• Retirement is the ultimate goal for everyone. We work, save, and invest so that we can kick back and retire comfortably, but a vast majority of Indians aren't ready for their retirement. This is due to structural economic issues, lack of awareness about the need for retirement planning, the lack of quality advice, among other reasons. PGIM India Mutual releases an annual survey of retirement readiness among Indians, and the last one was in 2020. Given that we're living through this mega COVID shock that has disrupted the personal finances of pretty much everybody, we thought it would be the perfect time to talk about the importance of retirement. So Sahil caught up with Ajit Menon, the CEO of PGIM India Mutual. 

    In this conversation, Ajit talks about:

    What does retirement mean The good, bad, and the ugly from the PGIM India Mutual Fund Retirement Readiness Survey 2020 Why are Indians saving less? How has COVID changed retirement planning Why should you think about retirement? Thinking about how to structure various aspects of your retirement How to build that mindset to think about retirement readiness Retirement readiness around the world Advice for someone starting to think about retirement today

    And a whole lot more. This conversation was absolutely brilliant and full of insights. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it. 

    If you have any questions about anything discussed in the episode or thoughts in general, do post them here on TradingQnA.

  • The way the markets have run up post the March 2020 crash have equally surprised and perplexed investors. Given the pace of the recent bull run, that's understandable. A lot of smart people are wondering what's happening in the markets. But that's how the markets work—they don't have to make sense and they rarely do. So, we caught up with Kalpen Parekh (MD & CEO, DSP Mutual Fund) and Sahil Kapoor (Head of Products & Market Strategist, DSP Mutual Fund) to get a sense of the madness in the markets and what you should do as investors: 

    In this conversation, Kalpen and Sahil talk about:

    Some key takeaways over the last 1-1.5 years How to make sense of inflation The disconnect between the real economy and the markets A bird's-eye view of the Indian and the global economy Are the markets in a bubble? Investing in the age of markets where central bank actions have a massive impact Why do investors stop investing in equities early?  What can be done to get people to stick with their investments How not to get carried away by all the madness around Asset allocation How to think about fixed income in a low-interest rate environment Keeping your behaviour in control and avoiding mistakes Can you pick the best fund or best fund manager in advance? Discussing Sahil's article on this.  International investing and the role of global funds in a portfolio The role of gold in a portfolio How the Indian mutual fund industry looks in the next 5-10 years Sahil and Kalpen's investment philosophies Book recommendations

    You can follow Sahil and Kalpen on Twitter for more of their perspectives. 

    If you have any questions about anything discussed in the episode or thoughts in general, do post them here on TradingQnA. 

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  • The CFA Society India recently published the second edition of The Investor’s Guide to Shareholder Meetings in India. As investors, even though we hold stocks of various companies, we rarely think about our rights. Investors also rarely realize that by virtue of the shares they hold, they are entitled to voting rights in a company. It's a chance for them to question the management and engage with them so that they aren't taken for granted as minority shareholders. 

    So we caught up with Sivananth Ramachandran, CFA, Director of Capital Markets Policy (India) and Amit Tandon, Founder and Managing Director, IiAS, who worked on the report to talk about: 

    The objective behind publishing the report Shareholder meetings post-COVID Basics of shareholder meetings Why don't retail investors attend these meetings Evolution of corporate governance in India Do the votes of retail investors count? Things to look for when analysing shareholder proposals put forth by companies ESG investing and the role of shareholders Shareholder activism and ESG Shareholder meetings in India vs other countries

    and a whole lot more. 

    Please enjoy this conversation with Sivananth and Amit. 

    Here's the link to the An Investor's Guide to Shareholder Meetings in India.

    If you have any questions about shareholder meetings and shareholder rights, do post them here on TradingQnA. 

  • In this episode, we have a really really special guest. We caught up with Prashant Jain, the chief investment officer (CIO) of HDFC Mutual Fund. Prashanth is a market veteran and the first India fund manager to manage a single mutual fund scheme for over 25 years. He manages some of the largest active mutual fund schemes in India. Over his nearly 25+ year career in the investment management industry, Prashant has pretty much seen all the cycles of the Indian markets. The experience and insights he shared in the conversation are all the more relevant to us given the euphoric mood in the Indian markets currently. 

    In this wide-ranging conversation, Prashant spoke about: 

    His journey into the markets The evolution of our economy and the Indian markets What does a good business look like to him His research process His thoughts on portfolio construction What does being wrong look like His thought on using macro inputs in an investing framework Whether the opportunity set of stocks in Indian markets is limited The road ahead for India His thoughts on quality at any price Active investing vs passive investing Indian valuations, global valuations, rates and inflation Advice for aspiring analysts and portfolio managers How he invests

    If you have any questions about this episode, you can post your queries here and we'll answer them.

    Disclaimer: Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks. Please read all scheme related documents carefully before investing. This show is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to invest. Please consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

  • Gold is probably one of the most controversial and perplexing asset classes. Some well-known investors like Warren Buffett call it useless while other investors take the middle path and recommend small allocations. As for investors, they often struggle to think about it in a portfolio construct. So we caught up with Chirag Mehta, senior fund manager at Quantum Asset Management who also manages the Quantum Gold Fund. 

    In this conversation, Chirag talks about: 

    His journey into the markets His perspective of what happened in the markets last year What moves gold prices Why do Indians love gold so much? Historical performance of gold in India vs equities and bonds Pros and cons of various gold options like physical gold, gold ETFs, Sovereign Gold Bonds, Gold Mutual Funds etc What roles gold plays in a portfolio How much to invest in gold His thoughts on some popular arguments against investing gold Central banks actions and their impact on gold going forward How do Indian gold ETFs and Mutual Funds manage their gold, where do they store it, safety measures etc Things to keep in mind when picking gold funds His personal investment philosophy Some unique stories from his career Some reading recommendations

    You can explore gold mutual funds on Coin and gold ETFs on Kite. 

    If you have any questions about investing in gold, you can post your queries here and we'll answer them. 

    Disclaimer: Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks. Please read all scheme related documents carefully before investing. This show is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to invest. Please consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions. 

  • In part 1, Rishad gave a quick intro to personal finance if you are new to investing. The pandemic has put a lot of stress on people's finances. So in part 2, we decided to focus on how to manage your personal finances in these challenging times. 

    In this part, Rishad talks about

    His experiences with investors during the pandemic How to prepare your finances in these difficult times Basics of health insurance Importance of having nominees for your investments and other accounts How to prepare for eventual market downturns How to think about philanthropy if you have the financial ability to help people in these trying times
  • Millions of new investors have started investing post-pandemic, and this is a good thing. But given that the returns in the past year have been spectacular, many new investors continue to make the same old mistakes and have wrong expectations. They tend to take the basics for granted. While pretty much anything investors do will work out in a bull market, these mistakes can come back to haunt them when the markets take a turn for the worse. We've spoken about how to think about investing, how to pick mutual funds and build a portfolio (part 1, part 2) in previous episodes but not much about personal finance.

    So we caught up with Rishad Manekia of Kairos Capital. Rishad is a Registered Investment Advisor and helps people simplify their personal finances. In this first of a 2 part series, Rishad gives you a blueprint of sorts on the basics of personal finance so that you can start your investing journey on the right foot. 

    In this conversation, Rishad talks about:

    The right mindset for investors The first step in personal finance How to budget How to set goals How to invest for short term and long term goals Figuring out the right asset allocation for various goals Basics of insurance How to manage your behaviour during bad market phases How to review and maintain your personal finance plan The most common mistakes he sees investors make

    Do check out the personal finance chapter on Varsity, and If you have any questions about personal finance, please do post them here.

  • We recently did a Twitter live session with Amit Grover, the Head - Learning & Development, DSP Mutual Fund on the right way to invest in Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) or tax-saving mutual funds. When you invest in an ELSS mutual fund, you can claim a tax deduction on investments up to Rs 1.5 lakhs and you can save up to Rs ₹46,800 in taxes. 

    In this chat, Amit answers:

    What are ELSS funds and how do they work For how long should you invest in an ELSS mutual fund ELSS funds vs other tax saving options like PPF, tax-saving fixed deposits etc How to analyse an ELSS fund The important factors to keep in mind when choosing an ELSS mutual fund

    and more. 

    You can visit Coin to explore ELSS Funds. 

    If you have any questions about investing in ELSS Mutual Funds, you can post your queries here and we'll answer them. You can keep track of all the live weekly Coin Chats on Twitter.  

  • Though the momentum effect is widely known in developed markets like the US, it's still relatively unknown in India. Over the past few years, there's been growing interest in the momentum style of investing. UTI Mutual Fund recently launched India's first momentum index fund which tracks the Nifty 200 Momentum 30 Index. But investors often extrapolate the past returns of momentum as a style and tend to think that momentum will always deliver superlative returns.  So we caught up with Aman Singhania, the Vice President & Head of Index Development & Research at NSE India.

    In this conversation, we talk to Aman about: His journey into the markets What is the momentum style of investing Why does the momentum effect persist How is momentum measured How have momentum investing fared historically in the Indian markets Are market capitalization-weighted indices momentum oriented in disguise? Multi-factor investing How should investors think about momentum His investing philosophy

    You can also check out the Varsity chapter on personal finance to dive deeper. If you have any questions, please do post them here. 

  • With interest rates at all-time lows, these are tricky times for fixed income (debt) investors. The consensus view seems to be that we are done with the rate cut cycle and the RBI may gradually start increasing rates. Most debt fund categories have delivered handsome returns in the past 2-3 years given the series of rate cuts. But if the rates start increasing, investors will have to moderate their return expectations. Given this backdrop, a lot of people have started talking about floating rate funds and how investors can use them in a rising rate environment. But the reality is that it is not quite that simple. Coincidentally, IDFC Mutual Fund has just launched its floating rate fund. So, we caught up with Arvind Subramanian, fund manager & head of credit research at IDFC Asset Management to learn how these floating rate funds work and if how investors should think of them in a rising rate environment. In this conversation Arvind talks about:

    How his journey in the markets began The current Indian interest environment What are floating rate funds? How do they work What are interest rate swaps and how are they used to create synthetic floating rate bonds Investment universe of floating rate funds  Role of a fund manager How floating rates perform in rising and falling rate environments Whether floating rate funds are a perfect hedge for rising rates Where does a floating rate fund fit in a debt asset allocation framework? Risks in these funds Return expectations His personal investing philosophy and how he invests 

    We also highly recommend you listen to this conversation with Suyash Choudhary of IDFC Mutual Fund on how to get your asset allocation right when investing in debt funds. This conversation perfectly compliments the conversation with Arvind on floating rate funds. 

    If you have any questions about floating rate funds or debt funds, do post them here. 

    We'd love to hear your thoughts on this conversation. Hit us up on Twitter. 

  • All the issues in the debt mutual fund space in the past 3 years have highlighted just how important it is to get your debt allocation right. But unfortunately, a lot of investors spend a lot of time thinking about equity in when deciding their asset allocation but take the debt part of the allocation for granted. And this has come back to haunt a lot of investors ever since the IL&FS crisis. 

    In the previous episodes, we have spoken at length about why you need debt in your portfolio and the right way to think about debt. But we figured investors need a framework on how to go about getting their debt asset allocation right.  So, we caught up with Suyash Choudhary, the Head of Fixed Income at IDFC Asset Management. In this absolutely brilliant conversation, Suyash talks about:

    How his career in the markets started How the Indian debt markets and debt mutual funds have evolved throughout his career The core reason for having debt in a portfolio Core and satellite approach to debt asset allocation Pitfalls of diversification in debt Is it wise to rely on common rules of thumb when investing in debt Should investors invest in credit risk or high yield funds? Biggest lessons for investors in the last 3 years How should savers and retirees think about the current challenging low-interest rate environment? His personal investing philosophy, investing mistakes, lessons and favourite books

    You can check out these previous conversations on investing debt:  

    Understanding what's happening in the debt markets with R Sivakumar, CIO of debt at Axis Mutual Fund
    Should you invest in debt mutual funds with Arvind Chari of Quantum Mutual Fund

    If you have any questions on the topics discussed in the episode, do post them here.

    You can also check out the Varsity module on personal finance to learn more about the basics of debt mutual funds

  • Motilal Oswal AMC is launching a new 5-year constant maturity G-sec ETF, the first one in India. It’s an interesting product for a lot of reasons. And also given that ETFs have been around for a while and investors have a lot of misconceptions. Today, we caught up with Prateek to talk him about how ETFs works and the new Motilal Oswal 5 Year G-Sec ETF.

    In this conversation Pratik talks about: 

    What ETFs are and how they work Difference between ETFs and mutual funds ETF liquidity Do's and don'ts when buying and selling ETFs The Motilal Oswal 5 Year G-Sec ETF and what makes it unique Role of debt in a portfolio Common mistakes investors make when investing in debt funds Historic performance of the 5 Year G-Sec index across cycles Risks in the ETF Taxation of the new ETF and a whole lot more

    If you wish to invest in the ETF: https://coin.zerodha.com/etf-sgb

    Earlier episodes with Pratik:

    Should you invest in index funds? - https://link.chtbl.com/owrqKj2y
    The need for global diversification - https://link.chtbl.com/-NE9Jqzf

  • One of the things that investors struggle with the most is with having the right expectations when investing and we've talked about this in the previous episodes as well. Mid-cap funds and small-cap funds tend to have higher returns than large-cap funds. But what most investors don't realize is that those higher returns come with a cost - that is higher risk or volatility. Most often than not, they just look at line charts comparing large-cap funds with mid and small-cap funds without looking at the deep and sharp drawdown and invest. If you look at the inflows and outflows of mid-cap and small-cap funds, you can clearly see that most retail investors tend to invest in these funds when they have already gone up and sell when they crash. So, in this conversation, I caught up with Rahul Singh, the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Equities at Tata Asset Management. In this conversation Rahul talks about:

    Whether the Indian markets are too small enough for good opportunities the nature of mid and small caps and how should investors think about them and allocate to them.  His own investing philosophy and that of Tata Mutual Fund His thoughts on the current market phase Current market valuations International diversification Large-caps vs mid-caps.  Is it the right time to invest in mid-caps and the case for investing in mid-caps and small-caps How to invest in mid-caps and small-caps His own investing philosophy Investing mistakes and lessons

    Prateek Singh is the founder of LearnApp, an online learning platform with courses on investing, personal finance, trading and more, do check it out.

  • To say this year has been a roller-coaster ride for the markets would be an understatement. A lot of new investors saw their first serious market crash since 2008, although it didn't last as long, it was brutal nonetheless. But what was surprising was the dramatic recovery even as all the economic data was dismal. We wanted to make sense of the disconnect between the real economy and the stock market and also how investors should look at investing going forward. So Prateek caught up with Anand Radhakrishnan, the Chief Investment Officer of Equity at Franklin Templeton India. In this absolutely brilliant and wide-ranging conversation, Anand talks about: 

    The opposite journeys of the economy and the markets The major economic concerns, both Indian and global Thought on the return of inflation globally How should investors think about this current market phase Why are the markets going up when the economic data is grim Thoughts on the current market phase and the factors that would determine the market direction ahead Current market valuations and concerns on potential overvaluation concerns Sector leadership going forward Thoughts on gold How Anand invests personally Some investing lessons he's picked up over his career

    Hope you folks enjoy this conversation with Anand.

    Prateek Singh is the founder of LearnApp, an online learning platform with courses on investing, personal finance, trading and more, do check it out. 

    The information contained in this communication is not a complete representation of every material fact and is for informational purposes only. Statements/ opinions/recommendations in this communication which contain words or phrases such as “will”, “expect”, “could”, “believe” and similar expressions or variations of such expressions are “forward – looking statements”. Actual results may differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements due to risk or uncertainties associated with our expectations with respect to, but not limited to, exposure to market risk, general economic and political conditions in India and other countries globally, which have an impact on the service and / or investments. There may have been changes in matters which affect the security subsequent to the date of this communication. Stocks / Sectors / Securities mentioned may or may not form part of fund’s portfolio and do not constitute investment advice or recommendation to trade in stock/ sector/ security in any manner whatsoever. The AMC, Trustee, their associates, officers or employees or holding companies do not assure or guarantee any return of principle or assurance of income on investments in these schemes. Please read the Scheme Information Document carefully in its entirety prior to making an investment decision and visit our website http://www.franklintempletonindia.com for further details.

    Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

  • Index funds and ETFs are steading becoming popular among Indian investors as they realize the importance of costs and the fact that fund managers generating alpha is hard.  In the past year or so, we've discussed index funds and the merits of passive investing in multiple conversations but we haven't spoken much about Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

    The folks at Mirae are betting big on ETFs and they are launching a fund of fund (FOF) that invests in Nifty 50, Nifty Next 50, and Nifty midcap 150 ETF. This has the 2 benefits of equity taxation for the FOF and also the rebalancing inside the FOF is tax-free. So we caught up with Siddharth Srivastava, the head of ETF products at Mirae Asset India to talk about all things ETFs, index funds, and Mirae's new fund offering. 

    In this conversation we talk about:

    What an ETF is, how does it work and how is it different from an index mutual fund The global and Indian ETF landscape His thought on why ETFs aren't popular among retail investors Liquidity issues in ETFs and what should investors do when buying and selling ETFs Why Mirae is launching index ETFs when it is known for its active funds What makes the new Mirae Asset Equity Allocator Fund of Fund unique and it's advantages His thought son how investors can use Mirae Asset Equity Allocator Fund of Fund in a portfolio Investing in this ETF vs buying the ETFs individually His personal investing philosophy and his investing lessons His favourite books

    Please enjoy this conversation with Siddharth of Mirae. 

    We would love to hear your thoughts, feedback and suggestions on the podcast. Please do tweet your thoughts @CoinbyZerodha. You can also post your question on ETFs and mutual funds here on TradingQnA. 

  • In part 1, Vidya spoke about why mutual funds, having the right expectations, setting goals, importance of asset allocation, and how to pick an equity fund. We figured given all the issues, the topic of debt mutual funds deserves a separate episode unto itself. Debt is supposed to be the boring part of your portfolio that provides stability while equity provides growth. But we've seen that investors driven by past returns, star ratings, and poor understanding of the various categories of funds have seen losses in the debt part of their portfolios. In this episode Vidya talks about:

    The need for a debt fund in a portfolio How to analyse and pick debt funds - the do's and dont's  Understanding credit risk and duration risk How to use gilt funds What is rebalancing, the need for rebalancing and how tor rebalancing? Growth vs dividend plans and why it makes NO sense to invest in dividend plans Vidya's investing philosophy Her favourite books

    Do check out PrimeInvestor for some insightful perspectives on investing, fund selection, portfolio construction by Vidya and her colleagues.

    You can also check out this LearnApp course on the basics of investing in mutual funds.

  • Since Feb 2020, we've seen historic and unprecedented volatility in the Indian markets. We saw the fastest fall in the markets and also one of the fastest recoveries in the history of the Indian markets. All this was within a space of a few months. Surprisingly, we are seeing a sharp uptick in the number of new investors enter the markets, but the mistakes some of them are making are the same old ones. Over the past few months, we've had conversations with some of the most experienced participants in the markets to put this insanely volatile market phase in perspective.

    But we also realized that investors were lacking context on how to think about investing even before they put their first rupee to work. So we figured, there's no better time than this to do this. Given that Vidya has been interacting with investors for the better part of a decade in various capacities, we reached out to her and she graciously agreed to talk to us.

    In this conversation, Vidya talks to Prateek about:

    How to think about risk and reward when investing How to set goals and why a goal-based investing framework helps you invest better How to have returns expectations How do you figure out your risk tolerance What the hell is asset allocation, why it matters and how to figure out the right asset allocation for you Active vs passive funds How to pick an equity fund How to sort through the various styles of funds and how to include them in your portfolio Do's and don't when picking an active funds Growth vs dividend plans

    Once you have heard the conversation, you will have a framework on how to think about investing, why you need to invest, set goals and pick your first fund. 

    Do check out PrimeInvestor for some insightful perspectives on investing, fund selection, portfolio construction by Vidya and her colleagues. 

    You can also check out this LearnApp course on mutual funds. 

    In part 2 of the conversation, we'll talk about the right way to pick debt funds, rebalancing and portfolio maintenance.

  • In this episode, Prateek (Founder of LearnApp) caught up with Radhika Gupta, the CEO of Edelweiss Mutual Fund. Radhika started her career with McKinsey and later joined AQR - the pioneering quantitative asset manager. She then started her own hedge fund which was acquired by Edelweiss Financial Services in 2014. She also led the acquisitions of JP Morgan Mutual Fund and Ambit's AIF business and became the CEO of Edelweiss MF.

    In this wide-ranging conversation Radhika talks about: 

    Her experience at AQR Common behavioural mistakes that investors commit What is asset allocation why is it important Static vs dynamic asset allocation Decodes balanced advantage funds, how they work, the various models etc What are equity savings funds and how do they work What makes Bharat Bond ETF special and the advantages How she invests personally 

    and a whole lot more...

    Please enjoy this conversation with Radhika. Do let us know your feedback by tweeting to us @zerodhaonline. 

  • As we publish this episode the markets continue to remain volatile and the Nifty 50 and Nifty Midcap 100 are down about 25% while the Nifty Smallcap 100 index is down by 33% year to date. We understand that these can be nerve-wracking times for you. With that in mind, over the last couple of weeks, we've published conversations with some of the smartest and most experienced people in the Indian markets, people who've seen the previous bear phases. And in this episode, Prateek Singh (Founder of LearnApp) caught up with I. V. Subramaniam (Subbu), the MD, CEO & CIO of Quantum Advisors. Subbu has over 25 years of experience in the India markets and has pretty much seen every market phase in India, including the Harshad Mehta scam, dot com crash, the 2008 crisis among others. In this conversation, Subbu talks about:

    How got started in the markets What exactly was the Harshad Mehta scam and what he personally learnt from it What you shouldn't do in a bear market Common behavioural mistakes investors make How to build portfolios during such bear market phases How to avoid value traps if you are a direct equity investor His thoughts the underperformance of value style of investing Importance of asset allocation How he personally invests

    and a whole lot more. 

    Please enjoy this conversation with Subbu. 

  • Whenever there is volatility, equity markets get all the attention. Bonds typically don't move around as much as equities and hence they seem boring to most people. Moreover, the Indian bond markets are extremely shallow and are dominated by institutions. But the bond markets send far more useful and actionable signals about companies and the economy at large are far more insightful than movements of stock prices and indices. 

    And debt mutual funds, the most accessible products to retail investors are dominated by institutions and HNIs. And there are also a lot of misconceptions about the role of debt in portfolios. So, Prateek Singh (Founder of LearnApp) caught up with R Sivakumar, Head of Fixed Income at Axis Mutual Fund - THE best person to talk about all things debt and bond markets. 

    In this conversation we talk about:

    When happens in a bond market when the equity markets crash A birdseye view of the Indian and global economy as COVID-19 spread through the globe Factors that move bond prices RBIs recent actions to provide liquidity  Why do you need debt in your portfolio How not to choose debt funds Gilt funds and their use

    and a whole lot more...

    Please enjoy this conversation with Sivakumar of Axis MF. Please let us know your feedback on @zerodhaonline on Twitter or on iTunes ratings.