Friday, September 28, 2007

Social Activists invite Court Contempt Charges

Mint reports: A group of 26 social activists, including Magsaysay awardee Arvind Kejriwal, have filed an application before the Supreme Court requesting that they be included as "parties" in the appeal filed by Mid Day saying that they too have reitirated whatever has been written by Mid Day
The Delhi High Court has convicted the Editor and three others of Mid Day for contempt of court after they published articles against former Chief Justice of India Shri Y K Sabharwal
I am concerned that the High Court verdict is an attack on the freedom of speech against any misconduct of the judiciary.
Update: I saw the print version in Mint. The link has been given by Melody from The Hindu

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Does your Financial Literacy level impacts the Economy?

I have a recurring question in my mind about personal finance and Economics being related. Here's what I found in the National Business Education Association's website
  • The American Economy is based on a private enterprise system in which the millions of individual choices made by consumers, workers, and citizens, in sum, affect the decisions made by business owners and government officials.
  • The preservation and effectiveness of such a system depends on the ability of individuals to make wise economic decisions related to their personal financial affairs, the successful operation of organizations, and the economic activities of the country.
Makes a lot of sense to me. It also calls for greater efforts to bring about higher levels of financial literacy and makes me proud of my own humble site.What do you think? Is there a case for personal finance education in the schools?

Basic Traits of doing Business: Is MBA required?

Mint is running a series "Sixty in Sixty" featuring sixty Indians who are making quiet, but important, contributions without seeking headlines. You can see them under the Profile section of their website.
Highly inspirational series! In their issue on 26/9, they introduce Odhavji Raghavji Patel, Chairman of the world's biggest wall clock manufacturer. This man remains humble while building an empire. He says, " I did nothing new, but followed basic traits of selling a product that is good looking and performs well and has a good service back up network and at an affordable cost. Where do you need an MBA for this? " What also caught my eyes is this line:
...this coupled with activities such as drama and sport at the school level, groomed him for management
So whatever little you learn while you are doing your MBA, please don't ignore drama and sport!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Do your personal finance maths online on Zoho

If you want to manage something, you must be able to measure it. In other words, if you can't measure it, you really can't manage it well.

Your personal finances also falls within the above concept. How do you know whether you are doing well with your personal finances or not?

So there are tools and calculators available which can help you with a self analysis and provide a road map for your finance decisions.

The following spreadsheets which I have done on Zoho , which has a suite of online web applications offering easy collaboration.

Zoho is really amazing and I found this excerpt about them:

This is the only real “little guy” on the list. I’ve written about the fact that Zoho already has an online office suite that is better than anything from Microsoft or Google. While the product is really good, what has been equally important for Zoho is that it has proven that it knows how to execute. Microsoft got to where it is today because it was faster and more effective at executing than any of its competitors

The advantage of these sheets is that while you can toggle with your own case figures in the sheet online and they will return with the figures for your case in a jiffy. And you can also download them for free if you really like them! We'll be happier if you spread the word to your friends.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Financial Freedom Calculator

I saw this sheet on Zoho which tells you how far you can go on with the savings you have as against the inflation and your earnings from the saving.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Business Model for PersonalFinance2.01

India’s first online weekly on personal finance has it’s genesis in the passion to inform and share knowledge. But we also want it to be done in the most professional manner. So we built this business model for ourselves. Take a look and tell us where we can improve.
1.0 Executive Summary:
PersonalFinance2.01 is India’s first online weekly on personal finance. It will be an information and aggregator site on the subject of personal finance in
India. In other words, the site organizes information on personal finance in
1.1 Objectives:The simple objective of this site is to organize information on personal finance with an Indian perspective
1.2 Mission:To increase the financial awareness levels of Indians at all levels.
2.0 Company Summary
The why, what and when of this site is as under:
Why: All of us can do well to improve our financial awareness levels. In
India, we have a long way to go. We buy insurance as an investment product. Less than 2% of our earning members participate in the mutual funds or stocks.
What: The simple objective of this site is to organize information on personal finance with an Indian perspective. Consequently if there is an increase in financial awareness and helps in taking better financial decisions, so be it. We have sections on financial literacy, all financial products, a directory for financial advisors and a forum for discussing personal finance
When: We started the first update on August 7, 2007.
3.0 Products and Services The site is an information site and there are no products and services other than information. However Forum, Feeds and the Directory could possibly be clubbed under information services. Various sections on Mutual Funds, Insurance, Stocks, Bonds, ETF, etc could be clubbed as information products. And we don’t know how to classify Interviews, Editor’s choice and financial literacy articles
4.0 Market Analysis Summary The big daddies of the internet like Yahoo and Rediff have a presence on the topic of personal finance. Their content is provided by some very professional sites/companies like PersonalFn and MoneyControl.Other sites active on this topic are
MyIris, India Infoline
However a search on “personal finance India weekly” throws up our site as the first search result!
The most important question to ask is “What this site offers to survive in the web sphere where such big daddies/players are active?” However Big daddy sites do not necessarily provide better user experience.
5.0 Strategy and Implementation Summary Our uniqueness lies in us being an online weekly and we can build on that difference by becoming a preferred site because of our passion for financial literacy and a warm, personal touch.
The USP of this site will be “one stop personal finance site with better user experience”
An action plan to market the site and to increase the traffic is as under:
Ø Financial Literacy workshops and seminars at
· Corporate Offices· Schools and Colleges· Professional Colleges· Cooperative societies
Ø Advertising with Bloggers
Ø Media exercise
Ø Posters, pamphlets and banners
Ø Inviting free registrations on our directory for financial advisors

6.0 Personnel Plan
We need not more than 10 people passionate about the project and divided into three skill sets
Ø Content Champions: One more guy other than me would be enough
Ø Marketing Champions: Two-three people
Ø Support Champions: Two-three people

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The most readable interview of Seth Godin

The thing is, the stuff that's for everybody is already sold to everybody. So you can't win by being more average than average, because that slot's taken.
I have never ever read a better interview. Not only because it's on Seth Godin, but also because the questions were amazing and perhaps got the best out of Godin.
Thanks, Tamara Adlin

Friday, September 7, 2007

WealthSpa: Are you missing the basics of Financial Planning

When I create financial plans for my clients, whether they have a net worth of negative, or seven figures, there are a few tips I give to every client. These basic fundamentals are requirements for every individual and family, regardless of your current phase of life or situation.
Check out below to make sure you have these basic fundamentals in place, before you even start worrying about investment portfolios or retirement plans.
Emergency Fund. You should have cash set aside to pay for emergency expenses, or cover you living expenses in case of job loss or the collapse of a business. These funds need to be easily accessible, and have little to no risk (so not stocks you plan to sell). How much you need exactly depends upon how many people in the family earn income, your tolerance for risk, and your living expenses. Most people should have three to six months of living expenses set aside in this cash account.
You may not need life insurance, but everyone needs as much liability insurance as they can afford. Liability insurance protects you and your assets from lawsuits, for your (alleged) actions or non-actions. For example, from a car accident slip and fall on your sidewalk. Liability insurance is part of your automobile, homeowner's, renter's, and even in a separate umbrella insurance policy. If you don't have many assets, this insurance is still valuable. First, if you loose a lawsuit, they could go after your future assets and income. Second, the insurance pays not just for the damage, for the lawyer to defend you. The more insurance you have, the better lawyer the insurance company hires for you.
Healthcare Directive or Power of Attorney for Healthcare, and Power of a Attorney for Financial Purposes.
You may not need a full estate plan (will or living trust), but everyone, even 18 year olds, need to plan for their incapacity. If you are in a coma or unable to make decisions for yourself, you will need a person designated to make those decisions for you. This person or persons will be able to make decisions about your healthcare and handle your finances. These documents are necessary to protect your family, keep your loved ones from fighting, and protect yourself (especially for when you wake up).
Take Action
Take one action step on either setting up your Emergency Fund, obtaining Liability Insurance, or getting your Healthcare Directive. That may be opening an account, calling your insurance agent, or contacting an attorney.
Elizabeth Potts Weinstein, CFP®, JD, the "Money Maven," helps women achieve their most important life goals through strategic financial planning, coaching, and education. For a free Special Report, How to Avoid the Top 10 Money Mistakes, go to

Thursday, September 6, 2007

ChangeThis: Welcome to the world of Optimists

ChangeThis was built in the summer of 2004 by Amit Gupta, Catherine Hickey, Noah Weiss, Phoebe Espiritu and Michelle Sriwongtong. You can read their bios in this blog entry.
The original idea behind ChangeThis came from Seth Godin. You can read about him on his website
And spread the word about ChangeThis

Survey on personal finance based on gender tendencies

Ramit Sethi of IWillTeachYouToBeRich fame has done this survey on finance which he has uploaded on Slideshare

Slide no. 14 says that 75% of us ignore financially unpleasant information! Do you agree?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Beware of Experts

S&P rating the subprime mortgage backed securities at par with the best has come in for a lot of flak. This makes me remember about my annoyance with smug "experts" who use jargon to confuse and confound instead of making things clearer.
I also remember reading about a scam which follows the following mechanism:
Get a list of email addresses of people interested in sports
betting. Say you have 32,000. Email 16,000 of them to say that the home team
will win this week's big team, and 16,000 to say the home team will lose. Now,
half of the people will have gotten the correct prediction, and the next week,
you do the same thing with them. After 5 weeks, you'll have 1,000 email
addresses of people who have seen you pick the winner five times in a row!. Now
you pitch your 1-900 number or paid email list subscription to this amazed

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The sitemap for personal finance online weekly

Welcome to the site map of India’s first online weekly on personal finance. I’ll be delighted with some feedback.


Forum:A place to ask your questions or to help the other guys with their doubts

Directory: Find an advisor in your area. And if you are an advisor yourself, you can register

Calculators: The best way to manage your finances is to measure them.
About Us