Understanding the risks and benefits of systematic investment Plan (SIP)

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Meet Anvesha, a young professional who is intrigued by the prospect of investing but feels overwhelmed by the volatile nature of the stock market. Anvesha's dilemma reflects a common sentiment among budding investors: the desire to grow their wealth while considering the uncertainties of financial markets. This is where Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) come into play.

This article explains the risks and benefits associated with SIP.

  • Table of contents
  1. Understanding the concept of SIP
  2. Benefits of SIP
  3. Risks of SIP
  4. Who should invest in SIP?
  5. Factors to consider before investing in SIP
  6. FAQ

Understanding the concept of SIP

A Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is an investment strategy that enables individuals to invest fixed amounts regularly in mutual funds. Rather than investing a lumpsum, SIP investment plan allows investors to commit smaller, periodic investments, usually monthly. For instance, consider an individual who invests Rs. 500 monthly in a mutual fund through SIP. This amount is deducted automatically from their bank account and invested in the chosen mutual fund scheme. Over time, these periodic investments accumulate and can potentially generate returns based on the fund's performance.

Benefits of SIP

Rupee cost averaging: SIPs allow investors to buy more units when the market is down and fewer units when the market is up. This practice, known as rupee cost averaging, helps in reducing the average cost per unit of investment over time.

Disciplined investing: SIPs encourage discipline by instilling a regular saving and investment habit. They eliminate the need for market timing decisions, as investments are spread across various market cycles.

Power of compounding: Through regular investments, SIPs reap the power of compounding. The returns earned on investments get reinvested, potentially resulting in significant wealth accumulation over the long term.

Flexibility and affordability: SIPs offer flexibility in terms of investment amounts, allowing investors to start with small sums. This makes an SIP accessible for individuals with varying financial capacities.

Risks of SIP

Market risks: Mutual funds, including those invested through SIP, are subject to market risks. Fluctuations in market conditions can affect the performance of the fund, leading to variations in returns.

No guarantee of returns: While SIPs mitigate the risk of market timing, they do not guarantee profits or protection against losses. The returns are dependent on the fund's performance, which can vary.

Inflation risk: Inflation can erode the purchasing power of investments. If the returns generated through SIP do not outpace inflation, it may impact the real value of the invested amount.

Liquidity:SIPs are long-term investment vehicles, and sudden liquidity requirements may pose challenges as they are not designed for quick withdrawals without potential losses.

Who should invest in SIP?

SIPs can be suitable for a wide range of investors:

First-time investors: SIPs are ideal for beginners due to their simplicity and disciplined approach, helping in creating a habit of regular investing.

Young professionals: Individuals with stable incomes can benefit from SIPs by investing small amounts regularly, leveraging the power of compounding over an extended period.

Long-term investors: Those with a long-term investment horizon can capitalise on SIPs to benefit from market fluctuations and the power of compounding.

Risk-averse investors: SIPs provide a systematic and relatively less volatile investment approach, making them suitable for risk-averse investors seeking stability.

Factors to consider before investing in SIP

Before initiating a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) , several crucial factors require consideration. Firstly, assess your financial goals and investment horizon, aligning them with the SIP tenure. Evaluate your risk tolerance and choose a mutual fund scheme accordingly. Understand the fund's track record, expense ratio, and fund manager's expertise. Regularly review and adjust contributions based on changing circumstances.


Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) present a structured approach to mutual fund investing, offering benefits such as rupee cost averaging, disciplined investing, and the power of compounding. However, investors must acknowledge the associated risks, including market fluctuations, no guaranteed returns, inflation risk, and limitations regarding liquidity. SIPs cater to a diverse range of investors, from beginners to those with long-term investment goals, providing a convenient and disciplined method to achieve financial objectives.


Can I change the SIP amount or frequency after starting?
Yes, most mutual fund companies allow investors to modify the SIP amount or frequency by submitting a request.

What happens if I miss an SIP payment?
Missing an SIP payment does not attract penalties. However, it disrupts the investment discipline and might affect the potential returns.

Are SIPs better than lumpsum investments?
The suitability depends on individual preferences and market conditions. SIPs mitigate market timing risks, while lumpsum investments can benefit during market lows.

What returns can I expect from SIPs?
SIP returns are influenced by market performance. Past performance does not guarantee future returns, but historically, SIPs have delivered competitive returns over the long term.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
This document should not be treated as endorsement of the views/opinions or as investment advice. This document should not be construed as a research report or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. This document is for information purpose only and should not be construed as a promise on minimum returns or safeguard of capital. This document alone is not sufficient and should not be used for the development or implementation of an investment strategy. The recipient should note and understand that the information provided above may not contain all the material aspects relevant for making an investment decision. Investors are advised to consult their own investment advisor before making any investment decision in light of their risk appetite, investment goals and horizon. This information is subject to change without any prior notice.