For readers of my blog this must come as a surprise, right? Well I do give this advice to a few people, let me tell you who they are:

  1. Those with too much debt: For a person earning X amount per year having housing debt of 3X or 4X does not disturb me too much, but if the total debt is say 10X, I get a little jittery and ask them for a proper plan which they are sure of executing. If I am not convinced – like a young couple in Delhi (where else?) who could not maintain a small SIP properly, I asked them to repay their loans, reduce the debt, and then start investing.
  2. Those with personal loans and credit card debt: If you are paying 43% p.a. interest on your loans, God bless you. No raging bull market can help you. This girl’s banker had sold her a ULIP, a poorly performing equity fund, and a balanced fund. She also had a 2X (X being her salary!) personal loans and credit card debt. I explained why she can never, ever get off this shitty arrangement. I nudged her to speak to her RM. The RM said “madam your loans are small and temporary it will be over in 3-4 years and your investments can go on for 30 years! Hmm good argument. I stopped the SIPs, continued the ULIP for one more year (tax break and completing 5 years) and made her repay all her loans – including breaking her  “safety net” too. Asked her to take up with the higher authorities.
  3. Those with too much money: A friend’s father with about Rs. 90L in liquid assets and aged 78 wanted to invest in equities. My friend and his sister hated equities. I convinced the old man that he need not invest in equities or equity mutual funds because it was not worth it. True, he did not NEED TO TAKE RISK just to improve returns.
  4. When people do not understand equity: When people come up to me and say “Why cannot you take money from us at 11% p.a. and keep the balance” – is when you realize that they cannot take volatility and do not understand how it works! Then there are those who think that equity investment makes money because there is a bigger fool who will come and buy your shares, therefore equity investments are interesting. No point in breaking one’s head with such people, right?
  5. Those who have a short term view: People who think that they will invest in equities for periods less than 10 years are NOT people who should invest in equities. For me such people are better off in debt funds, especially if they cannot understand how stressing volatility can be if your time frame is short.
  6. Those with an indexed pension: Young people discount a govt. job because they do not realize the full value of an indexed pension. So if you have been in govt service and you have a hefty indexed pension, you need not invest in equities at all, you are well protected against inflation.
  7. Those with really tons of money: PV Sindhu, Deepika Padukone, Sachin, Kohli, – they are much better off concentrating on their career and let the money SLEEP in a liquid fund/ debt fund with almost zero capital at risk. They need not spend even a sleepless moment of their busy lives. Once they retire they can start investing wherever they want. Again oodles of cash!

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  1. indexed pension?
    explain in detail

    equity or market is an ocean!

    we all know only a drop of it!

    so no need of “sarcasm” or frustration at other people!
    they maybe having better knowledge than us in some other field!
    next, is equity market is only few decades old
    so to” percolate down ” it takes time!

    surendra

  2. Hello Surendra,
    Equity markets as a whole (all companies put together might be an ocean). But learning about individual companies/businesses is not an ocean as you make it out to be.
    Ganesh

  3. Indexed pension is the best financial product in this world – those having it need not have any other financial plan thru life .

  4. Great post Subra. Agree that equity is not for everyone. It takes many many years /decades to understand how equity/businesses work. Only those people who are willing to learn this will make money.

  5. if you sum up the “population” which comes under these guidelines it will be more than 90% of the people cant invest i “equity”!

  6. IF YOU ADD UP ALL THE GUIDELINES IT COVERS 99% OF POPULATION SO FINALLY NOBODY WILL BE INVESTING IN “EQUITIES”!

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