The performance of debt funds varies with the changing interest rates. If the interest rates are rising, then the debt funds experience a drop in returns. Conversely, in a falling interest rate cycle, the debt fund earns good returns. Dynamic Mutual Funds benefit from both rising and falling interest-rate cycles by altering their portfolio allocations between long-term and short-term bonds. This allows the fund to offer steady returns regardless of the interest rate cycle. Here, we will explore Dynamic Bond Funds and talk about everything that you need to know about them before investing.
What are Dynamic Mutual Funds?
Dynamic Mutual Funds have a ‘dynamic’ maturity as well as composition. These funds have an investment objective of delivering optimum returns in falling as well as rising market cycles. The fund manager of a dynamic debt fund manages the portfolio dynamically with respect to the changes in the interest rates.
Talking about interest rates, it is important to note that there can be pauses between interest rate changes. These pauses can affect the returns on bonds too. Hence, Dynamic Mutual Funds are a good option for investors who want to generate returns from their bond investments regardless of the interest rates.
How do Dynamic Funds work?
The important feature of a dynamic fund is that it switches between short-term and long-term securities in n time. So, if the fund manager feels that the interest rates are about to drop, he switches to long-term bonds. On the other hand, if he feels that the interest rates have reached the lowest peak and will only rise from here, he safeguards his losses from long-term bonds by switching to short-term bonds. This helps help iron out the creases caused by abrupt interest rate changes. Further, the fund manager of a dynamic debt fund also invests in gilts or corporate bonds depending on his expectation of the interest rate change.
Who should invest in Dynamic Mutual Funds?
Market savvy investors who are adept in analyzing interest rate movements and investing accordingly can create their own dynamic bond portfolio. However, most investors are not savvy enough to make the best calls. Such investors should opt for Dynamic Funds with an investment horizon of around three to five years. Further, investors need a moderate risk tolerance to invest in these funds. SIPs are a good way to approach these funds as you can counter interest rate volatility better.
Factors to consider before investing in Dynamic Mutual Funds in India
Here are some important aspects that you must consider before investing in dynamic funds in India:
The Fund Manager
Since the dynamicity of a Dynamic Fund depends on the right call about interest rate movement, the fund manager plays a crucial role in the success of these funds. Hence, it is important to research the fund manager and see how he has performed over various interest rate cycles.
Interest rates and returns from bonds can be impacted by macroeconomic factors like changed government policies, fiscal deficit, oil and gas prices, etc. You should make an effort to stay aware of these changes and invest for a longer tenure. This will help you eliminate short-term risks.
The primary risk faced by investors of a dynamic fund is the error of judgment of the fund manager. The duration strategy can ensure good returns provided you keep altering the portfolio according to the rate changes in the market. A slip-up can cause losses.
No Fixed Investment Mandate
Almost all debt funds have to strictly comply with the investment mandate. For example, a long duration debt fund has to invest in long-term securities. However, dynamic funds are not tied down to any investment mandate. They can invest in any debt securities according to the interest rate movement.
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Some Additional Tips
- Look at the performance of the fund over the last five years.
- Keep a minimum investment horizon of three years
- Avoid NFOs of dynamic funds. Instead, opt for those which have been running for at least five to seven years.