The cover story (Filled with Hope, November 2011) paints an optimistic picture of the future of the Indian stock market. While it is true that that a predominant bearish sentiment is the best time to take a position in good stocks, I'm unable to understand whether the present slide has ended.
As a regular investor, I am apprehensive even today. There are no signs indicating that the slide is close to the bottom and a reversal of fortunes will happen soon. Global and domestic signals are negative. The RBI has hiked the repo rate once again, which makes it expensive for companies to access funds and will have a negative impact on growth.
Further, there are no signs of revival in major global economies such as the US and EU nations. In such a situation, I feel it is better that investors wait for a definite sign before investing again in the equity market.
Vijay Rathore, Jamshedpur
Your story on the need for agents (A Friend Through Thick and Thin, November 2011) gives only one side of the story. While the better ones do assist clients in understanding products, thereby helping them buy the correct instruments, the rest are only bothered about the commission and do not care about clients' needs.
It often seems that the latter outnumbers the former considerably resulting in a lack of confidence in financial products. Agents push those instruments that have given them the highest commission and not those that suit the customers' financial goals. Moreover, once a product is sold, a majority do not provide post-sales service.
What is needed is better regulations, rigorous training of agents and checks by companies they represent. Efforts should also be made to improve financial literacy among people so that they understand when they are being taken for a ride by these intermediaries. Of course, it was good to see a different perspective on the subject, especially as few people know how to use an agent effectively.
Anurag Bhaskar, Mumbai