A few years back, when Mahendra Singh Dhoni would be batting at the end of an innings, one would expect a flurry of shots. Inevitably, the winning stroke would be a six or four—the ‘Mahi’ way—the commentators would explode.
The Australian one-day series was drastically different. After he scored a painstaking 51 off 80-odd balls in the first innings, commentators were quick to castigate him for the slow run rate. Two leading general papers churned out copies saying that it was a good time to blood Rishabh Pant, the second highest run-getter in the Test series.
A week later, he was man-of-the series after two match-winning innings. There was a bit of a flutter at times, but he carried India home to a 2-1 victory. Yes, Rohit Sharma got a glittering ton, so did Virat Kohli, but Dhoni was there when it mattered. And he batted differently.
Nowadays, he allows himself only an occasional six or swagger. But one thing remains same—the ability to run hard, for himself and team members. In the second one-day international, during a break between overs, he seemed to have collapsed completely. The next over, he was back to face the ball and continued running rigorously.
Investors should follow the Dhoni's current 'better safe than sorry' module. In your twenties and thirties, it does make sense to invest aggressively even in mid-and small-cap indices or stocks. Yes, there could be a few bad years. But there are good chances of making money over the long term. The ten-year category average return of mid-cap mutual fund returns is a good 22 per cent (compounded annual growth rate). In comparison, the category average return of large-cap funds is 15 per cent CAGR.
But as you grow older and closer to retirement, cutting down on these aggressive exposures is important. Focus on good diversified large-cap funds, which will give steady returns. Even the old favourite – the fixed deposit – does make a lot of sense. Yes, it means lower returns, but the principal amount is more or less safe. Given that in the initial years, the investible amount is much smaller and so are responsibilities, one can afford to be a little reckless. In the later years, there are larger amounts to invest or buy insurance, and many more responsibilities.
For an older Dhoni, at stake is a place in the team till/in the next World Cup. For an investor, it means a healthy retirement kitty. Amen!