How mutual funds offer flexibility of playing investment themes

By Joydeep Sen

The USP of thematic funds is that if a sector or theme seems to be promising, or is in vogue, and the fund supervisor has a confirmed observe document, the possibilities of making outsized positive factors are somewhat excessive. On the identical time, it’s also in regards to the investor’s conviction within the thought (sector) and the fund supervisor. In a method, this can be a concentrated guess, as it’s a few specific funding theme, regardless that the fund could also be well-diversified when it comes to variety of shares.

Nevertheless, on the finish of the day, the guess might or might not play out, relying on how the sector or theme performs. Additionally, the function of the fund supervisor is restricted by the scope of funding.

It is because of these components that the efficiency of sectoral or thematic funds is extra dispersed in comparison with different fund classes.

Allow us to have a look at some efficiency information.

As of December 24, 2020, a basket of 27 massive cap funds (common possibility) delivered a median five-year return of 10.8 per cent, with the best-performing fund delivering 14.9 per cent and the worst-performing being at 6.6 per cent. In impact, the vary between the best- and the worst-performing funds is between 14.9% and 6.6%.

Now, evaluating this with a various basket of 67 sectoral or thematic funds, the five-year return until December 24, 2020 confirmed a median of 9.5 per cent (somewhat decrease than the typical of large-cap basket). The most effective-performing fund right here generated a return of 18.7%, and the worst-performing one logged a damaging return of two.9%. So, the efficiency vary right here is between 18.7% (larger than massive cap) and damaging 2.9% (a lot decrease than 6.6%).

Some might argue that the comparability of thematic funds with large-cap funds isn’t honest. In that case, as an alternative of enormous caps, allow us to think about multi-cap funds.

Until December 24, 2020, the five-year common return from a basket of multi-cap funds confirmed a median of 10.8 per cent (just like massive cap), the best-performing fund generated 14.9% (once more just like massive cap) and the worst-performing fund generated 5.6% (somewhat decrease than massive cap). Right here additionally, the five-year efficiency vary is between 14.9 per cent and 5.6 per cent, whereas in case of thematic funds, the efficiency vary is between 18.7 per cent and damaging 2.9 per cent. Such broad disparity in efficiency is without doubt one of the unwanted effects of taking part in a selected sector or theme.

If we check out the best- and the worst-performing thematic funds for clues as to which thought has executed nicely, there too the dispersion is excessive. Over a five-year interval, the 5 best-performing thematic funds are Aditya Birla Solar Life Digital India Fund (CAGR 18.7 per cent), ICICI Prudential Expertise Fund (18.6 per cent), SBI Banking & Monetary Providers Fund (17.6 per cent), Nippon India US Fairness Alternatives Fund (16.7 per cent) and ICICI Prudential US Bluechip Fairness (16.2 per cent). The theme right here ranges from IT to monetary companies to US equities.

In the identical interval, the concepts that didn’t work embody HDFC Infrastructure Fund (CAGR of minus 2.9 per cent), HSBC Infrastructure Fairness Fund (minus 1.3 per cent), SBI PSU Fund (0.6 per cent), UTI Transportation and Logistics Fund (3.3 per cent) and Canara Robeco Infrastructure Fund (4.7 per cent). In hindsight, the infrastructure or PSU themes didn’t play out over the past 5 years, however whether or not the identical will probably be true over the subsequent 5 years is anyone’s name.

Given this backdrop, it’s going to assist if in a thematic fund, the fund supervisor is given the flexibleness to play on concepts that are model-driven coupled with judgement. At present, ICICI Prudential Enterprise Cycle Fund gives such an thought for which the NFO is at the moment underway. This fund has the flexibleness to take a position throughout market caps, themes and sectors, thereby giving the fund supervisor a large canvas.

Right here, the fund supervisor will probably be figuring out themes and sectors primarily based on a prevailing enterprise cycle (progress, recession, restoration and so forth.). Throughout a selected part, say progress or restoration, sure sectors are likely to do nicely, and this fund can go chubby on these sectors. The universe being Nifty 500, the portfolio will be evenly unfold throughout say 4-6 sectors, or will be concentrated to 2-3 sectors, primarily based on indicators as per the enterprise cycle mannequin. The idea is in a method just like that of BAF funds, the place you don’t have to fret in regards to the allocation to fairness and debt. The investor is relieved from making the choice to toggle between asset courses and taxation points.

The opposite path to play the market theme is thru the index funds or index ETFs of sure sectors. The necessary level to recollect right here is the onus of rejigging the sectors will rely upon the investor, whereas within the fund talked about above, the fund supervisor will do the needful for the investor. The opposite moot level of distinction one needs to be cognizant about is that index composition will get revised periodically, each when it comes to constituents and floating-stock weightage, which varies as per costs. This can be a reactive course of because the revision relies on the previous details. For a forward-looking play, the optimum nonetheless is to take a position via typical mutual funds.

(The creator is coach, creator, columnist, Views are his personal)

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