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Carnage in Mid & SmallCap Stocks pulls down MF Returns

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Greetings from PenguWIN:

                                        Over the past few weeks, I received questions from half a dozen investors on the performance of the Equity funds and wanted to know whether their portfolio needs to be rejigged. My answer is “please hold” as it’s a phenomenon across different categories of funds, pronounced in Small and MidCap funds. The Sensex and Nifty are at all-time high with returns of 2.57% and 4.87% over the past 6 months while the mid and small caps have been battered with negative returns of (11.42%) and (16.46%). Over 50% of Mid and Small Cap stocks listed in NSE have lost more than 25% of their value.

            I am outlining some of the key reasons that has resulted in this poor performance.

  • Huge valuation of Mid and Small Cap stocks. Typically, in the past Mid and Small Cap stocks have traded at a discount to LargeCap. However, in the recent run till 2017 end, Mid and Small Cap stocks were trading at more than 200% of Price to Earnings of LargeCap (Nifty and Sensex)

 

  • SEBIs mandate on Categorization and Rationalization of MF Schemes in Oct 2017. Mutual Funds did not have clear definition of boundaries of Large, Mid and Small Caps and each fund house had its own definition. There were also multiple schemes of the same category, like 3 LargeCap funds in the same fund house. As a result of the SEBI mandate, fund houses have to merge/modify existing funds and also clean up the stocks that a scheme owns. Many funds, even Large Cap had sizeable allocation to Mid and SmallCap stocks forcing them to sell to adhere to SEBIs definition. When all fund houses tried to reduce their Mid and Small Cap stocks at the same time, there were not enough buyers resulting in steep valuation drop. Thus, MFs pressure to sell Mid and SmallCap stocks was a key driver

 

  • Surveillance Measures. Mid and SmallCap stocks are happy playgrounds for speculators and valuations go sky high without any change to the company fundamentals. SEBI in coordination with the BSE and NSE stock exchanges had been subjecting speculative stocks to surveillance measures since 2017. This covers both the changes not attributed to the fundamentals of stocks and also high volatility. Some of the highly traded stocks came under the scanner resulting in steep falls in price.

 

  • Governance Risks. Governance issues have surfaced among Mid and SmallCap companies where Auditors like Deloitte and PwC quit just before the results announcement citing inadequate disclosure. Auditors of over 30 listed companies have quit in 2018, till date, wherever they doubted the veracity of numbers. Both individual as well as institutional investors were caught unaware resulting in a selling spree bringing down the valuations to more than 50% in many stocks

 

Conclusion: While the Mid and Small Cap stocks correction might continue further, investors with higher risk appetite, investing systematically, will be rewarded handsomely. Just make sure that your asset allocation commensurate with your Risk Appetite and Risk Tolerance.

I believe the returns on investment in the poor are just as exciting as successes achieved in the business arena, and they are even more meaningful! - Bill Gates

<Blog # PenguWIN 1061 – Carnage in Mid & SmallCap Stocks pulls down MF Returns>

PenguWIN is 4 Years Old !

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Greetings from PenguWIN:

                                             Today, the 4th July 2018, we have successfully completed 4 years of operation and entering the 5th year.

Customers are key to any business and I love this quote by Sam Walton of Wal-Mart; “There is only one boss – the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”  With a small tweak, “Spending to Investing” it is very much applicable to us.

There are ups and downs in any business and will continue to be there, but the support received from our Investors, Friends and Well-wishers keeps us motivated and do better. One of the key reasons why I chose this profession is the change and investment discipline that we will be able to inculcate on individuals and families, as it is directly related to their personal finance and financial goals. I am happy that we have been able to start making that impact and hope that it continues to grow. The feeling that a customer is able to accumulate his medical corpus (achieve one of his financial goals) and we playing a small role in that, gives immense satisfaction. This is why many financial advisors have titled themselves as “Finance Doctors”

On the positive side, our customer loyalty is extremely high and I try to make sure that we do our best to service them. Referrals is one of the best marketing tools and in financial services business it’s the key that helps build your client base. Some of our clients go out of the way to talk to their acquaintances about their good experience, encourage them to connect with us and even follow up with us and check if those people have reached out.   

Expanding our scope of services has always been on my agenda and a few customers have also suggested this. On this front, I am happy to convey that we have added 3 new services.

  1. Partner with ICICI Life with specific focus on Term Insurance (Pure Risk Cover) and critical illness as they act as a hedge to protect our family in case of a contingency
  2. Partner with Monexo on Peer to Peer (P2P) lending. Monexo is an RBI registered, Peer to Peer lending platform. P2P lending is an emerging trend that is changing how investing and borrowing works. This needs a separate writeup, which I will share later.
  3. Partner with NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure and Warmond Trustees and Executors to offer Will preparation services. This is one area that I have been keen on and finally made some progress.

 

I firmly believe that just becoming a partner doesn’t mean anything and I would be following my “skin in the game approach” in these new services too. I have already bought a term cover from ICICI Life and started lending using the Monexo Platform. However, my Will writing is Work in Progress.

I have always wanted to be recognized as a trusted partner in the personal finance space, maintaining high levels of business ethics and not service people with pure financial interest, that is rampant in this business. I think we still have a lot of scope to expand our business and service clients in new areas and also increase the customer base. I hope your patronage towards PenguWIN increases during the years to come.  

"Investing is not supposed to be easy, and anybody who finds it easy is stupid.”  Charlie Munger 

<Blog # PenguWIN 1060 – PenguWIN is 4 Years Old ! >   

Mystery of Missing Returns

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Warm Greetings from PenguWIN:

            I wanted to share this message with you before you might observe and become anxious. A couple of our investors have noticed it and requested for clarification. It has no effect on the value of the fund but portrays the performance in poor light. The details might be slightly technical (no impact to you) which is the reason why I was holding this message but thought that this note be shared when investors started asking for the clarification.   

The Categorization and Rationalization of Mutual Fund Schemes was initiated by SEBI, last year, to ensure that the schemes are clearly distinct in terms of investment strategy, asset allocation, uniformity in characteristics of similar type of schemes to help investors take informed decisions.

SEBI had discussed this with the MFAC (Mutual Fund Advisory Committee) and as a result of deliberations, the committee proposed the following changes in Oct 2017 to be implemented by the fund houses by June 2018.

  • Group Mutual Fund Schemes, into 5 groups including Equity (investing in stock), Debt (investing in overnight securities with 1-day maturity, money market, debt for varying durations), Hybrid (mix of stocks and debt instruments – typical balanced funds), Solution Oriented (Retirement, Children) and others (Index Funds, Exchange Traded Funds, Fund of Funds, International Funds
  • Rationalization of the Market Cap (product of no. of shares and prevailing price) definition by ranking them in descending order:   
    • Top 100 companies in terms of market cap to be referred as Large Cap
    • Companies with market cap from 101 to 250 market cap to be referred as Mid Cap
    • Companies from 251 and above in terms of market cap to be referred as Small Cap

 

This exercise resulted in Mutual Funds to adopt a uniform definition of Market Cap which was different for each fund house earlier as there were no standard definitions, like a small cap company as per Fund house A referred as mid cap company by Fund house B. The exercise also limited fund houses to have only 1 scheme per category, specifically in Equity, Debt and Hybrid resulting in merger of funds, changes to attributes and nomenclature of funds. In the past several fund houses had more than 1 Large Cap, Mid Cap, Balanced Fund and so on.  

As part of the merger of 2 funds into a new category, the assets from each fund had to be transferred into a new pool and either 1 of the exiting fund managers or a new fund manager had to be designated as the fund manager for the merged entity.

For better understanding, I am taking the case of HDFC Balanced fund which is one of the top performers in the erstwhile balanced category and a significant number of our investors own this fund. HDFC MF also had HDFC Prudence, which is also a well-known name, managed by Prashant Jain, though the risk profile is higher. In this instance, HDFC Balanced fund and Premier Multi-Cap fund were merged to form HDFC Hybrid Equity fund.  As part of the merger, the value of holdings in HDFC Balanced and the invested amount has been presented in a way that all gains accrued by the fund is lost (refer to the attached picture that displays the actual transactions for an investor). The amount obtained by moving out of the old fund is portrayed as the cost of new fund (Hybrid Equity). As a result, the investment amount in the portfolio is bumped up to that extent resulting in poor returns.

In this case the actual investment made by investor was Rs. 3,61,854 (accumulated 3230 units @ 112 Rs.) and the amount received during exit from old fund was Rs. 4,75,010 which is a gain of Rs. 1,13,156/-. However, the current transaction shows a loss of Rs. 9,575/-

The only sure thing about luck is that it will change - Bret Harte 

<Blog # PenguWIN 1059 – Mystery of Missing Returns ! >