The only term you need to know is 'Long-Term' - Done

The only term you need to know is ‘long-term’

The only term you need to know is ‘long-term’

We live in an era of YOLO and FOMO. We are a click happy generation that only appreciates instant gratification. With such a mindset, if somebody tells you that the best way to benefit from equity investing is to stay invested for the long-term, what would your first reaction be?


You would most likely dismiss it. After all, who wants to wait for 7 to 10 years to make money when you can do the same in just 1 year? The thing about making money or growing your wealth is that it is extremely challenging to achieve success in the short-term. On the other hand, the chances of losing money in the short-term are very high. If you are still not convinced, then here are a few compelling reasons for you to invest for the long-term.

Reason #1: Market volatility can erode your capital in the short-term

Traditional economic theory assumes that all investors are rational and that they always make rational investment decisions. However, that is far from reality. In the short-term, there are a host of factors that impact stock prices. Company specific developments that only have near term impact, market sentiments, investor greed and fear, and transitory events. Due to these, stock prices tend to be more volatile in the short-term. Now, as a human being you can’t always be rational. There will be times when these transitory factors will impact you and influence you to make investment decisions that might not be optimal. Class example is of selling in fear when the markets are falling and not exiting an investment when an opportunity presents itself. However, what happens in the long-term is that the true value of the investment eventually emerges. Further, all these short-term movements also get smoothened out. So, when you become a long-term investor, you tend to ignore short-term movements and stay focused on realising the true value of your investment. As the legendary Warren Buffet put it, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” All you need to do is sow the seeds of investment and then wait patiently for the tree to grow.

Reason #2: Compounding can exponentially grow your wealth

The only term you need to know is ‘long-term’

Compounding is a beautiful mathematical concept that can make your money work for you in such a way that over a period of time, you witness exponential growth. The compounding process ensures that when you invest money, both the principal invested and the returns generated, earn interest. Over a period of time, as the interest earned keeps increasing so do the returns generated.

Let’s explain this better with an example.

Assume you invest Rs. 1000 at 10% per annum.


Amount at the beginning of the year

Interest earned

Total interest earned

Amount at the end of the year

Year 1


10% x 1000

Rs. 100

1000 + 100 = 1100

Year 2


10% x 1000 + 10% x 100

Rs. 110

1100 + 110 = 1210

Year 3


10% x 1000 + 10% x 210

Rs. 121

1210 + 121 = 1331

Year 4


10% x 1000 + 10% x 331

Rs. 133.1

1331 + 133.1 =

Year 5


10% x 1000 + 10% x 464

Rs. 146.4

1464 + 146.4 = 1610

The longer you stay invested, the higher the probability of witnessing exponential growth.

So, if you really want to benefit from the wealth creation potential of equities, then it is time to remove the myopic lens and think long-term.

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