Hello Readers, I am SIP

Hello I am SIPHi! I am your SIP. No.. No.. not “ a SIP of water” or “ a SIP of tea”. My full name is Systematic Investment Plan. You own me I guess.

You must be wondering why is your SIP writing to you like this .. Well I think I should have done this long time back but it’s never too late to start an initiative I guess.

I had to personally write to you, because I am a little concerned today the way things are shaping up around me and the core purpose of my existence is getting compromised as well. You must be wondering how it matters to you. It does .. trust me by the end of this letter you would have this question answered.

If you are here with me till now, I presume you would be there till the end as well.

I don’t exactly remember how and when was I born nor do I remember who gave me my name but if my memory serves me right it’s been more than 15 years since the time I was born.

My father is Equity and Mutual Fund is my mother.

You all know my cousin brother quite well I suppose. Born to Govt Securities and Bank, he is much older to me and a favourite of mostly all Indian households.

Don’t remember him? His name is Recurring Deposit. He is the blue eyed boy of mostly all Indian families I have come across. It’s worshipped like God in households and I know of people who would miss their morning teas but would not ever miss feeding my cousin every month. God knows what makes him so popular but this is how things are! Lucky he!

If I have to tell you the truth, am quite jealous of him and why shouldn’t I be? I think am much smarter, younger and faster compared to him and he is quite lazy, dull and older to me and yet he has more fan following than me. No… No I am not sulking.. It’s just that I have found someone to talk to after a long time so just…!

I have a secret to tell you. I have one more brother. He is the evil one amongst us & hence my cousin and I usually don’t mention about him to anyone. His name is EMI – Easy Monthly Instalment. Why do we think he is evil? Well my cousin and I help people save and grow their wealth but this brother of mine I tell you… he is like a mirage! You know what a mirage is right? An illusion..! Initially people like him because he is an expert in creating illusions and temporarily makes one feel good and powerful. With his evil powers he can make you feel as if he owns a house or a car and other household goods but I know him well. He actually makes one a slave, lays a trap for those who fall prey to him. Forgot its name… What’s it called..!!  mmmmm Yes ! A debt trap! Am told almost every 2nd individual in US has fallen prey to my evil cousin. God bless them!

He is also quite popular amongst people in India as well, especially the salaried individuals. Their dedication towards EMI is much more than my other lazy cousin but it’s ok. We have come to terms with it and accepted the reality.

Coming back to me, remember I told you in the beginning that I am 15 years+ right but you know something? I still feel like a 3 year old toddler.

That’s because there is no individual who adopted me has seen me grow for 15 years. People would very merrily pick me up, play with me for sometime and given the first opportunity dump me for reasons best known to them.

The other day while I was being processed in the backend, I heard someone tell someone that he dumped his 2 year old SIP of Rs 3,000 a month; he had started for his retirement to buy a new iPad. Holy Steve! I simply hate him.

On another occasion a 65 year old was telling his son over the phone in Dubai that he is going to stop his SIP which he started 3 years back because it’s giving same returns as his senior citizen bank FD rate. What was the need of starting a SIP at the age of 62 in the first place when he has no risk appetite or life goals left? and who said my father’s health would always be pink?

I don’t know whom to blame now for my untimely deaths. It’s a vicious cycle, I tell you. More like the government. The murder happens but no one wants to take the blame.

But for me I will always blame the person who picked me up for my untimely deaths.

Makes me feel miserable you see.. I feel like an orphan every time this happens to me. Just like anyone else even I want to grow up, see the world, multiply and prosper and achieve my dreams. However I am yet to complete my complete life cycle through childhood, adolescence, gentleman and then as a mature happy individual who can proudly retire with all his dreams fulfilled- for self & for others as well.

Sigh! Yes.. “dreams fulfilled for others as well” ! That was the first and only purpose my parents taught me when I was very small. They gave me the responsibility of fulfilling people’s life goals like daughter’s foreign education, a son’s business set up, a world tour for husband and wife at 50, a farmhouse outside the bustling city limits, a brand new BMW SUV. 

Every time someone picks me up I vow that I will fulfil all these goals without blinking my eye but alas! every time my father develops some temporary bad health they treat all of us very badly and my mother and I have to suffer the most in this process.

My father is now 30 years +. He is ageing but quite mature and wise and has always made those rich and wealthy who have laid faith in him over a long term period. But I tell you life is not as smooth as you think it would be. The same set of people who loved my father in good health would curse him when he sneezes or develops a fever and is unable to deliver desired results in the short term.

As a result of this my mother and I also suffer miserably. Someone was telling me the other day for every 1 SIP that is born an equivalent number dies each month. This way I feel very soon if something is not done fast I too would be extinct soon and would only be available in archives.

I see so many kids around me who go to school.  They always don’t do so well during their term tests but eventually they excel during the final examinations. Forget about other kids. Let’s take your example. Were you always a brilliant student and always topped all subjects? Weren’t there times when you too scored a little less in term tests but eventually passed at the final examination with flying colours? Do parents stop sending their kids to school if they fail a couple of exams? I don’t think so! This discrimination is only for me I believe.

Does a Sachin hit a six on every ball? Does a Dhoni always win a match? Does Harbhajan grab a wicket in every match?  No right? Still cricket continues to be a religion in India!

As far as my potential is concerned,  those who have taken the pain of being with me for a long term , do swear by my powers of beating consumer price inflation and building wealth over long term every month , bit by bit through the magical power of compounding !

Many people say they want to adopt me but don’t have enough money to bear my expenses. Not even Rs 2,000 a month, I ask them? Liars! They have all the money in the world to smoke , drink , eat out , watch movies at swanky multiplexes and shop online every now and then. But don’t have Rs 66 a day to adopt me.

I have waited long to see the ray of hope and finally when things are not moving have decided to write to you on my own.

India has a population of 121 Crs+ & total live SIPs as per recent census are only about 60 Lacs or .50% of India’s total population!  Imagine.  Don’t I deserve to be taken to many more households than this?

(A person would have minimum 2 or 3 SIPs. So 60 lakhs SIP may mean an investor base of only 20 lakhs. 2 million people out of the population of 1200 million is hardly 0.2%- Muthu)

I don’t have a control on what others do but since you have taken 5 minutes off your precious time to read my story, I urge you to

1)     Please write down your life goals on a sheet of paper if not already done. If already done in the past! Great.

2)     For any help required in doing so you may want to refer to this link-  http://www.idfcmf.com/systematicdreamplanner.aspx ( this would take you another 10 mins)

3)     Once you have done your life goals planning & started your SIP or mapped your current SIPs to goals, you have to make a promise to me –

“Not to please dump me ever midway in sickness and in health. Come what may! Uncertain political scenarios , global crisis , fiscal deficits , such issues have come and passed by enough no of times and my parents and I have always delivered his commitment of making people wealthy by compounding and beating inflation”

You would have definitely seen Taare Zameen Par & Stanley ka Dabba directed by Mr Amol Gupte. Mr Amol Gupte now has come forward & takes up my cause as well. He has made a 30 min movie on my importance & my relevance to the Youth of India. It’s called “One Idiot”.  You can view it here

Sorry I took quite a bit of your busy time but I merely seek an opportunity to serve you till you achieve your long term life goal. See your kid’s marriage and hear you laugh and tell someone that it’s all because of me, your son/ daughter is getting married!

I also want to see you and spouse happily holidaying on the beaches of Mauritius or you sitting proudly in your son’s new BMW SUVs.

All that I can say towards all the commitments I just made … “I do”

Do you?

P.S – If I made any sense to you, please pass my letter to 5 individuals you know who recently stopped their SIPs or are thinking about it.

Thank you once again for hearing my story.

(Source: IDFC Mutual Fund)

Disclaimer: Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks. Past performance may or may not be repeated in future. These products do not offer any guaranteed or assured return. Please read all the scheme related documents carefully before investing.

Why Should You Invest in Indian Equities and Buy Stocks Now!

Why should you invest in Indian EquiitiesMany experts and advisers on television and other media advise retail investors to invest in equities, but to no avail. There is absolutely no interest in equities at the retail level and mutual funds, too, are seeing record redemption.

As it happens, retail investors are helping markets more by staying out than by investing in equities, so, from a purely selfish point of view, we (current equity market participants) do not mind if you stay away from equities. Keep your money in low-interest bearing savings accounts and this will help banks raise cheap funds. Then, while you earn taxable 9% per year in fixed deposits and 4% in savings accounts, we will continue to buy HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank and the like, which are up 3.5 times, 11 times and 5.9 times, respectively, since December 2008. Also, remember to pay all your EMI instalments on time so that retail loans made by the private banks do not get into trouble and we can continue to do well owning their stocks.

Indian retail investors are more or less completely out of equities and would rather buy gold instead. So, keep buying gold so that we can do better than you by owning stock in Titan Industries and other jewellery companies. You should not care at all that while the gold that you bought is up 2.58 times in four years, the stock of Titan Industries, which sells gold to you, is up 6.9 times during the same period. If Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had bought physical gold instead of shares in Titan when he did, he would not be a billionaire today.

In fact, go ahead and buy real estate, taking mortgages from HDFC and LIC Housing Finance. How else would we have made 2.8 times and 5.7 times in these stocks in five years? And when you do buy these apartments and houses, do insist on using the best construction material — cement, sanitary ware and so on. It is only because you do not buy equities and instead spend on real things that we could make 192% on ACC and 4.5 times on Hindustan Sanitaryware since 2008. A house is not done until it’s painted, so remember to keep a good budget for decorative paints from Asian Paints (stock is up 4.8 times in four years).

Why should you invest in equities when you can buy insurance products? This world is interesting precisely because we think differently from each other — while you are happy buying insurance, we are happy owning shares in companies that sell you insurance. Thanks to you, shares in Bajaj Finserve are up 6 times in value and shares in Max India are up 2 times in the past four years.

Follow your heart (and we will follow you). If you like going to malls and spending time there, please do some shopping as well — some of us own shares in Phoenix Mills, which is up 2.7 times since 2008. In fact, it may be time for you to upgrade your car. Why buy equities when you can spend the same money on a new car or motorcycle? Let us do the more boring job of continuing to own stocks in Maruti and Bajaj Auto, which are up 2.9 and 10.8 times, respectively, since 2008. Why not add your name to the waiting list for an Enfield this year while we own shares in its manufacturer, Eicher Motors, which is up 12 times since 2008?

Life isn’t just about making and investing money; it’s important to enjoy life’s little pleasures. So go watch a movie at the multiplex and munch some popcorn while you’re there. Meanwhile, we’ll buy shares in PVR (up 3 times in four years). You’d rather spend time at home in front of the telly? We’ll still love you — shares in Zee Telefilms and Sun are up 3 and 3.5 times because of loyal viewers such as you. Call for pizza delivery at home — Jubilant Foodworks (which owns Domino’s) is up 5.4 times since its IPO in 2010.

While you’re in the mood to be sinfully self-indulgent, don’t make any resolutions to give up smoking or drinking. You may not want to invest in equities, but spare a thought for investors in these stocks. Your actions so far have helped these investors make 3.8 times in ITC, 10.3 times in United Breweries and 2.2 times in United Spirits in four years but they still look for your continued patronage of these businesses.

We wish you a very happy and healthy 2015. If, God forbid, you have to visit a hospital, remember that as stakeholders in Apollo Hospitals (stock up 3.8 times) we will be thanking you from the bottom of our collective hearts. And if you do fall sick in 2013, take comfort in the fact that you are helping investors in stocks of companies such as Dr Reddy’s (stock up 4 times) and Cipla (stock up 2.3 times).

We invite you over to our side in 2014/15 but still love you for choosing instead to be loyal customers of the businesses we own. Now it’s up to you to decide who you would rather be — part owners of Indian companies or just their loyal customers.