It is for the new investor, who hasn't seen a deep crash, that the lessons are most important
It is scary to see your life’s investment shave half its value in a free fall in stock prices. Indian stock market investors saw such an episode starting January 2008. If you had ₹ 1 crore in an index fund linked to the Sensex as on 9 January 2008, by 9 March 2009, its value was down to just under ₹ 41 lakh. It is gut wrenching no matter how strong your stomach for risk is. The whole time over the year you were driven by sheer panic to sell as the signals about an imminent global financial crisis caused markets to teeter on the edge and periodically belch out another giant fall in stock prices. Some brave hearts held on to their investments during the bloodbath, married as they were to “long-term" investing. By 4 November 2010, they saw their money recover as the Sensex regained its 2008 peak. The market since has given an 8% average annual return. Who are the people who came out on top and what did they do right? A decade, and nearly another 20,000 points on the Sensex later, there are three lessons that we, as retail investors, can draw from the North Atlantic Financial Crisis that had a trigger point when the $639 billion multinational behemoth Lehman Brothers went bankrupt on 15 September 2008.