For investors, past 10 yrs have been the best

Written by Markets Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 1 2009, 06:16am hrs
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For the investors, the past 10 years could probably have been the best ever. Almost all asset classes have seen significant growth. And, had it not been the crash in the markets in 2008, the gains would have been more.

Apart from the returns, the past decade heralds the increasing choices that the investing community got. Right from 2001 when futures and options segment was initiated on the National Stock Exchange to the introduction of exchange traded currency futures in 2008.

Now, investors can invest substantial amounts overseas and gain from diversification. Clearly, this was the biggest development of the past decade. Imagine owning shares of Microsoft or an IBM. Its possible now, says Pankaj Nikam an excited investor. With the quote being extended to $200,000 per individual, a family can also now invest up to a million dollars overseas with little formality. There are investors who have gained out of buying Corus shares when Tata Steel was mounting a bid on the company, said Sudeep Bandhopadhyay, CEO Reliance Money

In fact the choices of platforms and investment enablers are also a highlight of the last decade. With the advent of the Internet and online brokerages, the cost of transactions has fallen down sharply. The avenues for investment education have also widened along with the products.

Mutual funds now offer gold exchange traded fund, quantitative funds that base investment decisions on complex rules rather than discretionary investment decisions and also hybrid funds. These hybrid funds range from plain arbitrage funds that use market volatility to make risk free gains, to complex investment plans that seek to trap gains and losses across various asset classes. And then for the people with the taste and appetite for alternate investments, there are the commodity exchanges offering interesting avenues. Also, art funds have also made their presence in India and have seen moderate success.

For the retired people soon the reverse mortgage schemes will be available where they could get revenue streams through their existing dwellings. Real estate funds too are just around the corner. And, the new pension schemes will also offer more choice for planning your retirement.

With India being featured amongst the top countries seeing the fastest growth in dollar millionaires, wealth management services too have made a beeline for India. The nation now has the top rung wealth management services available and also grass root financial advisors. Mutual funds have also started offering micro systematic investment plans which entails investments as small as Rs 50 on a daily basis.

And, even as the new-year looks gloomy, the fact that equity markets have been one of the strongest performers amongst the asset classes should bring some cheer. Equities and realty have been the top return generators over the past decade despite the blip in the current year and tension in the ensuing one.