How I Invest: Fund CEO says long-term bull market is winning strategy

Fund CEO shares why emerging market opportunities abound in his portfolio

As financial advisors and wealth managers, our readers keep the best practices and strategies for their clients top of mind – but how do they invest their personal funds? We take a peek into the portfolios of some of the industry’s most successful wealth professionals.

Bhim Asdhir, CEO of Excel Funds, isn’t afraid of a global market shakeup. In fact, he relishes the opportunity to go on a buying spree amid a steady bull market-focused strategy.

“Look for bull markets, look for portfolio managers that are adding alpha, and whenever there are dips, double up. That’s what I do, and I find it’s not difficult to make money,” he says, adding that the Brexit is a prime example.

“With the Brexit I scrambled almost all my cash and I invested in the Excel India fund on the Friday, because I did my analysis and the Brexit was not going to impact India and many of the emerging markets,” he says. “It was going impact Europe, and it was going to impact England, but it wasn’t going to impact the other countries - so I actually deployed most of my money and it’s already up more than 10% since then.”

However, when Asdhir isn’t taking advantage of market dramatics, he takes a much calmer- and simpler – approach to his portfolio.
I believe that money is made in the long term. Market timing and short-term investing has not worked out for me,” he says. “My thinking on investing from day one is to look for long-term bull markets. Most markets, whenever there’s a world event, give you opportunity to buy, and I look forward to doubling up at that time.”

A big champion of emerging markets, Asdhir puts a great focus on India via mutual funds, working with a portfolio manager on the ground there. “Specifically, I’ve been investing in the Excel India Fund and since induction, it’s multiplied more than six times,” he says.

“That’s the trick in emerging markets – you need to have people on the ground, and that’s where you can add value.”

When it comes to fixed income, he eschews domestic bonds and U.S. Treasuries altogether for higher-yielding emerging market bonds, currently offering coupons between 7 – 8 %.”Emerging markets bonds’ rating have improved significantly over the last 10 years, and interest rates are coming down, so when we’re looking at developed countries, you’ve got negative and zero coupon, whereas in emerging markets, you can pick up yield at 7-8%,” he says, adding it “makes no sense” to him why anyone would pile into zero-yield bonds at this time.

Finally, he adds that it’s important to remain partially liquid, in order to take advantage market blips.

“It’s always good to have some cash on you, and whenever you see the valuations going up, it’s a good idea to take some money out. I’m taking some money out on the North American side and I’m deploying it in areas that are undervalued.”

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