Franklin India Balanced Fund

Franklin India Balanced Fund scheme seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation with stability of investment and current income from a balanced portfolio of high quality equity and fixed-income securities.

Franklin India Balanced Fund, which has never dipped below three stars in the last 12 years, this fund is the ideal fit for conservative investors. It takes very few risks both on its equity- or debt-market investments.

Franklin India Balanced Fund mandate allows an asset allocation of 50-75 per cent in equities. But in practice, the fund has maintained about a 68-32 allocation between equity and debt on a steady-state basis. The equity style followed is growth at a reasonable price. The fund manager also uses a macro overlay to align the sectoral exposure in line with the economic growth outlook.

On debt Investment, the focus is to generate regular coupon income, along with some capital appreciation through active duration management. The debt portfolio is usually invested in corporate-debt instruments.

With its stated focus on low-volatility returns, this fund has navigated bear markets as well as bull phases. Though traditionally a sedate performer in bull markets, in the last three and five years, the fund has beaten its benchmark by 5-6 percentage points. The outperformance relative to the category is more modest, at 1-2 percentage points.

In recent times, the fund has been overweight on large-cap stocks relative to the category, with an allocation of over 85 per cent within the equity portion. It has been underweight on mid- and small-cap stocks. This should shield returns from volatility should markets decline.

On the debt side, the latest portfolio featured AA exposure of about 8 per cent, with the bulk of the allocation in sovereign and AAA bonds.

A good option for investors who would like to limit downside.

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