What should be preferred by a retail investor - mutual funds or equity shares?
While deciding to invest in an equity fund or a bunch of shares directly, I think three to four things are important - your temperament, investment time frame, knowledge and the way to apply it. When it comes to investing in stocks, one cannot speculate, as it is a sure-shot way of quickly losing a lot of one's capital. So, one has to be thoughtful about it.
Further, if you don't have the patience and discipline to buy stocks at the right time or wait with your cash and not invest at some points, then your stock investments may go haywire. Thus, having a temperament to hold stocks for the long run is important, even when you come across bad news about the company that you have bought or you witness a 20 per cent decline. So, if you don't have that temperament, you will not win with your equity shares directly. So, if you don't have time, understanding and temperament, don't even think of investing in stocks directly.