What are Diversified Funds?
A diversified fund invests in a wide range of asset classes irrespective of the market sector and market capitalization, i.e. large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap. Investing in multiple asset classes helps in generating optimum returns with controlled risk.
Diversified mutual funds have considerably less risk than other mutual fund categories such as mid-cap and small-cap funds. The fund manager switches between the large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks based on the market conditions. This way, the investors won’t lose out on good market opportunities.
Since diversified funds invest in companies across market capitalization, the returns from them are amplified and lead to growth for the investors. However, diversified funds are not immune to market volatility. They can be affected by adverse market conditions, but the impact would be a little less than non-diversified funds.
Diversified funds give a broad market exposure to investors. Multi cap funds are often considered as diversification of funds as they invest across market capitalization. They save the time of investors and clear the confusion of choosing between different market capitalizations for investing. The risk in these funds is balanced. This is because, in the bullish phase, small-cap funds will fair well. While in falling markets, the large caps will act as a support to the mutual fund portfolio returns. Investors with a decent understanding of equity markets and their risk, with moderate risk tolerance, can consider investing in diversified mutual funds.
What is Diversification in Mutual Funds
Diversification in equity mutual funds comes with investing across sectors and market capitalization. Diversification is also done with multiple mutual funds in a portfolio. It helps in reducing the risk in a portfolio. Diversification cushions the negative impact of the performance of a few securities/mutual funds in a portfolio. The main aim of diversification is to protect portfolio returns from extreme market conditions.
There are some fund houses that offers diversified mutual fund. They can be of any category of funds. By investing in one fund, the investor can invest in securities spread across market capitalization and industries. Diversified funds are still affected by market volatility. However, they are less affected than pure sector funds or funds concentrating on one single market capitalization (pure large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap funds).
Benefits of Investing in Diversified Funds
Diversified mutual funds suit all investors with different investment plans. They provide the following benefits to its investors:
1. Access to a wide range of industries and companies of varying market sizes
Diversified funds give access to investors with a wide range of industries and companies with different market sizes. Investors who cannot invest in all sectors individually due to a lack of money or knowledge can invest in diversified funds. which is managed by fund managers
2. Acts as a cushion during market volatility
During adverse market conditions, diversified funds act as a cushion for portfolio returns. Investing across sectors and market capitalization helps in marinating the portfolio returns. It reduces the downside risk in a portfolio.
3. Helps in achieving the long term financial goals
An individual can invest in diversified equity mutual funds to achieve long-term financial goals. Diversified mutual funds help in achieving long-term financial goals just as retirement, education of children, daughter’s marriage, etc. Investors who stay invested in these funds for the long term will benefit from the compounding effect of returns—hence helping in meeting the long-term financial needs of an investor. Investors can invest in diversified equity funds through the SIP and lump sum routes.
4. Don’t require continuous monitoring a portfolio
A good-diversified portfolio doesn’t require regular monitoring with the changing market conditions. The fund manager manages your diversified fund’s portfolio. However, even investors need not worry about reviewing or rebalancing their mutual fund portfolio regularly.
5. Helps investors get acquainted with different strategies
Diversified equity mutual funds can be funds investing across the different market capitalization like a multi-cap. Alternatively, they can also be investing across different sectors and can be based on multiple strategies. There are value funds that focus on value investing. However, there are multi-cap funds that can be growth-oriented. Hence investors get to invest using multiple strategies in the market.
6. Access to global market
Diversified funds can also give investors access to international equity. There are few diversified equity mutual funds that invest in global equities and diversify across global companies. Investing in such funds can help investors diversify globally. Investing in the global market is as essential as investing in the domestic market. It protects portfolio returns during a recession or any other crisis in the country.
Types of Diversified Mutual Funds
Diversified mutual funds are classified based on their investment strategy. Following are the different types of diversified mutual funds:
1. what are Multi cap Mutual Funds
A Multicap fund is a type of diversified mutual fund. The fund manager of a multi-cap fund has the freedom to invest across any sector or market capitalization. The asset allocation of a multi-cap fund depends on the fund manager. He/she has the flexibility to change the asset allocation based on the market conditions. Multi cap funds invest across large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks. Therefore, these diversified funds have a slightly higher risk when compared to pure large-cap funds.
2. understand Value funds value fund is a diversified equity fund. They follow value investing as their investment strategy. These funds invest in stocks that are considered to be undervalued. Also, value funds invest across sectors and market capitalization. The fund manager identifies stocks based on their fundamental valuations. Value funds invest in stocks that are trading below their intrinsic value. The funds have a lower downside. In other words, these are undervalued stocks and the probability that they fall further is very less. Therefore, the risk associated with value funds is them being consistent underperformers even during a bull phase.
3. what are Large and Midcap mutual funds
Large and mid-cap funds invest across the large and mid-cap stocks. They are a type of diversified equity fund. These funds have a minimum investment requirement. They have to invest a minimum of 35% of total assets in large-cap companies. And a minimum of 35% of total assets in mid-cap companies. These funds diversify investments across large and mid-cap stocks. Also, these diversified funds are slightly riskier in comparison to pure large-cap funds.
Explore: Best Large Cap Funds
4. what are best Hybrid Funds or balanced funds
A hybrid fund invests across asset classes, namely equity and debt. Some of the types of hybrid funds are Arbitrage funds, balanced hybrid funds, aggressive hybrid funds, conservative hybrid funds, multi-asset funds, and equity savings funds. Previously hybrid funds are known as balanced funds. The hybrid fund offers diversification only across asset classes.
Explore: Best Hybrid Funds
Things to keep in Mind Before Investing in Diversified Funds
Following are the things that an investor needs to keep in mind before investing in diversified funds:
1. Investment Horizon
Diversified mutual funds are suitable for investors who want to invest for long term. However, an investor needs to stick to the period of investment. This will help them in obtaining significant returns.
Diversified mutual funds are quite volatile. Hence they experience high fluctuations in the short term. However, in the long term, the returns pan out to be good. For investment in diversified mutual funds, the minimum recommended investment horizon is five years.
2. Investment Objective of the investor
Diversified mutual funds have an investment strategy that will benefit the investors in achieving long term objectives. For example, a child’s education planning, retirement planning, child’s marriage etc. These funds have a good asset allocation that will help in churning good portfolio returns in the long term.
Therefore, investors should invest in diversified funds for the long term. Also, it is advisable to have a financial goal attached to their investment.
3. Expense Ratio
Similar to other categories of mutual funds, diversified funds also charge a fee for managing the investor’s money. The fee is known as the expense ratio. As the funds are structured to take advantage of the changing market dynamics, these funds have a higher turnover ratio. As a result, they have higher transaction costs.
Though these funds have higher costs, they outperform many funds in the market. Returns from these funds have been better than some large-cap funds and small-cap funds.
4. Fund Objective
As the name suggested, these funds have a diversified investment strategy. These funds aim to create wealth by investing across sectors. Diversification is the key strategy for the portfolio. Therefore, they invest across market capitalisations and sectors.
The fund manager, along with his team, conducts thorough research on companies and invests in the best stocks. Some of the factors they consider before investing in stock are EPS, PE ratio, etc.
Past returns do not guarantee future returns. It is a well-known fact that investing purely based on past performance is not a good practice. However, understanding the past performance of a fund is necessary. Studying past performance will help in understanding the fund’s reaction to various market scenarios. A fund that has fared well in the long term amidst all the market chaos has a good probability of generating significant returns in the future.
Mutual funds are market-linked instruments. Diversified mutual funds also face risks depending on the market conditions. Therefore, the fund manager plays a vital role in managing the asset allocation of the portfolio to take advantage of the dynamic markets. Also, in terms of risk, these funds have a lesser risk in comparison to pure mid-cap or small-cap funds.
Apart from the above parameters, investors should also consider the Sharpe ratio, standard deviation, alpha, beta, and Traynor’s ratio. However, few investors lack time and knowledge to calculate the Sharpe ratio, standard deviations, etc. Hence they can always take the help of a financial advisor.
Factors to keep in mind
- Diversified funds can either be equity-oriented, debt-oriented, or a mixture of the two. While a diversified equity fund invests in multiple companies of different market capitalisation and sectors, the diversified debt fund primarily invests in PSU and private sector debts, government securities, and other money market instruments. A diversified fund not only gives you access to various market sectors but also different asset classes and industries.
- Diversified funds can be the best choice for investors who are risk-averse but still wish to invest in the equity markets. Also, it is of utmost importance to own a diversified portfolio for an investor.
- Investing in a diversified equity fund will not only ensure that your investments are spread across various securities but also give you the exposure to equity markets. This will help in mitigating the unsystematic risk inherent to one particular sector and generate the best possible return from your investments. Hence, diversified equity funds have also become one of the most sought after funds among investors with a controlled risk-appetite.