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May 25, 2005, 04.55 PM IST
For a first time investor in MFs, it is important to make a sensible first choice. Hemant Rustagi leads the way.
First time investors in Mutual Funds act in the face of imperfect information and often get overwhelmed by uncertainties characterizing the investment situation. But there’s more to Mutual Fund investing than market timing.
First things first..
The first thing an aspiring unit holder must do is to establish what type of portfolio he wants to build. In other words, to decide the right asset allocation. Asset allocation is a method that determines how you invest your money in different investments with the proper mix of various asset classes. Remember, the type or class of security you own i.e. equity, debt or money market, is much more important than the particular security itself.
The popular thumb rule for asset allocation says that whatever the investor’s age, he should keep that percentage of his portfolio in debt instruments. For example, if an investor is 25, he should have 25% of his investments in debt instruments and the rest in equity. However, in reality, different circumstances and financial position for each individual may require different allocation. Portfolio variable is another factor that one needs to understand to practice asset allocation. These are age, occupation, number of dependants in the family. Usually the younger you are, the more riskier the investments you can hold for getting superior returns.
How to pick the right fund/s?
Next, focus on selecting the right fund/s. The key is to select the fund/s based on their investment philosophy and consistency in terms of returns. To ensure you are selecting the right type of funds that are appropriate for your needs, consider following:
Remember, all these factors will have a direct impact on the fund you choose and the return that you can expect to get. If you are a long-term investor with some appetite for risk and are looking for returns to beat inflation, equity funds are your best bet. MFs offer a variety of equity and equity-oriented schemes (See table ‘Fund Candy’). For a beginner, it makes sense to begin with a diversified fund and gradually have some exposure to sector and specialty funds.
Fact sheets and Newsletters:
Remember, it is very important for you to be well informed. To achieve this, you need to spend a little time to understand and analyze the information to enhance the chances of success. Even if you spend one percent of the time that you spend on earning money, it’ll be a good beginning. Above all, take help of a professional advisor to select the right fund as well as the right mix of one time investment, SIP and the STP.
The author is Hemant Rustagi CEO, Wiseinvest Advisors Pvt. Ltd.
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