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Investing in value funds vs focused funds: Which is more rewarding, which is riskier?

The vast world of mutual funds caters to diverse investment styles and timelines. Choosing the right type can be daunting, especially when faced with seemingly attractive options like value funds and focused funds. Both promise growth potential but with different approaches and levels of risk.

Let’s understand which might be a better fit for your investment journey.

What are value funds?

Value funds operate on the principle of value investing, strategically selecting stocks deemed undervalued based on their fundamentals. The objective is to capitalise on the future growth potential of these stocks, making them a preferred choice for those with a long-term investment horizon.

Investing in value funds offers several advantages:

  • Diversification:Value funds typically invest in companies across various market capitalisations and sectors, spreading your risk and building a balanced portfolio.
  • Long-term growth:These types of mutual funds focus on underlying potential, making them suitable for investors with a long-term horizon. As undervalued stocks catch up, the fund’s performance will likely improve over time.
  • Resilience during downturns: Value stocks often outperform during bear markets as their fundamentals offer a cushion against price fluctuations.

However, like any investment, value funds come with their own set of challenges:

  • Higher risk: Predicting future growth is an imprecise science. There’s a chance that the identified “diamonds” might stay undervalued for longer than anticipated, impacting returns.
  • Fund manager dependence:Success hinges heavily on the fund manager’s ability to identify undervalued stocks accurately. Careful research and choosing a fund with a proven track record is crucial.

What are focused funds?

Focused funds, on the other hand, adopt a more concentrated approach by limiting their portfolio to 30 stocks. This category provides the fund manager with flexibility regarding market capitalisation and sectors, offering a unique avenue for potential higher returns.

The potential benefits of focused funds include:

  • Higher returns:By concentrating on high-potential stocks, these funds can deliver significant returns if their bets pay off.
  • Active management: The limited portfolio allows for closer monitoring and proactive decision-making by the fund manager.

However, this higher potential comes with risks:

  • Volatility: The concentrated nature of the portfolio makes it highly susceptible to fluctuations in the prices of individual stocks. A single wrong call can significantly impact the fund’s performance.
  • Lack of diversification: Overdependence on a few companies exposes you to sector or company-specific risks. This lack of diversification can be detrimental if one sector experiences a downturn.

So, what’s your choice?

Choosing between value and focused funds depends on your risk appetite, investment timeline, and financial goals. Consider these factors:

  • Risk tolerance: If you are comfortable with volatility and potential short-term dips, focused funds might be an option. However, if stability is your priority, value funds offer a more diversified and smoother ride.
  • Investment horizon: Value fundsrequire patience and are best suited for long-term goals like retirement planning. With their higher potential returns, focused funds could be considered for shorter-term objectives, but with caution.
  • Financial goals:Align your choice with your investment goals. If income generation is a priority, value funds with dividend-paying stocks might be suitable. On the other hand, focused funds aim for capital appreciation, ideal for wealth creation objectives.

Remember, diversification is key to a balanced portfolio. Consider incorporating value and focused funds in smaller allocations alongside other asset classes to manage risk and optimise your growth potential.

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