Your chair is your enemy. It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting—in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home—you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you. That, at least, is the conclusion of several recent studies. So what’s wrong with sitting?
Designed to gather information on how robots interact with people, the Snackbot has been carefully crafted for maximum approachability in every detail, from its height to its colour. “We figured, what better way to get people to interact with a robot than have something that offers them food?” its creator Dr Paul Rybski from the Carnegie Mellon University said. The Snackbot is but one soldier in a veritable army of new robots designed to serve and cook food and, in the process, act as good-will ambassadors, and salesmen, for a more automated future.
Over the past two years, the markets have been hugely volatile— which is ideal for arbitrage funds. But over this period, of the 12 arbitrage funds, only three funds outperformed and nine underperformed their benchmarks
Fund companies push arbitrage funds as one of the best options in a volatile market environment for those investors who wish to invest in a low-risk portfolio and yet gain decent returns. Theoretically, these funds benefit from the arbitrage opportunities arising out of price differences between the equity and derivatives segment of the stock market. So, these funds should do well when the market is volatile. But as is usual with mutual funds, the reality is different. Or rather, as with any other mutual fund product, the reality is simple: like all other funds, arbitrage funds also make money mainly when the market is rallying for a while. Volatility kills them!
What else explains the following facts? In the past two years, the Indian markets have remained highly volatile as it saw a bull run as well as a bear run. Arbitrage funds should have done extremely well in this period. If we look at the past two years’ performance of 12 arbitrage funds, it was terrible—only three funds outperformed and nine underperformed. Over three years, out of a total of nine funds, five funds outperformed while the others underperformed—an outcome akin to the toss of a coin. The performance of the 15 funds that were available over the past one year is hardly surprising, either; seven funds outperformed and eight underperformed. Again, the outcome of a coin toss.
So, what is so great about arbitrage funds? They are just another marketing gimmick of a complicated product. Over the past one year, most of these funds have given a return of 4%. A bank fixed deposit for a period of one year gives a return of 6%. The performance of these funds over the period of six months and three months were pathetic. Their returns were just 1%-2%.