If you are young and investing for a goal a couple of decades away, you should be praying for a CRASH, not for a bull market. Do I need to show you your returns if you had invested in 2007 vs post crash in 2008.
However, it is not easy to invest when the market is crashed / crashing. It is not as though you will get the top and the bottom. Only 2 people get it. Lucky people and liars.
Fairly obviously if you are under 33 and have started saving only recently there is a greater advantage! You do not have too much money in the equities market, so you do not see any great devaluation in your portfolio.
If you are in your 40s you still have a long way to go, but still the fall in the portfolio (already existing) can be a little unnerving, and the willingness to invest more is difficult to get. However as the size of the portfolio was bigger say in your 50s you will find it very difficult to handle. Assuming you are in your 70s you are left worrying about whether you have enough time to recover from the loss in value. Sure you might live to 100 and at 73 you are still young.
Retired people have something else to worry too. A longish bear market and higher withdrawals could actually pose a threat to portfolio exhaustion. This could be dangerous. More than a physical danger to the portfolio it is the mental fear of “what will happen”. This may force the older investor to pull money out of a equity portfolio in a FALLING MARKET. That can do tons of damage to a portfolio. Yes, investing when there is a crash is a good idea but a senior investor may not have enough income or OTHER assets so as to benefit from such a fall. For e.g. will a 70 year investor have the guts to sell his rental flat (not the one in which he is staying) and use the money to buy equities, just because equities have fallen – say 30% in one month? Extremely unlikely.
So while SIP is a sensible option (along with some extra pumping in when a market falls), that is only for the investing population. I do realize that the people reading this blog are mostly in the investing stage, for them a fall should be a celebration, not a time for mourning.
Television and media with an obsessive Trading strategies orientation is an awful thing to watch. Remember they love volatility, and many of the anchors could be doing sips and many of them are MARKET HATERS. I remember being on the phone with one of them about their 80C investment..and this is exactly what she said “OMG no ELSS for me…I only invest in Nsc, ppf, and LIC policies”. You will be shocked if I were to mention her name. I know one top anchor / editor who has been successfully doing SIPs now for more than 12-13 years. So even among them there are different kinds of investors. However watching television with its shrill screamers, chartists, short term interest rate predictions, commodity commentators, etc. it is IMPOSSIBLE to build an equity portfolio. One editor of a finance magazine has a nice sip running in a big blue chip fund. She once told me “happy to listen to you than believe what we publish”. Exactly true. Make volatility your friend. Invest more in a downslide. However this advice is not really applicable for those who cannot divert income or who should not sell other assets to buy more equities. That makes sense only, and only if you have a nice stream of income or so much wealth that your asset allocation does not really decide on your life goals.
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