To begin with, let me state that I was rather impressed by the readership of my last post as well as the comments posted. I have tried to respond to the individual ones but felt that it would be a good idea to address some common issues. Even before getting into it, let me state that I have no pathological dislike for SIP – in fact as a marketing professional, I feel that SIP has been an outstanding marketing success, so much so that many people even think that SIP is` the product they have invested in !! My only objection comes from the basic fact that SIP is a completely wrong way to buy equity as an asset class.
Let us now get to the objections. They are broadly as follows:-
- SIP is easy for salaried people as otherwise they cannot say whether they will spend the money or not – I hope this issue is addressed through the real life case study that I shared.
- People will find it difficult to keep track of index levels etc.
- How do I know that Nifty will simply not keep climbing and reach 9000 and beyond levels, thereby not giving a chance for people to invest in MF.
In order to understand this, we will need to look at historical levels of the Nifty over the last 2 years or so.
- On February 7th 2014, Nifty was at 6023. This was the low point of the UPA and it started to rise from there.
- On May 16th 2014, after the win of Modi and BJP Nifty hit a level of 7203. At that point most analysts predicted 9000 levels quite soon.
- On March 5th 2015, Nifty hit a level of 8937. For the first part of Modi regime the Nifty had climbed almost non stop with only occasional blips.
- On Jan 1st 2016, it was at a level of 7963 and kept going down to below 7000 on the day of the budget which was 29th Feb 2016.
- Nifty ended 2016 at a level of 8185.
You can see from here that the Nifty has really moved nothing in the last 2 years. Yet we expect it to move by 2000 points or so and that too continuously? We might as well believe in fairies and ghosts 🙂
Coming to the current year, we clearly need to understand that the whole rise and fall of Nifty and other indices are largely FII money driven. With the US and some other markets doing well there will be tough choices for the FII brigade as to where they should put in the money. If the stability of the government and the policies that it espouses seem to resonate well in terms of BJP doing well and the economy showing high growth in terms of the corporate earning then Nifty may well climb again.
So what is likely to happen? Right now, Nifty fair value is sub 8000 but it is very likely it may have a run up in the period till the budget. If it crosses 8600 or so that will be a major victory for the bulls and may push it up even beyond 9000. However, that is unlikely and I think Nifty levels will oscillate between 7900 and 8500 depending on the budget outcome. If BJP loses UP in addition to Punjab then 7900 is very likely to be breached on the downside. In any case, corporate earning in this calendar year will only improve in Q3 or so due to the demonetization effect and therefore Nifty will probably rise in the last 3 months of the year, given the revival of FII interest in our markets.
The route from today is thus likely to be as follows, 8300 – 8000/8500 – 7700/9000, 8400/9500. I personally think a 10 to 12 % return on the Nifty is quite possible from the start of the year when it was around 8185. Given this it is clear that you do not want to buy at levels of 8800 and 9000 and subject your investments to another year of mediocre returns. That is what they had in 2015 and 2016 when you bought at high levels through SIP and are now seeing much lower levels.
From my perspective I bought in 2016 at very near the lows of the year and avoided buying for most part till the very end. In this year too, I am hoping to buy in the sub 8000 levels of the Nifty and hopefully much lower. In order to do this we will need to track the Nifty over the months and have some idea about some directional trend.
The point is, even if you do not get any chance to invest and have the money in Arbitrage funds you will still make 7 – 8 %. This is more than what the Nifty has done over the last 2 years. In reality the markets will always give you opportunities and you just need to be aware of these.
Let me address this in the next post.