The forgetful investor

Wish you a happy and forgetful new year 2015 !!

Let me explain 🙂

Fidelity Investments did a study of their investors to find out who made the best returns, one would like to think that those who made the best returns were either most educated, or people who carefully analysed their investments and went to investments conferences to get new ideas etc or even people who were emotionally strong investors who did not sell during a panic or buy at the top. The answer to who makes the best investor is surprisingly simple that people who had forgotten that they had investments made the best investors.

Why is this so? Investments compound wealth over long periods, so when some one says 15% annual growth our minds immediately calculate 100 Rs becomes 115 at end of year 1 and stops there (not exciting,right), but does not move on to think it will be 132 Rs at end of 3rd year, things get very interesting from there on. At the end of 9th year the total return is 50 Rs approx which is half of the initial investment of 100 Rs, at the end of 15 years the annual return exceeds the initial value of 100 Rs and by 20th year it is almost twice the initial investment every year. So if you spend Rs 50k today instead of investing it, you are potentially losing around 8 Lacs in twenty years, and around 1 lac per year after 20 years. 1.5 lacs per year in returns after 22 years etc.

So the really large returns ( not % returns but amount wise returns) happen after longer period of times, While someone who invested Rs 50000 and took out Rs 1 lac + change at end of year 5 did make 15%, he never made 50k per annum that the investor who stayed till 15 years made or 1.2 Lacs per annum that investor who stayed till 22 years made.

I can hear some of you say where do i get 15% fixed return, I agree we can’t get 15% but the volatile markets where one could lose money in some years and make more in some others have delivered an astronomical 18%+ over 20 years, so anyone who stayed the course for 2 decades has made 20 lacs out of 50000 Rs. In fact mutual funds like franklin bluechip have delivered 20% over last 20 years.

The reason why the fidelity investor made large returns was because they had forgotten that they had invested and the money was compounding for them quietly all the time, if they had known that there was such an investment, chances are they would have taken the money out and donated the money to poor companies like Apple or Google for buying gadgets that will be outdated in about 2 weeks 🙂

So, in 2015 please ensure that you invest in a good diversified mutual fund via monthly installments or SIP and forget that you invest till you retire, the results are likely to be an happy surprise for you !!

Disclaimer : Mutual Fund investments like just about everything else in life carry risks, please understand them before investing.

Leave a Comment