BUDGET 2019 – Auto industry to change fast

With the increase in excise duty on petrol and diesel and the GST cut on Electric Vehicles will is going to be a big blow to the Auto sector, which is already reeling under huge pressure of declining sales.

The message is getting out clear that, manufacturers have to speed up with EV launches, else they perish. Tight cash flows in the market due to closing of funding tap of the NBFC’s, has impacted Auto sales to a very large extent.

In the last 3 months, almost all the companies in this space have registered continuous decline in sales numbers. Many of the big names have shut down their facilities for short period to adjust for the inventory build up at the distributor level.

Now the next step will be offering discounts to clear off inventories. It will be a better decision for the manufacturers which will reduce cost of funding these unsold inventory. Buyers will enjoy getting their favorite vehicles at a discount.

Yet, as the message from the government is getting more clear about the fast pace expectation to switch to EV’s. Buyers will prefer to delay their purchases, though not on a big scale, it will impact sales.

The biggest threat will be to Auto anciliary businesses. EV’s don’t require all the parts that are presently used in an automobile. Either they fast pace their production to include products required for EV’s or perish.

Auto stocks are already down to their bottoms, now it will go down even further. If you hold any auto stocks in your portfolio or find exposure to auto in your Mutual Fund portfolio, take exit. It will deteriorate further.

SENSEX rises from 20k to 40k, but no income rise for the equity mutual fund investors

SEX is reaching new high’s, investors portfolios are not going up. Reasons why it is not? Only a handful of stocks are moving up in price, why it is so? What is happening to the broad market? SEBI, recategorization, high valuations along with why fund managers were forced to park money in small & mid-cap segment in 2017. Why they are now parking funds into large cap, which has been doing well and taking SENSEX up. Not to have concentrated exposure, diversification is good. India is poised for big growth, keep off worries and take advantage of growth.

Mid Caps Melts…

There is a saying, “Sell in May & go away”. Markets proved it right this year. It gave back gains made in April. Mid & Small caps lead the fall. They lost 6.5 to 7%, rising concern among conservative investors to move away from the markets.

While not all portfolios melt the way the indices did. The leaders of the current market are in Chemicals, Electrodes and Construction sectors. Stock holdings in these sectors, preferably the leaders in them stood out strong.

Right stocks at the right time are the need of the day. As Crude oil is reaching for highs, currency depleting & bond yields on the rise, the major concerns that shook the markets. Stocks that had gone up beyond fundamentals took the larger beating.

Adding fuel to the fire was the Karnataka election results which brought more confusion and lots of challenges for the next year’s general elections. Media started giving their share of bad news that, opinion polls show only 47% of our population now willing to give BJP the next term.

Yet there were gems still available in the hay stack. Newspapers reported that, stocks like HEG, Graphite grew strong on their fundamentals. These stocks stood the test of selling pressure.

Stocks that the experts were bullish on like Ashok Leyland, M&M Finance & Escorts – all of them showed more strength on the upside. We have all these in our portfolio which has helped us lose only half of what the markets lost. In April we had 11% gains, double the gains made by the broader indices like the SENSEX.

When markets corrected, we are holding strong with lesser loses. Our portfolio has given back about 3%. Such small and consistent strength over the years have helped us make 200% gains in the last 5 years.

Consistence in holding the top positions for every time periods is an even bigger challenge that fund managers face. This is because of some committed stock not behaving the way it has to or the fund manager holding a view that largely differs from the market.

In this space, we held strong. We were not emotional on our positions. We are not judgemental when entering or exiting a position. Just followed the system and we have consistently outperformed all the other funds in the diversified category.

Last year financial sector had bigger exposure in our portfolio, now we are shedding weight in there. We have been adding a slew of stocks in the consumption and construction sector. With such kind of elite stock picking and commitment to follow the system rules with the highest discipline, we are confident that the outperformance will continue.

I met a couple of top fund managers, whose are now foreseeing a flat year for India. The expectation is that, it will take about 12 to 18 months before bullishness returns to our market. Checking with the patterns in the market now to find if we have to retreat from equities and move to debt or reduce equity exposure. I found that, though there is not much upside from here for the markets. It is not showing weakness as what is perceived by the managers.

It can have another small rally, which can break the 36K on the SENSEX where it will go weak. For this to happen Crude has to retreat, Currency has to get strong. As of this writing both have done that, while it is not over yet. They will rise again, breach the high and then turn down. That is where the markets will manage to reach for a new high.

There is going to be a lull, while before getting there, lets accumulate the gains provided so that, we have a better edge when the tide turns against us.

We are planning to move out of equity exposures in Mutual funds and move capital to Equity savings till the 2019 election fever is over and hop in, into the next leaders at that time. So, markets are going to be tricky and strong players will take the advantage to maximise their gains.

Crude price brings shocks to OMC’s

Government asks OMC’s to take up burden of crude oil price increase by Re. 1/- per litre. This is not a good decision, when crude prices dropped, they brought in duties to take advantage of the gains and filled the government kitty. That was a good decision because small difference in price which the consumers were used to spending will not help them save big & rather make them spend that gain in unwanted luxuries. The same amount if saved by the government will help them get some big projects done, which will benefit the whole population. It actually helped the government to clear off the bonds that it had given OMC’s to make good of the losses when crude was its peak as they were selling at lower prices to ensure that our economy does not suffer.

Now when crude prices moved up, government still wants to have the same revenue and pass the burden to the OMC’s just because they were used to it, is a bad decision. It shows that, Government is not worried about businesses going under loss, while it wants its share to be intact.

OMC stocks which gained strength on their own weight which was not so far since their existence now is again going back in the losing spiral. Stocks have started to bleed heavily post this decision from the government.

Above 3% gain in June 2016.

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For the month of June 2016, our markets took a breather from its rally. We had pressures from 2 events which were surprising, Raghuram Rajan exit and BREXIT. While both were shocking, none had any broad based impact on the markets. In BREXIT became an advantage to our markets. Post BREXIT, emerging markets became favorite’s among fund managers & India had an advantage.

In this period of uncertainty our portfolio had an edge. We had a gain of above 3% on our portfolio against the 2.40% gain achieved by the broad based indices.

Good news is that we have achieved this out performance against the benchmarks with only 60% exposure to Equity. Not fully exposed to the market is also an indicator that the markets are in the wait and watch mode yet. Following June and September results, we should see full loading to happen.

SENSEX could manage to be flat for the month, giving a clear indication that front line stocks are yet to show reasonable growth. It is the Midcaps and a selected few among them that are in good strength. Infrastructure sector had begun to show strength; we have about 5% exposure to the Infrastructure, Cement, Construction and Reality sectors. Most of the stocks in this sector have registered good gains.

ARSS Infrastructure has reached 100% gain within 30 days of our investment giving strength to the exposure we have in this sector.

Sugar & Paper along with NBFC’s are the leaders in the current market. Media stocks have shown growth, with the big releases like SULTAN, KABALI etc., to hit the screens this year, the rally here is likely to continue. We have PVR in our portfolio.

Automobile and Pharma exposure in our portfolio is getting considerably reduced. We have used the system rules to move of stocks and the action also eventually coincided with the future developments. There are news that Auto sector is likely to under perform and stocks are getting downgraded. Following the system diligently helps us be in the right sector at the right period and this has largely helped us outperform all the benchmarks.

Look forward to more fireworks in price moves in the coming months.

SIP’s gain popularity, has the risk come down?

PopularFollowing the good run up our stock markets had in 2014-15, the confidence among retail investors have increased considerably. On a normal course when the markets correct, even though it is a regular process and will get back and move up soon, people used to get weary of losses. They used to stop SIP’s and pull out their investments.

And most of the times the timing would be against them, when the decision is made to get in, that would be the time when the markets were exhausted and begin to move down, and when they decide that, enough of the pain from losses and get out, that will be the time the markets will begin to move up into a new bull market.

No one can time the markets perfectly, so, one of the methods to ensure that we are there for the bigger haul is to stay invested, and for that SIP is a best way to go. It helps us have the cost averaging, and help us achieve a better return than the benchmark, say the SENSEX.

For the first time in the history of the Indian markets, retail investors have maturity; they have decided to stay invested using the SIP route. There is a 26% increase in SIP’s registered this year and the average live SIP has moved up from ₹3368.40 to ₹3449.80.

The increase in investments to Equities is not only because people have become smart, it also because of the fact that other investment avenues like banks and real estate are having lack lustre performance and is forcing them to move into equities. Unlike the earlier years, if the retail investors stay invested for a longer period, they will taste the richness of equities and will continue to have it as one of their preferred investment asset.

 

What about the risk?

As we have the advantage of cost averaging which will get us more units when the markets are down and lesser units when the markets are up, so that we are at the receiving end always. Does that mean the investment is zero risk?

No, risk still remains the same, there was a research made on SIP’s with the SENSEX for a 10 year period, the returns were not phenomenal, it was the same as the index. Then, fund managers complained, “Don’t check the returns with the SENSEX, instead use the NAV of any Mutual Fund”. So it went on and got tracked using the oldest NAV based Mutual Fund scheme in India – UTI Mastershare. The chart above shows that, it is mimicking the SENSEX, the returns were from a low of -6% to a high of 28%, proving that Long term SIP’s are not risk free.

 

How we can make it at our advantage?

Select the top performing schemes for investment and let the SIP done only for 12 months. After 12 months, check whether the same schemes continue to lead, if not, move to the next best scheme. The existing investment shall continue to be invested until the last SIP clears the exit load factor, then move the funds to the prevailing top performing funds.  Rarely do Mutual Fund schemes continue to be top performers for more than 12-15 months, leaderships change as the markets move.

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This activity will force a person to review his investments at least once a year and also ensure that the growth is healthy. If there is a prolonged downtrend in the markets, one can even move from Equity to debt and return back to Equity when the bullish sentiments comes back, which will require a little extra knowledge to do, which your fund manager can help you with.

So, any investment, if left for a longer period assuming that it will grow on its own, will only give average returns, which will mostly match the prevailing bank rates and would always be below the inflation rate.

27 PSB’s lost 1.14 Lakh Crores in 4 years.

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27 Public Sector Banks have written off 1.14 lakh crores of bad debts in the last 4 years. Here is the efficiency of the banking sector in the hands of the government management. It is disturbing to realize the poor condition our banks are being managed. On the other hand the private sector counterparts are doing good business. What does this mean? Very poor competency among the PSB management, next to zero responsibility in delivering results.

Couple of days back there was a question to me; SBI has come down to 200 from 320, can we buy? The reason behind this thought was that, the SBI stock had been at a higher price very recently, now it has fallen and hence it is cheap. The answer I gave was, the price was at 320 was for a reason and it is the same when it is at 200, now. It is not cheap. In a couple of days from this discussion, SBI stock price came to 160, and again there was the question, now that it is at 160 can we buy now?

What this indicates is, that people of India have developed so much confidence on this bank; it has been part and parcel of their life for generations. Little do they know that, what was in the early days is history, there was no competition, though the management did not have the competency or responsibility, they had the advantage of opportunity at their hands, they got some of the best and some that were useless too, on the whole they made money.

Now the situation is different, private banks are giving this irresponsible bank management a run for their money. All the quality assets have gone to the private players because of the quality and service they provide. Now, the left over business is crap and that is where these PSB’s are rolling their funds. Very soon all the confidence that the citizens of India have on SBI or the PSB’s on the whole will vanish into thin air.

In our portfolio, we don’t have banking exposure since 2013. It was very early for us to move away from banking investments, the reason we got out was because our system did not qualify banks for investment, and their growth was fairly lower in comparison to companies that were showing super strong growth. Hence, our investments moved to those quality assets and now, when the whole market is weak, our portfolio is even more safe as we have moved off from equity exposure to a fair extent, thus keeping the capital protected in times of turbulence.

Our portfolio is 30% in Equity and 70% in short term debt, making the capital safe when the markets are weak.