To get best returns and realise your financial goals, you must stay invested for the long-term.
The current volatile stock market may worry you about your investments. However, if your investment strategies are directed towards meeting your financial goals which are planned for a longer time horizon, you only need to focus on your investment-cum-asset allocation strategy instead of present market fluctuations.
Here are some key points to remember while investing your money in equities:
Stick towards your long-term investment goals
Abhinav Angirish, Managing Director, Abchlor Investment Advisors Private Limited said that timing the market and taking action is like gambling and hoping to win on every move! We all know it is impossible. Yet, when it comes to equities, everyone feels that they can predict what will happen in the markets. “I am not suggesting that one should not be cautious and track the investments made but as investors, we need to focus on long-term goals for which the investments have been made. It not only makes the achievement of goal easier, it also eases the regular stress of reacting to various domestic and global external factors that affect the equity markets in the short term. In my view, recurrent churn in the portfolio only causes lower returns over the long term and in many cases, it ends up with disturbed allocations as one is trying to time the markets to enter or exit,” he said.
“Equity investments generally tend to be goal-based – be it for buying a car or home, education, retirement, etc. To get best returns to realize these goals, you must stay invested for a longer period. Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) help you by averaging costs and reducing risks. So the longer you stay invested, the higher would be your returns. Typically, savings should continue for 5-10 years. All categories of equity schemes will deliver inflation plus returns over a 10-year period,” said Adhil Shetty, CEO – Bankbazaar.com.
Review your Asset Allocation Strategy
It is prudent that one sticks to their asset allocation at all times as correct asset allocation is made on the basis of individual risk appetite. Generally, investors get carried away when certain asset classes tend to outperform the other in the short term.
“We may recall, allocation to Gold ETFs was a hit between 2011-2013 when equities were underperforming. For those who made the shift eventually not only lost staying in Gold and losing on the gain in equities. Needless to say that Gold as an asset class should be there in one's portfolio maximum upto 5% to hedge inflation and global uncertainties when investors move to gold as the safest haven. Hence, it is essential that investors review the portfolios and accordingly adjust the allocations periodically. For example, currently, most equity allocations have shot up due to the sharp rise in the markets. Ideally, one should adjust them now. Over a period of time, if markets tend to correct and exposure to equities reduce, one should accordingly increase the exposure. We recommend to review the allocation every 6 months to a year or when there is a sharp move in the invested asset class,” said Angirish.
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Gain from bearish market sentiments
Investors must consider market corrections as a great opportunity for wealth creation. Like other past corrections, this phase would also pass after presenting opportunities to buy funds at an attractive valuation. Manish Kothari – Director Mutual Funds, Paisabazaar.com said that those with existing equity fund investments and SIP contributions can invest 10-20% of their equity portfolio in a lump sum at every 5% correction in broader indices. However, avoid mid and small-cap funds as valuations are still on the higher side. “Frequent portfolio reviews only compound the emotions of fear and anxiety among investors, leading many to redeem investments and book losses. Instead, mutual fund investors should list down their goals and investment horizon and check whether their asset allocation needs any adjustment. Do not review your portfolio just because of some bad news,” he said.One must actively invest for the long-term through systematic investment approach on a monthly basis where through these market corrections one can also get the rupee-cost averaging benefit too. Hence, fence-sitters who did not invest in the recent past should start investing.