Human nature is generally programmed on self-destruct mode when it comes to the stock markets. We want to buy when everyone is happy and join the cheer. When everyone is forecasting doom, we want to be selling and patting ourselves for having apparently got out before the big crash. This behaviour unfortunately, is very injurious to wealth. Let me talk about the ‘falls’ or ‘crashes’ that happen in stock markets.
When we invest in mutual funds, the profits we make are subject to taxes. The good news though is that, in many cases, this taxation is somewhat better (lower) than the regular income tax that we pay. The basic reason for this is that the government considers these profits as a different form of inflows/income compared to regular salary or interest incomes.
Understanding the impact of taxation is important – obviously, since our real returns from a mutual fund investment is what we get after tax. But, more importantly, understanding taxation will help us design our portfolio in a manner that could potentially reduce our tax burden and increase our ‘post-tax’ returns.
In this article, we will take a look at how such profits are considered, how taxation differs across mutual fund categories, what the actual tax rates are, and such other topics. This article, as in other articles in this series, has been written assuming very little prerequisite knowledge from the reader.
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 good way to gauge the state of personal finance books that are India-centric would be to visit the ‘Book’ section of Amazon’s India website.
If you go to the American Amazon.com, you will find the ‘Business and Money’ section, under which you will find ‘Personal Finance’. Boom, done – you have access to a treasure trove on all topics PF.
If you go to the Indian Amazon.in, you will find a ‘Business and Economics’ section, and under that, you will find ‘Analysis and Strategy’, ‘Economics’, and ‘Industries’. If you, by power of logical reasoning and elimination, go into the first category, you will find, along-side books about American personal finance and self-help (Dale Carnegie!), a smattering of books by Indian authors to help Indian investors.
A handful, at best.
No doubt, this is an emerging section, but the current state of limited selection is properly captured by just browsing through these aisles.
Monika Halan’s ‘Let’s talk money’ is, especially in this context, a much-needed publication that addresses a sore need in the Indian market.
World over, planning and investing for retirement in a disciplined fashion is not the norm. However, western countries have a healthy social security net that would keep people out of really bad situations, and many such countries would have state-sponsored health coverage that would take care of the inevitable big bills in old age.
India has neither, at least not in a manner that will cater to a middle-class life-style and care aspirations here. Hence, planning, saving, and investing for retirement becomes a must-do activity during the earning years of an individual in India.
P V Subramanyam’s book – “Retire Rich – Invest Rs 40 a day” was the first book on this topic. The original version was published in 2011 and sold more than 150,000 copies, and is now available in a new edition (since 2019).
Many investors think of corporate governance as an esoteric concept that is good to have. But if is a little dodgy, they think it can be safely ignored, as it doesn’t affect them directly. They couldn’t be more mistaken.
Having discussed the origins of the concept of corporate governance, here are some key ways in which mis-governance at companies you own shares in can directly impact your returns.
Fiscal spending and debt funding appear to be the primary gears that Budget 2021 plans to use in full throttle – in the hope of reviving the economy.
The big picture first. Fiscal deficit at 9.5% of GDP for FY-21 will not ease any time soon. It will take a slow path to reducing to 4.5% by FY-26. What does this mean? The thus-far fiscally-prudent government has decided it is necessary to spend to spur growth, with a slow glide path to fiscal prudence. And the stock markets love this!
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.
Through Prime Stocks, our stock recommendation and research service, our aim is to make direct equity investing easier for you, by identifying a few portfolio holdings that can be long-term wealth creators.