Source/Contribution by : NJ Publications
Like our marriage with our life partner, most of us develop a life long relationship with our investments, like our gold jewelery, the property we purchase, or even the PPF account we open for saving taxes. We seldom sell these assets.
One of the “first investments” of our lives is in a PPF account. The primary aim of investing in a PPF Account is tax saving and gradually the motive changes to providing a shell for our retirement years or meeting major life goals like daughter's wedding, children's higher education, etc. The gold jewelery that we purchased in the year 1990 is now worth ten times our purchase price, and it will be safe in our bank lockers for another 20 or 30 years or passed on to the next generation, at a worth much higher from now. The house that you are living in, or the flat which you bought 10 years ago, is now worth two to three times the value of your investment, and you might sell it only to purchase another bigger flat or to fulfill a life goal after may be 15-20 years.
Your PPF investment goes to the government and in return you get a fixed rate of interest plus you get tax benefit. Do you track your present value every now and then, did you panic when the government went to BJP from 10 years of Congress rule. No, you didn't bother, you kept depositing the PPF installment religiously. Did you sell your gold in the year 2013, when it reached 34,000 level? No you still hold it, prices fluctuate but you want to benefit from your investment in the very long run. Will you sell your house or the flat, when property price rise? No, it is your investment, you will hold on to it.
You are patient, because you are an Investor. You invest, you are patient, and your investments pay for your patience.
But when it comes to Mutual Funds, why do the rules change? Why don't we give time to our investment? Why do we keep tracking the latest value of the investment, Why our hearts sink when the markets fall, and so does our investment, Why do we sell our mutual funds when prices rise?
Mutual Funds have a track record of outperforming all other investment classes over a long period of time. Let's take an example of an equity mutual fund, HDFC Equity Fund, if you had invested Rs 10,000 in this fund on Jan 1, 1995 (inception date), it's value today would have been Rs 460,124 (Source: NJ Internal Research), which is higher than the average returns of gold, PPF and even real estate. This fund had yielded a return of 19.48% CAGR.
Mutual Funds have the potential, only if you give it time. Mutual Funds, apart from high returns, come with a blessing; Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) option. The SIP option enables you shape up your investment pattern. An SIP account is not an investment, rather it is a method of investing systematically.
An SIP account for a lifetime is investing small sums of money regularly throughout your life.
An SIP enables you to achieve all your life goals, without making a hole in your pocket in one go. Be it buying a house 15 years from now, or buying a car five years from now, your Mutual fund will be there for you. Even if your major life goals have been met by now, there are objectives which might erupt in due course. You might want to pass on something as a legacy to your grandchildren, or you might want to donate an ambulance to a hospital, or you would want to fund the education of your maid's children. Your SIP will be there to satiate your Philanthropic aspirations as well.
Let's say you start an SIP for an amount as small as Rs 500 a month for a period of 30 years, yielding an average return of 15% pa. Today Rs 500 a month is equivalent to the price of a Cheese burst pizza, tomorrow it might be able to buy only a Chocolate. But do you know what would be its worth 30 years later?
Rs 28.16 lacs
Yes, the money you spend on a pizza today or a chocolate tomorrow can give you Rs 28.16 lacs.
What if you commit Rs 500 for the next 50 years, which might be given to your granddaughter on her 16th birthday?
Rs 4.67 crores
The pizza or the chocolate or may be a candy can build Rs 4.67 crores of wealth for your granddaughter.
An SIP account is a step by step process of investing, and like they say The Cup of knowledge is filled one at a time, SIP fills your cup of wealth one at a time.
Reach your advisor, and ask him to find a suitable mutual fund scheme for you, for meeting your goals in the very long run. Start an SIP option in the fund of your choice from the very beginning.
Like your PPF, or your RD, keep depositing your SIP installments. There will be times when your investment will fall or rise, don't get excited, relax. Keep investing. 20 years hence, when you will check your account, you'll be elated to see your money's worth. During this tenure, you might be tempted to buy a car or a phone, do not break your SIP for leisure. You SIP is your lender of last resort, redeem it only when all other doors are shut, only when you are in dire need of money. Yet if you withdraw in an extreme case, do not stop paying your next installment. Remember, this will help you the next time when you are in need.
When you approach the age of retreat, you will realize that your goals are met, emergencies are taken care of easily, yet you have significant wealth created to support yourself in the end.
A mutual fund investment is your friend for life, and your SIP account is the string which connects you with your virtual friend.