2015: A Dull Year, but a Good One

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

The trailer was exceptional. It showed promise of everything—action, drama, even a happy ending. It promised the world, but alas, the movie turned out to be dud when compared to the standards that were set by the trailer. Fear not, this is not a review of any recent Bollywood release. The trailer that I talk about here was the year 2014 and the movie, the year 2015.

2015 has been a largely disappointing year from a financial and economic point-of-view, especially after how 2014 picked up steam in the middle and ended on a high. A lot was expected from 2015—businesses were supposed to rake in big profits, our GDP was supposed to touch the sky, the equity markets were supposed to breach new heights. Of course, none of that happened. The only positive that has come has been from the fixed income side, interest rates have come down and that is expected to bring inflation down further. But apart from that, 2015 didn’t turn out to be the blockbuster it was touted to be.

And that is not a bad thing. Why? Because 2015 has given us a reality check. 2014 was allowing us, even encouraging us, to run away with our expectations. We had taken the Acche Din slogan for granted. In fact, we had estimated 2015 to be Acche Din se bhi Beheter Din. It was almost as if we were counting our chickens before they had hatched, and it is good that we have been made to understand that we have to focus on laying the eggs properly first.

In that sense, 2015 has been a very good year. Surely, things are going to be good for India in the coming years, but 2015 has made us realise that it is going to be insidious, with its fair share of ups and downs. What it will require from investors is utmost patience and perseverance. It has now become more necessary than ever to have a long-term view. Even the punters are unable to make money in the short-term, we investors are better off not even trying.

Of course, it is easy to get drawn into political-driven euphoria. When everyone is heading for the sea, it is hard to stay put on the beach. But it just might be required to avoid getting drowned. You have to make your decisions pragmatically, not emotionally. And this is what we should be thankful to 2015 for; it has shown us the importance of not getting ahead of ourselves.

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