With multiple investment options available, identifying where to invest money can be confusing. It is important to understand each of them and then invest in the ones that meet your requirements.

Investment options available in India

1. National Savings Certificate (NSC)

2. National Pension Scheme (NPS)

3. Public Provident Fund (PPF)

4. Unit-linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs)

5. Equity Mutual funds

7. Gold

8. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)

9. Post Office Monthly Income Scheme

10. Fixed deposits

11. Government Bonds

12. Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs)

National Savings Certificate (NSC)

The National Savings Certificate (NSC) is a savings scheme backed by the Government of India. You can opt for it through a post office. It is a low-risk investment option aimed at helping people from low to middle-income groups. It provides deduction of up to ₹ 1.5 lakh per annum as per the provisions of Section 80C of The Income Tax Act, 1961.

National Pension Scheme (NPS)

The National Pension Scheme (NPS) is a government-backed pension scheme regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). It is aimed at providing retirement benefits to Indian citizens. It is open to all individuals, including employees from government, private and unorganised sectors. NPS offers a range of investment options to suit different risk profiles and investment horizons. It offers tax benefits of up to ₹ 1.5 lakh under Section 80CCD(1) of the Income Tax 1961. The overall limit is capped ₹ 1.5 lakhs under Section 80CCE of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Deduction up to ₹50000 u/s 80CCD(1B) from taxable income for additional contribution to NPS.

Public Provident Fund (PPF)

The government-supported savings scheme, Public Provident Fund (PPF), is another option suitable for retirement planning. It has a maturity period of 15 years. PPF is ideal for long-term financial goals and offers low risk. It provides deduction of up to ₹ 1.5 lakh per annum as per the provisions of Section 80C of The Income Tax Act, 1961.

Unit-linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs)

Unit-linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) are investment products that offer you with a life cover and help you grow your money. The life cover secures your loved ones in case of an unfortunate event. The returns provided by ULIPs enable you to meet your long-term financial goals. With ULIPs, you may choose to invest in equity, debt or balanced funds, depending on your requirements and risk appetite. ULIPs offer tax benefits as per the provisions of Section 80C and 10(10D) of The Income Tax Act, 1961.

Equity Mutual funds

Equity mutual funds are managed by professional fund managers. They invest your money primarily in stocks of other companies that are listed on the stock market. Equity mutual funds are subject to market fluctuations but can be a good investment option for long-term financial goals.


Stocks represent ownership in a company. They can be purchased through a stock exchange and offer the potential for high returns over the long term. However, they are also subject to market volatility and carry a higher risk than other investment options. Hence, it is important to conduct thorough research and analysis before investing in individual stocks.


Gold is a commonly known investment option in India. Not only does it have cultural relevance, but it also makes for a key financial asset. It can offer a safety net against inflation and carries low risk. Gold also provides various methods of investment. You can invest in gold jewellery, coins, sovereign gold bonds and gold Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are a way to invest in real estate without purchasing or managing property directly. A REIT owns and manages income-generating real estate properties, such as apartments, commercial buildings, or hotels. They are traded on stock exchanges like shares. They can offer long-term growth of money and dividend income.

Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS)

The Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS) is a fixed-income scheme that allows you to invest a lump sum amount and receive guaranteed monthly payouts. This scheme offers a fixed interest rate. It is considered a safe investment option as it is backed by the Indian government. The maximum investment limit is ₹ 9 lakh for an individual account and ₹ 15 lakh for a joint account. POMIS is a good option if you are looking for a regular income stream without the risk of market volatility.

Fixed Deposits (FDs)

A Fixed Deposit (FD) is a popular investment option in India that provides a fixed rate of interest over a fixed tenure. FDs are offered by banks and Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFCs). FDs are a low-risk investment option and are suitable if you are looking to earn a steady and guaranteed return on your savings. In India, it provides deduction of up to ₹ 1.5 lakh per annum as per the provisions of Section 80C of The Income Tax Act, 1961.

Government Bonds

The Indian government issues government bonds to fund various developmental activities. These bonds are fixed-income securities that offer a fixed rate of interest. Government bonds are among one the safest investment options in India since they are backed by the government's guarantee.

Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs)

Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs) are government-backed investment options that allow you to invest in gold without the hassle of storing physical gold. SGBs are issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and are denominated in grams of gold.

Factors for choosing the right investment plan

Here are some crucial factors to consider when selecting an investment plan:

Financial goals

Setting clear financial goals will help you plan your investment strategy. Your goals could range from saving for retirement and purchasing a home to funding your child’s higher education, saving for a business venture or their marriage. The ideal investment strategy for you will be one that best suits your needs.

Risk tolerance

Another factor to consider when you decide where to invest money is your risk appetite. Understanding your risk tolerance can help create a balance between potential returns and the level of risk you are willing to undertake. Factors such as your age, financial obligations and personal preferences can play a significant role in determining this.


Past performance of an investment can be a valuable guide when selecting a plan. While past performance does not guarantee future results, it can provide insights into how a particular investment has performed under various market conditions. Therefore, you may compare investment performance against benchmarks to make an informed decision.

Lock-in period

Lock-in periods refer to the duration during which you cannot withdraw funds from an investment. Any withdrawal during this time can result in penalties. Understanding and choosing an appropriate lock-in period is essential for achieving your specific financial goals. Longer lock-in periods may offer benefits such as higher interest rates or tax advantages, but short lock-ins provide more flexibility. You must align the plan’s liquidity with your financial goals.

Investing-related expenses

Different investments come with various fees or charges, including transaction fees, management fees, administrative costs and others. Understanding and managing these expenses is essential to making sound investment decisions. Make sure to assess the impact of these charges on your overall returns. You can consider cost-effective investment options to maximise your potential gains.

Market movements and patterns

Understanding market trends, cycles and patterns is essential for making informed investment decisions. Staying informed and recognising potential opportunities and risks can help you make better investment decisions to optimise returns and mitigate losses.


Apart from the investment options explained above, there are multiple options available in India to invest your money as per your requirements. You can assess your risk appetite and choose between market-linked investment options such as stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and others. You can also opt for relatively low-risk investment instruments, such as fixed deposits, government bonds, PPF, and others. It is important to note that low-risk investment options may provide lower returns when compared to high-risk investment options.

To choose where to invest your money, you need to assess your risk appetite and investment objectives and then select options that align with your requirements.

1. Which investment options in India offer low-risk opportunities?

There are several low-risk investment options in India. Savings or endowment plans which offer assured returns can be an ideal low-risk investment option to minimise risk while earning modest returns. Annuity plans, which provide a fixed income stream during retirement, are also popular among risk-averse investors. Bonds, fixed deposits and schemes like the Public Provident Fund (PPF) are some other low-risk choices for those seeking stability.

2. How does one invest money with a low budget in India?

There are many investments in India that offer low-budget options. Term insurance helps you secure your family at affordable premiums. Some savings plans also offer options with low premiums. Stocks have no minimum investment requirement, allowing you to start with small amounts. Additionally, many Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) have a low entry threshold, often starting at ₹ 500 per month.

3. Which investment has the highest return?

Identifying investments with the highest returns depends on multiple factors. Factors such as your risk tolerance, investment horizon and prevailing market conditions can all play a role in determining which investment avenue may yield the highest returns. While some investments may offer the potential for high returns, they often come with higher levels of risk. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider all factors and diversify your portfolio to maximise your gains.

4. Where should one invest money in India for monthly income?

If you are thinking about where to invest money for monthly income, you can consider life insurance plans. Some guaranteed return plans provide monthly income options. Annuity plans provide regular fixed income post retirement. ULIPs can also be tailored to provide regular income streams. Additionally, fixed deposits and recurring deposits can provide stable returns at regular intervals, making them suitable choices for generating monthly income.


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*Tax benefits are subject to conditions under Sections 80C, 80D, 10(10D), 115BAC and other provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Goods and Services tax and Cesses, if any will be charged extra as per prevailing rates. Tax laws are subject to amendments made thereto from time to time. Please consult your tax advisor for more details.


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