Union Budget and Stock Markets

A key annual event that is keenly observed and followed across the socio-economic strata is the Union Budget. Normally, the Budget has a bit of everything which affects not only the rich but also the marginally rich, the middle-class, and the poor. It is an event that has the potential to change the way we deal with our expenses, ambitions, plans, and desires. It also contains path-breaking reforms that can change the course of the economy, sectors, and businesses. The Union Government, as part of this massive exercise, seeks feedback and holds series of discussions from various Industry bodies, trade associations, thought leaders, economists, experts from across sectors and reviews them as a part of the Budget preparatory exercise.

Going much beyond the stated purpose of articulating the “Statement of Accounts and Allocation of Funds”, the Budget attempts to incorporate various policy reforms and measures with the objective of achieving economic growth and progress, social welfare and upliftment.

Among other measures, changes in policies especially taxes have a distinct correlation with stock markets. Whilst some Investors build speculative positions based on their expectations from the Budget, others wait for the Budgetary announcements to happen and then take a more considered view on their investment decisions. Both are guided by the underlying relationship between the Budget and its impact on the economy and the stock market. Let us go back in history and try to get a deeper understanding of how this crucial aspect has indeed played out, in the past.

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Investing at Market Peaks

Ever since the stock market hit its recent low in March 2020 correcting some 40% in response to the Covid-19 related lockdown and the ongoing sharp rebound thereafter, market experts have been largely caught on the wrong foot, intermittently predicting boom times ahead and a sharp correction.

The market is now up about 80% from the March lows and some 40 to 50% above the Nifty targets given by most of the leading brokerages in April 2020.

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