“Markets see Red; Investors’ wealth Eroded; Rupee breaches 74-mark;
Sensex Tumbles 800 points”
Our clients have been waking up to morning newspaper headlines like these ones very frequently these days. Then they quickly check online their portfolios and calculate how much of their wealth got eroded. Nervousness sets in and the next thing you see is a barrage of calls and messages from anxious clients – what should we do now?
The festive season is upon us – and this is what I am doing right now to help clients understand exactly what they should do now – in a context that they can relate to very well.
Goddess Lakshmi – also known as Chanchala
Diwali is around the corner and all of us are preparing for our annual Lakshmi pooja. It is a ritual we never miss. Partly out of devotion no doubt, but also partly because we want to pray fervently to Goddess Lakshmi to come into our house and stay with us – permanently.
But then, we all know that Goddess Lakshmi is also known as Chanchala. Chanchala – the restless One. She does not like staying in one place. She moves from one house to another, showering Her blessings on different people at different times. Why is She restless? Because She cannot stay in one place for a long time if she is not beside Lord Vishnu.
There is only one place where She shuns Her Chanchala avatar – when She is beside Lord Vishnu, at His service. All of us are familiar with this image of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi:
Bhagwan Vishnu is calmness personified, in an environment of turbulence all around. The ocean around Him is turbulent – oceans always are – sometimes more turbulent, sometimes less. But ocean waters are never still, unlike waters of a pond or a lake. And He sits atop the bodies of Seshnag, with their fierce heads above Him – and yet He remains a picture of calmness, a source of strength for all those who get rattled by turbulence that life throws at us.
The ocean, I tell my clients is what markets are to your portfolio. They will always be turbulent – that’s just the way they are. You don’t get far when you cross a pond – you get far in life when you navigate oceans. The seshnag hovering around your heads will be whatever is the newsflow of the moment that causes your heart to skip a beat – yesterday it was demonetization and GST, today it is IL&FS, tomorrow it can be something else – equally vicious, equally frightening looking.
What we need to do is to keep looking at the picture of Lord Vishnu and draw strength from His calmness. For, it is only when we truly invoke the Vishnu within us, that we can expect Lakshmi to always be with us, and shun Her Chanchala nature. Else, She will be Chanchal – for that’s what She does when She does not find Vishnu around Her.