20 Things to Not Do in the Volatile 20s

market volatility

(This column was first published on Value Research Online.)

The markets are volatile. A drop or rise of around 300-500 points on the Sensex has become commonplace. Most people don’t even bat an eyelid at such numbers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who aren’t losing sleep because of the ups and downs of the equity markets. There are numerous investors who are confused about the investment approach they should adopt right now. Well, instead of telling them what they should be doing, here are 20 things that they shouldn’t do, in any market situation.

  • Don’t check the value of your long-term investments on a daily basis
  • Don’t stop your SIPs in equity funds
  • Don’t say “yes” when your better half asks if she’s looking fat in a dress
  • Don’t try to wait for a market correction to begin investing
  • Don’t expect people to behave or act the way you think they should
  • Don’t ignore fixed income if you think there’s opportunity in equities, every asset class has its own value
  • Don’t begin putting money in equities till you have adequate insurance and reasonable emergency funds
  • Don’t overlook tax-saving investments, money saved is money earned
  • Don’t fall for compliments from all and sundry, you never know what vested interests they might have
  • Don’t think twice about apologising when you know you’re wrong
  • Don’t ignore equities if you’re retired, it’s the best way to beat inflation
  • Don’t be negative, gloominess begets gloominess
  • Don’t believe everything a financial advisor or distributor has to say, be sceptical
  • Don’t put your money in unit linked insurance plans and such, it’s not your duty to make the insurance sellers rich
  • Don’t think of gold as an investment, buy it only for consumption
  • Don’t shun senseless comedies, sometimes it’s a relief to leave your brain at home when you go watch a movie
  • Don’t invest in sectoral or thematic funds, diversification earns more rewards
  • Don’t ignore a question that your child asks, no matter how stupid it is
  • Don’t dabble in stocks directly if you don’t have the time, knowledge or understanding of the markets
  • Don’t blindly follow everything listed here, understand what fits your needs best
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