Back in December 2007, Lotus India Mutual Funds launched India’s first “quant fund” called the Agile Fund. I use the term “quant fund” lightly when talking about Agile because it’s really an equity mutual fund dressed up. Most people would agree that a typical “quant fund” selects securities based on quantitative analysis, in agile they do that. However, their hands are tied because it’s a mutual fund, they can’t: go short, goto cash, derivatives or leverage. In essence they are stuck only going long in equities, when the product was launched in Dec 2007 it seemed like a good idea.
Their methodology is the model picks the top 11 stocks and investments are made in them on equal weighted basis. 9% of the total corpus is invested in each of these 11 stocks and the remaining 1% will be kept debt and money market instruments.
Well 6 months later how is the strategy working?
Sensex (Jan 1, 2008 to June 30) is down -33.4%
Agile (Jan 1, 2008 to June 30) is down -42%
I’m not saying all quant funds deliver performance but Agile is so limited in what it can do, it’s definitely not a “quant fund.” It’s just great marketing wrapped around a sub-par methodology.