List of worst equity mutual funds (Jan 2013 to Dec 2023)

Published: December 10, 2023 at 6:00 am

Last Updated on December 10, 2023 at 8:28 am

This is a list of the worst-performing equity mutual funds over every possible five, four, and three periods—study period: From inception of direct plans (Jan 2013) to Dec 8th 2023.

Some caveats before we begin:  (1) The definition of a “worst mutual fund” is as arbitrary as the definition of a “best mutual fund”. We hope it is a reasonable definition, considering the high fees demanded by the MF industry.  According to a Morningstar study, this is one of the highest in the world. (2) We choose a representative category benchmark and compare the fund’s returns with the benchmark over the above-mentioned periods. The choice of the benchmark is also arbitrary but reasonably representative. (3) SEBI mutual fund categorization rules were implemented by May-June 2018. Some funds (particularly those from smaller AMCs) may have changed significantly in style after that. An exhaustive filtration taking these changes into account is beyond the capabilities of this study.

(4) A fund labelled as “worst” means a careful, deeper investigation of its past performance is necessary, particularly if you invest in it or consider future investments. (5) Sectoral funds/ thematic funds are compared with Nifty 100 TRI. As a data analyst, this choice is incorrect. However, as an investor, it makes sense, and that is more important! We are not trying to submit a thesis here! If a thematic fund fails against a large cap index, it is an avoidable fund for most investors.

How a worst mutual fund is defined

Say 800 five-year return periods are possible, 1025 four-year, and 1300 three-year return periods. We shall define a fund as “worst” if it has beaten the benchmark for less than 50% of the 5Y, 4Y and 3Y return periods.


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Using our monthly Equity Mutual Fund Screener, we filter out all funds with a rolling return outperformance consistency of less than 50% over five, four, and three years, provided there are at least 1000 rolling return data points over five years. This will be our definition of a “worst fund”. We make no claim of superiority over this definition. While appreciating that not all readers will agree with the methodology used, we feel this is reasonable.

NOTE: Investors holding these funds need not exit them in a hurry. Please use this as a sign to dig deeper and re-evaluate these funds. A fund not on this list does not mean it is a “good fund” or an outperformer!

The filtration process

A total of 404 equity mutual funds were studied from these categories and against these benchmarks.

CategoryBenchmark
Aggressive Hybrid FundCrisil6535
Dividend Yield FundNifty 100 TRI
ELSSN200TRI
Focussed FundNifty Largemidcap 250 TRI
Large & Mid Cap FundNifty Largemidcap 250 TRI
Large Cap FundNifty 100 TRI
Mid Cap FundNiftyMidcap150TRI
Multi Cap FundNifty Largemidcap 250 TRI
Flexi Cap FundNifty Largemidcap 250 TRI
Sectoral/ ThematicNifty 100 TRI
Sectoral/ Thematic (international)Nifty 100 TRI
Small Cap FundNiftyMidcap150TRI
Value FundNifty 100 TRI

We are left with  100 funds after applying the above filter.

Aggressive Hybrid Funds vs  Crisil65:35 Aggressive Hybrid Index

Aditya Birla Sun Life Equity Hybrid’95 Fund – Direct Plan-Growth
Baroda BNP Paribas Aggressive Hybrid Fund- DIRECT PLAN – GROWTH OPTION
JM Equity Hybrid Fund (Direct) – Growth Option
L&T Hybrid Equity Fund – Direct Plan-Growth
LIC MF Equity Hybrid Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
Nippon India Equity Hybrid Fund- Direct Plan Growth Plan
Shriram Hybrid Equity Fund- Direct Growth
Tata Hybrid Equity Fund -Direct Plan- Growth Option

ELSS vs N200TRI

Edelweiss Long Term Equity Fund (Tax Savings) – Direct Plan-Growth Option
Franklin India TAXSHIELD – Direct – Growth
HDFC Taxsaver – Growth Option – Direct Plan
HSBC Tax Saver Equity Fund – Growth Direct
IDBI Equity Advantage Fund – Growth Direct
L&TTax Advantage Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
LIC MF Tax Plan-Direct Plan-Growth
Nippon India Tax Saver Fund – Direct Plan Growth Plan – Growth Option
SBI LONG TERM EQUITY FUND – DIRECT PLAN -GROWTH
Sundaram Diversified Equity (ELSS) Direct Plan – Growth
Union Long Term Equity Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option

Dividend Yield Fund vs Nifty 100 TRI

Aditya Birla Sun Life Dividend Yield Fund – Growth – Direct Plan
UTI-Dividend Yield Fund.-Growth-Direct

Large Cap Fund vs Nifty 100 TRI

Aditya Birla Sun Life Frontline Equity Fund – Growth – Direct Plan
DSP Top 100 Equity Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
Franklin India Bluechip Fund- Direct – Growth
HDFC Top 100 Fund – Growth Option – Direct Plan
HSBC Large Cap Equity Fund – Growth Direct
IDFC Large Cap Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
Indiabulls Blue Chip Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option
JM Large Cap Fund (Direct) – Growth Option
L&T India Large Cap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
LIC MF Large Cap Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
Navi Large Cap Equity Fund-Direct Plan-Growth Option
Tata Large Cap Fund -Direct Plan Growth Option
Taurus Largecap Equity Fund – Direct Plan – Growth

Sectoral/ Thematic vs Nifty 100 TRI

Aditya Birla Sun Life MNC Fund – Growth – Direct Plan
Baroda BNP Paribas Banking and Financial Services Fund – Direct – Growth Option
HDFC Infrastructure Fund – Growth Option – Direct Plan
HSBC Infrastructure Equity Fund – Growth Direct
ICICI Prudential Infrastructure Fund – Direct Plan -Growth
LIC MF Infrastructure Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
Nippon India Power & Infra Fund – Direct Plan Growth Plan – Growth Option
Nippon India Quant Fund – Direct Plan Growth Plan – Growth Option
SBI PSU Fund – DIRECT PLAN – GROWTH
Sundaram Infrastructure Advantage Fund Direct Plan – Growth
UTI – MNC Fund – Growth Option – Direct
UTI Banking and Financial Services Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option
UTI India Consumer Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option
UTI Infrastructure Fund-Growth Option- Direct

Sectoral/ Thematic (international) vs Nifty 100 TRI

Aditya Birla Sun Life Commodity Equities Fund – Global Agri Plan – Growth – Direct Plan
Aditya Birla Sun Life International Equity Fund – Plan A – Growth – Direct Plan
Aditya Birla Sun Life International Equity Fund – Plan B – Growth – Direct Plan
Franklin Asian Equity Fund – Direct – Growth
Nippon India Japan Equity Fund- Direct Plan- Growth Plan- Growth Option

Value Fund vs Nifty 100 TRI

UTI Value Opportunities Fund- Direct Plan – Growth Option

Flexicap vs Nifty Largemidcap 250 TRI

Franklin India Flexi Cap Fund – Direct – Growth
HDFC Flexi Cap Fund – Growth Option – Direct Plan
HSBC Flexi Cap Fund – Growth Direct
IDBI FLEXI CAP FUND Growth Direct
L&T Flexicap Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
LIC MF Flexi Cap Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
Motilal Oswal Flexi cap Fund Direct Plan-Growth Option
Taurus Flexi Cap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
Union Flexi Cap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option

Focussed Fund vs Nifty Largemidcap 250 TRI

Aditya Birla Sun Life Focused Equity Fund – Growth – Direct Plan
DSP Focus Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
HDFC Focused 30 Fund – Growth Option – Direct Plan
ICICI Prudential Focused Equity Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
IDFC Focused Equity Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
Motilal Oswal Focused 25 Fund (MOF25)- Direct Plan Growth Option

Large & Mid Cap Fund vs Nifty Largemidcap 250 TRI

Aditya Birla Sun Life Equity Advantage Fund – Growth – Direct Plan
BOI AXA Large & Mid Cap Equity Fund Direct Plan-Growth
Franklin India Equity Advantage Fund – Direct – Growth
HDFC Large and Mid Cap Fund – Growth Option – Direct Plan
ICICI Prudential Large & Mid Cap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
IDFC Core Equity Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
L&T Large and Midcap Fund-Direct Plan-Growth
Nippon India Vision Fund – Direct Plan Growth Plan – Growth Option
Tata Large & MId Cap Fund -Direct Plan- Growth Option
UTI – Core Equity Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option

Multi Cap Fund vs Nifty Largemidcap 250 TRI

Baroda BNP Paribas MULTI CAP FUND – Direct Plan – Growth Option
ICICI Prudential Multicap Fund – Direct Plan -Growth
IDFC MULTI CAP FUND – GROWTH – DIRECT PLAN
Invesco India Multicap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option
Nippon India Multi Cap Fund – Direct Plan Growth Plan – Growth Option

Mid Cap Fund vs NiftyMidcap150TRI

Aditya Birla Sun Life Midcap Fund – Growth – Direct Plan
BARODA BNP PARIBAS Mid Cap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option
Franklin India Prima Fund – Direct – Growth
ICICI Prudential MidCap Fund – Direct Plan -Growth
Motilal Oswal Midcap 30 Fund (MOF30)-Direct Plan-Growth Option
quant Mid Cap Fund – Growth Option – Direct Plan
Sundaram Mid Cap Fund Direct Plan – Growth
Taurus Discovery (Midcap) Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
UTI Mid Cap Fund-Growth Option- Direct

Small Cap Fund vs NiftyMidcap150TRI

Aditya Birla Sun Life Small Cap Fund – Growth – Direct Plan
Franklin India Smaller Companies Fund – Direct – Growth
HSBC Small Cap Equity Fund – Growth Direct
ICICI Prudential Smallcap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
Sundaram Small Cap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option
Union Small Cap Fund – Direct Plan – Growth Option

To reiterate: Investors holding these funds need not exit them quickly. Please use this as a sign to dig deeper and re-evaluate these funds. A fund not on this list does not mean it is a “good fund” or an outperformer!

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