“The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you are beating the market but by whether you’ve put in place a financial plan and behavioural discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go,” said Benjamin Graham, the pioneer and renowned author of The Intelligent Investor.
The two key terms in this quote are financial plan and behavioural discipline, traits that every investor should imbibe, and when these traits are put into judicious practice, it leads to wealth creation. Here are some savings and investments opportunities for Diwali, categorised into various classes:
This is the basic mode of investment where the investor earns a fixed rate of return based on the tenor of the deposit. However, when we consider inflation adjusted returns, they often tend to be negative or in the low one-digit range.
It is not advisable to have substantial portion of monies to be invested in bank deposits. There has to be a balance considering the immediate and short term requirements. Considering the volatile interest rate regime, it is advisable to park monies for a short duration, say 1-2 years.
These are debt instruments issued by corporates, banks and government entities. Based on the rated quality of these instruments, they typically yield a return higher than bank deposits. One can also participate or invest in bonds through many of the available mutual funds and debt funds, who invest into various type of debt instruments across multiple maturities.
Equity investment means purchasing the shares of companies listed on the stock exchanges. The shares can be purchased directly through mutual funds, or a registered broker, who manages a plethora of equity funds across various investment ideas and themes. Equities are classified as high risk investments where volatility and price fluctuations are the norm. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in allocating more monies to equities, considering the long-term-return prospects of this category.
Traditionally and historically, gold has been one of the most sought after investment of safe haven, especially in times of global economic uncertainties. Over the last 15 years, gold has had its hey days and fluctuations. Gold is at present poised for a decent recovery in price and offers a window of opportunity to invest. Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs) are also a good means to invest in this precious metal.
Several other alternative investment funds/strategies, commodities and derivatives are available in the market. Investments into these products require investors to take higher risks, knowledge and sophistication.
Portfolio allocation and diversification primarily depends on the risk profile and long-term goals of the investor, which can be achieved by allocating investments across the spectrum of investment choices. These will have to be periodically monitored and rebalanced from time to time.
— The writer is CEO, Barjeel Geojit Financial Services