“Equity is the best form of investment”, “This is the start of the biggest market rally yet”, “The Sensex will cross 50,000 by the year end”.

“The markets have heated up and may see a major correction”; “The PE of the market is very high. Brace yourself for a fall”

Yes. These days, you would definitely be reading both the spectrum of headlines in the news across the TV and the print medium. So the golden question still is “As an Investor, what should I do?” If you ask me, if you have a plan in place, you should continue with it and not react to the market movements.

What do we mean by this? Should we not listen to the market experts and plan our next move. If the markets will still continue their upward journey, should we not invest more? If the market is overheated according to some experts, should we not redeem and /or stop our systematic investments. The plain and simple, yet boring answer is No.

Let us explore this further. If you happen to read golden words from legendary investors who have made money, they will talk about the following principals.

  1. Start as early as possible as this would give more time for your money to grow – If you already have not started, start investing. Better late than never
  2. Invest on a regular basis with utmost discipline – The best way to be disciplined is to automate the monthly investment through SIP. More on this ahead in the article
  3. Invest for the long term – Having a long term view helps you to ride through the volatility and market ups and downs and not take ad-hoc decisions

Let us take the above three basic principles a little further.

It is always better to have a plan prepared basis which you can manage your finances. Someone has rightly said that “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. A plan helps you to take into consideration multiple factors in one place which is very necessary. E.g. If I invest my savings in equity without knowing that I require it for the down payment of the house 1.5 years down the line, it would be considered as not ideal for the duration available.

 

 

A financial plan ensures that you do not look at taking investment decisions in isolation or buying blindly because someone else is doing it. Following are some of the significant features of the plan which will ensure that you need not be worried about market volatility

  • Risk Profiling – Each one of us has a risk taking appetite which will be very different from others.
  • Asset Allocation – Based on the risk profile, a suitable asset allocation comprising of a bucket of products is designed.
  • Goal Planning – As we saw above, the investments need to be done basis the objective for which we will need them and when we will need them.
  • A plan also ensures that protection measures in the form of emergency fund, mediclaim, term cover, personal accident etc. are taken by the investor.
  • The biggest advantage of a plan is that it forces you to be disciplined. It will help you to regularly monitor and make changes in the nick of time.
  • Regular investments help you to buy even when the market is down and helps you to take advantage of averaging out your cost of investments over a period of time

In conclusion, a financial roadmap ensures that you make the right investment choices and reach your desired objectives without worrying daily about the market movements.

 

Sudipto Roy was heading Treasury function for Tata SSL and has an extensive experience of the Indian financial markets with a career spanning over 27 years he has worked in diverse industries such as Financial Planning & Distribution, Asset Management, Life Insurance, Insurance Broking, Equity etc. He has held a leadership position in PNB Principal Financial Planners, Kotak Mahindra Mutual Life Insurance, Birla Sun Life Insurance, and Kotak Securities.