“Which equity fund should I buy?” When asked an open-end question like this, most financial experts recommend an index fund. Choosing an index fund is supposed to be far easier than choosing an active fund from the hundreds of schemes. But the number and variety of index funds in India has mushroomed too. There are about 94 open-end equity index funds, while over 120 equity Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are listed on the exchanges. So, if you’re thinking of buying an index fund, how do you choose the right one? Here are four metrics to choose the best index funds and ETFs.
Multi-asset allocation funds as a category are not easy to use. With funds in the category having the freedom to swing drastically between asset classes, the aspects to consider range from how asset allocation calls are taken, how much the allocation changes, whether this translates into returns, and finally what the taxation is going to be.
After lying low for a while, gold as an asset class has woken up from its long slumber in the last six months. International gold prices, which fell by 3.3% in 2021 and 0.3% in 2022, have gained 9% so far in 2023 (as of April 11) and are up by 20% in the last six months. In India, gold prices recently bounced off a lifetime high of over Rs 61,000/10 grams, having gained 18% in the last six months. This recent run has made investors sit up and take notice of sovereign gold bonds, gold ETFs and other vehicles to own gold. But should you jump on the bullion bandwagon now?
Prime Funds is our list of recommendations in equity, debt, and hybrid mutual funds that are worth investing in. Prime Funds narrows down your choices from the thousands of funds that there are, into a concise list of funds that span different styles. Prime Funds are selected based on performance, portfolios, and investment strategies.
In this quarter’s review, we have made limited additions to our list of Prime Funds but have some updates to give on performance of the existing funds. We also suggest buckets that are worth entering now. So do read it!
Changes in tax rules at the end of a financial year is not something that you routinely expect. And not when it is a sweeping change on taxation in your mutual fund! In this article, we are going to discuss the tax changes in mutual funds in 4 parts:
One, the changes effective April 1, 2023 and the categories impacted
The tax impact for you and what you can do to plan better
What should you do with your existing investments?
How should you plan your fresh investments?
Low returns from debt funds? Know how to manage this risk!
After Silicon Valley Bank revealed large losses on its US bond portfolio that had eaten into its capital, there’s been a lot of social media outrage. Some folks are shocked that banks can make losses on a cast-iron investment such as US treasuries. Others seem to be appalled that Silicon Valley Bank is not alone and that many other global banks are in the same boat. This shows that investors at large have only a vague understanding of what rising interest rates do to bond portfolios.
You have also been bombarding us with questions on how interest rate risks can play out for debt funds, particularly target maturity, constant maturity and gilt funds. We try to address them here.
If there is one thing that has dominated the new fund offer space, and your collective interest, it is target maturity funds. Over the past year, the debt market has dealt with a swift rise in interest rates and we have issued multiple strategies to alert you on opportunities that presented themselves.
The Nifty Next 50 houses the 50 top companies by market capitalisation, after the Nifty 50. This index caught the limelight over the past month for featuring a handful of the Adani group stocks.
As we had pointed out a couple of weeks ago in our write-up on Adani stocks and index funds, the presence of a few shaky stocks in an index is not reason enough to exit it. But even before the Adani-fuelled upheaval, the Nifty Next 50’s once-outstanding performance was being eroded.
The top-used product at PrimeInvestor, our MF Review Tool, is good for anyone who wants to know our call on your fund (buy/hold/sell) and the reason for the same. It also helps you pick the funds we have a buy on, if you want to go beyond Prime Funds.
But for those of you who want to see the evidence backed by data or wish to do your own filtering, then Prime MF Screener is the only tool available today in town for you to do this evidence-based investing. If you are a subscriber – well, what’s stopping you from empowering yourself using our MF Screener to pick good mutual fund schemes?
US stocks and US equity funds have been quite a hit with Indian investors in recent years. Indians invest in these funds to gain exposure to global businesses (Amazon, Alphabet, Mastercard etc). More importantly, they would like to gain an exposure to the US dollar which has appreciated steadily against the Rupee over the years.
But the risks in owning US equities have become apparent lately, with the Fed on a rate hiking spree and the US economy flirting with a recession. US stock indices have lost 12-15% in one year, while US equity funds have seen losses of 6%-12%. But there has been a sharp rise in yields on US government bonds (treasuries).
In March 2021, our call on the commodities fund we added panned out well. But we decided to issue a book profit call in June 2022, as we wanted to preserve some of the profits given the cool off that was visible then in commodity prices.
And as anticipated, commodities cooled off a fair bit globally. Triggered by inflation-driven rate hikes and recession fears, pre-emptive physical destocking (reducing inventories anticipating higher cost of holding inventories) resulted in lower prices. The traded Goldman Sachs Commodity index graph below will tell you that our call was largely in line with this index’s move.
After the Hindenburg bombshell tanked Adani stocks, the faith that some investors placed in index investing seems to have been shaken. With the Nifty 50 and Nifty Next 50 featuring seven Adani group stocks between them, PrimeInvestor received many queries soon after the news broke.