Corporate Bonds Vs. Mutual Funds: Key Differences And Where To Invest

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Grip Invest
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Apr 08, 2024
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    Corporate Bonds Vs Mutual Funds

    Investing can be daunting, as there are so many options to choose from. Corporate bonds and mutual funds are two of the most popular investment opportunities today. While both have advantages and drawbacks, understanding their critical differences is essential to making an informed investment decision.

    This article will discuss corporate bonds vs. mutual funds and guide investors to the best option. We will also discuss the risks associated with each type of investment vehicle and how to evaluate which one is right for you. By the end of this article, you should have a good idea of whether corporate bonds or mutual funds are better suited for your investing goals.

    Overview of Corporate Bonds And Mutual Funds

    The Indian bond market, valued at approximately $2.34 trillion, is a significant component of the country’s financial landscape. It comprises $1.83 trillion in government bonds and  $510 billion in corporate bonds in India. 

    The Indian mutual fund industry has witnessed significant growth. Within the last decade, the average assets under management (AUM) of the Indian mutual fund industry have grown sixfold to approximately INR 53 trillion (as of January 24).

    It is projected to grow from  $0.66 trillion in 2024 to $1.51 trillion by 2029, showcasing a compound annual growth rate of over 18%.

    What Are Corporate Bonds?

    Corporate bonds are loans companies take from the public to finance their operations. It issues bonds against the debt with a set corporate bond maturity date and coupon rate. The bondholder receives a periodic payment or the coupon until the maturity date, after which they can redeem their bonds for face value. 

    Corporate bond returns are usually higher than government bonds, but there is greater risk associated with corporate debt. As a result, corporate bond issuers often provide additional benefits or protections to attract investors, such as higher interest rates or generous redemption options to offset this extra risk. 

    Benefits Of Corporate Bonds

    1. Corporate bonds can be traded on secondary markets, allowing investors to buy and sell existing bonds. 
    2. You can earn attractive returns by selecting the right bond issuer and corporate bond maturity date. 
    3. In addition, corporate bonds provide diversification for your investment portfolio.

    What Are Mutual Funds?

    Mutual funds are investment vehicles that asset management companies offer to individuals, corporations, and organisations. They comprise a pool of money from many investors and are used to purchase securities such as stocks, bonds, and other investments. 

    The fund manager typically chooses the securities to buy or sell based on their goals for return on investment (ROI), capital appreciation, and growth potential. 

    Benefits Of Mutual Fund

    1. Investors can benefit from professional advice and support when deciding where to invest their money in a mutual fund.
    2. Mutual funds offer diversification, as their portfolios may contain different types of investments to reduce each investor's risk.
    3. Mutual funds are highly liquid investments, meaning investors can easily buy and sell their units anytime.
    4. Mutual funds like Equity Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS) offer tax benefits to investors

     Corporate Bonds Vs. Mutual Funds: Where To Invest?

    Before investing in either, investors must understand the difference between corporate bonds and mutual funds. The key differences are:


    Corporate Bonds

    Mutual Funds


    Bonds are debt instruments corporations, governments, or other entities use to raise money for their operations. 

    Mutual funds are investment options in which multiple investors pool money. The money is invested in a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other investments.


    Passive with fixed returns.

    Actively managed with associated fees.


    It is lower than stocks and mutual funds. It also depends upon the credit rating of the issuer

    It can be higher, especially with equity-oriented funds.



    Bonds are low-risk, medium-return instruments. They offer better returns than FD.

    Mutual funds can offer higher returns but come with more risk if markets perform poorly or fund managers make poor decisions about where to invest money.


    Bonds have low liquidity, and the issuer will return the invested amount on maturity.

    Mutual funds have high liquidity and can be sold anytime or after a few days (lock-in period)  of investment, depending on the fund’s policies.



    Investment in a single entity.

    Diversified investments across multiple assets.

    Corporate Bonds provide a predictable return with a lower degree of risk. At the same time, mutual funds have the potential to generate higher returns with greater levels of volatility.

    Conservative investors prefer corporate bonds over mutual funds because they offer predictable fixed returns. Conversely, mutual funds are more suitable for aggressive investors looking for higher growth potential and willing to accept more significant risks in exchange.


    Corporate bonds and mutual funds are both viable investment options, depending on your financial goals and risk profile. Either investment product can help diversify your portfolio. However, when comparing corporate bonds vs. mutual funds, it is important to consider your current needs and long-term goals before deciding which option is right for you. 

    Corporate bonds may be a better choice where the objective is to preserve capital and earn a fixed income with minimal risk. At the same time, mutual funds could be more suitable for investors looking to generate higher returns and appreciation of their capital.

    If you wish to invest in corporate bonds, you can opt for them in the secondary market through a broker. Explore Grip Invest and stay updated on all relevant and best investment opportunities. 

    Frequently Asked Questions On Corporate Bonds Vs. Mutual Funds

    1. What is the difference between a bond and a mutual fund?

    Bonds are debt instruments where you lend money to an entity (such as a company or government) that promises to repay the principal and interest. Mutual funds, however, pool money from many investors to buy a diversified collection of assets, which could include bonds, stocks, or other securities.

    2. How do bonds and mutual funds generate returns for investors?

    Bonds generate returns through regular interest payments and the return of the principal upon maturity. Mutual funds generate returns through asset appreciation, dividends, and interest from the various investments within the fund.

    3. What are the risks associated with investing in bonds vs mutual funds?

    Bond investments typically carry interest rate, credit, and reinvestment risks. Mutual funds face market risk and, depending on the fund, may also face risks associated with specific sectors or strategies. Mutual funds' diversification usually mitigates individual investment risks.

    4. How do bond prices and mutual fund NAVs (Net Asset Values) fluctuate?

    Bond prices fluctuate based on interest rates, credit ratings, and market demand. Mutual fund NAVs fluctuate daily based on the total value of the fund's holdings divided by the number of shares outstanding.

    5. What role does diversification play in bond and mutual fund investing?

    Bond diversification involves investing in different types of bonds with varying maturities and credit qualities. 

    In mutual funds, diversification is achieved by investing in various assets, reducing the impact of poor performance of any single investment on the overall portfolio????.

    6. How are bond and mutual fund returns taxed differently?

    Bond interest is usually taxed as ordinary income, though some municipal bonds may be tax-exempt. Mutual fund returns can be taxed as capital gains or dividends, depending on how the investments within the fund perform and are sold by the fund manager.

    7. What are the liquidity differences between bonds and mutual funds?

    Bonds can be sold before maturity, but their liquidity varies; some may be more easily sold than others. Mutual funds offer high liquidity, allowing investors to buy or sell shares of the fund at the end of each trading day based on the NAV

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    Disclaimer - Investments in debt securities/municipal debt securities/securitised debt instruments are subject to risks including delay and/ or default in payment. Read all the offer related documents carefully. The investor is requested to take into consideration all the risk factors before the commencement of trading.
    This communication is prepared by Grip Broking Private Limited (bearing SEBI Registration No. INZ000312836 and NSE ID 90319) and/or its affiliate/ group company(ies) (together referred to as “Grip”) and the contents of this disclaimer are applicable to this document and any and all written or oral communication(s) made by Grip or its directors, employees, associates, representatives and agents. This communication does not constitute advice relating to investing or otherwise dealing in securities and is not an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities. Grip does not guarantee or assure any return on investments and accepts no liability for consequences of any actions taken based on the information provided. For more details, please visit

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