The how, not just the which | Value Research We often focus too much on where to invest and not enough on how to run and manage the entire process
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The how, not just the which

We often focus too much on where to invest and not enough on how to run and manage the entire process

The how, not just the which

In the 20-year history of the 'Mutual Fund Insight' magazine - and the even longer history of Value Research itself, an overwhelming majority of our articles and analyses has been of the nature of guidance, both of the principles of investing as well as the actual investments. For many of you, that is enough. Once you know this, you can go ahead and start investing in these funds in a better way. But not everyone. For a lot of investors, the step after learning - the actual doing - ends up being the problem.

When you read books about successful entrepreneurs, you often come across phrases like 'execution is everything' or 'execution trumps everything'. These sayings are simple: ideas are worth nothing unless implemented well. Deciding where to invest is the idea; actually investing, monitoring and then redeeming your investments is the execution.

Execution genuinely is the key. Think back over the last few years and make a mental list of businesses that have failed in the same line of activity while others have succeeded. In fact, look at the mutual fund industry itself. A handful of fund companies have succeeded, while most just struggle on and many get sold off. Look at airlines. Look at foreign companies coming to India to enter the car business. Look at e-commerce. Look at stock brokerages. It's the same story everywhere. In fact, if you look around in your neighbourhood, you will find many examples amongst small shops and restaurants. So, on the one hand, we have these examples of businesses failing at the exact same activity that others do fabulously well at.

Sadly, the investment world is also something like this. We tend to feel that what matters more is what you are going to do, not how you are going to do it. In my experience, the truth is very different - nothing is a secret. The basics of investing success: diversification, asset allocation, cost averaging, focusing on fundamentals, etc., are available to everyone. Moreover, after the rise of the internet, they are available easily at either zero or very low cost. You can have all the good ideas in investing, delivered to the device in your pocket at any moment that you choose. Some investors seem to pick up great ideas and just run with them and succeed, but many do not. However, the problem is a little bit deeper than business. Unlike business, this is not about competence but rather what the main activity of your life is. After all, investing is not the main business of your life. You cannot spend all your time learning the nitty-gritty of the actual implementation of the best ideas.

Unlike in a business, you cannot even hire someone experienced to manage things for you...or can you?

It turns out you can, which is why you are here with Value Research. And how are we going to do that? That's where Value Research Premium comes in.

This is a process that has four parts to it:

  • Provides a way for you to articulate your goals clearly.
  • Suggests a set of investments and a pattern of investments for those goals.
  • Verifies that your existing investments fit the goals and suggests changes if they do not.
  • Continuously monitors your investments to make sure they are heading for your goals.

What I'm focussing on today is the fourth part. All of us often become so obsessed with what the first three do that we forget about the fourth one. Values, returns, asset allocation, diversification, taxation - each and every operational factor is taken care of within our toolset. All these can be implemented by features that we have integrated into Premium, which are on the website. Of course, the 'which' is also there, and here's an overview of that:

Portfolio Planner: These are custom portfolios that are suggested to you as part of your Premium membership. The algorithm we have evolved takes into account your goals, income, saving capacity and a number of other factors.

Analyst's Choice: Often, investors want to choose their own funds for some particular investment purpose. There are over 1,500 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 Analysts' Choice. Instead of the 37 official types of funds, we have created eight investor-oriented categories that match precisely with your financial goals. 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.

Portfolio Analysis: Only a few members are starting their investing from scratch. A big question for most of you is whether your existing investments fit 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.

All in all, both the how and the which are covered thoroughly. Take a look at Value Research Premium for the full details.

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