Calculator to Compare Lump Sum Investment Returns

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The following appeared as a guest post in BasuNivesh Learn…Invest…Succeed !!! on May 1st 2013. The blog is authored by Basavaraj Tonagatti a Certified Financial Planner from Bangalore. His posts are honest, sincere and balanced.

All of us would like to get better returns on our investments. However with returns or capital gain comes knocking its evil twin – taxes. American entertainer Will Rogers once said, “The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse …”!

Trouble is tax rules are different for different investments. If a holding period of 1 year is considered ‘long term’ for capital gain taxation of Gold ETFs, it is 3 years for E-gold. To add to that the taxation rules also differ. This makes it difficult to compare the two and decide which is better if I want to invest for just a few years or many years.

Consider fixed deposits and debt funds. Both are ‘debt’ products. However tax on FD (or RD) interest should be declared and paid onaccrual basis (that is each year) while tax on debt funds can be deferred until redemption. This can make a considerable difference in the corpus if the investment period is long.

The main problem is most investment calculators available online do not take into account taxation rules. Based on the suggestions of Basavaraj and a few encouraging readers like Kapil Tiwari, I have made a calculator with gives the post-tax corpus of several common instruments for a given lump sum investment. It also includes a table in which the tax rules for different instruments are listed to serve as a ready-reckoner. The minimum investment period considered is 1 year. So only long term capital gains will be computed.

A recurring deposit calculator with a table listing the monthly pre-tax and post-tax interest earned is also available (I will post an updated version of this separately).

Use the calculators and let us know your feedback. Suggestions to modify the calculator are welcome.

Download the Lump Sum Investment Returns Comparator (updated Jan. 2014 with NRE fixed deposits)

Download the Lump Sum Investment Returns Comparator

Download the Recurring Deposit Calculator

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About the Author M Pattabiraman author of freefincal.comM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the author and owner of  He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras since Aug 2006. Pattu” as he is popularly known, has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management.  He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. Pattu publishes unbiased, promotion-free research, analysis and holistic money management advice. Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with numbers based analysis on topical issues and has more than a 100 free calculators on different aspects of insurance and investment analysis. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates  and associations(see details below). Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, TamilNadu Investors Association etc. Contact information: freefincal {at} Gmail {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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  1. Hi Pattu,

    RD Calculator is a very good calculator. I dont think it may make significant difference in interest but can it be aligned with a entry of start date of RD and formulas tweaked to that. Also if it can show by financial year tax to be paid. I was always under assumption that I could pay tax on reciept at maturity of RD based on actuals. I will pay tax for the same while filing.

    1. Dear Vijay,

      Thanks for your feedback. I will implement your suggestion in the second version of the RD calc. which I will post soon.

  2. One more suggestion if you can provide years and months as inputs. Some schemes have good interest rate for fixed months…

  3. Many thanks, dear Pattu !! This is excellent for people like me who are still trying to comprehend with the basics of Personal Finance!

  4. Hi pattu, is there a calculator that can calculate the capital gains for debt MFs for lumpsum investments in FIFO order taking into account indexation benefit? For example, I invest regularly in debt MF throughout the year (but not SIPs) in an irregular manner. The calculator would take date of investment and calculate the capital gain for each date..

  5. The calcular is really very useful. My sincere thanks to you. However, just couple of suggestions to improve the same:
    1. For RD calculator, it will be helpful if you can incorporate investment tenure in terms of months and not in terms of year. Reason bank provides RD account in multiple of 6 months to 120 months.

    2. For FD (Lump Sum) calculator, I’ll sugeest you to incorporate years, months as well as days. Reason, Bank of Baroda has come with FD scheme of 7 years 6 months & 5 days. Probably many banks have com with the same scheme.

    Thanks again.

    1. Dear Aditya,

      Thanks for your inputs. You feedback reg. RD calc. is already implemented and will be posted tomorrow. The calc will also have annual tax break up.

      For FD I wil work on your suggestions and post it soon. Subscribe for email updates to know when it is released.

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