Q-1 How to start a SIP?
Ans- Starting a SIP is pretty simple. You need to fill out a SIP registration form with the scheme name, monthly installment amount, SIP date, SIP tenure and bank details. You can use the auto debit facility for SIP installments payment by filling up the auto debit mandate form. It takes about 21 to 30 days to register the auto debit with the bank. You will receive a confirmation once the mandate is registered and the SIP account has been set up.
The debit into your account for the first SIP will happen on the execution date as indicated by you, the investor, in the application form.
Q-2 What is the minimum amount to start a SIP?
Ans- SIP can be started with an amount as low as ₹ 500, which is the minimum amount of investment and there is no maximum limit.
Q-3 Can I redeem the investments accumulated in a SIP? If so, will the SIP cease?
Ans- Yes, you can redeem the units accumulated in a SIP without affecting the continuation of the SIP for the remaining tenure. To stop the SIP, one needs to provide a written request duly signed.
Q-4 What about the partial redemption of the accumulated units in a SIP? Can I continue with the balance installments after such redemption?
Ans- Yes. You can withdraw the accumulated units either partially or fully by giving a redemption request. However, one needs to keep in mind the applicability of exit load, which varies from 0.01% to 2% and capital gains tax. The redemption will not affect the continuation of the SIP.
Note that, in case of Equity linked saving scheme (ELSS), which has a lock-in of 3 years before which you are not allowed to withdraw any units or exit the scheme.
Q-5 For how long can you run a SIP?
Ans- Most fund houses stipulate a minimum of six months for a SIP. Investors can choose any tenure they wish or they may even opt for the ‘perpetual option’, which means the SIP will continue till the investor gives an instruction to the fund house to close it. However, it is advisable to link each SIP to a goal and continue with it till the goal is reached.
Q-6 Can you change the SIP amount?
Ans- An investor can increase or reduce his SIP amount, by first canceling the existing mandate and giving the revised one. Fund houses do not charge any penalty for stopping the SIPs.
Q-7 Can I change my current SIP from dividend option to a growth option? What should I do to convert the existing units in dividend option to growth option?
Ans- Your current SIP cannot be changed from dividend to growth option directly. You will need to stop the current SIP with a written request and provide a new SIP registration with growth option. You can give a separate request to change the accumulated units in the current SIP from the dividend to growth option. As this change amounts to a switch transaction, you need to keep in mind the applicability of capital gains tax and exit load.
Q-8 Can you invest a lump sum in a scheme in which you have a SIP running?
Ans- Yes, you can add a lump sum amount to the same scheme in which you are running a SIP. It does not affect the SIP.
Q-9 What will happen if my SIP debit from the bank did not go through for some months?
Ans- If a SIP auto-debit is not honored for a few consecutive installments (the number of installments is usually three and will be mentioned in the scheme documents for the respective fund), the SIP will cease and a communication will be sent to the investor.
Q-10 In which market phase, SIPs are most beneficial?
Ans- SIP investments will fetch maximum returns if markets really are volatile or going down after you have invested. If markets turn bullish and start going up, in that case, SIP will be less beneficial and will give fewer returns. Because the units bought by you every time will be at a higher price than the previous one, which will ultimately increase the average cost of your investment. In such a scenario, lump sum investment will be more beneficial as compared to SIP.