Founding Partner & Head, Research and Product
Vidya helped build one of the country’s earliest robo-advisory solutions in the country in her earlier role at FundsIndia. She believes in not just providing the right solutions for investors but also taking ownership for the same and following up or changing course when the situation warrants.
Vidya was the head of mutual fund research at FundsIndia where she did some path-breaking work in analysing funds and offering researched portfolios. Her recommendations had a sound track record of beating markets and showcasing consistency. They were followed widely by investors, advisors and media.
A Chartered Accountant by qualification, Vidya began her career as a Senior Internal Auditor for Ashok Leyland. She then went on to work for The Hindu Business Line’s Research Bureau, tracking mutual funds, stock markets, sectors and the macro economy for eight years. She has more than 18 years of experience, of which over 15 were spent analyzing the markets.
Vidya is known in the media for her straight talk and, calling out bad products.
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Vidya's recent articles
Some of you wish to invest in index funds and want to know the best index funds. Others want to hold a portfolio of index funds. Building a portfolio out of index funds or adding index funds calls for mixing strategies and market-cap segments. In this article, we’ll try to explain the key characteristics of some of the equity indices and how they can be paired with other index funds/ETFs or with active funds.
A recent addendum by Aditya Birla Sun life suggested that investors rollover some of the AMC’s FMPs that are maturing. The reason was that given the low-rate scenario, investors are unlikely to get good interest rates outside once they exit. And that staying invested would provide indexation benefit for capital gains and earn higher returns.
But some investors raised the doubt on whether the FMPs under question were in trouble. We therefore looked at their portfolios. They had high-quality AAA-holdings are unlikely to have had any pressure on repayment. In other words, there does not appear any credit related rollover compulsion.
ICICI Pru Nifty Low Vol 30 ETF now has a companion fund of funds that investors can use for SIPs and investments. Vidya Bala reviews the new offering.
Perpetual bonds have caused some sleepless nights for fund managers after SEBI’s circular earlier this month. On March 10th, SEBI issued a circular capping the debt scheme exposure to perpetual bonds at 10% and also laying down new rules how these bonds should be valued in debt scheme portfolios. We wrote a short take on it last week suggesting that you wait for clarity. SEBI has now come up with one more circular offering some clarification.
Target maturity funds invest with a stated maturity and pay you back when the maturity is reached. You can call them an FMP but one that is open-ended and takes fresh inflows and outflows.
With yields beginning to move up, more funds are now beginning to talk about ‘roll down strategy’ or a strategy where a maturity date is fixed thereby ensuring that the portfolio’s average maturity steadily falls as it nears maturity. For example, a 2027 target date fund will have a 6-year maturity now and a 5-year maturity in 2022 and so on, until the maturity reduces to near zero in 2027.
Small finance banks, with their focus on small ticket loans for urban and semi-urban India, are a play on the underpenetrated market for financial products in India. Yet, after stellar performances soon after their IPOs many of these stocks have seen their valuations levelled. So, when a new candidate – Suryoday Small Finance Bank IPO (Suryoday) comes out in an overcrowded primary market, how should it be judged? Read on.