Exposure Matters and Other Investing Insights From Photography

December 22, 2016 . Akash Kapur
Camera lens looking up - featured image for 'Exposure Matters' an article on FundsIndia Marketplace

Exposure. ISO. White balance.  Aperture. If you’ve ever owned a camera you would surely come across these terms and many more. You probably remember the time when these terms changed from being abstract, barely-understood concepts to inputs integral to the making of your photograph.

I remember the time when I was just a trigger happy new photo-enthusiast wondering about these strange features that I barely understood. I would walk around and just click away. If the picture turned out well, good for me. If it didn’t, there’s always a next time.

Later, as I began to read and learn more about photography, I began to understand why certain images turned out the way they did. I learnt how I could play around with these settings to try interesting new photos. As you can imagine, this opened a whole new world of photographic options for me.

Now, a year into my journey in the world of investing, I’ve begun to see similarities between the ‘arcane’ mysteries of our camera equipment and settings and the world of investing.

So, read on to see what your humble camera can teach you about the world of investing:

  1. Know what you’re aiming for – It is important to know what kind of photograph you want to create before you press the trigger. Depending on what you’re aiming for, your exposure, aperture, and ISO settings will differ. Similarly, when it comes to investing, it’s important to know what your investment time-frame, risk-appetite and goals are. Only then can you be sure to pick investments that are perfectly suited to your needs.
  1. Choose the right tool for the job – Different lenses come with different focal lengths. Be it your kit lens, a prime lens, or your favourite telephoto zoom, each has its own focusing range and field of vision. What is important is to choose the right one for the job. Imagine trying to do an indoor shoot with a 300mm prime or aiming for wildlife shots with nothing but a kit lens. You’ll have a tough time getting the pictures you want.
    Similarly, each type of mutual fund has its own unique uses. What can be done by one fund category cannot be done by another. For example, liquid mutual funds (a type of debt fund) are good for keeping the money for durations of a few days to a few months. However, they aren’t suited for building wealth in the long-term (5 years and longer). For goals like that, equity mutual funds are the best fit.
  1. Exposure matters – Your exposure (shutter speed) plays an important role in getting the photo you want. If you get the exposure wrong, chances are, the photo won’t turn out well (imagine trying to get a motion blur photo with a shutter speed of 1/4000). Similarly, the recommended exposure to various investment classes will differ depending on your needs.
    Having a high exposure to safer (debt) investments for the long-term is like using a slow shutter speed of ⅕ seconds to freeze a car in motion or to shoot a portrait in broad daylight. It’s unlikely that you’ll get the photo you wanted. Similarly, having a high exposure to riskier (equity) investments while aiming for the short-term is a bad idea.

Of course, while insights like these do help, it takes a lot more learning before you can call yourself a good photographer, or a good investor. It takes a little know-how and market study before you can safely say you know enough to start picking out your own funds. Our knowledge centre and courses like the ones here can help you get started down this path to enlightenment.

But this shouldn’t stop you from getting started with investing. As everyone rightly says, the best time to start investing is now, and FundsIndia offers two methods to help you do just that. You could start off on Auto mode and learn stuff along the way – in other words, you could talk to FundsIndia’s friendly robo-advisor, Money Mitr to get investment advice automatically. Or, if you prefer getting assistance with a human touch, you can simply contact our financial advisors to start planning for your goals.

So, if you haven’t yet, it’s time you started investing for that picture-perfect future. Login to your FundsIndia account to begin.

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