Archive for February 1, 2011

Simple measures in difficult times

Publication: Business Standard;   Date:Feb 27 2011;                  

The Five questions you need to ask the advisor, or yourself, that will help you tread over current uncertainties

The present year has been a roller coaster ride for investors. Equity markets are turning more volatile each day. Within the first two months, the Sensex has moved between 17,200 and 20,500. There seems to be no respite from this, as oil prices are moving up due to unrest in the Arab world. They recently touched $120 a barrel, a 30-month high.

Commodities and debt are on an upward spiral. Gold and silver made lifetime highs by crossing the Rs 21,000 per 10 grams and Rs 50,000 a kilogram. State Bank of India recently launched high coupon 10-year (9.75 per cent) and 15-year (9.3 per cent) bonds. There are expectations that interest rates could inch up further. This means that interest rates on loans will go up as well.

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Tax saviours

Publication: Complete Wellbeing; Staywell; Section: Wealth; Issue: February 2011

Handy tax saving options you can use if you haven’t yet planned your investments

Come January and a lot of taxpaying individuals suddenly wake up and start looking for tax saving options. This is primarily because of the tax saving proofs that they need to submit to avoid a higher tax deduction at source.

In this rush, people generally end up taking a hasty and myopic view of tax planning as their only agenda is to save tax. I have seen people ending up with a plethora of life insurance policies, pension plans, mutual funds, tax saving deposits and so on.

In the end, most land up with expensive products, low post-tax income and products that they do not even require. However, there is no need to rush through the entire process if one starts off early, typically in the first week of the financial year in April. Yes you read it right. The best time to start off your tax planning exercise would be in the first week of April itself.

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