Axis Mutual Funds are Worst Performers in last 1 year – Is there something to worry now?

Axis MF fund manager scam broke out 6 months back. Axis AMC has also taken action against the fund managers who have minted money and were enjoying lavish lifestyle and driving luxurious sports car. All this is history, good, but why this article now? Is there something investors need to worry now. Yes, there are some observations now. How are the Axis Mutual Fund Schemes Performance in the last 1 year? Are there any interesting or scary observations investors need to worry about it?

Also Read: Which MFs generated highest SIP returns in last 10 years?

What is Axis MF scam all about?

Let me recap what happened in this case.

Axis Mutual Funds are Worst Performers in last 1 year – Is there something to worry now

The axis mutual fund has found irregularities in February, 2022 that few fund managers were involved in allegations in the front running. Front running means a broker or fund manager has exclusive information about the stocks being purchased or sold in huge quantities and use such information for personal benefits. This front running is illegal in India.

Means, fund managers passed on this info to brokers who in turn gave hefty money to them. Brokers used this info to buy or sell stocks upfront before Axis MF was buying / selling the stocks. Means Axis MF were buying stocks at higher prices or selling at lower prices as prices would have already shot-up or fallen by then as people used this info on that day or week.

However, this news came out only in May-22 after 3 months of scam. Axis MF was hiding till then.

In August, 2022, IT has seiezed unaccounted cash deposits of Rs 55 crores from Viresh Joshi, Axis fund manager This gentleman not only shared info with brokers, but also to other middlemen and to people in power in foreign jurisdictions. He received cash deposits from these people. There were several other people who got involved too.

Why this article now?

In the past several years, Axis MF’s were consistent performers. Since it is 6 months where such scam came out and almost 9 months after Axis MF has identified these irregularities and it is good for investors to know whether they need to worry or whether they should not worry.

Let us look at the Axis Mutual fund performance in the last 1 year from large cap, Midcap, smallcap, flexicap and ELSS category.

Funds 1 Yr Ret (%)
Axis Focused 25 Fund -15.61
Axis Long Term Equity Fund -13.54
Axis Bluechip Fund -7.75
Axis Flexi Cap Fund -7.50
Axis Midcap Fund -2.67
Axis Small Cap Fund 8.33

Does this list make any sense to you. The answer is NO. These are just nos. There is no way anyone can make out with such simple list is there something wrong with the funds right?

Axis Mutual Funds – comparison of performance with peers in respective segment

Since we cannot make out with simple list, now let us compare the respective funds with its peers in descending order. Why descending order, because, the majority of the axis mutual funds are loss making the last 1 year. Checking whether such loss is in line with peers or abnormal can help investors to assess the risk they are carrying in Axis mutual funds.

1) Axis Large Cap Mutual Fund Vs. Peers – Largecap segment (returns in descending order)

Equity Largecap 1 Yr Ret (%)
Axis Bluechip Fund -7.75
Franklin India Bluechip Fund -6.30
Bank of India Bluechip Fund -6.23
ITI Large Cap Fund -5.75
Union Largecap Fund -5.52
Invesco India Largecap Fund -4.78
LIC MF Large Cap Fund -4.72
PGIM India Large Cap Fund -4.64
UTI Mastershare Fund -3.64
IDFC Large Cap Fund -3.48

2) Axis Midcap Mutual Fund Vs. Peers – Midcap segment (returns in descending order)

Midcap 1 Yr Ret (%)
IDBI Midcap Fund -6.39
DSP Midcap Fund -5.51
HSBC Mid Cap Fund -4.09
ITI Mid Cap Fund -3.22
Franklin India Prima Fund -2.68
Axis Midcap Fund -2.67
L&T Midcap Fund -2.57
Taurus Discovery (Midcap) Fund -2.12
Aditya Birla Sun Life Mid Cap Fund -1.77
Tata Midcap Growth Fund -1.10

3) Axis Small Cap Fund Vs. Peers – Smallcap segment (returns in descending order)

Smallcap Funds 1 Yr Ret (%)
ITI Small Cap Fund -9.41
HSBC Small Cap Equity Fund -8.90
Aditya Birla Sun Life Small Cap Fund -5.78
IDFC Emerging Businesses Fund -5.04
Kotak Small Cap Fund 1.21
PGIM India Small Cap Fund 1.89
Sundaram Small Cap Fund 2.16
Quant Small Cap Fund 2.32
Invesco India Smallcap Fund 2.33
Franklin India Smaller Companies Fund 3.62
HDFC Small Cap Fund 4.00
DSP Small Cap Fund 4.95
Bank of India Small Cap Fund 6.01
ICICI Prudential Smallcap Fund 6.32
Edelweiss Small Cap Fund 8.06
Axis Small Cap Fund 8.33

4) Axis Flexicap Mutual Funds Vs. Peers – Flexicap segment (returns in descending order)

Equity Flexicap 1 Yr Ret (%)
Axis Focused 25 Fund -15.61
UTI Flexi Cap Fund -11.81
Mirae Asset Focused Fund -8.19
Axis Flexi Cap Fund -7.50
DSP Flexi Cap Fund -6.68
Invesco India Focused 20 Equity Fund -6.37
PGIM India Flexi Cap Fund -5.81
Motilal Oswal Flexi Cap Fund -5.06
Parag Parikh Flexi Cap Fund -5.05
SBI Focused Equity Fund -4.96

5) Axis ELSS Fund Vs. Peers – ELSS segment (returns in descending order)

ELSS Funds 1 Yr Ret (%)
Axis Long Term Equity Fund -13.54
Invesco India Tax Plan -8.44
Aditya Birla Sun Life Tax Plan -6.13
Baroda BNP Paribas ELSS Fund -5.50
ITI Long Term Equity Fund -5.27
Aditya Birla Sun Life Tax Relief 96 -5.19
Bank of India Midcap Tax Fund Series 2 -4.13
JM Tax Gain Fund -4.00
Bank of India Midcap Tax Fund Series 1 -3.49
Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund -3.46

What are the observations from these data points?

If you observe, the majority of the Axis Mutual Funds have shown highest negative returns compared to its peers except for the small cap segment.

Many Axis funds negative returns are double the negative returns of its peers.

Axis LT equity fund was once a favorite ELSS fund for investors is now the worst fund in the overall tax saving mutual funds category.

As per Business Standard article, many corporates have withdrawn their investments from Axis mutual fund schemes in recent months.

The high negative returns could be the outcome of the scam what has been happening in the past, however unearthed 9 months back.

Also Read: Which Largecap Fund generated highest SIP returns?

Should you dump and exit Axis Mutual Funds now?

Like I keep saying in many articles, don’t put eggs in one basket.

Don’t invest in mutual funds from single AMC. This is to avoid AMC risk. Always diversify across AMCs. E.g. If you are buying 3 mutual funds, if possible, purchase them from 3 different AMCs.

Don’t invest in single category of funds. E.g. Don’t just invest in large cap funds, but based on your risk appetite, you can check for large cap, flexicap, Midcap, smallcap etc.

Always invest based on your financial goals. Axis mutual funds might recover in the coming years or continue its underperformance in future too. We do not know. But do not invest in single scheme or single AMC funds or single FD which can be riskier.

Some of you might argue that short term performance should not be looked in mutual funds. I agree, but if the majority of the funds from a single AMC are underperforming and there are reasons behind it, one should re-think about the portfolio right.

It is good to review your entire portfolio of all mutual funds including Axis MFs schemes and check if you have invested in single AMC funds and see if you can diversify them to reduce risks. If your current investments are in loss, you may like to continue for some more time before taking the decision.

Have you liked our tips and analysis? Then share it on your Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and other social media, which might be useful to your friends too.

Suresh KP

20 comments

  • Amarpreet Singh Chandok

    All Mutal fund and Bank Deposit Are To Collapsed Within One year, All bank Are Going To Merged with Reserve Bank of India,……

  • Dr Somen Chakravarthy

    Interesting and valid points. Good analysis.

  • Anand

    With humble regards i would like to say that it seems you do not have any idea how the funds work or how the schemes are designed across fund houses. This is a really naive blog post without thinking all the parameters. It is laughable that you are comparing only 1 year return ( even that comparison is wrong but still)

    PS: I am not an Axis employee. An individual MFD here so i take all the fund houses in equal stead.

    Request to you do not indulge in panic mongering without understanding how things work.

    • I do not have any idea how MF and this analysis is wrong. Haha. Very easy to make these statements right? But what is your analysis. People can challenge this article, but with facts and meaningful comments.

  • Chandra Shekhar Singh

    Axis mutual funds will not out perform. As soon as I get a chance to exit from all holdings from this axis mutual fund. I had information before all this. Collapse might be possible next year।

  • vijayan

    Dear Mr.Suresh
    For every investment of mine, you have a role in my portfolio. This article too. I am alarmed now. Thank you so much

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