An Equity Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS) is a mutual fund scheme that bears market-linked returns from equities and equity-oriented securities. An ELSS is a great tax-saving scheme for individuals looking for an investment option.
With the lock-in requirement of just 3 years, it has one of the shortest lock-in periods when compared to traditional schemes. Let’s look into how one can invest in one of these schemes.
Investing in ELSS is similar to investing in any mutual fund scheme. One can start with a minimum amount of ₹500 and there is no upper limit on investment.
However, tax benefits on the schemes are only applicable up to the amount of ₹1,50,000. In ELSS, an investor also has the option to either invest a lump sum amount or through a systematic investment plan (SIP).
Select a scheme- The first step is selecting an ELSS that can be accommodated in one’s investment plan. Numerous factors have to be considered while choosing a scheme. These include past performance, net asset value (NAV), returns, etc.
Select a fund house- After selecting a scheme, choose a fund house or an asset management company (AMC) with which you want to invest your corpus. The most important considerations for this are the investment entity’s expense ratio, fee, and other charges.
Investment mode- You can invest in an ELSS both online and offline.
- Offline: By visiting the nearest branch of the fund house and filling out the forms required for investing and submitting documents.
- Online- Alternately, you can log on to the website or mobile app of the fund house and fill out the necessary details.
In either case, you have to be KYC compliant in order to be able to invest. The KYC process requires you to authenticate your identity by submitting a proof of address, proof of identity, and other documents listed in the KYC application form.
Once these steps are completed, the fund house will allot you a folio number when you make your first investment. A folio number is a unique number that facilitates the identification of fund investors and acts as a record-keeping system by holding the personal details, investment history, etc. of the investor in one place.
In addition to all the requirements, an investor must hold a bank account for his/her returns to be transferred in the registered account itself.
The process of investing in an ELSS is like investing in any other mutual fund option. You do not have to be conversant in the technicalities of the procedure to start as it is simple and assistance can be sought from the fund house whenever the need arises.