Asset Classes and Their Risks


Investing wisely involves understanding the various asset classes available and how they relate to interest rates. Different asset classes come with their own risk-return profiles and can be influenced by prevailing interest rates. In this blog, we’ll delve into the major asset classes in India and how interest rates impact them.

1. Fixed Deposits (FDs):

   – Interest Rate: Fixed deposit interest rates in India vary across banks but are generally influenced by the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) policy rates. When RBI lowers policy rates (like the repo rate), FD interest rates tend to decrease, and vice versa.

The current repo rate is 6.25%, and the current reverse repo rate is 5.15%. This means that banks are currently offering FD interest rates of between 6.25% and 7.75%.

   – Risk: FDs are considered low-risk investments, making them popular among conservative investors.

2. Equities (Stocks):

   – Interest Rate Influence: The stock market’s performance is influenced by interest rates, especially in sectors like banking and finance. Lower interest rates can boost stock prices by reducing borrowing costs for businesses. The current repo rate in India is 6.50%.

   – Risk: Equities carry higher risk compared to fixed-income investments but offer the potential for higher returns.

3. Bonds and Fixed-Income Securities:

   – Interest Rate: Bond prices and yields move inversely. When interest rates rise, bond prices tend to fall, and vice versa. Government bonds are particularly sensitive to RBI’s policy rates.

Current Interest Rates Set by RBI –

  • Repo rate: 6.50%
  • Reverse repo rate: 3.35%
  • Bank rate: 5.15%

   – Risk: Depending on the issuer, bonds can range from low risk (government bonds) to higher risk (corporate bonds).

4. Real Estate:

   – Interest Rate Influence: Real estate prices and interest rates share a complex relationship. Lower interest rates can make home loans cheaper, potentially boosting demand for real estate.

The repo rate is 6.5%. This means that banks are currently borrowing money from the RBI at a rate of 6.5%. Banks will then add a spread to the repo rate to arrive at their own lending rates. The spread is a markup that banks charge to cover their costs and make a profit.

   – Risk: Real estate investments can offer capital appreciation and rental income but also involve liquidity and maintenance risks.

5. Gold:

   – Interest Rate Influence: Gold prices can be influenced by interest rates. When interest rates rise, the opportunity cost of holding gold (which doesn’t provide interest or dividends) increases, potentially leading to lower gold prices.

   – Risk: Gold is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation, making it a popular choice for diversification.

6. Mutual Funds:

   – Interest Rate Influence: Debt mutual funds are directly influenced by interest rates. Their returns depend on the interest earned on the underlying bonds in the portfolio.

   – Risk: Mutual funds offer diversification and professional management, with varying risk profiles depending on the fund type.


Investing in India involves navigating a diverse range of asset classes, each influenced by interest rates to varying degrees. Understanding how changes in interest rates affect these assets is crucial for making informed investment decisions. Moreover, investors must align their investment choices with their financial goals, risk tolerance, and the prevailing economic environment to optimize their portfolio’s performance in the Indian market.

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