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Investment strategy for current times
August 16, 2004 12:11 IST
Last Updated: August 16, 2004 13:05 IST
Let's come straight to the point. Where does one park one's money in current times? In stocks? In bonds? Small Savings Schemes?
Given the environment, the answer may not be as simple as go for this or go for that.
But first, what is this 'environment' we are referring to? Basically, the developments that are taking place in the economy which could have a significant impact on the value of any investment over the next few months. To highlight a few:
These are just some of the reasons which are causing uncertainty in the minds of investors. Fundamentally, the economy is sound.
But in the near term it is likely that we could take a hit, both due to changing fundamentals as well as factors such as foreign monies being pulled out of the country.
So what should you do now?
Equity Mutual Funds: Invest Systematically. Rather than trying to time the market it is best that you invest a fixed amount of money at fixed regular intervals. Over a year, even as the market goes up and down, you would have made an investment at a good average cost. [Best Performing Equity Funds]
Debt Mutual Funds: Avoid the regular income and gilt funds for the time being as returns are likely to be subdued for some more time. And especially given that there is considerable uncertainty regarding crude prices and therefore inflation, it is best that you stay away from such schemes (higher inflation means lower real returns on existing fixed interest bearing instruments). Go in for floating rate funds instead, which are much more safer and also offer tax efficiency and liquidity. Even the short term plans of income funds (which are much more predictable in terms of returns) are a good option.
Fixed Deposits: Short term fixed deposits is a good option for investors who are waiting for an opportunity to invest a lump sum amount. Be careful about entering into long term deposits as it is likely that rates may rise going forward. [More info on FD rates]
Small Savings Schemes: Most savings schemes (PPF, KVP, NSC etc) are of a long duration and therefore it is best to wait a while before putting in money. One scheme which can be considered is the post office fixed deposit. Here too go in for a shorter duration. [More on Govt. Schemes]
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