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  • Writer's pictureNAMRATA MUNOTH

Stock market investing. Why should I do it?

September 2008, the official start to the dark period in the financial calendars of India and the major economies of the world, was a spell that vigorously shook the lives of individuals and entities world over. Stock markets crashed, the rupee depreciated, exports declined, business activity reduced drastically, people lost their jobs and all of this brought about a huge shift in human mentality in the country. Speculators and investors turned into conservative savers. No one wanted to take any risk with regard to their money. Ten years on and the “Great Recession” is long over, but traces of the conservative mentality still remain in the Indian mindset to this day.

People toil hard to make a fortune and so the fear is understandable, but if one keeps his or her life savings in the back pocket or under a mattress, one can never have more than what one saves. In fact if one saves today, his savings will only be worth lesser a year later than what it is today because as we all know, the value of money only declines with time. So whether your goal is to build yourself a lavish house or retire on a yacht in the Mediterranean, investing is essential for you to get to wherever you want to go in life. And studies have proved time and again that shares are the best investments in the financial market place and tend to outperform government bonds, corporate bonds, property and other assets.

But what if the recession returns or the stock markets crash once again? In the words of billionaire business magnate and investing guru Warren Buffett, “If past history is all that was needed to play the game of money, the richest people would be librarians”. “Risk comes when we don’t know what we are doing”, he adds, so the key is to rely on an expert. Higher the risk higher the return but eventually, how much risk you want to take is completely in your hands. He believes that you need not be a genius to be successful at investing. Buy a wonderful company at a fare price instead of buying a fare company at a wonderful price, buy as if you are going to hold the stock forever, and you could be an ace in investing. The stock market has immense potential to take a person from rags to riches and also from riches to rags, but holding them for a longer period of time can help alleviate the risks associated with fluctuations in share prices in the short term. So as against general perception, what one really needs to venture into the seas of investing aside from a financial mind is patience and courage and not just good luck. As the old saying goes, Money is not everything but happiness alone can’t keep out the rain”. So muster up courage and get on the giant wheel of stock market investing.

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