Freefincal Q & A: Which is better to eat – butter or cheese ?

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Each week I try and answer generic questions on personal finance (this week has a creamy title-worthy question on nutrition). You can use the form below to ask questions.

Aniket Bhadane: 
When people say don’t expect returns of more 12% from Mutual funds, which returns are they talking about? CAGR, XIRR, rolling returns, absolute returns?

Pattu: They are referring to annualised returns. Which is equal to CAGR for a single investment and XIRR for multiple investments.

Rolling returns can refer to both XIRR – Mutual Fund SIP Rolling Returns Calculator

or CAGR – A tool to analyse the performance consistency of mutual funds

Absolute return refers to just gain or loss without any time in the calculation and is of no use.

To know more about these returns see:
CAGR vs. IRR: Understanding investment growth measures

Mahavir Gusain: Sir, your mutual fund screeners have been of great help in shortlisting equity and balanced funds. Reading your blogs has put me on the path to DIY investors. Is it possible to use the screeners to identify funds that may have performed above a certain expected return, say 10% maximum number of times over various time frames? Also, it would be of immense help to oldies like me if it was possible for you to devise similar screeners for debt funds? Thanks and blessings. Mahavir Gusain

Pattu: You can screen the data any which you want. The only caveat being that those screeners are for choosing a fund and not reviewing your existing holding. This is because the dates over which the returns are calculated in both cases are different.

Screening debt funds like equity funds is a dangerous exercise and lead to investments in funds like Taurus Liquid. Higher the return in a debt fund, higher the risk of default and/or high-interest rate sensitivity.

Read more: Free E-book: A Beginner’s Guide To Investing in Debt Mutual Funds

Prabhat Bhandari:  In response to Want To Lose Weight? Eat More Fat! hi, 1. is it better to have raw oil with salads rather than have burnt/heated oil as we have in our vegetables? 2. from healthy eating point of view, which is better to eat – butter or cheese ? 3. lastly, is it all right to have feta cheese in reasonable quantity regularly??

1: raw oil with salads will work well. Olive oil or coconut oil will work.

2:  Butter or Cheese?  I prefer cheese as they are a better source of proteins, calcium and has other minerals too. In particular, I find Cheddar cheese to have the higher protein content and lowest carbs. Nothing wrong with butter too.

The idea is to eat more direct fat and cut indirect fat like carbs and sugar. Butter and cheese have different uses and should be used appropriately.

cheese vs Butter nutrition
Source: Google screenshot of information sourced from USDA. Butter and Cheddar Cheese  

3: Eat Fetta cheese regularly?  Why not! As long as it agrees with you. Would suggest giving short breaks (a week maybe) in between.

Ps: I am obviously not a nutrition expert, but I enjoy such questions.

Sundararajan Srinivasan: In response to “What you need to know before choosing “Best/Top Mutual Funds”: The past is not a guarantee for the future… and this exercise potentially shows it with data. Having said that, I would think – it would be good to have ordered into a percentile (maybe into deciles) both for the prior period and the current period. That will help get a better picture of how much these funds have violently moved from their past. If it hugs close to the 45-degree line – then that would be the ideal world…

Pattu: I appreciate your point and agree with you, but statistical rigour does not sell! I have used a broad band like top -25 to show that at least 50% of them do not remain in the group.  This is equivalent to about 3 deciles in most cases. So that is reasonable evidence imo 🙂

DC: Hi Pattu, I liked your post “What you need to know before choosing “Best/Top Mutual Funds“. One question I have is – is there any research that can tell us how sound the investing strategy of the mutual fund and their manager is, something that can foolproof us from the performance dips you stated in the article? For example I was reading some articles about the fund manager for the fund before I invested in it. Thanks, DC

Pattu:  Short answer: no. Whether I look at the NAV, calculate returns or other risk parameters or look inside the portfolio and gauge the stock choices, it is past performance.  So we cannot think of a fool proof way to protect us from performance dips … unless you choose an index fund portfolio.


Pattu: You don’t need to!

Anonymous: Hi Pattu, Is it a good idea to invest in Company FD/Bonds as part of Debt allocation? Also how to select Company FD/Bonds?

Pattu: Choosing a company FD is similar to choosing a stock. Equity is direct ownership and this is indirect ownership. So we should go beyond credit ratings and look at the financial health of the comany. How much profit is it generating? Is it paying tax? Is it having too much debt? Is it selling its own stock? etc before deciding to fund a company’s operations and profit from it.


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About the Author M Pattabiraman author of freefincal.comM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the author and owner of  He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras since Aug 2006. Pattu” as he is popularly known, has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management.  He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. Pattu publishes unbiased, promotion-free research, analysis and holistic money management advice. Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with numbers based analysis on topical issues and has more than a 100 free calculators on different aspects of insurance and investment analysis. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates  and associations(see details below). Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, TamilNadu Investors Association etc. Contact information: freefincal {at} Gmail {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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