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How to avoid emotional investing?

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Investing in mutual funds can be an emotional rollercoaster. When the markets are rising, investors often get excited and want to invest more. When markets are falling, they panic and make irrational decisions. Avoiding emotional investment decisions is crucial for long-term success in mutual funds. Here are some tips to avoid emotional investing.

  • Table of contents
  1. Understand market cycles
  2. Have an investment plan
  3. Don't try to time the market
  4. So, what is a good P/B ratio?
  5. Diversify broadly
  6. Don't chase past returns
  7. Seek expert help
  8. Stay informed
  9. Have patience
  10. Detach yourself
  11. Learn from mistakes
  12. FAQ

How to avoid emotional investing?

Understand market cycles

The first step is to understand that markets move in cycles. There will be times when the markets test your patience with extended market declines. But historically, equities have provided long-term investors with a better investment experience. Accept that volatility is part and parcel of equity investing. Don't get too euphoric in bull runs or too dejected during market declines.

Have an investment plan

Decide on an asset allocation that suits your risk appetite and time horizon. Stick to your plan through ups and downs of the market. Review your plan annually or when life goals change, but don't alter them because of short-term trends. Asset allocation, periodic rebalancing, and discipline will help you avoid emotional decisions.

Don't try to time the market

Numerous studies have shown that trying to time market ups and downs rarely works. You will likely buy high in euphoria and sell low in panic, hurting your long-term returns.

Diversify broadly

Don't place all your bets on just a few sectors or stocks. Diversify across sectors, market caps, fund styles and fund houses. Broad diversification may smooth out short-term volatility and help you stay invested for the long run.

Don't chase past returns

A common mistake is to buy funds that have done well in the recent past. But past performance does not indicate future returns. Evaluate funds based on long-term consistency, portfolio quality, expenses, and fund management.

Seek expert help

Don't be afraid to seek help. A good financial advisor can help create a customized investment plan, set realistic return expectations, and handhold you during challenging market periods.

Stay informed

Keep yourself updated, listen to market experts, and attend investor education seminars. The more informed you are about realistic market returns, the basics of asset allocation, risks involved, how to select good funds etc., the less likely you are to be swayed by emotions.

Have patience

Remember that equity investments are usually meant for long term goals that are 5-10 years away at a minimum. Expect some ups and downs early on. Have patience and let your investments compound over time. Don't give in to impatience and do not constantly experiment with your mutual fund portfolio.

Don't take excess risk

Greed can make you take excessive risks during bull runs in the hope of making quick gains. Stick to your asset allocation plan and resist the temptation to load up aggressively on risky investments.

Detach yourself

Don't get too attached to any stock, sector, or fund. Markets will not always reward the same strategy. What worked wonderfully in the past may not keep doing so in the future. Review your funds objectively from time to time and make rational decisions not influenced by emotions.

Learn from mistakes

Even seasoned investors make mistakes during periods of market euphoria or panic. Don't beat yourself over it. Accept that occasional mistakes are part of the learning process. Analyze why it happened, learn from it, and avoid repeating the same errors again.

Emotional investing is the biggest threat to your mutual fund portfolio's long-term success. To combat this, you can consider investing in mutual funds through SIPs. With prudent planning, patience, and by seeking expert guidance, you can get closer to your financial goals in the long run.


How can a beginner avoid emotional errors in mutual fund investing?
Beginners should start small, invest regularly via SIPs, and seek expert advice on creating a diversified fund portfolio aligned to long-term goals. Avoid checking the portfolio too often. Don't attempt to time the markets. Stay disciplined and let investments compound over the long term.

What should I do when the market is falling sharply?
Don't panic. Falling markets test equity investors. Review the reason you invested in equity funds in the first place - for long-term wealth creation. The market usually recovers with time. In fact, use major declines to allocate more via SIPs into funds systematically. Stay invested and don't exit in panic.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
This document should not be treated as endorsement of the views/opinions or as investment advice. This document should not be construed as a research report or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. This document is for information purpose only and should not be construed as a promise on minimum returns or safeguard of capital. This document alone is not sufficient and should not be used for the development or implementation of an investment strategy. The recipient should note and understand that the information provided above may not contain all the material aspects relevant for making an investment decision. Investors are advised to consult their own investment advisor before making any investment decision in light of their risk appetite, investment goals and horizon. This information is subject to change without any prior notice.