Interview :: 2018 is 5th year of Bull market! If you have Rs.10 lakh to invest go for direct equities

Aim to add incrementally to your portfolio over time particularly when the chips are down.
Dipan Mehta | Mar 05, 2018 10:22 AM IST | Source:

Go for direct equity with the help of an advisor or a portfolio manager because mutual funds have high expense ratio and inherent disadvantages, Dipan Mehta, Director, Elixir Equities said in an exclusive interview with Moneycontrol’s Kshitij Anand.

Q) The tables have turned in favour of bears at least in the medium term. The Indian market has become a sell on rallies kind of market. What is your assessment of the market at current juncture?

A) This the fifth year of a bull market which has been a slow steady one with very little volatility. There have been a few corrections and we are in the middle of one at present. For the long-term investor, this is still a buy on dips market.

Whether this correction will deepen or not will become evident over the next 2-3 weeks. If a lower tops/lower bottoms formation get created and broad market indices trade below their 200 DMA (which they are not at present) then we may be in for an extended sell-off or a mild bear market.

Q) What is your advise to investors who want to put Rs 10 Lakh into markets? He is in the age bracket of 35-40 years. He/she is looking at forming a portfolio with direct equities, MFs, a part of fixed income as well?

A) Go for direct equity with the help of an advisor/portfolio manager. Mutual funds have high expense ratio and inherent disadvantages. Set aside an amount of emergency plus 1 year’s salary/income into debt and put the rest into good quality stocks.

Aim to add incrementally to your portfolio over time particularly when the chips are down.

Q) What should be the ideal strategy for investors in terms of sectors? Do you think PSU banks are a good buy at current levels? What are the sectors which you think are likely to show momentum in the year 2018?

A) PSU Banks, IT and Pharma are to be avoided.

-25-35 percent should be in private sector retail banks and NBFCs.
-15 percent in auto and related ancillaries,
-15 percent in Indian FMCG stocks,
-35 percent rest in domestic consumption stocks such as building materials, appliances, aviation, retail, gaming, entertainment, media, fast food, branded apparels, and innerwear.

Q) The US Fed signalled a minimum of 3 rate hikes for the year 2018. Do you agree the global overhang is likely to weigh on Indian markets for the rest of the year?

A) No, but there will be a knee-jerk reaction whenever there is a global sell-off. With the rise and rise of domestic mutual funds, the influence of the foreign investors has reduced dramatically which means that the co-relation on a medium to long-term has weakened.

Moreover, foreigners have been investing for 2 decades and they have a more mature approach to India. We are a better-understood economy and capital market.

Q) What should be the right strategy for investors right now – sit on cash and wait for a dip or deploy cash incrementally throughout the year?

A) Nibble into the bluest of blue-chip stocks. Companies which have missed in the bull market so far must be targeted for investment. Investors must endeavour to improve the quality of the portfolio.

There are two-fold benefits. If the bull market resurges, then these will be first of the block and gain market leadership. Should a bear market evolve, then the damage will be less and investors will be able to sleep better knowing they have quality stocks in their portfolio.

Q) What will happen in the banking space given the fact that the cost of borrowing is inching higher. The RBI might keep rates on hold in its next policy but may raise rates in 2018?

A) Private sector banks and NBFCs will survive and thrive in every interest rate scenario. Growth and profitability will be temporarily impacted but the process of private sector gaining market share at the expense of PSU lenders will continue and gain traction.

Q) With Dollar gaining strength there is a higher possibility of rupee weakness. Which sectors or stocks likely to benefit the most? What is your target level for the currency?

A) Sectors which will benefit are obvious but be sure to assess the basic underlying fundamentals. No business will create value just because the currency is depreciating. Our view on the Rupee is not so negative.



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