Best Small Cap Mutual Funds to Invest In

Investing in Small Cap Mutual Funds is like discovering hidden gems in the vast landscape of the Indian stock market.

Imagine being part of a journey where you explore the untapped potential of smaller companies with the promise of growth and vitality.

Small Cap Mutual Funds, representing the heart of India’s entrepreneurial spirit, open doors to exciting opportunities for investors seeking high growth potential.

In the realm of finance, “small” doesn’t mean insignificant; it signifies dynamism and agility. Small Cap companies are the ambitious startups and nimble enterprises that dream of transforming into tomorrow’s industry leaders.

In this journey, we’ll unravel the charm of Small Cap Mutual Funds, demystifying the nuances of these investments, exploring their unique flavor in the Indian context, and understanding how they can spice up your portfolio with the zest of high returns and long-term growth.

So, buckle up as we embark on a journey to uncover the riches that Small Cap Mutual Funds bring to the Indian investment table.

Small cap mutual funds
Small cap mutual funds investing

Understanding Small Cap Mutual Funds Investments:

1. Characteristics of Small Cap Stocks:

Small Cap stocks represent companies with a relatively small market capitalization, typically ranging from the lower spectrum of the market. Key characteristics include:

Market Capitalization: Small Cap companies have a lower total market value, making them smaller in size compared to Large and Mid Cap counterparts.

Growth Potential: These companies often exhibit high growth potential, seeking to expand and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Volatility: Small Cap stocks tend to be more volatile, reflecting the responsiveness of smaller companies to market dynamics.

Limited Resources: Small Caps may have limited resources compared to larger entities, impacting their financial flexibility.

2. Differentiation from Large and Mid Cap:

Understanding Small Cap investments involves distinguishing them from Large and Mid Cap investments based on various factors:

Market Size: Small Caps have a smaller market capitalization compared to Large and Mid Cap stocks.

Risk and Return Profile: Small Cap investments generally carry higher risk but offer the potential for substantial returns, contrasting with the comparatively stable but lower-return Large Caps.

Growth Trajectory: Small Caps are often in a growth phase, striving to expand and increase market share, while Large Caps may focus on maintaining stability and market dominance.

Market Dynamics: Small Caps are more susceptible to market fluctuations and economic cycles due to their size and resource constraints, making them dynamic and responsive.

Understanding these characteristics and distinctions is crucial for investors considering Small Cap investments, enabling them to make informed decisions aligned with their risk tolerance and investment goals.

Why should you invest in small cap mutual funds?

Small Cap mutual funds
Best Small Cap funds

USPs of investing in small cap funds or the extreme benefits, especially in the long term. Here are some key advantages that investors may find compelling:

  1. High Growth Potential:

Small cap stocks often have significant growth potential compared to larger, more established companies. These companies may be in their early stages of development and can experience rapid expansion.

2. Outperformance Potential:

Historically, small cap stocks have shown the potential to outperform large caps over the long term. While they may be more volatile, their growth trajectory can result in substantial returns.

3. Undervalued Opportunities:

Smaller companies are sometimes overlooked by institutional investors, creating opportunities for individual investors to discover undervalued gems before they attract broader attention.

4. Diversification Benefits:

Adding small cap funds to a diversified portfolio can enhance overall diversification. Small caps may not always move in tandem with larger stocks, providing a hedge against market fluctuations.

5. Market Inefficiencies:

The small cap segment is less efficient than larger markets, creating potential opportunities for active fund managers to identify mispriced stocks and generate alpha.

6. Innovation and Agility:

Small companies are often more innovative and agile. They can adapt quickly to market changes, potentially capitalizing on emerging trends and gaining a competitive edge.

7. Mergers and Acquisitions:

Small cap companies are often targets for mergers and acquisitions. Investors in small cap funds may benefit from potential acquisition premiums as larger companies seek to expand through acquisitions.

8. Long-Term Wealth Creation:

Investing in small cap funds aligns well with a long-term wealth creation strategy. The power of compounding, coupled with the growth potential of smaller companies, can result in substantial wealth over time.

9. Economic Impact:

Supporting smaller companies through investment in small cap funds can contribute to economic development. It enables capital to flow into enterprises with the potential to become significant contributors to employment and economic growth.

10. Early Access to Future Leaders:

Investing in small cap funds provides the opportunity to identify and participate in the growth of future industry leaders before they become large-cap stocks.

While the benefits are compelling, it’s important to note that small cap investing comes with higher risk and volatility.

Investors should carefully assess their risk tolerance and investment goals before allocating a portion of their portfolio to small cap funds.

Additionally, a long-term perspective is crucial to fully capture the potential benefits of investing in this segment.

Best small cap mutual funds to invest in ’24:

With a proven track record of sustained performance and reliability, here are the top three small-cap mutual funds worth considering, keeping your risk tolerance and long-term financial goals in mind—especially those spanning a decade or more.

1.	Quant Small Cap fund.
2.	Nippon India Small Cap Fund.
3.	Franklin India Smaller Companies Fund

1. Quant Small Cap Fund

The scheme seeks to generate capital appreciation by investing in a well-diversified portfolio of small cap companies1.

The fund has delivered an annualized return of 50.19% over the past 3 years1.

The fund has undergone a complete transformation since 2020 and has emerged as a top performer in its category year after year2.

The credit of this turnaround in performance goes to its fund manager, Ankit Pande, who started handling this fund in May 20202.

The Quant Small Cap Fund’s strategy may involve factors such as financial ratios, valuation metrics, and other quantitative indicators to identify potential investment opportunities within the small-cap universe.

The fund’s assets under management (AUM) have grown almost 35 times in the past three years, from Rs 94 crore in December 2020 to Rs 13,000 crore in February 2024.

2. Nippon India Small Cap Fund

The scheme seeks to generate long term capital appreciation by investing predominantly in equity and equity related instruments of small cap companies3.

The fund has a very high-risk rating.

The fund has delivered an annualized return of 40.52% over the past 3 years.

The fund maintains presence in mid-caps with modest allocation to large-caps for liquidity needs.

The fund has put in a good show in recent years and enjoys a solid longer term track record.

The fund has an established track record of over 25 years in managing equity strategies.

Risks involved in small cap mutual funds

Investing in small cap mutual funds can offer substantial growth opportunities, but it comes with its set of risks. It’s essential for investors to be aware of these risks to make informed decisions.

Here are some key risks associated with investing in small cap mutual funds:

Best Small Cap funds risks involved.
Best Small Cap funds

Market Volatility:

Small cap stocks tend to be more volatile than larger stocks. Market conditions, economic factors, and external events can lead to significant price fluctuations.

Liquidity Risk:

Small cap stocks often have lower trading volumes, which can result in higher bid-ask spreads and difficulty in executing trades. This liquidity risk can impact the ease of buying or selling shares.

Business Risk:

Smaller companies may be more vulnerable to business risks such as management issues, operational challenges, or industry-specific downturns. These risks can have a more pronounced impact on smaller entities.

Financial Risk:

Small cap companies may have limited financial resources compared to their larger counterparts. This financial constraint can affect their ability to weather economic downturns or invest in growth opportunities.

Limited Analyst Coverage:

Smaller companies often receive less attention from analysts and the financial media. This lack of coverage can result in less available information for investors, making it challenging to conduct thorough research.

Macro-economic Factors:

Small cap stocks can be more sensitive to changes in economic conditions. Factors like interest rate changes, inflation, or geopolitical events can disproportionately affect smaller companies.

Higher Beta:

Small cap stocks typically have a higher beta, indicating a higher correlation with the overall market. While this can amplify returns in a bull market, it also increases the downside risk during market declines.

Managerial Risk:

The success of small cap mutual funds is often tied to the fund manager’s skill in identifying promising small cap stocks. Managerial changes or a lack of experience in navigating the small cap landscape can pose risks.

Exit Challenges:

Selling large quantities of small cap stocks can be challenging without causing price slippage. Investors may face difficulties in exiting positions without impacting the stock prices negatively.

Cyclical Sensitivity:

Small cap stocks, especially those in specific industries, may be more sensitive to economic cycles. Economic downturns can disproportionately affect smaller companies.

While small cap mutual funds offer growth potential, investors should carefully assess their risk tolerance and investment horizon. Diversification, thorough research, and a long-term perspective can help mitigate some of the risks associated with small cap investments.

Ideal Time frame to investing in small cap funds

Investing in small cap funds requires careful consideration of the investor’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon. The ideal time frame for investing in small cap funds can vary based on individual circumstances. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

A. Long-Term Horizon (5-10 Years or More):

Small cap funds are best suited for investors with a long-term investment horizon. The inherent volatility of small cap stocks may lead to short-term fluctuations, but over a more extended period, these funds have the potential to deliver substantial returns.

B. Mid-Term Horizon (3-5 Years):

Investors with a mid-term horizon may also consider small cap funds, especially if they are willing to accept a slightly higher level of volatility. This time frame allows for potential growth and capital appreciation, but investors should be prepared for short-term market fluctuations.

C. Avoid Short-Term (Less than 3 Years):

Small cap stocks can be highly volatile, and their performance may be influenced by short-term market dynamics.

Investors with a very short-term horizon (less than 3 years) may be exposed to increased risk, and the potential benefits of small cap investing may not fully materialize.

Align with Financial Goals:

Consider the financial goals associated with the investment. If the goal is long-term wealth accumulation, such as retirement planning or building a substantial investment portfolio, a longer time frame is generally more suitable.

Risk Tolerance and Market Conditions:

Assess your risk tolerance. Small cap funds can experience significant price swings, and investors should be comfortable with the possibility of short-term losses. Additionally, market conditions may influence the ideal time frame, and investors should consider economic cycles and trends.

Regular Monitoring and Reassessment:

Regularly monitor the performance of the small cap fund and reassess your investment strategy. Periodic reviews can help ensure that the investment aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Systematic Investment (SIP):

For investors with a long-term perspective, a systematic investment plan (SIP) can be an effective way to navigate market volatility.

SIPs involve regularly investing a fixed amount at predefined intervals, which can help average out the impact of market fluctuations.

Remember that small cap investing involves higher risk, but it also presents opportunities for potentially higher returns.

Before deciding on the ideal time frame, it’s crucial to thoroughly understand your financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance.

Consulting with a financial advisor can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances.

Who should and should not be investing in small cap mutual funds?

Investing in small cap mutual funds is not suitable for everyone, and it’s important to consider individual financial circumstances, goals, and risk tolerance.

Here are some considerations for who should and should not be investing in small cap mutual funds:

Who Should Consider Investing in Small Cap Mutual Funds:

Long-Term Investors:

Investors with a long-term horizon, such as those saving for retirement or other distant financial goals, may find small cap funds suitable. These funds have the potential for substantial growth over an extended period.

High Risk Tolerance:

Individuals who can tolerate higher levels of risk and volatility in their investment portfolio may be well-suited for small cap funds. These investments can experience significant price fluctuations.

Diversification Seekers:

Investors looking to diversify their portfolio and add an element of high-growth potential may consider small cap funds. Diversification can help spread risk across different asset classes.

Active Investors:

Those who are actively involved in managing their investments and are willing to stay informed about the market conditions may find small cap funds appealing. Active management may be beneficial in navigating the dynamics of smaller companies.

Patient Investors:

Patience is a virtue in small cap investing. Individuals who can stay invested through market fluctuations and avoid making impulsive decisions based on short-term volatility may benefit from the potential long-term gains.

Believers in Economic Growth:

Investors who believe in the growth potential of smaller companies and their ability to become industry leaders may find small cap funds aligning with their investment philosophy.

Who Should Exercise Caution or Avoid Small Cap Mutual Funds:

Best Small Cap funds
Best Small Cap funds

Short-Term Investors:

Individuals with a short-term investment horizon, such as those needing funds in the next few years, may want to avoid small cap funds due to their higher volatility and potential for short-term losses.

Low Risk Tolerance:

Conservative investors with a low risk tolerance may find the higher volatility of small cap funds unsettling. These funds can experience more significant price swings compared to larger-cap counterparts.

Novice Investors:

Novice investors who are new to the stock market may find the complexity and volatility of small cap investing challenging. It may be advisable for such investors to start with more stable and established funds.

Those Seeking Stable Income:

Individuals seeking stable income through dividends may not find small cap funds suitable. Smaller companies may not always distribute dividends, and the focus is often on reinvesting profits for growth.

Risk-Averse Investors:

Investors who prioritize capital preservation and are highly risk-averse may be uncomfortable with the risk-return profile of small cap funds.

Before investing in small cap mutual funds, it’s recommended to assess your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon.

Consulting with a financial advisor can provide personalized guidance based on your individual circumstances.

Role of small caps investing retirement accumulation phase, how it makes a difference for financial freedom in 10 to 20 years?

Investing in small cap mutual funds during the retirement accumulation phase can play a significant role in shaping your financial future and contributing to long-term wealth accumulation.

Here are some ways in which small cap investing can make a difference for financial freedom over a 10 to 20-year horizon:

Higher Growth Potential:

Small cap stocks, representing smaller, high-growth companies, have historically shown the potential for higher growth compared to larger, more established companies.

Over a 10 to 20-year period, the compounding effect of this higher growth than large and mid cap mutual funds, can significantly impact the overall portfolio value.

Long-Term Capital Appreciation:

Small cap funds, with their focus on capital appreciation, align well with the long-term horizon of retirement planning.

The extended time frame allows for market volatility to smooth out, and the potential for substantial returns to materialize.

Opportunity for Wealth Creation:

The dynamic nature of smaller companies can provide opportunities for wealth creation. Investing in small cap funds during the accumulation phase allows investors to participate in the growth journey of these companies, potentially translating into wealth accumulation over time.

Economic Growth Participation:

Investing in small caps contributes to the broader economy by supporting smaller, innovative companies. These companies, when successful, can become significant contributors to economic growth, and investors benefit from being part of this growth story of the country.

Higher Risk, Higher Reward Strategy:

Retirement planning typically involves a balance between risk and reward. While small cap investing comes with higher volatility, the potential for higher returns may align with the goal of building a retirement nest egg over the long term.

Potential for Early Identification of Future Leaders:

Small cap investing provides an opportunity to identify and invest in companies that may become industry leaders in the future. Early identification can result in being part of the growth trajectory of these future leaders.

While the potential benefits of small cap investing are compelling, it’s crucial to note that it comes with higher risk.

Investors should carefully assess their risk tolerance, review their investment strategy periodically, and consider consulting with a financial advisor to ensure alignment with their retirement goals.


In conclusion, small-cap mutual funds offer the potential for higher returns over the long term, albeit with accompanying higher risks due to the inherent volatility of smaller companies.

Investors should carefully assess their risk tolerance and investment horizon before considering small-cap investments and refrain investing in it if they are closer to their financial goals.

It is advisable to seek guidance from a financial advisor or a certified mutual fund distributor to make informed decisions, ensuring that the chosen investment aligns with individual financial goals and risk preferences.

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