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Crash course: Hold your nerve

Wait for a few days before deciding to buy shares or MF schemes

Joydeep Ghosh  |  Mumbai 

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As the BSE Sensex opened 600 points lower on Monday, Kartik Jhaveri, director, Transcend India, sent out this message to clients: “Markets have a way of shaking off excesses, whatever the reason. For the astute investor, new opportunities are emerging. Hold your nerves.” By the end of the trading session, the Sensex had crashed 1,600 points, the most ever in absolute terms. Jhaveri, however, maintains his stand. “Most investors are sitting on huge profits. So, there is no need to panic.”

Read more from our special coverage on "MARKETS MAYHEM"

He is correct. Despite Monday’s sharp fall, the Sensex is up 44 per cent since the beginning of the rally in September 2013. And, the S&P mid-cap and small-cap indices are up 96 per cent and 104 per cent, respectively. ALSO READ: 5 reasons why the Sensex tanked 1,624 points on Monday In other words, in less than two years, investors have made a significant amount of money by investing in stocks. So, there is little reason to be disappointed or upset with the past week’s fall, especially Monday’s. Experts say the way forward is to stay put. “We need to be sane about the whole thing. While I will not pump in fresh money into the market immediately, I will not sell either.

Let’s wait for a couple of days, at the least, to see how things pan out. Accordingly, a decision can be taken to buy,” says Jhaveri. ALSO READ: Markets crumble 6% as Sensex falls to 52-week low, Nifty has biggest one-day fall in 6 years There is a lesson to be learnt from fund managers, too. Harsha Upadhyaya, chief investment officer, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, says: “During this wave of selling, we might see a lot of investment opportunities in Indian equities from a medium- to long-term perspective, which is what we are currently focusing on. We hold some cash in our portfolios and will be looking to invest that into equities, as the market becomes more attractive with every decline.” Many say while it might be a good time to buy, one should wait for a few days. “Typically, such situations do not last for more than three-four trading sessions. So, investors need to wait it out and then start buying good stocks,” says Arun Kejriwal, an investment expert. ALSO READ: Jaitley confident markets will settle even as Sensex tumbles to seven-year low

He added by waiting for a few days, one could end up buying a stock at a higher price, if the market rebounded. But this wouldn’t hurt the investor’s prospects. And, one should invest in tranches because each fall would offer more opportunities, he said. Those already in the market needn’t rush and sell even if they are sitting on profits, as the Indian economy is faring well and might not be significantly hurt by the developments in China, experts say. If you have systematic investment plans, continue with those because such corrections allow you to buy more units of a mutual fund scheme. Also, these additional units will improve returns substantially in the future. If you are looking to start a systematic investment plan, this could be a good time.

First Published: Tue, August 25 2015. 00:06 IST