Archive for January 4, 2009

New year, new options

Publication: Business Standard, Mumbai;   Date: Jan 11, 2009;    Section: Cover Story;  

In 2009, expect a Few developments in the personal finance space that will change things for the better.

The year 2008 would be remembered for the sharp fall in stock markets and closure of legendary institutions like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.

Even in the personal finance space, structured products that use an investment strategy of that includes both the cash and derivative market, besides other elements was in vogue for sometime. But many high networth individuals burnt their fingers in such exotic products.

» Read more..

Some cautious hope

Publication: Business Standard, Mumbai;   Date: Jan. 4, 2009;    Section: Road Ahead;   

After despair in 2008, invest smartly in 2009.

The year 2008 has tested all investors. Besides a steady fall in the equity market, albeit with high volatility in some months, even other asset classes have seen a steady decline. For instance, crude oil went up to $147 per barrel and then slipped to $32 – quite a wide range. No wonder, the inflation saw a high of almost 13 per cent and now stands at 6.38 per cent.

Even real estate, which was having a great run till recently, has suddenly gone silent. Consecutive rate cuts from builders and fall in the interest rates have not helped matters to a great extent.

In some ways, debt and gold came to the rescue of investors. Especially, gold exchange-traded funds that have returned 25.5 per cent in the last one year. Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs) of mutual funds, which were garnering a large amount of money due to better returns and tax benefits, have slowed down considerably since October.

» Read more..