As Diwali - the festival of lights, is just round the corner, the year gone by has been eventful for the country -- a credit market shake down, a new government, a slowing economy and rapid response both from the government and the RBI in the form of tax and interest rate cuts.
The equity markets have managed to generate an 8 percent return on Nifty, fixed income has given fabulous returns of around 15-17 percent on Gilt funds on one hand and volatile returns on several credit and corporate bond funds on the other. Gold, the other asset class, also sparkled this year with a near 20 percent appreciation.
Now the question is how and where money will be made in the coming year. To know which asset classes will perform and which may continue to struggle, CNBC-TV18 spoke with Swarup Mohanty, CEO, Mirae Asset (India), Kalpen Parekh, President, DSP Investment Managers and Ashish Shanker, Head-Investment Advisory, Motilal Oswal Wealth Management in its special show Money Money Money.
When asked if they were feeling cheerful and festive mood, Mohanty said, “We look forward to this Diwali as a turning point for the gloom part of it. You can look at it in two parts - one is gloom and other is growing transparency in the market. Things can happen but will come out into the open, which is the new age of communication and that is a welcome change - a known risk is better than a risk which is somewhere buried.”
Parekh said it was a rocky year for those who had invested in stocks. "But if one looks at consumers in India, barely 10 percent invest in equities or mutual funds, so 90 percent are yet to come and for them this is a good news because all the frothiness of the market is giving very attractive opportunities to invest,” he said.
Shanker echoes this view. “It has been a challenging year from an investor point of view because you had so many accidents in the portfolio. However, one needs to keep the time series in mind, we always look at it from a three-month or one-year angle but if you look at the last 5 or 6 years, for our industry, we have been big beneficiaries,” he noted.
“Mutual fund assets are now closer to Rs 26 lakh crore. More people are putting their money into financial assets than physical assets. Wealth management industry has grown. So although last one year was challenging, we should not be complaining,” said Shanker.
Where can money be made in the new Samvat?
Shanker said market teaches you the same old lesson -- one needs to be diversified, need to focus on asset allocation and not chase returns. “Gazing into the future for over the next three years the asset classes that look good to us are equities and gold,” he said.
Gold should be looked at as a hedge because as an asset class it does not move for three years but in two years it catches up the return for three years. "But to have a meaningful impact you need to have 10-15 percent of your portfolio in gold," Shanker added.
“Don’t frame your investment objective by saying I want to invest in large, mid or small companies but rather frame it as I want to invest in good companies. Buy good companies across all marketcaps. My asset allocation is Rs 60 in Indian equity mutual funds, Rs 10 in US funds, Rs 12 in gold mining funds and rest in fixed income,” said Parekh.