Head - Insurance and Investments
Aarati is a leading voice in the Indian financial services space. She has been tracking and writing about the entire gamut of financial products and regulations for over 25 years now. Aarati was among a select few analysts in the country, tracking and analysing mutual funds, way back in 1994. She was also among the few to voice concerns over US-64 before its collapse. She is currently Editorial Consultant for the Hindu Business Line and was earlier a consulting editor for Value Research Online. For her pioneering work in writing on financial services and the economy, she was awarded the Shriram Sanlam award for excellence in Financial Journalism thrice.
Aarati brings with her a detailed understanding of the world of personal finance from the perspectives of the industry, regulators, government, and, most importantly, the investor. She has always been a strong voice speaking out on behalf of the retail investor and saver and a passionate advocate for greater transparency and customer-friendly innovations from financial product manufacturers. Aarati will lead the insurance and investment products verticals at PrimeInvestor as a consultant.
Aarati is a cost accountant and management graduate.
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Low returns from debt funds? Know how to manage this risk!
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.
Prime Stock recommendation: A promising play on food security
Recent instances of countries rationing food supplies on import disruptions and grappling with hyper-inflation, have prompted governments the world over to refocus on food security. With limited supply of arable land and water, the key to achieving food security lies in improving crop yields. In India, there’s a crying need to improve yields not only to secure food supplies for the domestic population, but also to cater to global export opportunities for farm products, that are at an inflection point. Companies engaged in crop protection, fertilizer and hybrid seeds are positioned to make the most of these tailwinds.
But if you’re an Indian investor looking to make a long-term bet on this theme, your options aren’t very many. There are about 20 listed companies in the fertilizer space. But the sector makes for a poor investment because of whimsical government policies that hamper growth and profitability. Listed crop protection and seed companies offer superior options. Listed agrochem players offer choices from micro to large players, with differing business models that focus on generic agrochemicals, interm
NFO review: IDFC US Treasury Bond 0-1 year Fund of Funds
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).
Adani stocks and index funds: cause for concern?
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.
Should you go for the 4-5-year special deposit schemes from NBFCs now?
With popular NBFCs such as Sundaram Finance, HDFC and Bajaj Finance revising their deposit rates in the past year, FD investors can finally look forward to better returns, after a long drought. Rising demand for loans in an improving economy, is forcing NBFCs to compete actively for deposits once again, prompting even top-rated ones to roll out deposit schemes for longer tenures of 4 to 5 years with ‘special’ rates. Sundaram Home Finance is offering 7.65% on its 4-year FD and HDFC has a special offer of 7.6% running its 45-month Sapphire Deposit scheme.
But are these rates special enough for you to lock in your money for longer tenures of 4 or 5 years?
5 reasons to avoid PSU ETFs
The list of top performing equity funds for the past year features a couple of unusual entries. With a return of 18-21 per cent, CPSE ETF (managed by Nippon India Mutual Fund for the government of India) and the Bharat 22 ETF (managed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund) are top rankers among equity funds.
This has many investors asking if they should add these passive funds to their portfolio. The portfolios of CPSE and Bharat 22 ETFs are made up of the PSU oil, energy and financial giants which are the flavour of the season. These ETFs’ costs are ultra-low because they are used as divestment vehicles. Both ETFs would also seem to be ‘value buys’ if you go by their ultra-cheap valuations. The CPSE ETF trades at a portfolio PE of 7 times and Bharat 22 ETF at about 11 times. This is a fraction of the current Nifty50 PE at over 21 times.
But does this make them worth betting on? There are five good reasons for long-term stock investors to steer clear of these ETFs.