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In April 2020, when covid hit India and the country went into lockdown, Mint spoke to industry leaders in the financial services space to understand the impact of the pandemic on their personal investment portfolios. With the passage of a year, we are going back to our respondents to see how things have panned out and whether there are any lessons for investors. In the eighth and final part of the series, we talk to Satishwar Balakrishnan, managing director and chief executive officer, Aegon Life Insurance.

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Balakrishnan has an equity exposure of around 50% in his overall portfolio. In the year of covid-19, he didn’t make significant changes to his investment portfolio despite market volatility as his equity investment goals are for the long term.

He has a family floater plan for 25 lakh, covering his entire family (three members) and maintains his term insurance cover at 10 times his salary.

LONG-TERM GOALS

Although covid-19 has brought us face to face with many uncertainties, if you are investing your monies on a long-term basis towards certain financial goals, the portfolio won’t get affected by the market’s short-term fickleness, he says.

Balakrishnan has a very minor allocation in real estate as he believes that it is not an easily investable asset—as it not only requires a huge amount of money to invest in but also cannot help people during emergency requirements because of liquidity issues.

Balakrishnan believes that an adequate emergency corpus is one of the first aspects of personal finance one should tackle.

When it comes to his investing strategy, he says, “I have always believed in investing for the long term, which is why I have held higher allocation in equities. Someone who needs money at a shorter interval should move gradually from equities to liquid funds. When it comes to my mutual fund investments, I prefer large caps. These offer steady returns with relatively lower risk."

Balakrishnan stays away from investing in foreign funds and gold as he believes the Indian market offers plenty of good options.

RETURN ON INVESTMENTS

While looking at the return on investments (RoI), Balakrishnan says, “The markets outperformed by the end of March and it is the discipline of saving monthly for the earmarked objective that takes precedence. I am expecting a return on my overall equity investment portfolio in the range of 10% to 12% since I’m a long-term investor. However, this RoI didn’t remain constant; it has differed year on year."

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