The Sensex has gone down 15% from its peak in March 2015 and has now stabilised a bit. Is it a cause for worry? The crash of 2008 is still fresh in public memory and many are wondering whether we are headed for a similar situation. Yes, the global financial crisis does bring back unpleasant memories for most investors, an example of what psychologists call ‘anchoring bias’. We are anchored to that past. This is why, in our Cover Story, we look back into history and, based on data for the past two decades, we identify periods when the market declined sharply. We could categorise the declines into three different types. The present market turmoil is not comparable to the major market crashes seen in the past. So, based on the current market valuations and current macroeconomic situation, what can we expect? Turn to our Cover Story to find out.
Equity mutual fund (MF) schemes offer investors a diversified portfolio of stocks. But more than diversification, picking the right stocks from the right sectors is crucial to ride out a market fall. How did equity schemes perform over the past few months? We have some clues from our analysis in Fund Pointer. Also, if you are planning to invest in debt MF schemes, you simply can’t miss R Balakrishnan’s compilation of 34 points you should be mindful of, on page 22.
In trying to redeem itself, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has levied more than Rs7,000 crore as fines on PACL. In her Crosshairs column, Sucheta questions whether SEBI is right in imposing hefty fines or whether it should focus on getting back investors’ money first? She also points out how corporates with deep pockets make lenders dance to their tunes. Bhushan Steel was caught in a bribe-for-loan scandal last year. But, despite all that happened and the deteriorating financials of Bhushan Steel, lenders restructured its massive loan. Sucheta writes more extensively on the issue of bad loans, in her Different Strokes column, pointing out how the words and deeds of the Reserve Bank of India sometimes don’t match. Don’t miss this piece on page 16.