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Should I book my losses in mutual fund investments?

Investing in equity requires a long-term horizon, says Dhirendra Kumar

All my funds are into losses, will I recover the losses or should I book my loss and forget it?
- Govind

Investing in equity requires a long-term horizon. Otherwise, one should not invest in equity. If you have time on your side, continue investing and do not take your money out. I am not saying that the market may not go down or may not make a comeback. But one cannot estimate the trends in a guaranteed way. Further, timing your entry and exit in equity is very difficult. So, I would say stick to your plan.

The only reason when an investor should pull out a part of their money is if he/she needs it in an immediate time frame say one or one-and-a-half year. Take out this amount and keep it in maybe conservative fixed-income funds or your bank account because you cannot bank upon the market for such short time periods. But if you do not need this money for the next five years or so, then continue your SIPs and do not pull out in a hurry.

If at all you had to take your money out, you should have done it before March. Since March, we have been seeing the madness in the market, a clear case of unpredictability -over 30 per cent decline in March followed by about 20 per cent recovery from there in the month of April and quite similar in May. As one cannot control these market movements, it's better not to try and profit from this.

One should focus on managing one's operating framework, i.e. things that are in your control like when are you likely to need the money, how much of your savings can be invested, how likely is your income getting reduced partially, etc. These are things that one can anticipate reasonably and thus should be your guide towards your investment plan.

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