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DSP BlackRock Opportunities

Volatility and spectacular returns to be a thing of the past

This one is probably as safe as you can get with an opportunities fund. Consistent returns, a very diversified portfolio with a tilt towards large caps will make investors feel safe here. But in providing this level of comfort, it has moved away from being a true opportunities fund.

But that's not how it started off. In its early years, it stayed loyal to its mandate. To cite just one example, in the three month period between February and April 2001, its allocation to construction moved from 13 per cent to just 3 per cent and back to 17 per cent. During that same period, allocation to diversified moved from 12 per cent to 7 per cent to bounce back to 12 per cent. While energy inched upward from 18 per cent to 21 per cent to drastically drop to 9.77 per cent.

It was not just its movement in and out of sectors, it also boldly rode its bets - be it stock specific or sector. Allocation to technology in its early days at one time touched 60 per cent (June 2000) while the number of stocks averaged 21 in its initial years.

But the fund has mellowed over the years to now resemble a more diversified offering. The number of stocks averaged 80 in 2008 and this year has hovered around 70. Since 2003, the allocation to a particular sector has not crossed 20 per cent. Prior to that year, allocation to a particular stock often exceeded 7 per cent but has happened just four times after that.

The fund is no longer that nimble and around three quarter of the stocks it has invested in so far, are held for six months or more with stocks like Grasim Industries and Infosys Technologies being there almost since inception.

The returns too reflect the tamed nature. In 2003, the fund delivered a return of 138 per cent. No longer will you see such spectacular returns, but neither will you have to deal with volatile ups and downs.

This fund has delivered an annualised return of 16.56 per cent over the past five years (as on April 30, 2009) with the second lowest standard deviation (30.47) in its category. In fact, this is around 2 per cent lower than the average standard deviation of equity diversified funds. Low volatility, consistent returns and lack of aggression are the marks of this oldest player in the opportunities fund category.