Understanding Equity Returns & setting our Expectations – ROLLING RETURNS

Stock Markets give good return in long term is what has been continuously conveyed from all directions. But how long is long term, what should be my return expectations during my investment period, what is the return I would get at the end of my investment period – the questions are many!

We shall see if we could get any answers by looking at the rolling returns of the fund rather than just the point-to-point returns as specified by the fund houses. Typically, a point-to-point return of the fund for say 3 years will be calculated by looking at the start date NAV 3 years back & the latest NAV as on today. But many a times, the returns we get as an investor may not be the same as published by the fund house as the start / exit points for us may be different for each investor.

In Rolling Returns, for example if we would like to calculate for a 3-year period – what we do is we take up all possible 3 year return of the fund over a long period of time & then take an average to see how the fund has performed over different time periods of 3 years since its inception. For example, if a fund has begun on 9th July 1998, the rolling return for a 3-year period would capture all possibilities starting from 9th July 1998 to 8th July 2001, 10th July 1998 to 9th July 2001 & so on till 14th of May 2016 till 13th of May 2019 [current date as on writing this post]. This return would show the fund’s consistency over a period of time & is much better measure than looking at just the point-to-point return.

Now let us take the example of a fund – ICICI Prudential – Large & Mid Cap fund; one of the consistent performers in its category & which has been in existence since 9th of July 1998 (for about 21 years now)!

Rolling returns of the fund over a 1-year period since inception: 

1-year-return

As we can see from the above figure, for a one-year period, the fund has given a maximum of 231.74% & a minimum of -52.88% even though the average one-year return across all possibilities was around 23.51%. So when you invest in this fund for just one year, we should expect as per the past performance, at least 22.73% of the times negative return; we may also end up in single digit return around 17.15% of the times & greater than 30% return around 32.31% of the times. Hence though the average return may be 23.51%, the returns were hovering between -52.88% to 231.74% and you would get that return based upon your entry & exit time.

Now the question comes – do we have to time our entry & exit? The answer is simply NO – because we really do not know when the market is up & when it is down. Instead, when we just extend the time period of our investments, we see that the probability of getting a negative return diminishes because we would have invested in both the ups & downs of the market (AND) more importantly the probability of getting a better return than any other asset classes increases.

Rolling returns of the fund over a 3-year period since inception: 

3-year-period

Rolling returns of the fund over a 5-year period since inception:

3-year-period

If you look a this 5-year period, the probability of negative return has become ZERO. Still, there is a 17.14% probability that you may end up in a single digit return & that may even 1.71% once.

Rolling returns of the fund over a 7-year period since inception:

7-year

Rolling returns of the fund over a 10-year period since inception:

10-year

For a 10-year period, we see that the minimum return the fund has delivered is around 9.23% & at the same time you may end up with this return just 2.48% the times across all 10-year investment period.

From the above data, it is clear that the longer your investment horizon the better will be risk adjusted return and the probability of loss also becomes almost ZERO.

Though, future is always unpredictable, in a growing economy like India, we can expect robust stock market growth for at least next decade or so. But we should also understand that this return is NOT going to be linear & we will have to go through a series of negative returns in between! There is no other way out…

Care has been taken to provide accurate data information. 
Still any errors may not be ruled out...
Take the article with a pinch of salt to understand the concept only!

Falling Markets, Ailing Mutual Funds: What Should You Do?

The Indian Equity markets saw one of it’s worst nightmares over the past few weeks. In the first week of October alone, the Sensex slipped more than 2,500 points. Overall, the Sensex has shed around 5,000 points since it’s all time high of around 39,000 towards the end of August. For the previous few months, Mutual Funds were showing early signs of the storm, owing to ailing mid caps and almost half of the Sensex and Nifty composition were in Red. However, some sectors like IT, and few banking and conglomerates stocks were holding the flag high. But with the recent fall in these stocks, the indices experienced massive jolts.

Markets are volatile because of various macro and micro factors, there is a lot happening around, global oil prices are increasing, US trade war sanctions, depleting Indian Rupee, the recent ICICI loan controversy, IL&FS’ potential loan default, etc.

If you look at the excerpts from the experts, you’ll come across diverse opinions, some are of the view that the markets may correct further due to the above factors and poor economic indicators, others opine an advancement, they are seeing at the positive growth estimates for the economy.

So, looking at the uncertain market scenario, falling NAV’s, varying notions, what should be your plan of action?

Ideally in the current situation, you should Do Nothing.

Volatility is inherent in the markets, Equity, by nature doesn’t grow in a straight line, there will be peaks and there will be bottoms, prompted by various factors, like the ones cited above are behind the current bottom. You cannot control it, so if it is not in your hands, let equity only exhibit the show.

Secondly, equities although are volatile, but if you look at the long term performance graph of the Sensex or the Nifty, the growth of the underlying companies and the economy takes over the peaks and the valleys, concurrently registering superior overall returns.

This is because the temporary factors don’t determine the growth of Equities, these factors can influence the prices for the time being, but over the long term, the indexes are actually a slave of the underlying companies potential. If the companies grow, the indexes will grow. The Sensex Value on 30th Sep 1998, was 3,102.29, and exactly after two decades, the Sensex closed at 36,227.14 on 28th Sep 2018, translating into a CAGR growth of more than 13%. And that was about the Sensex, the return generated by most Equity Mutual Funds in India, is much more.

The best you can do in such a scenario is, Ignore, you don’t even have to look at your Portfolio’s value, the turbulence will subside and eventually the markets will stabilize, leaving your investments growing over the long term. Consider you have invested in a PPF, the lock-in of the PPF investment is 15 years. Do you keep checking the value of your PPF whenever there is a hike or cut in the bank rates. No you don’t do that, rather you wait patiently for 15 years before you get the corpus credited into your account. The same logic applies to your Mutual Fund investments too. Be patient, give them time to demonstrate their potential, and let them fulfill your goals, the reason why you invested in them.

To conclude, amidst the current shaky situation, do what you have always been doing.

For your short term goals: Stick to liquid funds and short term debt funds

For your long term goals:

> Continue your Equity investments.

> Don’t stop your SIPs. One of the core factors behind the superior returns generation in the SIP mode of investing is through Rupee Cost Averaging, which means at high NAV you get less units and lower NAVs will fetch you more units of the scheme. So, it’s because of these volatile times, when the NAVs are low, you get more units in the SIP mode, which can give a boost to the overall returns over the long term.

So, let the cramps in your stomach rest, don’t pay heed to investment recommendations from finance gurus on TV channels or from people around you. Trust your financial advisor, stick to your financial plan and keep moving towards your goals.

  • Source: NJ Publication

Corrections are Temporary; Growth is Permanent…

Just go through the following pictures to see market falls & subsequent corrections…

One has to stay at markets highs as well as lows to average out the ups & downs (or) for one simple reason no one knows in advance which way the markets are headed…

Correction1Correction2Correction5Correction-2015

How long is long-term in Equity?

Equity and Long Term go hand in hand. Whenever you hear or read about investing in Equity, the concept of long term follows. That we should invest in Equity for Long Term, because Equity is risky in the short term.

But what exactly is this long term? How long is long term for Equity investing?

Over the short term, equities are volatile, there are times when stocks have even doubled overnight, but there are also times when stocks have fallen by half over a night. So, the principle of long term stands to negate the volatility associated with equity over short periods.

The following is the BSE sensitivity table, it shows the returns from the Sensex for different investment periods from March 1979 until March 2018.

This table explains what we narrated above, as we see over short periods, both the maximum as well as the minimum returns are on the extreme, but as we move towards longer periods, the returns are stabilizing and the gap between the maximum and the minimum is alleviating. In shorter investing periods, the probability of making losses is quite high, but as the horizon increases the probability of loss significantly decreases and eventually becomes 0. So, an Equity investor in order to get desired returns and maintain enough distance from the risk arising out of the volatility, must have a holding period where the probability of loss is low or Nil.

So, coming back to the main question, how long is long term?

The longer the better. There is no ceiling to the term long term, the more time you give to your investment, the less prone is your investment to risk and compounding works to generate superior wealth for you. Quite often we come across anecdotes where people totally forgot about their share certificates and made humongous wealth when they eventually sold their investments. In some cases, the investor died and his family got enough money to sustain a lifetime from his Equity investments which he made decades back. There is a popular equity investing strategy which is called ‘being dead’, that is invest and then forget about it.

Holding an investment perpetually can generate breathtaking returns and create spectacular wealth for you, but may not be practical. You have your needs, you have your goals to be fulfilled, which is why you invested in the first place. Equity markets grow in cycles, there is surge, then there is a steep correction before the markets eventually stabilize. To neutralize the risk in the investment, the holding period must cover all the phases of a cycle, which is generally between 5-10 years.

Generally Indian investors do invest for long periods of time, but mostly in traditional investment instruments. Investors invest in traditional tax saving instruments like PPF and then maintain their cool till the PPF’s maturity, which is 15 years. But when it comes to Equity, they will keep checking the prices/NAV’s, get tensed when their investments fall or get excited when they are making profits, and eventually end up selling their investments to avoid losses or to book gains. If the investor gives the same amount of time to his ELSS investment as he gives to his PPF, and simply forget about the investment as he does in case of his PPF, he will be amazed by the amount of wealth he could create by being invested in Equity.

Following is a snapshot of the value of Rs 1 Lac invested in PPF and in an ELSS scheme for 15 years.

  PPF ELSS
Investment Date 1st August 2003 1st August 2003
Investment Amount Rs 1 Lac Rs 1 Lac
Return 8%** 19.36%*
Value as on 31st July 2018 (15 years) Rs 3.17 Lacs Rs 14.22 Lacs
* Average return of 13 ELSS schemes in operation since 2003
** Assumed

An investor who invested in an ELSS scheme 15 years back would have made 4.5 times more wealth than an investor who invested in a PPF at the same time. And such superior returns are witnessed in all kinds of equity schemes over long periods, be it diversified schemes, large cap schemes, mid or small cap schemes, thematic schemes, etc. So, like you give time to your other investments like PPF’s, or gold or property, if you maintain the same amount of patience in case of your Equity investments also, some of your greatest blessings will come with these investments.

Note: Always Diversify your investments across various investments – no single instrument can be called as the BEST ONE!