Does your existing life insurance policy cover your future household expenses, your children’s education & marriage goal and your outstanding liabilities? How much cover is adequate for you? More »

Is your PPF and EPF savings enough for your survival during retirement? How much money would you require during retirement years? More »

How much are you saving every month, every year? Is it getting invested in the right financial products? Is it sufficient to meet all your financial goals? More »

Are you dependant only on your employer for health insurance coverage? Do you have a personal individual health insurance policy? More »

Do you have enough liquidity to meet any contingencies like medical situation, loss of job, etc? More »

 

A Letter to all Women – Take your Retirement Planning seriously

Dear Woman,

You work, manage home, multitask between daily chores and so much more. You are financially independant and living life on your own terms. You are a diligent saver and a smart planner. As priorities, both personal and financial, change after marriage, you put your family goals, especially children’s ahead of your own. Gradually, your personal financial goals, particularly long term get sidetracked. I am talking about retirement planning here. I am sure you would want to continue to be financially independant even in your twilight years. However, I want to emphasis the fact that you are at a disadvantage compared to your spouse when it comes to your retirement corpus.

There are two reasons for this.

Things to bear in mind while filing tax returns online

Filing tax returns online is easy and convenient. You need not depend upon any tax advisor or agent for the same. The last date for filing tax returns is July 31 2018. Filing tax returns online is mandatory for those whose taxable income exceed Rs.5 lakh or who want to claim a tax refund or who are filing returns in ITR forms other than 1 and 2. Let us have a look at a few aspects to bear in mind before filing tax returns online

3 options to go Digital and protect your important Documents

Technology nowadays pervades almost every aspect of our financial lives – from digital banking to automated investing, filing tax returns, buying online insurance, etc. It can help us even in the small things to enable us to stay organised. I am referring to maintaining records of financial documents.

Physical copies always face the risk of damage from fire, wear & tear, etc, or loss and are not retrievable. Nowadays, there are so many documents to take care of like mutual fund & demat statements, insurance policies, tax return statements, credit card & home loan statements, house & office property docs incl. share certificate, health insurance card, etc. Even identity proofs like PAN card, Aadhar Card, Driving License, Voting Card, Passport, etc and educational certificates.

It is a hassle to maintain a big stack and going through heaps of files to locate a document can be cumbersome, especially when at the need of the hour.

Mutual fund Reclassification – how does it impact you as an Investor?

If you are a mutual fund investor, then you must be having a brief idea about the recent SEBI directive on mutual fund reclassification. As I write this post, there are many funds which have already reclassified their schemes or are in the process of doing so. This is a big step in regulating the otherwise loose structure of the mutual fund industry where there were too many similar schemes and vaguely defined categories. To start with, there are over 2000 mutual fund schemes on offer and considering the various options like dividend, growth, dividend reinvestment and the variants like direct/indirect, the possible choices are humungous. The new system which has now evolved has rationalised the number of funds per sub-category making an investor’s job much easier.

Dividend or Growth option – which one is better in equity mutual funds?

Many a times, I sense that people do not completely understand the financial products they are investing in. These can be easily gauged from the kind of questions they ask. For instance, amongst the many queries I receive on investments, the commonly asked are about suggesting a good SIP (systematic investment plan) mutual fund or dividend fund or a growth fund. There are no such funds actually. These are just methods of investing. The rationale behind buying mutual funds is inappropriate at times and such decisions are often influenced by agents. Their selling point – ‘Buy this mutual fund because this fund gives regular dividends or buy because dividends are tax free’.

How you can earn tax free interest despite being in the highest tax bracket

Every year, many people end up paying more taxes after exhausting all possible tax saving options. The fact that they invest at the nth hour just to save on tax and submit tax proofs in their offices is another story. Investments done in a systematic and phased manner can actually take care of tax planning from the beginning of the financial year itself. There is adequate time to plan the same.

One such option is investing in bank fixed deposits. You might consider it as the most tax inefficient. But be it for short term goals, emergencies, etc., everyone inevitably invests in bank deposits. This option however can be smartly utilised to reduce your tax liability.

Want to buy a vacation home? Ask these questions first.

The frequent weekend getaways to native or some other serene location at times induce people to consider owning a vacation home. It is natural to harbour a tempting desire of owning a piece of land which is home away from home to enjoy some quality family time and relax. But it is a big decision and does not necessarily mean a smart financial choice. Owning a property can come with its own set of headaches. While owning a weekend home sounds dreamy, a reality check is essential. Here are some critical questions you need to address before you purchase your vacation home.

Budget 2018 Impact – Understanding Long Term Capital Gains Tax on Equities

At the time of writing this article today, the stock markets were in a bloodbath. Call it a knee-jerk reaction, plain confusion, disappointment, investors obviously have given a big thumbs down to the 10 per cent long term capital gains (LTCG) tax introduced by the Finance Minister on equities.  Here is a brief from his budget speech:

The 2 Pain-Points that prevent me from investing in NPS

The tax saving season is here as the financial year draws to an end. I say tax saving season because usually people invest and submit the proofs to the HR in their office in the March quarter. I am not going to reiterate about how tax planning is incidental to investment planning and that it should be done at the beginning of a financial year. In this post, I am going to talk about the National Pension Scheme (NPS) in which people invest with the sole objective to save tax. What I find worrisome is that while investors fall for the tax saving bait, they fail to comprehend or do not give a serious thought to the other features of the scheme.

Herd Behaviour and how it can affect your Financial Decisions

Nowadays, the most popular question I come across on personal finance forums is ‘How to buy Bitcoins, is it regulated in India’?  It is one of the top 5 most searched words in Google. Many investors do not know the head and tail of how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work. But they are lured by the mind-boggling returns Bitcoin has clocked (300 per cent in just the last quarter as per ET reports) or they know someone who has minted huge money out of it. They do not want to miss the bus too.

In this Digital Age, we humans get fast attracted to any event or news which is trending or ‘the next big thing’. In these times of too much reliance on social media, it is interesting to observe how rumours are created. For instance, people blindly forward news on WatsApp to others which someone else has forwarded to them without checking the veracity of it – be it a hoax on accidents, death of a celebrity, etc.