The stock markets crashed on January 21 and 22 and many investors lost a great deal of money. We asked Get Ahead readers to send their experiences and lessons they have learnt from such market crashes. In the first such response Raghav Rao tells readers how they can maximise their returns from stocks.
It is common for everyone to scream from the roof tops that they lost money in a market crash. It is always not true. There are a minority who are just waiting with cash for the market to fall.
I have a pretty big portfolio since the last two decades. I have also seen through the Harshad Mehta/UTI scams and the recent Ketan Parikh saga. I lost nothing in the market in spite of the mayhem witnessed in the market during January 21 and 22. Though some of the stocks I hold are below their purchase price I am not in a tearing hurry to sell them. For maximising my returns I strictly follow the guidelines metioned below:
~ Research a stock before entering -- I do not buy RNRL, RPL, Essar Oil etc because they do not have any track record
~ Keep a buy price -- buy only when the shares you have identified are available at the price you wish to purchase them
~ Sell on reaching the target -- selling is key to making money if you do not sell you gain nothing
~ Do not sell on a weak day -- when all the stocks are falling never ever sell
~ Buy in weakness -- these are days when the Sensex loses 5 per cent on either side so buy when market is losing
~ Sell in strength -- When the market goes up by 10 per cent or so it is time to sell
~ Keep at least 25 per cent of your portfolio in cash
~ Research and apply in initial public offerings, IPOs
~ Do not listen to what they say on TV channels -- they are paid for it
~ You will lose more money in day-trading and gain more if you can have a one-month holding capacity
If you do not have time, patience and energy to research then it is not advisable to enter the market directly. The chances are that you will lose more money than you make! The best option then could be investing in mutual funds which in any way give higher returns than the normal bank interest rates.
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Reader invite: January 21 and 22 must have been dark days for you if you are a day trader in the stock market. They certainly were for Get Ahead reader Anish Pillai -- In this account of his day-trading experiences, he narrates how he lost his entire capital within just a matter of seconds.
Do you have a similar story to tell? Share it with us -- write to email@example.com and we'll publish your account. Perhaps the lessons you learned can help naive investors and day traders contain their losses or get them to give up day-trading altogether.
Illustrations: Dominic Xavier
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