The first thing you need to do is to quantify your financial goals, understand your risk appetite, and invest accordingly. Investing without a financial goal is not a very fruitful exercise. Unless and until you have a plan for the future, investing is meaningless. One also needs to take into consideration the age factor. For eg: the closer you are to retirement, the safer your investment must be and lower the risk you can assume.

So, you need to plan your investments not only according to your goal but also according to your age and risk appetite. You need to list and understand your financial goals and utilize this money towards fulfilling these goals. Once you have decided on your financial goals, you could invest in various instruments, diversifying your portfolio according to your risk appetite. The various investment options available are:

a. Direct investment in stocks
b. Equity mutual funds
c. Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS)
e. Real-estate investment
f. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
g. Index Funds
h. Debt funds
i. Public Provident Fund