Monday, July 15, 2019

Advantage of being rich

What do you thing rich people are doing in real world? They are constantly flying to Bahamas, drinking champagne and party hopping . Well, let me share the life style of one real -seriously rich man I know.
He is up at about 5 am and hits the home gym. His instructor comes in at 5.15 and leaves at about 6 am, then this man does his treadmill, and by the time it is 7 am he is ready for break fast. By 7.45 he is in office checking out his emails etc. – he has a rule that he does not do any business at home – not even checking his emails. Almost all his mails get marked to his secy and the secy checks them – and an occasional emergency call is attended to. He tells me he attends to one such call in a week – and he is trying to make it once a fortnight.
He works pretty long hours but tries to be back home by 7 pm for his dinner. Not a party animal at all, he tries to get one/ two days holiday when he goes on his plant visits. Twoof his plants are near very beautiful spots, so he goes on long walks/treks – sometimes with family. He is a sports enthusiast and tries catching some important games – Wimbeldon, a one-day in Australia,..etc. which is invariably along with a business trip.
There are some real advantages of being rich. At least in India the real rich need not stand in a queue to buy groceries or get their car serviced – these can be handled by servants. Now even if you are reasonably rich – say Rs. 10/20 crores you get some of these advantages. For example you could go to Super market at 11 am on a Monday – and be out of the shop in exactly 18 minutes with all the things that you need. You get to choose the time of your meetings – , the fact that you can meet at 12 noon instead of 10 am allows you to beat the  the traffic crowd.
you do not really trade your time for ‘earning’ money. Your money can do that for you. You get to choose with whom to work, what work to do, how long to work, and that is really huge. You get to choose to work with people you like and do the work you love to do. Only as you get older can you appreciate this really.
You avoid a lot of social pressure - When you are on your own and you could be off social pressure – which car you drive, where you eat out, what dress…..imagine how stress free life can be. You can go to the gym at 10am when the trainer is free and has nothing to do except attend to you. No pressure of attending to 3 people at a time because you have gone at 6am! You can really take care of your health – home meals and that too on time
Huge impact on your body – with infinite RoI.
You can read – again an activity with infinite RoI. 
Being wealthy means you can spend on whatever you want. However it does not mean you will spend on things that you do not need. It is like being in a 5 star breakfast menu – you have tons of sugar, maida, deep fried items – your money gives you the choice. You end up eating some fruits and idli!!
Money gives you the choice. Hope you will have the wisdom to make the right choice.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Are you investing enough to sustaining your life style in future?

AM I investing enough to sustaining my family's life style in future? . This is the question will most of the person's mind considering the cost of living we are going through now.

For this I have prepared the below sheet considering various age and monthly expenses . This will help you to understand what is the monthly income required in future considering inflation.
Also what is corpus amount required after my active employment/business income ends(may be at age 55/60) and till my last day(80 years).

How to read this sheet?

For example if my age is 35 years and monthly expense is Rs 30,000 ,considering 6% inflation I need Rs 96,214 monthly after 20 years(2039) , Rs 172,305 monthly after 30 years(2049) to manage monthly expenses.

What if after my retirement?
Say if you retiring after 20 years (2039) at age of 55 years , you need to create a retirement corpus of Rs 23,274,641(2.32 Crores) .This is to withdraw monthly Rs 96,214 (equal to Rs 30,000 monthly expenses today(2019) ) till age of life expectancy assumed 80 years (with 6% increase year on year considering inflation)

How much I need to invest to achieve ?
Option 1 : Invest Rs  23,294 Monthly via equity mutual funds assuming 12% annualized returns
Option 2 : Invest Rs  39,252 Monthly via FDs,PPF,EPF,Pension Plans, ULIPs , Insurance plans assuming 8% annualized returns(even though some of them gives less than 8% ,i assumed 8% as average for simple calculation purpose)

With this sheet, you can get
1. an idea about your future monthly expenses need including inflation
2. What is your retirement corpus required?
3. How much investment required with different investment products likw Equity Mutual Funds, FD,EPF,PPF,Sukanya Smrithi, ULIP,Pension plans etc
4.If you are already investing check if there is any gap in the investment required amount

Hope this helps . Happy Investing & Secure your future life style :-)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Why my overall returns from Mutual Funds is less than my current FD rates(6%)?

Why my overall returns from Mutual Funds is less than my current FD rates(6%)?

This is the question i get today from most of my mutual fund clients.To clarify this i take one investor who has invested in L&T Hybrid Equity fund ,which is an balanced fund(in old context to keep it simple) which invests 65-75% in direct equity(stocks) and 35-25% in Fixed income products like Bonds,NCD,Gilts etc from year 2015.

you can see first 18 investments from oct'15 till Dec'16 he has got more than 8% annualized returns in all cases that is  invested above 800 days

Let us see what happend after this

you can see investments made 1 year(365 days) before till 799 days he has got less than +8% to -4% varies.

Let us take the overall investment how it looks like

His overall investment has given +3.5% returns which is less than the current FD interest rates (6%). Sounds right? No. It is not true. 

Observation 1

Out of overall 57 installments made from Oct'15 to till date (mar'19) only first 18 installments given above +8% annualized returns that is invested above 800 days

Observation 2

Out of overall 57 installments made from Oct'15 to till date (mar'19) last 39 installments given less than +8% to -4% varies that is invested less than 800 days

Observation 3

Considering observation 1 &2 the overall investment return +3.5% didn't paint the true story. Isn't it? So you can't make right decision (With drawl/Stop SIP/Switch to other scheme).Hope you are clear now



So if you stay invested in this fund based of last 4 year history ,for more than 800 days for each SIP installment you can expect more than +8% returns which is +2% excess in existing FD rates(6%) that too taking only 65-75% direct equity or stocks exposure.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

25 years of wealth creation through Mutual Funds

Two of India’s oldest equity schemes - Franklin India Bluechip Fund and Franklin India Prima Fund have completed 25 years of wealth creation. Both these schemes were launched in December 1993.Both the schemes were launched by India’s first private sector fund house Kothari Pioneer Mutual Fund, which was later acquired by Franklin Templeton India.

If Rs 10000 invested in 1993 has growth as below.
Franklin India Prima Fund - RS 907,208(Nine Lakhs seven thousand two hundred and eight rupees) at 19.75% annualized return
Franklin India Bluechip Fund - RS 1,062,399(Ten Lakhs sixty two thousand three hundred and ninety nine rupees) at 20.51% annualized return

We can learn below three lessons that come out clearly through this wealth creation journey:
  • Successful Investing is not a short-term process.  It involves years of following a proven philosophy, rigorous process and continuous refinement.
  • Markets keep throwing opportunities; Catch the ones that you are most convinced about.  There is nothing wrong in missing a few that are beyond our comprehension.
  • Stay disciplined i.e. don’t lose conviction at the wrong moments. More damage can be done when long-held beliefs are traded for short-term gains.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Mutual Fund Investment consolidated statement

A consolidated mutual fund (MF) account statement means that you can see all your MF holdings across fund houses in one statement. You may have an old MF investment through a distributor, whose details you may have forgotten.

With a consolidated statement, you can get details or a summary of all your MF investments across fund houses in one place. This statement gets updated once a month for transactions in funds serviced by the four R&T agents in India—CAMS, Karvy Computershare Pvt. Ltd, FT Asset Management (I) Ltd, and Sundaram BNP Paribas Fund Services.

To get a consolidated report, go to the website of either an R&T agent or fund house, enter your email address and Permanent Account Number (PAN) (this is optional) and select a password. An email will be sent to you and a statement can be retrieved from it. You can choose to get a summary statement with just your account balance, number of units and value, or a detailed statement, which will have individual transactions listed.
Statements are based on individual PAN-identified folios. Folios held jointly will not get aggregated with your single holder folios. Through this statement, you can get all financial transaction related details such as systematic investment plans (SIPs), switches and dividends, among other things.
You can also get a capital gains statement from and across MF investments.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

6 important To Dos in your Mid Career (Early 40's)

When you reach your early 40s, you are approaching the mid-point of your career. You already worked for about twenty years, assuming you began your career in your early 20s and you have about 20 years to reach your retirement age. This stage of your life is very important both from a career and financial planning perspective for the following reasons:-
  1. By the time you are in your early 40s, you are likely to be in middle management or senior management role. Your income, therefore, likely to be much higher than the earlier stages of your career. With higher disposable incomes you should be able to save more.

  2. This is the stage of your life, when you are more settled both from a career and family lifestyle standpoints. The lifestyle, you have in your forties, is most likely what you want to have for the rest of your life. We aspire for more improvement in our life, but a cutback in lifestyle is usually very difficult for us.

  3. While people today have much more mobility in their careers, compared to what people had a generation back, increasing age of the family does impose constraints on mobility. With your family settled and your children in middle or high school, relocating to new city for work, is often seen undesirable. For some people significant investment in property can also cause them to have restricted geographical mobility. Unless you have sufficient career opportunities in your city, restricted mobility can put constraints on career growth. If you have restricted mobility and if you think that there are not ample career opportunities, you need to factor in early retirement in your financial planning.

  4. Early 40s is the stage of life, when you start approaching important goals like children’s college education, marriage and your own retirement. If you have been saving for these goals from the start of your career, then you should be comfortable. However, if you have been saving adequately, for a sufficiently long period of time, then this is time when you should get very serious about your long term goals.

  5. The forties are the time, when the first warning signs come up on the health radar. Health risks in the 40s in these times are much higher than what it was one or two generations back, due to environment pollution and lifestyle related issues. A serious illness can cause severe financial stress to your family and you must guard your family against health related financial risks.
The above reasons make it imperative that, you check off some important financial planning to-dos when you reach the mid-point of your career in your early 40s. In this post we will discuss 6 important mid-career financial planning to-dos.

Build financial contingency for unexpected risks

No one expects loss of employment at the prime of their career, but in this age uncertainty has become the new normal. While increasing globalization has resulted in more opportunities for us, it also exposes us to be impacted by global risks. Over the 10 years or so, it has been observed that, business cycles are becoming shorter and economic uncertainties increasing. It is easier to deal with uncertainty when you are younger, but dealing with financial uncertainty becomes increasingly difficult with age and responsibilities. When you are younger, you have lesser obligations and more career opportunities. When you are in your forties, career opportunities become limited while the financial obligations towards your family increases.
Prudent financial planning calls for setting up a contingency fund that can meet three to six months of expenses, in the event of an unexpected job loss. The contingency funds should be very liquid, so that you can draw from it as and when you need to meet your daily, weekly or monthly expenses. Most Indians keep their short term funds parked in bank savings accounts, but liquid funds can be better savings options for contingency funds, because they usually give much higher returns than savings bank accounts while providing almost as much liquidity (except on non business days) as provided by your savings bank account. If you have adequate contingency funds, you can use it, to meet your regular expenses without liquidating your long term investments, till the time it takes you to find a suitable opportunity and return to full time employment.

Reduce debt burden and have plan to be debt free in the near term future

Debt comes in many forms but invariably has a cost (interest) associated with it. Often we are not even aware of the magnitude of these costs, but if a significant part of your savings goes towards interest payments, it can be damaging to your financial future. By the time you reach your forties, the only debt that you should have is your home loan. If you have any other kind of debt, like credit card loans, personal loans, automobile loans, etc prioritize and pay them off with a high sense of urgency.
These kinds of debts are mostly related to lifestyle aspirations but the cost of servicing them can have long term implications Once you have paid off the short term debt, focus on your long term debt. Home loan is the most common long term debt of middle income households. The cost of home loan is huge and many households are not even aware about the magnitude of the cost. The cost is huge for three reasons. Home loans are multiple times larger compared to other classes of household debts. The tenure of a home loan is multiple times that of a car loan and other classes of household debt. Longer the tenure of a loan, higher is the interest paid over the tenure.
Since the home loan principal is usually a large amount, it is not always possible to repay the principal in a short period of time. But when you reach your early forties, you must try to reduce your interest burden in an accelerated time-frame, otherwise it will surely have long term financial implications as a big part of your monthly savings will go towards EMI payments leaving very little for other important financial goals. Set yourself a prepayment target every year and prepay your principal at a regular frequency (quarterly, semi-annual or on an annual basis). Over the past year or so, we have seen interest rates softening in India. This is a great time to prepay your principal, so that you can take the dual advantage of lower interest rates and lower loan balance.

Ensure that you have adequate health cover for your entire family

Health is the most important aspect of our lives. As discussed earlier, your family’s health risks are higher when you and your spouse reach your 40s. Also men are more susceptible to some specific health risks in their 40s, while women in 40s are more susceptible to other health related issues. Therefore, you should ensure that, you have comprehensive health insurance cover for your entire family. Further, if you are financially responsible for the healthcare needs of your senior citizen parents, then health insurance becomes even more critical.
If your employer provides health insurance benefit to you and your family, you should review the health plan benefits, including sum insured, co-pay terms and exclusions carefully and evaluate if it provides comprehensive coverage for your entire family’s health needs. If your employer’s health plan is not adequate for your needs, you should take separate health or medical insurance plan for your family. Buying separate Mediclaim for your family also makes sense because if for any reason you have to leave your employer and is not able to find a suitable opportunity immediately; your family will be without health insurance cover for the period, you are between jobs. If, unfortunately, there is a serious illness in the family then it will cause financial stress to your family.

Ensure that you have adequate life insurance protection for your family

In our blog, we have repeatedly stressed on the importance of life insurance in financial planning. Unfortunately, people make some very basic and potentially damaging mistakes, when buying life insurance. Many life insurance buyers choose their life insurance covers based on the plans their insurance agents want to sell and how much premium they can afford. This is a wrong approach. Your life insurance cover should be adequate to meet the income needs of your family in the event of an untimely death. It should also be able to meet the future aspirations of your family, including your children’s education and marriage.
If your life insurance cover is not adequate, your loved ones are likely to endure financial stress and compromise on their aspirations, in the event of an unfortunate death. Other common life insurance mistakes include treating it as a savings scheme for children’s future or retirement with the expectation of certain maturity amount as promised by their insurance agents. Treating life insurance primarily as a Section 80C tax saving investment is another mistake, which many of us make.
Life insurance should be treated purely as a financial instrument for risk protection. Treating life insurance policies as savings or investment schemes has two harmful financial consequences. It causes us to be under-insured and gives us sub-optimal returns on investment. The early 40s is a good time to review your life insurance needs. As discussed earlier in the post, this is the stage of life, when you are more settled from a lifestyle perspective. A life insurance cover bought when you were younger and had lower income, may not be sufficient to sustain the current lifestyle needs of your family.
If you need additional cover to meet your family’s lifestyle needs, buy additional term life cover. Also, if you made some of the other life insurance mistakes discussed here, earlier in your career, now is the time to correct it. Review your life insurance policies carefully, and if they are not suitable for your insurance and investment goals, you should consider surrendering the policies, buy term life insurance and invest the savings in premium in suitable investment options to meet your financial goals.
This is also a time, when you should consider buying a critical illness and personal accident covers. Critical illnesses and severe accidents, can result in very high medical expenses, which you may not able to get reimbursed through your Mediclaim policy. Further, critical illnesses and temporary or permanent disability caused by accidents can impair your ability to work, resulting in a loss of income for your family over a protracted period of time. Critical illness and personal accident covers, protect you and your family against such serious financial risks.

Invest for your child’s education

College and professional education in India is getting more expensive every year. Historical data, over the past decade or so, has shown that Inflation rates are highest in the education and healthcare sectors. A few years back, I read a post written by well known personal finance blogger in the US, known for her astute and sometimes counter-intuitive observations.. The blogger wrote that, in the US, people are getting married than before and, therefore, are having children at an older age compared to their parents and grandparents. This trend, by the way, is being seen in India also.
This blogger suggested young people to get married earlier and have children at a younger age; otherwise they may end up compromising on their retirement planning. In my opinion, people should get married when they want to and have children when they decide. Happiness and personal fulfilment should be the main purpose of life; not a large retirement nest egg, if it comes at the cost of happiness.
If your children’s higher education and marriage is too close to your retirement, managing multiple financial planning priorities becomes a difficult balancing act, unless you have saved enough at a younger age to meet both your children’s and your retirement goals. Given the high rate of inflation in education, Your child’s higher education and wedding expenses can easily add up to be 10 years of your savings.
Therefore, it is imperative that you start saving and investing for your child’s future early in your career. If for whatever reason, you have not been able to save for your children’s education and marriage, you must start planning for these important objectives when you are in your early 40s. How much you have to save and where to invest, will depend on your personal situation, including the age of your children, your family’s aspirations, your assets and liabilities, your income and savings etc. If required, you should consult, with a financial planner and build a suitable financial action plan.

Invest in Retirement Planning

Many of us, in India, do not pay sufficient attention to retirement planning until it is too late. It is typical human nature, to pay much more attention to short term needs, at the cost of long term needs. What is more disturbing to me is the fact that, we prioritize relatively trivial short term needs over long term needs. We often take retirement planning for granted, even in our 40s, because we hope that we will have our jobs forever. But the reality is that, corporate careers are getting increasingly shorter because changing market and technology dynamics, calls for new skills which older (relatively speaking) people can struggle with. Finding a new career opportunity suited to your career aspirations becomes exponentially more difficult as you age. People in their 40s should realize this and prepare themselves financially for such an eventuality. Even if you are able to work till the age of 60, retirement planning is not a walk in the park, for the simple reason that, we work for about 40 years, earn money, save a portion of it, and then live on those savings for the next 30 years after we retire 
The earlier you start planning for your retirement, the easier your task is. The later you start the more challenging the task becomes. If for whatever reason, you have not been able to save and invest for your retirement, and even if you were, you were not able to accumulate a sufficiently large nest egg by the time you are in your 40s, this is time when you must have a retirement plan in place.
You need to have a clear vision of what your retired life will look like. As we go through various stages of life, the goal post of retirement planning may keep shifting. By the time you are in 40s, you have more clarity about your long term aspirations, than when you were in your 20s or 30s. The important questions to ask at this stage are, what your lifestyle related expenses are, how much income you need to sustain your inflation adjusted lifestyle expenses, where will you want to settle after your retirement, will you continue to live in your current home or shift to a different house, will you like to start a business after retirement, will you like to retire early, so on and so forth. You then need to develop a suitable retirement plan or refine your retirement plan, if you have one in the first place, and start executing on it.
The early 40s is a very important stage of our lives, both from a personal and professional perspective. This period in life, for many of us, can be described as the prime of our working careers. This stage of life is also extremely important from a financial planning perspective. In our early 40s, we have more visibility into our longer term aspirations and challenges that we have had before in our lives. In this post, we discussed 6 important financial planning to-dos that we must review and ensure that we are on track to achieve success in our long term financial goals.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Impact of Wrong Decisions in Personal Finance

We have all made mistakes in past and most likely would also make mistakes in future. Making mistakes is not crime but is something human in nature.However, we must learn from past mistakes and failure to do so is most undesirable. When it comes to personal finance decisions, the best way of learning is by analyzing the opportunity cost for our bad decisions.

Opportunity Cost:
But before we start, let us first understand what is 'opportunity cost'. The opportunity cost can be understood as
  • the cost of doing any action measured in value terms of the best alternative that is not chosen or is foregone.
  • a sacrifice value of the second best choice available to someone who has picked among multiple choices
Opportunity cost is a key concept in economics, and is used in decision making where there are scare resources to be optimally utilized. The concept can be applied beyond financial costs: you may apply it for lost time, pleasure or any other resource that provides some benefit. Thus, opportunity cost can not only help us in evaluating investment decisions but also can be universally applied to any decision that we take.

Analyzing Wrong Decisions:
Let us now attempt to analyse our decision using opportunity cost and a few case studies. The case studies are random examples of what most of us usually are or have ended up doing in past.

  Case Actual / Inaction taken
Without proper Financial Planning
The Right Alternative
Without proper Financial Planning
Opportunity Cost
Action (1) Result Action (2) Result
1 Age 35 yrs to Retire at 60. Life exp. 90 years. Montly Expense Rs.25,000/- Retirement Planning to be done. Kitty needed: After 25 years Rs.2.36 Cr. Delayed by 5 years . Asset Class: Equity SIP Need: Rs.17,783/- Total paid: ~ Rs.42.68L Started at age 35 Asset Class: Equity SIP Need: Rs.8,561/- Total paid: ~ Rs.25.68L Additional amount paid for same result = Rs.17 lacs
Started on time. Asset class: Debt Monthly Need: Rs.18,984/- Total paid: ~ Rs.56.95L Additional amount paid for same result = Rs.31.27 lacs
2 Monthly savings of Rs.10,000 for a Goal after 15 years (Child Marriage / Education / 2nd Home, etc.) Asset class: Debt End value: Rs. 40.16Lacs Asset Class: Equity End value: Rs. 61.64 Lacs Shortfall in wealth: Rs.21.47 Lacs for wrong asset class
3 Age: 50. Retirement 60. SIP of Rs. 25,000 to be done for remaining earning life (10 years) SIP delayed for just '3' months End value Rs. 62.75 Lacs SIP started immediately End value Rs. 65.75 Lacs Shortfall in wealth: Rs. 3 Lacs for missing 3 SIPs
4 Additional monthly Savings possibility of Rs.2,000/- Possibility ignored No wealth created Identified & Eq. SIP 15 yrs done End value: Rs. 61.64 Lacs Additional wealth creation foregone: Rs.12.33 Lacs
5 A amount of Rs.250,00 for 6 months in Current A/c. Ignored No returns Invested in MF Cash schemes Returns: Rs.8,600/- Returns foregone: Rs.8,600/-
6 An individual meets accident / illness Inaction to take any Policy All costs on self Health Policy is taken Costs on Insurer All costs paid in absence of cover
7 Earning member plans to take life insurance (LI) LI on own assessment Inadequate life cover Proper LI need assessment Sufficient cover taken Insufficient money (goals / expense)
Above is for illustrative purpose only. Assumptions: MF Equity returns: 15%. Debt returns: 10%. MF Cash: 7%. Inflation 6%. Post Retirement Inflation 4%. Returns on Kitty: 8%. Some figures are rounded off.
Including the above instances, we can short-list the following very common types of action / inaction that have lost opportunity costs attached to it...
  • Planning for financial goals: Here the opportunity cost is often in nature of inability to meet the targeted value fully if we either delay savings for goal or invest in wrong asset class.
  • Retirement planning: This is highlighted here since it has huge impact involved which are not very apparent to us and is often ignored. There can be huge opportunity costs in terms of the required savings to be done and the retirement kitty created if we delay or invest in wrong asset class. The biggest risk is that the kitty becomes insufficient to meet our expenses during retirement.
  • Ignoring Insurance: Ignoring, delaying or taking inadequate insurance is very common. Lack or inadequate life insurance is something very scary since the idea of our loved ones left without any money in itself is unimaginable. Still most of us take inadequate cover without finding out actual cover required and instead directly start looking at products. The opportunity cost in absence of medical insurance is something which would now be very obvious.
  • Idle money not invested: Due to financial indiscipline, we often ignore investing less substantial money on time in appropriate avenues and money is often left idle in form of hard cash or current / savings account balance. We must invest idle money, beyond that required for emergency, running expenses, etc., into liquid MF or similar schemes / products for the small durations of time available. A regular practice of doing so actively can help you good returns on idle money which is not visible to us now.
  • Common investment related bad decisions.: If we can summarize, there would largely be 3 types of bad decisions w.r.t. investments:
    • Investing in wrong asset class as per investment horizon
    • Delay in starting investments or SIP
    • Investing inadequate amount
  • Other bad decisions: Apart from above we also have many other common instances of bad decisions like...
    • Investing in 'Ponzi', 'Get Rich Quick' or 'Chain Marketing' schemes with hopes of making huge money!
    • Taking personal loans for avoidable reasons
    • Making cash withdrawals from credit cards
    • Not paying credit card dues on time inviting very high interest costs
    • Making delayed payments of utility bills, etc. attracting additional money for every instance
The famous and the most successful investor – Warren Buffet has said that “you only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong” to be successful. Indeed, many small things ignored add up and become significant enough to impact our lives. And bad investment / financial decisions are no different.
The following are the suggested ways that will help us go a long way in improving our financial situation over long term.
  • Always remember that every financial action or inaction has some opportunity costs
  • Procrastination or laziness is a big enemy for wealth creation
  • Small things make big impact over time. Discipline, awareness and active decision making are the right habits to adopt
  • Prepare comprehensive financial plan at the earliest. Do not shy away from seeking advice on small financial matters.

The idea behind this article is to make you aware that every financial decision has costs attached to it and that proper planning, discipline and timely action in our financial matters can help us ensure that we keep the wrong things to the minimum in our lives. A few wrong things are enough to overshadow the benefits from many rights things that we may have taken.