Actionable insights on equities, fixed-income, macros and personal finance Start 14-Days Free Trial
Actionable investing insights Get Free Trial
Mutual Funds

The best ELSS Mutual Fund To Save Tax in 2024


ELSS (Equity Linked Savings Scheme) funds are equity mutual funds that get you up to ₹1,50,000 in 80C tax deduction in a financial year when you file your returns in the old regime.

In exchange, your money is locked in for three years. The gains are, however, subject to LTCG applicable when you sell. For a long-term investor, the 3-year lock-in should not be a concern.

If you are filling your returns in the new regime, then 80C deductions are not available. If not for tax exemption purposes, it makes little sense to buy ELSS funds since they generally have higher expense ratios and a 3-year lock-in.

If you want to zero in on which ELSS fund to invest in for 2024, your search should end here.

Mutual Fund Sahi to hai.. lekin bahot saare hai

Translation: Mutual Funds are the right choice of instrument, but there are just too many of them.

Picking the right mutual fund from a bunch of similar-sounding, “smartly named” funds is so confusing that many of us just give up and go with the most popular one. Or the one with the best one-year returns.

So rather than trying to find the “right choice” by evaluating each mutual fund qualitatively, we have devised a robust quantitative filtering mechanism to arrive at a set of good enough picks.

This mechanism helps us objectively evaluate and gives us a shortlist. Eventually, we are left to pick a fund from a few funds that have passed all the rejection criteria.

How should an investor pick from the several options available?

To find the best ELSS Fund. Start with weeding out what can’t be the best.

We apply five quantitative criteria on 34 investable ELSS schemes to filter out the funds we don’t want to consider.

1. Longevity or Track Record. Ideally, we’d want at least eight years of performance to represent a business cycle of good and bad years, severely restricting our selection. So, we’ll relax this criterion.

  • Threshold: At least three years of operational history
  • Result:  2 Funds are filtered out, 32 remain

2. AUM Health. Expense ratios tend to be in the 1% to 2% range. A fund with a low AUM will struggle to apply high-quality research fund management resources if its AUM is inordinately low.

But then, some fund houses have tremendous reach because they are part of a massive retail banking network. Others have built up AUM over time, while others are relatively new entrants and do not have the network advantage.

  • Threshold: To view them with a consistent lens, we applied two conditions: qualifying a fund to be on the shortlist or Fund AUM of ₹50 Crores for each year it has been operational or a minimum threshold of ₹300 Crores.
  • Result: 6 Funds filtered out, 26 remain

3. Outperformance versus the category (In the top half). Percentage of time where the rolling 1-year return of the fund outperformed the category median.

  • Threshold: Should outperform the category median at least 50% of the time.
  • Result: 13 funds fail the criteria, 13 remain

4. Underperformance versus the category (In the bottom quartile). Percentage of time where the rolling 1-year return of the fund was in the bottom quartile of all funds in the long list.

  • Threshold: Should spend a minimum of 25% of its time in the top quartile and a maximum of 25% of the time in the bottom quartile.
  • Result: 5 funds fail the criteria, eight remain

5. Volatility. The annualised standard deviation of daily returns is normalised for the fund’s median 1-year performance. So, lower volatility but low-return fund gets penalised compared to a higher-return fund of similar volatility.

  • Threshold: The fund should have lower volatility than media at least 50% of the time
  • Result: 0 funds fail the criteria, eight remain

Result: 8 out of 32  funds are shortlisted for the final selection set. 

  • Parag Parikh ELSS Tax Saver Fund
  • Mirae Asset ELSS Tax Saver Fund
  • Quant ELSS Tax Saver Fund
  • Bandhan ELSS Tax Saver Fund
  • Tata ELSS Tax Saver Fund
  • Motilal Oswal ELSS Tax Saver Fund
  • Kotak ELSS Tax Saver Fund
  • Invesco India ELSS Tax Saver Fund

Picking the best fund for 2024

After weeding out funds we don’t want, we will analyse the fund’s returns over different periods.

An excellent three or five-year CAGR relative to the benchmark can come in two ways:

    1. from consistent performance in each of those years or
    2. from one or two spectacular years interspersed with some terrible years

By avoiding the second type of fund, we hope to reduce the probability of deep drawdowns that will cause discomfort, leading to selling low and wondering where to deploy next. Especially for ELSS, remember that you are locked in for three years, so you don’t want to be stuck with a fund that you may feel like replacing later.

We do this by going beyond discrete point-to-point returns and looking at rolling returns and how a fund does relative to its peers.

  • We divide the performance of each fund into four quartiles where the top-performing funds (relative to category) go to q4, and the worst ones go to q1. Simply put, the top 25% of the funds will go to Q4, while the bottom 25% will go to q1. For example, PPFAS has spent 48% of the time in the top quartile while only 9% in the bottom quartile, on a rolling 1-year return basis.
  • We look at rolling returns to see how often a fund has delivered better returns than the category average. For example, PPFAS Tax Saver has given better returns than category media 79% of the time on a 1-year rolling return basis.

The best ELSS Mutual Fund To Save Tax in 2024

Our pick

PPFAS Tax Saver makes the cut due to solid performance and consistency:

  • CAGR of ~24% since its inception
  • In the top quartile 48% of the time and 9% of the time in the bottom quartile.
  • Outperformed the category median 79% of the time

Being able to avoid poor relative performance, while not necessarily being the best each year, means you stand a great chance of top-decile performance over the long run.

We changed our pick after three years and are now moving to the PPFAS Tax Saver Fund.

Mirae and Quant ELSS Tax saver run in a very close second, given their relative performance to the category since its inception.

Read our earlier posts on ELSS – 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022| 2023

Comparison of the 32 ELSS funds

Here’s a list of all 32 schemes, along with the metrics we used for this analysis (funds with a vintage greater than three years)

(Click on the image to enlarge)

The best ELSS Mutual Fund To Save Tax in 2024

Further readings:

Past Performance

We have been publishing research reports for ELSS picks for each FY since FY 2019. Here’s how those picks have done until now:

The best ELSS Mutual Fund To Save Tax in 2024


Have you checked out the longest-running momentum smallcase with over five years of live verifiable track record? Subscribe today.

Capitalmind Momentum smallcase by Capitalmind

All our product review posts are independent and have no commercial relationship with AMCs or other organisations. Please do your due diligence to determine the suitability of any funds mentioned here to your portfolio. 

Let us know what you think on Twitter or Slack.

For immediate access to actionable investment insights, direct stock portfolios, premium research, and the Capitalmind community, Join Capitalmind Premium.


Like our content? Join Capitalmind Premium.

  • Equity, fixed income, macro and personal finance research
  • Model equity and fixed-income portfolios
  • Exclusive apps, tutorials, and member community
Subscribe Now Or start with a free-trial