MoneyGoalz Updates

MONEY NEWS ONLINE

Curated news items for a quick read

A statement by ChangPeng Zhao, CEO of Binance caught my attention – “You cannot ban cars to protect your horse wagons. Instead, you need to make your horse wagons run faster.”

Payments apps are deeply entrenched in the system, despite the rising number of frauds. Power Play, the rewards program by Cred was trending on Google, as IPL2021 begins today.

Here is a mention of recent fintech innovations, which might change your life in years to come

Safetree -insuretech

Safetree is a startup which facilitates insurance premium collection. It has devised an instrument called Risk Janampatri, which chalks out the risk profile of an individual.

Click here to read more


Stockgro app

It teaches you how to invest in stocks, without investing money, through simulated games.

We’ll come back to this in deatil later. meanwhile,

Click here to read this


Artificial Intelligence in asset management

AI-generated financial advice has been around for sometime, and is more appropriate for millenials and beginners in financial planning.

Soon, AI may enable shifting of your money from one pocket to another to generate maximum returns. While research on this in in a nascent stage,

Click here to read more


FINANCIAL PLANNING WITH THE FAMILY

Do you know the why of your financial planning?

Simon Sinek’s book “Know your Why” has spawned many coaching programs and articles.

There are financial planners who say a client will not remain committed to a financial plan, if s/he does not know the ‘Why’ of a plan.

There are some ‘why’s’ listed here, but you are not compelled to agree with it. Work out your own ‘why’s’. It will facilitate the future money path.

Click here to read more


How should one invest in child plans, in view of increasing cost of education?

Investment in child plans for education needs careful consideration , due to the long-term impact it has.

Click here to read more


Money tips for novel financial challenges

Corona Virus Economy has given rise to situations never seen before. It also becomes a springboard to the future, to prepare us beeter for unforeseen challenges in future.

Adopt a step-wise futire.

Click here to read more


Is it wise to invest in cryptocurrency at this stage?

And here’s another point of view advising restraint in the view of a looming cryptocurrency ban in India.

It rightly emphasises that cryptocurrency carries neither sovereign backing, nor ease of transferability on platforms. If one is not already invested, it may be wise to stay away, till things take a final shape.

Click here to read why


Nandan Nilekani supports cryptocurrency

Nandan Nilekani has been funding startups for the last few years. He speaks from an international perspective, and from the point of view of preventing crypto-based startups from going bust.

Nandan Nilekani advises that India should not miss the bus on a trending wave, by imposing a cryptocurrency ban.

Click here to read more


Tax free contribution limit to EPF/VPF enhanced from Rs. 2.5 lakhs to Rs. 5 lakhs

The tax liability on interest, if the contribution to EPF/VPF is higher than Rs. 2.5 lakhs per annum affected only the high income groups, yet created a lot of confusion amongst employees on how to calculate tax liabilityfor the next financial year.

The limit has now been enhanced to Rs. 5 lakhs from Rs. 2.5 lakhs. it is applicable only to the cases where employers do not contribute anything. So, the average employee can now rest easy.

Click here to read more


TAX PLANNING

Financial deadlines expiring on March 31, 2021

Extension of deadlines has been a way of life in the last one year, and justifiably so….

However, it is time to gear up…. Check if you are on schedule, and not likely to be included in the list of defaulters.

Click here to read more


Are capital gains, tax and dividends earned reported?

The answer is Yes. Specified Financial Transactions (SFTs) will be reported to the Tax Department.

Apparently, the purpose is to enable the Income Tax Department to prepare pre-filled forms for tax returns.

Click here to read more


Are you on schedule for your tax planning?


Taxation on Capital Gains

As the FY 2020-21 is closing, here is a set of some simple points on how equities are taxed and how you can save income tax by following simple logical steps.

Firstly, let us understand the types of capital gains that are taxed in equities. These are,

a.Short term capital gains

b.Long term capital gains (1/n)

If an investor is holding shares listed on a recognised stock exchange (NSE, BSE) for more than 12 months, the gain/loss arising from the sale shall be ‘Long’ term. Else, it shall be ‘Short’ term. (2/n)

Let us now understand the rates of taxes on these gains. (3/n)

Short term gains on the above shall be taxed at 15% u/s 111A if STT (Securities Transaction Tax) is paid. Please note that usually every investor pays STT which is charged at 0.1%, both at the time of buying as well as selling the shares. (4/n)

Long term gains on the above shall be taxed at 10% u/s 112A only on capital gains exceeding Rs. 1 lakh. So, if your long term gains come at Rs. 3 lakh, then you need to pay Rs. 20,000 (10% of Rs. 2 lakh). (5/n)

Now, few more important things to note here before we dig deeper. Resident Individual/ HUF do not need to pay tax if their income is less than Rs. 2.5 lakh. So, if the gains on equities are less than this limit, one need not pay tax (assuming there is no other income). (6/n)

‘Short’ term loss can be adjusted against both short term gains (taxed at 15%) as well as long term gains (taxed at 10%). However, ‘Long’ term loss can be adjusted only against long term gains (taxed at 10%). (7/n)

Let me tell you the little logic behind this provision. In case you are holding the shares for long term, you must make more money. Why? Because you gave more time. (8/n)

But, if you make loss on your long term holdings, the government won’t allow you to set that off against the short term gains. Simple! (9/n)So, the very first tax saving tip here is to book short term loss on shares. To simplify, sell the short term shares in loss before 31st March. By doing this, you are actually using that loss to set off against your short term gains and hence save tax at 15%. (10/n)Follow this. Look at your portfolio, there can be few stocks which you bought during the financial year. If it is making loss, sell them and book the loss on paper at least. Doing this will help you set off it against both short term and long term gains. (11/n)

Remember this, if you are convinced that the stock is a great buy even though in loss, you can buy again after a couple of days. But selling once and booking loss is actually helping you save taxes. (12/n)

Also, if you are late in selling, say if you sell the stock in loss after one year, it will become long term loss. So, better to sell them during the FY. A bull market like this is the best time to sell your mistakes.(13/n)

And as discussed earlier, you cannot set off long term loss against short term gains (taxed at 15%). You will have to set off it against only long term gains (taxed at 10% and that too after the exemption of Rs. 1 lakh). (14/n)

Another obvious tax saving tip from our above discussion is that you must book long term gains on paper every year. Say you have shares that are making you a long term gain of Rs. 1 lakh, you need not pay tax on this as long term gains are exempt to the tune of Rs. 1 lakh. (15/n)

So, it is always prudent to book long term gains every year at least to the tune of Rs. 1 lakh. Remember, this limit of Rs. 1 lakh exemption on long term capital gains is every financial year. (16/n)

Its a great idea to hold a stock for long term. But you can book profits on paper upto Rs. 1 lakh every year and again buy the stock for another long term period. That’s smart tax saving! (17/n)

And for all these tips you need to do another simple task: File your income tax return in time. The due date for individual and HUF (non audit case) is 31st July and for others it is 31st Oct. (18/n)

Belated return filing would mean non eligibility for carrying forward the short term and long term losses. This is govt’s way of rewarding a prompt tax filer. (19/n)

Short and Long term capital loss can be carried forward for 8 assessment years. Again, Long term loss can be carried forward to be used against only long term gains. Whereas, Short term loss can be carried forward to be used against both short and long term gains. (20/n)

Avoid intraday and trading in derivate market. The losses from these are tagged as ‘Speculation loss’. And this cannot be set offed against the regular short term or long term loss on sale of shares. So, the law makers too demotivate this. (21/n)

So to summarise the thread,1. Book short term loss before 31st March.2. Book long term gains to save tax on gains upto Rs. 1 lakh.3. File the income return on time.4. Avoid intraday and derivative trading unless you are an expert. (22/n)

NOTE: Please consult your tax advisor before acting on any of the above.

How to get your money back, if transferred to a wrong account?

A court ruling that compelled Citibank to bear the losses for an erroneous transfer of a huge amount, brought this issue of a wrongful transfer of funds in international focus. It is supposed to be the costliest mistake in banking history.

What happens when you, in your individual account key in a digit or alphabet wrongly, and an online funds transfer gets credited to the wrong account? Can you get the money back, without the consent of the wrong beneficiary?

Click here to know the options available to you


Income tax rules for withdrawal from PPF

In the last one year, many people were compelled to withdraw funds from retirement funds. Retirement got pushed a few years ahead for some, while others will need to save a lot more in future to meet their retirement goals.

Some of us chose to withdraw from PPF.

Let us understand the tax implications of the same


How to choose the most appropriate tax-saving plan?

For the first time, we get to choose how we are going to pay our taxes? Higher rates, if we are already invested in, and choose to stay with the tax-saving investments we have made. One can pay lower rates, without availing of various deductions available.

Tax-free returns on investments made make a difference.

Click here to read more


How will taxation on interest on EPF/VPF above Rs. 2.5 lakhs work?

This is a major change which will come into effect from April, 2021. Those in the higher income brackets need to study this carefully.

Click here to read more


Investment Migration Services

This is a much needed, but less discussed service for the large majority of Indians migrating abroad, or sending their children abroad for higher studies.

Are mutual fund distributors geared up to accept the challenge?


How will the RBI regulate moneylending apps?

The statistics are shocking. A report in December, 2020 mentioned 426 rogue lending apps. The number of registered NBFCs is close to 10,000. But …there is no official count of the number of moneylending apps in the system.

RBI has now sought the assistance of stakeholders – Google, Digital Lenders Association (DLAI) and Fintech Association (FACE) for inputs on how to regulate loan apps.

Read more about it here

List of rogue lending apps


Cryptocurrency investors and supporters refuse to accept a backseat in India. Lobbying with the government has led to reconsideration of the proposed ban, and a step-up in consultations with the stakeholders.

Read what the government is advised to do

What can the government do to protect investor interest?


Are cryptocurrency investments legal in India?

The increase in number of cryptocurrency investors and amount invested shows cryptocurrency being established as a new asset class. There are no indicators of fear about legality, despite recent controversies.

The global nature of transactions appears to offer assurance that money will remain safe. A large number of investors are below 30, and come with a high risk appetite.

Read the nitty-gritty of doing it the legal way


FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS / ANYONE JUGGLING MONEY

Journey from homemaker to homeowner

Improved and responsible financial planning is a positive outcome of the trend of marrying beyond the age of 30.

No longer do girls make interim plans for the period, till they marry a well-settled guy. They plan retirement, buy homes and cars, and just collaborate with their spouse.

The distance from financial independence to financial autonomy is being covered fast.

Click here to read how


Pandemic made women redefine entrepreneurship

SEWA Bank is a co-operative bank in Gujarat, run by women. They work with women at ground level.

Click here to say what Jayashree Vyas, MD, SEWA Bank has to say about it


Ease of Doing Business for women in India

Madan Padaki, CEO of OneBridge is a veteran in the field of social reform.

He has moved from poverty eradication projects to entrepreneurship. The challenge is that half of the entrepreneurs nurtured by the initiative should be women.

He mentions adaptation of Mexican and Latin American experience to the Indian context.

Click here to read what more he says about it


What holds back women entrepreneurs in India?

This is a research report by Dr. Sabrina Korreck of Observer Research Foundation, on women entrepreneurs in India.

Click here to read more


5 Budgeting Tips from a Budget-Savvy Gruhini

Bhuvanaa Sreeram is a Certified Financial Planner who runs Plan2Prosper , and a community called the 10 Crore League.

She shares her expertise on how to stick to a budget, in the wake of frequent temptations and cropping up of exigencies or essential annual expenses.

Rachna Monga Koppikar, a AMFI-registered Mutual Fund Distributor interviews her.

Click here to read the full piece


Are you really savings taxes?

Review all options available to you, before March 31, 2021 and ensure that you have done all you can to save taxes.

Click here to read more


How to save tax in FY 20-21 for AY 21-22

Do you think you need to tighten the belt to make all those tax-saving investments in 2021-22, if Covid19 economy has not been kind to you?

Is that driving you to opt for the new tax regime?

Read this to have an overview of options available


Savings taxes with the help of family members

The family is a single unit, yet family members are treated as individual units for taxation purpose.

There are ways of saving tax, by transactions between family members.

Click here to read more

and some more


Cryptocurrency players form a lobby group to prevent proposed cryptocurrency ban in India

This was expected, and should have been done sooner.

The linkages become obvious when Business Insider India reports that the Cryptocurrency Bill may not be tabled in Parliament during this session. The Government needs more time for consultation with all stakeholders and experts.

Click here to read more


KYC/AML crucial for cryptocurrency transactions

This article attempts to remove fears that anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions can lead to a diversion of funds to parallele economies.

It is not the be-all and end-all of a system, but procedures do exist, and can be strengthened for India rather than impose a blanket ban.

Click here to read more


Institutional Investments in cryptocurrency

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, speaks of a growing interest amongst institutional investors in cryptocurrency.

He also underlines that major exchanges across the world follow KYC/AML regulations.

Click here to read more


Cryptocurrency Bill may not be tabled in the current parliamentary session

It looks like the process of gauging the nation’s mood on cryptocurrency is still on.

The alibi offered is that the government needs some more time for consultations.

Click here to read more


Something very interesting is happening in India in the last 7 days

Can you guess what Indians do after the clock strikes midnight to the wee hours of morning?

No, they are not all sleeping. And we are not peeping into private lives.

See the pic below. This is what Google Trends shows for India in the last 7 days.

Topic: CRYPTOCURRENCY

Google Trends – Cryptocurrency – Feb 18-24, 2021

Interest in cryptocurrency updates and cryptocurrency news peaks between 1.30 am to 3.30 am.

What are the developments that keeps Indian investors awake? What are the stakes? INR 10,000 crores or more than that?

Today, the WazirX CEO, Nischal Shetty, asked the young audience in a webinar to start investing with as little as Rs.500/-, and learn how to invest in cryptocurrency.

What is the next wave that threatens to engulf the Indian investing scenario?

What are the fears which surround the future of cryptocurrency? Is it the proposed cryptocurrency ban in India?

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala calls for a ban on Bitcoin?

What does the billionaire investor fear from bitcoin?

Why does his opinion matter so much?

Click here to read more


RBI should not invest in bitcoin

Well, this is interesting as it raises a hypothetical bogey …. what if other countries do not recognise India’s currency?

Will bitcoin reserves be a saviour?

And all these discussions, when the RBI Governor expresses serious reservations on Bitcoin.

Click here to read more


How is Bitcoin created?

You will love this one – an illustrated version of the creation of cryptocurrency the world looks up at.

Enjoy the show here

Read more in a layperson’s language


Corporate executives shy away from taking bitcoin as a corporate asset

What exactly makes certain people see red on investing public money in Bitcoin?

And this at a time, when the richest in the world put public money from their companies in Bitcoin. Dogecoin is next …

Click here to read more

How is Elon Musk doing his bit to support Dogecoin


Mastercard will facilitate cryptocurrency transactions

The business model of Paypal is final – they will allow buyers to pay in cryptocurrency, but transfer the amount to merchants in respective fiat currencies of their country. This raises the bogey of the platform being used for money-laundering.

Mastercard, on the other hand, has laid down stringent conditions for acceptability of a cryptocurrency on its platform. Doubts are being raised that none of the existing currencies can fulfil the criteria.

Click here to read more


Crypto can co-exist with fiat currencies of the world

While the jury is still out on the future of bitcoin, and its acceptability by governments, the party on Bitcoin exchanges continues.

Indian investors especially, waits with bated breath on the final verdict from Parliament in Part 2 of the Budget2020 session.

Read more on the possibilities being discussed


WHAT ARE SELF-CUSTODY WALLETS OR DIGILOCKERS?

Digital Insurance Policies

Insurance policies are of critical importance to the financial well-being of a family, after losing a bread-winner. It provides income replacement to the family.

Given the sensitivity, IRDAI is now advising companies to introduce the concept of digilockers to policy-buyers, and insist on selling insurance policies only in digilockers.

Click here to read more


What will India’s crypto-investors do, in case of a ban?

It is a tough time for crypto-investors in India. In case the proposed ban materialises, the investors may be given some time to exit.

What are the options open for them? Sell and exit, or transfer to friends and relatives abroad?

A third option is to store the assets in self-custody wallets, which are in the form of a pen-drive or micro-SD card or smartcard.

Some names of wallets doing the rounds are Ledger, Trezor, Exodus and BitLox. Online custody wallet services are provided by firms such as Blockchain, Electrum and MetaMask.

Click here to know more


Twitter CEO plans fund for bitcoin development in India

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z plan to make bitcoins the currency of the internet.

Will bitcoin gain more support as an asset class, or currency?

Click here to read more


BITS & BYTES ON BITCOIN

Cryptocurrency – the devil lies in the definition

The major fear is that private cryptocurrency will be banned. What exactly is private cryptocurrency?

Are Bitcoin and Ethereum insignificant enough to be banned without causing ripples in the economy?

Click here to read more


Beginner’s guide for investment in bitcoins

What are the basics one should know before taking in cryptocurrency as an asset class?

Click here to read more

Get a more comprehensive view on Bitcoin


Did Tesla’s investment in bitcoin spark off a world-wide interest?

If Elon Musk had invested in bitcoin as an individual, it would have been a different story. But Tesla putting in billions of dollars of public money in Bitcoin conveyed a future growth story.

Click here to read more


Should I sell my bitcoin?

A fear psychosis prevails in India, after news erupted about RBI considering a ban on private cryptocurrencies.

It is estimated that about Rs.10,000 crores of the country’s wealth is invested in cryptocurrency. Will the government make a move to lose all the wealth, or find a via media?

Click here to read more


Cryptocurrency Bill to be introduced in Parliament soon

The challenge faced by the government is that RBI and SEBI have no control on cryptocurrency, in its present avatar. Crypto cannot be classified as fiat currency, stock or derivative to enable control. The bill is expected to change the situation.

Click here to read more


WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO FOR THE NEXT FINANCIAL YEAR?

Calculator to find taxable EPF

Here’s a calculator to find the taxable portion of interest on EPF.

Click here to get it


TDS Calculators

Find details of TDS calculations on this page

Click here


How will interest on your EPF be taxed in the new era?

If your contribution to EPF is more than Rs. 2.5 lakhs in a year, interest accrued will be taxable every year.

Click here to read more


New taxation norms in ULIPs

ULIPs have been brought on par with mutual funds for purpose of taxation.

Click here to read how


Delay in filing IT returns will attract penalty

The numbers of PAN cards issued had picked up after certain regulatory measures were put in place.

The focus , now, is on improving compliance in filing tax returns.

Click here to read more


THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN ….. NO, BUDGET 2021

Gold’s glittery run may not last over the long term

Return on investment is a function of the period taken into account. calculations can vary from 15 years to 40 years, and the perspective changes if alternate products are taken into account.

The gold story has caught popular imagination, as Indians veer more towards jewellery than coins or bars. However, the personal taste and thought process of the next generation is different.

Click here to read more


Your take home salary and retirement benefits are both impacted – especially if your annual income is above 40 lakhs

Click here to read how


Seniors above 75 will have to file income tax returns


The article is titled “India’s much-abused tax payers.”

The statistics that only 7% of the Indian population pays taxes reminds me of Atlas (carrying the world on his shoulders) syndrome. Just that Ayn Rand could not have asked Atlas to shrug in this position. His own survival is at stake.

Click here to get an interesting view on what happens when you purchase a car


What the Finance Minister did not tell about Budget 2021

Here is a lowdown on the issues which were not addressed.

Click here to read more


Budget for the rich, by the rich, of the rich

Call it a politically motivated rant, but it is important to examine things from the other side , to arrive at an unbiased opinion.

The budget deficit of 9.5% causes concern. Inflation may hit us hard in the long run.

Let us hear opposing points of view here

Read the full article here


Misconceptions about Budget 2021

CA Ashish Bajaj removes some misconceptions about the Budget

With reference to the union budget 2021, I, CA Ashish Bajaj, would like to inform that the budget documents are to be read carefully as there are few points which need to be understood clearly by its readers, few of which are enunciated as follows:

  1. Relief to senior citizens, having age of 75 years or more, has been presumed as it is not required to file income tax returns by senior citizens, whereas the same is applicable in case of incomes which have been earned by way of pension and interest only. If there are other incomes like income from House Property, Income from Business and Professions etc, the income tax returns are required to be filed.
  2. Reopening of income tax case assessments have been relaxed to 3 years from earlier 6 years, this will not be applicable in case of serious cases as per defined criteria. Further it is to be mentioned here that reopening shall be made only in cases flagged by system on the basis of data analytics, objection of C&AG and in search/survey cases. It is needless to mention that income tax assessees may be covered under these defined criteria.
  3. Exemption from tax audit has been increased from Rs 5 Cr to Rs 10 Cr to the income tax assessees who would make digital transactions upto 95%. Further this is to inform that limit of 95% has to be applied in respect of all receipts and all payments, most of the entities make cash transactions and such entities are not covered under this exemption.
  4. Dispute Resolution Committee would be flooded with a number of online disputes in coming time as the government has been trying to ease the process to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability.
  5. Faceless ITAT hearings would still be a challenge for the income tax payers who are not having adequate infrastructure.
  6. Few readers have assumed that TDS on Dividend is not required to be deducted, whereas exemptions from provisions of TDS have been provided only to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) / Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvIT). Further payment of advance tax on dividend has also been correlated with its declaration / payments only.
  7. With reference to pre-filled ITR, the Hon’ble Finance Minister has mentioned that interest from Post Office would also cover under pre-filled ITR, in my view, the post office has not been deducting TDS on the deposits accepted by post office, it has to be checked at the time of filing income tax returns (ITR) that interest from post office has been included in pre filled ITR or not?
  8. Income tax assessees should give up the habits of late payments of statutory dues. Forget about non payment, now the assessees have to be more accurate in making timely payments of the statutory dues. This could be detrimental to the business owned by the asssessees. Now, late deposits of Employees’ portion of Provident Funds are not allowed as a deduction under section 36(1)(va), it will be treated as an income under section 2(24)(x) of Income Tax Act, 1961 with no deductions.
  9. Few incentives, which have been mentioned in union budget 2021, are for recognized Startups. Startups are those which have been governed by DPIIT Notification. Every starting organization should not expect to claim the incentives proposed by Finance Minister in her budget speech.

In case of any adverse view, I request you to ping me personally

Regards

CA Ashish Bajaj
Mob No +91-9911721287
Mail caashishbajaj@gmail.com

Investors give asset allocation. amiss, during Covid19

This is not a very encouraging report.

Cafe Mutual reports interruption in SIPs in 2020, the year of the corona virus. The intent may have been building up an emergency fund. Interruption in regular flow of income could have been the problem.

We hope they make up for it to minimise the impact of damage done.

Click here to read more


Asset allocation matters more than anything else

Asset allocation is another mantra, after Power of Compounding, meant to help you lead a happy retired life. Retirement planning gets more important than ever, as the likelihood of early retirement increases.

The author classifies retirement planning into four stages:

  1. Jet-setting, Go-getter Stage (below 40)
  2. Settled Down Stage (40-50 years)
  3. Reflection Stage (50-60 years)
  4. New Beginning (Beyond 60 years)

Another classification to deal with after our Grihasthashram, Vanaprasthashram and SanyasAshram stages 🙂

Click here to read more


When should estate planning strategies start?

Do you think estate planning starts at 40+, after a death or divorce or parenting crisis?

You can live in peace, if you kick off the process early?

Click here to read more

If you need more clarity, Deepak Balani, an estate planning lawyer is willing to answer one question, and reward you for asking.

Click here


Financial planning for housewives

Does gold interest only women? I guess not. Jewellery may interest women, but gold as an asset class attracts attentions of all investors, despite the recent fall in prices.

Stock market corrections are expected in February or March, so gold may rise up again. This may be the time to invest in gold bonds or bars/coins.

See what Darshana Shah has to say about this.


Couple financial goals

Husbands now contribute their share to housework and parenting – without any grudges. Why does the enlightened, new age male not think that financial management will succeed only with a joint effort?

One one hand, there are couples who discuss home loan EMIs before marriage, and splitting of household expenses before getting into a live-in relationship.

On the other hand, there are women who find themselves fumbling in dry spots, if the husband is not around to help. I’ve heard women say “We cannot ask our husbands, what will happen if you are no more?”

What is is that obstructs joint financial management? Are the blocks created by years of mental conditioning about the man being the breadwinner, or by just being sentimental fools?

Click here to read more

Akta Sehgal Malhotra enlightens you further here


Homemakers are the best financial planners

I know a senior citizen lady whose son gives her a tidy sum every month to run the household. One day, the son shared his plans to buy an apartment in an upcoming metropolitan suburb, and explained the economics. He was not asking for any financial assistance, but she pulled out a chequebook and said , “Here is your money to make the down payment. I run the household with your father’s pension money. All the money you gave me is saved, and now is the time to invest it.” The Indian son touched her feet to say “Ma, you are Goddess Lakshmi.”

Have you come across anyone who can multi-task better than the so-called homemaker?

Do you think money management skills come only with earning skills?

Have you made an effort to train the women in the family, and equip them with technical knowledge they may be lacking in?

Click here to discover the best person to manage your money


How to kickstart financial planning habits in youth

You need the co-operation of your children, if you do not want your financial plans to fall in disarray.

They need to understand money to manage their future well.

Click here to see how to get them in the financial planning fold


Different financial goals

Do you think goal-setting ends with buying a home, car, higher education of children and retirement planning?

Do you believe there is a second life that stems from your innermost passion and beliefs, if you had enough money for it?

Click here to see what fires people

To understand the basics of goal-setting, watch this

Setting Financial Goals


Middle class set to gain from change in taxation slabs

Hopes are high that the basic tax exemption limit will be raised higher than the existing INR 50K.

If this comes with a Covid cess on the rich, it might look like a Robin Hood budget.

Click here to read more


Be happy if there is no increase in taxes

This is an opinion from CIO-Equity of Kotak MF.

Talks about a Covid cess on the rich are rife. Let us see how the rich are defined in the budget.

The assumption here is that the Government does not have much space to reduce taxes, considering the high expenditure on vaccines and other stimulus packages.

Click here to read why he thinks so


Real estate revival expectations from Budget’21

A revival of real estate is needed to boost the economy.

A drop in home loan interest rates has evoked buyer interest in affordable housing and upgradation/extension of existing homes.

The need for a passive rental income also sparks interest in a second home.

Click here to read what can be expected from Budget’21


Major concerns for Budget 21

Discussions about the budget in a very unusual year have already started. The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has raised expectations by saying it will be a never-before budget.

Click here to get an overview on the subject


The Pension Dilemma

If I had to choose one article from all that I’ve read this week, it would be this one.

The Mercer CFA Pension Index ranked India’s pension system in the lowermost one-third from all the systems reviewed by them. It does not help that a major part of the population works in the unorganised sector.

We do have Atal Pension Yojana and National Pension Scheme, but the annuity amounts do not correspond to cost of living.

Mercer CFA has remarked that individuals need to do their own retirement planning.

Do not miss this one


Everybody needs a retirement plan

It is important to be debt-free before you retire.

But does it mean you don’t need a startegy to generate an income for sustenance?

Click here to read more


6 factors to decide asset allocation

One always needs to know the why of an investment – a nugget I heard somewhere from a financial planning expert. It is about goal setting.

Then how does one go ahead with it?

Click here to read more


Invest strategically for better results

This has been a sterling week for discussions on women and money. A major part of the week was spent on Femvest and Womenomics discussions.

The personal financial planning strategies of successful professionals in finance are surprising. This article is one more in the series to show how investments need to have a purpose and a strategy to achieve financial goals.

Click here to read more


How to protect your money from unauthorised digital lending platforms

Google has pulled down many unauthorised lending apps from its play store, after RBI waved the red flag.

Read details of the Hyderabad loan scam that rocked the nation

Read how to check if a lending app is authorised here


IDFC First Bank set to disrupt the market with market-first credit card products

Revolving credit at unprecedented low rates of interest will be provided to a select set of customers. Cash withdrawals will attract a fee, but no interest.

This comes at a time, when a need for short-term credit is becoming apparent in the market with the Chinese lending apps scam. Borrowers need to be educated about safe modes of lending.

Read more about the IDFC First initiative here


3 financial mistakes one should avoid committing

The one mistake that caught my attention in this list is OVER-LEVERAGING – Borrowing more than one can afford.

The interest outgo cancels out the gains from saving and investing. Remaining debt-free may be a little too far-fetched for some, but reviewing the situation at short intervals, and rotating credit to reduce interest costs is essential.

Click here to read more


Difference between Estate Planning and Will Planning

Estate Planning is far more comprehensive than writing a will, as it deals with your entire net worth.

Click here to read more

For comprehensive information on Writing a Will,

Click here

Join the discussion here


How family trusts can help in succession planning

A family trust certainly helps in complex family situations.

They also offer more flexibility and ease of operation in a normal situation.

Click here to read more

If you have any more questions on the subject, you can

ASK DEEPAK BALANI


How to choose payout option in a term plan

Do you know there is more than one way for claiming insurance?

It need not always be a lump sum amount. Staggered payouts or monthly payouts are also possible.

Click here to read more


Retirement planning as a front-runner

Employment in the private sector does not entitle people to a pension.

Retirement is a goal for which no loans are available.

Breaking down of the joint family system, and migration of children to other countries makes it necessary that people are financially independent in their golden years.

There is a huge scope for financial advisors to work in this segment. Let us see if this emerges as a coveted specialisation.

Click here to read more


Focus Female study shows an emerging segment for financial planners

Women have been earning money for long.

Somehow, men have been in financial decision-making roles in line with conventional roles, and division of responsibilities in families.

Trends are set to change. Women marrying late, but making good money to invest puts them in decision-making roles and it becomes a habit. Th involvement of women in planning the future of their kids has contributed to change.

Women are emerging as a new segment for financial planners to focus on.

Click here to read more


How does a fee-only financial advisor help you in formulating a sound financial plan, and stay on track

A financial coach helps in achievement of goals by helping you sort out needs from wants, crystallising financial goals, setting an action plan and monitoring that you stay on track.

A fee-only financial advisor plays a similar role, other than recommending products and moving your money to maximise returns.

Click here to read more


Stock market correction expected in Feb-Mar’21

Questions are being raised about the stock market and state of the economy not in sync. The rise in stock indices is attributed to surplus funds being parked, in absence of lucrative business opportunities.

Perceptions, and manipulation to create those perceptions both play a strong role in managing stock prices. However, it is being predicted that investors may hit ground reality in the next two months.

Click here to read more


4 key learnings to expand your earnings in 2021

This is by and large the most value-adding article I came across today.

And it moves around – no prizes for guessing – asset allocation, and staying with it unless your goals have drastically changed.

The article stresses that a long-term plan is different from a dormant plan. One needs to keep shifting around money to maximise and maintain optimal returns, but without withdrawing it from the system.

If there is any confusion about setting financial goals, the basics might help you.

Click here to read more about asset allocation


How to keep your head above water financially in 2021?

Well, I must confess that I find the onslaught of ideas on money management repetitive.

Cut down on expenses, buy adequate insurance, have an emergency fund, stay debt free and so on.

Yet, nothing could be closer than this to the truth.

Where do you park your emergency funds, so that those are accessible? Are you insured for life, property and health adequately.

Watch this to get an idea of the basics of insurance.

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I am retiring at 50 with Rs. 1.5 crores. What next?

The bucket strategy is sound advice for everyone who retires early, and has a long span of life ahead.

One really needs to work at this, before taking that life-changing decision to quit a salaried job and move to the moonlighting work force.

Click here to read more


UP RERA will make it mandatory to disclose details of escrow accounts

Many people in UP, mainly in NOIDA have lost money paid to builders, as they declared bankruptcy and moved out of the real estate market. Jaypee and Amrapali are only two of the many cases.

Home loan borrowers continue to pay pre-EMI interest, while there is no activity on the construction project. Diversion of funds is the main culprit.

In response to concern raised by many home buys, RERA Act in UP might make it compulsory to disclose details of escrow accounts, to prove that funds have not been diverted.

For the uninitiated, escrow account is a current account where funds related to a project are parked, and the banker checks the purpose of withdrawal. There are no cheque books on this account.

Click here to read more


How much would you like to save for your child’s future?

This is a passion and concern that has not changed with times. This is a financial goal, which is on the top of every paren’s priorities.

And yet, there is so much of confusion, so much of uncertainty. A parent is not sure of the path a child will choose. The underlying truth remains the same. A corpus is needed to give your child a decent future.

We give you links to FIVE articles today, to help you explore different options and decide.

No ideas imposed ….

Click here for INR 100 crores

Click here for INR 2 crores

Click here for INR 1 crore

Click here to calculate how much to save for your child

Click here to know how to get the right insurance policy and safeguard your child’s future


Review of ICICI Pru Assured Savings Insurance Plan

This is a non-linked (not linked to markets), non-participating (not reflecting in the profit and loss of the company) policy. Returns are assured, but low. It looks similar to a bank FD.

Yet, mis-selling is possible if the agent or relationship manager shows you the wrong plan in terms of age. The returns in the chart of a younger person look better.

Click here to read a candid review of the product


Before you buy a second home

There is an ingrained cultural bias towards property as an investment, amongst the older generations of India.

Factors such as rate of return, rental yield and opportunity cost are not taken into consideration before making that glam, socially-approved investment. There is no greater satisfaction than telling people about the number of houses/ properties one owns.

In the present times, low interest rates on home loans coupled with a fall in real estate prices have tilted investors towards making fresh investments in property.

Click here to read about the 3 questions one should ask before buying a second home


Where can you invest spare funds of Rs. 5-10 lakhs?

This is never an easy question to answer.

An ideal plan cannot be spelled out, unless one knows the financial goals, time horizon, risk appetite and targeted returns.

Click here to know about 5 suggested portfolio schemes


The Long and Short of markets – what do Jhunjhunwala and Raamdeo Agarwal have to say?

Well, these are the bytes investors look forward to — what are Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Raamdev Agarwal saying about the markets, and stocks where one can make a fortune?

Click here to read more


Can the NPS Tier II account be used as a savings account?

National Pension Scheme appears to be one of the most popular, but confusing financial product, going by the number of questions I come across on Quora and social media, about the operational modalities of the scheme.

An interesting question is raised here – does the NPS Tier II account offer flexibility of a savings account without a cheque book? Can you withdraw money free-of-cost or incur a transaction fee for the same.

Click here to read more


Millenials, do you want to live on your own?

The culture from Western shores is catching on, as more and more youngsters migrate Westwards for higher education or jobs.

Indian parents might still have protective attitudes. How does a young lad or lass convince parents to let them stay alone?

Click here to read more


Coaching the next generation

Suresh Sadagopan is right in saying that the children of today are a privileged generation.

They have also lived through one of the worst financial and health disaster that happened after a century.

What do we teach the children? Should they continue to enjoy privileged lifestyles, with eyes wide shut, under the warmth of our protective arms? Or should we take this opportunity to prepare them to face difficulties? Is it the right time for them to know the value of money?

Click here to read more


Financial Planning for millenials

Well, most of the articles we read talk about emergency funds, power of compounding and investing for the long term.

 I found this one inspiring and refreshingly different, as it focusses on the acts which can help to create income streams in future.

I’ll give you a glimpse before you

click on the link to read the full article.

  • Create a product
  • Offer a service
  • Start a passion project
  • Start a Youtube Channel
  • Start a blog

Understand that the primary investment is time – not a small investment, but certainly worth it.


Is Retirement planning in India, a full stop to money-making?

The story of Tarun Sharma is inspiring for retired plan. He could generate an income for INR 30 lakhs, by monetising his passion for photography. 

Obviously, monetisation needed  a lot of learning other than his talent in photography. As as another article on this page mentions, the primary investment is time – not small, but certainly worth it.

Click here to read the full story


Being MoneyWise in 2021

Many people faced financial difficulties due to salary cuts, job loss or loss of business or other income in some way.

There are also those who reported overspending out of sheer boredom in the lockdown.

All said and done, 2021 is the year to set things right and bring finances back on a healthy footing.

Click here to read more


Saving for children and retirement goals in 40s

The forties are perhaps the most crucial decade in financial planning. You are well-established in your career, and have a surplus to invest. At the same time, children are growing up with their dreams of higher education and your retirement is inching closer. Indian parents do plan for the children’s weddings too.

What is the best way of managing your children in this transitional phase of life?

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Basics of Money Management in 20s

One of the reasons for reluctance to see a financial planner is that people think they are too late in making a start.

It is never too late, but the sooner it starts, better it is for mental and financial well-being.

How does one start in 20s, soon after you land your first job?

Click here to read more


How to make a financial plan in 2021

There are lessons learnt in 2020, and the same need to be carried ahead for a lifetime, unless a new set of circumstances emerges to alter mental frames, and necessitate a new method of decision-making.

Which are the ones likely to stay in 2021?

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Personal Finance in a post-Covid world

There are those who have been fine in 2020, but fear problems in 2021 given that certain sectors are heading for trouble.

The battle here is to plan in a way that EMIs can be paid without interruption and cost-of-living is taken care of.

Click here to read more


Do you need a financial advisor?

Should I enter do-it-yourself mode in investing after learning money management online, or should I engage a financial advisor?

Click here to find an answer to the question


Why do you need a financial advisor?

I see questions popping up on social media about the best SIP in mutual funds, or best insurance plan, without a total perspective on the situation.

What exactly does a financial planner do, and why do you need one?

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What should you expect from your financial advisor?

It is your money, and you pay a fee to the financial advisor for managing it. The mutual fund distributor may also earn a commission on the plans sold to you.

Setting expectations before embarking on the journey to financial wellness is imperative.

Here are five things you should expect from your financial advisor


How to find a financial advisor?

The best financial advisor is not always your family friend, bank relationship manager or your best friend’s financial advisor.

The best financial advisor is also not the one who practices in your neighbourhood.

Then, how do you go about finding a financial advisor?

Click here to read more


Bitcoin prices rise

Bitcoin market cap now crosses $500 billion. It is now the world’s largest financial service.

Click here to read more


Looks like Bitcoin has a future in India

Bitcoin is up 204% in 2020. 

The phenomenal growth is due to 

  1. Institutional acceptance
  2. Cut in supply – In Britain, bitcoins mined were halved.

Predictions say that price may touch INR 100,00,000 in 5-10 years.

Click here to read more

and

some more


New Wage Code Explained

For several years, the private sector has given wage hikes by increasing executive and other allowances, while keeping the basic pay intact or giving a minuscule increase there. It kept the employers’ contribution to PF in check.

The new Wage Code Bill proposes that Basic Pay+Dearness Allowance should comprise 50% or more of the take-home pay. Since the private sector does not offer Dearness Allowance, the basic pay needs to be 50% of the take home pay, and the contribution to PF will increase proportionately.

If the private sector does not want to shoulder the increased wage bills, likelihood is that take home pay will be reduced, while bonus and other performance-linked elements will increase.

Click here to see how it impacts your salary


Financial Reskilling for Employees post-Covid19

This is a cause I strongly espouse. Employees in a state of financial well-being ensure that

  1. Attrition is low
  2. Employees have good credit scores
  3. Employees are in good mental health
  4. Employees are fully focussed on delivering results

And it takes very little to organise educative and one-to-one counselling sessions.

Click here to read more


If you are planning to buy a house in 2021

Real estate has hit worst-ever lows, making homes affordable for the buyer.

Affordable housing schemes have seen a spurt in low to medium value home loans.

People are moving to larger houses, in the scenario that work-from-home might continue for a couple of years.

Click here to read what has changed



Questions to ask before buying a house


Financial Planning for Employees

What are the components of a good financial plan?

  • Budgets
  • Debt Management
  • Insurance
  • Retirement Planning

Click here to read how to get it right


What are the prospects for real estate in 2021?

Source: Moneycontrol

Real Estate occupies centre stage in financial planning for Indians. The factors that work in its favour are

  1. being a visible status symbol

2. can be left behind as a legacy for future generations

3. Is viewed as always appreciating in value

However, real estate has taken a triple shock in the last four years – demonetisation, GST and RERA.

Let us analyse past trends to make future projections for the property market.

Click here to read more


Planning to get married in 2021?

Wedding costs centre around designer threads, decor fit for fancy videos and entertaining relatives who are not so kind behind your back.

And it is only the beginning of high expenditure, after all you have saved in your bachelor years. A bigger house, better car, fancy holidays and a family of your own will soon follow.

How do you allocate money for everything? What should be the rationale behind saving, investing and spending?

Click here to read more


Can Senior Citizens expect annuity to be tax-free in 2021?

Falling interest rates have caused a dent in monthly income for many senior citizens. 

On the other hand, healthcare costs pose a challenge. Having an emergency fund matters more than ever, and inflation at 7.93% takes its toll. 

It is not unreasonable to expect tax benefits in Budget 2021, but will the Finance Minister oblige?

Click here to read more


Systematic Withdrawal Plans for Retirement Planning

American financial planners assume that a person will live to the age of 99, and use up all their money before that. A rough estimate is about withdrawing 3% from your corpus every year.

Systematic withdrawals can work for retirement planning, except for the uncertainty. Returns are market-related, and can vary.

Click here to read more


Systemic Investment Plans and the Power of Compounding

The Power of Compounding is the earliest money lesson that youngsters need to learn.

Yet, few understand that the kind of returns we see in excel sheets and graphs will not happen, if we withdraw money in between. It works best for long term goals.

In the short term, one might better opt for a bank fixed deposit with compounded interest. It yields a higher return without the risk of volatility in stock markets.

For example, what would happen if one had to withdraw from a mutual fund on days like December 21st, 2020 when the Sensex fell by 1400 points. 

Read more about this here

The time of withdrawal will matter in the kind of returns one can earn from a SIP.

Click here to understand the concept.


How to discuss finances with family in a crisis

A question I faced in a program on Writing a Will was how does one broach the topic with family. Some of them had experienced invisible walls on raising the topic. 

Money needs to be discussed with people who share your life, and more so when we hit a rocky patch. They need to know that you still care about them and love them as before, though you may be able to spend less on their needs or wants.

The answer I gave was “Talk about it so often that it feels normal to talk about money.”

Find out other ways of doing so.

Click here to read more


When a NRI intends to return to India on retirement

NRIs have all their perspectives changed during their stay abroad. They think in dollars or pounds or dirhams or baht and calculate saving potential in line with the cost of living in their country. 

The situation intensifies when children migrate to study in foreign universities, and impose a whole new economic order on the family.

Yet, there are Indian couples who would like to come back to the country of their origin after retirement.  They are so out of touch with ground reality in India, that planning for retirement becomes a tough call.

How does a NRI go about planning for retirement in India?

Click here to read more


Post Office Savings Accounts

We stopped visiting a post office to buy envelopes or send a letter by Speed Post long back. I hope the services continue for users, and have not been stopped.

Post Office Savings Schemes give better returns than bank accounts. But many of us do not have the basic post office savings account as yet. 

How do you open one – for yourself or a senior citizen in the family?

Account-opening needs a visit to the post office, but transactions can be done online subsequently.

Click here to read more


You can buy micro-insurance and micro-pension products from WhatsApp

SBI General Insurance and HDFC Pension Management Co have joined hands with WhatsApp to roll out micro-insurance and micro-pension products.

This is the launch of Facebook Fuel in India, showing its commitment to the region.

Click here to read more about the project and related articles


Women can manage personal finances better

Do you save for the sake of saving, or save for a purpose?

Do you think personal finance needs expertise in maths?

Can you take the stress of seeing a stock price go up, down and then again down?

Do you think it goes against your grain to count money? You just want to spend it.

I don’t know why are women mentioned in the headlines. This is a problem many of us face.

Click here to read more


RIAs and MFDs can facilitate financial inclusion

Changes in SEBI regulations did seem to upset the applecart for independent financial advisors for sometime. But for the first time, SEBI has asked them clearly to choose what they want to do – be a fee-only financial planner, or earn commissions on mutual fund distribution. Direct plans being encouraged is another red herring for mutual fund advisors.

While the pros and cons will continue to be discussed for some time, IFAs need to take seriously their roles as financial educators. DIY financial planning is not easy, and IFAs are the people who can do the required hand-holding.

The spread of financial planning concepts to Tier 2 and 3 cities will open up a huge market. 

Click here to read more


Majesco Dividend – What Should Investors Do?

Consider yourself lucky if you do not own this stock.

If you are currently invested, experts are advising all to let go of this stock.

Click here to read more


Banks supporting cryptocurrency

At one stage, all bitcoin operations were declared illegal by the RBI. Supreme Court intervened to say it had no authority to rule on something beyond its jurisdiction.

Crypto-markets have opened up again. Banks allow their accounts to be used for crypto-trading and also fund cryptocurrency exchanges. Major banks like SBI, ICICI and HDFC are reported to be jumping in the fray.

Click here to read more

Click here to read one more


What are Liquid Deposits?

How does one pick a good liquid fund?

Track records speak of the past.

Sectors in which they invest are indicators of future gains or losses

Reputation of fund managers is a factor.

And ultimately, all investments are subject to market risk 🙂

Click here to read more


Investing in times of Covid19

This article refers to the flight of money from mutual funds to fixed deposits, during the corona virus crash on stock market. Stock markets revived in absence of other investing opportunities, though not to 2019 levels. 

Fiascos like Franklin Templeton have further raised a host of questions on SEBI governance. Bank failures make the average investor weary of keeping too much money in the same bank. 

Power of compounding and staying invested is talked about quite a lot. The returns from a mutual fund or direct equity are ultimately the difference between buying price and selling price. So, the time at which one sells or needs to sell for some reason, determines the gains more than all other factors put together.

How does one decide where to invest, and how to allocate money in different asset classes?

Click here to read more


Companies which cannot pay dividends – LIC Housing Finance and Mahindra Finance

The two companies do not meet the following conditions for paying dividends, as per latest restrictions imposed by RBI

15% capital adequacy (LICHF does not qualify)

4% NPA (M&M Finance has reported NPAs of 4.7%)

The share price of the two companies has dropped in the stock market.

We need to watch which other NBFC stocks take this route.

Click here to read more


What you can do differently with your money if you are financially secure

This involves a whole philosophy surrounding money. The joy of giving and sharing, if one has plenty, lends meaning to human existence.

Sudha Murthy has spoken about this philosophy in almost every talk of hers.

I recommend a book “Soul of Money” by Lynne Twist available here

If you are one of those lucky ones with a surplus, do enrich your life further with this philosophy.

Click here to read more


Follow These 10 Tips For an Effective Financial Detox

The day after Diwali was supposed to be a no-spending day in certain cultures. The belief is that Goddess Laxmi, who entered the house on Diwali needs to be retained.

Maybe, a lull was needed after the high festive spending levels. Maybe, people did not need anything after the Diwali indulgence.

Maybe, there is a lesson of financial discipline hidden in it. Clean the house (mindsets), welcome Goddess Laxmi (find ways to earn money) and then save it, for further investment and multiplication.

Click here to read more


ICICI Bank launches interoperable banking app

CICI Bank allows customers of other banks to link up o their banking app.

Interoperability has been on the anvil for sometime, but let us see where this leads. Will customers trust an app of another bank? Will competitor data be safe.

Click here to read more


Behind Investors’ Problems: Poor Financial Literacy, No Research, Blind Trust

Who is to be blamed for the loss of investors in Laxmi Vilas Bank AT-2 bonds?

How many had bothered to check that the bank was making losses? That its rating was downgraded by CARE? What would be the consequences of capital adequacy ratio of the bank falling below 8?

Mis-selling is condemned and justifiably so. The sales force is blamed for defrauding senior citizens of their old age security cover. How many investors bother to read up or seek professional advice before investing?

Click here to read more


How to identify fraudulent lenders

Indians are been used to loans being given online, least of all with aggressive lending and promises of rocket speed.

Many have been defrauded after parting with KYC and income documents, or slapped with astronomical interest rates. How do you know if you are talking to a genuine lender?

Click here to read more


Timeless investing lessons from a man Warren Buffet called his mentor

Have you ever heard of Philip Carrett?

He lay the foundation of whatever is called ‘value investing’ today, and is attributed to Warren Buffet.

Click here to read more


No pension era- Retirement Planning

Employers other than the government and public sector do not provide pension.

What does one need to do, to keep your sunset years happy.

Click here to read more


Three Contrarian Mantras

Contrarian investing is a strategy where an investor takes a line opposite to that of market sentiment. It is believed that investor crowding can have an adverse impact in the long run.

Pharma, which was ruled out in the beginning of 2020 in favour of FMCG is touching record highs today. True that pandemics do not always happen, but there are certain other things which can pay off in the long run.

Click here to read more


How to set credit card goals for 2021

Credit cards are the most handy, yet most maligned form of credit one enjoys – largely due to the astronomical rate of interest (40%+) they charge.

Interest is payable if one does not pay on the due date. Many people understand this. There are very few who understand that compounded interest is charged from the date of purchase, if you pay the Minimum Amount Due. Paying the Minimum Amount Due lulls users into a false sense of assurance that their credit score will not be affected. Credit scores or CIBIL ratings as they are popularly referred to are not impacted. But one does not escape the interest or debt trap.

For the newly employed or beginners in financial life, having a credit card is essential to build a credit score and be eligible for further loans – such as personal loans, vehicle loan or home loan.

So, how does one make optimum use of a credit card?

Click here to read more


How NOT to Select a Financial Advisor

The article above on Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs, as they are popularly called) tells you a lot, yet does not tell you why should you not choose a mutual fund distributor.

Well, here a financial advisor advises his children on how they should plan for the future of his grandchildren. He talks from experience, he shoots straight from the mouth and it makes it a read worth the time.

Click here to read more


Registered Investment Advisor

SEBI recently tweaked the regulations that governs the practice of independent financial advisors. There are many new rules on how they should name their firms, the titles they are allowed or not allowed to use.

The gist of the changes is that SEBI now separates the people who give you financial advice/plan for a fee, and the people who sell financial products for a commission. It ensures that products are recommended to suit your needs, and not the pockets of the mutual fund distributor.

If the topic still perplexes you, read on to know what to expect from a Registered Investment Advisor. 

Click here to read more


A Day In The Life Of A Finance And Investment Planning Company

This promises to get interesting.

Priti Rathi Gupta, founder of LXME (a financial planning platform for women) is also known as a financial feminist.

Read on to see what she has to say about her work, and the niche she has chosen to focus on.

Click here to read more


4 key personal finance takeaways from today’s RBI announcements

Depositors dread further rate cuts, but borrowers eagerly look forward to it.

Today’s RBI announcements ensure that there are no further cuts in repo-rate linked home loans. 

Banks change MCLR (Marginal Cost Linked Rates) rates once in a year or two, depending on the interest spread they wish to maintain. Chances are that these too are likely to remain unchanged.

Digital payments are being given a boost, but tread cautiously with safe practices. Frauds have been growing with the use of mobile payment apps.

Click here to read more


Turn setbacks into money lessons for a safe future

Nothing teaches better than adversity.

And nothing illustrates the importance of the lesson more than a story or someone’s real life experience.

Click here to read more


Am I supposed to pay Tax on Forex transactions? | TCS on Foreign Remittances

This is an area where most of us need guidance. 

Do we pay tax on foreign inward remittances or outward remittances or both?

Click here to read more


What are the Average Costs of Being in a Relationship?

Have you ever thought what is the cost of being in love, or sealing a relationship with marriage?

How do the spending patterns change at different stages in life?

Do not miss this piece.

Click here to read more


Money and Marriage Goals Stay Together Forever

This is the most comprehensive piece I’ve come across on MoneyGoalz, relationship goals and marriage goals.

Click here to read more


How to Talk to Your Spouse About Setting Financial Goals | Money & Relationships

Learn the art and science of communication – this time around with your spouse.

It may need more tact than you think.

Click here to read more


Let financial stress not ruin your marriage

Let financial stress not ruin your marriage, and let the marriage not ruin your financial planning.

This is a topic close to my heart. Very often, achievement of financial goals is hampered due to different money personality types. Priorities are different, and family financial goals and individual passion goals go for a toss.

Do not miss this blog by Akta Sehgal Malhotra

What needs to be done to prevent a fall-out in the marriage, or a fall-out in financial wellness. Communication is the key.

Click here to read more


New money rules for your financial planning in the new normal

Covid19 has redefined several norms – social, psychological and economic. On one hand, it may leave people with obsessive compulsive disorders – about hygiene, physical contact and social interactions. For example, the handshake may become an obsolete form of greeting.

On the other hand, people are likely to develop healthier practices on physical fitness and financial management. Everybody will have an emergency fund. Many will think about developing multiple and passive sources of income. Early retirement will be more socially acceptable than it has been in the last 20-30 years.

How do we revamp our money models, and refresh money mindsets?

Click here to read more


Why succession & estate planning becomes important in the age of a pandemic

Back in April, 2020 there was talk floating around of declaration of a financial emergency in India. 

What exactly is a financial emergency?

Article 360 has a provision that if the President of India is convinced that the financial stability or credit of the country, or a part of the country is threatened, s/he can declare a financial emergency, aided by the advice of Council of Ministers. The decision can be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

Fortunately for us, it did not happen and the international reputation of the nation is intact.

Spare a thought for yourself. Would you like this financial emergency to be declared in your life or the life of your kith and kin? What happens if you are not in a state to operate your bank accounts? What happens if there is an emergency situation, and the family does not know how to meet its obligations.

The words – life insurance and writing a will may spring to mind, but remember that these are effective only after you.

There needs to be a plan. There needs to be a didi-locker, or physical locker where you keep your documents. There needs to be at least one trustworthy person with whom you share the location of passwords and other sensitive data. The same applies to physical goods one considers as valuables, and are stacked up in lockers or are in the safe custody of banks.

Click on the link to read more


Delhi High Court pulls up RBI over PMC Bank withdrawal curbs

Yes Bank, CKP Co-operative Bank, Laxmi Vilas Bank – the fiascos have all happened after PMC Bank, and the customers are out of red. Moratoriums have been lifted. Customers with deposits below Rs. 5 lakhs will receive their money back, under the DICGC cover.

But the woes of depositors of PMC Bank cease to end. At least four people have been reported to have lost their lives – by suicide or myocardial infarctions (popularly called heart attacks). 

The Delhi High court has now taken Reserve Bank of India to task, for not taking the lead in deciding which depositors will get preferential treatment in getting Rs. 5 lakhs, instead of the maximum allowed limit of Rs. 1 lakh. Leaving the decision to PMC Bank is akin to leave the victims at the mercy of the killers.

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Factors to consider before making home loan prepayments

Being debt-free is a mantra being bandied about in the Covid19 economy. But to what extent?

Does one need to reduce the interest burden in the long run, or pre-close the loans entirely? The decision is not easy where home loans are considered, as the tenor is long, amounts large and balance transfer facilities available in plenty.

Of course, the decision is unique to your circumstances and financial goals. But there are some general principles one needs to understand before arriving at a decision.

Can you risk not having an emergency fund in the Covid19 economy, but being debt-free? Can you risk leaving your loved ones high and dry with insufficient liquidity, but debt-free?

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How tax saving via NPS may help you collect higher annuities in retirement

I see a lot of discussions about whether one should opt for NPS, EPF, VPF or PPF. The decision-making key lies in having complete knowledge about each product, and recent updates on the same. 

It helps one to decide. It helps one to switch options if needed.

This article tells you what is happening with the National Pension Scheme and why one should opt for it. You may have better options, but know the devil before adopting or ostracising it.

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Renewal insurance premium excluded from LTC cash scheme: Does this apply to motor, health covers?

The government says insurance premium paid on existing policies will not be covered in the LTC voucher scheme. There is no clarity yet on how premiums on existing health and motor insurance will be treated.

Since policy numbers change on renewal in some cases, the methodology of identifying or tracking down status of an insurance policy is not yet known.

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How to Read A ULIP Benefits Illustration

ULIPs are where a major part of mis-selling cases are reported. Investors need to be aware of the details, if they choose to invest in this category.

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Personal Retirement Account for Health

Rima Barooah is an internationally certified health coach based in Singapore. She talks about the health part of a retired life.

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Retirement in Brief: A Memory-Loss Trap to Avoid, a Call for National Savings Dashboard, and an Idea to Lessen Longevity Risk

The idea of having a retirement dashboard for employees to check their status of preparedness is good. Hope there are takers for it in the Indian corporate scenario.

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The net-working effect

We are talking about women’s journeys today – in establishing themselves as freelancers, businesspersons, startup founders, career women and being self-sufficient financially.

Our culture makes us rely so much on the male support in the family for financial planning. Questioning the system, or an attempt to take things in your own hands may be viewed with suspicion or treated as sacrilege in some families.

Then, what helps us? Having a team sure helps. If you are not fortunate enough, bond-building and networking with people in your ecosystem does. And I’m not talking about female bonding here, though it does help. Platforms which facilitate such collaboration do help.

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#Future of Financial Planning for Women: Time to make it the norm

We have a link to a video here for a change, rather than an article.

Watch at leisure.

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These 5 companies aim to instil financial discipline amongst kids

A very big reason for inability to stay on a chosen financial plan is giving in to unanticipated demands from children. We gain emotional satisfaction in our indulgence towards kids, so it does not count as a roadblock.

Parenting instincts and emotional landscapes will not change. But these situations can be avoided, by creating financial awareness in children. If they understand the joint family financial goals, they might choose to collaborate with you, instead of creating conflicts.

This is a subject very dear to my heart, and has bee discussed in an event on Money Personalities (details on the site Home Page).

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7 hidden costs of parenthood most people don’t expect to pay, according to financial planners who have kids

Did you know that one has to pay for two deliveries in the USA, if one has twins?

Did you know that kids’ products can be more expensive than what you use. The sellers know parents love to splurge on their children, and they encash your emotions.

Children’s health is not about doctors’ fees and medicines, but alternate foods in case of allergies, ‘safe’ products and a lot more.

How prepared are you?

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Welcome to a child? It is time to plan your finances! – business News

Social media went berserk with the pregnancy of two celebrities in India – Kareena Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.

Are you expecting the stork to visit in 2021?

Do parenting courses tell you about financial planning?

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Do you need to reshuffle your investments as 2020 comes to a close?

Has 2020 been kind to you financially? You can count yourself amongst the lucky few, if you have maintained a steady income.

If the income pattern was not depicted by a straight line or upward curve, you may need to revise financial goals and start a fresh plan.

If you have been fortunate, the proportion of assets in your portfolio would have changed with the equity market fluctuations. Revisit the plan, and see if you need to counterbalance something.

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Rationalisation of tax provisions for family trusts

Family trusts are being espoused as a more comprehensive option for estate planning, than writing a will.

One needs to understand the tax provisions before arriving at a decision.

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How to put your money matters in order if dementia strikes

This is generally not talked about, because of the negative connotations.

Retirement planning, writing a will, what happens to your money if you are in a coma, what happens if dementia strikes are subjects which can be specialised branches of financial planning. Yet, a practice based only on these subjects does not take off for financial planners, because of an inbuilt resistance to think about or discuss these subjects.

We are talking about creating family trusts here. The article will give a preview on how things can be managed.

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National Pension System: Is NPS the right option for retirement?

National Pension Scheme has come under review once again, as uncertainty of the scenario compels the populace to find ways of building secure bases for retirement, along with emergency funds.

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Term plans premium – a ready reckoner

Here is an updated version of the ready reckoner for term plans in insurance

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Bitcoin Investment –

A digitalized investment forum

Bitcoin remains a subject of intense discussion and indecision for serious investors.

It is about risk appetite and trustworthiness.

It is about knowledge or lack of knowledge about how the platform works.

It is about lack of awareness about bitcoin exchanges.

Learn a little more, and add to your knowledge base.

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RBI imposes penalty on Muthoot Finance, Manappuram Finance

Muthoot Finance has been penalised for non-compliance with KYC norms – not maintaining the loan-to-value ratio and not taking PAN details for gold loans above Rs. 5 lakhs. Manappuram Finance has been fined for not verifying ownership of the gold being pledged.

Effectively, both the companies were assisting money laundering. The increasing popularity is sometimes an indicator of subversion in ethics. It has the potential to blow up into a huge scam, though it may not always happen.

The issue for an individual here is not about availment of gold loans, but about investing in shares of such companies. The bubble can burst anytime.

Two decades ago, the modus operandi to boost share prices, was to place half or full page recruitment ads in leading newspapers. It showed that mega projects were in the pipeline, but the applicants did not receive a response. Perhaps every applicant thought only s/he did not qualify.

Regulatory bodies are unable to prevent frauds, as we have seen in so many cases. Why not sharpen our antennae to check if suspicious activity is seen, where consumers are being woo-ed with super-attractive deals?

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How stimulus measures, coronavirus woes can help gold prices firm up

Gold prices are seeing an international surge in dollar prices. It is attributed to the fact that fund managers and central banks have decided to hedge their portfolios and reserves with gold. 

But will Indian market reflect an increase in the same proportion of 20%-25%? The author says it is doubtful, owing to a stronger rupee and renewed lockdowns after a resurgence in post-Diwali Covid cases.

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Getting freelance assignments through e-commerce portals? Be aware of the TDS implications

This article talks not just about TDS implications for freelancers operating through sites such as Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer, but a financial management strategy for freelancers.

TDS deduction has been reduced to 0.75% from 1% till March, 2021 to mitigate the adverse impact of the Covid19 economy.

But do you pay yourself a salary every month, despite the irregular income?

Do you invest in SIPs or other monthly savings schemes?

Do you leverage your creditworthiness completely while taking a loan, or do you leave a cushion for future adjustments?

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Financial habits after marriage

I remember a NRI client making frantic calls to check if the amount remitted from USA was credited to his mother’s account. He was getting married the next day, but there was a slight procedural delay in the credit.

We tried to humour him saying that you get married in peace, the amount will be there in the receiver’s account on the next working day.

His response -“You are not getting the implications of the delay. From tomorrow, my wife can claim a right on my money. I would like to fulfil my responsibility to my parents before that.”

So, marriage does change life and financial planning. Priorities shift. Responsibilities increase with expansion of the family, and a change in lifestyle. A beanbag, a few devices, a TV and refrigerator are no longer sufficient for survival.

So, how do you manage Relationships and Money, and your relationship with money.

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Journey Through the 6 Stages of Retirement

This blog traces out the mental and emotional journey of retirement, before we hit on the financial implications. Yes, we calculated PF and terminal benefits and listed out our assets some time back. 

But where exactly do you stand now, vis-a-vis your liabilities and cost of living?

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Indians will leapfrog to BNPL services skipping credit cards: Lizzie Chapman

Buy Now Pay Later is a trend the Indian Market is catching on to, and the trend is likely to stay, as per Lizzie Chapman, CEO of Zest Financial Services.

The financial constraints imposed by the pandemic economy has further fuelled the demand for BNPL services. The platform claims total transparency, compared to the fogginess of interest payable on default in credit card payments. This system bypasses the need for credit cards.

Since the BNPL scheme effectively offers a loan equivalent to the price of the item purchased, repayment behaviour does have an impact on the credit score. 

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EMI finance platform reports 500% increase in ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ solution for electric vehicles

Zest Finance is a EMI financing platform powered by Artificial Intelligence.

They finance low-speed electric scooters (maximum speed 25 km/hour), which do not need a license by transport authorities, in collaboration with manufacturers of the vehicles.

Uttar Pradesh has registered the highest number of purchases.

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Personal Finance Lessons Schools Never Teach

Do the youngsters know about

  • Importance of investing, not just saving
  • Cashflow and passive investment
  • Planning, budgeting and saving taxes

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Guaranteed insurance plans find favour amidst falling interest rates

The fall in interest rates on bank deposits has spurred a demand for insurance plans with guaranteed returns, as investors want to lock in funds at a higher rate for longer periods.

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Bad Money Habits – Face it to Forgive Yourself

Face reality, before you can change it.

Assess yourself, if you have been taking the necessary steps to enhance financial wellness.

  • Having a budget
  • Control on debts
  • Emergency fund in place
  • Paying yourself first
  • Putting your money to work

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5 ways to stop overspending this season

This is an old article, but makes sense nevertheless.

Buying on credit will be blasphemy. So will dipping into your emergency fund be.

Stick to spending from surplus funds, without cutting into savings or scheduled investments.

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Public sector banks across India plan to strike on November 26 seeking higher savings interest rates and lower bank charges

It is interesting to know that bank unions are speaking in favour of customers.

One of the demands is to increase rate of interest on savings and decrease bank charges.

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1 in 3 Indian professionals now optimistic about their personal finances: Survey

This sounds good, as there are many who expect an increase in income. Hope they have learnt lessons from the pandemic and budget better to save and invest more in the post-Covid economy.

There will be a lot of exhortation and incentives to spend more as the economy needs a boost. A spurt in spending is expected, as people celebrate freedom once again.

But one’s personal financial plan should matter more than national and international economies.

Hope wisdom prevails.

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Gold prices today fall for second time in 3 days, down ₹6000 from record high

The correction in metal prices is baffling. On one hand, it makes it easy to buy gold on Dhanteras. On the other hand, it makes one weary of investing in gold for the long run.

A weak dollar, enthusiasm on the Pfizer vaccine accompanied by fear of a third wave have all contributed to the decline. Gold ETFs have also traded low on exchanges.

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It looks like part of an international trend.

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Mumbai gold buyers utilise lockdown savings at Dhanteras

Mumbai appears to have responded enthusiastically to the drop in prices. This is traditionally a time for buying gold – the auspicious occasion of Dhan Teras coupled with the ensuing wedding season.

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Expert talk – Diwali and financial planning

This article is for a beginner, but covers all the basics nevertheless. Diwali rituals create a base for a similar approach to financial planning.

It is a time for cleansing and renewal, and we have never needed it more than in 2020.

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