May 16, 2020
The events of the past few days have been affecting financial markets domestically and globally thereby affecting clients’ Personal Finances. While these factors are not in any one’s control, the following principles can help greatly to navigate a volatile external environment:
1. Asset allocation strategy - Where assets are spread in different baskets based on one’s risk profile. These could be in aggressive assets like Equity (and sometimes Real Estate) and conservative assets like fixed income avenues. Also, allocation to gold-related investments are suggested as a hedging strategy.
2. Diversification strategy - So that there is no single style bias in an asset class. Examples could be investments in fixed income through fixed deposits and various styles of debt mutual funds. Investments in equity through direct equity and equity (active and passive) mutual funds across various styles and market caps
3. Time diversification - In aggressive assets like equity-linked assets to reduce the risk of market timing.
Our Financial Planning Philosophy always strives to do this, to avoid negative surprises. Following the above strategy does not assure very high returns but gives a balanced approach to the entire portfolio.
The way forward:
1. If one’s allocation in equity-linked assets has not reached the target as per the risk profile of the individual, then continue investing gradually and benefit from the volatility. Someone else’s problem becomes your opportunity. If you have already reached your target allocation, then sit back and enjoy the roller coaster.
2. Equity-linked assets are not suitable for giving linear stable returns but best for giving inflation beating volatile returns. Do not track them closely now, but enjoy their long-term fruits. We know it is difficult but, who has made money easily.
3. Allocate the conservative allocation to fixed income through debt mutual funds for investors in the taxable brackets. Opt for safer debt funds as the primary function of debt funds is stability and not high returns. For those investors who are not in the tax bracket and/or NRIs could allocate this portion to the safety of fixed deposits of banks.
4. Have an emergency or a short term portfolio whose primary function is liquidity, stability and returns, in that order. This will help you to give time to your aggressive portfolio if at all you require unforeseen liquidity.
5. Over long periods, financial product selection and market timing would not be the critical factor in your overall portfolio return. On the contrary, a strategy focused on process, discipline, financial goals, time horizon, patience, asset allocation and diversification could be the key factor to earn better risk-adjusted returns.
Wishing you all a safe and exciting investment experience.
1. Market linked investments like Mutual Funds and Equity share investments are subject to market risks. Kindly read the scheme information documents carefully before investing.
2. All other investments have different levels of risk like credit risk, regulatory risk etc. I appreciate this before initiating any investments.
3. The past performance of any asset class is not an indicator of future performance.
4. It is very important to consult a professional planner/investment adviser while implementing any of the above ideas.
5. The above are mere suggestions and not investment advice as individual cases might differ.