Investments Dhadakne Do

(This column was first published on Value Research Online.)

My wife has this peculiarly Indian habit of trying to find something of value from everything. Even movies. I tend to look at movies as merely stories. Some of them have a moral, some of them don’t. It’s as simple as that. But no, not for thy missus. A movie that doesn’t give out a message, a take-home of sorts, isn’t a good movie in her books. The only take-home that I’m interested in is my sanity, which is a difficult achievement these days, given the kind of movies that Bollywood is churning out.

But thankfully, Dil Dhadakne Do wasn’t one of those no-brainers. It wasn’t cinematic genius; it was what they call a family-entertainer. Mind you, this isn’t a movie review. I’m writing about Dil Dhadakne Do because, under the pressure of my wife’s expectations, I did find a take-home from the movie. No, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with a healthily beating heart. It has to do with how one is rewarded by staying with something for a long time, even through the rough periods.

In the movie, the family of four—father, mother, daughter, son—rarely see eye-to-eye. The father and mother have forgotten the love they once felt for each other. The daughter has been packed off to her husband’s home and the son struggles to make sense of what is happening in his life. We are not told for how long the family has been having problems, but it’s a safe assumption that the issues they face aren’t recent. It’s like 2008 for the Sensex, but every year for many years. But in the end, sticking through the rough weather is worth it because they are together and there for one another when the need arises.

This is exactly how investors who brave the volatile market conditions are rewarded. It is natural for anyone to think of stopping their equity fund SIPs when the equity markets are falling every other day. You begin to doubt the fruitfulness of your investments, which are going down in value and pushing your anxiety levels up. Every time the markets crash, you contemplate squaring up your losses and walking away with whatever little you have.

But, if you’re a long-term investor, and you decide to stick through the bad times, you can be sure of being amply rewarded for your gumption. It is common knowledge that the best returns are earned when an investment is bought low and sold high. This is what having your SIPs running through a full market cycle allows you to do.

So, to cut a not-so-long column short, don’t give up when you face rough weathers, investments dhadkne do.

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