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Meant for testing times

Franklin India Taxshield fund can stem its slide during market downturns and reward investors when the tide turns

Strategy
The primary objective of the fund is to provide medium to long term growth of capital along with income tax rebate. It has a portfolio of 50-55 stocks across market caps and its asset base has steadily increased over the years and it is the eight-largest fund with an average AUM of Rs 924.16 crore as on June 30, 2013.
The fund remains highly invested as its equity allocation has been above 90 per cent since 2003. It does not resort to high cash exposure even in an unfavourable market.

Performance
The fund shows resilience during market downturns. It has been one of the top-5 funds in terms of performance every time the market has crashed.
But it is not part of the top performing funds when the markets are rising. For instance, it fell only 15.19 per cent as compared to the category average of 23.82 per cent in 2011 but in 2012 it lagged behind its peers when the markets changed tack.
In the long term, though, its returns seem attractive as its trailing 3-year return of 3.96 per cent and 5-year return of 9.52 per cent are higher than the category average of -0.83 per cent and 4.79 per cent. Coming to the portfolio, it has consistently invested in stocks like Infosys, Quantum Info, Grasim Industries, L&T, Marico and Reliance Industries. Its highest single stock holding in the last 3 years has been around 8 per cent in Infosys and Bharti Airtel. Currrently, it is overweight on healthcare and energy and underweight on FMCG and construction, benchmark wise.

Why invest?
This fund belongs to one of the oldest fund houses and falls in the least volatile category. Its low expense ratio also raises its appeal.