Updates on my Public Mutual Investment: 8th March 2008

This is a continuation of my previous post regarding my unit trust investment. Read it here.

Global market has taken a battering from what has happened in the US. Same thing goes to our very own Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur).

Do any of you invest in the stock market directly? Or perhaps through unit trust funds?

Today, we shall look at how my Public Mutual unit trust funds have fared since the day I bought into them a few months ago. I got belted, I tell you.

Public Asia Ittikal Fund (PAIF)

Type = Aggressive International Fund

NAV at bought = RM0.3030 (dollar cost averaging factored in)
NAV as of 6/03/2008 = RM0.2577

Total returns so far = -14.95%

Public Islamic Dividend Fund (PIDF)

Type = Moderate Domestic Fund

NAV at bought = RM0.3522 (dollar cost averaging factored in)
NAV as of 7/03/2008 = RM0.3298

Total returns so far = -6.36%

Public Islamic Enhanced Bond Fund (PIEBF)

Type = Conservative Domestic Fund

NAV at bought = RM1.0291
NAV as of 6/3/2008 = RM1.0060

Total returns so far = -2.24%

Public China Ittikal Fund (PCIF)

Type = Aggressive International Fund

NAV at bought = RM0.2464
NAV as of 6/3/2008 = RM0.2188

Total returns so far = -11.20%

Public Islamic Asia Dividend Fund (PIADF)

Type = Moderate International Fund

NAV at bought = RM0.2585
NAV as of 6/3/2008 = RM0.2296

Total returns so far = -11.18%

Public Far-East Property & Resorts Fund (PFEPRF)

Type = Moderate International Fund

NAV at bought = RM0.2418
NAV as of 6/3/2008 = RM0.2078

Total returns so far = -14.06%

Public Far-East Consumer Themes Fund (PFECTF)

Type = Aggressive International Fund

NAV at bought = RM0.25
NAV as of 6/3/2008 = RM0.2467

Total returns so far = -1.32%

All of them are in negative territory. Please bear in mind that I did not factor in the service charges for the above’s calculations. Merely the raw prices.

As a note, I’ve been holding PAIF and PIDF since July 2007 and topped up last January 2008. For the others, I bought in January 2008.

So, there you go, the risks of investing in unit trust funds in action 🙂

What was that again about unit trust consultants telling people “You know what??? Our unit trust funds just recorded a 40% ++++ return last year!!”. Hehe.

There’s an article that I read before. It says, anybody can make money in a bull market. What determines a person being a great investor/trader or not is whether he or she can SURVIVE a bear market. A message to the fund managers 🙂

Anyway, I’m looking long-term with my unit trust investments, so, hopefully, it’ll be alright.

How about the others out there? How have you fared so far?

(Source of Price: Public Mutual)

Disclaimer: This article is not a specific nor general advice on managing or investing your money. This article does not constitute a recommendation nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation nor particular needs.

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Other related posts:

Risk Tolerance Level
Risk Tolerance Level: Part 2
Back to Basics: Recovering from Negative Returns
Types of Mutual Funds (Unit Trusts)
Understanding Unit Trust
Fund’s Strong Performance

About nadlique

This blog is about the journey of a 28-year-old Malaysian towards financial freedom. This blog was started back when the blogger was 21 years old. However, his journey towards financial freedom had begun way before that. Materials such as investing, business, entrepreneurship, equities, and real estate are presented. The author also posts his thoughts and observations on life in general.


  1. hi, I just read your blog, it’s a great effort from you to give information about the investment, keep the job on mate.

    Actually I have no idea at all about investment (ASB or Public MUtual for example). However my frenz influent me by giving some xplanation about investment and I realize that it’s really beneficial. But the problem is how to start the investment, I mean to know which one is the best in term of dividend, bonus, possibility of risk, flexibility or anything that I need to know about investment.

    At the first my frenz recommended me to invest in ASB but recently I heard that Public Mutual is better( don’t know in what way it’s better, just get information from my frenz). However when I read this article, it looks like public mutual is not beneficial at all (actually I ‘m really understand the article above,heheheh).

    By the way I also concern about of the investment according to syariah, which one is allowed and which one is not. Hope you can help me.

  2. Thank you. Honestly, I’m actually still learning as well. Investment and wealth-creation is a field where you’ll be a student for life.

    The investments your friends are referring to are unit trust investment.

    ASB is usually the choice for a lot of bumiputeras due to the fairly high returns and very low risk. That’s because of the fixed price factor. You buy ASB units at RM1.00, it doesn’t go down or up. You will reap rewards through dividends.

    Other unit trust like Public Mutual for example, it is not the case. As you can see from what I have written in this article, most of what I’m holding are moderate to aggressive funds. In other words, medium to high risk. That means, prices go down or up quite often. Tengok ajelah performance pelaburan saya kat atas tu! Dalam lingkungan dua bulan je, dah rugi dekat 15%! Hehe.

    Determining which one is the best is rather a subjective issue. To know which one is best in terms of dividends, risk, and other things, when it comes to unit trust, firstly you need to read the prospectus. Tgk yg mana paling sesuai. Which one you are most comfortable with.

    In terms of syariah, ASB hukumnya Harus. Public Mutual, anything that has the term Ittikal or Islamic, InsyaAllah halal.

    Feel free to ask more questions. I’ll try to answer as best as I can.

  3. Nice xplanation, tanx. Let say I have 20k, where should I invest my money. I’m still a student and the money is from my saving account. I just want the money to grow up (now I’m saving them in current account which have no much dividend).

  4. I guess at the end of the day, it all depends on how much risk you are willing to take. Are you prepared to see your money fluctuates (going down and up every second day) or are you more comfortable with seeing the money as it is and earn a bit of return. It all depends on you.

    Usually, for people starting out in the investment scene, might want to start with ASB maybe? Your money will not decrease and you will still earn a fairly reasonable amount of returns.

    At the same time, do a lot of studying and research a lot. Make yourself aware of what’s out there and the risks involved. Read a lot of books, attend seminars, utilise the internet, and etc.

    Once you’ve got a fair bit of knowledge, then it might be wise to venture into riskier assets like unit trust funds, stocks, properties and etc.

    Whatever it is, don’t rush into any decisions. Study and research. There’s a saying “if you think the cost of education is expensive, think about the cost of ignorance”.

    Good luck with your investment journey and do check out my blog often 😉


  5. Of course in the bear market, just do a switch to a bond fund. Bond funds usually perform well in a bearish market. When you see signs of a bear coming, be prepared to do a switch.

    I have written more on when to do a switch, and when to do a dollar cost averaging. You can read it at http://www.unit-trust-investment.com/2008/04/56-when-to-switch-and-when-to-do-dollar.html#links

    Carson Ding

  6. Well, for me, it’d be rather impractical to switch funds often mainly because of the fact that I’m in Australia.

    Another concern is that if you switch to a bond fund and decide to switch back to full-load fund, you’ll be charged the service charge fees once again, no?

  7. Nadlique,

    Nope. You will not be charged service fees to switch from bond back to your equity. However, if you are not our mutual gold member (members whom has invested more than 100k with PM), you will be charged a min RM 25 admin fee for each switching done.

    Is switching a good idea? To me, most of the time, it is not! I have done a mistake by switching a fund out from PFEDF in the month of Aug when the first major correction took place in USA. I missed the entire uptrend at far east region after the 20 Aug 2007. I have learn my mistake.

    Once we switched out to bond, often we have a hard time to decide when to switch back to equity again. Afterall, even Warren Buffett can’t predict the market movement Any wrong decision made will jeopardize our entire investment objective set from the beginning.

    As far as unit trust investment is concerned, it’s, in the first place, meant for mid to long term investment. When the price fall way below your cost, you can either top up in order to average down your cost, or you can just leave it there for a longer period.

    You are seeing negative return for most of your invested fund now. Take PAIF for eg: – 14%. If you were to switch to bond now (so call prevent further loss), I am sure you know how long does it take for bond to even recover your -14%. Yes, it will take at least 2 years! Worst of all, if you failed to switch back to the equity at the right time, you would miss the boat entirely (like what happen to my own portfolio back in Aug 2007)

    So when to switch? My own opinion – to switch only when you have made reasonable return. For eg, I have switched my mum’s PFEDF in the month of Jan 08 to Public Select bond fund. By then, her profit from the fund was 21% (her very first Public Mutual investment in Nov 2007). Seeing the market condition, I thought it would be safer for her to lock in the profit. She has invested in PCSF too. I didn’t switch that to bond. In fact, I have advised her to top up when the price was 0.1850 last month. Now, she is only looking at 2% losses because of the DCA effect. Once PCSF price back to 0.2475, while others are merely breakeven, my mum would have making profit.

    In other word, I see bond a good hiding place for profit locking, and not for loss cutting!

    Did your agent show you Public Mutual’s 3, 5 and 10 years track record for all the funds? If she/he did, you would have seen a very amazing double digit average return for all the equity funds. This returns are under the circumstances of NO SWITCHING or DCA is being applied.

    Just for your information, this really is not the first time we seen funds giving negative return even after one year of investment. If you look at funds like Public Smallcap and Public Ittikal funds, the initial investors were looking at losses for 1-2 years. There are many whom disposed and cursing PM for losing their money during that period. These are the people whom regret for not holding now. Despite the recent market correction, these two funds are still looking at 22% and 18% average return a year respectively since their launching date!

    That’s why the greatest investor is the most patience person in the world! 🙂

  8. Oh really? Switching from bond fund to equity fund, no service charge for that? I didn’t know that. Thanks for telling me 🙂

    When it comes to switching, I don’t intend to switch funds just because of market conditions. Like you said, switch funds only to protect profits. Switching funds to prepare for a bear market is, in my opinion, a flawed strategy. Why? Well, that’s because of the fact that nobody can predict a bear market! A bear market is when the market has fallen by a big percentage (20% plus). Only after the market has fallen by 20% plus, then only a bear market is declared. Now, by then, you have already lost a lot!

    In fact, in Australia, people have been predicting bear markets since 3-4 years ago. If I had listened to them, I would have missed the huge stock market run that happened up until early of this year.

    So, for now, I’m sticking with the same funds.

    Talking about negative returns, so far I’m fine with it. After all, most of the funds I’m with are aggressive funds. I’m not expecting any miracles here.

  9. Nadlique,

    That’s spirit! I like what warren buffett said, if you can’t bear to see 50% losses in your investment, don’t invest!

    All investment comes with risk, that’s the reason why they provide you with return. No risk no return.

    Investment can be affected by emotion. By right, when many are panic selling, we should panic buying. That’s when we get the bargain. Of course it is easier say than done. That’s why I often advise my fellow investors, just go for regular investment (DDI), then they don’t have to worry about timing the market.

    I am sticking on to my funds too. I am topping up as and when there is a major fall in the market of the day.

    OH YA, let’s me recap – That’s no service charge to switch from your equity to bond, BUT, if you are not a gold member with P. Mutual, you have to pay RM25 for admin fee.

  10. Sure is good to be a Mutual Gold member eh?

  11. Yes. It is. Not only it can help you save the administration cost for all transactions, it too will allow you to get your re-purchase cheque within 2 biz days rather than 10 biz days for non-gold members. Gold members are given free insurance up to 500k as well.

    Oh ya, almost forgot to mention, gold members are given opportunities to attent investment talk where you can meet up our fund managers to understand their investment direction..and to answer your questions, if any. I attended once, very informative.

  12. colin says:

    i had invested in Public Sector Select Fund, now
    at 0.2091, it went to a low of 0.16, my parents
    had invested in PAIF and Public China select fund(PCSF) which is now at 0.1705, it went to a low of of 0.13. They
    told me that they wanted to sell but i convinced them
    that we need to hang on as mutual funds are long term
    investments. hopefully this increase will sustain. additionally i have invested in ASW2020 which i think
    had given consistent return of 6-7%. recently i bought
    ASM, hopefully will get a good return

    • Indeed, majority of mutual funds are for the long-term. Hopefully, we’ll all do fine in 5 to 10 years from now (fingers crossed)

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