Expect equities to deliver 11% return this calendar: White Oak Capital

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White Oak Capital, a global investment management and investment advisory firm, expects the Indian equity benchmark indices to deliver 10-11 per cent returns this calendar year, its founder Prashant Khemka said.

Khemka, formerly chief investment officer (CIO) and Lead Portfolio Manager of India Equity and Global Emerging Markets Equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said he expects the return between now and the end of the year to be about 7 per cent given that four months have already lapsed in 2021.

He, however, declined to put a specific target as the house view on either the Nifty or the Sensex.

Returns and GDP growth

“Markets by nature are unpredictable. Having said that, the base case assumption for us is that markets should deliver its time value of money in terms of any period of time. Currently, our expectation is that market should deliver low double-digit returns annually which is in line with the nominal GDP growth rate of India,” he said.

If you look worldwide, most countries, over long periods of time, deliver returns commensurate with nominal GDP growth.

“We assume Indian market to deliver 11 per cent or so in a year,” he said, adding that White Oak Capital has the conviction that over a long period of time, Indian market returns from here should be in line with the nominal GDP. However, any given year can be vastly different from that, he said.

‘Biggest life lesson’

Khemka said the biggest lesson of his life (from the events pertaining to the Covid-induced market crash of 2020 and the subsequent rebound) is the futility of predicting investment returns based on macro economic reasons. “The biggest lesson to take away from 2020 is that investment decisions based on or driven by macro considerations are fraught with very high risk of substantial, absolute and relative losses. Our team still did better despite the challenges of 2020 because of our balanced portfolio construction and our risk management approach, wherein, we go out of our way to ensure that macro views are not impacting our portfolios, consciously or sub-consciously,” he said.

Currently, White Oak Capital has assets under management (AUM) worth $3.8 billion.

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