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Trading in Equity - 5 Equity Trading Tips for Volatile Markets

Market volatility is quite like Voldemort. No one wants to talk about it though it is inevitable. It will creep into your equity trading life at some point or another. So, what should you do? Leave everything to fate or prepare for the fight like Harry Potter. If the answer is latter, continue reading. You will get to know some great equity trading tips that will ensure that you weather the volatility without a crease on your brow.

What causes volatility in the markets?

Volatility refers to big swings or fluctuations in the price of stocks in the market. The movement can be in either direction – up or down. When the stock prices come down significantly, it is referred to as a bear market. On the other hand, if the prices keep on rising, it is called a bull market.

Some factors which result in market volatility

  • Global and national political scenario (including election results)
  • Fluctuations in crude oil prices
  • Economic or policy reforms
  • Unexpected developments (positive or negative) in the market, earnings or news about a reputed company

Equity Trading Tips for Volatile Markets

Equity trading in India has been on a rise in the last couple of years. But so has been market volatility. Hence, it is important to understand factors that can make trading in equity a fruitful exercise.

These equity trading tips will come handy while chalking out an investment strategy for effectively handling the volatility in the markets:
  • Stick around for the long-term
Sometimes, not taking action is the best action. Investors who take up trading in equity with a long-term view (at least a five-year time frame), do not keep on tracking the markets daily. Hence, they do not panic or get worried in the face of market fluctuations. It is best to review one’s investments on a bi-annual or annual basis.
  • Step into the market
A bearish or volatile market presents good opportunities for investors who have been waiting along with sidelines to make their entry. One can get stocks of good companies that have fallen just because of the market conditions. Not only would you be able to get more units (because of the low price) but also the net yield in the long term would be higher when compared with the cost of investment.
  • Average out the cost of purchase
As mentioned in the earlier point, the per-unit cost of stocks can come down in a bearish phase. The rupee cost averaging philosophy can help in reducing the average purchase cost of trading in equity over a period of time. For instance, let us assume that the average cost of one stock was Rs. 250 before the slump. If the market continues to fall (Rs. 200, Rs. 175 and Rs. 150) and the investor buys the same quantity as earlier, then the average cost of purchase comes down to Rs. 193.
  • Book profits
It is a wise choice to take out profits at regular intervals, especially when the market is going through turbulent times. In such scenarios, there is a high degree of overnight risk. So, all your profits can be wiped out at the blink of an eye. The FIFO approach works best. One should track their earlier investments and if they have generated sufficient profits, one can opt to sell them. The proceeds generated can fund a financial goal or can be used to invest elsewhere.
  • Gracefully exit from non-performers
In spite of the best equity trading tips, one is bound to make mistakes. That is, in fact, the name of the game. One should periodically review the stocks and identify the non-performing ones. If they have run their course, one should consider exiting from them during volatile times. The funds generated can be used to invest in other stocks with better prospects.
  • Go Long and Short
In times of volatility when one is unsure about the market performance, it is a wise decision to have a portion of the capital invested in short trades. One should not have a complete long-only portfolio. For example, in the case of moderately bullish investors, the ratio of long to short is recommended at 65:35.
  • Covered Call
Covered Call is one of the most highly recommended options strategies. It is effective in optimizing returns in a moderately volatile scenario wherein the price of the underlying asset lies within a small/tight range and the premiums are high. Other widely used options equity trading strategies that can be used to make money during market volatility include short straddles, iron condor, etc. But it is best to seek help from experts to effectively execute these strategies.

Things to avoid when the markets become volatile

The list for equity trading tips will not be complete with only the DOs. One also needs to be aware of the DONTs or the mistakes to avoid in equity share trading.
  • Panic or contingency sell
Knee-jerk reactions and decisions based on speculation are the death of a smart equity trading strategy. Whenever the market is volatile, a sense of fear grips most investors. However, the important thing is to not act on that feeling without any research. Before taking any decision, one should carefully evaluate the reasons for the stock value going down.
  • Go for the cheapest option
Trading in equity is not only about the numbers. One should not just pick up stocks merely because they are available at really low price levels. Rather than making money for you, it could end up being a value trap. One should carefully analyze factors such as the stock’s track record, revenues, stability, PE Ratios, debt and equity ratios, etc. before taking a call.
  • Leveraged bets
Borrowed capital (or leverage) to fund equity trading may not be a good idea when the markets are volatile. Practices such as leverage and margin investing work both ways. When the times are good, they can generate high returns, but in case of a slump, the losses are also magnified. Hence, it is better to avoid in times of instability.

Final Words

Volatility in the market is not always an adversary. It also provides opportunities to invest at better (read more cost-effective) valuations and leads to market corrections. The idea is to remain cautious and alert and not fall prey to grapevine rumors or take knee-jerk reactions. And now that you know the DOs and DON’Ts, you can safely do equity trading in India (and also anywhere else in the world).

One can also take the services of professional experts for equity trading in India who can help you navigate market volatility with ease. IndiaNivesh is one such partner who offers a wide range of financial services (equities, derivatives, commodities, mutual funds, insurance, IPO and online trading). Their “client-first approach” ensures that each customer gets customized inputs based on their financial goals, risk appetite, and investment horizon. So, whether you are new to trading in equity or just looking for some expert advice, IndiaNivesh can help you out. So, make sure you take help from the best and then even the worst of the market fluctuations will not trouble your trading aspirations.

Disclaimer: Investment in securities market / Mutual Funds are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing.