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Which mutual funds to buy? Read this!

January 13, 2012 17:15 IST

MFsMutual funds are a popular investment tool for investors because it offers a convenient and cost-effective way to invest in the financial markets.

MFs are also right way to invest into because it provides affordability, liquidity, tax benefits, and professional management and most importantly it helps in maximizing returns by effectively utilising hard earned money.

So which are the best MFs to invest in? Which option to choose -- equity, debt or balanced funds?

In an hour-long chat on on rediff.com on Friday, MCX-Zee Business award winning Mutual Fund expert, Ashok Kumar offered some tips. Here is the transcript:

ASHOK KUMAR says, Hi...Welcome sir


ASHOK KUMAR says, Good afternoon friends .... overwhelmed with the number of questions... will be happy to take as many as possible in the next one hour...those of you whose questions remain unanswered, feel free to mail us at info@gurukshetra.com
ASHOK KUMAR says, ninad -- 4k franklin india blue chip, 3k idfc premier equity , 3k birla sun life 95

rajkamal asked, Dear Mr. Kumar, Hi I am regularly investing thru SIP in HDFC Equity, HDFC Prudence, HDFC Top 200, DSP BR Top 100, Fidelity Equity & Sundaram Select Midcap in Growth Options. The Objective is to invest regulary for 10-15 years horizon to take care future Children requirements. Kindly suggest whether I am on the right track.
ASHOK KUMAR answers,  at 2012-01-13 16:01:36Overall, good rajkamal --consider a switch from sundaram select to icici pru discovery
rajkamal asked, Dear Mr. Kumar, Hi I am regularly investing thru SIP in HDFC Equity, HDFC Prudence, HDFC Top 200, DSP BR Top 100, Fidelity Equity & Sundaram Select Midcap in Growth Options. The Objective is to invest regulary for 10-15 years horizon to take care future Children requirements. Kindly suggest whether I am on the right track.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, Overall, good rajkamal --consider a switch from sundaram select to icici pru discovery
javed] asked, Which MutualFund is good for investing , I wanted to invest for saving tax.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, javed , keep in mind that post dtc next year, tax breaks will go...but for now if you must, consider canara robeco tax saver
Prakash asked, I want to invest 5000/- monthly under SIP,Please suggest three funds.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, prakash -- consider 2k icici focus blue chip, 2k uti opportunities and 1k hdfc prudence
Abdul asked, Hi Ashok since 2 years in am investing through SIP in HDFC Top 200 Mutual Fund, when i go through the results its negative only what will u suggest?
ASHOK KUMAR answers, Abdul, its been a good fund though its performance has slipped recently as it follows a buy and hold strategy ...give it a year more if you can before reviewing again
rajesh asked, I have kotak infrastructure mutual fund and its prize is lower than the purchase prize. What should I do. I am worried.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, Rajesh -- infra funds unfortunately have bitten the dust...but the worst may be over...yet if you want another sectoral bet, consider reliance pharma
prash asked, what will be the status of the ELSS funds post DTC scenario as the draft copy of DTC indicates ELSS will lose tax benefits. If that happens, does it make sense to continue investing in ELSS funds or should we move to better performing Large cap funds.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, prash - elss schemes have anyway underperformed inspite of the benefit of having investors locked in for 3 years... dtc makes the case worse, i would say, steer clear
Prashanth asked, Sir,From past 3-4 yrs i have increased my monthly investments from 2k to 12k.My current portfolio Consists of funds like Reliance Growth, ICICI dynamic, ICICI Infra,HDFC prudence, Canara Robecco Tax Saver,ICICI tax plan,Sundaram Tax Saver. Since my 1lakh tax exemption limit is already filled. i am planning to stop ICICI & Sundaram tax saver and plannig to start investing in IDFC premier eq& Birla Sunlife MNC fund.Need ur suggestion abt the funds i am holding & new funds i am planning to invest.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, prashanth --- you need a complete portfolio rejig...mail us please at info@gurukshetra.com
balachandra asked, Is it the right time to start sector funds.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, bal--sector funds should ideally be a small allocation in the overall portfolioplan..in such volatile times, seek defensive sectorals like ICICI PRu FMCG Fund and UTI Healthcare
Sanjay asked, Which are the best Gold funds to invest in?
ASHOK KUMAR answers, sanjay if you have a demat ac choose goldman sachs gold bees...else consider Reliance or Kotak Gold Funds
akshit asked, Can I buy MF SIP without opening a Demat account, how to do so?
ASHOK KUMAR answers, yes you can akshit
rajesh12 asked, sir please let me know if it is better to increase the investment in gold through SIP route of mutual funds in the volatile market in 2012
ASHOK KUMAR answers, yes rajesh ....use the sip route though
Munish asked, Is it still advisable to invest in MF when the 3 years returns are in negative and the sip is also having the same returns?
ASHOK KUMAR answers, fund performances have to be evaluated on relative basis i.e. benchmarked vs their benchmark index and peers...however, three years of pain is normally more than most Indian investors can take....hence, unless the fund is exceptional exit
Eknath asked, Which Mutual fund can I buy for one year with good return
ASHOK KUMAR answers, eknath, please keep at leasta three year time frame while investing in mf's and use the sip route
smartInvest asked, i have SIP of 10 k distributed among HDFC top 200, HDFC equity growth,Kotak 50, Kotak oppertunity, HDFC Prudence...from OCT 2010.. my question is how you see these funds for next 3 years? or do i need to revamp my portfolio to add/redempt? please suggest ? i am targetiing for next 3 yeras.. thanks
ASHOK KUMAR answers, smartie -- consider exiting the kotak funds you hold
tarun asked, I have got a feedback and even seen that returns on the mutual fund over a horizon of 5 years just yield 5-6% roughly compounded considering the hidden fees etc which is quite low as compared to Bank FDs which are running at 9% roughly compounded. Will appreciate if you can provide your inputs on following: 1. Type of Mutual funds which provide better net investment proposition and defy the above statement 2. Future areas where funds will be investing which will provide better returns
ASHOK KUMAR answers, well tarun, the beauty of numbers is that they appear to be the way one wants to look at it...there are equity funds tht have given good returns compounded over longer time frames...check out idfc premier equity and franklin india blue chip to name just a couple
sandeepaich asked, can i continue with my existing portfolio: Monthly SIP (All Growth Funds) : HDFC Top 200@3000; HDFC Tax saver@5000; HDFC Mid cap opportunities @ 3000; ICIC Pru Discovery fund @1000; Fiedility Equity Fund @3000 One Time purchase UTI Mid cap oportunities G (purchased two years back)
ASHOK KUMAR answers, sandeep -- switch from uti mid cap to birla sunlife divid yield fund which too has a mid cap bias
vish asked, For last one year performance of Reliance Growth Fund, Reliance Banking Fund is comparatively poor, hence should I continue my SIP or stop and invest into other funds, owif so let me know better funds.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, exit both --- consider idfc premier equity and reliance pharma instead
Vinoj asked, Hi, I'm new to MF. Should I take the SIP path? I'm looking at a horizon of 3 to 7 yrs. What would be your suggestions?
ASHOK KUMAR answers, indeed vinoj -- do consider the sip route...in fact check out the stp route too given the prevalent market volatility...if you wish to start at the shallow end, consider HDFC Balanced Fund
ajaywarepatil asked, Sir pl let me know how is the portfolio - ICICI FOCUSED BLUE CHIF - 2K, RELIANCE PHARMA - 2K, RELIANCE BANKING - 2K, IDFC PREMIRE EQUITY - 2K, SBI MAGNUM FMCG - 2K, SBI MAGNUM EMERGING BUSINESS - 2K. I am 36years old
ASHOK KUMAR answers, ajay -- exit reliance banking , sbi magnum fmcg and switch to uti banking and icici pru fmcg
bhardwajcs asked, what is the future of icici discovery fund
ASHOK KUMAR answers, looks good...but take care to use the sip route
AshuPune asked, What would be the ideal portfolio which can give return around 15 to 20% a year...considering the investment for 15 to 20 years
ASHOK KUMAR answers, this qs is typical for the portfolios we structure..will take some time though, mate...mail us at info@gurukshetra.com
bchoubey asked, Sir, suggest me good switch from Sundaram SMILE and Birla Mid Cap Plan A fund?
ASHOK KUMAR answers, idfc premier equity and birla sun life divid yield fund
prks asked, Hello sir! I am a 40 yrs old employed person earning 24k/ month. Till today I haven't been able to save much because of my unstable career and unavoidable circumstances. but now i want to start savings and wud like like to invest in MFs along with FDs. Could u pls suggest some MFs and d approx. amount so that I after 10 yrs I have gud amnt in my hand.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, pls consider investing Rs.3000 per month in ICICI Pru Focused Blue Chip and Rs.2000 in Birla Sunlife 95 per month...after 10 years, assuming a conservative 13% compounded growth rate, you should have a lump sum in excess of Rs.12 lakh in hand...good luck
Faiz asked, Dear Ashok, Franklin Templeon Prima Plus has given good returns before... is it advisable to invest now?
ASHOK KUMAR answers, yes faiz..if possible, use the sip route
Juhi asked, Hi Is Reliance Regular Savings Fund a good Mutual Fund. I have been investing for an year now and am worried about its returns. Thanks
ASHOK KUMAR answers, juhi -- it is unfortunately an underperformer..consider shifting to DSP BR Opportunities Fund
vikky asked, your views on SIP of HDFC Top 200, SBI-Magnum tax gain, BNP paribas tax saving Growth please suggest
ASHOK KUMAR answers, vikky...retain hdfc top 200.... avoid tax saving elss now
Sriram asked, I am 33,my Equity portfolio is 40% in Large, Large&Mid cap, 30% in Multi Cap and 20% in Small & Mid cap and 10% in Balanced funds.Timehorizon is 15-25years based on my goals. Is this a good split? What would your suggest
ASHOK KUMAR answers, sriram a precise answer can be provided only after your risk profile is evaluated...nevertheless assuming you have a healthy risk profile, consider changing the above ratios to 40%, 20%, 25% and 15%
Champak Chaman asked, Ashok ji where r u?
ASHOK KUMAR answers, am very much here champu ji -- where is your qs--feel free to mail us at info@gurukshetra.com
Kannan.V asked, This is Kannan. I heard that ELSS will lose tax benefits. In that Case what options do we have as a tax saving instrument. Do you think people should shift to ULIP's and Insurance again.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, kannan -- insurance is not an investment vehicle accordng to me..it is to protect your family against any eventuality--just consider how one can maximize returns on insurance investments....by paying a premium and passing away....consider taking a term insurance for maximum cover and invest your balance in sound MFs...dont chase tax rebates, use PPF
nair asked, I have purchased 12 lacs of MF at sensex 16858 in june 2010 Currently in Loss. When can I expect this to be even / Gainful
ASHOK KUMAR answers, difficult to answer without knowing which funds..contact us at info@gurkshetra.com with your details
rbmarick asked, HDFC Top 200 is the right fund for the SIP for 10 years. Please answer my query.
ASHOK KUMAR answers, its a good long term fund, yes...uses a buy and hold strategy.....
entre asked, I want to invest in micro caps and i am looking for mufti-baggers. Can you suggest some please. My risk appetite is very high
ASHOK KUMAR answers, DSP BR Micro Cap Fund
ASHOK KUMAR says, We are running out of time..my apologies to those whose questions remain unanswered....feel free to mail us at info@gurukshetra.com or call on weekdays between 5 and 6.30pm on the contact numbers mentioned on www.gurukshetra.com

Kalyan asked, Hi, I have been investing for last 2 yrs in SIPs in equity based MFs worth 10000 per month. I am now doubtful if I should continue it. Please advise
ASHOK KUMAR answers, as long as they are good funds with proven performances over 3 and 5 years, please consider waiting a little longer before discontinuing
ASHOK KUMAR says, Thank you Friends and before I sign off.. a word of advise...2012 is likely to witness sharp market swings and to maximize your gains during the year and thereafter, make sure your portfolio is optimally planned.....it makes all the difference, finally..... We are running out of time..once again, my apologies to those whose questions remain unanswered....feel free to mail us at info@gurukshetra.com or call on weekdays between 5 and 6.30pm on the contact numbers mentioned on www.gurukshetra.com

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