Markets scaling new highs – Here’s why MF experts say you shouldn’t stop your SIPs

Markets scaling new highs – Here’s why MF experts say you shouldn’t stop your SIPs
  • Market watchers are unanimous about one thing – timing the markets is an impossible task.
  • Investment pundits say that one needs to continue investing with a long-term horizon to create wealth.
  • You should stop SIPs only if you require the money in the span of one to three years, advise experts.
The Indian benchmark indices have taken Superman’s Superman's catchphrase "Up, up and away!" seriously this month. Both the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty have been touching new peaks almost every day. The Sensex touched 66,000 on Thursday for the first time while the Nifty has breached the 19,500 mark comfortably.

Interestingly, the month of June saw 27,78,507 new Systematic Investment Plans or SIPs registered, marking the highest number to date.

At such high levels, expectations build up for a correction in the markets forcing many to wonder if it’s a good time to stop their systematic investment plans (SIPs). However, mutual fund experts have always advocated continuing the monthly investments despite the market condition.

Why not stop temporarily?

A Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is a mode of investment for mutual funds in which investors make regular, automated contributions periodically. The basic purpose of an SIP is rupee cost averaging, that is – buying more units when the prices are low, and less units when the prices are high.


“There are phases of markets where the markets are high and it keeps on going higher. If you are getting scared now that the market is high, you will always be scared, and not invest,” says Dhirendra Kumar, chief executive officer, Value Research, an investment research firm.

He adds that the markets can be unreasonable for a fairly long period of time and thus trying to time it can be a futile effort.

“The markets have gone up by about 20% in the last year or so and all this time the markets were never cheap. So, one should not stop SIPs because there is a chance that the markets may correct,” he explains.

Patience advocated

The other important aspect of SIPs is, as the name suggests, systematic investments. The idea of SIPs is to provide a regular, disciplined approach to investments.

“The market highs are in relation to the past. In the future, it will go far higher. We need to have time, and patience on our side. We need to continue investing with a very-long-term horizon to create substantial wealth,” says Suresh Sadagopan, founder and principal officer, Ladder7 Financial Advisories, a financial planning and wealth advisory firm.

Hence, stopping SIPs now on the assumption that the markets may correct is counterproductive. Even if the markets do correct, one will get more units over time, and that is a good thing.

The lure of timing the market

Most market pundits are unanimous that it is not possible to time the markets. Many investors may be left by the wayside while trying to decide the right time to enter the markets, especially when they are hitting lows or scaling peaks.

“When the market is low you will not invest because it can go down further, and you will be able to buy cheaper,” says Kumar. For the same reason, when the markets are high, like they are now, you will not invest because the markets may correct.

The tendency to stop SIPs when the markets may correct or are in the process of correction, is aimed at protecting the value of investments. However, even if you manage to protect your investment from the downside, you are also likely to miss out on the upside.

When should you stop SIPs

People should stop SIPs only for a specific reason. “For example, if you need the money after one year, then you should gradually start taking out money. If you are retiring in another three years, you should start increasing your exposure to fixed income moderately, so that all your money is not invested in equities,” says Kumar.

Thus, SIPs should not be stopped when the markets are high – as they are now – or when they are going down, or at any point of time, unless there is a specific reason to do so.