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top 10 small cap funds 2021

Top 10 Small Cap Mutual Funds 2021

If you have always wanted to invest in small caps to take advantage of their exponential gains but have been afraid to invest due to the equally high and uncertain risks, buying a good small cap mutual fund may be your solution.

This article covers the following:

  1. What are Small Cap Mutual Funds?
  2. Who should invest in Small Cap mutual funds?
  3. How to choose the Best Small Cap Mutual Funds 2021?
  4. Top 10 Small Cap Funds 2021
  5. Pros and Cons of Investing in Small Cap Mutual Funds
  6. Why choose MoneyWorks4Me?

What are Small Cap Mutual Funds?

Small Cap mutual funds invest at least 65% of their investment corpus in companies with smaller market capitalisation. Companies with less than 5000 Cr in market cap are usually considered small cap companies. According to SEBI, companies beyond the top 250 in terms of market capitalization are small cap companies.

Who should invest in small cap mutual funds?

Small cap mutual funds are capable of delivering fantastic returns that are higher than large and multi cap funds. However, the companies that these small cap funds invest in can be highly unpredictable and volatile. Thus, returns from the small cap mutual funds too are extremely volatile and are often deemed riskier investments especially in the short to medium-term.

Small cap mutual funds should be invested in with a long term view, usually 7-10 years. Even then, small cap mutual funds should be a small part of your portfolio, not more than 20-30%.

For details read, ‘How to achieve the right diversification in Mutual Funds?

How to choose the Best Small Cap Mutual Funds 2021?

1. Portfolio Composition:

What separates the plethora of available small cap funds from each other, is what lies within their portfolios. A quick study of the fund goals, investment strategy, and the kind of stocks/assets that it is investing in, will help determine what kind of risks we will be taking to earn that extra return.

2. Assess returns:

It is obvious that every investor enters the market to make high returns on their investment. For this to become a reality in the small cap fund market, it is important to assess returns based on the market conditions, the company’s financial track record, or the economy in general. Small cap mutual funds have the propensity to outperform large cap and mid cap funds especially in times when the market is bullish.

3. Ensuring diversification:

By diversifying within the portfolios, individual’s mitigate the risk of exposure to steep drops in the market value of an asset. Such drops can be off-set by a well-performing asset in the portfolio. Small cap funds can also be made the core portfolio since they go through predominant phases of ups and downs. So this will expose them to a calculated exposure thereby adding to the overall returns.

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Top 10 Small cap funds 2021 based on 5-year rolling returns

Very Good 
Somewhat Good
Risky, Not Good 
Fund Name Returns Since inception 5 Year Rolling Return (%)
SBI Small Cap Fund
19.5 24.19
Nippon India Small Cap Fund
18.3 22.83
DSP Small Cap Fund
16.2 20.09
Franklin India Smaller Companies Fund
13.2 17.12
HDFC Small Cap Fund
13.7 15.65
Aditya Birla Sun Life Small Cap Fund
10.9 14.98
Kotak Small Cap Fund
16.6 14.15
Sundaram Small Cap Fund
15.8 14.02
Axis Small Cap Fund
22.3 13.87
ICICI Prudential Smallcap Fund
9.92 12.76

Q – Quality; P – Performance (*for the complete & updated list click here)

1. SBI Small Cap Fund:

SBI Small Cap Fund focuses on the bottom up approach to track businesses that showcase high growth potential. Investments are made through a blend of growth and value.

Check, Fund Performance

2. Nippon India Small Cap Fund:

The Nippon India small cap fund opts for a buy and hold policy, builds a portfolio across various growth areas of the economy. It has a rather prudent system when selecting stocks, with risk management measures and margins of safety.

Check, Fund Performance

3. DSP Small Cap Fund:

This is a small cap fund that takes a bottom-up, buy and hold approach to investment. The fund manager invests in growth-oriented companies that are proven industry leaders and boast sustainable competitive advantages.

Check, Fund Performance

4. Franklin India Smaller Companies Fund:

Franklin India Smaller companies fund is a low-risk alternative to other small cap funds. The reason being, its relatively high exposure to mid cap stocks. Although the fund has had a poor run in the last year or so, its long-term performance is quite good.

Check, Fund Performance

5. HDFC Small Cap Fund:

The HDFC fund depends on sustainable businesses that have sound financial strength. Well-managed small cap companies with reasonable growth prospects. But there is also the fact that this small cap fund heavily prefers undervalued businesses. Using matrices to measure aspects like cash flow, return on equity, and return on capital, this small cap fund identifies the right opportunities.

Check, Fund Performance

6. Aditya Birla Sun Life Small Cap Fund:

Similar to a lot of small cap funds, Aditya Birla Sun Life Fund also follows a growth at a reasonable price approach to investment.

Check, Fund Performance

7. Kotak Small Cap Fund:

This fund aims to identify potential investments early into their life cycle and holding onto them through their growth phase. The fund has managed to beat the index comfortably over both 3 and 5 years rolling period.

Check, Fund Performance

8. Sundaram Small Cap Fund:

Sundaram Small cap fund invests mainly in the small cap companies, with minor diversification into mid-cap companies. The fund manager follows growth investing while choosing good businesses run by good management.

Check, Fund Performance

9. Axis Small Cap Fund:

Axis Small cap fund aims to invest in companies with niche and scalable business models and debt-free companies. It focuses on four variables – good corporate governance, quality of business, favourable business cycle, and a reasonable valuation, with valuation being the least important.

Check, Fund Performance

10. ICICI Prudential Smallcap Fund:

ICICI Prudential Smallcap Fund invests almost 65% of its portfolio in smaller companies. The fund is invested mainly in fairly/undervalued stocks. Other important criteria for stock selection include corporate governance, Debt, and shareholder wealth creation.

Check, Fund Performance

Pros and Cons of Investing in Small Cap Mutual Funds


  1. High Profits: One of the biggest advantages of investing in a Small cap fund is the possibility of earning huge profits. The growth potential in a small cap company far outweighs that’s of a large cap company. Higher the growth, higher the subsequent market returns.
  2. Low Risk: While it is true that small cap companies have higher growth potential, it is also true that they have a much higher chance of failure. For every single company that succeeds, there are 10 others that have failed. Investing through the mutual fund helps reduce your risk through diversification. Thus, even if one company fails, the impact at a portfolio level is minimal…
  3. Professional help: Since the chances of failure are extremely high in small cap investing, it is best to have professional advice. Mutual funds make this possible for retail investors at a very small cost…


  1. Volatility: Small cap funds come with a certain risk owing to their highly volatile nature. This is in contrast to large cap or multi cap funds that are relatively more stable.
  2. Long periods of underperformance: Small cap stocks and thereby the funds that own them too are often plagued with long periods of underperformance.


Why choose MoneyWorks4Me?

There are close to 350 equity mutual funds to choose from. For a retail investor, it becomes an uphill task to choose funds that are worth investing in. It is even more difficult to invest in them at the right time. MoneyWorks4me can make these decisions much easier for you.

MoneyWorks4Me strives to implement long-term financial stability for its patrons providing clear and transparent analyses and insights. The website also uses unique technology to remove human biases while implementing financial advice.

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Aliya Sayyed

Manager - Equity Research; Total 10 years works experience ranging from equity analysis, portfolio management, and financial planning. MBA in Finance. Passionate about equity research. Likes reading Finance, business, and classic fiction. Spends free time with friends and family.