What is wrong with ICICI Prudential Value Discovery Fund?

Last Updated on

A so -called bull market reveals interesting behavioural traits. The worry about the dip in performance of ICICI Prudential Value Discovery Fund is part fact and part behavioural (in my opinion, of course). A look at the performance of this fund.

One feeling a bull market brings about is, “why is my fund alone not performing when all other funds are giving huge returns?” Another is the feeling that the “bull run” will never end. It suddenly seems to investors that “this is how it is going to be, from now on” (until it all comes crashing down).  When both of them combine it suddenly feels as if I am holding a dud fund and that I must immediately exit and choose funds that has given “others” 29.5% in the last year and 43% in the last six months.

Diversification is for idiots. That is the plain truth of the matter. When the “entire market” (read index) is moving up, all my funds also should move up, no?

ICICI Prudential Value Discovery Fund supposedly follows “value investing” principles. It takes “contra” views and all value funds underperform during bull markets. This is the wisdom many experts want us to believe.

Now, I like numbers because they are not subjective (if the onlooker is objective). So to hell with all this value investing vs growth investing arguments. A simple Google search will reveal in under a minute that there is no clear definition of what a value stock is and what a growth stock is. So there is no pointing debating about the fund’s strategy. We have no idea why the fund manager (or is it management with Naren keeping in eye?) purchase the stocks in the latest factsheet. So why bother speculating?

An investor worried about this funds performance should instead ask why they purchased this fund in the first place and what is its role in the equity portfolio? An investor who cannot answer these questions, especially the second one, need help!

Now let us take a deeper look. This is a snapshot from the latest factsheet.

The undperformance over the last 1Y, (a little more than 2Y if you use Value Research scroll bar) is real. There is no question about that.

Question is, should you then get rid of this fund?

I generally avoid looking at 1Y rolling returns data as it is noisy for most funds. For this fund though, this is how it looks vs BSE 500 price index.

The normalised NAV movement during this period is shown below.

Wait a minute. This is just the price index. Let us include dividends in the BSE 500 and consider the total returns index (TRI).

I see a more than reasonable consistency in the funds 1Y performance (rolled over from April 2006 to July 20th). When the market zoomed up, the fund has not done well. Notice the underperformance in the normalised NAV prior 2008.

On the other hand. the fund has beat the market quite well during sideways markets.  I don’t know about you, but I like what I see and think there is no reason for alarm with regard to its recent underperformance. There is no factual evidence to suggest a big change in its performance traits.

For those who believe in the Sensex Staircase  (short burst in growth, followed by years of sideways markets), for those who understand that what goes up will have to come down, this fund is a fantastic choice.

Returns in equity are highly nonlinear. A few bad years can be erased by a good year and vice versa. So if you cannot stomach such underperformance than add a fund which just does the opposite – beat the market when it goes up and not when it goes down (fall less). It is not hard to find such funds. Perhaps they are called “growth fund”? I don’t know you will have to ask the experts.

Verdict: Don’t worry about the performance of this fund. If you trust that it will stay true to its character, then hold on to it. Not all funds should perform during a bull market. Then your portfolio is not diversified – if you believe in such nonsense that is.

Disclosure: No ties with ICICI, no holdings in this fund.


Announcement: Travel to Europe at 40-50% lower air fares!!
Pranav Surya just posted in AIFW that “Oman Air + Lufthansa are running a fantastic promotion for cities to travel from Delhi”. If you want to avail such huge discounts (eg. Delhi to Berlin only Rs. 23K) , follow the steps pointed out in our new book: GameChanger (Rs. 199 hardcover; Rs. 99 Kindle). Additional tips are available in the Travel Training Kit (Rs. 199)

Ask Questions with this form

And I will respond to them coming Monday. I welcome tough questions. Please do not ask for investment advice. Before asking, please search the site if the issue has already been discussed. Thank you.  PLEASE DO NOT POST COMMENTS WITH THIS FORM it is for questions only.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

GameChanger– Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Live The Rich Life You want

My second book, Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantco-authored with Pranav Surya is now available at Amazon as paperback (₹ 199) and Kindle (free in unlimited or ₹ 99 – you could read with their free app on PC/tablet/mobile, no kindle necessary).

It is a book that tells you how to travel anywhere on a budget and specific investment advice for young earners.

The ultimate guide to travel by Pranav Surya is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step.  Get the pdf for ₹199 (instant download)

You can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing 

My first book with PV Subramanyam helps you ask the risk questions about money, seek simple solutions and find your own personalised answers with nine online calculator modules.

The book is available at:

Amazon Hardcover Rs. 271. 32% OFF

Infibeam Now just Rs. 270  32% OFF. If you use a mobikwik wallet, and purchase via infibeam, you can get up to 100% cashback!!

Flipkart Rs. 279. 30% off

Kindle at Amazon.in (Rs.271) Read with free app

Google PlayRs. 271 Read on your PC/Tablet/Mobile

Now in Hindi!

Order the Hindi version via this link


Do share if you found this useful

About the Author M Pattabiraman author of freefincal.comM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the author and owner of freefincal.com.  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)
Want to conduct a sales-free "basics of money management" session in your office?
I conduct free seminars to employees or societies. Only the very basics and getting-started steps are discussed (no scary math):For example: How to define financial goals, how to save tax with a clear goal in mind; How to use a credit card for maximum benefit; When to buy a house; How to start investing; where to invest; how to invest for and after retirement etc. depending on the audience. If you are interested, you can contact me: freefincal [at] Gmail [dot] com. I can do the talk via conferencing software, so there is no cost for your company. If you want me to travel, you need to cover my airfare (I live in Chennai)

Connect with us on social media

Content Policy

Freefincal has original unbiased, conflict-of-interest-free,  topical reports, reviews, commentary and analysis on all aspects of personal finance like mutual funds, stocks, insurance etc. All guest authors and contributors to the site also do not have any conflict of interest. If you find the content useful, please consider supporting us by (1) sharing our articles and (2) disabling ad-blockers for our site if you are using one. No promotional content We do not accept sponsored posts and link exchange requests from content writers and agencies. This is our privacy policy Our website is non-profit in nature. The revenue from the advertisement will only be used for hosting charges, domain registration charges, specific plugins necessary for traffic growth and analytics services for search engine optimisation.

Do check out my books

You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingMy first book is meant to help you ask the right questions, seek the right answers and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now.  It is also available in Kindle format.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You WantGamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantMy second book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner

The ultimate guide to travel by Pranav Surya

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover This is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step.  Get the pdf for ₹199 (instant download)

Free Apps for your Android Phone

All calculators from our book, “You can be Rich Too” are now available on Google Play!
Install Financial Freedom App! (Google Play Store)
Install Freefincal Retirement Planner App! (Google Play Store)
Find out if you have enough to say "FU" to your employer (Google Play Store)

Blog Comment Policy

Your thoughts are vital to the health of this blog and are the driving force behind the analysis and calculators that you see here. We welcome criticism and differing opinions. I will do my very best to respond to all comments asap. Please do not include hyperlinks or email ids in the comment body. Such comments will be moderated and I reserve the right to delete the entire comment or remove the links before approving them.


  1. Pattu Sir,

    Sorry for the intrusive question. Earlier you had mentioned you hold HET, FIBF, QLTE and PPFAS in your retirement portfolio and HT200 and IPVDF in your son’s portfolio. Can you please let us know which ones you are holding now. You recently mentioned that you have added 2 balanced funds. Sorry if i offend!

    Another superb article though. Just 3 years back everyone was latching onto to IPVDF and Axis LTE. Now they are worried about performance. Something similar may happen with SBI Bluechip soon too

    1. I am not offended but I fail to see how this information will be of any use! I did not say I added two balanced funds. I said I have built a balanced fund centric folio.

  2. I think Value Discovery will continue to perform poorly until Pharma (10.99%) and Tech (15.95%) don’t do well. S.Naren clearly believes Pharma and Telecom and to some extent IT to perform well over long term and is his contra bets now…

    Above numbers are from Jun-2017 fact sheet

  3. ICICI Prudential Value Discovery fund was a mid cap fund earlier before it became a multi-cap. Now that it’s a multi-cap fund I am not sure how that affects any inferences that we make looking at 5/7 years data.

  4. Dear Prof,
    It is a value fund and we should expect to under-perform a little during bull markets (has been more than a year now). But the next question is how long should one stick to it if it continues its under-performance? For other regular funds, we wait for a year to see if there is a turn around.


    1. 1) I dont know how to distinguish a value fund from a growth fund.
      2) I dont know any formula with regard to how long one should wait for a turnaround. It is a personal call.

  5. Dear Professor
    Please analyse nanocap (dspbr micro cap) too which was/is dear fund, becoming dearer of late
    D Mundra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *