India rides ETF wave by attending Paytm Money’s ETF Masterclass5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Paytm Money organized India’s first-ever Exchange Traded Funds focused event – “ETF Masterclass” with ICICI Prudential AMC as knowledge partner. The event bestowed upon the young and experienced investors learnings about ETFs and actionable insights from the crème de la crème of the investment and asset management industry.
The 2-day event held on Dec 18,19 at the Paytm Insider platform hosted as many as 13 speakers addressing over 1,100 audience members with real-life inspirational stories, data-driven ETF trading strategies, and valuable insights on the market dynamics. In spite of being a virtual event, stimulating presentations, lively activities & contests, interactive chats, enthusiastic speakers and a high-spirited audience kept the rendezvous very personal.
Day 1 began with Ankit Fitkariwala- Chief General Manager, Paytm Money, giving an awesome opening to the session, spearheading the whole show, and welcoming the esteemed speakers. He shared his valuable experience with investing and the capital market and threw in nuggets of wisdom about how long term investing is the key to wealth creation and emphasized the importance of eternal learning as an investors’ tool to stay afloat and gain an edge in the ever-dynamic stock market.
Soon after Varun Sridhar- CEO, Paytm Money spiced up the discussion with interesting examples, the remarkable one being that “Attending the ETF MasterClass is like getting a driving license before driving a car”. He articulated the company’s mission to bring 500 million Indians into mainstream investing.
The first day was adorned with the domestic & international ETF pundits like Ashishkumar Chauhan- MD & CEO, BSE, Sankaran Naren – ED & CIO, ICICI Prudential AMC, Deborah A Fuhr – MD, ETFGI, Mukesh Agarwal- CEO, NSE Indices, Vishal Jain Head – ETF, Nippon India AMC, Sameer Desai -National Lead – ETF, Nippon India AMC, and Chintan Haria -Head: Product development & Strategy, ICICI Prudential AMC.
At the very outset, Ashishkumar Chauhan- MD & CEO, BSE, one of the founding figures of NSE and whose association with the ETF realm is as old as the haven itself, delineated the entire ETF growth history and highlighted the critical factors that catapulted its adoption in India. He rightly opined that “ETFs transparent nature along with real-time NAV tracking feature made it easy for everyone to invest in it.”
The baton was then passed on to another ETF expert Sankaran Naren – ED & CIO, ICICI Prudential AMC. While presenting engrossing anecdotes, he reckoned, “Instead of getting shadowed by recent market performance, investors should make a rational investing decision and maintain an optimal asset allocation in their investment portfolio”. Additionally, he underscored the need to democratize investing in India and how emerging platforms like Paytm Money are acting as enablers of change.
Thereafter, to add the global perspective on ETFs, Deborah A Fuhr – MD, ETFGI joined the event. A well-known international figure in the ETF domain and a core participant in women-oriented ETF organizations, she enlightened the audience about the global ETF growth drivers and the immense positives that ETFs hold for the future. She explained the benefits of investing in ETFs and said that ETFs are highly regulated funds with the benefits of being listed and traded on exchanges.
Building onto the fervour, Mukesh Agarwal- CEO, NSE Indices delivered his narrative from a stock exchange’s outlook. An erstwhile member of CRISIL-the rating agency and an industry veteran, he said that the Indian ETF market is growing exceptionally well and presented a comparative analysis of active and passive investing. He said, “The Indian ETF industry has grown 21 times since November 2015. The total AUM is about 2.3 lakh crore.”
Advancing towards the complexities of ETFs, the session dived into the world of equity, debt, smart beta, and international ETFs. Having been associated with the pioneers of ETFs in India, Vishal Jain, now heading ETFs at Nippon India AMC said, “’Never let a crisis go to waste. Learn how you can use ETFs as core building blocks of your investment portfolio”
Substantiating the discussion, Sameer Desai from Nippon said, “Generating alpha i.e. profit over beating the market is a zero-sum game. Everyone cannot beat the index at the same time. It is mathematically impossible.”
The day ended with Chintan Haria -Head: Product development & Strategy, ICICI Prudential AMC’s session about Smart Beta ETFs and What’s the Way Ahead for India. He said, “Smart beta ETFs seek to combine the benefits of active and passive investing for potential above market average returns.”
The day two of ETF Masterclass kicked off with a power packed session of Radhika Gupta- MD & CEO, Edelweiss AMC where she highlighted the importance of Debt ETFs followed by session of other ETF Masters such as Pratik Oswal- Head Passive Funds, Motilal Oswal AMC, Nitin Mathur – CEO, Tavaga Advisory Services, Sankha Mukerjhee – Trading expert and Coach & Pranjal Kamra – Founder & CEO, Finology Ventures.
Radhika Gupta- MD & CEO, Edelweiss AMC, enlightened attendees about fixed income investments. She extensively covered the topic of Debt ETFs and answered viewers queries around the liquidity and its advantages over traditional instruments such as fixed deposits. She said, “Bond ETFs are highly liquid, unlike FDs one can break them without having to pay heavy penalties.”
Pratik Oswal- Head Passive Funds, Motilal Oswal AMC, touched another important subject when it comes to ETFs – International ETFs. He explained about the pros of investing in ETFs whose underlying assets are international benchmarks such as Hang Seng, Nasdaq and so on. Oswal said, “Large, mid, small and multicap funds are highly correlated hence International funds help us to diversify our portfolio by lowering risk and providing us with added opportunities.”
Nitin Mathur – CEO, Tavaga Advisory Services, informed investors the importance of rebalancing the portfolio in his session. He highlighted the importance of ETFs in investors’ portfolios. “Rebalancing asset allocation on a regular basis may allow investors to make 2 to 5% more than general investing,” Mathur said.
Sankha Mukerjhee – Trading expert and Coach showcased how one can trade in ETFs and analyse technical indicators. He said, “Margins are a double edged sword. We may be careful as profits and losses both multiply proportionally to the leverage used.”
The event ended on a high note with famous Youtuber Pranjal Kamra talking about the importance of ETFs for Indian investors. Attendees were excited about his session and enjoyed every minute of it, showering their exciting comments.