Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund Review: Balancing Returns and Risk

This is a review and portfolio history analysis of Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund, an open-ended dynamic asset allocation fund based on the Motilal Oswal Value Index to determine equity exposure

Published: December 1, 2019 at 12:37 pm

This is a review of  Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund, an open-ended dynamic asset allocation fund which uses the Motilal Oswal Value Index (MOVI), a proprietary index, to determine direct equity exposure. The fund was launched in Sep 2016 and has an AUM of Rs. 1293 Crores at the time of writing.

The low AUM is probably because of the market up-swing during most of this period. Investors recognise the value of hybrid funds only the markets fall while it would be a good idea to use them as a core portfolio holding: Why Aggressive Hybrid (balanced) Mutual Funds score over diversified funds

MOVI used by Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund is based on a combination of Nifty PE, PB and Dividend Yield. This index has been analyzed in detail before: Deconstructing the Motilal Oswal Value Index (MOVI) and therefore only key points will be discussed here. A backtest of using the MOVI for timing the market is also available: Market Timing with the Motilal Oswal Value Index (MOVI). The index historical data is maintained at the AMC site

The fund will increase equity allocation if the market valuation appears cheap (as per the MOVI) and decrease equity allocation if expensive. According to AMC’s scheme presentation, this is not the same as market timing! Which is quite baffling, to say the least. It even has this quote:

Timing the market is a fool’s game, whereas time in the market is your greatest natural advantage – Nick Murray

When a fund changes equity allocation depending on market conditions, it does not exactly practice “time in the market” does it?

It is also surprising that the AMC chooses to downplay the dynamic asset allocation part in its investment objective and use standard jargon:

The investment objective is to generate long term capital appreciation by investing in equity and equity-related instruments including equity derivatives, debt, money market instruments and units issued by REITs and InvITs

A look at this alone, one will assume this is just another diversified equity-oriented fund.

Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund: Key Attributes

  1. Asset Allocation as determined by MOVI levels (see below)
  2. Minimum direct equity (without derivative positions) will be 30%
  3. Equity (including derivatives) exposure will range from 65% to 100%
  4. Derivatives (arbitrage) exposure: up to 35%
  5. Bonds up to 35% (Government Securities,
    Corporate Debt, Other debt instruments and Money
    Market Instruments)
  6. REITs and InvITs up to 10%
  7. Rebalancing frequency: Twice a month.
  8. Benchmark: CRISIL Hybrid 35+65 – Aggressive TRI

Asset Allocation Strategy

As mentioned above, the fund uses a propriety index maintained by the NSE called the MOVI. It combines the 30-day moving average of the Nifty PE, PB and Dividend Yield (see article link above for approximate formula).  This is the asset allocation chart sourced from the scheme document.

Asset Allocation Scheme of Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund

Historical Asset Allocation

The historical asset allocation pattern of the fund is shown below.

Asset Allocation History of Motilal Oswal Dynamic FundHistorical Asset Type Allocation

The asset allocation history plotted above can be broken down into direct equity (long positions), derivatives (arbitrage, which is shown above 100%) and the types of bonds held.

Asset Type Allocation History of Motilal Oswal Dynamic FundMarket  Cap  Allocation  History

So far the fund has had a strong large cap tilt although it has no cap or sector restrictions.

Bond Type History

The fund has less than AAA quality bonds but considering the low overall bond allocation, this should not be a worrying factor.

Bond Type History of Motilal Oswal Dynamic FundBond Maturity Profile History

The Fund seems to have increased short-term bond holdings after early 2018 (after the SEBI categorization rules)

Bond Maturity Profile History of Motilal Oswal Dynamic FundPerformance of Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund

The NAV growth of Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund, ICIC Pru Balanced Advantage Fund (PB-based), Franklin Dynamic Asset Allocation FOF (PE-based), Nifty 100 and CRISIL Hybrid (65% equity) is shown below.

Performance of Motilal Oswal Dynamic FundMotilal Oswal Dynamic has noticeably lower volatility than the two indices. Since inception, it also has a marginally higher volatility than ICIC Balanced Advantage. The Franklin fund has the lowest volatility (as measured by the standard deviation of daily returns) but also the lowest return (it is also taxed like a debt fund).

Summary

Motilal Oswal Dynamic Fund has a balanced risk and reward when compared with the NIfty 100 since inception. It can be considered by investors with a mature approach to portfolio management with high-risk management expectations and low return expectations.  It can be used for long-term goals, ten years or more with suitable asset allocation considerations.

The MOVI strategy is not particularly superior to using PE or PB metrics alone, but compared to the ICICI fund, the AUM here is quite low and unlikely to swell as fast.  Compared to the Franklin PE-based FOF the risk is higher but taxation is favourable making it a reasonable long-term choice. However, it will have to be held in significant proportion in order to make a difference.

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