The biggest risk in the market is …

The difference between the Novice and the Expert is their ability to quickly determine what’s relevant and what’s irrelevant. The biggest problem in today’s market it is hard to differentiate between what is relevant and what is irrelevant.

Financial literacy is not a side effect of wealth. Wealth is a side effect of financial literacy.

I am writing in this blog post, what I learn during my life span of serving MF Industry. I am serving the MF industry since 2002 (almost 2 decades) with all three different roles, which helped me to analyse the industry with unbiased angle. I have analysed all the ups and down of market closely which happened during the period.

1 As a Software vendor from 2002 (MFInvest Back Office – since 2002 & BLTP Investment Mechanism – since 2012) until today

  • I am the pioneer who launched the first-ever automated software which was having the facility to Import data from all RTA’s and Starts Reporting. Helped me to understand the psychology of MFD in depth because I was discussing one to one on his/her thoughts about the market and outlook of future market

2 As an Investor from 2003 till today

  • I had also faced heavy losses in spite of having SIPs in my portfolio in the 2008-09 market crash.Helped me to understand market in-depth with respect to the fundamentals. Without losing money in the market I could not have learnt about various strategies and could not be able to design my own investment strategy. I think that was the fees which were paid for learning a big lesson for lifetime.

As I mentioned , When I faced heavy losses across all the categories during Biggest Market Crash, even though I was using SIPs in my portfolio with various fund categories like large-cap, mid-cap, small-cap, balance fund etc…

when I asked my advisor clients why I end up with losses even after using a tool like SIP. Advisors were telling “we are not a Fortune Teller” whenever the market gets crashed everybody will have to face losses we can not avoid it. I could not digest, that there are no remedies for this situation.

I have started dissecting various strategies like SIP/STPs, Value Investing, Asset Allocation and other investment strategies from 2008 to 2012 and found shocking truth about what are the biggest mistakes we are doing in the market.

There are 3 types of people around us.

  1. One who learns from other’s Mistake and save fees. – Smart.
  2. One who learns by making a mistake and paid for it. – Average.
  3. One who doesn’t even learn after paying for his own mistake and repeating the same mistakes frequently.- Over Smart.

I have categorised myself in 2nd category out of 3 category but also ready to learn from others mistakes.

3 As an MFD from 2013 till today

  • I have started my career as an MFD in 2013 when the market was just facing correction. Helped me to understand problems in depth, which is faced byMFDs. I became more precise on my way to provide protection to the folio against the disruption in the market.

I am an engineer by study, so being an engineer I look at the product instead of Brand. I always thought better is better, if I make a better product better, the world will accept it. Mutual Fund is a very good investment product if it is made bit safer.

Being a solution provider to the MFD community I was having an unbiased vision. I was looking to the situation with a solution providers point of view and found the following 3 problems. I believe that there is not a single problem which is not having a proper solution. it is just a matter of putting some efforts.

  • Our First and Biggest Problem is Generalisation

The biggest problem is, we are using process friendly strategy instead of investment-friendly strategy, where we need not to work and automated process will take care of all the stereotype transactions.

Wise-man has said the biggest enemy of man is a generalization.

We all are facing a different type of problem and broadly saying, we all are having different types of reason for even the same looking problem we can not provide a generalised solution for all the problems. Here comes the Individualised solution because our problems are also an individual problem.

In investment, most people failed because they try not to create something but to take a slice of someone else’s something. Remember that each individual has different requirements according to the situation he is in.
For example, If person ‘A’ is entered when the SENSEX was at 20000 and another person ‘B’ entered when SENSEX is 40000 and suppose today’s SENSEX level is at 30000.

Can we advise the same investment solution to both the investor? The market is down by 10000 points (25%) from its peak.
Of course Not because both the clients are in a different situation at the same market level.
Mr ‘A’ is still enjoying with a gain of 10000 points(50%), even after a deep correction of 10000 points(25%) compared to the peak in the market, from his point of inception.
Where Mr. ‘B’ is facing a huge loss of 10000 points (25%) after starting his investment journey.
But the scenario (Fact) is that most of the advisors are providing the same solution for both Investors. We have made our practice Generalised instead of Individualised. The biggest problem with generalised practice is that it is less immune against risk of Market Volatility.

  • Second is our approach is not Holism.

We are acting as a blind man on an elephant and draw some conclusion from it. We are assuming so many things and ignoring the reality which we are going to face in the future.
We are looking towards the market, only for taking the decision which fits in to our perceptions and ignoring the fundamentals which are the vital part of the investment process. By ignoring fundamentals you can not build a sustainable portfolio. Just like, in cooking salt is the main ingredient for making the food tasty but if you do not put it in proportion the same food will be of the bitter taste.
So sit back & look situation holistically and for the long term then take any decision.

  • The third Risk is Vitality.

One day the weather was not good so you got ill and gone to the doctor for taking treatment. You as a patient thinking that the weather is bad so you become ill. But if you go through the facts, you are the only person in the family who get affected by the weather. Everybody in the family is living in the same environment, The weather is the same for all the family member then why you only get infected?
Why you become ill, not due to weather but your Immunity.
same way, why your portfolio suffers losses, not due to market volatility but by lack of immunity in your portfolio known as safety. Just like, to increase immunity you need to follow the proper Diet Plan, Portfolio also needs some sort of Investment Plan ( not SIP/STP, what I mean is strategy ) in investment to increase immunity (safety) of your portfolio which protects it against disruptions in the market

For getting success in the investment field, you need not work hard but work smart. – Invest in time, not every time.
There is only one formula for success in investment is

Invest Right Amount at Right Time, to Generate Right Return.

Now the big question is what is the right time? is it when the markets are down? No, the right time is when the market’s valuations are down.

Someone confides me when the market goes down, valuations will automatically go down. The biggest mistake and average level of understanding are exposed in the above sentence.

For example say if the price of one company, having a value of ₹50/-, dropped from its market price ₹150/- (at the peak of market) to ₹100/- will it be turned in to a value stock? No, still the prices are higher than its value.

It is clearly misunderstood that PRICE=VALUE but in reality both are different. For that Benjamin Graham has said that Price is what we are paying(Market Price) and Value is what we are getting.

Value is the most important in Investing process for both novices as well as mature investors. If you ignore it, you will be ended up with a disaster.

The biggest risk in the market is not volatility but it is the valuations which you are assessing for it.

Don’t fall in love on the fallen market it might be a trap. आप जिसे मोका समझ रहे हैं वह धोखा साबित हो सकता है

That’s why I use to say Keep watch on Valuations rather than Market Index.”

In coming Blog we will try to understand “What is important? Time in the Market or Timing the Market



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