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Things to keep in mind before investing in international funds

Many retail investors can benefit from exposure to international investments. It is because they can invest in sectors and businesses that don’t exist in the Indian stock markets. Moreover, the Indian markets have a low correlation with certain international markets. This low correlation is advantageous since it lowers portfolio volatility and guarantees good diversification. These funds act as a hedge against Rupee depreciation.

While international funds have become the new trend in the world of mutual funds online, there are some basics to learn before you decide to add these to your portfolio basket.

  1. There are risks

The performance of some international funds in the last 5 to 10 years has been exceptional. Some funds clocked five-year annualized returns of more than 20%. However, the returns from some others declined to low single digits. Therefore, picking and tracking your international fund is vital.

With international funds, you are widening your geography. The theme is also potentially unfamiliar to you. As a result, it can be challenging to assess the long-term risks of investing in a particular international fund. Take the assistance of a reputable stock broking firm or financial management consultant for better decision making.

  1. It needs constant vigilance

Social, economic, and political factors in different countries influence the performance of mutual funds differently. Investors need to monitor the market movement for generating higher returns.

  1. Consider the currency impact

Investing in an international fund requires currency conversion. Your SIP in an underlying fund in a foreign capital market starts in Indian Rupees. The amount is then converted into the currency of the international market, where the underlying asset is issued. During redemption, the sale is executed in overseas currency. For payment to your account, the amount is again converted to Rupees. If the value of the Indian Rupee has appreciated against the currency of the underlying fund, you will be at a loss during currency conversion and vice versa.

  1. Focus on diversified options instead of themes

Many international funds are available today. In June 2021, there were around 50 international funds. Five years ago, the count was half. As a result, investors can feel overwhelmed while choosing an international fund. It is easy to make the wrong choice or pile on several different schemes.

Stay away from very specific themes. The chances of underperformance in these themes can be high in the long run.

  1. Tax-efficiency

It is vital to understand the tax liability on international funds. The concern of taxation can be a potential pitfall. For example, hybrid global funds allocate 65% to 70% of their corpus in domestic businesses and the remaining in international markets. As a result, their returns are subject to long-term capital gains tax.

Final thoughts

Adding international funds to your portfolio helps with diversification. Even if the Indian market is struggling, you can earn from the performance of some international themes. However, it is not easy to predict which international fund will give you the best returns. Use the Tata Capital Moneyfy App to invest in international funds and benefit from economic productivity across the globe.