Real Estate Investment Trusts, also known as REITs, are attracting quite a bit of attention lately from Indian investors, who have a known fetish for real estate. Can REITs deliver land-like capital gains, while saving us of the concentration risks and the high maintenance required in property investments? Can they substitute for equities or mutual funds in one’s portfolio, in terms of wealth creation?
If there’s one thing that governments love to do with their annual Budgets, it is to confuse ordinary folk with rule changes that have plenty of the fine print. This time, the change that has set off a confusing debate has been the budget proposal to limit the tax breaks on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the favourite retirement savings vehicle for many salary-earners. So, what changed for EPF subscribers in the 2021 Budget? Has the government now relaxed those provisions in the Finance Bill? What is the government trying to do to the EPF overall and should you be looking at alternatives to it? We answer these questions and many more here.
A cocktail of factors – from the rollout of the Covid vaccine across the world, to optimism about economic recovery to a spiking of US bond yields – has had a dampening effect on gold, pushing it into an official bear market. (A bear market is roughly defined by a 20% decline in any asset from its peak).
Suddenly everyone’s talking about US bond yields surging. I see that the 10-year US government security is up by some 0.02 % to 1.57%. Why is this such a big deal?
While yesterday’s move isn’t big, what’s big is the US 10-year Treasury’s 43 basis point rise in the last one month. This means that, a month ago, investors in long term bonds issued by the US government were getting 1.13% by way of interest and now they’re getting 1.57%. That’s a 40% jump in returns from an asset that is regarded as one of the safest parking grounds for money in the world.
With the economy looking up and interest rates likely to rise again, safety-seeking investors may like
to shop around for bank deposits offering attractive rates. But as we had explained in an earlier
article, given the way deposit insurance works in India, it simply isn’t worth it to take risks with your
bank deposits for slightly higher rates. (Read this to know why https://primeinvestor.in/why-bank-
But identifying a sound bank has become infinitely tougher post-Covid. Borrowers are just coming
out of a loan moratorium and banks are prevented from reporting their true bad loan picture due to
a Supreme Court standstill. If bad loan provisions get out of hand, some currently profitable banks
can turn loss-making or face capital shortfalls.
When building a long-term equity portfolio, one common mistake that many of us make is to watch over our profit-making stocks with tender love and care, while orphaning our loss-making stocks. This, over time, leads to our portfolios featuring a few big winners but carrying a long tail of loser stocks that are down 80 or 90% from their buy price.
With our equity product Prime Stocks going live a couple of weeks ago, seasoned stock investors among our subscribers have begun sifting through our recommended list of Buys and stocks on our Watchlist.
But we’re also seeing questions pouring in from folks who are new to the concept of owning stocks directly and have owned only mutual funds or other kinds of investments so far.
If you’re new to stock investing or aren’t quite sure how our stock recommendations fit into your investment plans, we hope this article on constructing an equity portfolio will help you.
For investors seeking to play the agri-theme in India, the fertiliser industry must surely rank as the least attractive, with the government controlling selling prices of the end-product at artificially low levels (even in ‘decontrolled’ fertilisers), production losses met by Central subsidies, high import dependence for raw materials and the vagaries of the monsoon deciding sales.
With bank deposit rates plumbing the depths, fixed income investors are hard-pressed to find investment options that can deliver better returns without big risks. Power Finance Corporation’s (PFC) retail offer of secured non-convertible debentures (NCDs) appears well-timed to capitalise on this need. But should you bite the bait? If yes, which of the 7 bond options is worth a look? An analysis.