Nobody knows your investment goals better than you. That is why it is recommended that you do your investment research on your own, without depending on anybody. The advent of the digital age has opened a world of information, which helps you analyze all the mutual funds in the market and select ones that suit your preferences. However, analyzing the performance of mutual funds is more than just about browsing through daily NAVs and past returns . Here are some useful tips to consider:
Compare the scheme with benchmark
Each mutual fund scheme has an index used as a benchmark to measure performance. Since 2012, SEBI has made it mandatory for all fund houses to declare a benchmark index in the offer document. There are various benchmarks such as BSE 200, Sensex, Nifty, CNX Midcap, etc. If the returns on your mutual fund scheme is higher than the benchmark, then it is performing well and vice versa. So, if the mutual fund scheme invests in large cap funds, then the benchmark is most likely to be Nifty. Now, make sure that you measure the scheme performance against its benchmark over a period of longer time frame, or else you may not get the right perspective. It would be a good idea to study the data for three, five and ten year period. If the scheme is performing inconsistently, it is an indication to exit.
Compare the scheme with other funds of same category
You can never compare apples and oranges even though both of them are fruits. Similarly, you cannot compare the performance of large-cap funds with small-cap funds or banking funds with pharma funds. So, apart from evaluating the performance of the mutual fund scheme against its benchmark, you should also look at the category average returns.
See the total return
The total return on mutual fund investment is a combined total of increase/decrease in NAV and dividend earned over a period of time. Evaluating the total return will give you a fair idea about the potential performance.
Study the risk-adjusted return
The mutual fund scheme is said to be performing well when it gives better returns than its peers for the same kind of risk taken. This is called risk-adjusted return. Risk adjusted returns can be measured by looking at ratios such as Sharpe and Treynor. All schemes publish such ratios periodically. Schemes in the same category scoring better on these ratios should be considered superior.
Study the rolling return
Rolling returns consider the performance of mutual funds on every day, week or pre-defined period. Usually the performance of the fund in the short-term is affected by the performance of some sectors or volatility of the market. Rolling returns will tell you whether the said fund is subject to fluctuations in a short period or is performing consistently.
Check the portfolio diversification
Keep track of the portfolio history of the mutual fund scheme you have invested in. Ideally, you should do this every three to six months to know that the scheme is not biased towards a particular stock or sector and is in sync with your risk profile and as mandated in the offer. You can get the portfolio history on the websites of fund houses or mutual fund trackers.
Study the ratios
There are a number of ratios such as standard deviation, sharpe, alpha, beta, expense and a few more to measure the risk associated with mutual funds. It is advisable to compare the ratio on the mutual fund scheme you have invested in vis-a-vis its peers. This way, you will not only analyze the ‘return’ component, but also measure the ‘risk’ or volatility of the scheme.
The above tips would require you to read regarding the workings of mutual funds and develop an understanding of the market. Over a period of time, you will be able to analyze the mutual funds schemes like a pro! Till then, you can take the help of our robo-advisory that will recommend schemes tailor-made to your risk and return preferences.