Which is the best ELSS Mutual Fund for 2012?

Which is the Mutual Fund for ELSS or which is the best Mutual Fund for SIP or which is the best term plan? This is the most common trick to ask secrets from Hemant. 🙂 And as usual my answer is “There is nothing called best – best comes after postmortem”.

If you don’t have much idea about Mutual Fund ELSS (Equity Linked Saving Scheme) – You should read ELSS the best instrument for saving tax.

Do you know “Average Equity markets in US have given return of 9.14% from 1991 to 2010 but what investor got was just 3.27%.”

Can you guess why this happened? Because people were looking for BEST FUNDS & not concentrating on other factors which are more important. Read Secret of achieving high returns.

But won’t you like to ask what happened if someone made investments when the sensex touched its highest point. If someone had invested Rs 10000 in ELSS Fund on 9th January 2008 (Sensex 20800) & withdrawn it after 3 years on 10th Jan 2011 (Sensex 19100).

Read – ELSS Vs PPF


So couple of funds have given negative returns in this period & if you notice in middle of this period funds even lost almost 50% of their value. Equity is the most volatile asset class & it always work like this – if you don’t have risk appetite or if you want that your investments should never go negative, please don’t invest in equity or equity related instruments. Read – Which is the best place to invest?

So we have seen a single period but this cannot be much helpful in any judgment. Let’s see what happened in all 3 year periods since ELSS came to existence – for that we have to understand rolling returns.

Definition of Rolling Returns: The annualized average return for a period ending with the listed year. Rolling returns are useful for examining the behavior of returns for holding periods similar to those actually experienced by investors.

3 year rolling return of ELSS

For example, the three-year rolling return for 1996 covers Jan 1, 1993, through Dec 31, 1996. The three-year rolling return for 1996 is the average annual return for 1993 through 1996.

So you can see there are couple of negative periods here – all 3 year period that are starting from a peak of bull market. Most sever, almost a 30% negative in 1997 because this is talking about investments done at the time of Harshad Mehta’s Scam (1993).


5 year rolling return of ELSS

If we look at 5 year period there is no negative period but return in 1998 are almost close to zero & again thanks to Mr Harshad Mehta. If you do a Prima Facie observation – on an average investments has given more than 100% return or doubled in period of 5 years.

If you look both the rolling charts there are a two important learning:

First, with increase in investment horizon (3 to 5 years) volatility substantially reduces.

Second, investments done when actual returns were negative have generated a good return. (Check 3 year period)

But question is which fund to invest.

Best ELSS Mutual Fund for 2012

This is just a list of 10 tax saving mutual funds – you can take a decision with your own research. ()

 Long term Performance of ELSS Funds (absolute return)

Year on year of ELSS Funds

ReadWhat will happen to ELSS after new direct tax code?

If you have any query relating to ELSS or tax saving – feel free to ask.

But please don’t ask which is the “Best ELSS Mutual Fund”. 😉

Previous articleWhat will happen to ELSS after new Direct Tax Code (DTC) ?
Next articleMutual Fund Taxation in India
Hemant Beniwal is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and his Company Ark Primary Advisors Pvt Ltd is registered as an Investment Adviser with SEBI. Hemant is also a member of the Financial Planning Association, U.S.A and registered as a life planner with Kinder Institute of Life Planning, U.S.A. He started his Financial Planning Practice & TFL Guide Blog in 2009. "The Financial Literates" is a dream & mission to make Indians Financial Literate.


  1. Hi Hemant
    It is good that you have provided links to your post- Secret Of Achieving High Returns as well as Manshu’s post-Which is the best place to invest?
    Although I had gone through these posts earlier, I read these posts again and found them very useful.
    You have rightly mentioned that there is no best investment or plan. Having correct asset allocation is the key.
    Investing is a dynamic process and it is not one time activity. Monitoring all asset classes in your portfolio regularly and rebalancing is important.

    • Dear Anil,
      “You have rightly mentioned that there is no best investment or plan. Having correct asset allocation is the key.
      Investing is a dynamic process and it is not one time activity. Monitoring all asset classes in your portfolio regularly and rebalancing is important.”
      I don’t know why people don’t understand this – even you have contributed an article which speaks about a process to select funds “Best MF for SIP” – but I think this has not solved any purpose. Still people need spoon feeding or instant gratification. 🙁

  2. HI, Hemant,
    Surprised that there is no Religare Tax Plan here.
    How come you missed that???
    I hope not just because that is from a small AMC, you have skipped it….

    • Hi Srikant
      No doubt Religare Tax Plan is a highly rated fund. It is not possible for anyone to cover all the fund houses. Some criteria has to be used while selecting fund houses.

  3. Hi Hemant,
    I have some 2 L Rupees, I am planning to invest this on bank (Local Source) I will get 15% interest on every year. so after 7 years it will be double.

    Another I want to save rs 10000 every month in PPF or RD or after read this website i would like to know more on mutual Funds and how to invest this in MF or PPF

    for the above 2 L as well I need to know do I have any other option to invest.


    • You could as well as look at Muthoot NCD which would also give the same return with the added benefit of Liquidty through its Listing

  4. Hi Prasanth
    I am not aware of any bank which gives annual interest of 15%. Please read the post-Best Mutual Fund For SIP.

  5. Hi Hemanth,
    I came to know about TFL only recently just one week back while googling.I almost went through all of your blogs.Its all very informative and quite intresting.Only thorugh TFL i learnt about ELSS and SIP mutual funds.Keep up the good work.

    I have a question.I haven’t done any investment plans this year(2011-2012).So under 80c my taxable income is 70000(after deducing PF contribution). So, i am planning to invest in ELSS. Could you please suggest me whether it is fine to invest whole of this amount in ELSS or do i need to split the amount for some other investment.If ELSS which one do i need to opt for 70000.Please suggest.

  6. I have a question regarding ELSS, Suppose I have a folio of ELSS mutual fund on my spouse name and I pay to buy the units. Can I claim this on my 80c ? or it will be my spouse 80c.

  7. Hi Hemanth,
    As suggested by you i have opened a PPF account and invested 20% in PPF.Remaining 80% i would like to invest in ELSS mutual fund.I would also like to start SIP mutual fund from coming month 5000 per month.I am starting both of these for long term investment(min 5 years).Please have a look at my portfolios.

    For ELSS mutual funds(50000)
    1.Fidelity Tax advantage(20000)
    2.Franklin Templeton franklin india taxshield(20000)
    3.HDFC tax saver(10000)

    Portfolio for SIP(5000 per month)
    1. DSP BlackRock Top 100 Equity(2000)
    2. HDFC Top 200(2000)
    3. Quantum Long Term Equity(1000)

    My Demat will be ready by tomorrow.So before starting i would like to take your suggestion as this is the first time i am trading mutual funds.Please suggest, if there should be any additions/deletions for the above portfolios.

    Thanks in advance.

  8. Hi friend,
    I Planned to invest in fidelity Tax advantage through SIP(monthly 5000rs) but I have doubt,after march 31,how to proceed with this ELSS since it wont be useful for next year Tax saving because of DTC..can You explain me…?Thank you,Dr.ramesh.

  9. Hi friend,

    I would like to invest 3000 per month in Elss.Please suggest me best option for this.I have to save my tax as well as buy house after 3 years.

    Pls reply soon…. Thanks sanjeev

  10. Dear friend,
    your Blog very useful..first of all..I started my ELSS from this month in two ELSS plans namely HDFC tax gainer and Fidelty Tax advantage..each rs.2000 per month ..But I have doubt,what happens If government stops ELSS in the following financial Year wef 01.04.2012because of DTC?how to proceed with these plans..?thank you.

    with regards…


  11. I am very new to MF . Thinking to invest in SBI emerging business (Rs 3000) and SBI Magnum Income fund ( Rs 3000) per month on a SIP basis .Please advice .

  12. Hi Hemant
    I have invested in Fidelity Advantage Tax Fund. As per current news, fidelity AMC is selling its India business, so what should be our move?
    Either to continue with investments in Fidelity Advantage Tax Fund or to stop the future investments in fidelty funds?

    • Hi Vikrant,
      There is no need to panic & sell this fund. Its not like stocks that company is selling down 🙂

      Lets see are they really selling it, are there any fund management changes & who is the buyer. We will see all these things happening over a period of time & if required you can take any action.

  13. Please respond to questions asked above like, will i get Taxbenifit if i start investing in ELSS from this month for 3 yrs though DTC comes into effect from April

  14. Hi Hemanth,

    I have taken Idfc Tax Adv (elss) Fund – Gr with Amount of Rs 30K in Jan 11. How is this perfromimg? How much returns I may expect after 3 years & 5 years on this as I am planning to inevets around 30K MF this year also?


  15. phew
    budget is out …waiting for ur insights and outputs
    what i get it is that ELSS will continue its benefits and 20000 infrabonds additional will be out.

    please clarify two doubts:
    Will infrabonds shut down now…with no takers and what to do if already i have taken for 2011-12..will i be affected

    ELSS v/s regular MF…apart from tax saving aspect, is there any differnce in performance, returns…

    .if we have good MF by SIP , should I go for ELSS or seek other options


      • Thanks Hemant
        As per TOI(17 mar) infrabonds 20000 under 80 ccf removed. Please give ur expert opinion.

        As regards the other question, since ELSS would continue, and I have regular SIP in mutual funds, should I take ELSS or not

        Thank you

  16. Dear Sir
    I want to invest in ELSS via SIP from April2012. I don’t have any investments yet in ELSS. Should I start with it now? whether SIP is better or lumpsum, in ELSS?
    Please guide.
    Thank You

  17. sir i have the following mutual fund investment:
    all sips-
    birla mnc -1000,hdfc midcap-2000,sbi emerging bussiness-2000
    icici fmcg -1000,sbi fmcg-1000,reliance banking -2000
    can robecoinfrastructure-3000
    icici focc bluchip-2000, uti opp -2000
    icici tax saver-3000, hdfc tax saver-3000

    please analyse my portfolio and give your valuble comments… i am expecting 15% returns in 15 years.

  18. Hello sir,
    I m start my SIP in Tarus tax shild growth plain 500/m, HDFC tax sever 500/m,ICICIprudential tax plan 1000/m & reliance gold seveing fund 1000/m from april 2012. please guide me about my portfolio is it right or my change in this


  19. Hi Hemanth,

    My age is 30 years, I would like to invest 5k per month through SIP in ELSS for long term at least for 10 years. Could you please specify the best funds to invest which gives good returns in long term.

    Thanks in Advance

  20. Dear Sir
    I have invested 40 thousand in LIC, AND 60 thousand in PPF, I want t0 invest in mutual funds also. Should i shift the money from PPF to ELLS mutual fund or should i take separate mutual funds. What is the advantage of pure equity mutual fund vs ELSS

    • Dear Vishwanath,

      PPF and ELSS are both different instruments having their risk return characteristics. PPF is a recommended tool for long term planning and so not advisable to discontinue. ELSS is good wrt the returns it generate from equity markets. However, you should be very clear before investing as unlike PPF the product has its higher risk return characteristics.

      ELSS is a very specific category created for 80C investments and so it has a locking for three years while in any open ended mutual fund sale/repurchase option is available throughout the year.

  21. Hi Hemanth,

    I had invested in HDFC Tax Saver and SBI Magnum Tax Saving mutual funds in SIP mode in the FY Year 2008-09. Could you please let me know as per your opinion when is the best time to redeem it as it has already passed the 3 year lock-in period.

  22. Hi Hemant,

    This article was very useful. I am very new to mutual funds. I want to invest Rs. 2000 pm in ELSS SIP. Can you please suggest which fund should I opt for?

    Please suggest.

    Thanks and regards,

  23. Hi, Hemanth!
    Is it okay to invest in a scheme that has not rated been rated by CRISIL, if it is from a reputed fund house?

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