MARKETS IN DEEP RED – WHAT TO DO?

about 2 years ago
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By Ruma Dubey

At a time when the markets are truly down and out, hitting the red button every day, with FIIs selling equity and buying dent every day, with no evident triggers on the horizon, it is sometimes good to just sit back and take stock.

Just as this is the time when students dig into their books, revise and cram for exams, this is probably the time when we as investors can take this small time out to look into what one of the best investor in the world does – Warren Buffett. Though Buffett does not invest in Indian stocks, there are many investors who take cues from his investing patterns abroad and ‘localise’ it to the Indian markets. There are many who devour his quotes and make them their mantra for investing and for good living too.

Why this fascination for Warren Buffett? Well, he is undoubtedly the most successful and richest investor in the world. And he got rich by investing wisely in equity. But more importantly, his logic in investing in equities is so simple that any person irrespective of his/her education or qualifications finds it so easy to follow.  

His formulas are very simple – do not invest in complex instruments, do not invest in companies whose revenue models you do not understand, buy when others are selling, avoid compulsive buying and selling of stocks, live a modest life, avoid lavish spending, buy undervalued stocks, use your own method to evaluate stocks, buy stocks and hold it for life, buy stocks of companies which have a monopoly.

What we have to learn here is that like every individual is different, his investment needs and strategies should also necessarily be different. What works for Buffett need not work for you. Buffett is like a lion on the prowl in the jungle; when he moves, the entire jungle knows but can a monkey eat the lion’s hunt; it is only the hyena or the vulture, both scavengers who eat the leftovers after the lion has eaten. Is it a good idea to be a scavenger? Best to be a hunter but one can take lessons from the best. Yet again, what an elephant eats is different from what a leopard eats. The basic purpose, to eat, is the same but methods and requirements are different. That’s the same logic when it comes to following Buffett. You can take lessons from the king of the investing jungle but it defeats his teachings if you only follow him blindly.

The basic investment tenets remain the same :

  • Invest only in fundamentally sound stocks
  • Accumulate the stock at every dip for the long term
  • Invest only if you have yourself evaluated the financials of the company & are convinced about it
  • Read up as many reports and analysis
  • Investing in the stock means you should read up on the prospects of the industry too
  • Keep a diverse portfolio
  • Allocate your money across many asset classes. Though Buffett does not believe in gold, it is best to have some money in gold too.
  • Real estate is one asset which stays abreast of inflation
  • If you have the knowledge, invest in the markets yourself, no need to depend on mutual funds.

Remember, Buffett made millions by staying invested for a long term. He is not a day trader. And that is probably something we all should follow him blindly for. Invest wisely using your own mind and intellect; ups and downs will not worry you then!

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