Diwali is the festival of lights and Goddess Lakshmi signifies prosperity. The Samvat year (Hindu New Year) is a good time to chart financial plans and set the path to financial security. A host of investment avenues, ranging from equities to gold, can create wealth and achieve financial security for the future.
Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) are good long-term investment avenues. The IPO market has come to life in the past few months, after a momentary lull, with a slew of offerings from the likes of SBI Cards, Rossari Biotech, Mindspace Business Parks REIT, Happiest Minds Technologies, Chemcon Speciality Chemicals, Computer Age Management Services and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders. And with continuous corporate growth and economic expansion, may companies will tap the primary markets to raise funds and list their subsidiaries / verticals.
Equities have a proven track record of generating superior returns in the long term, over-riding short term economic and market fluctuations. They also have the the potential to outperform other asset classes over the longer-term horizon. Value investing can be a good beginning. Value investors are basically bargain hunters who search for undervalued stocks or stocks that haven't yet been discovered by other market participants. They invest in businesses rather than stocks per se. Warren Buffet and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala are prime examples of value investors.
Investing in high-dividend stocks can also be a good investment option, especially in times of high volatility. In the Indian context, some companies have a history of proving attractive dividends. And as high-dividend stocks are basically equities, the potential for capital appreciation still remains.
Equity investing may not be every one's cup of tea, given the market fluctuations, real possibility of wealth erosion and limited knowledge about the markets. Enter index funds. An index fund is a mutual fund that imitates the portfolio of an index. For example, a Nifty index fund would tracks the NSE Nifty index and its portfolio would consist of the 50 constituent stocks of the Nifty in different proportions. The returns of an index fund would mimic that of the underlying index. Index funds thus provide diversification in asset allocation, minimizing the risks and making money in the long run.
Corporate bonds are a good option for risk-averse investors who fixed return options and healthy returns in an environment of plummeting fixed deposit rates. Such bonds are issued by both, private and public companies. Investors need to opt for only well-established corporates that have a good credit rating and track record of honoring their financial commitments. Some bonds may be listed on the stock exchanges, but this is not the norm.
The yellow metal has been among the best performing asset this year, providing returns of around 30 per cent. Gold is touted as a safe investment option as it usually does well in times of uncertainty. With the Covid19 pandemic shows no signs of abating and increasing geopolitical challenges in India's neighborhood and across the world, gold is likely to continue its sheen for long. And gold is also a good hedge against inflation. In fact, the festival of Dhanteras is considered to be an auspicious occasion to purchase gold.
To conclude, Samvat 2077 may be as good a time as any other to start investing and make investments a way of life.