For Part 1 click here
But yet I decided to open a Demat account; because it would definitely give me better answers than those guys at the insurance office. I read books on the share market. Started watching CNBC aawaz and other business channels. I started my own research on how ULIPs actually work, where exactly the money is invested. Very cautiously I started buying and selling shares. I even tried, day trading. I was extremely careful about the risk involved. And finally, I managed to learn some little things about the share market and how ULIPs are connected to it.
But still, the basic problem remained the same. How could I help our customers who had invested the money in good faith with us and how are we going to give them the returns as promised? Things were looking dark. I would go many times to the insurance office where I saw customers and even agents crying because they doubted, whether they will even get back, their principal amount, forget about high returns.
I did not want my office customers to cry like that. I did not want myself to cry like that. I took some days off, from the office work and contemplated on the problem. My major concern were policyholders who had a policy term like 5 or 7 years. For others who had invested for a longer time, I had more time to think about them.
Just then, I thought I should try fund switching. I very well knew about fund switching earlier. I had heard it on numerous occasions. But the pressure I was dealing with, at that time, the sleepless nights, everything, had sort of concealed the switching option.
Switching though was not easy. My customers had to create an e-mail id and then apply for a t-pin; a number that was required for the switching. Our customers were always very supportive. So once the email id was created, and we received the t-pin, I commenced with the switching. I had certainly got my ‘Brahmastra’.
So what is switching:
a) Say you have invested Rs.50, 000. You can invest this money in different funds, for example equity fund (risky fund) and say bond fund (not risky)
b) You decide to invest in equity fund. And you get units of that fund.
If one unit of equity fund is Rs. 10, you will get 5000 units (Rs.50000 divided by 10=5000units)
c) Now, as the share market rises, the value of your unit also grows so let’s say now the value of one unit is rs.20
So, your fund value will jump from Rs.50,000 to Rs.1, 00,000(1 lakh).
d)after some days the market falls, naturally, your unit value will decrease say it comes to Rs.15 so your fund value which was Rs.100000 will fall to Rs. 75000.
e) So in switching we protect the value at 1 lakh and see that it does fall at a high rate, so for safety, we switch the 1 lakh rupees to bond fund and keep it secure because it is not a risky fund like equity.
f) So even if the market falls drastically, the value of 1 lakh does not decrease.
g) And once the markets are sort of stable we turn back to equity fund. Now, this is an important point. Now since you have 1 lakh fund value you will get more number of units for your 1 lakh, in the equity fund.
h) We then wait for the market to rise again.
I)) and then the process continues by switching from equity to bond and then again from bond to equity.
Now, the above steps may look easy, and you may feel that you can easily manage it, but mind you, it is not the case. It is not that easy to do switching. It is indeed difficult. The primary reason is that you cannot time the market like you cannot say, when the market will rise or when it will fall, so you will surely get confused when it comes to switching because you won’t exactly know when to do it. And you can suffer great losses if you are not right with your predictions.
Especially for a new person like me who had just entered the share market and had no guidance, it is even more challenging. Like for example in these pandemic times when even the wealthy and powerful were finding it hard to arrange a hospital bed; it was confirmed, that even the share market will see bad days. Most common people were waiting to see the markets, come crashing down, (it did fall for some time though) and they were all ready to buy shares when that would happen, but markets took a reverse turn. It did not sink as predicted, but something opposite and unexpected happened. Markets rose to such great heights, that it had never reached before, so much so that Sensex crossed 50k. It was in these times that Sensex made new history by attaining the peak it had never achieved. It went Zooooooom…. So markets are greatly unpredictable.
But then, how could I time the markets so perfectly without having the proper guidance and not-so-perfect knowledge. What was the secret? There was no secret. There was magic. It was blessings of the Divine on my father who always kept honesty as his principle in life, who was always devoted towards his work, who was always careful with people’s money for so many years. It was this sincerity and morality that protected us. It was a holy blessing on him that we were saved.
If we did not have a single customer from my father maybe, we would not be able to handle those things, because the magical factor would be missing; and so I was able to deal with the challenges that life threw at me. I managed to escape them and it was Divine grace that each time I did switching; it became a perfect judgment. And I got it correct each time.
At last, our clients who had invested with us got a decent return. It was, of course, not like the one which was promised, but it was satisfying. Each time a policy matured, it was time for us to celebrate.
It felt, as though thousands of lamps were lit in places that appeared dark earlier
It was the light of courage, faith and knowledge that sparkled.
And it was one more time, that I felt, I was not alone.
She was there… guiding, protecting, and blessing me.
A word of caution: Share market involves risk, please do take expert advice before investing or switching.
image credit: krissia-cruz-unsplash