Make Mindful Choices of Mutual Fund investments in Current times

May 06, 2020

The world as we know has turned upside down due to coronavirus. But now India along with many countries of the world is slowly limping back to normalcy with lockdown restrictions easing in various parts of the country.

The struggle is, however, far from over because the virus continues to spread its tentacles. World economy is in a recessionary phase, industries, and sectors are impacted and scores of people risk losing their jobs.

Its impact is already being witnessed on the financial market. S&P BSE Sensex is down 25% from its peak in January. As a result, investors have witnessed significant erosion in wealth. The heightened volatility and uncertainties witnessed in the past two months could persist in the coming months.

However, that should not stop you from investing for your future. It is pertinent to make mindful choices when it comes to mutual fund investment so that the pandemic impact does not flatten your investment growth curve.

Many equity funds across categories have done well despite the volatile market environment. It is important to have a long-term investment horizon when investing in equity funds. Your equity fund portfolio should be a good mix of different categories and investment style depending on risking profile and investment objective. Avoid risky bets like small cap funds and sectoral/thematic funds if you don't have the appetite for high risk.

Make sure to invest in worthy mutual funds that are well-diversified across stocks and sectors. The 'Core & Satellite' approach to investment is one of the most trusted approaches when investing in a diversified portfolio of equity funds.

The `Core' part can consist of large-cap fundmulti-cap fund, and value style fund and should form 60% of your portfolio holdings. Whereas, the `Satellite' part of your portfolio should include a mid-cap fundlarge & mid-cap fund, and an aggressive hybrid fund.

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This strategic allocation of portfolio lets you focus on the stable schemes with a long-term view and capitalise on short-term opportunities simultaneously.

Though the markets have recovered a bit from its lows of March, from the valuation standpoint it still looks attractive at this level. The market crash has provided hopes of huge upside potential with low downside risk, provided you choose schemes wisely.

Invest in schemes that fall less than the benchmark index and category peers during market downturns and rewards investors with superior returns during recovery and bull phases at a reasonable level of risk. Along with this, it would be prudent to check the track record of the fund manager and the efficiency of the fund house in terms of risk management, investment processes and systems.

Investing based on your personalized asset allocation plan is the true essence of successful investing. A healthy portfolio is the one that takes calculated exposure across different asset classes so that if one asset class fails to generate lucrative returns other asset classes can protect your portfolio from financial loss.

If you wish to invest in a readymade portfolio of top recommended equity mutual funds based on the 'Core & Satellite' approach to investing, I recommend that you subscribe to PersonalFN's Premium Report, "The Strategic Funds Portfolio For 2025 (2020 Edition)".

For the debt part of your portfolio, it has now become vital to exercise extra caution while picking schemes. The Debt market has also been gripped with uncertainties and volatility due to the pandemic which led to heightened redemption.

Consequently, it gave rise to illiquidity in many debt schemes, especially those with higher exposure to low rated securities. Additionally, the economic impact of the pandemic is expected to affect the credit worthiness of companies.

Therefore, it would not be preferable to invest in Credit Risk Funds, Corporate Bond Funds, and schemes that have high exposure to private issuers and low-rated securities. For your debt holding, invest in Liquid or overnight funds that invest in instruments issued by government and public sector enterprises.

During a financial crisis, gold acts as good hedge and a portfolio diversifier. Gold as an asset class has a negative correlation with other assets during risk-off periods, protecting the investors' capital against tail risks, and other events that have an adverse impact on capital or wealth. This safety of cap is not present in other commodities or assets also.

Moreover, the long-term secular uptrend exhibited by gold is something that invites attention and highlights the importance of owning gold in the portfolio with a longer investment horizon. Therefore, it would be sensible to allocate 10-15% of your portfolio to gold - preferably via Gold ETFs and/or Gold Savings Funds with a long-term view.

In the wake of the current market scenario, you may have to reassess and rebalance your portfolio. You can consider consulting a financial advisor before carrying out any changes to the portfolio.

It is also important to hold optimal level of cash reserves. So while you continue to invest, ensure that you have at least 6 months worth of expenses saved in the form of cash to meet exigencies like job loss, medical emergencies, etc. The funds saved for the said purpose can be parked in liquid avenues like liquid or overnight funds.

 

Warm Regards,
Divya Grover
Research Analyst

 

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  • Good and helpful.

    gautamsir101@gmail.com | May 10, 2020
  • Investment in mutual funds appearing to b tricky. Even we invest in sips viewing 5*status. Overtime many of them turn to 3* & again advised to move to funds that enjoy higher grade rankings. Hence relocating to a better fund means by sip means a certain amount languishing in old fund so exited. If fully withdrawn then not only a bad comparative return but also axed for exit before 12 months. This is very puzzling. There appears also no check by a capable institution wether a fund is adhering to the norms of a fund. We all r advised by experts to transfer accumulated money in equity fund to debt fund as one reaches one to 3 years before the objective time for which such inv made over the years thru sips. What a blunder we made to adhering such advice in flowing funds to Frankline,a years of reverred international mf house. I am over 75 .I shall be delighted to subscribe Ur fund advice .i wish that those stated above wld be taken due care of & what to do with the existing funds either stopped or sip/ stp in progress. Another problem we r in red zone.we don't hv banking & postal facilities & being ignorent of other mode of paying,I am afraid it won't be possible to remit money through banking system as we did in subscribing Equimaster's hidden treasure & stock select. Sincere regards, Purnima ps may also kind to advise in which funds I can keep around 10 lakhs which I hv earmarked for the contingency of my medical expenses . Inv in equity funds meant for intended to keep increasing as a hedge for my son's asset creation. My means r ltd as I was a school teacher. Only pride I cherish that I had privelege to represent India in sports.

    dnbhattacharyya@gmail.com | May 11, 2020
  • Investment in mutual funds appearing to b tricky. Even we invest in sips viewing 5*status. Overtime many of them turn to 3* & again advised to move to funds that enjoy higher grade rankings. Hence relocating to a better fund means by sip means a certain amount languishing in old fund so exited. If fully withdrawn then not only a bad comparative return but also axed for exit before 12 months. This is very puzzling. There appears also no check by a capable institution wether a fund is adhering to the norms of a fund. We all r advised by experts to transfer accumulated money in equity fund to debt fund as one reaches one to 3 years before the objective time for which such inv made over the years thru sips. What a blunder we made to adhering such advice in flowing funds to Frankline,a years of reverred international mf house. I am over 75 .I shall be delighted to subscribe Ur fund advice .i wish that those stated above wld be taken due care of & what to do with the existing funds either stopped or sip/ stp in progress. Another problem we r in red zone.we don't hv banking & postal facilities & being ignorent of other mode of paying,I am afraid it won't be possible to remit money through banking system as we did in subscribing Equimaster's hidden treasure & stock select. Sincere regards, Purnima ps may also kind to advise in which funds I can keep around 10 lakhs which I hv earmarked for the contingency of my medical expenses . Inv in equity funds meant for intended to keep increasing as a hedge for my son's asset creation. My means r ltd as I was a school teacher. Only pride I cherish that I had privelege to represent India in sports.

    dnbhattacharyya@gmail.com | May 11, 2020
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