Mutual funds for investing cash gifts received for daughter

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I have a two-month old daughter. On her birth, we received cash gifts of Rs 1.5 lakh from relatives. Can you please suggest where and how should I invest this amount? I am looking for an investment horizon of five years. I want to use the money for my daughter’s school admission.
--Myra Khetpal

Pankaj Maalde, a certified financial planner, responds:

Your investment horizon of five years is not long enough to invest in equity mutual funds, especially when the market is at an all-time high.

You should park the money in a five-year NSC if you do not want to take any risk. The rate of interest is around 7.90%, and it will be paid at the time of maturity. Kindly note, the interest earned is taxable.
  • 7.65%Annualized Return for 3 year
  • >3 years Suggested Investment Horizon
  • 3.8 YearsTime taken to double money
  • 9.63%Annualized Return for 3 year
  • >3 years Suggested Investment Horizon
  • 5.4 YearsTime taken to double money

If you want 10% return and can take higher risk, you can invest in a balanced advantage fund. These funds manages their investments dynamically based on the prevailing market conditions. For example, the largest scheme in the category - ICICI Prudential Balanced Advantage Fund - has around 53 per cent in equity, 22 per cent in cash and equivalents, and 24 per cent in debt.You should be mentally prepared to see negative returns.

You may consider investing in ICICI Prudential Balanced Advantage Fund or Kotak Balanced Advantage Fund.
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