Most investment professionals and fund managers preach that investors should not invest in equity mutual funds with a short-term outlook. However, when we analysed the monthly portfolios of equity schemes having a corpus of over Rs1,000 crore, we found that while most fund managers talk the talk, they fail to walk the walk. In our analysis of 59 equity schemes, out of the total number of stocks bought, on an average, only 8% of the stocks were held for five years or more. Just about 16% of the stocks remained in their portfolios for a period of 3-5 years and as many as 38% of the stocks were sold within a year. The high proportion of stocks sold-off within a year shows that fund managers have a totally confused investing strategy and are swayed by short-term price movements rather than staying focused on the long term. Can this short-termism affect the performance of a scheme? Or do fund investors benefit from this buying and selling? Turn to our Cover Story to find out.
As a corollary to our Cover Story, in our Fund Pointer section, we analyse which stocks fund managers held continuously for a period of five years or more. We find that schemes maintaining a long-term focus did well. But few have the conviction. Most of the stocks were held for the short term.
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have done very well for the past 20 years or so making enormous wealth for those who have stayed invested. However, it is time to examine whether they will deliver equally great results in the future. R Balakrishnan lists the challenges they face to sustain their high returns in future.
When it comes to India, the Panama Papers have been a damp squib. Maybe, Indians have their money in some other tax havens. The government has set up a committee to examine the issues; but will the revelations also lead us think about sensible tax policies, asks Sucheta in her Different Strokes column. In her Crosshairs section, Sucheta questions whether Patanjali’s breakneck expansion into biscuits and noodles is to spread Ayurveda or simply empire-building.


Pulse Beat

Integrated Medicine for the Future

A recent day-long workshop, on the future of healing, came up with the need for bringing all systems of medicine, without any caste system, under one roof; picking the best in every system would be the best for the future of medicine. This needs lots of hard work to bring disparate elements like the egoistic Western medical doctors and naturopaths under one roof. The meeting concluded that it can only be done if each of these doctors left their elephantine egos behind and began working for the good of mankind. Every system is fallible but has good effects under many circumstances. The time has come to give up the wrong notion that diagnosis is the most important part medical-care, before we do anything else. This myth, though blown over scientifically decades ago, does not go away as diagnostic tests are big money-spinners. This meeting gave me a ray of hope for mankind. Let us hope that wisdom will dawn on doctors to work collectively to do most good to most people most of the time.

Cholesterol Is a Friend!

What I had been shouting from housetops for decades has now come to the attention of the powers that be in the US. Cholesterol is not bad for health; in fact, it is good for health. There is nothing like good and bad cholesterol. LDL, HDL and other classes are all myths. We have killed millions over the years by calling cholesterol a ghost. Now, even the US doctors are joining the bandwagon to decry the cholesterol mania; they were on the same bandwagon until the other day. But the Indian faithful doctors are yet to join in. They still harp on statins for lowering cholesterol. Probably they aren’t interested in saving human lives.

New Light on Alzheimer’s Disease

People living in a new Pacific island of Guam (a US territory) have shown the relationship between some environmental toxins and Alzheimer’s and also some other neurodegenerative diseases. This toxin is found in some lakes and soil of that island. This might give us a clue to search for some such environmental toxins in other patients also.
The relation between amyloid plaques and Alzheimer’s is well known. The bad news is that bad gums, with bad halitosis, could be a very important risk for Alzheimer’s. Gum disease can also speed up the progress of this disease.

Digital Mammograms Have Collateral Benefits

Digital mammograms, when they show calcification of the breast arteries, could be a pointer for calcification of coronary arteries thereby warning women to take care of their hearts as well. That should not be an excuse for doing mammograms as the latter could be counter-productive. 


Day’s Naps, Sitting & Exertion

Daytime sleeping is not a good health practice, although short naps might help to build your health. Any nap longer than 40 minutes is really bad during the daytime, when the sun is up. In a large study, people found that sitting in one place for more than three hours at a time, on a long-term basis, has killed more than 43,000 people per year. Do not sit for a long time and sitting is bad for health. These days, the younger generation going to the gym has cultivated a new way of intensifying their exercise levels to lose more calories and get better body shape. Studies have shown that such short bouts of intense exertion without long warm up and equally long cooling could even bring on a heart attack. Moderation in every walk of life is good for health. Daily low-grade exercise, the best being normal walking, is the best insurance against premature deaths and all kinds of illnesses including cancer and stroke.


Indians eating foods that predispose them to sickness

An affinity for fast food, long work hours and rising prices of fruit and vegetable are the leading reasons for a drop in their consumption


By choice or compulsion, Indians across age groups and income categories are falling short in meeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended daily intake of five servings of fruit and vegetable, a new report has revealed.
In consuming only 3.5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day - a third short of the recommended intake-Indians are predisposing themselves to chronic diseases, the reason why the WHO issued that guideline, said the India’s Phytonutrient Report, a new publication by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations and the Academic Foundation.
An affinity for fast food, long work hours and rising prices of fruit and vegetable are the leading reasons for a drop in their consumption.
India now has the greatest disease burden of any country, hastening what experts call an “epidemiological transition” from communicable to non-communicable or so-called lifestyle disease, as IndiaSpend reported, accentuated by a failing public-healthcare system. Healthcare expenses push an additional 39 million people back into poverty every year, a Lancet paper said.
Dietary changes-and chronic disease-accompany economic prosperity
Investigating the causes for the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases globally in the 1980s, the WHO zeroed in on dietary changes. Populations in developed nations and the affluent in developing nations were eating less fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and more of fat, processed food and sugar than earlier generations.
That trend was repeated in India. Affluent Indians were getting 30 percent of their daily energy intake from fat and were consuming half the amount of dietary fibre than previous generations, a 1991 WHO study concluded.
To stop the spread of chronic diseases, the WHO had recommended eating at least 400 gm-five servings of 80 gm each-of fruit and vegetables a day. Indians have largely ignored that warning and this poor choice is showing up in mortality data.
In the last quarter century, chronic diseases have emerged as the number one cause of death in India:
Heart disease has become India’s top killer, IndiaSpend has reported, striking across income classes in concert with dietary and exercise lapses.
India is seeing a diabetes epidemic, with about one in 10 adults suffering from the disease and more than a million succumbing to it annually.
Cancer has become India’s fourth major killer, doubling its presence since 2004, IndiaSpend has reported.
High cost keeps Indians from consuming enough fruit and vegetables
The prices of fruit and vegetable rose steadily over the last decade, with most prices doubling, even trebling in the case of sweet potato and ginger.
Rising food prices affect low-income families the most but the middle class is not exempt.
Cost was the third most frequently cited reason for the low consumption of fruit and vegetables, in the Phytonutrient Report. Correspondingly, higher earners in the five cities tapped for the study- Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, NCR and Mumbai - were found to consume more fruit and vegetables.
“More Chennai and Hyderabad respondents were vegetarian and from higher income families, which is possibly why we found a higher intake of fruits and vegetables in those cities,” said Arpita Mukherjee, professor, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, and the study’s lead author.
Vegetarians consumed 3.97 servings of fruit and vegetable; non-vegetarians, 3.2 servings, the study found.
Young adults, students, eat fast food instead of fruit and vegetables
Young adults aged 18 to 25 and students eat roughly three servings of fruit and vegetables compared to 3.5 helpings that adults consume, according to the Phytonutrient Report. A busy work life coupled with long working hours was the leading reason cited for low consumption followed by the seasonal (and hence limited) availability of fruit and vegetables.
Ignorance and a sedentary lifestyle has spoilt the diet of Indians, said nutritionists.
More middle-class Indians are eating fast food instead of sabzi-roti-dal-chawal, in the process, limiting their intake of fruit and vegetables. In smaller cities and towns, middle-class households doubled spending on food between 2012 and 2014, the 2014 Assocham paper Indian fast food market new destination: Tier-II & III cities tells us. In metropolitan cities, middle-class households increased spending on fast food by 35% over the same period.
Poor food choices eventually lead to chronic disease.
Five-a-day doesn’t keep the doctor away; Seven to ten, better
Five-a-day is a catchphrase coined to popularise the WHO recommendation to eat five servings of 80 grams a day, 400 grams of fruit and vegetables in all.
India, like Germany, Holland and New Zealand, endorses the WHO five-a-day recommendation. Other countries recommend more helpings of fruit and vegetables, which studies now show can do more to prevent chronic diseases.
Five portions a day are good for children, according to Canadian guidelines. But teens and adults need seven or more servings of fruit and vegetables.
Five servings of vegetables and two of fruit is the Australian guideline, based on the belief that vegetables do more than fruit to keep the body healthy. Last year, a British study validated this belief.
Vegetables are four times healthier than fruit, said this University College London study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the first time scientists quantified the health benefit of fruit and vegetables. Every serving of vegetables lowers the risk of dying by 16 perccent while a helping of fruit lowers your death risk by four, they estimated.
People who ate seven or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day had a 42 percent lower risk of death than those who ate less than one portion, the London study concluded. Consuming seven or more servings of fruit and vegetables lowered the risks of dying of cancer and heart disease by 25 percent and 31 percent respectively.
Low fruit and vegetable intake is among the top 10 risk factors contributing to explainable mortality, a World Health Report said in 2003. What it means is this: If Indians eat more fruit and vegetable, they will be at lesser risk of death.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


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