Knowledge vs guesswork | Value Research Are you Sandeep, or are you Deepti? Read these two stories to figure out.
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Knowledge vs guesswork

Are you Sandeep, or are you Deepti? Read these two stories to figure out.

Sandeep is a marketing professional in a large automobile company based near Delhi. He's in his early 40s and his wife is a homemaker. He has two children, one of them is eight and the other 12. Up until now, Sandeep has never paid much attention to savings. Every year in January he gets a letter from his employer's finance department asking him about his tax-saving investments. At that point, he generally asks Vasant, a trusted expert in these matters, who is related to his wife. Vasant's wife is an insurance agent, so it all stays in the family. In any case, since Sandeep has an EPF deduction as well as a tax break for his kid's school fees, a lot of the section 80C tax-saving limit is already used up.

Now, however, for the last four-five years, Sandeep and his wife are getting worried about saving more, and saving properly. The ubiquitous 'Mutual Fund Sahi Hai' slogan has led them to the idea of investing in mutual funds but they've found it difficult to figure out where to begin. Vasant has also told them stories about people suffering big losses in mutual funds and that sounds quite scary actually. They've found many apps and websites that sell mutual funds but there's clearly a hard-sell going on. Sandeep may not know much about investments yet, but as a marketing professional, he can recognise a hard-sell and knows what the motives must be.

For a couple of years, they keep investing in mutual funds that various salespeople pitch to them. It's an effort to save but they try hard. For a while, things seem to be going well, but then COVID hits and something like half of the value of their funds disappears.

However, it takes them some time to figure out what's happening. Some automated email comes once in a while with the fund values but it mostly goes into spam. When the news fills up with crashing markets, they spend some hours looking up NAVs on various fund websites and multiplying them with the number of units that the last email said they had. It's quite complicated because so many funds have almost identical names. Anyhow, it looks like they've lost a lot of money. Forget about earning money, the value is lower than what they had invested. Clearly, Vasant was correct. Or maybe he wasn't.

Strangely, some of their funds have not declined in value. How is this possible? Do different types of funds behave differently when the economy tanks? How to figure all this out? Should they clear out of the funds and rescue whatever amount is left? It's very stressful and not at all clear what they should be doing.

It's May 2022 and across the country, a 35-year-old software professional Deepti and her husband Adhiraj are also looking at a five-month decline in the value of their mutual fund investments. It's always a bit worrying when 15-20 per cent of the money evaporates in quick time. However, they're not losing any sleep over it. For one, only the equity funds have had serious declines and those are all meant for long-term needs. They're clear in their plans as to what their financial goals are and which funds are meant for which goals. The equity funds are all assigned to their daughter's college education, which is 10 years away, and their own retirement, which is decades away. No worries there. They understand very well that equity funds are volatile but give high returns.

Next year, they're planning to rebuild part of their house but that money has already been shifted to two short-term debt funds. The debt funds are unaffected by whatever is happening in the equity markets and so they can go ahead with their plans without any bother.

So, Deepti and Adhiraj must be financial geniuses, right? And Sandeep must be an idiot? Well, not quite. Deepti and Adhiraj are members of Value Research Premium. Everything that they have done - from setting financial goals, mapping funds to them, tracking the performance - is available to them at minimal effort as part of the service. Moreover, they can see, understand and trust that what they are being encouraged to do is the right thing and has stood the test of time. Do well-chosen equity funds actually behave like this but eventually give great returns? Of course, they do - they can see the evidence of history on Value Research Online.

When you have Value Research Premium by your side, then why worry? Just follow the dotted lines and know exactly what to do with your money. And what all does the service deliver that does this magic?

Here are the tools that did the job for Deepti and Adhiraj:
Portfolio Planner: These are custom portfolios that are suggested to you as part of your Premium membership. The algorithm that we have evolved takes into account your goals, your income, your saving capacity and a number of other factors.
Portfolio Analysis: Only a few members are starting their investing from scratch. For most of you, a big question is whether your existing investments fit into your goals? This is often a hard question to answer because there are a lot of implications of switching old investments, not the least of which is taxation. In the Premium system, you can get an evaluation and a suggested fix-list based on our expert teams' inputs.
Analysts' Choice: Often, investors want to choose their own funds for some particular investment purpose. There are over 1,400 available to you and even with the help of our rating system, it's a lot of work to zoom in to the right set. However, that won't be a problem for you because as a Premium member, you will have access to Analyst's Choice. Instead of the 37 official types of funds, we have created eight investor-oriented categories which match precisely with the actual financial goals that you have. In each of these, my team of analysts and I have carefully selected a handful of funds that will serve you with the best outcomes.

A lot more
Of course, those are just headline features. There are a lot more that will help you keep track of your investments, returns, diversification, taxation and practically everything else that will help you achieve your financial goals. Take a look at Value Research Premium for the full details.

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