Do you fall in the category of people who find planned and long-term investing difficult? You are not alone.

Investing is confusing. You have too many options to choose from, be it Mutual Funds, FDs or shares; but not enough knowledge or confidence to help you make that choice. So the easiest option seems to be opting out. You postpone the thinking and planning to another day. Besides, the often complicated and time taking processes can be discouraging.

Your best bet then is to take small, baby steps. With money you can spare and time you can take out, invest keeping a long-term goal in mind. Remember the golden rule that the longer you stay invested, the harder your money works for you (thanks to the resolute power of compounding).

This holds truer for equity than any other instrument of investment. If you study the historical market trends of India, equity investment over a thirty-year period has yielded better returns than FDs, Silver and even Gold, and by significant margins. It is also important to remember that these different asset classes come with different levels of risk, which is an important factor to consider when comparing various options of investment.

However, the same equity instrument over a short period is likelier to be volatile and vulnerable to risk and potential loss.

How to then solve for this conundrum and reap the benefits of equity returns? One way of course is to invest for longer; another is to invest through Mutual Funds. Mutual Funds not only grant you access to the equity market but let you diversify your portfolio to lower your risk. If you don’t have the time or expertise to select and monitor stocks, let the professionally managed and closely regulated mutual funds do your work. It is important for you to understand that equity mutual funds are subject to market risk, so ascertaining your own risk appetite is a critical step before you decide to invest your money into this instrument.

When you decide to invest, keep realistic expectations in mind. As Paul Samuelson (Nobel Laureate in Economics) wisely said, "Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow."

If you don’t know where to begin, you can start by logging on to your Citi Mobile app and selecting ‘Grow your Money’ for comprehensive, simple lessons on the basics of investments and a step-by-step guide to investing through Citi.

Use our handy SIP Calculator to check how much should you be saving today towards your future. The right time to invest is always now.

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