A significant trend is seen across the country wherein more and more people of all age groups are preferring Mutual Fund Investors over traditional investment products. Investments are happening both in debt funds, suited for safety and regular returns and equity oriented funds that offer higher growth, though with volatility.
After managing investments of thousands of clients, we have observed that the most successful MF investors follow certain practices that are fairly common. We thought of sharing four key practices of these investors so that other MF investors, new or experienced, may make a note of these and maximise the benefits from their own MF investments.
1. Periodic Review
Though the funds chosen for Mutual Fund Investors may be consistent performers and as per the stated goal, still a periodic review helps the client keep the investment on track. There may be taxation changes or changes in investment objective of the scheme by the fund house that may necessitate change in existing portfolio.
Where in a periodic review is a good habit, excessive tracking of portfolio, sometimes on daily or weekly basis, is not needed. An investor may do well to track his debt investments once a quarter and equity investments once a year.
Nothing beats Patience in getting the best out of mutual fund investments.
If the Mutual Fund Investors have been made judiciously in right kind of funds, it is only a matter of time before the investor’s expectations are fulfilled. Sometimes, market movements deter the investor’s behaviour and create anxiety. With falling markets, a client starts questioning his own decision of investing in funds.
The successful investors keep patience in such circumstances and let the volatility phase pass. With passage of time, the law of averages catch up and the funds deliver the expected returns. Key to gaining from funds is to remain invested.
3. Do not compare Mutual Funds with Real Estate & Gold
The actual value of a mutual fund investors is transparent and these funds can be liquidated anytime. Because of their actual known value and ease of getting money back, mutual funds are suitable to serve financial requirements. For recurring expenses, MF scan also be redeemed in parts.
Real estate and gold provide psychological comfort of owning wealth, but are seldom used to fulfil financial needs.
It may take few months to few years before an investor is actually able to sell his land or flat to fund his financial needs like child education. Also, the actual sale price of the property may be quite lower than the perceived value of the property, thus jeopardising the goal fulfilment. For recurring financial expenses, it is practically impossible to think of selling a property in parts, which is called Lack of Divisibility.
Gold is easily saleable in the market, but selling it is resisted by psychological barrier created by social traditions and behaviour. In our country, sale of gold by individuals is considered to be the last resort and is seen as a signal of financial distress. No individual or family thinks of selling gold. Hence, gold is only a means of wealth accumulation, and not an investment to meet financial requirements.
Because of the varied characteristics of these investments, successful investors never compare them and view each one of them independently on its own merit, and allocate money in these assets as per one’s choice and goals.
4. Trust their financial advisor
The role of a knowledgeable and trustworthy financial advisor cannot be undermined. It may take some time, but over a period, the successful Mutual Fund Investors build trust in their advisors. A trustworthy financial advisor plays a key role in managing the client’s investments as per his goals, suggests corrective action if any special situation arises, guides the clients when things are not progressing as expected, and inculcates financial prudence in clients on other money matters like loans.
Mutual fund investing is about discipline, patience and simplicity. Investors shall do well to give the above practices a thought and make them part of their personal investment process.
Also Read: What is the role of mutual fund investors?