Todays Market from Equitymaster http://www.equitymaster.com/tm.asp The happenings in the stock markets, including a pre-open and closing commentary. Todays Market from Equitymaster http://www.equitymaster.com/icons/eqtm_small1.gif http://www.equitymaster.com/tm.asp http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Indian share markets open firm http://www.equitymaster.com/tm/tm.asp?date=8/22/2014&title=Indian-share-markets-open-firm
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Barring Indonesia (down 0.2%), most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in South Korea (up 0.6%) and Taiwan (up 1.2%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets have also opened the day on a positive note. Barring the healthcare index, all other sectoral indices are trading in the green with IT and oil & gas indices leading the gains.

The Sensex today is up by around 75 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 34 points (0.4%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.45% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 60.69 to the US dollar.

Private sector bank stocks have mainly opened the day on a firm note with Yes Bank and J&K Bank leading the gains. India's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank has proposed to raise Rs 60 bn from bonds for funding its business growth. In a filing with the BSE, the bank has said that the board has approved issuance of long term bonds or non-convertible debentures up to Rs 60 bn on a private placement basis. As per the provisions of Companies Act, 2013, the bank will seek the approval of its shareholders is proposed to be obtained by way of Postal Ballot. During the quarter ended June 2014, the company's interest income and net profit grew by 13.9% YoY and 18.3% YoY respectively.

Information technology stocks have opened the day on a firm note with NIIT Ltd and Moser Baer India Ltd leading the gains. India's third largest software services exporter Wipro is expecting to bag bigger deals for solutions based on digital technologies like social, mobility, analytics and cloud which go by the acronym SMAC. This could be an indication that companies are willing to spend more on such discretionary areas. From deals in the range of US$ 2.5-3.5 million (Rs 15-21 crore), the Bangalore-based IT company is seeing deals worth US$ 5-10 million (about Rs 30-60 crore) in the pipeline. It must be noted that the company's competitors such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Accenture have all built separate units to target digital business.

This article (Indian share markets open firm) is authored by Equitymaster.

Equitymaster is a leading 'independent' equity research initiative focused on providing well-researched and unbiased opinions on stocks listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.]]>
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 04:00:00 GMT http://www.equitymaster.com/tm/tm.asp?date=8/22/2014&title=Indian-share-markets-open-firm
How to choose the best mutual funds? http://www.equitymaster.com/tm/tm.asp?date=8/22/2014&title=How-to-choose-the-best-mutual-funds
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Mutual funds are supposed to make life easier for you, the equity investor, right?

In theory, that's what they are supposed to do. By taking away the job of actively choosing the right stocks for investment from investors who have neither the time nor the skills to do so.

Thus in the process enabling investors to invest in equities without the headaches involved.

But while they do help you sidestep the pains of stock picking, for the average investor, mutual fund picking ends up becoming a task no less arduous.

The numerous mutual funds houses, multiplied by the sheer number of mutual fund schemes offered by each mutual fund house, and you have a seemingly endless list of permutations and combinations.

So how does one choose the best mutual fund?

While we do not have an expertise in mutual funds, there are indeed a few common sense principles you can follow to help you along the way -

  1. Look at funds only from fund houses that are renowned names and have long track records. This could be a great initial filter to increase the probability that your funds will be managed in the right way.

  2. When looking at past performance, anything below 5 years could be completely meaningless. This is because in shorter time frames, even funds that do not have a sound process of picking stocks in place, could have a market beating performance. But as the flavor of the markets changes, longer term performance could be radically different.

  3. Invest in diversified funds rather than sector and theme based funds. If you do not have the expertise to pick stocks, there's no reason to assume that you will have the expertise to pick the right sectors to stake your money on.

  4. All else being equal, choose funds that have relatively lower expense ratios amongst the lot. The expense ratio is the amount of money the fund will charge you (as a percentage of the value of your funds) to manage your money.

  5. Do not invest all your money in one or two funds. Pick at least 5 funds carefully chosen with the above things in mind and spread your investment over these.
There is a lot more complexity and detail one could go into and keep track of as far as mutual funds are concerned.

However, if you are like the average investor, just like you do not have the time or expertise to do a detailed analysis for picking your own stocks, you will probably also not have the time or expertise to do a threadbare analysis of mutual funds. However the above principles will you hold you in good stead as broader guideposts to use while picking your equity mutual funds.

How do you choose the best mutual funds? Do share your views on the Equitymaster club.

This article (How to choose the best mutual funds?) is authored by Equitymaster.

Equitymaster is a leading 'independent' equity research initiative focused on providing well-researched and unbiased opinions on stocks listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.]]>
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:00:00 GMT http://www.equitymaster.com/tm/tm.asp?date=8/22/2014&title=How-to-choose-the-best-mutual-funds