If you are a mutual fund or equities investor, it would be impossible to avoid the slew of commentary and questions about the current downturn in the stock market. Personal finance WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups, Reddit forums and Quora are all abuzz with frantic questions from investors concerned about what this means for their own investments.
To get things straight, let’s take a look at what’s happening. Global stock markets are not crashing. The markets are, however, correcting themselves, after steady growth in the bull market that we have been experiencing, thanks in great part to lower than usual interest rates levied from the post-recession era.
What does this mean for your investments, and how can SimpleMoney help?
If you are an investor, you are probably wondering what this means for your portfolio. If you started investing in the past few years, when asset prices have been steadily increasing, this might be your first time experiencing a market correction of this scale. So, what should you do?
1. Don’t panic
If you plan your investment strategy with care, your portfolio can emerge unscathed from the peaks and troughs of the financial markets. So don’t worry. And SimpleMoney can make this an uncomplicated process for you.
2. Take a good look at your entire portfolio.
Look at the asset allocation in your portfolio to check if it is in line with your financial goals and risk tolerance. If you haven’t checked your portfolio in some time, this would be a good time to do it because your Debt:Equity ratio might have changed over time. Take a look at your Equity exposure, and see whether you are comfortable with it.
Use SimpleMoney’s Fund Allocation feature to check the distribution of your funds, and see if you are comfortable with the ratios. What is your equity exposure? It is typically a good idea to park funds in equity funds for durations longer than five years so that they have the opportunity to survive the market's upward and downward trends. If you anticipate a cash flow in the near future, consider increasing your proportion of Debt funds.
3. Evaluate your exposure to Small and Midcap Equity funds, and Long Term Debt funds.
If you find that a large portion of your portfolio is made of Small and Midcap stocks, try and reduce your exposure to them as they are currently overvalued. You can view an overview of your Equity funds using SimpleMoney’s Fund Allocation feature, and you can filter your funds on the All Funds page to see which of your small and midcap stocks are out of exit load. This doesn’t mean that you should sell off all your small and midcap stocks, but only reduce your exposure if a large part of your portfolio consists of them, and if that proportion is not aligned with your current risk tolerance levels.
The benchmark for 10 Year bonds has declined after the Union Budget of 2018-19 set a fiscal deficit target that was higher than expected, making debt schemes volatile. Mutual fund experts recommend reducing your exposure to long term debt funds and moving them to short term.
You can use SimpleMoney’s interactive Redemptions calculator to find out the exit loads on your debt funds and to find out when they will come out of exit load, either partially or fully.
4. Check how your funds are performing against the market
Even though the market is experiencing a downtown, there might be some funds that are doing even worse than the market. This is not good news. Use SimpleMoney’s CorrectCompareTM feature to see how your funds are performing relative to the market. SimpleMoney does this for you by duplicating your identical transaction history for a fund in a benchmark index for equity funds (such as BSE 200 for Large Cap funds) and answering the question, “Would I have done better or worse if I had invested the same amounts of money at the same times directly in the stock market?”
You can use SimpleMoney to zero in on these funds to see which of them are underperforming the market. This will help you figure out which of your funds are performing normally given market conditions, and which aren’t. If any funds are consistently falling into the second category, it’s a good idea to start thinking about moving out of them.
Calculated portfolio analysis and some strategic revision and rebalancing will help you make sure your portfolio is up to speed and in line with your financial goals. Allow SimpleMoney to free up a great deal of time for you by signing up and viewing automatic updates about all your mutual funds and equities in one place. Your blood pressure levels will hopefully thank us too!
Track your mutual funds and equities automatically at SimpleMoney.