I have seen many mutual fund investors complaining their investments in mutual funds not yielding expected returns. When someone invests in mutual funds, entry and exit timings are also the deciding factors of your returns on investments. I have seen a number of my investors asking for suggestions for funds when the market is high. They are lured by the reports which mention the double digits numbers in returns column when the market is high. They are afraid of investing in equity and equity funds when the market is low. Their sentiments are purely governed by the short-term fund performance reports like 6 months or a year which are usually negative during the lower performance of stock markets. Anyone who has common sense can tell this is against common sense.
|MF Inflows and market performance. Pic courtesy : Moneylife|
Moneylife Advisory has published an article in their blog, comparing the fund flows in equity funds and market performance. The article has proved with data that the mutual fund's investors tend to buy high and sell low. Indian share market was low in February 2016 and started recovery in March 2016. The net investment in mutual funds would have been positive or at least stagnant during this period to make the attractive returns. Mutual fund investors have done the reverse, net fund flow is negative during this period. There was more redemption than purchase. They have withdrawn from mutual fund rather investing when the market is low. During August 2016, the stock market is witnessing a huge inflow of funds, both foreign and domestic pushing the market to an all-time high. The mutual fund investors have also enthusiastically invested in last month. Investing in mutual funds when the market is high does not make much harm if someone is looking at a long horizon. But redeeming funds when the market is low will definitely make harm to your returns.
I have some investments in SBI Magnum Tax Gain. My lock in period in the fund was over and was planning to redeem to make fresh investments for present year tax exemptions. If I had redeemed when the market was low, I would have got around Rs 100 per unit. Now I am getting Rs 125 per unit. I am getting 25% extra return for waiting just 5 months!! My three years waiting could have gone in vain if I was also one among them who made the net inflow negative when the market was low. (This fund is an example, I am not suggesting this fund)
Be a wise investor and use common sense. Invest low and redeem high.