How is your mutual fund performing? Triggers that should alert you to exit
Poor performance of a fund must set the investor thinking on whether to continue with the investment.
Sarbajeet K Sen
When did you last review your mutual fund portfolio? Maybe a long time ago. Many investors might feel relaxed after investing in mutual funds with the thought that their money is safe with experts trained in investing and stock selection.
However, the mutual funds landscape is a mixed lot. There are good, high-performing funds and there are laggards who are unable to keep up with performance of the leaders.
Did you check which of these category of fund you have invested? If it is one of the top-performing ones, giving you good returns, you need not worry. But if it is one of the funds that have not performed well in comparison, it might be time to think of a switch to another fund.
So when did you last review your mutual funds investment portfolio to know whether it needs a change? If you do it periodically, well and good, but if you have not reviewed for a long time, you should assess how your various fund investments have been performing.
“Investors should review their mutual fund portfolio at least once in 6 months. They should look at the performance of the fund, the sectoral allocation that they chose and whether there have been any big changes,” S Sridharan, Business Head, Financial Planning, Wealth Ladder Investment Advisors
Sridharan says if the review shows that the fund has performed poorly, it should signal a possible exit and switch to another fund. “Poor performance of a fund must set the investor thinking on whether to continue with the investment. However, exit decision should not be based only on performance of the fund. Investors should look at other parameter like what went wrong and whether the fund manager has the capability of revising the portfolio to the positive side in the near future,” he said.
Vikash Agarwal, CFA & Co-Founder, CAGRfunds, says one should avoid unnecessary churn in portfolio. “The essence of money-making is regular investments in well-managed diversified equity mutual funds. One should avoid unnecessary churns in the portfolio which may enhance cost in terms of exit load and tax implications,” he said.
However, Agarwal says there can be multiple reasons which might merit a review and change of one’s mutual fund holdings. Some of these are:
-Continued underperformance of the fund such that the fund is unable to beat its benchmark
-The fund is able to beat the benchmark but the returns are not commensurate with the levels of risk being taken by the fund
-A particular stock/debt instrument holding which forms a significant holding of the fund is likely to underperform due to a fundamental issue. Example: If a fund has significant exposure to a company which has acquired a loss making company, it might merit a deeper review of the fund
-Change of fund manager: In case there is a change in fund manager, then it is useful to review the fund as the fund style and philosophy might undergo a change and it might not be suitable to investment objective anymore“If your fund is showing such characteristics then it is ideal for you to exit and switch to a better managed fund,” Agarwal said.