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Should you take the multi-asset funds route?

Investors who are unable to allocate money in their portfolio by themselves could consider the new fund offer (NFO) of Motilal Oswal Asset Management’s Multi-Asset Fund, which will invest in a mix of Indian stocks, gold, debt and overseas stocks. Though financial planners usually advise against putting money in NFOs, they are recommending this product to smaller investors because the scheme is a first of its kind.“The scheme would be suitable for fixed income investors who want diversification with moderate risk and who cannot do independent asset allocation,” says Vineet Nanda, founder of Sift Capital.The NFO, which is currently open, closes on July 27. It will be debt-oriented fund with a 40-80% exposure to fixed income instruments. About 10-50% of the corpus will be invested in a mix of Indian equities and international equities. The Indian equity exposure will be predominantly to large-cap stocks, while the international equity exposure will be through Motilal Oswal S&P 500 Fund. The fund will invest the balance 10-20% in a gold exchange-traded fund.Wealth advisors said investors should not expect more than 100-250 basis points returns over fixed deposits in this product. Also, it will be taxed as a debt mutual fund. Debt mutual funds score on the taxation front compared to the traditional products as investors who hold for more than 3 years can pay 20% long-term capital gains tax with indexation benefit that significantly lowers their tax liability.Informed investors could avoid this fund.“If you understand market movements, can do your own asset allocation and expect at least double-digit returns, then avoid such hybrid funds,” says Rupesh Bhansali, head (distribution), GEPL Capital.