Nearly all the top equity schemes by assets, the most popular among Indian investors, have given better returns than key share indices so far in 2017. At a time when year-to-date (YTD) returns of Nifty50 and Sensex stood at 19.16 per cent and 17.4 per cent, respectively, India's top 10 largest equity schemes, on an average, offered a return of 20.5 per cent in the period. This does not only defy the logic that the large size of a scheme becomes a constraint when it comes to performance but also justifies investors’ preferences for such funds which have established, long track records. For instance HDFC Equity, the largest of all with assets under management (AUM) of more than Rs 20,000 crore, has given investors a return of 20.8 per cent so far in 2017. Similarly, other funds also offered returns in the range of 20-22 per cent. Two schemes, in particular, need special mention — Kotak Select Focus Fund and Axis Long Term Equity Fund — which returned 24.7 per cent and 23.81 per cent to investors. Only one fund on the list — ICICI Pru Value Discovery Fund — didn’t come anywhere close to its peers in terms of performance, given the investment strategy of the scheme. But, the fund has a robust performance record of 22 per cent CAGR since its launch. The fund generally tends to underperform when markets
run sharply but comes back strongly when others underperform.