Subbu Answers your Investment Queries

Posted by Subbu Solution on Monday, August 10, 2015

Q1) Sir, though I am investing in MFs but still I am concerned about safety of money invested in MFs (I understand the risks involved: blue, yellow and brown); my queries are as follows;

1)Lot many finance companies in more recent times have duped the money of investors through their chit fund/ponzi investment schemes and some of these are also into MF business. Is it possible that any MF/AMC dupes the money of investors?
2)What is the possibility of fund manager being managed by politicians` pressure/giving bribe to purchase stocks of poor companies?
3)It is more reliable to invest with government backed AMC (SBI, LIC etc ) compared to private players to safeguard money?
4)Is the investment in big AMCs with high AUM more safe as compared to smaller AMCs?

Hi Abhijit, must say all your questions are very well thought out! Will answer them as I can:

Yes, it is possible for any Mutual Fund/AMC to dupe the investor by collecting money and intentionally investing in the wrong instrument or in the case of equities, intentionally investing in a company that has no long term future.

While theoretically, the above is possible, the reality is that it is extremely difficult for Mutual Funds to do this. Market forces, press write ups and strong regulations and regulators will prevent such an eventuality.

Duping in the above manner is very different from being duped by wrong promises. Therefore, you should be alert to the messages given by your financial advisor and you should also be aware of the investing practices that the Mutual fund intends to follow and what they actually do. I would strongly advise you to go through the factsheets of the funds you have invested in so that you know exactly where your money is being invested by the fund. If you feel that a fund you have invested in has started taking strange calls and is not true to its label, then you can always withdraw your investments or complain to SEBI about the same.

On the possibility, of politicians forcing fund managers to buy certain stocks; it could be happening, we don’t know for sure since, thankfully, we have never faced such pressure. And should such an eventuality occur, Quantum will surely and respectfully ask the politicians to mind their own business and let us mind our own

To answer the question on government backed entities being safer, you should invest in a fund which follows a good process for investing, has a long history of managing money, has experienced different market cycles, is focused on cost of investing and finally keeps a good communication channel open with its customers. You may read this article where we have given some inputs on mutual fund selection.

Whether the fund house is from the public sector or private sector does not really matter. For instance, UTI was a public sector fund- but went through a time which was very tough on its investors. There have been instances in the past where public sector mutual funds had launched schemes with guaranteed returns and could not really fulfill those promises. There have also been instances where the private sector failed to meet its commitments to investors.

So yes, while it pays to see the pedigree of the parent – fund processes, etc. whether it is sticking to its promises and long term consistent performance should be the primary criteria for fund selection.

There is a myth and a very popular one unfortunately, that the larger the fund house, the safer it is. Just because the doctor is rich, doesn’t mean he’s necessarily good, he could have inherited the money! What you need to see is the performance or track record of the fund, and whether the fund is true to its investment philosophy, even when market conditions are unfavourable. We have detailed articles on this in the past. Here is a link to the latest one.

As explained earlier, it is also another myth that a government backed fund house is safer, the role of an AMC in the mutual fund industry is to manage investors’ money; the performance of the scheme depends on how well the money is managed. Now you could find great fund managers and investment processes in organizations not backed by the government or a large bank too!

I am always pleasantly surprised by youngsters like you who express their desire to invest at a very young age. Brilliant start!

With my past experience I have mostly seen youngsters like you tend to have a high risk appetite. This is generally because there are comparatively less responsibilities with you at this point of time.

When any investors (not just youngsters) suggest that they have high risk appetite, all I would think of is equities…Investment is equities have potential to give high returns in the long run. However, it is also an asset class which has a high risk. It’s best to remember the adage - “higher the risk, higher the gain”.

When you are at 24, strange though it may sound, you could start saving for your retirement even though you might feel it’s a long way to go, as other important financial responsibilities could start coming your way very soon, like buying a car, marriage etc.

It is always suggested that you start an SIP – Systematic Investment Plan in equities by investing in a diversified equity mutual fund scheme. SIPs can help you balance out the risk factor and also make you a disciplined investor. Over a period of time, you can earn significant returns from your small initial investment, thanks to power of compounding. Therefore while Inflation could play spoil-sport the power of compounding will help your money grow to a large amount by the time you actually need it.

It is also important not to keep all your eggs in one basket. A sound asset allocation strategy ensures your portfolio is well-diversified and aggressive enough to meet your financial goals. Allocate a small percentage of your savings in debt and gold too.

Other than your investments there are some other financial factors you need to consider like maintaining an emergency fund, get life insurance and health insurance, etc. Moreover last but surely not the least make it a ritual to regularly review your investments. This will help you understand if your investments are growing as they should or if you need to change your investment strategy.

To help you further it might be useful to get a financial planning done for yourself which could go into more detailing on your cash flow needs and resources over the next few years.

Subbu`s Solution is authored by I. V. Subramaniam. I. V. Subramaniam is a director of Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited. The responses expressed here are strictly for information and explanation purpose only. The responses are meant for general reading purpose and not to be considered as an investment advice / recommendation. The responses are not intended to be an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial product or instrument or units of the Mutual Fund. Readers are advised to seek independent professional advice and arrive at an informed investment decision before making any investments. The Sponsor, The Investment Manager, The Trustee, their respective directors, employees, affiliates or representatives shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages, including lost profits arising in any way from the information contained in the responses.

Risk Factors: Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
Please visit - to read Scheme Specific Risk Factors. Investors in the Scheme(s) are not being offered a guaranteed or assured rate of return and there can be no assurance that the scheme`s objective will be achieved and the NAV of the scheme(s) may go up or down depending upon the factors and forces affecting securities markets. Investment in mutual fund units involves investment risks such as trading volumes, settlement risk, liquidity risk, default risk including possible loss of capital. Past performance of the Sponsor / AMC/ Mutual Fund does not indicate the future performance of the Scheme(s). Statutory Details: Quantum Mutual Fund (the Fund) has been constituted as a Trust under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. Sponsor: Quantum Advisors Private Limited. (liability of Sponsor limited to Rs. 1,00,000/-) Trustee: Quantum Trustee Company Private Limited. Investment Manager: Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited (AMC). The Sponsor, Trustee and Investment Manager are incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956.

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