Posted On Friday, Nov 01, 2013
The S&P BSE Sensex surged to an all-time high of 21,293.88, breaking the previous high set in 2008, and closed at 21,196.81 at the time of writing this article on the 1st of November 2013.
The ups and downs of the financial markets are always in the news. The market can plunge or rise likes a phoenix at any time. Volatility seems to have become the norm for the markets now. It is therefore natural for investors to worry about their investments in these uncertain markets. The reality is that market swings happen often and when they do, it can be disturbing for many investors like us.
An expected reaction to that fear might be to reduce or eliminate any exposure to the stocks and securities, redeeming all your holdings in equities, thinking it may stop further losses. But disciplined investors just do the opposite. They don't panic when the market swings and keep holding onto their investments. They avoid taking any short term measures which could damage their portfolio in the long run.
Market movements cannot be predicted, but here are some tips may help you to make sensible investment decisions:
Set your investment strategy:
Surviving in market volatility is lot easier when you have a firm investment strategy. To create a sound investment strategy, you should understand several crucial factors, which are:
• Your investment goals: You should set your financial goals for which you want to invest
• Your time horizon for investments: The time period for which you want to invest depending on your investments goals.
• Your tolerance for risk: You should also gauge your risk appetite i.e. the amount of risk you are ready to take.
Have a financial plan:
Having a financial plan helps you deal with a volatile market in a much better way. A financial plan includes the following steps:
• Set and prioritize your life goals.
• Check your existing investments and the role they will play in meeting your goals and also whether the current set of investments are the right ones for you.
• Identify the right investment instruments including how much insurance and a emergency reserve should you have to take care of your dependents.
• Track and review your investments.
It is advised to stay invested in the scheme and not redeem during the market crash and again invest when the markets go up because keeping track of the market and individual stocks is very a difficult job as it requires a lot of time, research and financial expertise to time the market correctly. Not all people are blessed with these abilities and face a high probability to face losses. It may happen that sometime you become over confident and take too many risks and lose your money or become overcautious and miss an opportunity.
Your focus should be on diversifying your portfolio to protect yourself from market volatility and market downturns. Diversification is spreading your investments across the three asset classes i.e. equity, debt and gold. Then, to help offset risk even more, diversify the investments within each asset class. Keep in mind, however, that diversification doesn’t ensure a profit or guarantee against loss.
A Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is a vehicle offered by mutual funds to help investors save regularly. Systematic Investment Plans are recommended as the best way for investments in the volatile markets. With the power of “Rupee Cost Averaging", SIPs have the potential to minimize losses and generate returns. An SIP may ensure disciplined investment irrespective of the market movement. You can invest in equities through mutual funds for as low as Rs 500 a month. That is the wonder of Systematic Investment Plans - Invest big through small savings. Investing through the SIP route helps you make regular investments at regular intervals and can help you gain from the benefit of compounding.
At times when the market is volatile, its best to review your portfolio i.e. to check the performance of the funds in your portfolio and their exposure to risk. Be sure that you are not too over exposed to one particular sector. Some small adjustments in your portfolio might help you to give you long term profits.
You can survive the volatile markets if you are on track to meet your investment goals. Therefore, it is advised not to flow with the negative sentiments of the market during a market fluctuation and rather than focusing on the instability of the market you should focus more on how to develop a sound financial plan which will help you fight against the market volatility. However, it is advised to take the help of a professional financial advisor during the volatile period.
Statutory Details and Risk Factors:
The views expressed here in this article are for general information and reading purpose only and do not constitute any guidelines and recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader. The views are not meant to serve as a professional guide / investment advice / intended to be an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial product or instrument or mutual fund units for the reader. The article has been prepared on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other sources believed to be reliable. Whilst no action has been solicited based upon the information provided herein, due care has been taken to ensure that the facts are accurate and views given are fair and reasonable as on date. Readers of this article should rely on information/data arising out of their own investigations and advised to seek independent professional advice and arrive at an informed decision before making any investments. Please visit – www.quantumamc.com/disclaimer to read scheme specific risk factors.
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