A fixed deposit (FD) is a financial instrument provided by banks or NBFCs which provides investors a higher rate of interest than a regular savings account, until the given maturity date. It may or may not require the creation of a separate account. It is known as a term deposit or time deposit in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the US, and as a bond in the United Kingdom and India. They are considered to be very safe investments. Term deposits in India, Nepal, and Pakistan are used to denote a larger class of investments with varying levels of liquidity. The defining criteria for a fixed deposit is that the money cannot be withdrawn from the FD as compared to a recurring deposit or a demand deposit before maturity. Some banks may offer additional services to FD holders such as loans against FD certificates at competitive interest rates. It's important to note that banks may offer lesser interest rates under uncertain economic conditions. The interest rate varies between 4 and 7.25 percent. The tenure of an FD can vary from 7, 15 or 45 days to 1.5 years and can be as high as 10 years. These investments are safer than Post Office Schemes as they are covered by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC). However, DICGC guarantees amount up to ₹ 1,00,000 (about $1555) per depositor per bank. They also offer income tax and wealth tax benefits.
Fixed deposits are a high-interest -yielding Term deposit and offered by banks in India. The most popular form of Term deposits are Fixed Deposits, while other forms of term Deposits are Recurring Deposit and Flexi Fixed Deposits (the latter is actually a combination of Demand deposit and Fixed deposit).
To compensate for the low liquidity, FDs offer higher rates of interest than saving accounts. The longest permissible term for FDs is 10 years. Generally, the longer the term of deposit, higher is the rate of interest but a bank may offer lower rate of interest for a longer period if it expects interest rates, at which the Central Bank of a nation lends to banks ("repo rates"), will dip in the future.
Usually in India the interest on FDs is paid every three months from the date of the deposit. (e.g. if FD a/c was opened on 15th Feb., first interest installment would be paid on 15 May). The interest is credited to the customers' Savings bank account or sent to them by cheque. This is a Simple FD. The customer may choose to have the interest reinvested in the FD account. In this case, the deposit is called the Cumulative FD or compound interest FD. For such deposits, the interest is paid with the invested amount on maturity of the deposit at the end of the term.
Although banks can refuse to repay FDs before the expiry of the deposit, they generally don't. This is known as a premature withdrawal. In such cases, interest is paid at the rate applicable at the time of withdrawal. For example, a deposit is made for 5 years at 8%, but is withdrawn after 2 years. If the rate applicable on the date of deposit for 2 years is 5 per cent, the interest will be paid at 5 per cent. Banks can charge a penalty for premature withdrawal.
Banks issue a separate receipt for every FD because each deposit is treated as a distinct contract. This receipt is known as the Fixed Deposit Receipt (FDR), that has to be surrendered to the bank at the time of renewal or encashment.
Many banks offer the facility of automatic renewal of FDs where the customers do give new instructions for the matured deposit. On the date of maturity, such deposits are renewed for a similar term as that of the original deposit at the rate prevailing on the date of renewal.
Income tax regulations require that FD maturity proceeds exceeding Rs 20,000 not to be paid in cash. Repayment of such and larger deposits has to be either by " A/c payee " crossed cheque in the name of the customer or by credit to the saving bank a/c or current a/c of the customer.
Nowadays, banks gives the facility of Flexi or sweep in FD, where in you can withdraw your money through ATM, through cheque or through funds transfer from your FD account. In such case, whatever interest is accrued on the amount you have withdrawn will be credited to your savings account (the account that has been linked to your FD) and the balance amount will automatically be converted in your new FD. This system helps you in getting your funds from your FD account at the times of emergency without wasting your time.
Benefits of FD
- Customers can avail loans against FDs up to 80 to 90 percent of the value of deposits. The rate of interest on the loan could be 1 to 2 percent over the rate offered on the deposit.
- Residents of India can open these accounts for a minimum of 3 months.
Tax is deducted by the banks on FDs if interest paid to a customer at any bank exceeds Rs. 10,000 in a financial year. This is applicable to both interest payable or reinvested per customer. This is called Tax deducted at Source and is presently fixed at 10% of the interest. With CBS banks can tally FD holding of a customer across various branches and TDS is applied if interest exceeds Rs 10,000. Banks issue Form 16 A every quarter to the customer, as a receipt for Tax Deducted at Source.
However, tax on interest from fixed deposits is not 10%; it is applicable at the rate of tax slab of the deposit holder. If any tax on Fixed Deposit interest is due after TDS, the holder is expected to declare it in Income Tax returns and pay it by himself.
If the total income for a year does not fall within the overall taxable limits, customers can submit a Form 15 G (below 60 years of age) or Form 15 H (above 60 years of age) to the bank when starting the FD and at the start of every financial year to avoid TDS.
How bank FD rates of interest vary with Central Bank policy
In certain macroeconomic conditions (particularly during periods of high inflation) a Central Bank adopts a tight monetary policy, that is, it hikes the interest rates at which it lends to banks ("repo rates"). Under such conditions, banks also hike both their lending (i.e. loan) as well as deposit (FD) rates. Under such conditions of high FD rates, FDs become an attractive investment avenue as they offer good returns and are almost completely secure with no risk. These can be checked with the excess rates in the country.
Every essay or assignment you write must begin with an introduction. It might be helpful to think of the introduction as an inverted pyramid. In such a pyramid, you begin by presenting a broad introduction to the topic and end by making a more focused point about that topic in your thesis statement. The introduction has three essential parts, each of which serves a particular purpose.
- The first part is the “attention-grabber.” You need to interest your reader in your topic so that they will want to continue reading. You also want to do that in a way that is fresh and original. For example, although it may be tempting to begin your essay with a dictionary definition, this technique is stale because it has been widely overused. Instead, you might try one of the following techniques:
- Offer a surprising statistic that conveys something about the problem to be addressed in the paper.
- Perhaps you can find an interesting quote that nicely sums up your argument.
- Use rhetorical questions that place your readers in a different situation in order to get them thinking about your topic in a new way.
- If you have a personal connection to the topic, you might use an anecdote or story to get your readers emotionally involved.
- For example, if you were writing a paper about drunk drivers, you might begin with a compelling story about someone whose life was forever altered by a drunk driver: “At eighteen, Michelle had a lifetime of promise in front of her. Attending college on a track scholarship, she was earning good grades and making lots of friends. Then one night her life was forever altered…”
- From this attention grabbing opener, you would need to move to the next part of the introduction, in which you offer some relevant background on the specific purpose of the essay. This section helps the reader see why you are focusing on this topic and makes the transition to the main point of your paper. For this reason, this is sometimes called the “transitional” part of the introduction.
- In the example above, the anecdote about Michelle might capture the reader’s attention, but the essay is not really about Michelle. The attention grabber might get the reader thinking about how drunk driving can destroy people’s lives, but it doesn’t introduce the topic of the need for stricter drunk driving penalties (or whatever the real focus of the paper might be).
- Therefore, you need to bridge the gap between your attention-grabber and your thesis with some transitional discussion. In this part of your introduction, you narrow your focus of the topic and explain why the attention-grabber is relevant to the specific area you will be discussing. You should introduce your specific topic and provide any necessary background information that the reader would need in order to understand the problem that you are presenting in the paper. You can also define any key terms the reader might not know.
- Continuing with the example above, we might move from the narrative about Michelle to a short discussion of the scope of the problem of drunk drivers. We might say, for example: “Michelle’s story is not isolated. Each year XX (number) of lives are lost due to drunk-driving accidents.” You could follow this with a short discussion of how serious the problem is and why the reader should care about this problem. This effectively moves the reader from the story about Michelle to your real topic, which might be the need for stricter penalties for drinking and driving.
- Finally, the introduction must conclude with a clear statement of the overall point you want to make in the paper. This is called your “thesis statement.” It is the narrowest part of your inverted pyramid, and it states exactly what your essay will be arguing.
- In this scenario, your thesis would be the point you are trying to make about drunk driving. You might be arguing for better enforcement of existing laws, enactment of stricter penalties, or funding for education about drinking and driving. Whatever the case, your thesis would clearly state the main point your paper is trying to make. Here’s an example: “Drunk driving laws need to include stricter penalties for those convicted of drinking under the influence of alcohol.” Your essay would then go on to support this thesis with the reasons why stricter penalties are needed.
- In addition to your thesis, your introduction can often include a “road map” that explains how you will defend your thesis. This gives the reader a general sense of how you will organize the different points that follow throughout the essay. Sometimes the “map” is incorporated right into the thesis statement, and sometimes it is a separate sentence. Below is an example of a thesis with a “map.”
- “Because drunk driving can result in unnecessary and premature deaths, permanent injury for survivors, and billions of dollars spent on medical expenses, drunk drivers should face stricter penalties for driving under the influence.” The underlined words here are the “map” that show your reader the main points of support you will present in the essay. They also serve to set up the paper’s arrangement because they tell the order in which you will present these topics.
- A final note: In constructing an introduction, make sure the introduction clearly reflects the goal or purpose of the assignment and that the thesis presents not only the topic to be discussed but also states a clear position about that topic that you will support and develop throughout the paper. In shorter papers, the introduction is usually only one or two paragraphs, but it can be several paragraphs in a longer paper.
For Longer Papers
Although for short essays the introduction is usually just one paragraph, longer argument or research papers may require a more substantial introduction. The first paragraph might consist of just the attention grabber and some narrative about the problem. Then you might have one or more paragraphs that provide background on the main topics of the paper and present the overall argument, concluding with your thesis statement.
Below is a sample of an introduction that is less effective because it doesn’t apply the principles discussed above.
An Ineffective Introduction
Everyone uses math during their entire lives. Some people use math on the job as adults, and others used math when they were kids. The topic I have chosen to write about for this paper is how I use math in my life both as a child and as an adult. I use math to balance my checkbook and to budget my monthly expenses as an adult. When I was a child, I used math to run a lemonade stand. I will be talking more about these things in my paper.
In the introduction above, the opening line does not serve to grab the reader’s attention. Instead, it is a statement of an obvious and mundane fact. The second sentence is also not very specific. A more effective attention grabber may point out a specific, and perhaps surprising, instance when adults use math in their daily lives, in order to show the reader why this is such as important topic to consider.
Next the writer “announces” her topic by stating, “The topic I have chosen to write about…” Although it is necessary to introduce your specific topic, you want to avoid making generic announcements that reference your assignment. This technique is not as sophisticated and may distract the reader from your larger purpose for writing the essay. Instead, you might try to make the reader see why this is such an important topic to discuss.
Finally, this sample introduction is lacking a clear thesis statement. The writer concludes with a vague statement: “I will be talking more about these things in my paper.” This kind of statement may be referred to as a “purpose statement,” in which the writer states the topics that will be discussed. However, it is not yet working as a thesis statement because it fails to make an argument or claim about those topics. A thesis statement for this essay would clearly tell the reader what “things” you will be discussing and what point you will make about them.
Now let’s look at how the above principles can be incorporated more effectively into an introduction.
A More Effective Introduction
“A penny saved is a penny earned,” the well-known quote by Ben Franklin, is an expression I have never quite understood, because to me it seems that any penny—whether saved or spent—is still earned no matter what is done with it. My earliest memories of earning and spending money are when I was ten years old when I would sell Dixie cups of too-sweet lemonade and bags of salty popcorn to the neighborhood kids. From that early age, I learned the importance of money management and the math skills involved. I learned that there were four quarters in a dollar, and if I bought a non-food item—like a handful of balloons—that I was going to need to come up with six cents for every dollar I spent. I also knew that Kool-Aid packets were 25 cents each or that I could save money and get five of them for a dollar. Today, however, money management involves knowing more than which combinations of 10-cent, five-cent, and one-penny candies I can get for a dollar. Proper money management today involves knowing interest rates, balancing checkbooks, paying taxes, estimating my paycheck, and budgeting to make ends meet from month-to-month.
- In the first line the writer uses a well-known quotation to introduce her topic.
- The writer follows this “attention-grabber” with specific examples of earning and spending money. Compare how the specific details of the second example paint a better picture for the reader about what the writer learned about money as a child, rather than this general statement: “As a child, I used math to run a lemonade stand.” In the first introduction, this statement leaves the reader to guess how the writer used math, but in the second introduction we can actually see what the child did and what she learned.
- Notice, too, how the reader makes the transition from the lessons of childhood to the real focus of her paper in this sentence: “Today, however, money management involves knowing….”
- This transition sentence effectively connects the opening narrative to the main point of the essay, her thesis: “Proper money management today involves knowing interest rates, balancing checkbooks, paying taxes, estimating my paycheck, and budgeting to make ends meet from month-to-month." This thesis also maps out for the reader the main points (underlined here) that will be discussed in the essay.