portion to debt instruments, providing stability and income.

The article also shows a graph illustrating the ten worst one-year rolling returns of the Sensex index and aggressive hybrid funds. A key observation from the graph is that despite being equity-oriented, aggressive funds have demonstrated better resilience during equity market downturns. This can be attributed to a debt component in their portfolio, which helps mitigate the impact of market volatility.

The article states that investing a lump sum amount in aggressive funds can be beneficial due to their balanced approach and potential for higher returns. It suggests that investors with a longer investment horizon can consider these funds for wealth creation.

Example #2

Consider a hybrid fund called the “GrowthPlus Income Fund.” This fund invests in a combination of stocks and bonds to provide investors with a balanced investment approach. The fund allocates 70% of its portfolio to diversified equity holdings across different sectors to capture potential capital appreciation.

Within the remaining 30% of the portfolio, the fund manager strategically invests in high-quality bonds and fixed-income securities, generating stable income for investors. By diversifying across asset classes, the GrowthPlus Income Fund aims to mitigate the risk associated with equity investments, providing stability during market downturns.

During periods of economic growth, the fund’s equity portion may outperform, driving overall returns higher. Conversely, during market downturns, the bond component helps to cushion the impact on the fund’s performance, providing a steady income stream.

The GrowthPlus Income Fund is designed to offer investors a hybrid investment solution, blending growth potential from equity investments with income stability from fixed-income securities, thereby catering to both capital appreciation and income-generation objectives.

Taxation

Taxation of hybrid funds can vary depending on the tax laws and regulations of the specific country. Let us look at some points to consider:

  1. Dividends: Dividends received from these funds may be subject to taxation. The tax rate and treatment of dividends can vary based on the country’s tax laws. Dividends may be taxed at different rates for individuals and corporations.
  2. Capital Gains: When investors sell their units of these funds and realize a capital gain, it may be subject to taxation. The tax rate and treatment of capital gains can vary based on factors such as the holding period and the country’s tax laws.
  3. Tax Efficiency: They may offer certain tax advantages compared to other investment options. For example, some countries may provide tax benefits for long-term capital gains or offer tax-deferred or tax-exempt status for specific funds.
  4. Tax Reporting: Investors in these funds must report any income or capital gains earned from the funds on their tax returns. It’s important to keep accurate records of transactions and consult with a tax professional to ensure proper tax reporting.

Advantages And Disadvantages

Let us look at the advantages of hybrid funds:

  1. Diversification: It offers a diversified investment approach by combining different asset classes, such as equities and bonds. This diversification helps reduce risk by spreading investments across multiple sectors and instruments.
  2. Risk-Adjusted Returns: The blend of equity and debt components in these funds allows investors to benefit from potential growth in equities while providing stability through fixed-income instruments. This can result in risk-adjusted returns, balancing the upside potential with downside protection.
  3. Flexibility: It provides flexibility in asset allocation, allowing fund managers to adjust the portfolio composition based on market conditions. This dynamic allocation helps in capitalizing on opportunities and managing risk effectively.
  4. Professional Management: These are managed by experienced professionals with expertise in selecting and managing investments. They conduct in-depth research, monitor market trends, and make informed decisions on behalf of investors.

Let us look at the disadvantages of hybrid funds:

  1. Fees and Expenses: These generally have higher expense ratios compared to pure equity or debt funds due to the active management involved in maintaining the asset allocation. These fees can eat into overall returns.
  2. Tax implications: Depending on the jurisdiction’s tax laws, these may have tax implications, especially in terms of capital gains tax. The tax treatment of dividends and capital gains can impact the net returns for investors.

Hybrid Fund vs Equity

Let us look at the differences between hybrid funds and equity funds:

ParametersHybrid FundsEquity Funds
Investment StrategyA blend of equity and debt investmentsPrimarily invest in equities
Asset AllocationA mix of equities and debt instrumentsMainly focused on equities
DiversificationOffers diversification across asset classesRelies on diversification within equities
Income GenerationProvides income through debt instrumentsRelies on capital appreciation
VolatilityGenerally lower volatility compared to equity fundsCan experience higher volatility due to market fluctuations
Risk ToleranceSuitable for moderate risk toleranceSuitable for higher risk tolerance

Hybrid Fund vs Debt

Let us look at the differences between hybrid funds and debt funds:

ParametersHybrid FundsDebt Funds
Investment StrategyA blend of equity and debt investmentsPrimarily invest in fixed-income securities such as bonds
Risk and ReturnModerate risk aims for a balance between growth and stabilityLower risk focuses on income generation
Asset AllocationA mix of equities and debt instrumentsFocus on fixed-income securities
DiversificationOffers diversification across asset classesDiversification within fixed-income securities
Income GenerationProvides income through debt instruments and potential capital appreciation through equitiesFocuses on generating income through interest payments
VolatilityGenerally lower volatility compared to debt fundsLower volatility compared to equity and hybrid funds
Risk ToleranceSuitable for moderate risk toleranceSuitable for conservative risk tolerance

Hybrid Fund vs Balanced Fund

Let us look at the differences between hybrid funds and balanced funds:

ParametersHybrid FundsBalanced Funds
Investment StrategyA blend of equity and debt investmentsA mix of equities and fixed-income securities
Risk and ReturnModerate risk, balanced approachModerate risk aims for a balance between growth and stability
Asset AllocationA mix of equities and debt instrumentsFixed allocation between equities and fixed-income securities
DiversificationOffers diversification across asset classesDiversification within equities and fixed income
VolatilityGenerally lower volatility compared to balanced fundsModerate volatility

Frequently Asked Question

1. What is an equity hybrid fund?

Equity hybrid funds are hybrid funds with a higher allocation to equities and a smaller portion to debt instruments, offering a blend of growth-oriented equity investments and some stability through debt exposure.

2. Are hybrid funds good?

Whether hybrid funds are good depends on an individual’s investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. They can be suitable for investors seeking a balanced approach and risk-adjusted returns, but it’s important to assess fund performance, asset allocation, and management before making investment decisions.

3. What can hybrid funds be used for?

Hybrid funds can be used for various investment objectives, including capital appreciation, income generation, and diversification. They can provide a diversified portfolio with exposure to equity and debt markets, making them suitable for investors seeking growth and stability.

4. What are conservative hybrid funds?

Conservative hybrid funds are a category of hybrid funds with a higher allocation to debt instruments and a smaller portion to equities. They aim to provide stability, regular income, and some potential for capital appreciation, making them suitable for conservative investors with lower risk tolerance.

This article has been a guide to what is Hybrid Funds. We explain its types, taxation, comparison with balanced fund, debt, & equity, examples, and advantages. You may also find some useful articles here –

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