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Maximizing Returns: Strategies for Cost-Effective Investing

The ultimate goal for every investor is to maximize returns. But you will be surprised to know the impact of fees that you pay on your overall wealth creation.

Let's calculate the impact of a 1% fee on a 20-year investment period with an initial investment of 10 lakhs:

Calculate the future value of Rs. 10 Lakhs without fees:

Principal (P): 10,00,000 (10 lakhs)

Annual interest rate (R): Assume an average annual return of 8%

Time period (n): 20 years

Calculate future value (FV) without fees using the compound interest formula: FV = P * (1 + R/100)^n

FV = 10,00,000 * (1 + 8/100)^20 FV = 10,00,000 * (1.08)^20

FV = 46,61,325.29

Calculate the future value of Rs. 10 Lakhs with fees:

Assuming you pay a 1% fee per year in the form of brokerage or expense ratio or in any other form, we need to deduct this fee annually before calculating the compound interest.

Adjust the annual interest rate (R) by subtracting the fee: 8% - 1% = 7%

Calculate the future value (FV) with fees: FV = P * (1 + R/100)^n

FV = 10,00,000 * (1 + 7/100)^20 FV = 10,00,000 * (1.07)^20

FV = 36,78,486.83

Calculate the difference between the future value without fees and the future value with fees:

Impact = FV without fees - FV with fees Impact
= 46,61,325.29 - 36,78,486.83

Impact = 9,82,838.46

Calculate the difference between the future value without fees and the future value with fees:

Impact = FV without fees - FV with fees Impact
= 46,61,325.29 - 36,78,486.83

Impact = 9,82,838.46

Over a 20-year investment period, a 1% fee would eat into the profit by approximately 9,82,838.46 rupees for an initial investment of 10 lakhs.

Almost equal to the initial capital investment!

The article explores various strategies for cost-effective investing that can help you make the most of your investment capital. This is irrespective of whether you are investing to earn a profit or earn daily from stock market to make extra income.

Cost effective investing Understanding Cost-Effective Investing:

Cost-effective investing focuses on minimizing costs and fees associated with investing while aiming to achieve optimal returns.

The principle behind cost-effective investing is simple -

“Every dollar spent on fees and expenses is a dollar that could have been invested and potentially grown”.

Even seemingly small differences in fees and expenses can accumulate over time and erode a substantial portion of your investment gains. By adopting a cost-effective investing strategy, you can keep more of your returns.

1. Minimizing Trading Costs:

Trading costs, including brokerage commissions and bid-ask spreads, can significantly impact your investment returns.

One effective strategy for cost-effective investing is to minimize trading costs by adopting a long-term investment approach and avoiding unnecessary trading.

As per the InvestingExpert Research Report, if you are a buy&hold investor then Zerodha with Rs. 0 brokerage will reduce cost. For day traders Edelweiss (Nuvama) with Rs 10 brokerage on all segments should be the choice.

2. Dollar-cost averaging:

Dollar-cost averaging helps mitigate the impact of market fluctuations and reduces the risk of making ill-timed investment decisions.

By investing a fixed amount at regular intervals you can purchase more shares when prices are low and less when prices are high.

3. Passive Investing: Index Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs):

Passive investing reduces transaction costs since they require less frequent buying and selling of securities.

Passive investing involves investing in index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Index funds and ETFs typically have lower expense ratios when compared to actively managed funds, making them an attractive option for cost-conscious investors.

When considering index or ETF investment you need to evaluate factors such as

- fund's tracking error,
- liquidity, and
- the fund manager's track record

Cost effective investing 4. Tax-Efficient Investing:

By implementing tax-efficient strategies, you can minimize the impact of taxes on your investment returns and potentially enhance your after-tax gains.

Here are some key considerations and strategies for tax-efficient investing in India:

a. Utilize Tax-Advantaged Accounts:

In India, certain investment instruments offer tax benefits.

For example, the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Pension System (NPS) provide tax deductions on contributions, and the interest or returns earned are tax-exempt.

Additionally, investments made under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, such as Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contributions and tax-saving fixed deposits, can provide deductions up to a specified limit.

b. Optimize Capital Gains:

Capital gains tax is applicable in India when you sell an investment and make a profit.

Long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax arises on the sale of assets held for more than 12 months, while short-term capital gains (STCG) tax applies to assets held for less than 12 months.

Long-term capital gains on listed equity shares and equity-oriented mutual funds exceeding a specified limit are taxable, but gains up to the threshold are currently tax-exempt.

It's important to consider the holding period and tax implications when planning to sell investments.

c. Tax-Saving Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS):

ELSS funds are tax-saving mutual funds eligible for deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

By investing in ELSS, investors can claim tax deductions up to a specified limit while potentially benefiting from long-term capital gains tax exemptions on the appreciation of their investments.

5. Tax Harvesting:

Managing capital gains and losses is another aspect of tax-efficient investing. By strategically harvesting losses to offset capital gains, you can reduce your tax liability.

6. Diversification:

One key strategy in cost-effective investing is diversification.

Diversification involves spreading your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities.

By diversifying, you can reduce the overall risk of your portfolio while potentially increasing the likelihood of achieving higher returns.

7. Rebalancing and Regular Portfolio Reviews:

Regularly reviewing your investment portfolio and rebalancing as needed is essential for cost-effective investing.

Over time, the performance of different investments may deviate from their target allocations, leading to an unbalanced portfolio.

Rebalancing involves selling overperforming assets and buying underperforming assets to restore the desired asset allocation.

By rebalancing, you ensure that your investment portfolio remains aligned with your goals and risk tolerance.

This strategy helps you avoid the costs associated with chasing performance or holding an imbalanced portfolio, ultimately maximizing your potential returns.


Maximizing returns through cost-effective investing requires a thoughtful and disciplined approach.

However, achieving this goal requires more than just selecting profitable investments. It involves adopting a cost-effective approach that minimizes expenses and fees while maximizing the potential for higher returns.

By understanding the impact of investment costs, utilizing passive investment options, minimizing trading costs, and optimizing tax efficiency, you can increase your chances of achieving your investment objectives while keeping costs in check.By adopting these strategies, you can position yourself for long-term financial success and maximize your returns.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 29th June 2023.

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