This issue of MONEY TODAY marks the completion of six years of our relationship as your preferred source of honest and unbiased advice on managing your money. This year has been as eventful as any other. We have braved a prolonged stretch of government immobility, commonly referred to as 'policy paralysis', only to be taken by surprise by the sudden hyperactivity on the reforms front in recent days.
The BSE Sensex mirrored the moves throughout to touch a low of 15,175 on 20 December 2011, nearly 25 per cent lower than its highest point during the calendar year, only to rebound sharply on the spate of reforms to cross the 19,000 mark for the first time in 14 months on October 4, 2012.
The global pressure points remained with the euro-zone debt crisis lingering and giant economies such as the United States and Japan still appearing groggy from the after-effects of the global financial crisis of 2008-09. The Chinese economy has also been wobbly. Stimulus packages worth billions of dollars were announced in quick succession by the European Central Bank, the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, reviving sentiments in global markets.
Amid the ups and downs, we have tried to keep you abreast of all that mattered for your finances and investments. When sentiment in the equity market plummeted to its lowest in recent times and debt emerged as the best bet, we advised you on all avenues of fixed-income investments to help cushion your portfolio (Growing with Interest, December 2011
And when the rupee tumbled to new lows on account of heavy dollar outflows with departing foreign institutional investors, we explained in simple terms (The Melting Rupee, February 2012
) the impact on your portfolio of stocks and commodities and what it meant for your spending.
As the Speak Asia scam came to light, we made you aware of the modus operandi of fraudsters in the financial sector and ways to spot them in advance (The Lurking Danger, March 2012
). We also told you how to avoid being caught in a bind in property deals (The House Trap, September 2012
In this sixth anniversary issue, as hopes are building about another market rally with whispers doing the rounds that the Sensex could test its all-time high of just over 21,000, we have looked at the road ahead for the equity markets on the back of the government's resolve to push through much-awaited reforms. We have analysed the sectors in which reform measures have been announced such as retail, aviation and power, and tried to bring to you the best investment avenues in the present market. We also bring you an interview with Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, one of the country's most astute equity investors. If you invest in stocks, knowing his mind could be hugely beneficial.In last year's anniversary issue
I had said "this could well be the time to build a portfolio for the future". That was when the market was going through a bear phase
. Now that the prolonged lull seems to have been broken, it may be time to take a few risks by adding some high-beta stocks that are relatively more volatile in nature to your portfolio. However, it will not be a free run for the markets. There are headwinds as it cruises ahead. We talk about that too in our cover story package.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous festive season ahead.