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December 31, 2008
Single income? Here's how to manage
For a family, the shift from two incomes to one is a major challenge. Here's how to ease into the new life.

5 must have insurance covers
Life is a string of uncertainties. To minimise the blow they can render, you must have the covers listed here.

How to make an insurance claim
It is important for both the insured and the nominee to know the process of insurance claim settlement. A false step can lead to denial of the benefit for which life cover is bought.

December 30, 2008
7 ways to shortlist the right stocks
In the sea of stocks that are flooding the market, choosing the stock that works best for you is very difficult. Here are a few points that could help you narrow down your search.

December 29, 2008
What everyone must know about CIBIL
As with all mass processing systems that are not dependent on a single source for information, there are quite a few things that could be incorrectly recorded in the credit information reports, which are stored with CIBIL. Here's what to do to have your report corrected...

10 stocks that can earn good returns in 2009
As uncertainties prevail and a revival expected only post second quarter of 2009, it will pay to focus on large cap companies with a proven track record, high earnings visibility and low leverage.

December 26, 2008
5 golden rules of tax planning
Just as rules are important for good living, so also there are some golden rules of tax planning.

Will my job be safe in 2009?
Insurance, telecom, infrastructure, FMCG and energy are unlikely to downsize; Elsewhere, only top performers are safe.

December 24, 2008
Why Satyam's Raju must resign
If it is true that the company pursues wrong business practices, and violates ethical codes, then the only thing that will save the company is a thorough spring-cleaning -- which perhaps can be done only by a completely new management committed to the kind of ethical business practices emphasised in the same field of activity by companies like Wipro and Infosys.

December 22, 2008
Satyam-Maytas deal: Impact on the companies
Though the controversial Satyam-Maytas deal has been called off, regaining investor confidence will be an uphill task.

Why our banks need to be less lazy
When our banks see an enormous increase in returns from their portfolios in government securities, it makes them indifferent towards growing their lending activities and leading to them being accused of 'lazy banking.'

What makes HDFC a safe bet
Strong risk management systems, a diversified loan portfolio and an impeccable track record make HDFC a safe bet.

December 20, 2008
3 undersea cable cuts hit India Net traffic
Three major undersea cables -- the Sea Me We 4, Sea Me We3, and FLAG -- were cut, considerably slowing down India's internet and voice traffic. The extent of the damage is still being assessed.

December 19, 2008
How fake currency funds terror
Investigating agencies claim that the amount of fake currency in India is a shocking Rs 170,000 crore. Reserve Bank of India officials dispute this figure and say that as on July 2008, the total currency available with the Indian public was Rs 603,000 crore and if what the IB is saying is true, then it would mean that 28 per cent of the currency in the country is fake.

Livelihood of 7,000 Mumbai cabbies threatened
Most of the taxis are on the last leg of their journey. The Maharashtra government had set the deadline of December 3 for phasing out taxis that were more than 25 years old.

December 18, 2008
'IIT-ians have brought glory to the country'
In the global arena, they are salient members of scientific and research community, leaders of corporations VCs and entrepreneurs. When one takes a broad view, the fact that they bring glory to the country of origin is something to feel proud of.

'IIT-ians have created a global brand'
The biggest contribution of IIT is the brand that they have created at the global level. The IIT brand commands respect for capability and excellence of a very high order in most academic institutions, corporate circles across a wide range of industries, and even government.

IIT-Madras director on IITs and Pan-IIT event
Rediff.com guest columnist Yogesh K Upadhyaya talks with Prof M S Ananth to get his views on wide-ranging academic issues and also on the Pan-IIT 2008 meet, which is going to be held at the IIT Madras between December 19 and December 21.

What the home loan rate cut plan lacks
The government needs to do some more to get real estate transactions going. One is to figure out a way to bring prices down to more realistic levels, without crossing into the realm of formal controls.

December 17, 2008
Auto parts: 200,000 may lose job; 4,000 units face closure
India's auto component makers are facing one of the biggest crises ever. With the domestic market in the doldrums and the exports to the American market badly hit, many companies are on the verge of shutting down.

December 16, 2008
Looking for a job? Tough days ahead
The slowdown heat is not scalding retail companies alone. At least three top recruiting firms say they have received frantic calls from clients asking them to stop hiring at least for the next couple of quarters.

December 15, 2008
Why debt funds are a safer option for now
In the next 12 months, most sectors are likely to suffer.

December 11, 2008
Every IIT-ian has created 100 jobs: Survey
An Indian Institute of Technology survey says every IIT-ian has created 100 jobs and that every rupee spent on an IIT-ian has 'created an economic impact of Rs 50 at the global level, half of which is India's share'.

12 steps to shock-and-awe Pakistan's economy
Economic destabilisation of Pakistan is imperative for rooting out terror.

December 10, 2008
Reputation hit? What not to do
When your reputation is under attack, do not look for someone to blame, do not weasel out by citing technicalities, and do not sidestep responsibility. The to-do list forms this article. While you read it, send for Amitabh Bachchan

How much diversity is too much?
A diversified workforce can help improve performance and growth, but it has its challenges too

8 things India Inc, govt must do against Pakistan
Let us summarise what the real situation is and what the corporate sector should do if we are serious in fighting terrorism on our soil.

December 09, 2008
The secret of Marico's success
FMCG firm Marico's success lies in its ability to pick its fights, exiting areas where MNC competition is high and concentrating on creating niche segments instead.

November 27, 2008
Mumbai attack: Corporate honchos trapped in Taj safe?
Top executives from Hindustan Unilever (HUL) including chairman Harish Manwani and Nitin Paranjpe, managing director are in the Taj Hotel. Top officials from Ispat Industries are in The Trident, according to media reports. The Ispat office at Nariman point is closed today.

November 26, 2008
Microfinance is thriving, but...
A sea change sweeping the sector, signalling it has come of age. As much as this is a cause for celebration, it is also necessary to ask if all is well with the sector, which way it is going and, most importantly, which way it ought to go, says .

Why strong forex reserves are vital!
It is undeniable that India's foreign exchange reserves have helped in limiting the impact of the financial crisis. If India had gone into the crisis with $100 or even $150 billion of reserves instead of $300 billion, the rupee would have declined more steeply, more quickly. China with its nearly $2 trillion of reserves suffered very little effect on the currency, says .

Equal pay for equal work?
The principle of equal pay for equal work, made enforceable so far, that too by a Supreme Court fiat, is all but buried, says .

November 25, 2008
Why India's education system is losing out...
Indians spend Rs 11,800 crore a year on a US education as there simply aren't enough good universities here, says .

Why Dabur needed Fem
Fem Care is a good addition to the portfolio because Dabur didn't have a presence in the skin care space. What Fem Care brings to the table is a strong product portfolio -- comprising bleaches, hair removing creams and liquid soaps -- which is complementary to Dabur's Gulabari skin-care range.

November 24, 2008
Important tips for stock market investors
Now, more than ever, is the time to run rigorous quality checks on stocks. Tests on debt, cost and cash levels will show a company's financial health.

How good are these bank products?
Banks have innovated with products and services to make them customer-friendlier. Check out if they really work for you.

Crisis: Why HDFC Bank will not be hit
HDFC Bank's track record of consistent growth with high profit margins and robust risk management systems bode well for the future.

Real estate: 7 common mistakes to avoid
In bad times, informed investors, too, end up making mistakes in the real estate market. Here's how to avoid the pitfalls

November 21, 2008
Financial crisis: Why bailouts are not the answer
It is far better for the companies (which have continued to stress the production of gas-guzzlers because they are more profitable) to file for bankruptcy if and when they run out of cash, and then undertake the long-delayed restructuring of their businesses under creditor protection.

November 20, 2008
Why insurance against job loss is necessary
If those rendered unemployed are to be given the NREG equivalent of Rs 60 per day for say, 300 days in a year, it works out to an annual payment of Rs 18,000. For every lakh persons rendered unemployed for the full year, this means an outflow of Rs 180 crore. Bring in the actuarial probability of this happening in each industry, divide the premium over the large work force, and the scheme could even be self-financing.

November 17, 2008
Tax implications for mutual fund investors
The amount of tax will depend on the holding period of the fund. Short-term (less than a year) profit from the fund is added to your income and will be taxed according to your income slab. In case of redemption made after one year, the long-term capital gains tax will be charged.

How the mobile phone can power banking
There is need for a continued pragmatic approach to foster the adoption of mobile banking services in India, says .

Philanthropy in hard times
United Way, an alliance of MNCs and social agents, works on a belief that philanthropy finds new ways of giving in times of economic distress, says .

November 12, 2008
Online trading: Woes and solutions
The convenience expected from online brokers can prove to be illusory. To keep it real, you need to do a few things right.

November 11, 2008
10 truths of getting rich through stocks
You will truly profit from investing only when you have a clear appreciation of its principles and realities. Once you understand these, you will be better able to keep a cool mind during the inevitable ups and downs -- and reap riches by investing with controlled risks.

The ad battle in DTH space
All gloves are off in the still nascent but lucrative direct-to-home space.

In India real estate gets unreal
For now, it's best to leave the real estate sector alone and focus government time and money on real low-cost, rental housing

November 10, 2008
Cricket faces advertising spend cuts
The figure could amount to 20-24% of the budget for sports in 2008-09.

November 07, 2008
Will Time permit this talented economist to make an impression?
Raghuram Rajan, the PM's honorary economic advisor, said in 2006, 'It is important for India to exchange its paternalistic, directive government, which seeks to remedy every wrong through a subsidy, a quota, or a scheme, for one that creates an enabling environment for the people and unleashes their entrepreneurial zeal.' Two years later, his words seem prescient. But how much of what he says should be done will be done by the government in the limited tenure it has left.

November 06, 2008
Why more economic pain awaits US
There will be a double whammy for the engine of US economic growth: falling consumer demand and a shift from current consumption to future saving.

November 05, 2008
Chinese-made small car from Singur?
China's First Automobile Works and Ural India might get the Singur land to set up an automobile manufacturing plant.

Powered by privatisation
Distribution losses in the power sector soared after nationalisation and then fell once they were privatised. The wheel has turned full circle.

Will Sebi's stock borrowing scheme work?
If the stock lending and borrowing scheme is to take off, the duration for which stocks are lent needs to be much longer; in Western markets, stocks are loaned for as long as six months and are far more flexible, with put and call options built in. In other words, the lender and the borrower can call for the shares or the money, even before the contract ends.

Finance crisis: The impact on exports, imports
Exports in dollar terms grew by a rather subdued 10.4 per cent over September 2007. This still takes the growth rate for the first six months of 2008-09 to a creditable 30.9 per cent, which is significantly above the 18.2 per cent achieved during the corresponding period last year, when the global economy performed much better. Imports, on the other hand, surged by 43.6 per cent in September with oil imports growing by over 50 per cent.

November 04, 2008
Don't get cheated online... here's how
Security experts say the first rule to avoid falling into a hacker's trap is to never give out passwords, pin and other personal details to anyone or any website. Never respond to emails that seek personal information. When you access your net-banking facility, check for security certificates. Change your password often.

November 01, 2008
Rebuilding New Orleans: 10 coolest innovators
alldaybuffet, a group of creative professionals focused on social innovation, created the New Orleans 100.

How to avoid making a bad presentation
How to prevent bad PowerPoint from happening to good people

October 31, 2008
It's a good time to hire
With salary expectations a lot more realistic now, firms can finally hire the employees they could never afford.

October 29, 2008
The economics that drives the politics of Raj Thackeray
While India had grown for the past three decades at approximately six per cent per annum, states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra which are to the 'Right' of this line grew much faster rate than the national average.

How to master the art of winning
When success is defined by how fast you change with the dynamic socio-economic environment, there are no standard solutions.

October 24, 2008
Biggest falls in Indian stock market history
The rise and fall of the Sensex has been dizzying.

October 22, 2008
Singh and the Sensex
As prime minister, Dr Singh is obviously more worried about growth, inflation and rural jobs

'Is firing labour the only solution for India Inc?'
Clearly not. But to take the case of the Indian airline industry which is in the news, its fleet must be cut by a fifth but it can't do this unless it also has the right to fire workers.

October 20, 2008
Global crisis: How are Indian banks faring?
While the recent moves by the RBI has eased the near-term liquidity pressure for banks, there are concerns pertaining to profitability and asset quality that need to be watched, says .

Investment tips for crisis times
Stick to disciplined investing. Do your homework thoroughly before committing your funds or you will be speculating. This is not advisable on both counts of managing risk and enhancing returns. Preferably, add companies that are leaders in their respective businesses. The companies should have reasonably decent prospects, sound management and strong entry barriers, apart from healthy financials that will help them tide the current rough patch.

Meet the men behind Emami's success
If there is one distinctive quality that marks out R S Agarwal, 62 ,chairman, Emami Ltd, and R S Goenka, 61, joint chairman, Emami, it is their constant restless energy and creativity.

Jobs: Security guards, the most exploited
Private security industry is now five-million strong, but lack of rules ensures that the guards are exploited, says a report by trade unions.

October 15, 2008
Paul Krugman: Economist, columnist, Nobel laureate
If writing newspaper columns merited Nobel prizes, Indians would have many more of them. But Professor Krugman is also amongst the most eminent academic economists in the US. He was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 1991; the award is given every alternate year to an American economist under the age of 40. Twelve of the first 23 have gone on to win Nobel prizes.

Should short-selling be banned?
A ban on futures would lower liquidity and make the markets more volatile. In any case, the recent US experience shows such bans don't stop markets from falling.

October 14, 2008
How Kashkari plans to implement the $700-bn bailout plan
The following are Interim US Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Neel Kashkari's remarks before the Institute of International Bankers.

Why she has total faith in ICICI Bank
Such is her faith in ICICI Bank, its joint MD continues to invest all her savings in the bank's stock and remains unfazed by the hammering it has taken.

End of the new economy, among others
Market shake-ups often lead to re-allocation of capital

October 13, 2008
Singur & the Nano impact
The dice appears to be loaded heavily in favour of the Left parties.

October 08, 2008
Why industrialists prefer Modi to Buddha
Industrialists always like to deal with governments that are stable, can take quick decisions and are capable of handling political opposition to any idea or project they support.

October 06, 2008
Tax caution: Don't invest out of allowances
Investments made by an employee out of the tax free allowances will cause any problem with the income tax authorities?

October 03, 2008
How rupee fall will hit Indian IT giants
Indian technology firms have been grappling with a slowdown in the United States economy, one of their biggest markets that contributes almost 50-60 per cent of revenues.

September 26, 2008
Has India over-sold itself?
The celebratory mood that is often displayed by a rapidly growing middle class (aided and abetted by chest-thumping protagonists in the media) may not suggest it, but in truth the rest of the world looks at India with greater detachment and therefore with a clear eye, whether it is its infrastructure inadequacies or Jammu & Kashmir. And what it probably sees is a society that is a long way from being accident-free.

September 24, 2008
Should we go slow on financial sector reforms?
India will gain from financial reforms but the US crisis shows a gradual pace that takes into account the country's regulatory abilities is more likely to work.

September 22, 2008
US meltdown: 5 lessons for investors
The financial meltdown abroad should serve as a lesson for the investor. Save well for troubled times.

2 plans to help you buy low and sell high
"Buy when there is blood on the street," advised the legendary investor, Baron Rothschild. But it takes enormous courage to buy when there is widespread gloom and panic around. However, once you decide your right investment mix between wealth-growing but volatile investment avenues, such as shares, and wealth-protecting ones such as bonds or bank deposits, formula plans can help you automatically achieve the golden key to stock market riches--buy low and sell high.

September 19, 2008
How the global financial crisis affects India
The big risk is a possible repeat of what happened in 1996: Projects that are halfway to completion, or companies that are stuck with cash flow issues on businesses that are yet to reach break even, will run out of cash.

September 17, 2008
When a sub-prime earthquake hits
The immediate challenge facing Indian firms will be the consolidation that will take place in the Western financial services industry as leading firms go belly up and are quickly taken over by the handful of firms which have not lost either their capital or the ability to raise fresh funds. The consolidation in the industry will affect not just its own staffing but also the vendors. With severe cuts in budgets all round, outsourcing spend is likely to be affected.

Will Singur-type problems hit investment growth?
Since most projects can be shifted to other states, the problem will be minimal, especially if industry can find ways to make farmers partners in their profits.

September 15, 2008
Falling currency, rising returns
For investor in overseas mutual funds, a falling currency means higher profits.

Credit card caution: use it wisely
Impulsive plastic money spenders face the prospect of paying interest rates in excess of 40 per cent a year.

September 13, 2008
Europe on sale -- now, buy that
Charmant property is available in old Europe for less than the price of a dream farmhouse.

Professional tax may triple to Rs 7,500
With a view to increasing the revenues of state governments and local bodies, the central government has decided to raise the ceiling on professional tax.

September 11, 2008
Chidambaram a hurdle to exports growth: Kamal Nath
Kamal Nath has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention to resolve over 50 issues which, because of the finance minister's hurdles, have posed many a problem. Nath has stressed that if these issues were resolved in time, "we can achieve growth targets set for industrial production and exports in the remaining months."

'I see no reason why Singur issue can't be resolved'
Chittotosh Mukherjee, former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, was the legal advisor to West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who chaired the meeting between Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee to resolve the Singur deadlock.

Averting financial crisis -- is govt takeover the answer?
If the US, amongst the most mature and efficiently regulated systems in the world, will not shy away from government takeovers of bankrupt institutions to avert a crisis, why is this not a legitimate action by other governments as well?

September 09, 2008
Kalpana Morparia: A banker with a difference
From watching films on their opening weekend to shopping like there is no tomorrow, life is swinging at 60 for this former joint-MD of ICICI Bank.

September 08, 2008
Should you invest in sugar stocks?
The declining sugarcane acreage and the resultant lower sugar output may be supportive of firm sugar prices. However, there are other reasons that suggest that the sugar pill may not be as sweet as it seems.

September 05, 2008
Power play: Price vs availability
A higher price of power in the short term is therefore the route to ensure lower prices of power in the long term, through supply augmentation. Price caps will most certainly choke such investment in generation, and in the process widen the demand-supply gap in the long run.

Why won't they decontrol sugar?
The Cabinet's reluctance to approve the food and consumer affairs ministry's proposal to decontrol sugar is hard to understand -- especially when supplies are comfortable and set to improve further because of the dismantling of the sugar buffer of 5 million tonnes. Besides, the fresh crushing season is beginning next month. Yet, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has put on hold the move to do away with the 10 per cent sugar levy and the monthly release mechanism.

September 04, 2008
Need a small, cheap, effective laptop?
You have two new options -- Asus's Eee PC 1000H and Acer's Aspire One. Both, says , are worth your attention.

No winners if Nano project is moved
If Tata pulls out now, it will be a huge blow to the state, and will be expensive for Tata too, as the company has irretrievable sunk cost in Singur of between Rs 350 crore (Rs 3.5 billion) and Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion). Among the will be Mamata Banerjee, who will find it hard to live down the ignominy of having deprived her state of a project that has made news the world over.

14 tax tricks and traps when buying property
With incomes rising, property and home purchases have grown exponentially in recent years. Being large-ticket investments, it's important to be savvy about the tax breaks and pitfalls that lie en-route.

September 02, 2008
US: Still a growth engine
It is all the more remarkable that this acceleration took place in a period when the dollar was mostly appreciating against other currencies. The fact that imports declined by over 7 per cent meant that the external sector contributed hugely to the acceleration in the growth rate.

Cashless settlement: All you need to know
Cashless settlement, the norm in health policies today, is often marred by delays, rejections and mistakes. You can help yourself by knowing the processes involved and what you need to do

September 01, 2008
Kris Gopalakrishnan: We aim for the best margins in the industry
Infosys's soft-spoken CEO resides a great strategist, capable of executing arduous tasks without making too much of a noise, discovers .

FTA: Towards a lucrative regional market
The FTA will provide Indian trade and industry with access to a large and vibrant market in a region that is increasingly prosperous. This market is bound to expand further as the Asean trading bloc is already in talks with countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand for free or preferential trade pacts.

Don't worry about the economic slowdown
Forecasters have been converging in the 7.5-8 per cent range when it comes to growth for the full year, and the first-quarter numbers are consistent with that. Yet, it seems the underlying trend is strong enough to limit the damage caused by the downturn, a factor critical to sustaining investment levels in the economy.

Infosys to thrive on Axon boost
The strategic buyout of Axon will increase Infosys' share in the high-growth SAP segment and consolidate its position in Europe.

Incurring losses? Don't be scared, here's help
Losses on various financial transactions can be set off against gains, which leads to reduction in tax liability.

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