How diversification with the help of equity and debt mutual funds is important in times of volatilit

The sharp fall in equity markets during the onset of Covid in March last year in 2020 was a wake-up call for investors to diversify their investments across sectors, assets and market caps. As the adage goes about not putting all your eggs in the same basket, if you invest your entire money in stocks of a single company or a single asset, you may end up losing money.

Some company stocks could be more volatile than others. Thus, it is a prudent decision to invest in a portfolio of different stocks. As a retail investor, it is complex and time-consuming to pick and manage multiple stocks. This is where equity mutual funds can help. Equity mutual funds invest in different stocks, thereby overcoming concentration risks and helping you minimize the downside risks.

The meaning of an equity mutual fund is a scheme that as per the scheme information document invests a minimum of sixty-five per cent of its net assets in equity and equity-related instruments.. It is suitable for investors with a high-risk appetite and a long-term investment horizon. There are different types of equity mutual funds such as categorization as per market capitalization; Large, mid and small cap, categorizing as per styles; value & contra, sectorial/thematic funds, ELSS (Equity Linked Savings Scheme) etc.

The current pandemic has shifted the focus of retail investors towards debt mutual funds. A debt mutual fund, also known as a fixed income fund invests in bonds and other debt securities. It invests in Treasury bills (T-bills), Government securities (G-secs), Debentures, Commercial Paper, Certificates of Deposit and others.

When you compare Equity Funds vs. Debt Fund, equity mutual funds generally have the potential of generating higher returns over the long-term. If you have a long term horizon and have a risk capacity to bear volatility, then an equity mutual fund is for you. However, if you are looking for a short-term horizon of less than three years, then you might consider investing in debt mutual funds that are relatively less volatile and has potential to help you achieve short term goals.

A portfolio mix of equity and debt mutual funds has potential to help to minimize downside risks due to market ups and downs. Last but not the least, a periodical review is needed to ensure that the assets you have invested in are aligned to your intended goals. As you near your financial goals, you may want to have a greater proportion of your portfolio invested in debt mutual funds than in equity mutual funds. Those who are starting to invest and do not have too many financial obligations and to investment for long term may choose to invest a larger portion of their investments in equity mutual funds.

Opening The Negotiation

Many people stumble at the opening of their negotiation. This can set the stage for a less than optimum outcome. Here are just a few points I find helpful to keep in mind when I start a negotiation.

1. Don’t set your initial offer near your final objective. Give yourself room to negotiate. It doesn’t matter what you are negotiating – hours on a project, scope-of-work, specifications, price, who’s going to do what, etc. When you start any negotiation you must assume the other party will always put their maximum positions on the table first. Equally important is the fact that they probably will not disclose to you the minimum they are willing to accept. Don’t be shy about asking for everything you might want and more-use this as your starting point.

2. Give yourself enough time to negotiate. Before you start make sure you have allowed a realistic amount of time for the negotiation process to take place. Hours, weeks or months-it will frequently take longer than you expect. Rushing through the negotiation almost always works against you.

3. Don’t assume you know what the other party wants. It is far more prudent to assume that you do not know and then proceed to discover the realities of the situation by patient testing and questioning. If you proceed to negotiate a deal on the basis of your own untested estimate, you are making serious mistake.

4. Do not assume that your aspiration level is high enough. It is possible that your demands are too modest, or too easy to achieve. The other party may not know what they want or may have a set of values quite different from your own.

5. Finally, never accept the first offer. Many people do if the offer is as good as they expected or hoped to get. There are two good reasons not to accept: First, the other party is probably willing to make some concessions. Second, if you take the first offer, the other party is often left with the feeling that they were foolish for starting too low. In any case, the negotiator who takes the first offer too fast makes a mistake.

Equity Mutual Funds for long term investing

Equity mutual funds have potential to provide risk-adjusted long term returns. You can choose to invest in equity funds such as diversified equity funds, ELSS (Equity Linked Savings Scheme) or large-cap funds, or even emerging themes in Equity investments such as ESG (Environment, Social and Corporate Governance) equity funds, etc.

The benefits of equity mutual funds include:

Professional fund management: Managed by professional fund managers who research and analyze the performance of various companies, and invest in the stocks that could deliver long term risk-adjusted returns to the investors.

Easy on the wallet:You can invest in equity funds through the SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) mode, wherein you can make weekly, monthly, or quarterly investments as low as Rs. 500.

Power of compounding: Grow your wealth with the power of compounding where your earnings get reinvested and compounds over the long term.

Potential to Cope better with inflation: You need to look for investments that provide more returns than the prevailing inflation rates. Equity has the potential to cope better with inflation in long term ..

Rupee cost averaging: Equity Mutual funds are more volatile than debt mutual funds. Your equity mutual fund is not likely to provide consistent returns during the period you are invested in the fund. Some years you might earn more, while other years you might earn less. SIP in equity fund help to beat the volatility of the equity markets through rupee-cost averaging.

Portfolio diversification: You can achieve portfolio diversification and your investment risk is spread across various stocks when you invest in an equity mutual fund. Thus, even if some stocks in your portfolio underperform, the strong performance of the other stocks would offset some of that risk and help build your investment corpus.