Mutual fund schemes investing in pharma and healthcare, technology and international stocks were the top performers in 2020 — a year that tested investors’ nerves with the stock market swinging from extreme pessimism to record highs within nine months. Data from ETIG showed as many as 18 funds from these categories returned more than 50% during the year with five of them giving over 70%. The Nifty has gained almost 15% so far this year. Wealth managers said pharma and technology stocks came under the spotlight after March 23rd — when the market rebound began — as these companies were believed to be resilient with most sectors affected by coronavirus-related disruptions. “The increased focus on healthcare post Covid-19, higher adoption of technology, work from home and automation has led to pharma and IT doing well,” said Harshvardhan Roongta, CFP, Roongta Securities.
International funds which allocate money in overseas markets also benefited as investors disappointed in the performance of domestic equity schemes shifted a portion of their money to these products. Some mid- and small-cap funds, typically with lower assets under management, with focused portfolios took advantage of the market upside, delivering higher than market return to investors.