WHAT ARE MIXED FUNDS?

Mixed funds are one of the broadest, most flexible and discretionary categories of investment funds available.

They could be classified as suitable for moderate profiles, but only within this category can funds be found for all tastes.

It is necessary to know what types of mixed funds exist, what characteristics they have and what average returns they are presenting. This information together with an adequate study of our risk profile as investors will open the way for us to choose a mixed fund wisely.

Let’s see how this financial product, due to its wide extension and room for manoeuvre granted to the manager, can be ideal for any type of saver.

However, it is necessary to fine-tune the shot before shooting and this is what we will learn today.

Mixed funds can be defined as those that combine both fixed and variable income portfolios in their portfolios.

We say”roughly speaking” because there are actually multiple subcategories within mixed funds, hence the problem of choosing one.

It is not as simple as simply combining the two types of assets, it is also necessary to decide in what proportion.

Objectives of the mixed funds

But let’s start at the beginning. A mixed fund was created to provide stability to an equity fund by including fixed income assets in its portfolio. In this way we create a product that is halfway between fixed income and equity funds, in terms of risk.

From another point of view, one might also think that the intention is to incorporate equities into a fixed-income portfolio in order to increase returns while maintaining an adjusted level of risk.

Which of the two visions is the right one? Is a mixed fund set up to protect a portfolio of equities or is it intended to increase the return on a portfolio of bonds?

The percentage of each of the two types of assets included in the fund’s portfolio can be used to determine the manager’s view of these issues.

In principle, it should be clear to us that a mixed fund is a category of investment funds. The categories were created jointly by the ComisiĆ³n Nacional del Mercado de Valores and Inverco (Association of Collective Investment Institutions) to offer a criterion to savers and to be able to choose a tailor-made investment fund.

What the category of the fund indicates to us is the investment vocation.

In other words, the fund’s guidelines for deciding which assets to include in its portfolio and the percentages thereof.

The investment vocation defines the level of risk that the fund can assume and this information is very useful to fund managers.

Thus, a mixed fund will have more return and risk than a fixed income fund, but less than a variable income fund.

But this is all we need to know?

Of course not, of course not.

This information is very general, it does not indicate the percentage of each type of asset, and therefore, the manager’s vision, or the specific risk profile.

For this reason, different subcategories have been created within the universe of mixed funds.

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Types of mixed funds

It should be noted that mixed funds are very flexible products. In reality, all investment funds are flexible products, this is one of their advantages. However, this category is characterized by being particularly ductile.

There is no fixed percentage to determine the types or subcategories. There are ranks and the fund manager has ample room for manoeuvre in setting his or her criteria for the strategy.

We should also point out that there are other factors for defining the categories of mixed funds. Depending on the geographical area in which the selected assets originate and the exposure to a particular currency, multiple rates are set.

According to Inverco, the categories are:

Mixed fixed income euro

Characterized by not being able to have a percentage of equity exposure greater than or equal to 30% of the total portfolio. They must also have an exposure to foreign currency assets of less than or equal to 30% of the total.

International mixed fixed income

They must have an equity exposure of less than 30% of the total portfolio, but have more than 30% in assets issued by entities located outside the euro area and denominated in foreign currency.

Euro mixed equities

They must have a percentage of equity in their portfolio of between 30% and 75% (inclusive). They cannot have more than 30% exposure to assets issued in currencies other than the euro.

International equities

The distribution of the portfolio is the same as for mixed euro equities, but in this case they can have a percentage of exposure.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN DEVELOPING YOUR MUTUAL FUND PORTFOLIO

There are investors for all tastes: from those who are self-managed, decide what to invest their money in and even carry out the operation themselves, to those who rely on specialized managers of a bank or entity to invest their money, decide which assets it is better to invest in and move it around according to the circumstances. Either way, what is clear is that the individual investor wants to be more and more informed about their investments, and it is a very healthy and almost mandatory exercise to be aware of the funds in which your manager has decided to invest. Building a portfolio of funds is a strategic exercise in which many factors need to be taken into account. Whether you’re going to do this directly or rely on specialists, you want to know what the basic factors are to take into account to track your investments:

Risk profile

The starting point is to know what your risk profile is. Between being a conservative and a risky investor, there is a wide range of greyscale that will depend on the objective of your investment, your vital moment, how much you are willing to risk, your tax profile and other elements of context. It is important to tailor the assets in which the fund or funds you choose for your money invest to your risk profile. In this way, funds investing in riskier assets, such as bonds, will be more suitable for conservative investors and, as the risk to be assumed increases in order to obtain better returns, the share of investment in equities, for example, will grow.

Diversification

The effect of diversification is significant, which is why it is important to know the main categories and typology of funds that exist, since the supply today is very wide. With a focus on diversification, alternative management funds are an important part of the portfolio. Regardless of the risk of the same, we will always find funds in accordance with the investor profile that allow us not to have all the risk in the same asset or geographical area, but to have a balanced portfolio that allows us to compensate for unexpected behaviour in any asset or area. The distribution of assets, such as the weight given to equities versus bonds, is a key factor on which the return obtained will depend and must always be aligned with the investment horizon and the investor’s risk tolerance.

Investment Horizon

It’s basically about deciding what term you want to invest in. Generally speaking, when talking about funds, we usually think of a medium and long term investment so that the investment makes sense, but it is important to consider how many months or years you want to invest.

Quality of the background

Measuring the quality of a fund in which you are going to invest your money is a good practice and for this you will have to dive into the pages that make this information available to the investor. We must also take care of the type of funds we choose, especially in cases where there is a type of distribution and distribution, whether or not we want to receive periodic income.

There are various platforms that compare mutual funds by performance and by category; one of the best known is Morningstar, which bases its hierarchy on’stars’ and thus gives 5 stars to the top 10%, 4 stars to the next 22.5%, 3 to the next 35%, 2 to the next 22.5% and one to the worst performing 10%. Others analyse the performance achieved or compare fund managers, giving each one a rating. Other key figures that can be taken into account are the volatility, sharpe ratio, alpha or beta of the fund.

Fund managers

Knowing the professionals who manage the fund or funds you are going to invest in is important, as they will make the investment decisions about your money. If you take the trouble to find out more about the manager of your fund, you will know what his management style is and how his investment preferences are evolving. If they are also the so-called’author’s funds’ with even greater reason, as they are usually headed by’star managers’ who, if at any given time, leave the fund, they can lead to a change in the management of the fund and even the departure of a large number of participants.

Taxation and commissions

It is important to know the taxation of the different products in which you can invest your money and how the returns, positive or negative, you get from your investment can influence your accountability to the Treasury. Some products may be more convenient than others, so it is necessary to take this into account, as well as the commissions that entities may charge on each of the products.

Portfolio simulation

We currently live in an environment of low volatility across all assets. If we simulate the portfolio to see how it can work, we need to look at other risk ratios such as the historical maximum fall in the portfolio.