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November 29, 2007
This mutual fund stands tall
Sundaram BNP Paribas Select Midcap Fund is one fund that, over various market cycles, stands tall over its peers in the mid cap funds segment.

November 28, 2007
8 ways to identify profitable shares
Though investment opportunities abound all the time and in almost all situations, they may not be very easy to identify. A shrewd and discerning investor will usually find opportunities for making money in places, and in situations, where a less discerning one will not. The best investment opportunities are often found in the most unlikely of places and situations.

November 26, 2007
Do you remember MIPs?
For a high risk-taking investor, MIPs offer the opportunity to incorporate a degree of stability in an equity portfolio. Sadly, a product that can value to the portfolio has been pushed to the sidelines.

November 22, 2007
The importance of asset allocation
Now asset allocation may sound like a complicated concept, but isn't. As the word suggests, it means distributing your money across various investment avenues or assets so that the poor performance of any one avenue/asset does not jeopardise the entire investment plan. As logical as that sounds, it is one of the rarest traits in a financial plan, but more on that later.

November 21, 2007
Should you invest in Bhavishya Nirman Bonds?
Assured return schemes tend to account for a significant share of an investor's portfolio. As the name suggests, these schemes offer assured returns i.e. investors know upfront how much return they are going to earn from their investments. Therefore, there is less uncertainty i.e. lower risk associated with investing in such schemes. Notwithstanding the benefits offered by these schemes, not all assured return schemes make worthy investments.

November 19, 2007
How to deal with volatile markets
One, which we have been promoting for several years now -- systematic investment plan is a tried and tested way of making money from volatile markets. As opposed to lump sum investments, by investing smaller amounts at regular intervals, you stand to reduce the average cost of your mutual fund investments over the long-term.

Beginner's guide to ideal financial planning
Basic guidelines on how to take a call at each life stage to balance your savings, insurance needs and investment demands for a peaceful retirement.

How CAGR can be misleading
For most investors, a fund's performance on the net asset value appreciation front is sacred i.e. returns is the only parameter to be considered while making an investment decision.

November 16, 2007
Is PMS an opportunity for you?
Portfolio Management Schemes are hugely popular with investors these days. Interestingly, a large number of investors we meet at Personalfn are already evaluating an equity PMS opportunity, but usually for the wrong reasons.

November 15, 2007
Tax-planning: The assured return way
With the tax-planning season in progress, you should brace yourself for a lot of 'noise' that you will soon be subjected to. The noise will come from various quarters. Mutual funds will hawk tax-saving funds (also referred to as equity linked saving schemes), while insurance companies will pitch in for ULIPs (unit linked insurance plans) and endowment plans.

November 10, 2007
Are your finances geared for medical emergencies?
It is true that medical insurance provides compensation for the medical expenses incurred, but there are several limitations. Depending only on medical insurance may not be enough to take care of all medical expenses. Therefore, individuals must aim at building a separate medical corpus to supplement the medical insurance.

November 09, 2007
Case Study: When risk isn't bad?
Taking on risk without understanding its implications isn't right. Similarly, a common mistake made is that risk is considered in isolation. The right approach for evaluating risk is to consider it in conjunction with return; what is commonly referred to as the risk-return trade-off.

November 08, 2007
Pension plans: Generating an income
A lot of individuals are concerned how retirement will treat them. They are uncertain whether they will be able to meet the rigours of old age when expenses are certain, but income isn't. Even greater is the uncertainty regarding how their dependents will cope in their absence. This is where pension plans come in.

Why women need to insure themselves
As more women take up the responsibility of contributing towards the family income, the risk of a loss of income in case of an eventuality increases. Also observed in many cases is the fact that some families are dependent solely on one earning member who happens to be a woman. Having a life cover under such circumstances can prove to be helpful.

November 07, 2007
What is your Human Life Value
The concept of Human Life Value is something that we all hear about (especially from the insurance agent!) but do not really know how to calculate. The reason being there is no definitive source of information on the subject. The fact that there is more than one methodology for calculating the HLV makes the subject even more challenging to understand.

November 06, 2007
How to plan for retirement
retirement to you means lazing on the sofa reading a book without any worries, then that's not very different from how most of us wish to spend our retirement. The difference however, is in the planning and application to achieve that standard of retirement. While some only dream of a blissful life after 60, some actually get down to achieving it. The dream can be a reality for you as well, you just need to outline a plan and be disciplined and patient.

November 05, 2007
Investment: It's all about your risk appetite
For a lot of investors, investing can be a pretty simple activity. It involves keeping oneself updated through numerous magazines, newspapers and news channels about the latest, most touted investment opportunities. The next step is obvious - invest in these opportunities to the hilt in the hope of making some easy money. And if everything goes right, investors would have made a neat packet all because they were quick to seize upon these great investment opportunities.

Mutual fund roundup: October 2007
It was another good month for investors as equity markets surged northwards and touched record highs. The BSE Sensex posted a gain of 14.73% during the month to close at 19,838 points; the S&P CNX Nifty appreciated by 17.53% to settle at 5,901 points. The CNX Midcap rose by 8.49%, before settling at 7,450 points. However, these numbers conceal the intense volatility that was experienced during the month.

November 02, 2007
The need for financial planning
Financial planning is a process through which an individual can chart a roadmap to meet expected and unforeseen needs in life. Simply put, the intention is to take necessary steps to ensure that the individual is equipped to accomplish what he has set out to achieve and is prepared to deal with contingencies as well.

Markets: Of oohs and aahs!
With the benchmark BSE Sensex crossing yet another coveted mark, we are hearing more of that ooh-ing and aah-ing that comes from watching things incredible. Incredible it is to watch what cheap money can do to asset prices within a span of few days, weeks and months. Incredible it is to watch by what amount investor wealth has risen per minute or per second. And, incredible it is to know that so many stocks have hit their all time highs at one go.

October 31, 2007
How to select a tax-saving fund
With less than 6 months left for the close of the financial year, smart investors would have commenced their annual tax planning. Tax-saving funds (also referred to as equity linked savings schemes -- ELSS) are popular avenues among risk-taking investors. Apart from providing benefits under Section 80C (investments in tax-saving funds are eligible for deduction from gross total income), tax-saving funds offer investor opportunity to invest as per their risk appetite.

October 30, 2007
How not to evaluate mutual funds
A lot of mutual fund advice/research out there is focussed on how investors must evaluate mutual funds. Unfortunately, that is often not enough, which explains why wrong mutual funds are still sold/bought and mis-selling continues to be the bane of the industry. As a result, a lot of investors who end up investing in the wrong investment are left very disillusioned with how their investments have performed. All this can be prevented if investors are armed with two rules.

October 29, 2007
How to pick hot realty stocks
For valuing real estate businesses, the devil sure lies in the detail.

Now is the time to 'cleanse' your portfolio
By cleanse, we mean free your portfolio of unwanted investments. So what constitutes an unwanted investment? Simple, any investment that doesn't suit your risk profile and will not help you achieve your financial goals. Also worth cleansing are investments that didn't quite work out as you were first led to believe by your investment advisor.

Want to invest in MFs? Keep it simple!
Investors' fascination for an 'out-of-the-ordinary' or 'fancy' investment avenue is baffling. There is an inexplicable urge in investors to add an unusual investment avenue to their portfolios. For example, a conventional diversified equity fund with an impressive long-term track record routinely gets the thumbs down. The reason being -- it's seen as a boring investment (whatever that means).

October 26, 2007
Insurance: Ask the right questions
As we enter the peak tax-saving season, you will notice an increase in advertisements related to tax-planning products. Expect an escalation in the noise surrounding tax-saving products like life insurance and mutual funds. These advertisements will almost certainly be followed up by persistent calls from telemarketers, not to mention personal visits from your friendly neighbourhood insurance agent.

October 23, 2007
Tips for a portfolio makeover
rebalancing is what you do when a particular investment's allocation has become large and you offload some of it. The biggest benefit of this technique is that it offers an automated method of booking timely profits.

October 19, 2007
Becoming a crorepati is easier than you thought
Rs 1 crore cannot be accumulated overnight, and hence your roadmap to accumulating such a large sum of money must be realistic in terms of investment amounts, tenure and expected return.

October 17, 2007
Human Life Value simplified
The most common definition of HLV is the expected life time earnings of an individual, i.e. what is the total income that the individual is expected to earn over the remainder of his working life, expressed in present Rupee terms.

Market boom: Discipline is the key
In the present investment scenario, it's easy to get carried away and do something silly like take on more risk that you can afford to in a bid to make a quick buck.

October 12, 2007
Avoid 'backseat' fund management
A lot of investors must be wondering why we are saying this because they probably know it already. We are wondering the same thing -- if investors already know this, why do they question the fund manager's investment decisions despite knowing that he knows more about investing and finance than them; and that is the reason why he is managing their money and not the other way round.

October 10, 2007
DSP ML Equity: Adding value to portfolios
DMEF, a diversified equity fund from DSP Merrill Lynch Mutual Fund, pursue the value style of investing. This involves identifying fundamentally sound stocks, which are trading at a discount to their fair value. The fund manager buys such stocks and stays invested until the mis-pricing is corrected and the stocks achieve their fair price.

October 08, 2007
Mutual Fund roundup: September 2007
The month of September proved to be the most lucrative one in the calendar year so far, as equity markets set and breached record highs at alarming regularity. The BSE Sensex posted a gain of 12.87 per cent during the month and closed at 17,291 points; the S&P CNX Nifty appreciated by 12.48 per cent and ended at 5,021 points. The CNX Midcap rose by 13.62 per cent, before settling at 6,867 points.

October 05, 2007
Gold delivers but not for you
In recent months, the interest in gold has grown palpably among investors across the world. Among the key reasons contributing to this sudden interest in gold is the fact that other asset classes, like stocks and bonds, seem very risky today.

October 03, 2007
Mutual fund ratings aren't everything
For some time now, Indian mutual fund investors have taken a fancy for star ratings that are accorded by select mutual fund research firms/agencies. These firms, based on certain pre-determined parameters, give a rating.

October 01, 2007
5 steps to select an insurance advisor
An insurance advisor/agent can play the part of the direct link between the insurance company and the insurance seeker i.e. you. He is the one who can help you select the right policy i.e. one which can help you fulfill your insurance needs.

Tax planning in 3 easy steps
For a lot of investors, tax-planning is little more than a mandatory investment activity (under Section 80C) for saving tax. However, the fact is there is a lot more to tax-planning than writing cheques indiscriminately to your insurance company.

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