The retail investors in India lurch from crisis to crisis, made worse by the pandemic. The reason that the same problem recurs has to do with broken market places and redress system than anything to do with investors behaving ‘wrongly’.
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A big market move is accompanied by lots of excitement. Usually the excitement is of traders who are either kissing their screens or holding their heads in despair. Human beings tend to mimic the emotions of others near them—try being sober around a person who is laughing uncontrollably or try to not tear up when your friend is crying uncontrollably and see how tough it is not to react in empathy. Especially when there is a large market crash, the images on TV, the messages on social media and the newspapers all contribute to average people feeling that a big catastrophe has happened and they need to worry. And here is the strange thing: the real investors—that long-term equity investor who has a diversified portfolio of stocks and funds—simply have an average day at work. It is the punters, the market timers, the tip-seekers who get deeply influenced by the reactions of a market crash and spread the emotional contagion. Strangely, the most affected are people who have no stake or have very small sums invested.