August 2023

Put checks in place to curb overconfidence

The ability to deceive potential mates provided an initial evolutionary advantage to our ancestors. Then the advantage shifted to those who could detect the tell tale signs of lying leading to an arm race between detection and deception. Self deception evolved to mask deception better, hiding the truth from oneself to hide it better from others. Impact of Self deception (or over confidence) is not limited to mating partners however and it impacts all walks of life including personal finance. Harsh’s article in Business Standard today.

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Index fund or ETFs? Compare total cost

Harsh’s article in Business Standard on how a fixation on expense ratio has led to a preference for exchange traded funds over comparable index funds among some investors. In the case of ETFs the NAV is only of guidance value and the market price paid by investors buying the ETF is higher than the NAV and the investors selling the ETF is lower than the NAV. The difference between market price and the NAV imposes an additional cost. Besides, there is brokerage fee, which amplifies an ETF´s tracking error
Hence the tracking error based on market price is way higher than the tracking error of comparable index funds. The incipient movement towards Fund of Index funds across asset categories has been the inadvertent victim of the hastily introduced tax amendment targeting debt funds in the last budget. Hopefully we should see this corrected in the next full budget and index based FoFs will play a pivotal part in passive investing in the future.

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