We have been looking at this fund for years. And have consistently emphasized the fact that it can go ahead of its peers only to fall way back when the going gets tough. While historically that has always proved to be the case, recent evidence too points in that direction. Naturally, one is not surprised to see that in 2006 it was the best performing fund. But in 2007, it underperformed the category average.
After getting nailed during the tech debacle, ICICI Prudential Technology realized (like some of its peers) that it could perform better than the norm if it also invested outside the tech sector. So one cannot really fault it for a broad mandate that includes media and entertainment, telecom and the internet business. Though what’s baffling is the exposure to the healthcare sector. Over the years, it had held stocks like Ranbaxy, Plethico Pharmaceuticals, Vivimed Laboratories, Wockhard, Divi's Laboratories, Elder Pharmaceuticals etc. Like all tech funds, it started off as a large-cap offering. From 2002 onwards, it shifted towards a mid-cap stance and from July last year, it has boldly been picking up small cap stocks. So Wipro, HCL and Infosys are conspicuous in their absence while Satyam Computer and TCS jostle for space with Tanla Solutions, Deccan Chronicle, Vakrangee Software, eClerx Services, 3i Infotech and Patni Computers. Though the portfolio is well diversified with around 26 stocks, when the fund manager is convinced about a stock, he rides his bet.
With the highest standard deviation amongst its peers, it has the potential to boldly surprise. But do ensure that you stick on for long and don’t fret at market downturns.