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High Inflation in the US: Why You SHOULD Care

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

The Nifty 50 has dropped 3% in February so far, and that’s causing a lot of you to worry. Especially because portfolios would be lower - the midcap index is down 6% and the smallcap index 7%, in just half a month. Also, especially because half of you out there are new investors, and haven’t really seen steep falls in the markets before.

What’s been up?

For starters, inflation in the US has been worryingly high, 7.5%, a 40-year high. But why should you care? It’s in the US. Here’s what happens, the global markets are interconnected. When inflation rises in the US, the central bank there (the Fed) has to increase interest rates. When interest rates in the rise, a few things happen:

  1. Foreign investors move their money from developing economies to the US. They get higher interest on their money, for a safer and developed economy like the US. That’s better risk-reward for their money. Liquidity flows out of markets like India, and the markets see a fall.

  2. When interest rates rise, stock valuations go down. The price of a stock today can be looked at as a discounted sum of all the dividends the stock pays over its life. The discount rate (denominator) increases, stock prices fall.

  3. When inflation goes up, consumer spending goes down; affecting demand, sentiment, and earnings. This gets reflected in the stock markets too.

  4. When inflation goes up, costs for companies are higher, and if they can’t pass it on to consumers, it affects their profitability, and earnings. This too weighs down on stock prices.

  5. With higher interest rates, the cost of servicing loans (interest payments) goes up, and that causes earnings to get depressed, especially for companies with higher debt. What happens next? Lower stock prices.

What should you do?

  1. Remember that you invested for the long term. Looking at short term prices doesn’t help, unless you like anxiety.

  2. In the long run, equities beat inflation. Of course, they get negatively affected in the short term, but volatility is a free gift that comes with investing. Deal with it.

  3. Look at steep falls in the markets as a time to invest. It’s like a season-sale at H&M. Queue up and buy the dips.

  4. Diversify your portfolio. Invest in a mix of assets so losses on one don’t impact your financial wellbeing.

How can Rupeeting help?

  1. Invest in our Core Portfolios. These are all-weather portfolios that are meant to weather the storm. Get expert advice, that is proactive and not reactive. Just FYI, in the January rebalance, we moved our equity weight away from midcaps and into largecaps. So far, midcaps have done far worse (-5.7%) than largecaps have (-2.9%). Similarly, we also reduced the tenure of our debt, shifting out from NEFGILT (-0.1%) and into MOGSEC (+1.0%), and adding exposure to corporate debt and SDLs through AXISBPSETF (+0.5%).

2. Invest in our Equity Portfolios. We handpick stocks that are fundamentally strong, and are synched with themes we believe in. They may underperform in volatile times, and when the markets are falling. However, in the long run, they far outperform the markets. After all, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

Start Rupeeting already!

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