Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ten key money tips for parents when a new baby is expected

Having a baby is one of the greatest joys in one’s life.

However, it also brings about a monumental change in our responsibilities, which can appear daunting and intimidating if not planned well in advance.

So here's a short and sweet 10-point check-list to make sure that the transition into parenthood is both smooth and joyful.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beware, Mutual Fund rankings cannot be applied blindly

Investors are generally averse to working hard. They rarely do any meaningful due diligence before making any investments. Therefore, they are always on the look out for shortcuts.

Accordingly, when it comes to investing in the mutual funds, the fund rankings make life really simple. They simply choose a few "top rated" funds and feel happy about it.

Independent and reputed companies such as CRISIL, Valueresearchonline, Moneycontrol.com etc. offer unbiased opinion. Hence, there is no denying that their mutual fund rankings carry a lot of credibility.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Price-to-Sales ratio : Unearth the hidden diamonds

Many parameters have to be ascertained before you can say "good buy" to a particular stock... or smartly bid it a "good bye". In the past, I have already touched upon these pivotal qualities of an equity share that can deliver stunning returns.

The world's most successful investors and fund managers use some mix or the other, of these key attributes, to identify the stocks they would like to pick up.

Among these, Price-to-Sales ratio ranks as one of the important characteristics.

Also termed as Market Cap-to-Sales ratio, the formula to calculate the same is as under:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

No Super Top-up health insurance could prove disastrous

Expenses on medical treatments are exorbitant... and ballooning day-by-day at a very steep rate. Therefore, it is imperative that you should
(a) Have adequate health insurance cover, and
(b) Regularly review and enhance it without fail.

If not, even one illness in the family could cause extensive damage to your finances. In fact, you will routinely come across people who literally turned penniless overnight after a hospitalization in the family.

As it is, very few people are insured for medical exigencies. And even those who have health insurance cover, are typically insured for an inconsequential sum of about Rs.1-3 lakhs only. This, you would agree, is a pittance today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Don't bank on Home Loan insurance from your Bank

Property prices are exorbitant and becoming expensive day by day. Accordingly, your loan amounts too work out to monstrous sums... anything around Rs.50 lakhs to Rs.1 crore is not uncommon today. This is an enormous level of indebtedness.

The home loan tenure... at normally around 15-20 years... too is a considerably long time period.

Both 'high amounts' and 'long tenures', expose your family to stupendous levels of risk if you were to meet with any unfortunate eventuality. Surely, you can't leave them unprotected!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Intelligent Investor is by far the best investment book

You cannot learn and master any language without first knowing its alphabets and grammar. Similarly, you cannot learn and master equity investing until you have learnt its alphabets and grammar. And, I sincerely believe that the best resource to do so is the book The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, updated with new commentary by Jason Zwieg.

In the words of Warren Buffett this is "by far the best book about investing ever written". If fact, he adds that "For me, Ben Graham was far more than an author or a teacher. More than any other man except my father, he influenced my life." And his success mantra to becoming one of the richest men on earth is the principle of Value Investing pioneered by Benjamin Graham.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Simplified Bank KYC makes aam aadmi's life simple

Since the introduction of KYC (Know Your Customer) norms, opening of bank accounts had become a very tedious affair [Read 'Oh no! Not again! RBI revises the KYC guidelines yet again...']. Of course, the underlying intention — to curb black money or use of banking channels for criminal activities — was well appreciated.

But in the process, the small and honest customers, had to unintentionally suffer many inconveniences. Appreciating this, RBI has from time to time introduced many relaxations in the KYC norms. And to bring these simplifications to the notice of general public, it has now launched a public awareness campaign.

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