Saturday, September 18, 2010

Letter to a fund manager of a local Insurance Company

Here's a letter i wrote to a fund manager (investment-linked) of a local insurance company. Until today, there's no reply from them.

In the year ending Nov 30th, 2007, A** Equity Fund had 92.6% in Equities. That time, the index was 1,396.98. 1 year later, when KLCI is at 866.14, A**'s Equity Fund's equity exposure drop to 42.5% ! Isn't that "buy high, sell low"?

Put it another way, the summary is as below:
Date ------------------- KLCI ---------------A** Equity Fund's Equity Exposure
30th Nov 2007 --------1,396.98 ---------------------------92.6%
30th Nov 2008 ---------866.14 ----------------------------42.5% !!!

Shouldn't it be the other way round? And if the fund manager can't time the market (which i believe nobody can), shouldn't A** Equity Fund maintains as an "Equity" Fund with 70% to 90% in Equity? Having 42.5% in Equity is less than what a balanced fund is putting! And having 42.5% in Equity when prices are low is even more unexplainable!

Please explain this when i can't see any logical reasons for it (other than the fund manager having "buy high, sell low" syndrome, or join the herd mentality to be fearful when prices are low or trying to gamble the market's direction).

And in year 2009, KLCI earned 44.7% while A** equity fund earned less than 2/5 of KLCI's return! And the annual report don't even mention the reason for such poor performance! If the unit holders are truly the owners of that fund, don't they deserve an explaination for such poor performance?

And please don't say that A**'s equity fund return of 17.5% is better than FD! If you travel from Penang to Singapore by flight, and reach there after 7 hours (when other air planes can reach within 1 hour), do you accept excuse as "At least our flight is faster than going by car" ?

As a result, A** under perform KLCI during these times. Am i right to say that? If that is so, then what's the point of hiring A** as the fund manager for their equity funds? Might as well they just buy the Index or ETF and save the 1.5% management fees, and don't earn a return WORSE than KLCI (not to mention savings on the huge upfront service charge, or ended up being tied up to the terrible fund for 6 years to enjoy 0% service charge).

And also, please don't say A** equity fund beat benchmark since launch. The comparison is simply not fair because KLCI doesn't include dividends into their price. Had KLCI add between 3% to 4.5% yearly dividends to the price, A** Equity fund would under perform by a wide margin!

Waiting for an explaination for me to explain to my unhappy clients.
Lesson Learned:
Don't find mechanic regarding your health.
Don't find doctor regarding legal issues.
Don't find investment companies for insurance.
Don't find insurance company for investments. They Suck!