Sanjay Matai, The Wealth Architects

The Most Authentic Guide on Personal Finance and Investments

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Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18 – Series I : Issue Highlights

The best option for "investing" in gold is undoubtedly the Sovereign Gold Bond.

As an alternative, you can also consider Gold ETF (Exchange Traded Fund).

However, gold jewellery as an investment is an absolute disaster. 

On the parameters Price, Purity and Protection, Sovereign Gold Bonds and Gold ETFs are far (far) superior to jewellery.

Insurance Ombudsman: How To File A Complaint

Do you have a complaint against your insurance company?

If yes, one of the options available — to seek remedy — is the Insurance Ombudsman scheme.

Detailed below are the 20 salient aspects of the same, that you should be aware of.

One. Insurance Ombudsman is a scheme by the Govt. of India to address and resolve the complaints of insurance policyholders — in a cost-effective, efficient and impartial manner without needlessly taking the matters to the court of law.

Free Financial Advice Is Very (Very) Costly Indeed

Many banks, finance companies and even individual financial advisors provide "free" advice on your personal finance and investments.

They are ever ready to conduct free seminars or even personally visit you and offer their "expert opinion" — without any fees — on how you should invest your money; or borrow a loan; or apply for a credit card; etc.

Beware! Listening to them could turn out to be an extremely risky and expensive proposition for your personal finances.

Why?

Family Floater Health Policy: Insure Your Parents Separately

High incidence of illnesses and ailments 

High costs of medical treatment 

High importance of health insurance policy

In this regards, one common dilemma faced by many people is whether (a) to insure each family member individually or (b) take a single insurance policy to cover the entire family. 

The right kind of policy depends on certain key factors such as age of the family members and their medical history.

In general, however, a single policy for all — known as a Family Floater Policy — is quite a convenient and economical option.

Solution To Repeated Hikes In Third Party Insurance Premiums

Update (Apr 18th): IRDAI amends its earlier order and revises the third-party premium rates for 2017-18 announced earlier.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has announced YET ANOTHER steep hike in the premium rates for the third-party vehicle insurance cover.

This has become an annual ritual. 

This year, the small cars and small two-wheelers have been spared. There is no change in the third-party cover premiums for such vehicles. However, bigger capacity cars and bikes will have to pay extra 40% 28% premium in 2017-18.

In this post, we discuss the new premium rates... and how we can probably mitigate the burden of these repeated hikes.

Revised Bank Charges And Other Harmful Bank Practices

It is a sad fact of life, that the weak and the helpless in this world, are often victimized.

As an individual customer of the bank, we fall in the same category.

Despite being always prompt with our home loan EMI payments, we the small individual borrowers are often forced to pay higher rates. Interest rate reductions by the Reserve Bank of India are rarely passed on to us 'in full' or 'in time'. Rate increases, however, happen fully and instantly.

On the contrary, big corporate borrowers get steep discount in their interest rates, more so when they "default" (all in the name debt restructuring).

Post Office Schemes Interest Rates Dip In Q1 2017-18

Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance has declared the interest rates that would be applicable on the Post Office Small Savings Schemes for the quarter April to June 2017.

As you may be aware, this practice of fixing interest rates — on quarterly basis — was introduced in the previous financial year. Prior to that, this resetting was done on an annual basis.

The idea behind this it to be more relevant with the recent trends in market interest rates.

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