Wednesday, January 31, 2007

India Internet Companies: Overnight Success or Hardwork

The three public listed India Internet companies are InfoEdge, Rediff and Sify. While Info Edge is listed in India, Rediff and Sify are listed on Nasdaq.

Info Edge operates Naukri.com, Quadrangle, JeevanSathi.com and 99acres.com. They really impress me with their Internet marketing skills in India.

Mind you, they incorporated the business way back in 1995 and started Naukri in 1997.

Now during the past decade we have seen a boom and a bust. And it is only now that the number of internet users is approaching critical mass.

So looking at the booming Indian economy, growing internet community and recognition of online advertisement opportunities, I believe that the time for the Indian internet sector to grow has come. Reports say that the Indian Internet users should surpass 100 million by 2009.

And if InfoEdge is a leader in this sector, it is because of continuous hardwork and understanding of the Indian Internet market and it is just not an overnight success.

To give you an idea of what Internet marketing is all about here are some activities you can do for your website:

Online Polls, Opt-In Email, Newsletter, White Paper on your Industry, Online Contests, Mini Sites, Usability Analysis & Recommendations, Online Surveys, Articles related to your industry, Content Syndication, In-depth site evaluation & competitor analysis,Link Campaigns, Live Help, Affiliate Program, E-Mail Advertising, FAQ Section, E-Mail follow ups, Customer's Testimonial, Link Exchange, Banner Campaign, Monthly/Weekly Promotions through online discount coupons, Sweepstakes, etc.

However every client has unique goals, and needs a unique solution, the cost of any internet- marketing-solution campaign will depend on the type of campaign you choose/need, its scope, length and the amount of work needed to be put by you. Go to Internet Business Strategies for more insights.

OMG!!!! And I thought it was just plain fun and easy to Get Rich!!!

And here is an amazing interview by Gautam of Sanjeev Bikhchandani on their IPO

Getting Started to Getting Rich


This one is worth repeating time and again. Getting rich is no big deal. You just have to earn more than you can spend or spend less than what you earn. And the journey of a thousand miles start with a single step.


A man/woman can be rich by maximising his earnings and/or minimising his/her needs. Simple, isn't it?


Moreover it can be proved that Money is inversely proportional to knowledge. Meaning as your knowledge increases, the money you have will decrease!! Well, there's a formula in Physics that says that Power=Force/Time. Now Knowledge is Power and Time is Money! So if we substitute the figures, it comes out that Knowledge= Force/Money. That indicates the truth that Knowledge is inversely proportional to Money!!
We are surrounded by persistent agents and financial advisors, aggressive financial product companies and our own ignorance of the knowledge required (and maybe the inertia?) to manage our money!! And it is said that Money is a bad master but a good servant. In any case, you have to manage it properly so that it may serve you properly.


Take responsibility for your finances, Get Rich or Die Trying!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Stocks Should I Buy: Part II

Read the following extract in a leading Indian daily talking abouts stocks selection:

"Market experts believe that it would be small and mid cap stocks that would pick up in the days ahead. However, the upside may be limited or only in selected stocks. Normally, retail and small investors are more active in small cap stocks due to the "value for money" illusion. But be very careful while betting on small cap stocks as the risk associated with these is much higher"

Looks fine but there are hardly any takeaways from that. Notice the words: however, experts believe, selected stocks, illusion, normally, But, much higher!!! So while the story talks about small and mid cap stocks picking up, there are many contradictions within one paragraph!!

Read what I learnt earlier here.

My learnings are:

Focus on the long term. Buy into a Company you are aware of. Select a few, say 10-15 stocks and gain knowledge about their Financials and Management. And stay put. Accept your mistakes and learn from them.

और ज्यादा confused हो गये? होता है!!

भारत अमेरिका से आगे


भारत २०५० मे अमेरिका से ज्यादा बदी (bigger) ईकोनोमी बन जायेगी. यह Goldman Sach की रिपोर्ट कहती है.

भारत की ईकोनोमी मे growth China के बाद world मे सबसे ज्यादा है. यह 8% है और भविश्य मे भी ऐसी ही रहेगी.

आइये, आप और हम इसे सच बनाये.
और 2050 से पहले!!

यह पोस्ट दीपा के सोजन्य से है. हिन्दी मे लिखने की जानकारी के लिये धन्यवाद.

यह blog व्यक्तीगत वित्त (personal finance) के बारे मे है. निवेश (Investments) के बारे मे जानकारी हासिल करने का प्रयास है.

Monday, January 29, 2007

How to Blog , Type and Post in Hindi


मै निवेश के बारे मे हि्नदी मे लिखना चाहता हुँ।

पहले लि्कः http://kaulonline.com/uninagari/

http://www.akshargram.com/sarvagya/index.php/How_to_Type_in_Hindi

It took me an hour to write the above. Hopefully I'll improve fast.

What Stocks Should I Buy?


Every broking house, business publication and TV channel is full of recommendations for one stock or the other. But I sense they have their own agenda pushing those stocks backing themselves with figures and jargon, which I don't understand fully.

With every recommendation, they have a disclaimer too saying they are not responsible for the stock's performance. Why the heck, recommend.

That makes the selection of stocks decision even more difficult, eh! Read on for some sane advice from Ramit which makes a lot of sense to me.



  • The simplest way to narrow the universe of stocks is to think of companies you like and use. What are 15 companies you use and return to time after time? Think of everything, including food, clothing, services, technology, entertainment, transportation, etc. There, you just went from 5,000 stocks to 15.

  • A good company isn't necessarily a good stock!

  • Trends. Are sales increasing from this time last year? 2 years ago? 5 years ago?

  • Products. Is the future bright in terms of upcoming product development?

  • Revenues, profits, growth, earnings per share. The real financial nuts and bolts of a stock, these are intimidating at first.

  • Insider trading. Are senior executives at the company buying more stocks (indicating they have confidence in the company) or selling?

  • Management. Is management good? What is the turnover? What is their philosophy and ability to execute?

When you own a company's stock, you own part of that company. Once you start looking at charts, earnings, balance sheets, etc, you'll start to get a good sense of what's going on. It just takes practice and in the process you take a lot of learnings too.


No disclaimers here! Take responsibility for your financial decisions. Which is better? Depend on somebody to fetch you water when you are thirsty or learning to draw water yourself?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Index funds beat stock pickers



While the index fund has given a one-year return of 42%, diversified equity schemes could only come up with 34% returns. Ditto for tax planning schemes, traditionally strong performers, which are lagging the sensex with 30% annual returns. Only information technology sector funds performed better (52%) than the index funds.

However, that is no reason for fund mangers to rejoice as it is not their stock picking skills that propped up the returns, but the brilliant performance of the entire sector.

It is quite funny. These funds charge fund managing fee to actively manage the corpus to outdo the indices. But look at the result. I feel that I would have been better off with an index fund. I would have saved some expenses too.

Diversified equity funds usually have large expense ratios compared to index funds. For example, the expense ratio of Banking BeES, an index fund, is only 0.45, while it is anywhere between 2-2.50% for diversified equity schemes.

Index funds are simple to understand. They are transparent, as you know which are the stocks you are getting into. You are not dependent on the stock picking skills of the fund manager. It is also easy to measure the performance of these schemes.

Index funds are especially suited for those who don’t know much about the stock market and are investing for the first time.
Read more about ETFs here and here

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Blog: Get Rich Or Die Tryin!




Get Rich or Die Tryin' is a motion picture about a drug dealer who becomes a successful rapper, though having had dreams of it since childhood. It's about transcending your realities to do what you love to do.

Getting rich means much more than having a huge networth. To me it means having a certain level of health, confidence, happiness and spirituality.

Getting rich is in my hands, nobody else's .

So let's get started with working hard or smart (depends on me again).

Here I'll focus on adding to my finance knowledge and generally taking responsibility for my financial decisions.

I can be accused of not trying hard enough, but atleast this process has been very enriching!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Enjoy Blogging! Otherwise Don't Do It


Amit Varma of India Uncut doesn't have a "comment" link on his blog and , to me is the top blogger in India. He feels that a blogger has the option to adopt a much more personal tone than a journalist can. Most print publications have a house style which journalists have to adhere to, but on a blog, one can express himself as one wishes, which, in turn, increases the degree of familiarity that readers feel towards him.. He also says, "Just figure out what makes you happy and go do that" He has taken the trouble of answering my following questions. Exclusive, as they say!

What motivated you to start India Uncut?
Amit:
I wanted to experiment with the format of blogging, as I saw possibilities in it that did not exist in the kind of traditional journalism I was doing, and I found those attractive. I've written about some of them in this post: http://indiauncut.blogspot.com/2005/01/blogs-new-journalism.html

IU is a top blog today. How has been the journey? Focus on the initial six months or so!
Amit:
It's been gratifying, and encouraging, to see so many people read India Uncut. It's what keeps me going: if my readership wasn't what it is, I doubt I'd feel motivated enough to continue. People ask me how I can blog so many times a day: the answer is guilt! When I wake up late and log on to my site meter and see that a couple of thousand people have come to my blog while I've sleeping, it makes me feel guilty that I've let them down. So I blog on.

That said, my traffic increase has been very gradual. I've had crazy spikes in traffic for different reasons, but conversion rates are low, and building a regular readership takes lots of time and hard work.

What have been the major influences that has shaped the person you've become?
Amit:I don't know! How does one list these things, even assuming one knows them

What are your educational qualifications? How do you apply what you learned to the business world
Amit:I'm just a graduate. I'm not part of the business world, but whatever I do know about dealing with the world around me is self-taught, learnt by experience.

What has been your exposure in the corporate environment? What has been the learnings there?
Amit: Well, I've been in a few jobs, and all I've learned is that I didn't want to do a job. So I don't anymore!

What would you say are the most valuable lessons you learned from your education and work experience that have helped you become successful since?
Amit:
The one lesson I've learned is that you need to be happy with who you are and what you do, and that you must stop measuring these by outside benchmarks, or by caring about what other people think of you. Comparing the money you make with what others do, or your accolades etc with those of others, is a futile waste of time. Just figure out what makes you happy and go do that.

What do you think about your own personal finance knowledge? Do you depend on a financial advisor? How do you compare investment options like mutual funds, stocks, derivatives, fixed income bonds, etc?
Amit:
Zero. I spend whatever I earn, mainly on buying books and eating out. I'm immensely irresponsible, and would urge sensible adults to not be like me. I'm a cautionary tale

Are there any tips you would like to share for bloggers?
Amit:
Yes. Respect your readers. They have loads of useful things to do with their time, and if they have chosen to come to your blog, you must respect their time and make it worthwhile. On the other hand, you may not want any readers, and may be blogging just for yourself. That's fair enough as well.

To top this all off, do you have one blogging tip you think everyone should know?
Amit:
Yes. Enjoy blogging! Otherwise don't do it.

Thanks Amit.

Budget For What You Love Doing


This is a must read by Ramit. It talks about conscious spending and also doing what you love to do.


I'm amazed at the amount of thinking Ramit does in writing that post. He talks about conscious budgeting and also doing what u want to do in life.


Well said, but most people like me have trouble balancing them. Obviously there's a thin line separating them and u hv to learn to balance them yourself.


I Don't Read My Own Posts

Amit wants us to read the full poem by Charles Bukowski whose excerpts are as under:

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands ofpeople who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring andpretentious,
don't be consumed with self-love.
the libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleepover your
kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.

But I decided against reading the entire poem and keep writing. Reasons: 1. I don't understand poems. 2. I'm a narcissist.

Hey, I don't read my own posts, why bother about other people. Hehehehe..

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Derivatives Trading for Dummies

Yes, it's for me, a dummy on Derivatives. So here's what lil' bit of Derivatives I understand(or pretend to..). Read on....

Derivative is a product whose value is derived from the value of one or more basic variables, called underlying. The underlying asset can be equity, index, foreign exchange (forex), commodity or any other asset. Derivative products initially emerged as hedging devices against fluctuations in commodity prices.

In India, BSE created history on June 9, 2000 by launching the first Exchange traded Index Derivative Contract i.e. futures on the capital market benchmark index - the BSE Sensex. The exchange commenced trading in Index Options on Sensex on June 1, 2001. Stock options were introduced on 31 stocks on July 9, 2001 and single stock futures were launched on November 9, 2002. September 13, 2004 marked another milestone in the history of Indian Capital Markets, the day on which the Bombay Stock Exchange launched Weekly Options.

Types of Derivatives:
Forwards: A forward contract is a customized contract between two entities, where settlement takes place on a specific date in the future at today's pre-agreed price.

Futures: A futures contract is an agreement between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a certain time in the future at a certain price. Futures contracts are special types of forward contracts in the sense that the former are standardized exchange-traded contracts, such as futures of the Nifty index.

Options: An Option is a contract which gives the right, but not an obligation, to buy or sell the underlying at a stated date and at a stated price.

Facts: The daily trade of commodities futures market is expected to rise by another Rs 5000 crores from the Rs 15000 crores being traded currently.

With increasing interest from investors, the basket of 120 commodities currently being traded is likely to touch 250 by 2007-08.

Options offer three significant benefits: Versatility; High Leverage and Risk Management. (I bet I didn't understand this, but I'll pretend I did)

Last Word: Warren Buffet sees derivatives as "time bombs" and a weapon of mass destruction!! Read on for his insights

Wanna read more. Read them here, here, here and here.

Save Me from Experts: Asking for Help

Experts confound me. Please read the following statement and somebody tell me what does the Wharton Professor mean!!

Wharton finance professor Pavel Savor echoes the note of caution. "Everything is very peachy now, and maybe the only way to go is down, but I would say that nothing is imminent," he says. "Last year was the best on record by size, and 2007 in all likelihood will be even better in terms of activity. Whether it will be a good year for investors is an open question."

Note the following words: caution, peachy, maybe, nothing is imminent, likelyhood, open question!!!

The only thing I could make out is "Much ado about nothing". God save me from self righteous, preachy experts.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Help Me To Be Pure




"O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet."

Monday, January 22, 2007

I am Responsible for Me

Author: Stephen Covey:
Discover the 90/10 Principle.It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations).

What is this principle? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90%of life is decided by how you react.

What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens tous.We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving,which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic.We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different.

You determinethe other 90%.How? ……….By your reaction.You cannot control a red light. but you can control your reaction. Don'tlet people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let's use an example.You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cupof coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what justhappened.What happens next will be determined by how you react.You curse.You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her forplacing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battlefollows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, youfind your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and getready for school. She misses the bus.Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and driveyour daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hourin a 30 mph speed limit.After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive atschool. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. Afterarriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase.Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse andworse. You look forward to coming home.When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with yourspouse and daughter.

Why? …. Because of how you reacted in the morning.Why did you have a bad day?A) Did the coffee cause it?B) Did your daughter cause it?C) Did the policeman cause it?D) Did you cause it?

The answer is "D".You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted inthose 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.

Here is what could have and should have happened.Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say,"Its ok honey, you just need to be more careful next time". Grabbing atowel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, youcome back down in time to look through the window and see your childgetting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early andcheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you arehaving.

Notice the difference?Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different.Why?Because of how you REACTED.You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90%was determined by your reaction.Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.

If someone says somethingnegative about you, don't be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like wateron glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you!React properly and it will not ruin your day.

A wrong reaction could resultin losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose yourtemper? Pound on the steering wheel?

A friend of mine had the steeringwheel fall off) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them?WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruinyour drive?Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job.Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job.

The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Whytake outpour frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control overwhat is going on.Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressedout? It will just make things worse.Now you know the 90-10 principle.

Apply it and you will be amazed at theresults. You will lose nothing if you try it. The 90-10 principle isincredible. Very few know and apply this principle.The result?Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problemsand heartache. We all must understand and apply the 90/10 principle.

It CAN change your life!!!

KISS while Investing.

Simplify your Life.

Unless you're working full-time in the financial world, you don't have the skills, tools, information, time or interest in playing the market. In fact, even the hotshots working full-time in the financial world follow the same strategy with the bulk of their assets. It's their biggest secret.

Mutual fund managers who are playing the market with your money, often lock away the bulk of their retirement assets in safe, untouchable portfolios. Well, they've got families to protect too.

So what is this laidback investing? Simple, well-diversified portfolios of a few no-load index funds, either mutual funds or ETFs. Least expensive and no tracking troubles!

Keep it Simple, Stupid. It's the KISS strategy!

Stock Boom In India

Will the good times last?

The answer lies in the analysis of market drivers - fundamentals, sentiment and liquidity.

Corporate performance is crucial, as the recent rally has been driven by expectations of robust earnings growth. A higher tax outgo - meaning better corporate earnings - signals optimism as regards company fundamentals for Q3FY07. India having emerged as the preferred destination for foreign investors, thanks to its high growth rate, good FII allocations are expected for India in the new CY07, as global liquidity remains high.

The sentiment remains upbeat as India remains a consumption and infrastructure-led story. Though there are miles to go on the Infrastructure front.

Hence, even an interest rate rise may not have an adverse impact on the overall economy as in the past. While further upside is not ruled out in the coming months, we advise caution.

Tax Planning with Mutual Funds

Worried about Taxes?

Birla Equity Plan is one of the options for tax-saving investment this year. While the fund has lagged top funds such as HDFC TaxSaver and Magnum Taxgain over the past year, it continues to find a place in the performance chart of the top ten ELSS funds.

Investors who had held on to the fund over the past five years would have earned 52 per cent annualised returns. This performance is comparable to top diversified funds such as HDFC Equity.

Systematic Investment Planning

The SIP route is usually recommended because it helps you to

  • Phase out your entry into the equity markets over an extended period of time.
  • Helping you benefit from market cycles.
  • If there is a significant correction in stock prices even as you invest, you reap the benefit of that by acquiring some units at relatively low prices.

What happens when the minute you start your SIP, the market goes on increasing and takes a breather only when the SIP period is over. Guess, you are a victim of the famous Peter's law!

Among other things, it also says that whenever you are alone in the house, the bell rings when you just enter your bathroom!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Investing Tips By Celebrities


Mutual fund industry is the only category where celebrity endorsement is not
allowed whereas even insurance companies use celebrities to promote their
products

Thank God to whoever is responsible for that. Why should a celebrity tell you about investing when you don't have the kind of money he is making?

Isn't it more worthwhile to look at your own realities, dream up your goals, and build a Investment strategy as a fallout of the above reality and goals?


Getting rich is in your hands, nobody else's . So get started with working hard or smart (depends on you again), adding to your finance knowledge and generally taking responsibility for yourself. Get Rich Or Die Trying.

Btw, remember Home trade? Had the biggest endorsement stars: Sachin, ShahRukh and Hrithik Roshan!!!

Sponsor Your MF Agent For A Foreign Holiday Vacation

Read this story in ET:

Viren Mehta welcomed the new year at a holiday resort in Maldives. Later this month he will be off for a four-day vacation to Singapore. Sometime in early March he has the offer of a similar jaunt to Malaysia. But he will let that pass; after all he had been there less than a year back. By now you would be thinking of Mr Mehta as some high net worth individual who spends much of his time holidaying abroad. Far from that, Mr Mehta is just one of the many distributors of financial products in the country.

And he has the asset management companies to thank for his trips to various destinations abroad over the past few months. The need to score over competition in terms of assets under management (AUM) is forcing fund houses to come up with innovative ways to keep the top-performing agents in good humour. Besides paying commissions for the sums they raise, they also get loyalty bonuses and foreign trips as a reward for good work. Not to speak of the various awards which fund houses seemed to have engineered with the noble intention of honouring talent.

Swelling AUMs have emboldened MFs to loosen purse strings when it comes to rewarding their distributors, who are in direct contact with the investors as they can make or break the fortunes of the fund. Fund managers have to battle bulls and bears in the stock market jungle. But it is the distributors interacting directly with investors who ensure that fund managers have enough ammunition (funds) to go to war.

A foreign holiday to exotic locations is not a bad idea, many fund houses seem to think. It typically works like this. During an NFO, an agent who raises Rs 60 crore gets a trip to Malaysia, one who raises say around over 150 crore gets one to Australia and so on. Things have come to a stage these days that many agents already have exhausted all the east Asian destinations and would take one only if offered a trip to Europe or US. As this story is being written, some distributors are touring Switzerland, courtesy a generous AMC. Ditto with the various awards.

Says a Mumbai-based distributor, who has won so many awards that he has started refusing them, “Awards have their charm when you start off. But they seem to lose meaning as funds overdo it. Last time I was offered an award, I opted to stay out of the process as it brings unwanted attention on you sometimes.”

R S Srinivas Jain, chief marketing officer of SBI mutual, says that although MFs are showering these goodies on distributors and agents, it is important to remember that all the costs are borne from AMC’s pocket.

But it must be mentioned that these motivators only seem to further the vice of churning. The structure of MF commissions is biased towards new subscriptions. While new subscriptions earn commission of up to 2.5% to the agents, the trailing fees on existing assets (one given for retaining assets) is only a fraction at 0.5%. This encourages the agents to push investors to exit their current schemes and invest in new ones. Thus, while the assets under the agent remains the same, he receives fresh commission as entry load into the new scheme.

Sandesh Kirkere, CEO of Kotak AMC, has a very interesting take on this trend. He feels that for a single investor, the earnings of the distributor are roughly thrice that of an MF. “A distributor gets paid for upfront for getting a client as well as for retaining his money. While an AMC only gets money for retaining and managing the investor’s funds.”

Don't Miss This Chance of Owning The Internet

My friend Manoj sent me a mail saying "For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $241.00."

I didn't beleive this and sent a reply(to all) saying "Getting rich is in your hands, nobody else's . So get started with working hard or smart (depends on you again), adding to your finance knowledge and generally taking responsibility for yourself. "

Now Mr. Sansad Jha, one of the recepients of the reply all message sends a reply all saying, " I am not sure if you have acted smart and availed the opportunity in a bigger way than I did or it simply happened unknowingly. But I can assume that you have written a few things about working smart to be rich, therefore this cannot happen unknowingly by you."

Very amusing!!!

Now another site Agloco talks about "Owning the Internet"!! Basically it need referrals and wants to pay you for your referrals. Interested, go to Agloco. My member id is embedded in the link! Try your luck.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Buy Gold On Paper



Yes, The Gold ETF is coming.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) today cleared the draft applications filed by Benchmark and UTI Mutual Fund for launching gold exchange-traded funds, nearly eight months after the fund houses filed their draft application with the regulator.

Instead of actually trading or buying and selling real gold, GETFs, are basically an investment in certificates backed by gold.Based on the price of 1/10th (usually) of an ounce, ETF or ‘Gold-linked shares’ are traded on popular bourses.

Total trading in NYSE has been said to be close to $3.3bn in assets in ’05. NYSE remains the largest exchange to attract investors in gold ETF segment. Apart from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the US, gold ETF is also traded in bourses located in Australia, UK, South Africa , France and soon India.

Gold shares are apparently intended to offer investors a means of participating in the gold bullion market without the necessity of taking physical delivery of gold, and to buy and sell that interest through the trading of a security on a regulated stock exchange. This introduction of Gold shares is supposed to lower many of the barriers, such as access, custody, and transaction costs, that have prevented some investors from investing in gold.

What is an ETF? Ask or Index Funds beat Stocks or What is ETF

I will still be keeping my value in real gold that you can hold and feel in your hands! Oops! My wife hands, ofcourse!!

Source of Funds for Infrastructure

Infrastructure is limiting our growth prospects in the future. Now that the Government is waking up to the reality, there is a question mark over the source of funds for other infrastructure projects. It’s a nagging issue going by the whopping $320 billion required over the next five years.

An article in ET points out the way. It can be divided into two sections: Debt & Equity

Debt Financing: There is a gamut of options for debt financing, including domestic commercial banks, domestic term-lending institutions, domestic bond markets, specialised infrastructure financing institutions like IIFCL, international commercial banks, ECAs, multilateral agencies, among others.

There has to be a careful mix of domestic and external financing. Both the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government are looking to enlarge the existing $18-billion ECB window for infrastructure, even as this limit has not yet been breached. At an infrastructure summit organised by CII recently, finance minister P Chidambaram was measured in his response to debt inflows. “While debt inflows have an impact on the monetary system, non-debt flows can be inconsequential,” he had said.

According to Infrastructure Development Finance Company CEO Rajiv Lall, “concerns on the inflation front arising out of debt flows can be addressed by sterlising such flows. Domestic money supply should not be affected by it.” He emphasised the importance of recognising long-term debt paper as a separate asset class.

Equity Financing: The various sources for equity could include domestic and external sources, domestic and international developers, public utilities, institutional investors, equipment suppliers and dedicated infrastructure funds, among others.

“There is a dearth of equity financing in the sector. Of the $77 billion required of the private sector, at least $20 billion should be through equity,” said Mr Lall.

Typically, equity financing can be either strategic equity or financial/private equity. While project sponsors are an important source of equity, they can at best account for only a part of the total equity. International infrastructure funds can mobilise resources for investment in infrastructure projects by tapping into global capital.

Global financial services major Citigroup is understood to be in talks with the government to start a $5-billion infrastructure fund with $3 billion for debt and $2 billion for equity infrastructure fund in partnership with IDFC. It has been estimated that nearly 11% or $39 billion of the total $350 billion required for infrastructure projects should be routed through multilateral agencies like the Asian Development Bank and the International Financial Corporation (IFC).

Financial Strategy: A Fallout of Investment Objectives

Extract of a question and answer appearing in Economic Times

Question: I am 42 years old and have two daughters, one studying in class 10 & other in 5. My wife is a home maker. I earn around Rs 6 lakh per annum. My investment details are as follows — PPF 15%, KVP 23%, shares 17%, diversified MF 40.9%, infrastructure bond 1.9%, NCD 0.44% & cash 1.7%, term policy - Rs 10 lakh, medical insurance - Rs 5 lakh (on behalf of the company). How can I invest better? — Rajesh Gupta

Answer: Returns are a fallout of the investments we make and investments are a fallout of the financial strategy and the financial strategy per se is a fallout of financial objectives. Broadly, the investment allocation you have is about 60% into higher return generating assets, i.e., stocks and MF while the other 40% is into fixed return generating assets. There is basically nothing wrong with your strategy.

In my view, your question should have been what modifications are needed to achieve financial objectives? Given this premise, there are two things you need to do. First, make an estimate of your financial objective — for example, let’s assume that you want to plan for your younger daughter’s wedding in about 15 years time. You will need about Rs 5 lakh for that, factoring inflation as well. Second, you need to do a bit of mathematics. You need to calculate how much you will need to reach 5 lakh in 15 years’ time.

If you have more money you can afford to be in safer instruments and if you are short on money you have to be invested with higher risk products. Just a word of caution; equity investments may be considered only for financial objectives of three years or more.

Your medical insurance level seems fair but your life insurance seems to be low. If you plan to increase your life insurance you may only consider term life type of policies and nothing else.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Create sophisticated diagrams with MS Word tools

This document introduces you to Word's basic diagramming features and explains how to use them to create great diagrams. Along the way, it creates an illustrative example.

This is a TechRepublic document

I had no idea that Word could do basic diagramming.

Word's diagramming features, which include the ability to create Cycle, Radial, Pyramid, Venn, and Target diagrams as well as the more standard flow and organizational charts. You can quickly create the diagrams that you need for your project.

The fact that most of us aren't aware of Word's diagramming features reminded me that most of the folks who use Word only take advantage of a small fraction of all the features that are packed into Word. Same applies to MS Excel which has amazing functions and we onlu use it for adding, multiplying, substracting and division!!

Become A Crorepati



Becoming a crorepati is a dream for many. Honestly, being a happy, go lucky guy, I haven't given it a lot of thought on becoming one.




And now when I think of it, my analytical mind tells me that there are so many variables on which the dream depends on. Hard work, patience and persistence are some variables which can't be quantified. But there are some variables which can be quantified and they are:




1. Amount Invested every month/year. 2. Rate of return. 3. Period for which amount stays invested.




So if you start at age 20 and invest Rs 60000 every year (Rs 5000 every month) and earn 13.50% return on your investments, the total works out to Rs 1 crore after you attain 45 years of age(25 years)




Want to work on the permutations and combinations for yourself. Download the excel sheet here

Logo Designs




Thanks to Mani, I have designed a logo for my blog.


You can design your own logo on CoolText

Thanks to Salman, I have downloaded a Google image asking you to ask questions.


Note: I have changed the colors toGreenBucks since all I am talking about is the green papers!!


Playing the Long Game: Global Asset Management

Here is a BCG publication on the subject of Financial Services. It's by Philippe Morel, Frans Blom, Nick Gardiner, James Geddes, Andy Maguire, Monish Kumar.

Asset managers must take forceful initiatives to improve the integrity of their businesses if they hope to remain competitive as industry dynamics shift in step with demographic patterns. BCG's third report on the global asset management industry examines current trends, offers a detailed analysis of the market for retirement assets, and outlines specific actions that asset managers can take if they seek both to raise profitability and achieve a leadership position in the industry.

To view the publication, click on this link:

http://www.bcg.com/publications/publications_search_results.jsp?PUBID=2081

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Advantage of Starting Early

I spent an hour working in calculating the future values of my investments and worked on MS Excel for that. I found out the "Power of Compounding" and the benefit of "Starting Early".

If I started at age 20 and invested Rs 2000 every month (Rs 24000 annually), my corpus at age 55 would have amounted to Rs 65 lacs. With similar amount and rate of return, if I started at 40, the corpus would be a miserly Rs 7.62 lacs. I invest less by Rs 4.80 lacs and the corpus difference is Rs 57.42 lacs (1196%)!

To match the returns I would have to invest more. How much? Instead of Rs 24000 every year, I will have to invest Rs 205000!! Rs 1.80 lacs more!

Confounded? Want to see the calculations. Download it here You can toggle around with the age, rate of return, retirement age and the amount to be invested. The parts highlighted by blue color are formulas and should not be changed. As you can see, it is nothing of a rocket science. Simple functions on Excel help you in this analysis.

Any questions, Ask!

Financial Planning Is Life Planning

Financial Planning comes across as a mundane exercise where you are looking at the money decisions in your life. Well, it's not the holistics way of looking at it, me thinks.

Ultimately, your money decisions should give you the freedom of living life as you want it to be. That means that you have to build such a networth that you don't worry about money when you are doing something dear to your heart.

An example would help to express my case. A guy who is in a 9 to 5 job, has a family to support dreams of becoming a farmer/writer/entrepreneur. Focused on his goal, he makes financial decisions in harmony with his values. He keeps his lifestyle expenses low to provide him the freedom to save and invest the difference so that he can reach his goal. Simultaneously, he takes the appropriate continuing education so that he can live up his dream.

The process of financial planning brings families to decide which values they want to live by, and causes them to adjust their daily monetary decisions to fit those values.

There are two ways of getting rich. One, by maximising your income and two, by minimising your needs. If you have more than you can spend, u're rich, I think. And at the end of the day, if you have a rich sleep, nothing like it.

Paralysis by Analysis

I love this: Paralysis by Analysis!! This is one of the emotional traps of Investing and has been pointed out in the great book The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing. credit for the post goes to FMF who reviews the book in his blog.

The authors add this commentary on this issue to wrap it up:

Investing is the one area where acting on emotions is likely to lead you down the path to financial ruin. Playing your hunches, blindly following the crowd, acting on a hot tip, trying to make a big killing, or falling prey to any of the other emotionally based investment decisions described in this chapter will almost always leave you poorer. Understanding behavioral finance will better enable you to deal with your emotions and make better investment decisions.

Other Emotional traps that is mentioned is as under:
  • Recency bias
  • Overconfidence
  • Loss aversion
  • Paralysis by analysis
  • The endowment effect
  • Mental accounting
  • Anchoring
  • Financial negligence

But "Paralysis by Analysis" takes the cake!!

Visit Amazon for amazing books like that.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Back To The Basics

Between eighteen and twenty five, life is like an exchange where one buys stocks, not with money, but with actions. I bought nothing. Even after 25, I was a reckless investor. And now I am a intellectual, preachy and self righteous professor of Investing at age 39.

Life goes on and I assume and resume my fu#*ing responsibility.

In the words of John Bentley, “What is high finance? It’s knowing the difference between one and ten, multiplying, subtracting and adding. You just add noughts. It’s no more than that”.

But Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish statesman, author, orator and political philosopher, observes that “The objects of a financier are, then, to secure an ample revenue; to impose it with judgment and equality; to employ it economically; and, when necessity obliges him to make use of credit, to secure its foundations in that instance, and for ever, by the clearness and candor of his proceedings, the exactness of his calculations, and the solidity of his funds”.

I like those high sounding jagon, even if it has put you to sleep. hahahaha....

My Learning Curve Has Collapsed

Yes, It's true. I am feeling so low today and am seeking help with my earlier posts. I am reposting the six thinking hats post. Here it goes......

Thoughts are energy packets. So when u r happy, u can climb mountains. But when down with negative thoughts, it's difficult to get out of bed!And then we hv to deal with 60000 thoughts a day. And thinking is a hard job.

Recently I went thro this delightful book by Edward de Bono on thinking. Here's a gr8 link to Effective Thinking .Bono's official site appears to be this linkHere are the six hats for ready reference:
  1. White for facts, figures & information (Virgin white)
  2. Yellow for positive thinking, brightness and optimism(Sunshine)
  3. Green for creativity, fertile,movement, (Plants)
  4. Black for the negative judgement, why it will not work (Devil's advocate)
  5. Red for emotions and feelings,hunch & intuition (Seeing red)
  6. Blue for the orchestra conductor, cool and control, thinking abt thinking (Blue ocean).

All of them together make great thinking.--http://ranjanvarma.googlepages.com/home

Health is Wealth

Here's a contribution from my son Shashwat Ranjan who is in Std. VI. Here it goes....

Life is not merely to be alive but to be healthy and wealthy. Virgil says that " The greatest wealth is health" A spanish proverb says that " A man who is too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools". Two things which is always on our mind is Health and Wealth. They are of utmost importance to all of us. Health and Wealth decide the quality of life we lead. If we want to lead a happy life, wealth and health are both important.

Wealth is the ability of fully experiencing life. It is true that wealth will not make a person good, but there is nobody who wants to be poor, just for being good. And as Benjamin Franklin says "Wealth is not his, that has it, but his that enjoys it".

However, there is a tendency of large number of people to run after wealth. They work to gather more and more wealth. Inthe process they ignore their health. They do not take care in eating food at the right time. In the process of gathering more wealth, they also undergo a lot of stress.

So many people spend their health in gaining wealth and then spend their wealth to regain their health.

Money can buy a tonic but not health, we have to do a number of things to maintain our health . Now because of lack of exercises and proper food and stress the wealth may increase but health begins to suffer. It has been proved that overwork without care for health leads to a number of diseases. Disease like stomach ulcer, obesity are due to bad eating habits. Lack of exercises and stress leads to high cholesterol, Blood pressure and heart problems. So it is better to take care of your health.

If we have health, we probably will be happy and if we have both health and happiness we have all the wealth we need. Health and intellect are two blessings of life. Happiness lies first of all in health.

Mahatma gandhi says that it is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

Taking care of one's health should be a continuous process. We should follow a routine of exercises and proper food. It is said that exercise if persued continuously help us to gain strength. We should also follow a diet that is beneficial for our health. Going on diet does not mean limiting your food. We should aim at improving the quality of our food intake.

Buddha says that the secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn the past but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. An Arabian proverb says that he who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.

To get rich never risk your health. For it is the truth that " HEALTH is the WEALTH of all WEALTH"

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Am I Rich?

My blog talks about getting rich. It says that getting rich is in your hands, nobody else's . It wants you to get started with working hard or smart (depends on you again), adding to your finance knowledge and generally taking responsibility for yourself. Get Rich Or Die Trying!

Who am I to talk about getting rich? Why should anybody listen to what I am writing about? Am I rich enough to be talking about getting rich? No one to answer but myself, here are some facts and thoughts on the issue.

Even though I have nothing to hide from the tax guys, it's a bit uncomfortable for me to disclose my exact Networth, etc.

  • To start with, at 39 years of age, I have a house, car and a networth of over Rs 25 lacs. For getting the networth template on Excel, write to me
  • I have over 16 years of rich experience in Insurance, Housing Finance and Investment industry. Have enjoyed operational responsibilities as well as managerial responsibilities(mostly middle management)
  • I am a topper of college results in my graduation exams where I had honours in Physics(way back in 1990 and I hardly remember anything about Physics more than its spelling!!)
  • I am doing an Executive MBA course now (2005-2007) which will hopefully keep my learning curve from collapsing!

Moving on to other things which have a bearing on the "rich"ness of this blog are my beliefs which could be outlined as follows:

  • Getting rich can be done in two ways. Either maximise your income or minimise your needs. My needs have come down and I'm loving it.
  • Spiritual wealth is important to me too. Look, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics have become important in MBA education too!
  • I don't beleive in giving away advices, even though I may not be using them myself!!
  • I am richer than Anil Ambani when it comes to sibling love. (Hey, I remember something about relativity from my Physics education now!!).
  • I have a wonderful family to come back to every day.
  • I have a rich experience that comes with age. Though it's useful only in recognising a mistake when I repeat them.
  • At the end of the day, I have a rich sleep.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

ITC: Not just Cigarettes

As part of my MBA, I was asked to do a presentation on the BCG Matrix for a company of my choice. I chose ITC and made this presentation. It's been ages since I reviewed a stock which is part of the Sensex. So here it goes.....

Recently, ITC has won the National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance 2006 from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. ITC received the award for its commendable performance along the “triple bottom line”, its strong corporate governance model and its visionary leadership.

ITC is one of India's foremost private sector companies with a market capitalisation of over Rs 620,625 million and total revenues crossing Rs 100,000 million in 2006. Rated among the World's Best Big Companies, Asia's 'Fab 50' and the World's Most Reputable Companies by Forbes magazine, among India's Most Respected Companies by BusinessWorld and among India's Most Valuable Companies by Business Today, ITC ranks third in pre-tax profit among India's private sector corporations.

ITC has a diversified presence in Cigarettes, Hotels, Paperboards & Specialty Papers, Packaging, Agri-Business, Packaged Foods & Confectionery, Information Technology, Branded Apparel, Greeting Cards, Safety Matches and other FMCG products.

While ITC is an outstanding market leader in its traditional businesses of Cigarettes, Hotels, Paperboards, Packaging and Agri-Exports, it is rapidly gaining market share even in its nascent businesses of Packaged Foods & Confectionery, Branded Apparel and Greeting Cards.

ITC commands around 70% of India's Rs 130 bn domestic cigarette market (value terms). Out of the top 10 cigarette brands in India, 6 belong to ITC.

ITC's paperboard unit at Bhadrachalam is the largest and most contemporary paperboards manufacturing facility in the country and accounts for over 80% of the company's total installed paperboard capacity of 325,000 tonnes.

ITC has emerged as the second largest player in the hospitality industry in India, behind Indian Hotels (The Taj Group). This division continues to benefit from capacity expansion as well as the upturn in the industry's occupancy rate. This division displayed a staggering CAGR growth of over 48% between FY02 and FY06

An important weapon in the company's arsenal, E-choupal's potential is unimaginable. E-choupal is a web-based initiative of ITC's International Business Division, that offers the farmers of India all information, products and services they need to enhance farm productivity, improve farm-gate price realisation and cut transaction costs. E-choupal also facilitates supply of high quality farm inputs as well as purchase of commodities at their doorstep.

However before you rush to buy the ITC scrip, ponder over these observations: The domestic cigarettes industry has been facing pressures in the spheres of taxation, and regulation of consumption and communication. Also, there are more chances of excise duty on cigarettes rising than falling, as is the case internationally. Hence, to that extent, the backbone of the company is under pressure.

Moreover, while ITC is moving in the right direction by de-risking its business model and entering new areas, the company's food business continues to eat into its profits currently.

Globally, tobacco companies are in the eye on storm over health related issues and have been on the receiving end of penal action for damage claims. Though Indian consumers are not active on the libel side currently, this is likely to change as consumer activism is on the rise.

Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act

While the Indian economy continues to exhibit strong fundamentals, the fiscal pressures have the potential for impacting stability and inflation expectations. Against this background, let us take a look at the attempts by the Finance Ministry to rein in Fiscal deficits. Must say, I'm impressed!! Keep it going MMS, MSA

  • The FRBM Act, 2003 , which became effective from July 5, 2004 mandates the Central Government to eliminate revenue deficit by March, 2009 and to reduce fiscal deficit to an amount equivalent to 3 per cent of GDP by March,2008.
  • No assumption of additional liabilities (including external debt at current exchange rate) in excess of 9 per cent of GDP for the financial year 2004-05 and progressive reduction of this limit by at least one percentage point of GDP in each subsequent year.
  • No guarantees in excess of 0.5 per cent of GDP in any financial year, beginning with 2004-05.
  • Specifies four fiscal indicators to be projected in the medium term fiscal policy statement. These are, revenue deficit as a percentage of GDP, fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP, tax revenue as percentage of GDP and total outstanding liabilities as percentage of GDP.
  • For greater transparency in the budgetary process, rules mandate the Central Government to disclose changes, if any, in accounting standards, policies and practices that have a bearing onthe fiscal indicators.
  • The Government is also mandated to submit statements of receivables andguarantees and a statement of assets, at the time of presenting the annual financial statement,latest by Budget 2006-07.
  • The rules prescribe the form for the quarterly review of the trends of receipts and expenditures.The rules mandate the Central Government to take appropriate corrective action in case of revenue and fiscal deficits exceeding 45 per cent of the budget estimates, or total non-debtreceipts falling short of 40 per cent of the budget estimates at the end of first half of the financialyear.

Richest Nation: India

India will be the richest country in the world in 2034. Don't beleive this? It's not a joke and here are the reasons why it will be so. Credit for this post is due to Ramki, the guy who is teaching us MNC

1. Population: India is going to be the highest populated country in the near future. Now population is going to be an asset in the future. In developed countries, the population is getting aged. Means there are more old people out there. And with boys marrying boys and girls with girls they have little hope of any growth, not to think of mutiplying! India will have the most youthful population. One Laloo compensating for many Atal Behari Bajpai/ APJAK.!! The economists recognise this asset and the GOI too. That is why we don't see any ads for the Family planning these days? The condom is advertised, but only as a guard against AIDS!

2. Natural Resources: India is traditionally known for its natural resources and it will hold good for the future too. There is an accelerated discoveries of Oil & Gas basins, huge plantations for Biofuel going on. We are reported to have huge reserves of Uranium too.

3. Pool of scientists & professionals: India has a enviable pool of English speaking professionals and scientists who are already showing their capabilities in the world.

4. Largest market: The population of young people in India between age 18-25 is approx. 550 million which is almost double of the entire US population. So this one is a no brainer that which will be the largest market in the world!

5. Outsourcing: India will continue to be Backend office to the world. Already they are positioning themselves for high end outsourcing jobs in the knowledge sector. The transition from BPO to KPO is already happening.

I know about Infrastructure being a major handicap. But with APJAK, MMS, MSA at the helm, I am sanguine about the future ahead. Remember MMS and MSA saved us from the precarious fiscal position in 1991.

I am sure about India being the richest nation in 2034. But can't we do it earlier! And what are we doing to make the goal a reality?

Investing Gyan

Copied and pasted here shamelessly from Sakshi's blog. Not a joke, it’s actually true. Cool definitions for sure.

Value Investing - The art of buying low and selling lower.

Bull Market - A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

Bear Market - A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry and the husband gets no sex.

Stock split - When your ex-wife and her lawyer split all your assets equally between themselves.

Market Correction - The day after you buy stocks.

Cash Flow - The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

Day Trader - Someone who is disloyal from 9-5.

Institutional Investor - Past year investor who’s now locked up in a nut house.

Standard & Poor - Your life in a nut shell.

Stock Analyst - Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

Profit - Religious guy who talks to God.

And the winner is

Bill Gates - Where God goes for a loan.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Budgeting Worksheet

For those who have suddenly woken up to the need of budgeting their finances, here's a Basic Budget Worksheet from www.About.com You can work on a Excel sheet and edit it according to your needs.

Here are percentages of major spending categories from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2003) Consumer Expenditure Survey. May not apply to you and me but it's an interesting statistic anyway. Gives you an idea where you stand and where you can increase/decrease your expenses.

  • Food at home 7.7%
  • Food away from home 5.4%
  • Alcoholic beverages 1.0%
  • Total food and drink 14.1%
  • Housing 32.9%
  • Apparel and services 4.0%
  • Vehicles 9.1%
  • Gasoline and motor oil 3.3%
  • Other transportation 6.7%
  • Healthcare 5.9%
  • Entertainment 5.0%
  • Personal care products and services 1.3%
  • Reading .3%
  • Education 1.9%
  • Tobacco products and smoking supplies .7%
  • Miscellaneous 1.5%
  • Cash contributions 3.4%
  • Personal insurance and pensions 9.9%

Work on your Budget sheet for two hours and it'll tell you a lot about yourself. Look at it as a personality test.!!

Learn the Art of Selling

Got this in my mail box about a Mega Sale. Read on

The manager of a megastore came to check on his new salesman.

"How many customers did you serve today?" the manager asked.

"One," replied the new guy.
"Only one?" said the boss. "How much was the sale?"
The salesman answered, "$58,334."

Flabbergasted, the manager asked him to explain.
"First I sold a man a fishhook," the salesman said. "Then I sold him a rod and a reel. Then I asked where he was planning to fish, and he said down by the coast. So I suggested he'd need a boat - he bought that 20-foot runabout. When he said his Volkswagen might not be able to pull it, I took him to the automotive department and sold him a big SUV."

The amazed boss asked, "You sold all that to a guy who came in for a fishhook?"
"No," the new salesman replied. "He actually came in for a bottle of aspirin for his wife's migraine. I told him, "Your weekend's shot. You should probably go fishing."

Handy Tips for Financial Planning

This one is from Deborah Fowles, Guide to Financial Planning in About. Very elementary but I doubt how many people are scoring more than 6/10. Here it goes, the top ten:

1. Get Paid What You're Worth and Spend Less Than You Earn : Hey, I get less than what I deserve and so do you!! And I've not done any budgeting so that I may be sure of the second part.

2. Stick to a Budget : I'm ashamed, no budgeting exercise for myself, not to speak of sticking to one.

3. Pay Off Credit Card Debt: Thank God, I finally get a score on this one. I've managed to stay clear though I've had to suffer with the agonising interest calculations earlier.

4. Contribute to a Retirement Plan: I do have a pension plan but I've never cared to figure out whether it is sufficient! Will give 1/2 for that one to me.

5. Have a Savings Plan: Yeah ,I'll be partial to myself and give some score here too! I do save about 15% of my income though it's a recent phenomena. Better late than never!

6. Invest! : Pretty straight forward. But few people manage to find an hour for that in a week. They'll rather watch TV(Big Boss is on these days!)

7. Maximize Your Employment Benefits : A meeting with your HR guy!! Brace yourself. I have no hope with my guys.

8. Review Your Insurance Coverages: Putting a finger on that is important from the family point of view. Those of you without that responsibility can breathe easy on that count. But I get full marks here!

9. Update Your Will: Never thought about that uptill now. Bless Ms Fowles.

10. Keep Good Records: I will, as part of my New Year resolutions. But I've yet to get started on that. Next Monday, I promise.

Phew!, I score about 4/10!! So much potential to improve, and I'm only 39. Hehehehehe.....

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Take Responsibility For Your Finances

Take a look at my small presentation on "Taking Responsibility for Your Finances"

Or go take a look at my download page where you can download your retirement planner on MS Excel. Retirement planning.xls is a planner for your retirement benefits. You can toggle around for the amount you want as pension factoring your investment every month, retirement age and pension starting age. Or vice versa...

Investment.xls Use this Excel sheet to build the portfolio of your Mutual Fund Investments

RetPlan06.pdf A retirement planner from Money Simplified

Excel templates sampler Here is a download for your networth statement, budget and EMI calculator

May be all this helps in concretising your New Year resolutions. All the best.