Navigating Tough Times in Stock Market

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Greetings from PenguWIN:

Most people dislike uncertainty and change. But resilience to these characteristics is what makes a successful investor in Stock Markets.

Reminiscing couple of Buffets Quotes

The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect. You need a temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd.

Successful investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant”

Yes, things are easier said than done. After seeing returns slowly move up and cross 10% and even close to 20% for investors in the past 5 years (depends on entry point), going down to less than 10% is difficult to digest.

So, what can we do?

  1. Don’t lose sleep by looking at returns on a continuous basis which is dependent on the market and fund manager. Even if we change the fund, there is every chance that the earlier fund manager will do a course correction as everyone makes mistakes, while the new fund might go into a bad phase.
  2. Markets are influenced by too many factors, some logical. Political changes, Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI) flows, Finance and Commerce ministry policies, Budget and Taxation, GDP, Inflation, sectoral issues (Coal, NBFC) and the list goes on. Again, not in our control.
  3. Time in the market is what is in our control. It has been proven across all markets that consistency of returns increases by time “n”. Also, there is no other legally investable asset class that can match equity returns and it has been proven time and again. If equity returns move down to 12% then the other asset classes will be down further by 4-5%, i.e. 7 to 8% max.
  4. Look at pure equity investments only for financial goals that are 5 years plus in horizon. Once we do that checking whether it has gone down or up in year 3 or 4 does not make sense. Also, given the criticality of a goal, whether negotiable or non-negotiable, do proper planning so that a correction in the last year of the goal erodes your corpus making the goal unviable. If it’s negotiable, then you have the luxury of postponing the goal until you reach the desired corpus
  5. Conviction in equity investing. Every time when the market tanks if you start doubting whether you made a wrong choice of asset class there is no end your misery. Typically one review per year is good enough. If your proportionate allocation to equity is significant, then once in 6 months is fine.

<Blog # PenguWIN 1069 – Navigating Tough Times in Stock Market>

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