Stock market rally: Opportunities and lessons for small investors

As an investor all of us need to be rational in our approach towards investment. The most important lesson that comes from the current rally is that long-term in the stock market can really be long

The Indian stock market is on an upswing. The popular index, “BSE Sensex” touched 20,000 once again on 15 January 2013. This is almost after two years that the index has crossed 20,000 and the way things stand now, the market may as well cross 21,206 that it had attained on 10 January 2008. There are many potential positive triggers that may drive market to higher levels in the days to come. Ongoing announcements of corporate results and the forthcoming RBI (Reserve Bank of India) policy may provide an upward push to the market. What is heartening to note is that apart from the Sensex, other indices and stocks in general have also shown northward movement. It seems we are on the verge of overcoming the lost half-decade in which started on 10 January 2008 when stock market had touched an all-time high. Since then the markets have offered nothing to a passive investor who would have followed the Sensex or Nifty. Whether markets will breach the all-time high, this rally comes has come out as a relief for investors.

Now that the market looks relatively immune to major downward movement, what should retail or small investors do now with this rally? This rally provides some opportunities as well as lessons for investors. As far as opportunities are concerned, this rally is a golden opportunity to get rid of the stocks in which investors may have been stuck for quite some time now. So if you had bought a stock which was hammered during adverse market conditions from 2008-2012 and does not have strong fundamentals, this rally is a golden opportunity to sell these such stocks.

Also by Vivek Sharma: Do stocks behave differently during the results season?

Additionally, if you had bought ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Plans) and got stuck as the investment value had gone down, then check out if whether you have recovered the capital invested or got a small return. If either of the two has been achieved, then it is the right time to exit. There is no point in having any attachment with these investments as they hit the overall portfolio value. Even booking a loss in these stocks will make sense.

While the rally provides an opportunity, it also brings many lessons along with it. Never buy stocks unless you understand a business or the company running that business. So even if the rally continues in the stock market, don’t get overwhelmed by the mad rush which often dominates the stock market in such conditions. Do not buy stocks which are bought and sold on tips. It is important that lessons learnt during last four years of stock market volatility are not forgotten this time. Markets movements may be very lethal and corrections in market may result in huge losses. Hence, it is important that you never invest in stocks which lack strong fundamentals. Take advice of experts on this or take the mutual fund route. Otherwise be ready to burn your fingers even next time.

Investors need to remember that in spite of the recent surge in the stock market, it is not the right time to sell quality or blue-chip stocks that you own, unless you have a specific requirement for funds or you believe that your investment objective has been achieved. Continue your investments in such stocks. Even if the Sensex did not grow at all from 2008 to 2012, some of the quality stocks like ITC, HDFC Bank, HDFC, etc, continued to grow and added value to the investors’ portfolio. Some of stocks like Havells not forming part of Sensex have comprehensively beaten Sensex during the last five years, giving a clear cut message that the Sensex may not perform but specific stocks will.

There is no easy money in the stock market and as an investor all of us need to be rational in our approach towards investment. Stock picking is an art which very few experts posses and hence it is safe for investors to try their luck in stocks which have performed over a period of time. Also the most important lesson that comes from this rally that long-term in the stock market can really be long. So investments in stock market should always be done with a long-term horizon which indicates that it takes time for stocks to bring desired return.

Read more articles from Vivek Sharma, here.

(Vivek Sharma has worked for 17 years in the stock market, debt market and banking. He is a post graduate in Economics and MBA in Finance. He writes on personal finance and economics and is invited as an expert on personal finance shows.)



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4 years ago

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JBT scam: Chautala, son and 53 others convicted by CBI Court

The court had earlier found prima facie evidence against Chautala, his son Ajay and 53 others, including IAS officers Dhar and Kumar. The 55 persons convicted by the court on Wednesday include 16 women

New Delhi: Haryana's former chief minister  (CM) Om Prakash Chautala, his MLA-son Ajay Chautala and 53 others were on Wednesday convicted by a Delhi court for the illegal recruitment of over 3000 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in the state, reports PTI.


After the court pronounced its judgement, all the convicts were taken into judicial custody. The court has fixed 22nd January for pronouncing the quantum of sentence.


Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge Vinod Kumar held Chautala, his son and others guilty of offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).


Apart from the Chautalas, Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, Chautala’s former Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar and Sher Singh Badshami, political advisor to the then Haryana CM were also convicted by the court in the case.


The court has fixed 17th, 19th and 21st January for hearing the arguments on sentence.


The court had framed charges against them under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC and provisions of the PCA.


The court had reserved its verdict in the case on 17 December 2012 after conclusion of final arguments by the CBI and the defence counsel.


Out of the initial 62 accused, six had died during the trial while one had been discharged by the court at the time of framing of charges.


The court had earlier found prima facie evidence against Chautala, his son Ajay and 53 others, including IAS officers Dhar and Kumar.


Kumar was made accused by the CBI after he exposed the JBT recruitment scam.


The 55 persons convicted by the court on Wednesday include 16 women.


Except the accused, their counsel, prosecutors and the court staff, the judge did not allow anyone else to enter the court room.


The relatives and family members of the accused and media persons were asked to stand behind the barricades set up outside the courtroom, as the proceedings were held amidst tight security.


The CBI had on 6 June 2008, charge-sheeted the Chautalas, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leaders, and others in connection with the scam relating to appointment of 3,206 junior basic teachers in the state during 1999-2000.


In its charge-sheet, the CBI had said that the probe established the manner in which the second lists were made by calling the chairpersons and members of the district-level selection committees of 18 districts to Haryana Bhawan here and a guest house in Chandigarh, where the modalities were worked out.


The CBI, in its charge-sheet, had also said that the father-son duo had used forged documents to appoint 3,206 teachers.


The Supreme Court had in its order on November 25 2003, directed CBI to take up the investigation of the case.


HDFC Life launches two pension plans in Kerala

HDFC Life Pension Super Plus is a regular premium unit linked plan while HDFC Life Single Premium Pension Super is a single premium unit linked plan


Kochi: HDFC Life, one of India's leading life insurance companies, has announced the launch of two pension plans in Kerala, reports PTI.


While HDFC Life Pension Super Plus is a regular premium unit linked plan, HDFC Life Single Premium Pension Super is a single premium unit linked plan.


Announcing the schemes, Sanjay Tiwari, Vice President- Strategy and Products-HDFC Life told reporters that they were the first private life insurance company to bring back pension plans to customers under the new regulatory regime.


There has been good response to the schemes so far all over the country, he said adding so far Rs100 crore had been collected as premiums.


The two schemes are designed to build a sizeable corpus for post retirement income and offers assured vesting value with minimum guarantee benefits, he said. Both the plans offer assured benefit on death and vesting.


HDFC Life Pension Super Plus offers assured death benefit of total premiums paid to date accumulated at a guaranteed rate of 6% per annum and an assured vesting benefit of 101% of total premiums paid. HDFC Life Single Premium Pension Super offers assured benefit of 101% of total premiums paid on death and vesting.


HDFC Life has also launched a traditional annuity plan-- HDFC Life New Immediate Annuity Plan. As per IRDA's new guideline, customers need to purchase immediate annuity from the proceeds of the Pension Plan from the same company.


Tiwari said in India there was a paradigm shift in retirement trends and the increase in life expectancy.


Individuals opt for retirement as early as at 40-45 years and go on to live beyond 80-85 years.


This emerging trend is expected to boost the Annuity market substantially in the next few years, he said. The entry age of HDFC's Immediate Annuity Plan ranges from 30-85 catering to the diverse spectrum of customers across all age bands with 11 different annuity options for both individual and joint lives, he said.


The minimum purchase price of Annuity is Rs2 lakh. For customers whose purchase price is Rs2.5 lakh and above will have the benefit of higher annuity rates, he said.



karan fagne

3 years ago

Too gud information, I had come to know about your website from

my friend vishwas. This is just the kind of information i want, i'm

already your rss reader now and i would regularly looks for the new

posts,Thanx a lot once again, Regards,

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Harpreet Kaur

4 years ago

I am glad to know about the">HDFC Life Insurance pension plan which can easily fulfill the requirement of money after retirement also. This is amazing blog that gives the complete information about pension plan. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

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