Here is a comparison of Top 5 Mid-cap Equity Funds 2016:
Mid-cap Equity funds primarily invest in mid-cap stocks of companies whose market capitalisation falls below the top 100 listed companies in India. These funds are regarded riskier than large-caps but safer than small-caps. During bullish phases, these funds can give you sky-high returns but during bearish phases, these tend to lose more than large caps and usually wipe out fortunes. Although a poor loss arrester, Mid-cap equity funds often operate in the niche segments of the economy and have the potential to become future large-caps.
However, you need to keep the exposure within optimum levels because mid-caps are high risk-high return funds. Also, unlike large-caps, there is a lesser number of stocks in this segment which almost every fund manager will buy for his fund. So invest in a few mid-cap funds to avoid duplication in your stock holdings.
Choice of good mid-cap fund involves consideration of qualitative and quantitative factors as given in the steps below:
– The funds chosen relate to open-ended mid-cap equity regular growth funds that invest at least 60-65% in mid-cap stocks and rest of the exposure is in large-caps & small-caps.
– Fund history has been considered as a vital factor for it will establish the relevance of the fund returns. Funds having a performance history of at least five years were preferred over funds having shorter fund history. You may choose a different duration for your convenience. The basic premise operating here is funds having longer performance history would have seen all kinds of business cycles.
– Fund returns were taken for 3 years and 5 years. Funds that generate superior trailing returns were preferred over funds giving inferior returns.
– Expense ratio signifies the percentage of assets that go into managing expenditures of the fund. Ultimately, it shows the operating efficiency of the fund over its peers. Funds having a lower expense ratio are considered better over funds charging higher costs. However, expense ratio needs to be perceived in conjunction with other factors to arrive at a comprehensive evaluation of the fund.
– Financial ratios formed part of the analysis to arrive at accurate and scientific results. Standard Deviation (SD) measures the volatility in fund returns in both directions on its mean. A fund having lower SD would be capable in giving steady returns at various time intervals as compared to fund with a higher SD. To check the capability of the fund to generate risk-adjusted returns, Sharpe & Sortino ratios were used. These ratios give an insight into how much returns does the fund generate per unit of risk assumed by the investor. Ideally, you may choose a fund that has a higher Sharpe & Sortino ratio as compared to a fund having lower Sharpe & Sortino ratio.
– It was necessary to ascertain the sensitivity of the fund returns with movements of the benchmark index. R-squared, Beta and Downward Capture Ratio (DCR) were used for this purpose. R-squared explains the extent to which change of fund returns can be predicted by the movement of the benchmark. The high value of R-squared indicates a strong correlation between the movement of the benchmark index and fund returns whereas a low value signifies that the fund returns cannot be explained by the benchmark movements.
– Beta shows the relative volatility of the fund returns with respect to the benchmark returns. It means how much the fund gains or losses when the index goes up or down respectively. A low beta shows that the fund would lose less during bearish conditions and gain less during bullish conditions. Beta values, when read with R-squared value, conveys more sense i.e. the beta value of a fund having high R-squared value would give an accurate picture of relative volatility as compared to the beta value of a fund having low R-squared value.
– DCR gives an idea about the percentage of losses the fund would make during the market downturn. A fund having low DCR is an ideal investment haven as it would make minor losses as compared to the index during the bearish phase.
– Alpha indicates excess returns generated by the fund on account of company specific attributes and fund manager’s strategy. A fund having higher alpha is a better investment option than a fund with a lower alpha.
The analysis conducted using the above parameters have helped in arriving at the following mid-cap funds as shown in the table below:
Based on performance history, Franklin India Prima Fund is the oldest mid-cap fund whereas Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth is the youngest mid-cap fund among the chosen funds. Compared to other funds, being a veteran fund gives Franklin India Prima Fund an advantage of a wealth of experience in the said category as it has somewhat contained losses in the bearish market and nearly beaten the benchmark during bull runs. UTI Mid Cap Fund Growth, Canara Robeco Emerging Equities and SBI Magnum Midcap Fund Reg. Growth too have considerable fund history. Owing to careful stock selection and remarkable control over risk, UTI Mid Cap Fund Growth has consistently outperformed benchmark returns over several investment tenures. The outperformance of Canara Robeco Emerging Equities over the benchmark and category returns has been rather incremental. Avoidance of stocks of leveraged companies and those with unstable management has helped it in containing losses during bear runs. Its primary focus has been on stocks having the potential to become future blue chips. SBI Magnum Midcap Fund Reg. Growth has been a relatively moderate performer throughout its history. It seeks stocks having sustainable business models, strong management and impeccable tax payment history. Although promising, the fund needs to be regularly monitored to ensure decent earnings. Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth, although having a fund history of merely 5 years, has had an impressive track record since launch. Investing in quality businesses with a decent return on capital employed has enabled it to beat benchmark and category year-on-year.
As per fund returns, during 3-year tenure, Canara Robeco Emerging Equities generated the highest fund returns of 47.31% while Franklin India Prima Fund generated the lowest fund return of 41%. During the 5 year tenure, the same fund stood second-highest performer whereas Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth delivered the highest returns of 28.11%. The lowest performer during the period was UTI Mid Cap Fund Growth with 5-year returns of 24.9%. As a prudent investor, in addition to higher returns, you may also look for consistency across several investment horizons.
Regarding Expense ratio, Canara Robeco Emerging Equities happened to be the least-efficient fund regarding operating efficiency with the highest expense ratio of 2.72%. Conversely, Franklin India Prima Fund came out to be the most efficient fund with the lowest expense ratio of 2.30%. Ideally, you need to choose with a low expense ratio. However, don’t forget to consider other parameters along with expense ratio at the time of fund selection to make an informed decision.
On absolute volatility front, Canara Robeco Emerging Equities seems the riskiest funds among the chosen funds with the highest SD of 20.64 which means its returns could vary in the range of 67.95-26.67 from its mean return. UTI Mid Cap Fund Growth has the next highest SD of 18.45. SBI Magnum Midcap Fund Reg. Growth and Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth have comparable levels of the volatility of 16.98 & 16.68 respectively. Franklin India Prima Fund can be looked upon as the safest and relatively consistent mid-cap bet as compared to the above four funds with the lowest SD of 16.16.
According to risk-adjusted performance, Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth has the highest Sharpe ratio of 1.28 which means for every unit of risk taken; the investor gets 1.28 times returns. SBI Magnum Midcap Fund Reg. Growth and Franklin India Prima Fund gave 1.19 times and 1.18 times returns respectively for every additional unit of absolute volatility assumed. Canara Robeco Emerging Equities has the lowest Shape ratio of 1.01 which means that although it gave the best 3-year trailing returns, it lags behind other funds in providing commensurate returns for the risk taken.
Taking R-squared into consideration, Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth has the highest value of 90.38 which means that it intensely replicates movements of the benchmark index. On the contrary, SBI Magnum Midcap Fund Reg. Growth has the lowest R-squared value of 80.75 which shows that its movements are relatively less explained by the Nifty Free Float Midcap 100. It may give you less correlated performance with respect to the said benchmark.
On Beta front, Canara Robeco Emerging Equities has the highest beta score of 0.96 which conveys that it is more volatile as compared to other funds. Moreover, it implies that if the index falls by 100%, then it will make only 96% losses i.e., 4% less than the benchmark and if the benchmark rises then it will make 4% lesser gains. UTI Mid Cap Fund Growth has the next highest beta score of 0.85 indicating that it is relatively less volatile than Canara Robeco Emerging Equities. SBI Magnum Mid-cap Fund Reg. Growth and Franklin India Prima Fund have an equal beta score indicating them to lie on same volatility platform. Beta scores are usually matched with investor’s risk profile to select the appropriate fund for investment.
As per DCR, Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth represents the best investment haven with the lowest DCR value of 57.77 which means that it would capture only 57.77% of losses of the index on account of the downturn in the economy. Conversely, Canara Robeco Emerging Equities, although giving the highest 3-year return, represents least attractive investment opportunity during bear runs. It is so because it has the highest DCR score of 77.77 which implies that it would capture 77.77% of benchmark losses upon the southward journey of the index.
On the Alpha front, Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth has the highest value of 11.93 which means it gives the highest excess return that is due to company-related factors. SBI Magnum Midcap Fund Reg. Growth has the second-highest alpha value of 11.07. UTI Mid Cap Fund Growth has the inferior alpha value of 8.96 which implies that in comparison to all the above funds, the increase in returns of UTI can be attributed more to market movements than fund factors.
Relatively high-risk seekers may find commensurate returns in Canara Robeco Emerging Equities. Moderate risk-seekers may invest in UTI Mid Cap Fund Growth and SBI Magnum Midcap Fund Reg. Growth. Low-risk seekers may try their hands on Franklin India Prima Fund and Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Growth.
Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risk. Please consult your financial advisor before investing.