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News And Views

It is our endeavour to keep you updated with the latest happenings relevant to your financial well being. In this section we summarise and collate new and views on daily basis from across the globe for you to read at your leisure time.

A mind trick for yourself!

A neuroscientist explains the trick you must play to manage your money well

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Money lessons from the financial crisis for SIP investors in India

It is scary to see your life’s investment shave half its value in a free fall in stock prices. Indian stock market investors saw such an episode starting January 2008.

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10 things you should do in volatile markets

Some investors may be wondering how long with this volatility continue or for how long will the market fall. It is not possible to predict what the stock market will do in the near term, but historical data shows that, corrections or even bear markets do not last for very long.

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Risk Zaroori Hai

As we look towards 2025, India on its journey to becoming a $5 trillion economy, will now make an economic tryst with destiny – momentum, scale, sophistication. And one of the most important parts of this economic trysts will a multi-fold increase in financial assets from domestic investors, a journey towards financial freedom.

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6 important To Dos in your Mid Career Financial Planning Part 2

In the first part of this article, we discussed that when you reach your early 40s, you are actually approaching the mid-point of your career after working for around 20 years. We also discussed how this stage of your life is important both from a career and financial planning perspective.

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6 important To Dos in your Mid Career Financial Planning Part 1

When you reach your early 40s, you are approaching the mid-point of your career. You already worked for about twenty years, assuming you began your career in your early 20s and you have about 20 years to reach your retirement age.

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5 must-haves on your financial checklist to know you are doing okay

When you ask “Am I doing ok?”, you are looking for validation for what you are doing, and a course correction if you are not. I can think of at least five ticks that you need in your money box’s financial checklist to say, “Yes, you’re doing ok!”

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3 steps to help you overcome investing inertia and put idle money to work

Sometimes it feels we are not doing enough. We had decided to begin that SIP, activate the PPF, invest in that equity share, and increase those tax savings.

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A father’s basic financial toolkit

Middle class Indian fathers used to be distant, authoritarian and usually dictatorial. They ran the extended household with an iron fist keeping a tight hold on expenses.

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How to save tax through ELSS Mutual Funds

ELSS Mutual Funds or Equity Linked Saving Schemes offer you a simple way to get tax benefits under Section 80C of The Income Tax Act 1961, while aiming to make the most of the potential of the equity market investing. Therefore, if the question how to save tax is bothering you, you can have a look at investing in ELSS tax saving mutual funds!

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Tax planning and SIPs

By investing your tax-saving money in mutual funds through SIPs, you not only save the tax outgo but also build wealth.

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Real estate not the best gift for your children

Many of us are guilty of obsessing about our children. Parents beam in that halo of martyrdom that places children first, and make it their life’s mission to “leave behind” something worthwhile for the child. Time to wave the bright red flag.

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Mutual Fund SIPs and power of compounding

Power of compounding is essentially making your money work for you. Think about a daily wage laborer – if he works for 300 days, he will get more money than if he works for 100 days.

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The stock market and Modi Sarkar

The BSE Sensex seems to like it when Modi Sarkar wins elections. Look how it rose and then fell as Karnataka elections changed colour from saffron to a muddled something

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How equity investing scores over real estate when saving for your child's goals

Last week a friend called in panic. Their child had secured admission in a prestigious university, but they were unable to raise the funds needed to complete the admission process.

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Why you should invest in small cap funds and not stocks?

Financial advisors may ask investors to have modest return expectations from equities, at 12 to 15 per cent. But the secret desire of most retail investors is to unearth multi-bagger stocks that can mint millions.

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Thinking of Lumpsum investments in mutual funds: What about STP

Imagine you have got an annual bonus of Rs 8 Lakhs and decided to invest the entire sum into equity mutual funds. However, looking at the current market level which is almost at an all-time high, you may feel unsure to invest the entire bonus amount in one go.

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The ultimate money question we need to ask

How do you strike a balance between today and tomorrow? This is the ultimate personal finance question that each of us need to answer.

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Why choosing the right mutual fund scheme is important for wealth creation?

Though investors place a lot of importance on 'good schemes,' most of them have no idea what makes a good scheme.

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Mutual funds help speed up wealth creation

Every investor, whether conservative or aggressive, wants to see wealth to grow. A conservative investor would probably stick to bank fixed deposits, postal small savings, insurance policies, public provident fund (PPF), bonds etc

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The biggest benefit of mutual fund

Mutual funds trump most other investment options when it comes to liquidity, whose importance can't be overstated

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Make your assets work for you in retirement

the assets should be broadly classified into three boxes: assets that will be needed for immediate and routine use, assets that will be used later and when needed, and assets that will be bequeathed to heirs or given away.

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Why closed-end funds are not such a sweet deal

It appears that fund managers don’t pass up the chance to wax eloquent about the virtues of closed-end funds.

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SIPs for your child's future

Planning for your child's future starts with first listing the various goals, like higher education and wedding. Once you have established the goals, you have to estimate the goal amounts.

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Four reasons to cheer the market fall

The ongoing fall in the stock market should be seen as a healthy phenomenon rather than as a cause for concern

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Drilling down to the last details

Soumendra Nath Lahiri, CIO, L&T Mutual Fund doesn't take his eyes off the ball

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Are Equity Savings Mutual Funds suitable alternative for Fixed Deposits

Equity Savings Fund is a relatively new category of mutual fund schemes. Equity Savings Funds were launched in late 2014 and 2015, primarily in response to the change in debt fund taxation introduced by in NDA Government’s 2014 Budget.

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A reminder on the frailties of real estate

For most Indians, the biggest financial decision of their life tends to be that of buying a house. Nothing else has as much potential to affect your financial well being, for better or for worse.

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Should mutual funds for monthly income be part of your portfolio

Capital appreciation and income are two primary investment goals. Mutual funds provide multitude of investment solutions for both these objectives for different risk profiles.

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3 investing mistakes to avoid

Investors spend a massive amount of time trying to make all the right moves. The collective effort dedicated to picking good stocks, managers, exchange-traded funds, and so on, is immense. There are countless books, magazines, newsletters, podcasts, blogs, television programs, and more dedicated to helping investors make the best possible decisions when it comes to selecting and managing investments.

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Downside for Indian markets will be limited in case of a global correction: Mark Matthews

Global markets have reacted sharply to the rise in US bond yields. MARK MATTHEWS, head of research for Asia, Julius Baer Group tells Puneet Wadhwa that right now it is premature to say global markets are entering into a bear phase.

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Long-term capital gains tax: Here’s all you need to know

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Union Budget speech, re-introduced LTCG tax on stocks. Investors will have to pay 10 per cent tax on profit exceeding Rs 1 lakh made from the sale of shares or equity mutual fund schemes held for over one year.

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The inflation monster is destroying your wealth every year!

What compound interest gives, inflation takes away. Put it another way- inflation is effectively the reverse of compound interest, it's like decompound interest.

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Why ELSS Tax Saving Mutual Funds is best choice for tax planning

Investors can save up to Rs 46,350 in taxes per year by investing up to Rs 1.5 Lakhs in eligible schemes under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961. There are broadly two types of tax savings schemes – risk free or low risk schemes and market linked schemes.

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Mutual funds in 2017: What next after the high performance?

Mutual funds remain a low-cost, value-for-money product for the common man and the foundation has been laid for rapid growth in the years to come

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Why is Mutual Fund ELSS the simply best tax saving investment for young investors

When it comes to investments made for the purpose of tax savings under Section 80C of Income Tax Act, Public Provident Fund (PPF), Life Insurance premiums and Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) are among the most popular choices, especially for young investors. However, as far as wealth creation is concerned, there is simply no comparison between ELSS and the rest of the 80C investment options.

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Mutual funds have multiple tax advantages over bank fixed deposits

A few months ago, I had written an article on replacing bank fixed deposits (FDs) with fund investments.

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How fund managers manage the bull run

Fund managers are tested not only during market volatility but in bull runs too. Some are coping by refusing fresh inflows. Here are some more of their strategies

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‘There are enough opportunities to build a profitable portfolio’

Neelesh Surana, Chief Investment Officer-Equities, Mirae Asset AMC, on the distinctive investment strategies that apply to picking stocks in the mid-cap and small-cap segments.

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Should you invest in IPOs

2016 was a bumper year for Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in India. Indian companies raised Rs 26,500 Crores by listing themselves on stock exchanges in 2016, the highest since the heydays of 2007.

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10 common mutual fund investing mistakes that you should avoid

Mutual funds are ideal investment options for retail investors to help them in meeting a variety of financial goals. While completely ignoring mutual funds is the biggest mistake which a vast majority of retail investors make, investors who are aware of and invest in mutual funds also make a number of mistakes which prevents them from getting the optimal results.

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Mutual funds make the most of IPOs

Here's a brief look at how Indian mutual funds have reacted to the recent IPO craze

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The Economics Nobel and Your Investments

So the Economics (non) Nobel has gone to Richard Thaler, who once chided his fellow economists for forgetting that 'people were human'

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How are some people able to take early retirement

Some people think that, only people who have substantial family wealth to fall back on are able to take early retirements. While inheriting family wealth certainly has advantages, it is not a pre-requisite for attaining financial independence early in life.

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Mutual Fund ELSS schemes: best way to save tax and create wealth

Mutual fund Equity Linked Savings Schemes are among the best investment options for tax savings under Section 80C of Income Tax Act. These schemes enjoy triple tax benefits.

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The importance of goal-based investing

Traditionally, most investors invest without any planning. When you get a bonus or inherited wealth, you would invest somewhere with the goal of just ‘saving’.

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The enemy of diversification

The lure of sectors which are doing better than the markets is strong, but leads you away from the path of diversification

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'Meaningful returns can still be made'

Neelesh Surana, fund manager, Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Fund talks about the category-topping fund and current valuations.

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It's never too late to start saving for your retirement

When I wrote about a comfortable retirement, a few readers mailed to ask about what happens when retirement is not really secured.

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Save your returns from falling interest rates

Interests rate are clearly on the way down. The State Bank of India has lowered the interest rate on savings bank accounts to 3.5 per cent. Fixed deposit rates are yet in the region of 5.75 to 6.25 percent for most people but are surely headed lower.

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Why continue with SIPs even in high markets

The Indian stock market made its all-time high a few days back, with the Nifty scaling the 10,000 points mark. The market has been rallying from the beginning of this year and breaching the 10,000 level on the Nifty was seen as an important technical breakthrough for the market.

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Asset Allocation is much more important than fund selection

We get a large number of queries from our readers asking us whether the mutual funds they have selected for their portfolios are the “best” funds. Good fund selection definitely makes a difference to your investment returns and therefore investors should try to select the top performing funds.

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How to turn your fund into a retirement paycheck

Most investors dedicate a fair amount of time and energy into drawing up a doable plan when saving for retirement. Rightly so. But if you think saving for retirement is an ordeal, you have not given adequate thought to the post retirement scenario.

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Importance of Financial Planning

We believe that every financial decision in our life should be based on some goal. The goal can be building a retirement nest egg, saving for your children’s college education or wedding, saving for a down-payment for property purchase, protecting your family from financial distress due to unforeseen risks, protecting your family from health risks, protecting your home or business from fire or other hazards etc, but unless you have an objective, you will not be able to make the right decision.

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Build a well-diversified portfolio to grow wealth

A common accusation many readers make about this column is that while it encourages investing in equity, it does not carry specific recommendations about where to invest and how much. That kind of specific investment advice is quite dangerous, though it makes life easier for the investor.

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Should you invest in Equity Mutual Funds or directly in stocks through a broker

Risk and Returns are the two most important aspects of investing. We invest our money because we expect some returns.

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Do market valuations matter when you are investing for the long term?

Equity markets are trading just shy away from their all-time highs and the debate on whether markets are currently overvalued or not and if it is the right time to invest.

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How to save 30-40% of your income

The fall in purchasing power is the reason that we worry about meeting our expenses when we retire.

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How much money do I need to retire?

Getting the right amount for retirement is a tough nut to crack. Targeting too much compromises on lifestyle today, and having too little is not something we want to think about.

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Is Equity superior to Gold as an Asset Class

The experts cite historical returns of gold versus equity, but return is not the most important factor for people investing in gold.

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Avoid these common retirement planning mistakes

In one of his budget speeches, the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley said that an important objective of his Budget was to step in the direction of making India a “pensioned society from a pension less society”.

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There is no perfect time

Don't wait to get everything in order before you start investing. Do not let your money lie idle in the bank.

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How to plan for retirement

Financial independence is the most important retirement goal. With retired lives getting longer and costlier (particularly healthcare), you should start planning for retirement early in your working careers, if you want a stress free and comfortable retired life.

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'I don't need to invest'

Why should you invest? The answer is very simple: to create wealth. And why would you want to create wealth? Well, to fund various financial goals you may have in your life like an expensive TV, foreign holiday, retirement, and so on.

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Gold can't be default option

When I was speaking to a group of women about investing, the inevitable question about gold came up. They seemed quite hesitant to ask about the place of gold in a household's financial planning decisions, since accumulation of the yellow metal is not considered `modern'.

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ELSS for Senior Citizens

A popular misconception is that ELSS of mutual funds are not suitable investment options for senior citizens and retired persons.

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The impact of Rs2 lakh cap on losses from house property

Union Budget 2017 has proposed to cap the maximum loss that can be derived from a house property and set off against other sources of income. This loss could be in the nature of interest paid on a home loan being more than the rental value from the house.

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Investing in financial assets seems to be the right strategy

Investors should increase their allocation to financial assets as Budget proposals signal a continuation of policies that bode well for these assets.

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Asset allocation is key to good investing

If we distribute our wealth across different kinds of assets, the risks with each would then be minimised. There is simply no asset that is risk-free.

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3 don'ts in tax planning

Good tax management can go a long way toward enhancing your return. But the decision needs to be made in conjunction with your overall portfolio and not in an ad-hoc fashion.

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3 New Year moves to make you rich

You don't need to get ultra-frugal to save money. The general impression is that to pump up one's savings people have to forgo all the fun stuff. Not at all. You just have to play it smart.

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3 missteps in retirement planning

Even careful, dedicated savers don’t always have a strategy in place as far as their retirement planning goes. Many times, people just put money aside and hope it will work out.

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3 habits stopping you from becoming rich

People don't become wealthy by accident. You have to be determined to do the right things to create wealth. Since it starts with mindsets, we suggest that you nix these three common, yet costly, habits.

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Excess funds in bank? Pick a debt fund

The move to demonetise old Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes, among other things, will certainly ensure that idle cash gets into bank accounts. Now that it is in a bank account why leave it idle?

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Debt Fund vs Fixed Deposit

Debt Funds are becoming an increasingly widespread rival to the hallowed FD. Here are their pros and cons vis-à-vis bank deposits.

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Saving tax through Mutual Funds

Compared to other allowable investments, ELSS funds are uniquely advantageous. There are two reasons for this.

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Compounding can make you very rich

Compounding produces such unintuitive results that perhaps only a few mathematical geniuses can be expected to have a real feel for it.

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PPF rates go lower, and will go even lower

Already at an all-time low, the interest rates on the PPF and other government deposits will keep dropping. Is it time to forget about these schemes?

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Term plans are good. Are you good for one?

The young, educated, healthy well-off and non-smokers get better term covers than older, less educated, low-earning and smokers.

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3 reasons an equity mutual fund trumps over buying stocks

Most people are fairly unanimous on the fact that from all investment opportunities, stocks offer the most potential for growth.

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Should equities be a part of every investor's portfolio?

Starting to invest early for your goals is critical, as any delay in investing can negatively impact your cash flows in a big way.

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How staying invested in MF schemes via SIP pays

India’s equity fund managers have done quite a job since the Lehman crisis period. Investors who’d entered at the pre-crisis peak in January of 2008, when the 30-share Sensex touched a high of 21,000, have managed decent returns.

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Average is good enough

Nothing but the best will do is the motto when it comes to our expectations from others. And if we have written the cheque, we feel entitled to the best that is out there. Most of our troubles as investors begin with this simplistic benchmark that we have in our head.

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Manage your wealth like you manage your health

Because of the many distractions around us, we think we can catch up with our health and wealth goals in the future.

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You need to save more for retirement

The basics numbers of saving, investment and life expectancy have changed and we all need to save more for old age.

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SIPs are about psychology, not maths

The real value of SIPs lies in its tendency to encourage investors to continue investing through thick and thin and thereby, generate better returns from equity.

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The same old question about real estate investments

The cases for a house you live in, vs real estate bought as an investment is very different

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Protecting your retirement income

Equity rather than bank deposits offers real protection to income in retirement. This calls for a change of mindset

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Low NAV doesn't mean cheaper fund

If there is one myth that fund distributors love to propagate, it is that a fund with a low net asset value (NAV) is cheaper.

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Get a new approach to savings

Be as proactive in your saving as in your spending. No, we are not talking about the recurring deposits or savings accounts

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Time for the Dividend Misconception to Go Away

For mutual fund investors, dividends have always been a source of great confusion, misconceptions and suboptimal investment decisions.

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Equity without fear

In the long run, equity investments do not turn out to be as risky and volatile as generally expected.

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Does NPS make sense as a tax-saving investment?

If you have the stomach for a long-term equity investment, forget about the tax savings and invest in an equity fund

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NRIs need to plan well

Returning middle-class NRIs, especially the ones who have worked in the Middle East, are an anxious lot where their finances are concerned.

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Make the savings work

Wealth is not the money one ac-cumulates, it is the money one has put to work.

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Don't look for the best fund

Many investors start with searching for the best fund to invest in, they should instead focus on choosing the right fund

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Mutual funds or ULIPs: Where must you invest?

There is no denying that Unit Linked Insurance Plans, popularly known as ULIPs, are now much better products than what they were before 2010.

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Why Should You Invest in Mutual Funds?

When considering investment opportunities, the first challenge that almost every investor faces is a plethora of options.

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Without a term insurance, your investment plan can fail

If there is one financial product which practically everyone must have, then that's term insurance.

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Should you invest in PPF or ELSS?

Comparing one to the other is not completely fair, given the fact that both are completely different products and target different needs in a portfolio. While PPF is a great investment for every single investor, so is equity.

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Why one shouldn't compromise when investing, buying insurance

To an ordinary investor with modest means, building a corpus of Rs 1 crore takes time. Insurance is the hedge that he can offer his family, even as long-term wealth building is in progress.

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How to build a portfolio

Having a separate portfolio for each financial goal gives you the best chance of fulfilling them. Here's how you can build such portfolios.

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Don't time the markets by stopping and starting SIPs

For what is supposed to be a simple (and simplifying) idea, there are way too many misconceptions about the SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) way of investing.

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Keep the focus on earnings when in your 40s

The worrying couple nudging the 40s is one of the most common types that I meet when I speak to investors. Most of them are very successful professionally.

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Equity funds for long-term goals

In the long run, equity is the only asset class that manages to beat inflation and earn positive returns

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ELSS Vs ULIP?

Savers sometimes think of ELSS funds and ULIPs as alternatives. This is a mistake

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The many advantages of ELSS funds

ELSS funds are an advantageous way to use the Rs 1.5 lakh limit for tax saving investments under Section 80C.

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How to maximize gains from mutual fund SIPs

If mutual funds help investors to diversify across a basket of stocks, SIPs help him diversify over time.

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5 golden rules of financial planning

These financial tenets shall never change or become irrelevant. Follow them if you want to protect your finances against uncertainty.

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The 1-2-3 of Planning Your STP Investment

The best way of investing a lump sum in equity funds is through an STP. But how long should an STP run?

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Power of Compounding

Compounding investment earnings can turn your small investments into a whopping sum after a period of time.

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Misconceptions About the Very Basics

Dividends and NAVs--two basics numbers of investing--are widely misunderstood by investors

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Why making money is all about asset allocation

The most commonly asked question when someone comes to know that I work in the area of investments is: Where should I be investing my money now?

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Where to invest for saving tax?

Most of us want to reduce the tax outgo on our salary as much as possible. For this purpose, the investment limit of Rs 1.5 lakh a year, allowed as deduction from your income under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, can play a large role.

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Equity income funds good for conservatives

Since debt component and arbitrage portions contain equity risk, first-time or retired investors can feel safe.

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Can you trust your bank for investment advice?

In the last five years, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has taken a number of steps to curb the menace of mis-selling.

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Managing wealth when you don’t have the time

It’s imperative for working professionals and businesspersons to appoint a professional financial adviser to manage their wealth

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5 don'ts when using star ratings

Funds' star ratings can be misleading. Here are five don’ts to consider when checking out the 5-star rated funds.

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The Illusion of Children-Specific Products

Financial products that are designed specifically for your children’s future are not what they are cracked up to be.

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Should you buy a second home as an investment?

The key consideration is to figure how the decision to buy the second house will impact their financial lives.

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Equity versus Equity Funds

It takes less effort, less time, less experience and less specialised knowledge to get good returns from equity mutual funds than it does from directly trading in equities

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Should your portfolio have sector funds?

In What is a core holding, we explained why sector funds must never be core holdings.

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Why it is important to choose the right vehicle for financial journey

To invest long-term money meant for retirement in simple interest bearing instruments, is to choose to walk that distance because the aircraft is scary

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Why do balanced funds outperform markets despite a debt component?

A balanced fund like BSL 95, with a 30% debt component, delivered a handsome CAGR of over 22% over the last 20 years, comfortably beating Nifty

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How investing in equities can help you secure your retirement

In retirement planning, there is a critical problem to solve. Retirement planners call this problem the adequacy of corpus.

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The benefits of having a financial planner

In a country where event managers are paid for organising weddings and nutritionists are paid for making diet plans, financial advisors struggle to make a case for earning a fee

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