Not so long ago, if debt investors in India wanted to get a 7% plus return, they had to go to post office schemes with (poor service and) a long lock-in period like the PPF or GOI Floating Rate Savings Bonds with a 7-year lock-in period. These options, apart from the difficulty of accessing them, required investors to sacrifice liquidity for returns.
This is the second to our two-part explanation on how we construct Prime Funds and how to use these fund recommendations to decide allocations. In the first part, we had covered equity funds in depth. In this Part 2, we will cover the debt fund recommendations in Prime Funds.
Indian debt investors have been handed a raw deal in the last three years. Though inflation has been rising and market interest rates edging up, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) were doing their level-best to keep a lid on interest rates, to protect borrowers in a Covid-hit economy.
Here’s an explainer to demystify the barbells, ladders and roll-downs that are in vogue now. Right now, debt manager views are liberally sprinkled with terms that remind you of your morning workout.
As a result of having many categories, many of you end up having duplication in debt funds in your portfolio inadvertently – by believing that spreading across different categories, you’re diversifying. However, funds that may be in different categories but not necessarily doing anything different for your portfolio.
We have received questions on how to use & choose debt investment options. These questions assume importance in the present changing rate scenario and we thought we should address those questions.
Conservative hybrid vs equity savings & balanced advantage :
Hybrid funds are interesting options – they neither work entirely like equity, nor entirely like debt. And when you add derivatives into the mix, the lines get even more blurred. Conservative hybrid funds have long been used by investors who are looking for debt-plus returns by adding a dash of equity without taking on too much equity risk. But the advent of equity savings and balanced advantage funds has chipped away at the higher-return-for-low-risk bastion that conservative hybrid funds had.
Muthoot Fincorp, a non-deposit taking NBFC, registered with RBI, has come up with a public offering of secured non-convertible debentures (NCDs). The issue opens on January 5 and closes on January 28, 2022. Should you invest?
So what’s ahead for the prime debt outlook 2022? Do we expect rates to now sidle sideways or to continue their climb? Though the onset of Omicron may see the MPC continue to make dovish noises and delay repo rate hikes as much as it can, we think that market interest rates will continue to climb in 2022 irrespective of whether or not MPC acts.
Prime Funds performance in 2021
Stock markets did not disappoint you in 2021. The various market cap segments delivered textbook-like bull market returns with small caps outperforming midcaps and midcaps outperforming large caps.
Gilt vs debt mutual funds: which one scores? Here we compare the direct g-sec option to the mutual fund route to tell you how and when direct g-secs can add value to your portfolio.
How and when you should invest in NFOs
What’s different in this year’s NFO is the nature of the funds/ETFs up for grabs, many of which appear to make great diversifiers. We’ve covered a good many of these over the course of this year.