Puneet Oberoi, a certified financial planner, responds:
An investor with your risk profile has two options before him: one, go for a bank fixed deposit. Two, invest in a Fixed Maturity Plan (FMP) if you are in the higher tax bracket. It is not possible to define decent returns, as every person has different definition of decent returns. For some, decent returns may be 15 per cent, and for some others, it might be 10 per cent or 8 per cent. In short, it is difficult to arrive at a decent return until we understand more about you.
Since you are talking about investing for a long period or life time, it seems you are thinking of passing the money as inheritance. In that case, my suggestion would be to invest into a conservative hybrid scheme with a very low equity exposure. It will help you to generate a return of 10 per cent per annum.