Tax planning is an important aspect of financial planning. We work hard to create wealth for our future; wouldn’t it be nice if we can save our wealth from taxes so that we can work towards our dreams of a bigger house, better car, a foreign vacation, etc.?

Equity-linked Saving Scheme (ELSS), also known as tax saving funds, are diversified equity funds that can help to gain attractive returns through a diversified portfolio of equities and at the same time protect your wealth from taxes. Investment in ELSS is eligible for a deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act up to Rs 1.5 lakh in a financial year.

With a plethora of choices available in the ELSS mutual fund category, you need to analyse the fund’s performance carefully before investing.

Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund (MATSF) is one of the latest entrants in the saving mutual fund space that has built an exceptional performance track record in short span of time.

Graph 1: Growth of Rs 10,000 if invested in Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund 5 years ago

Graph 1

Data as on August 25, 2020
(Source: ACE MF) 

Launched in December 2015, Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund (MATSF) is among the latest entrants in the tax saving funds category. The fund has established itself in a short span of time and is slowly catching the attention of investors. Backed by a process-driven fund management that is known for its cautious investment approach and superior risk management abilities, MATSF has delivered on the returns front, generating superior risk-adjusted returns for its investors. With a CAGR of 16.6% since inception, MATSF has outperformed the benchmark Nifty 200 – TRI by a CAGR of over 7 percentage points. For instance, Rs 10,000 invested in the fund back then would have now appreciated to Rs 20,439, as against a valuation of Rs 15,122 for the simultaneous investment in the benchmark. Despite short term track record, MATSF has proven its ability to consistently generate returns for its investors through its superior stock picking ability.

Table: Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund’s performance vis-à-vis category peers

Scheme Name Corpus (Cr.) 1 Year (%) 2 Year (%) 3 Year (%) 5 Year (%) 7 Year (%) Std Dev Sharpe
Canara Rob Equity Tax Saver Fund 1,089 20.02 4.85 10.02 11.04 15.89 20.36 0.074
Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund 3,858 16.06 6.43 9.76 NA NA 22.11 0.068
BOI AXA Tax Advantage Fund 284 27.73 4.62 8.94 11.52 17.33 22.04 0.056
Axis Long Term Equity Fund 21,051 11.32 3.17 8.91 10.57 20.44 19.35 0.049
Invesco India Tax Plan 1,075 14.21 1.46 8.04 10.85 18.80 20.65 0.050
Aditya Birla SL Tax Relief ’96 10,383 15.54 0.10 6.26 10.19 18.31 19.97 0.010
Union Long Term Equity Fund 263 15.08 2.97 6.12 6.71 12.21 20.49 0.019
ICICI Pru LT Equity Fund (Tax Saving) 6,271 7.52 -0.73 5.90 8.56 15.74 21.39 0.017
BNP Paribas Long Term Equity Fund 447 13.16 5.59 5.82 8.50 15.75 18.74 0.020
Kotak Tax Saver Fund 1,203 9.68 2.76 5.35 9.62 16.95 21.18 0.017
NIFTY 200 – TRI 8.02 -0.47 5.04 8.95 13.36 21.49 0.015

Returns are point to point and in %, calculated using Direct Plan – Growth option. Those depicted over 1-Yr are compounded annualised.
Data as on August 25, 2020
(Source: ACE MF)
*Please note, this table only represents the best performing funds based solely on past returns and is NOT a recommendation. Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks. Read all scheme related documents carefully. Past performance is not an indicator for future returns. The percentage returns shown are only for indicative purposes.

MATSF has stood strong against its popular peers and has managed to outperform its category average and the benchmark by a noticeable margin. On a 3-year return basis, MATSF has generated returns at 9.8% CAGR, which is among the highest in the category and clearly stand out against the category average of around 4.1% CAGR. Even during the recent market correction, the fund managed to limit the downside when compared to its benchmark, and made it to the list of top performers.

More importantly the fund has achieved this feat at a reasonable risk, thus rewarding its investors with superior risk-adjusted returns as well. Its Sharpe ratio of 0.07 is commendable and among the best in the category.

Investment strategy of Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund

With an investment objective of generating long term capital appreciation from a diversified portfolio of predominantly equity and equity related instruments, MATSF is mandate to hold at least 80% of its assets in equities. The fund has no bias towards any particular theme or investment style and holds a well-diversified portfolio of strong growth companies available at reasonable price.

Following a top-down and bottom-up approach of investing, the fund manager broadly analyses the macro economy and invest in stocks of high-growth companies expected to benefit from macroeconomic, sectoral, and industry trends. While picking companies, the fund manager tests business on various quantitative and qualitative parameters and gives importance to ROCE, growth, ROI, value, and management. He looks for growth businesses and within that looks for value (buy at reasonable rate). The fund manager uses DCF (Discounted Cash Flow) mechanism to estimate the fair valuation level of stocks.

Graph 2: Top portfolio holdings in Mirae Asset Tax Saver Fund

Holding in (%) as on July 31, 2020
(Source: ACE MF)

MATSF usually holds a well-diversified portfolio of stocks spread across market caps, but with a large cap bias. It holds significant exposure to mid and small caps ranging from 25-30% of its portfolio. As on July 31, 2020, MATSF held as many as 57 stocks in the portfolio. The top 10 stock holdings in the portfolio accounted for nearly 46% of the total assets. Large cap names like HDFC Bank, Infosys, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, TCS, among others appear in the list of its top holdings.

MATSF has benefited from its holding in companies like Reliance Industries, Tata Consumer Products, Divi’s Laboratories, Balkrishna Industries, Torrent Pharma, Dr Lal Pathlabs, Infosys, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, etc. which have turned out to be major contributors to its returns in the last one year. On the other hand, the fund has lost some value in its investment in stocks like IndusInd Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, L&T, among others.

Banking and Finance stocks together form around a third of its portfolio. The fund also holds substantial exposure in Infotech, Consumption, Petroleum Products and Engineering with an allocation in the range of 5% to 12% of its assets. The top 10 sectors together occupied 87% of MATSF’s portfolio.


Belonging to a process-driven fund house that follows cautious investment approach, MATSF has benefited from investing in high growth-oriented stocks but at right valuations. The superior stock picking strategy has helped it identify the right stocks and outscore the market across time periods. It has been agile enough to take advantage of various investment opportunities present across segments.

The fund does not resort to taking aggressive calls for extra-ordinary returns, but maintains a diversified portfolio of quality stocks with a long term view. MATSF has an experienced fund manager at the helm – Mr Neelesh Surana, who has been managing the scheme since inception and has helped built a commendable performance track record. MATSF is suitable for aggressive investors with a long-term investment horizon.

Note:   This write up is for information purpose and does not constitute any kind of investment advice or a recommendation to Buy / Hold / Sell a fund. Returns mentioned herein are in no way a guarantee or promise of future returns. As an investor, you need to pick the right fund to meet your financial goals. If you are not sure about your risk appetite, do consult your investment consultant/advisor. Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

This article first appeared on PersonalFN here

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