Investor Q&A: My Mutual Fund investments are in a loss. Should I be concerned?

Since the end of January, the stock market itself has moved down sharply and so have all the Equity Mutual Funds (including Tax Saver ELSS funds).

The first thing to remember is this - this is business as usual for stock market investments.

In any average year, stocks (and Equity Mutual Funds) can easily lose 15–20% of their value and in a stock market crash (like 2008), they can even go down 50–60%.

And such down years or crashes are not predictable.

Which is why Warren Buffett says, “***Unless you can watch your stock holdings decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market.***”

Stock market has always gone through good and bad years and just because we have started investing, it will not start going up in a straight line. :)

The best strategy is to always invest according to your risk profile.

For example, if you can’t see a 20% loss without panicking, don’t invest more than 40% of your money in the stock markets/equity mutual funds (since in a crash the equity part is going to go down to half) and so on.

Invest in a way that doesn't make you lose sleep over it or keep you glued to market news channels.

Use a financial advisor (like Goalwise) that will help you invest in mutual funds according to your goals and a systematic, data-driven strategy (and not mere star ratings or recommendations in the media).

Finally, if possible, invest and forget or just remember that every month you pay for your SIPs, you get one more month closer to your goals, which is ultimately what matters.