Investment Performance February 2018
February 2018 was not a good month for investment returns. In my view, four things led the market to crack:
- Imposition of LTCG on equity in the Union Budget. Totally unnecessary tax in my opinion, which was a huge sentiment burster for markets.
- A sharp rise in commodity prices, as well as a sharp drop in Unemployment in developed economies, which portends the return of inflation, rise in interest rates, and diversion of funds to debt markets from equity markets
- Loss of key byelections by the ruling party, which made the return path of Narendra Modi in 2019 somewhat hazier.
- The Nirav Modi-Mehul Choksi Scam which did so many things-it totally destroyed whatever faith was left in PSU Banks, it was a huge whammy for the reputation of the NDA regime, and a huge blow to middle class morale.
Whatever the narrative may be, and you can believe or not believe any of the above, markets nevertheless fell, and sharply. The Bank Nifty, which was up about 7.2% in January 2018, fell by more than 8% in February. Mutual funds like HDFC Top 200 fell sharply. A PMS like Motilal Oswal did not do so badly, since it was invested primarily in ‘quality stocks’.
My investment performance, like always fell somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, if Iook at performance over a year, I outperformed all the benchmarks, except the SBI Small and Midcap Fund.
In portfolio changes, I again spent some effort to prune my portfolio. Again, the timing was quite wrong, and it still makes me wonder about my psychological strength in coping with market rises and falls. Again the net implications are small (less than 1% of portfolio size). Nevertheless, the timing is certainly off.
The investment performance is summarized in the graph and table below. Click on them for a zoom view.