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.

Why Mutual Funds May Trump Real Estate as An Investment Option?

We Indians are believers in creating assets and leaving it behind for the next generations. Saving up and funding assets is a must, for most Indian families. So, what kind of assets do we look at investing in? In a typical Indian family, it will mostly be gold, real estate (either a plot or a house), and in a rapidly growing crop of people, mutual funds and SIPs as well. So, what prompts our choices and how do we make our asset allocation decisions?

We recently shared our views on the pros and cons of gold as an investment option. So, left with the possibilities of real estate and mutual funds, let’s look at which one to choose and what are the pros and cons.

Initial investment

Many people usually save up for years to purchase a real estate asset as it is never cheap. The initial investment in real estate is always high, and at most times, apart from their entire savings, most buyers also end up taking huge loans. These loans can become a liability in the long run, if not planned for properly. Also, life is full of uncertainties – ill health, loss of job for an earning member, new family commitments, etc. can change the equation overnight.

In contrast, investment in mutual funds can start with as little as even INR 500 or 1000. You could choose to begin a Systematic Investment Plan(SIP) with a small amount per month and slowly build it up into a growing investment. In fact, many people have invested in mutual funds quite early on, from the time they have started earning and made enough profits, to invest in real estate. So, while you may not be able to purchase real estate unless you have lots of money to spare, mutual fund investments can start at an early age, and you need not wait to accumulate your savings.

The Process

Investing in real estate is not an easy process; one has to find the right property, at the right price, at the right time, at the right place. At times, you may have to involve brokers or other such third parties and pay out commissions as well. The property papers must be legally verified, and the due process of registration needs to be completed, which is again a bit cumbersome. In short, it is tedious, fraught with painful procedures.

For investing in mutual funds, however, there are no such hassles. Once you decide the amount you wish to invest, you can quickly start an investment account with your bank and transact online. Your relationship manager at the bank or a trusted financial advisor will help you maximise your returns by growing your money while reducing the risks as much as possible.

The Liquidity Factor

Any investment is made with the intention of growing one’s money and also providing a safety net in tough times. Real estate prices do rise slowly and even accounting for market slumps typically your property value would have gone up. The pain point is liquidity.  If you need money immediately to fund an emergency or new goal, selling your property for the right price promptly is difficult. Here again, the process is long- you need to find genuine buyers, and it takes time for the money to come in hand. In contrast, selling mutual funds is more comfortable, and at most times, the money is back in your account within three working days’ time.

While we all seek the safety and security of owning the roof over our head, do consider first building a growing mutual fund portfolio and then using the earnings to build a dream home.

11% growth in 30 days

Near double performance gains in April against the benchmark. Achieving superior growth through the holdings in best performing stocks and sectors. India Bulls Ventures giving us near 100% growth in 30 days.

Diamond Trade fades out, PC Jewelers lose 90% while Titan shines bright.

Ashok Leyland leads the auto sector growth with big market share capture. Is TCS a good option for an investment? Mutual Fund investing as market becomes volatile, a good opportunity to invest when world is uncertain.

GST collections moving past 1 lakh crore, Manufacturing picks up speed, which are huge positives for the economy in its growth path.

Election uncertainties, Crude Oil price shock, Global trade war can be a dampener in the markets for short term.

April 2018 – Indian Stock Market bounces back

After the correction in the markets that set in post the budget session following Global trade war, Crude Oil price increase and stress on financial assets due to expected interest rate hikes, markets had a sharp bounce back in April. SENSEX recovered more than 5% in April almost getting back most of the losses in Feb & March. Our portfolio has managed a growth of 10.20%, which was possible due to our strong portfolio of stocks. Investments into Specialty Chemicals, Metals, Electrodes, Graphite & Carbon Black helped us have the enormous edge of giving almost double the returns given by SENSEX to its investors. Private banks facing challenges with their CEO’s, Election year volatility is likely to bring more volatility into the markets. Markets are likely to touch lows once again before turning bullish. The next visit of SENSEX to 32500 levels will be a good opportunity to invest into the markets as it will be a base and give immediate gains.