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Home » Financial-planning » Investment-mistakes-060608
 
5 common investment mistakes

Retail investors tend to be burdened with information on how they should go about investing their money. Distributors, agents and fund houses all play their part in "educating" investors on this front. Our experience with investors suggests that apart from the aforesaid, there is also a need for investors to be aware of a few common and frequently committed mistakes. We present a checklist of 5 common investment mistakes that investors need to steer clear of.

5 common investment mistakes
  1. Not setting an investment objective
    A large number of investors are habituated to carry out their investment activity in a haphazard and sporadic manner. Very often they fail to set an investment objective which is a basic tenet of financial planning. Investors should adopt a more systematic approach to investing by creating distinct portfolios for all their needs i.e. short-term (planning for a vacation), medium-term (buying a car) and long-term (planning for retirement) needs respectively. Setting of investment objectives also incorporates a degree of discipline which is a vital ingredient for the success of any the investment activity.

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  1. Not doing your homework
    Investing like any other serious activity needs a fair degree of preparation at the investors' end. Investors need to gather information and acquaint themselves with all the options available to them. Investing in a given asset class (for example fixed deposits) simply because you have conventionally done so is inappropriate. Investors have a plethora of options ranging from mutual funds, fixed deposits, and bonds to small savings schemes to choose from. After getting the facts in place, investors should select instruments that are best equipped to fulfill their investment objectives.
     
  2. Succumbing to the "noise"
    Every time the equity markets hit a purple patch, investors come face-to-face with a lot of "noise". Fund houses go on an IPO (Initial Public Offering) launch spree and distributors do their bit by convincing investors that the recently lunched scheme is the place to be. For example recent times have seen a surge in interest in funds of the flexi cap and mid cap variety. Investors tend to succumb to the noise and start investing simply because everyone else is doing so. The trouble is that investors could discard their pre-determined asset allocation and make investments contrary to their risk appetite.
    Investors must exercise a lot of discretion and resist falling prey to the herd mentality, especially at a time when everyone around them is busy painting a rosy picture of the investment scenario.
     
  3. Getting attached to investments
    Investors must remember at all times that investments are a means to achieve ends (financial goals) and not goals by themselves. If investments have failed to perform their requisite task, then investors should be flexible enough to act on the same. Investors should never get attached to their investments and stubbornly cling on to them. Assess at regular intervals how well your investments have performed and initiate the necessary corrective measures.
     
  4. Timing the market
    A large number of investors like to believe that they can time the markets; nothing could be farther from the truth. If this notion was correct, we would have experienced a surfeit of fund managers and investment gurus . Instead of trying to outsmart the markets and failing in the process, adopt a more scientific approach. Use the SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) route and invest regularly to benefit from the markets. Don't try to beat the markets, join them instead!

personalfn.com is focused on providing research-backed personalised financial planning services.

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