Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Protect your investments

This is from one lay investor to another.

Everyone who has been keeping track of the world economy, or the domestic financial markets are fully aware that the world is on the brink of another financial Tsunami. Greek is due to default in its commitments any time soon. There is a 90% chance that it will. Not all the European central banks nor all US money can bail them out this time around, for none of them (except may be, Germany) has the funds to make a difference. US is mired in its own trouble; Spain, Portugal, Ireland and France are in no better position to help others.

Unlike the previous occasion (Sept 2007), this time there will be no concerted effort to a bailout; no one has either the capacity or the funds. The crisis, if it happens, could be far worse this time around. If and when Greece sinks, there will be a "catastophy, a Dominao effect" (in the words of Angela Merkel, German Chancellor) that may engulf the rest of the world.

What should a lay investor do? The stock markets are not going to go up soon. They may move sideways, at best, or go down. My suggestion: cash being king, liquidate all your investments that are "subject to market risks". Hold on to your cash, or put them where it will not be at risk, like in a bank. In India, the banks are paying pretty decent interest rates (up to 10.0% p.a. on term deposits). Best to park funds there and wait for the crash to come. Then buy some units, mutual funds or stocks that you always wanted to hold. You might get them far cheaper than now.

Proect your capital, while earning a decent return in the meanwhile.

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