|March 31, 2008|
|Now selling property comes easy|
In a move that could help property investors to exit the market in Mumbai, the Maharashtra State Budget has recently declared that now you need not hold the property for 'at least' three years to take advantage of the concession on stamp duties. In case a property was sold before three years, the buyer would have to pay a stamp duty, based on the entire sale agreement price. There are a large number of people who have purchased 2nd & 3rd houses and this clause will help them.
Pay hike: How to spend wisely
With more disposable income in the hands of public servants, it's time PSU employees started their financial planning. Invest before splurging should be the mantra. Financial experts say that the revised pay scale can serve as an opportunity for them to fill the gap in their investment plans. They can look at squaring off liabilities, investing in contingency fund, mediclaim and life insurance, builing assets and planning for retirement, to effectively utilise their pay hike.
FMPs: Don't ignore the risk
It's that time of the year, when fund houses roll out their FMP (fixed maturity plans) products in response to the attractive yields on corporate bonds. Expectedly, investors view FMPs as a means to clock a higher return at relatively low risk (actually many investors believe there is zero risk in an FMP). While this is mostly true, some points about FMPs are noteworthy.
|March 29, 2008|
|All about Exchange Traded Funds|
ETF is a basket of securities that is traded on the stock exchange, akin to a stock
Mutual funds: The best could be the worst!
There's something about a top-performing fund. The glowing reviews, self-congratulatory advertisements by the fund house and a host of stars (read ratings) and awards. It's a pretty heady mix. Sadly, the NAV performance in isolation presents a one-dimensional picture i.e. it may conceal more than it reveals. In this article, we make a case for looking beyond just the NAV performance by listing instances, when top-performing funds could potentially be bad investments.
|March 25, 2008|
|Is dividend option in NFO a smarter choice?|
What's better -- the dividend option or the growth option? That's one question, which investors regularly pose to us. In the case of an equity fund, so long as both the options have the same portfolio, they are at par (on rare occasions, some funds have different portfolios for the growth and dividend options).
Mid cap funds? Think long-term
The recent stock market crash has been particularly harsh on one investment category -- mid cap stocks/funds. Compared to their large cap peers, mid cap stocks/funds have fallen more sharply. The view that many frustrated investors might take is that investing in mid caps was a bad idea in the first place. And they can't really be blamed, in many ways mid caps were presented as an opportunity to make quick money without informing the investor of the higher risk involved.
|March 20, 2008|
|HSBC Midcap: Not good enough|
Mid cap companies tend to be under-researched ones, thereby providing an investment opportunity that is yet to be identified by the market. Investments in such companies offer high growth potential and the opportunity to clock above-average returns over the long-term (at least 3-5 years). On the flipside, since mid-sized companies are often under-researched, there is a fair chance that some reasons for "not investing" could be overlooked.
|March 17, 2008|
|Using credit card? 7 points to note|
Technically speaking, a credit card is an unsecured loan. This means that unlike a secured loan, which is advanced by a bank/financial institution against a security like property for instance, a credit card is offered without any security. In a secured loan, if the borrower fails to make good on his principal/interest commitment, the bank/institution can seize the security as compensation.
ICICI Prudential Discovery: Missing value
Broadly speaking, growth and value are the two popular investment styles. Growth style investing entails making investments in fairly/fully valued stocks that are expected to do even better going forward. Conversely, value investing involves making investments in fundamentally strong companies that are trading at a discount to their fair value. These stocks are then held onto until the mis-pricing is corrected and they attain their fair value.
Let's think over and above 80C
The Income tax Act, 1961 contains several provisions which can serve as tools for saving your tax outgo. While everyone is more focused on meeting the 80C limits, here are a few more options.
|March 13, 2008|
|MIPs: How good are they?|
Hybrid funds (powered by their flexibility to invest across asset classes) can add immense value to the investor's portfolio (especially during the down turn). While the role of balanced funds in the investor's portfolio has been well-documented, it's time for investors to recognise the value MIPs can add to his portfolio. MIPs invest predominantly in debt instruments with a small portion of assets allocated to equities.
|March 10, 2008|
|The top mutual funds in Feb|
The month's big event was the Union Budget 2008-09; however, it proved to be a bit of an anti-climax for mutual fund investors. The only noteworthy change was that the short-term capital gains tax was raised from 10% to 15%. In effect, short-term transactions will become less attractive for investors. Clearly, the benefits of long-term investing aren't lost on the Finance Minister either. However, the month was certainly not a staid one.
|March 06, 2008|
|What's the Kotak Opportunities story?|
In recent times, there has been a lot of buzz around Kotak Opportunities Fund, a diversified equity fund from Kotak Mutual Fund. We have also received a large number of queries about the fund, and given its performance on the net asset value appreciation front, we aren't surprised.
Birla Top 100: Far from the top
Birla Top 100 Fund, launched in October 2005, is a predominantly large cap fund that invests in the leading 100 companies by market capitalisation. Large caps boast of established track records; over longer time frames, their performances display a degree of stability. Investors are exposed to fewer surprises, which lowers the risk of investing in them considerably as compared to say mid caps or small caps which in many ways are still evolving.
|February 27, 2008|
|Infrastructure funds? Read this!|
In this article, we are not going to preach that you should not invest in infrastructure and related funds (haven't we done that many times already?!). So, no preaching here. Only facts. And then, you decide what you want to do with your money.
|February 23, 2008|
|When agents mis-sell tax plans|
Agents are known to mis-sell tax plans to unaware investors. Mis-selling comes easy as basic facts are misrepresented and investors are made to buy plans that don't benefit them.
All about Morgan Stanley Growth Fund
If MSGF had shared the complete portfolio with its investors more frequently, the red flag on its misconceived investments might have been raised earlier.
|February 22, 2008|
|Overseas trip? Important money tips|
Carrying part of the money as currency and the rest in a travel card makes for a hassle-free holiday abroad at the least cost.
|February 21, 2008|
|10 golden rules to become rich!|
Once you decide to put your money to work to build long-term wealth, you have to decide, not whether to take risk, but what kind of risk you wish to take. Here are 10 investing rules that can make you rich:
|February 16, 2008|
|Investing your money? Caveat Emptor|
Investors looking to make an investment are often so busy choosing the right option, that they can be oblivious to the basic details. This can be counterproductive over the long-term, especially if an important detail was overlooked and the same comes back to haunt the investor later.
|February 15, 2008|
|Never let your trading profits turn into a loss|
There might be a lot of public orders resting at $121 to buy the stock, but all the orders to buy at that price won't be filled. If they are all filled at $121, there's a reason why informed insiders would be willing to sell all the public wants to buy at the $121 level. My selling out my position at $120-7/8 would be warranted because the price of the stock should drop pretty drastically after all the public orders to buy at the 121 support level are taken out.
|February 14, 2008|
|Now, reputed fund houses go thematic|
There are so many infrastructure funds in the market today that most fund houses can now boast of managing one. So much so that even fund houses that were launched less than 12 months ago with just one equity fund in their portfolios, have been quick on the draw with their infrastructure NFOs.
|February 13, 2008|
|Mutual fund add-on benefits? Be careful|
Innovation is nothing new to the mutual fund industry. In the past, we have seen mutual funds provide add-on benefits like accident insurance, critical illness insurance and even life insurance. A recent innovation involves providing insurance benefit to the child in the event of the parents meeting with an eventuality.
|February 11, 2008|
|Why auto component stocks are hot picks|
Despite the hiccups experienced by the auto component industry, better growth prospects and low valuations suggest that it's a good time to buy solid companies in this space.
|February 08, 2008|
|Sebi bats for the investors|
The Securities and Exchange Board of India ruled that investors could avoid paying the entry load charged while investing in mutual funds
|February 05, 2008|
|5 things mutual funds must do for investors|
Over the last few years, the domestic mutual fund industry has grown by leaps and bounds. Several asset management companies have established base in the country and there are more on the way. Expectedly, the gamut of mutual fund offerings has grown as well. While few would dispute that the mutual fund industry now has more to offer, there is one aspect that continues to be ignored -- quality of disclosure.
Income generator plans: Read the fine print
Though deferred annuities are mostly sold as pension plans/income generators and tax saving devices, you can safely ignore such plans
|January 30, 2008|
|How dividends in mutual funds work|
Often investors are lured to mutual funds due to dividends. It is necessary to understand the role of dividends in MFs and know that the only way MFs give returns is through NAV appreciation.
|January 25, 2008|
|How to spend wisely. 4 tips|
In a guide targeted at the youth, to ignore spending would be akin to committing a cardinal sin
|January 24, 2008|
|All you want to know about DSP ML Opp |
Investors who are enamored by thematic funds (especially infrastructure funds) must not lose sight of the fact that diversified equity funds (which include opportunities funds) can make aggressive sectoral/thematic calls. More importantly, they can exit the sector/theme when valuations peak; this is something thematic funds cannot do because they are bound by their mandates to remain invested in the theme regardless of the valuations.
|January 15, 2008|
|Opening a bank a/c? Buy insurance first!|
For far too long, individuals have been at the receiving end of unfair practices from various entities in the financial services industry. Now it's time to stand up and be counted!
Investing in MFs? Think beyond yourself
Thinking beyond oneself and one's immediate environment is looked upon as a good trait in any person. But when this logic is extended to mutual funds, one might find it surprising. "Shouldn't mutual funds be concentrating on giving returns to the customer?" is a question that comes to mind immediately. Yes, they should.
|January 14, 2008|
|How many accounts should one have?|
Considering the above and a double income family, there would at least be around four to six different accounts. And managing all of them becomes cumbersome and you realise the complexity of the issue when you have to collate this information to give your chartered accountant or financial advisor.
|January 12, 2008|
|Is your fund house opportunistic?|
Speaking of fund houses, it is quite disappointing to note that not all fund houses have taken the 'no load on direct investments' regulation in the right spirit.
|January 05, 2008|
|Top performing mutual funds|
Investors fail to realise the potential of tax-saving investments in contributing towards wealth creation. As a result, it is vital that tax-planning be considered as a part of the investor's overall financial planning and not in isolation.