3 Investment trends you must avoid!

Do you ever wonder how some people invest in just the right things? And that their investment decision never yield bad results? This may be a bit too far-fetched because every investor makes some mistakes and learns from it. But the best way to be a good investor is to learn from other people’s experiences and make the most out of their advice. Life is after all too short to learn from your own mistakes!

Below are the three investment trends you should avoid if you are investing for profit and growth:

Investing in Brand Names:

Most of the investors are generally involved in making this mistake. The dazzling image of the company leads people to believe that the stocks are more profitable. But this is just a false front and many brands are in deep trouble underneath the surface. If it is long term security than the brands are a good place to invest because they well-established with large capitals but they are not a very smart investment opportunity in terms of profit and growth.

These stocks are less risky, so they should occupy a small portion of your overall collection. With overvalued stocks, there lie little growth opportunities and hence, avoiding large investments is the key if you are investing for profit and growth.

Investing in Penny Stocks:

Penny Stocks have little capitals invested in them and hence, they fetch little profit and their trade price is also low. These stocks are risky for investment because they are controlled by sizable traders. Penny stocks are terrible options to both, invest or trade. The reason for the growing investment in penny stocks is because of the thinking that bulky investment can be made at cheaper cost with high selling price to yield maximum profit. The investors based on this knowledge make large investments that prove to be fruitless most of the times. Because of the lack of right management, this is an investment you should avoid under all circumstances.

Overlooking Stock Value because of Price:

This is the most common problem with investors who are new to the market. Quite often these investors gamble in stocks with luring prices but there’s no actual market value to the stocks at close inspection. Without proper market analysis, the stocks look like a successful investment plan with a high yield promise. But behind the entire glamor, these stocks are quite unstable and are not a very good investment opportunity. You should properly evaluate the background of the company and try to know the actual stock value instead of going for the deceitful price.

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What are the Techniques to trade Right Stocks at Right Time?

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Picture Source: Pixabay

Today, the surge in stock prices has made the trade market flourish with amazing results. With the rising and falling prices of stock in an instance, the stock trade market has made it crucial for all traders to be vigilant with each trade. Timing, along with the market knowledge of the stocks, is the most important aspect in stock trade. Thus, in order to be successful in trading stocks, it is imperative that you know which stocks to trade and at what time. Timely decision making is important when it comes to stock trading.

Selecting the right stocks for the trade can be difficult, especially if you’re new to the market. Stock selection does not depend on the popularity of a company or a brand name. The market variables change every day and to make the best out of your trade, you need to do a thorough analysis of the market. This can be challenging, but in order to make the right decision, you need to select the right time to start your trade. The best time to start off is early in the morning. Stock trading is similar to entering a battle and remember, nobody enters a battle unprepared! So, start preparing early and do a thorough analysis of the stock market in the morning.

Let us have a look at some techniques that will help you make the right decision:

Pre-Market analysis is Important:

In your pre-market analysis, look for stocks with value worth what you’re willing to spend. Volume is important, so look for stocks that are heavy in volume. Filter out stocks that trade thinly by checking the average volume for 30 days. Check the analysis for future market value of the stocks for picking the best ones out the list.

Dig Deeper into The Right Market:

Now, with your best selected stocks, do a clean trade off with high volume stocks and set your minimum value of the volume you want to trade, like 50,000 shares per 5-minute bar. This is what most of the traders will have their eyes on! You can also look for other loop holes or opportunities in the market that other traders don’t see by doing a much thorough analysis.

Define the Sectors and Domains:

Define your own sectors or domains you have a much deeper knowledge in, which can help you picking the right stocks. You can also use your previous experience in setting new boundaries or in enhancing your trading skills. The best way to improve your dealings is to focus on a single or at most 2 stocks for trade. Select them on the basis of popularity and or your previous experience.

Follow these simple guidelines to venture into the world of stock trade with ease.

Disclaimer: Please do not make any financial decision solely on the basis of information provided above. The views and ideas expressed in this article are solely of author and do not necessarily reflect ideas in general.

 

Savings: What’s your perspective?

coins-1523383(Image source: Pixabay)

Recently, A young enthusiast asked me about the importance of saving. His parents asked him to start saving but he (like most of us during youth) want to enjoy present life and didn’t want to give up on any comforts for the sake of future. Well, to some extent both (in their shoes) are right. Savings is essential but it does not mean that you should sacrifice on each and every thing, otherwise money will become definition of your life. It also does not imply that you start enjoying present without giving thought to future.

There are negative effects to both sides: Savers often end up with ‘regrets’ and spenders with ‘financial problems’ in future. What is required is equilibrium which can be answered by How, When & Where to save.

Let’s take a look –

How:

Does more earning mean more savings? That does not make sense always. Have you ever noticed why some people are very good at saving and others find it difficult to save?  It depends upon personal money handling habits. To an extent saving habits depends on your brought-up, cultural factors. However, psychology decides the way you look at money. There are savers and spenders. Spenders love to spend money on current to enjoy life rather than saving it for future. They find their happiness in buying and comfort. Savers on the other hand – don’t enjoy losing money and gets excited when they see their savings grow.

If you are a spender then try to make your transactions in cash or debit card. Keep credit cards usage limited. A few changes like cutting on trips to grocery stores, unnecessary entertainment, Budgeting for expenses, keeping fixed cost low can help a lot in saving money.

When:

Saving at right time is very important. Moving a fixed part of your salary as saving on regular basis can help you save better and automatically put limits on your spending. If we go by thumb rule then 25% of your salary should go to savings but not less than 15%. These days it is often known as ‘Pay to yourself first’. This small step can save and accumulate large sum over long term (compounding).

Where:

Saving in right instruments and doing the right purchases could help you save more. Buying in bulk/wholesale for nonperishable products will give you happiness of buying right and saving money. However, there are certain areas where saving money should not be given importance e.g. cheap products for health, food. This will often end up with high expenses towards health and Doctor visits. Health is wealth and therefore where to save is important to understand.

Don’t make savings “goal” of your life but accept it as a part of lifestyle so that it will not be stressful.

Happy Savings!

 

Investing for Child’s future

Investing for your Child’s Future

Saving and planning investments for your child is one of the foremost item in every parent’s life. Kids are one of the priorities for every parent and to safeguard their future. With increase in education costs and inflation, it’s becoming eminent to start savings for kid’s higher education / marriage at the earliest. If we take into consideration the current educational situation then it is not only accumulating funds for college but also comes with additional costs like Tuition/coaching fees, year round study supplies, project works etc. Education is going to be very costly affair and it is better to start preparing now.

Planning & investing for your child’s future will vary as it’s mostly depends on the child’s age. If a child is 4-5 years old then parents will have more time in their hand to accumulate money but if child is approaching higher studies i.e. 12-14 years old then they don’t luxury of time. With this ‘time’ variation, options of investments will also change.

Following are some of the good options available for investing for child:

Mutual Fund SIP: 

This is an excellent option to accumulate money over the long term for your child’s education/marriage purpose. Investing in mutual fund through SIP way can help you to reach the required corpus. Only important factor is ‘Time’ rather than amount of investment because effect of compounding comes from investing time horizon. Sooner you start bigger will be the corpus.  A simple SIP of INR 5000. each month with a good equity fund can give you around INR 25 lacs in 15 years, assuming 12% annualized returns.  Increasing amount of SIP every year could also benefit you with more sum at the end of tenure.

Recurring Deposit: 

This is another option available for long term purpose. Same like SIP you can start with small amount. The returns are not high as compared to mutual fund SIP but it’s a safe investment and returns are fixed.

Public Provident Fund (PPF): 

This is one of my favorite option. It comes with triple benefits of compounding, tax exempt and decent sum at end of tenure. PPF is also safe option as returns are guaranteed. It also gives flexibility in investment.

Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme:

This is one of the good initiative taken by our Honorable Prime Minister Shri. Modiji for better and secure future of girl children in India. Under this scheme, any legal guardian or parents can open the account at the time of birth of child till she attains age of ten years. This scheme gaining popularity as it offers high interest rate and it’s a EEE(EEE means tax exemption on investment (80 c), exemption on interest received and exemption on maturity amount ) product like PPF.

Gold ETFs: 

Gold ETF’s or e-gold is also a good option of investing for child’s future. It is risk free as it’s not in physical form and gives good returns. Gold investment is more for hedging purpose therefore do not invest all your money only in gold.

Term Insurance:  

Taking a pure term insurance is always recommended. In case of an any unfortunate event all this planning could get wrong and therefore insurance plan can safeguard this crisis.  But this does not mean to buy ULIP plans or any child insurance plan. Combination of term insurance and SIP, will give more returns and security than other expensive plans.

Fixed Deposits: 

Fixed deposit is one of the safest investment tool. Though it does not offer tax benefits like PPF but it offers safety and fixed returns. Do search and compare between different FDs before investing. (https://fund-matters.com/2016/02/07/fixed-deposit-schemes-how-to-get-most-out-of-it )

 Choose from the above suggested options which is/are best suitable to your own needs, risk capacity and time frame. Invest early so that your child can get good benefits in future. Do teach your child about money and importance of savings which will help him realize the value of money. (https://fund-matters.com/2014/08/10/teach-your-kid-the-value-of-money )   

I hope this information will help you make the right decision. Happy Investing!

Sources:

NRIs in USA/Canada can invest in Indian mutual funds

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Good News for USA/Canada based NRIs….!  NRIs based in USA and Canada can invests in mutual funds in India now.

Due to FATCA(Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) and  due to stringent rules in the USA, most of the fund houses in India were not accepting applications. But now India signed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with USA to improve international tax compliance.

List of fund houses that currently accepting investments from NRIs based in US and Canada

  1. -Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund
  2. -SBI Mutual Fund
  3. -UTI Mutual Fund
  4. -ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund
  5. -DHFL Pramerica Mutual Fund
  6. -L&T Mutual Fund
  7. -PPFAS Mutual Fund
  8. -Sundaram Mutual Fund

Some Important points:

  • Documentation required and process for investments is same for all the investors. KYC, Additional KYC & FATCA details are compulsory for all mutual fund investors.
  • For offline investments for NRIs, some fund houses may ask for additional declaration signed by client.
  • L & T mutual fund house does not allow USA/Canada NRIs to invest in closed ended funds.

 

 Source: Economic Times

How to setup Financial Goals!

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Whenever an Investor ask me on How to start investing, the first question I ask – what are your investment objectives? Almost 80% of them don’t know the “right” answer OR they just say – earn more money.

Investing without any goal is like travelling without destination. Also if you do not have any specific goals in mind you cannot choose a right product for investment. So the main thing before starting any investment is to decide your goals.

How to decide goals?

Financial goals are simply those things which you want to achieve or dream about. These goals will be different for different investors like buying a new home, retirement or daughter’s wedding. Goals should be realistic, clear, and measurable and should have a time frame.

But remember earning more money or become rich is not a goal. Robert Kiyosaki rightly said, “Money is not a goal. Money has no value. The value comes from the dreams money helps achieve.” Your goal should be based on making your life and future financially secure and money is a tool which helps you achieve it.

There can be more than two or three goals and each goal should have specific time period, importance and its own cost. Decide and write down these details on a piece of paper.

Prioritizing your goals:

Prioritize your goals on the basis of importance and time. Some goals need longer time e.g. retirement, while others are important to be achieved in next 3-5 years.

Divide your goals in three main categories:

  • Short Term Goals (1 years)
  • Medium Term Goals (3-5 years)
  • Long Term Goals (more than 5 years)

 Plan to achieve your goals:

 Planning to achieve goals is a process and it should include:

  • After prioritizing, decide how much money you need to save to reach your goals based on available time frame. Write it down.
  • Before starting savings do checklist of available assets, cash/savings already with you.
  • Budget your expenses. It will help you figure out how much you can save. Change your spending habits. Saving money depends mostly on your spending habits.
  • Clear your credit card debts, try to reduce the use. The interest on credit card is one of major thing which lowers down your savings.
  • Identify your risk tolerance level. Do not stretch yourself beyond your limit.
  • Above steps will give you clear idea about what investment products you should choose. And therefore, select the investment products which is best suitable to your own goals, risk ability and duration.

Keep monitoring your goals. Adjust the savings, time whenever and wherever needed. Download some good financial apps or register with some financial websites to keep a check on it.

Good luck and Happy Investing!

 

Mutual Fund SIP: Things to know before investing.

Mutual Funds Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is a great way to start investment in mutual funds. It offers you to invest a fixed/pre-determined sum of money on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly) in mutual fund schemes. Some features of SIP like Rupee cost averaging, regular savings, compounding returns makes it a very attractive option of investment.

However, there are certain things which every investor should know and understand before taking the first step. Below is my attempt to cover some of important points to make that decision.

Goal Based Investing:

Investing without goal is like a construction without base. Do not invest your money on anyone else’s recommendations or only because your friend/colleague is investing. Invest with specific goals or objectives in mind. Setting up goals can help you make a proper plan with all the details like time horizon, amount required to invest, risk capacity etc. It will also help you in choosing suitable scheme.

When it comes to selecting the scheme, many investors often get confused and end up investing in the scheme which is recommended or listed with tags like “best Performing, Star rated Fund, proven past records” etc. Investors should understand that these are not the ONLY criteria’s for selecting a right scheme. Also, it’s not about “best scheme” to invest but it’s about selecting a scheme which is best suitable to your goals, risk capacity, duration and other needs.

SIP is not an investment strategy:

SIP is a way that helps you save regularly and accrue money to reach your investment goal. It is not a strategy to gain high returns.

SIP works best for long term:

SIP is recommended generally for long term as compounding works better when duration of investment is longer. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be invested for “long duration”. Monitoring your funds, its performances and making necessary changes when required is also very important.

SIP is not a way to reduce market risk and loss:

As mentioned earlier SIP is a way to invest in mutual funds i.e. indirect investment in stock market. Therefore, the risk of market volatility is inherent and chances of loss is also inevitable. But when you investing through SIP, you are lowering the risk of your investment over a period of time.

SIP is not always suitable for all types of mutual funds:

Mutual funds investment is subject to market risk and hence investing for long term in equity market is always good. Doing SIP in equity funds is better due to market volatility but it is not always beneficial with Debt funds for short duration.

SIP in ELSS: 

SIP in Equity Linked Savings Schemes (Tax-saving Scheme) gets little confusing due to its lock-in period. Income Tax regulations states that if you want tax exemptions, you should be invested in ELSS schemes for at-least 3 years and the amount should remain invested for a minimum period without any withdrawals.

Therefore, when you invest in ELSS through SIP mode your each installment is treated as fresh investment and hence gets locked for 3 years.

Remember, your mutual fund portfolio should not consist of only SIPs but some lump sum investments too. Like I said before SIP is always not suitable to all types of mutual funds and for every goal.

Hope my points will help you make the right decision. Happy investing!

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Investment Opportunities in India for NRIs.

Recently, the steps taken by Government of India has not only motivated Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) but also NRIs Investors. Indian Government is now promoting and providing good investment opportunities to NRIs.  The good thing is NRIs are equally excited and wants to invest so they can contribute to the growth of Indian economy. However, many don’t have a clear understanding on what’s available on the plate. This is my attempt to add some insights –

Equity Investments:

NRIs can invest in the equity markets of India under the portfolio investment (PIS) scheme of the Reserve Bank of India. PIS is a foreign investment route to simplify the process of registration and investment for all foreign investors.

Under this scheme Non-resident Indian can purchase or sell the shares/convertible debentures of the Indian companies on the stock exchange. There are 3 simple steps after which the NRI can start trading in Indian Stock Exchange.

  1. Open Bank Account: First step is to open an NRE or NRO account and then need an approval under PIS which allows you to trade in stock market. For the NRIs who already have NRE/NRO accounts, he can assign it as PIS account.
  2. Demat Account: Second step is to open a Demat Account to hold shares and
  3. Trading Account: Trading account (linked to PIS account) with an authorized broker of SEBI.

Today many banks offer help in this process of account openings and PIS Approval. Some important points to consider in regard to equity investment by NRIs are:

  • An individual can only open one PIS account for buying and selling of shares.
  • There are some ceilings on investments under PIS which are monitored by RBI.
  • NRI can transact only in India through SEBI authorized broker.
  • NRIs cannot do intra-day transactions. In simple words, NRIs can trade on delivery basis.
  • Short-selling of shares is not permitted to NRIs.
  • NRIs cannot trade in all Indian stocks. RBI publishes the list of stocks to invest that are eligible for NRIs.

Mutual Funds:

Another option available for investment. This option also delivers high returns to the investors. You can invest in the Indian mutual funds through your NRE/NRO account. NRIs from most of the countries can easily invest in Indian mutual funds. But the NRIs in US or Canada cannot invest in Indian mutual funds. As per the rule laid out by US securities market regulators, only those fund houses, globally or locally registered with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can accept money from US NRI / citizens. However, US based NRIs can invests in the India dedicated mutual fund schemes or India dedicated offshore funds. These schemes are managed in the US but invests in the Indian based companies.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF):

Exchange traded funds can be traded same like stocks on the exchange. Some countries like US, UK allows you to invest in ETFs in Indian stock market. But if you want to invest in Indian based ETF then it carries market risk with an additional risk of currency fluctuations.

Real Estate:

Real estate is one of the favorite option of investment for NRIs. There is not much restriction on the investment in the residential or commercial properties in India but they cannot invest in the agriculture land, farm house or the plantations in India or can own such property only if they have been gifted or inherited.

All the transactions related to money is in the Indian rupees and follow the normal banking channels using NRI account. NRIs can also avail the home loan facility from Indian banks or financial institutions after satisfying the eligibility criteria. The loan amount and repayment transactions is in the Indian rupees.

There are a few things which you should take care of before investing:

  • It’s always recommended to hire a lawyer or legal advisor who can help with all legal process/documents and clear titles. Don’t make deals only through the builders or brokers as there are chances of cheating or delays or misleading information. Going through a proper channel helps avoid unnecessary mental stress.
  • Be prepared with your exit options well in advance. Selling of property comes with some restrictions by FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act), especially in repatriation transactions.
  • Remember to grab ‘No Dues Certificate’ from the seller and do a check that property have all required approvals from civic authorities for construction.

NPS (National Pension System):

NRIs are eligible and now can invests in the National Pension Scheme for their retirement objectives. RBI recently allowed NRIs to invest in NPS which is governed and managed by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The minimum subscription is Rs. 6000 and it will mature when investor turns 60 of age.

Subscription amount should be paid through NRE/NRO/FCNR accounts find and there will be no restrictions on repatriation of the annuity or collected amount.

I would suggest to invest in NPS only if you are going to settle in India during retirement. NPS is a complex product and not tax efficient.

NRO/NRE Fixed Deposits: 

This investment options looks really attractive because of the higher rate of interest it offers. The money held in the deposit will be in the rupees. Investors can freely remit from NRE account but not in NRO account. Interest earned is tax free in India but it may be taxable in the country where you are residing.

In 2015 annual budget, a new investment option was introduced called Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) for investment and it also allows NRIs to invest in. REITs are not new to the other countries but due to tax complexities in India it is taking time to start. Due to relaxation in FDI norms and upcoming smart city projects this option of investment looks very attractive.

There are also a few other options like – Company Deposits of public/private companies, money market mutual funds, Convertible and Nonconvertible Debentures, Government Securities Bonds Etc.

Choose the investment option which suits your needs, do consult with your tax advisor before investing as many above options are eligible for long term & Short term capital gain tax. Also, many countries have double tax avoidance agreement with India therefore all earnings from India needs to be part of calculating total tax liability.

Disclaimer: Above article was written purely with purpose of sharing information. Do not make any decisions solely on the basis of above and do consult with your Tax and investment Advisor before investing.

References:

  • Economic Times
  • Livemint
  • NSEindia
  • Business Standard
  • Moneycontrol

 

Ladies, Boost your Confidence in Financial Matters!

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According to studies Women lags behind when it comes to managing money or investments. In many cases, Women prefer a ‘supportive’ role in financial decisions and one of the reason for this is – “lack of confidence”.

Why is that? Well, There could be many reasons for this lack of confidence e.g. fear of losing money, low financial literacy, less interest in finance, finding it hard to understand, etc. But actually, money management is not that hard. What women need is to engage herself more in investing and money matters and boost her confidence!

Let’s see how we can achieve this.

Work on your Basics:

Building financial knowledge through right medium is the first step. Reading books, attending seminars, workshops and discussing with financial planner are some of the ways of getting this knowledge. There’s a ton of websites, financial blogs (including mine) which can guide and provide information about investment and investment products. Also there are lots of online tools or mobile apps which helps you understand how to manage money and teach about planning, budgeting in a very simple way.

Take Baby Steps:

Getting only educated in investments will not solve the purpose but actual small steps can help get comfortable with it. Start investing in monthly savings account or mutual fund SIP. With minimum investment on monthly basis it can help build confidence and money.

Save for Yourself:

Rightly said by Clare Boothe Luce “A women’s best protection is a little money of her own”. Saving money for yourself is not a bad idea. Good news is, Women are great savers as compared to men and can also take more risks because women tends to do investments with long term overview.

Build your own Credit Identity:

Having a separate credit card for women might be a debatable question. But it is important to have a credit card to learn how to manage credit and about credit history. Secured or prepaid credit card can serve the purpose to initiate. But it definitely start to build your own credit history and identity which is useful in future.

Talk to your Adviser:

Discussing with experienced adviser before making an investment or if you have any queries/doubts, could assure you about your right decision. Some suggestions from adviser will definitely help you understand the process and get you prepared for the results. Also, discuss with your partner/father, it will not only make you confident and comfortable but their past experience can save you from doing mistakes which they had already made. Share your decisions with family to make you a part of family financial decision making.

Lessons Learnt:

Investment and money matters is vast and wide subject. It takes time to understand and learn things. Also Market conditions changes frequently so if any of your decision gets wrong don’t panic, mistakes happen. Don’t let your decisions hamper due to mistakes you made. Treat them as lessons learnt and keep track of it.

I hope these points will help you boost your confidence and get you in ‘decision making’.

Happy Investing 🙂 !

References : US News