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Amidst Volatility, Markets Show Strength

Amidst Volatility, Markets Show Strength

On the eve of December 11, when RBI Governor Urjit Patel decided to call it a day at the impressive edifice at Fort, Mumbai, there was a general expectation of a bloodbath in the markets the following day. More so, because the next day, results of Assembly elections in five states were to be announced and it was a general feeling that the ruling BJP would take a substantial hit in all five.

The following morning was, however, a pleasant surprise for the investors as the markets did not fall. In fact, it rose and held steady for the day before donning the volatile armour for the rest of the week. This was a welcome sign of the markets becoming resilient to political and other developments. The markets, though volatile, have behaved in a pretty matured manner since then with more gains than losses.

This is something that most Indian investors will cheer for as they go into an election year when markets are expected to be at their tensile best. Such resilience will only bring in more investors into the market than drive them away, even foreign institutional investors who are the first ones to exit the market at the first signs of any hit on sentiments.

In fact, it is also a welcome sight that the Indian markets, though nagged with volatility, have performed better than most global indices during the year. What is refreshing is that the Indian markets have actually gained, though little, when most of the global markets have seen an 18-20 per cent fall. And this is when the mid cap and small cap, the usual favourites of the market, have done badly. The BSE mid cap and small cap indices have actually fallen by between 15 and 24 per cent during the year.

As we move into the New Year, global markets remain weak and the Indian markets are dogged by low earnings, tightened liquidity and valuation pressures apart from the big question of uncertainty because of the election. The only hope is the resilience shown by the markets which gives hopes that it will hold forth during these challenging times.

Investors often come to us with many questions which they find difficult to get answers to. In the first issue of the New Year, we extend a helping hand. We present 50 most common investment questions that investors had but did not know who to ask. We posed these questions to a panel of experts, the best in the industry. To give it a proper spread, we have distributed the questions to areas like mutual funds, banking, insurance, taxes and home loans. Hope this will help the investors start 2019 on a sound note.

Cancer is one of the most dreaded words in any person’s life and those affected find it extremely difficult to bear with the expenses for treatment. Few actually explore the possibility of taking cancer insurance to ensure a proper flow of finances during cancer treatment. We looked at how one can get cancer insurance and talked to some people affected by the deadly ail to learn about what they did with their finances when the day came.

The year 2019 promises to be a challenging one for investors both in term of domestic political and economic developments, as well as global cues. We have always advised readers to stay invested to tide over the uncertain period. We reiterate our advice and feel that with markets being resilient and oil prices more moderate now than before, the silver lining may be around sooner than expected. Happy investing and a Happy New Year 2019 to all!

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