Mutual Funds

Fund Talk: Give SIPs time to work

Vidya Bala | Updated on June 09, 2012

In a tight time frame, it's not advisable to hold underperformers.

SIP returns have declined over the period beginning October-November 2009, as markets fell in 2011.

I started investing in HDFC Top 200 (growth) through SIP in 2009. From Rs 1,000 initially, I increased the SIP to Rs 4,000 a month to save for my children's education. I want to invest for at least another 10 to 12 years. The capital invested is Rs 80,000 but current value of investment is Rs 75,000.

I want to increase my savings by Rs 1,000. Given the current performance of the fund, can I build enough wealth for my children's education or should I move to another fund?

— Arunkumar

We will be unable to comment on whether your current and proposed savings are sufficient to build a kitty for your children.

We need to know your time frame and the amount of money you need for their education to assess this.

But we can give you an example of what you can expect 10 years hence, if your portfolio returns say 12 or 15 per cent a year.

If the current investments of Rs 75,000 and the SIP of Rs 5,000 a month for 10 years deliver 12 per cent compounded annually then you will have Rs 13.7 lakh. At 15 per cent a year, your money will grow to Rs 16.8 lakh.

Now how do you assess if this is sufficient? It will depend on what your children choose to study. For example, if an engineering course entails a cost of Rs 5 lakh today, you will require Rs 10.8 lakh after 10 years if inflation reigns at 8 per cent.

Coming to your fund, the 6 per cent fall in your portfolio value is not abnormal if you had invested in the later part of 2009, say, in October or November. SIP returns have declined for most funds over this period because of the fall in markets in 2011.

So HDFC Top 200 is not an underperformer. But yes, there are peers such as DSP BR Top 100, which managed to contain declines better; although HDFC Top 200 often outperforms in a rallying market.

If you can take this volatility then retain HDFC Top 200. Otherwise hold the investments made so far and switch to DSP BR Top 100 for new SIPs.

Invest about Rs 2,000 in one of these funds as SIP. Move Rs 2,000 to Quantum Long Term Equity and add Rs 1,000 to ICICI Pru Discovery. Quantum Long Term is a steady fund with less volatility. ICICI Pru Discovery has a mid-cap bias with a value strategy.

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I am 55. I work in a public sector company and have five more years of service.

I have invested Rs 17,000 each in Birla Sun Life Midcap and Sundaram PSU Opportunities; have an SIP of Rs 1,000 each in ICICI Pru Focussed Bluechip Equity, HDFC Equity, Reliance Gold Savings and SBI Gold, and Rs 2000 each in HDFC Top 200 and HDFC Gold.

I am expecting Rs 10 lakh after five years. Is the target feasible? — Prasad

We do not know when you started your investments. Without this information, it is difficult to comment on whether your target is achievable. Just to give you an example, an SIP of Rs 12,500 a month, delivering at least 12 per cent a year will give your Rs 10 lakh in five years. Your current SIPs total to Rs 8,000.

Now, the amount required will be much lower if you have been investing for the past few years.

Exit investments in Birla Midcap and Sundaram PSU Opportunities. The former has lagged behind its peers. Given your tight time frame, you cannot afford to hold underperformers now.

Sundaram PSU Opportunities has a limited track record and its show so far has not been inspiring. Continue SIPs in ICICI Pru Focussed Bluechip, HDFC Top 200 and Reliance Gold Savings.

Exit the other gold funds. Ensure gold investment is not over 10 per cent of your portfolio. Add Quantum Long Term Equity and HDFC Balanced to these.

If gold accounts for 10 per cent of your savings, the rest 90 per cent can be split among the other funds. Shift the money to liquid funds closer to your goal.

Published on June 09, 2012

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