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Empowered investors are market-proof!
May 10, 2004 13:01 IST
Elections and exit polls continued to set the tone for markets, for a better part of the week ended May 8. The BSE Sensex posted a gain of 0.27 per centáto close at 5,670 points while the S&P CNX Nifty appreciated by 0.45 per centáto close at 1,804 points. However these modest growth figures conceal the turbulence experienced during the week. With the last phase of elections on, investors should brace themselves for testing times in the days to come.
(Standard deviation indicates by how much the values have deviated from the mean of the values.
It measures by how much the investor has diverged from the mean return either upwards or downwards.
It highlights the element of risk associated with the fund.)
Diversified equity funds had a modest week with top performers delivering from 1.98 per centáto 3.09 per cent. Funds investing predominantly in midcap stocks featured among the top performers. Discovery stock (3.09 per cent) surfaced as the weekly topper followed by Birla Dividend Yield (2.91 per cent).
Recent times have seen fund managers change fund houses with alarming regularity. Do such events have any bearing on the investors' interest? The answer lies in how the fund house (or Asset Management Company) is managed, is it driven by personalities or by processes.
Investors need to understand that risk mitigation is a very critical part of fund management and its primary objective. Delivering growth comes after that and is therefore the secondary objective. Both these objectives are tested vigorously across bull and bear phases. And more often than not, you will find the process-driven funds redeeming themselves on both these criteria more than the 'fund-manager' driven funds. From the investor's perspective, the key lies in being able to identify the right fund house.
(The Sharpe Ratio is a measure of the returns offered by the fund vis-Ó-vis those offered by a risk-free instrument)
The benchmark 7.37 per centá2014 GOI bond yield closed at 5.12á per centá(May 7, 2004) unchanged from the previous close. Markets closely monitored the US Federal Reserve, which hinted at a possible uptake in interest rates (the recently released data on jobs further enhances this possibility); meanwhile the Bank of England raised its benchmark interest rate. Changing interest rates have an impact on liquidity conditions, which in turn can influence bond prices.
Libra Bond (0.20 per cent) topped the income funds category, followed by Escorts Income Plan (0.13 per cent). Floating rate funds (Grindlays Float Rate) made their presence felt as well.
It was a modest week for the balanced funds segment. A process-driven fund like HDFC Prudence (1.03 per cent) managed to outperform its peers and top the weekly performers list. Cantriple (0.94 per cent) and Escorts Balanced (0.90 per cent) made it to the second and third positions respectively.
From the investors perspective, empowering themselves using accurate, meaningful information and expert advice is of paramount importance. For example, mutual fund investors can take informed decisions based on information made available to them in the fact sheet. However the key lies in deciphering the relevant bits of information. Oft-ignored areas like expense ratios and the fund's mandate can provide valuable insights into the fund. Similarly mutual fund rankings (when graded on the right parameters and appropriately presented) can prove to be important sources of information as well.
Empower yourself and plan your finances the smart way. It's your best bet at becoming market-proof!
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