Friday, February 26, 2010

Budget: 12 measures that affect you!

Budget: 12 measures that affect you!
The Union Budget 2010 presented by Finance Minster Pranab Mukerjee has been received positively by the stock market investors. This is evident from the sharp jump in the Sensex and Nifty.

1. The biggest positive

By far the most attractive thing in the Budget 2010 for individuals is the increase in the income tax slab limits. Though the entry level slab for income tax has not been changed from Rs 1.6 lakh (Rs 160,000), there is a considerable jump in the other slabs. A majority of income tax payers in the middle class and upper middle class have a lot to cheer from the Union Budget 2010.

The income tax slabs have been changed drastically. The new slabs are as below:

People with income up to Rs 1.6 lakh will pay zero tax.

People with income between Rs 1.6 lakh and Rs 5 lakh will pay 10% tax.

Thus anyone who is in the Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh bracket currently will get to save around Rs 20,000, approximately.
People with income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 8 Lakh will pay 20% tax.

Thus anyone who is in the Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh bracket now will get to save up to around Rs 30,000.
People with income more than Rs 8 lakh will pay 30% tax.

Calculate your new tax
In the words of the finance minister, this proposal will bring relief to about 40 per cent of the current tax payers.

On the paperwork front too there is some cheer as the finance minister has said that a two page SARAL -2 is ready and will simplify the process of filing our returns.

The limits for auditing of accounts of professionals has been raise to Rs 15 lakh and for companies it has been raised to Rs 60 lakh.
2. Infrastructure bonds are back!

Apart from this the finance minister has also given an additional deduction of Rs 20,000 for any investments in Infrastructure bonds. This will be over and above the Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000) we already have.

Rs 20,000 has been introduced as the additional limit for investment in Infrastructure Bonds. Infrastructure Bonds are thus making a comeback after 5 years as a savings option for tax savers.

This will also reduce the tax burden for a few who are interested in traditional savings tools. This Rs 20,000 will be over and above the current limit of Rs 100,000 in various tax saving schemes.

Meaning we could even save up to 10 per cent of our income in case we are in the lower end of any of the slabs by putting our money into the development of infrastructure of the country.

There is a large focus give to developing infrastructure in the country. Over 40% of the total outlay has been given towards developing infrastructure. This added with the deduction to investments in infrastructure bonds will surely help us see better infrastructure in the coming years.

3. New pension scheme push

A renewed push has been given to the New Pension Scheme in this Budget. Till now the New Pension Scheme has not found much favour from the common public due to typical teething problems related to its implementation.

Our finance minister has proposed to give Rs 1,000 as a starting incentive to all accounts of NPS opening in the next three years. This is a welcome measure, as the NPS is as of now the key Contributory Social Security Scheme in India.

4. Housing interest rate

The finance minister has said that the interest support of 1% for low-cost housing loans will be extended for the next year too. This is a boon for the builders of townships and also the aam aadmi of India who could not afford costly houses. This is a direct form of supporting the recovery of the economy itself.

5. Not so happy news for car buyers

Car buyers who were waiting to hear some good news from the budget seem to have suffered a short term as well as long-term hit from the Budget

The hike in excise duty to 10% will mean a hike in the prices of cars. Especially, large cars and SUV's. This is the 'capital' hit that prospective car buyers will take.

Even if they are able to buy the car they will have to spend more as the prices of diesel and petrol are set to rise by at least Rs 2.67 per litre.

6. Gold lovers saddened

The finance minister has suggested a hike in the duty charged on gold and silver imports. Prices of gold are set to increase as the budget has proposed a Rs 10 per gram hike in the indexation of gold and platinum. This could see a price change especially in the prices of branded jewellery.

7. More banks coming our way:

The Reserve Bank of India is set to dole out additional banking licenses to private sector players as well as Non banking financial companies. More bank branches, more ATMs, better services and more products could be coming our way soon.
. Contribution to CGHS

Apart from the deductions we are currently eligible for investing in health insurance schemes, the finance minister has suggested that citizens can now also avail the same benefits for investing in the Central Government Health Scheme.

9. Service Tax unchanged:

With a keen focus on the GST, the service tax rates have been retained at 10%. Thus prices in the service sector do not seem to be facing any hike.

10. Support for rural people

Agriculturists and people livings in rural India can have a breath of relief. The farm loans have been given an extension of 6 months.

Not only that, new loans will be getting government support of 2% reduction in interest rates. Effectively this brings down the farm interest rate to 5%. The earlier support was limited to only 1%.

The rural communities in non-arable areas get support from the continuation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The budget has allotted Rs 40,000 crore (Rs 400 billion) for this scheme, which is now being implemented across the country.
11. Microfinance support

Recognizing the major change in development brought about by micro-finance companies in India, the finance minister has proposed a Micro-Finance Development Fund to support microfinance companies.

At Rs 400 crore (Rs 4 billion), the fund size is small but being with right intention, the gesture is one in the right direction.

12. Banks loans

Rs 16,500 crore (Rs 165 billion) has been budgeted for providing the Tier-I capital required for some PSU banks. This will improve the lending capacity of these banks.

The Budget 2010 has also made additional provisions of capital for lending to rural areas.

These measures will not only stabilise banks but also provide the much needed muscle to improve the loan portfolio of public sector banks.

Additional licenses are being planned for private banks. NBFCs will also get a chance to open banks. The modalities will be discussed in detail shortly.
Overall an individual-friendly Budget

Based on the above concessions and support for lending and investments, we can conclude that Budget 2010 is very much friendly for the individuals of India.

The salaried class may rejoice in their tax out goes coming down in a big way. The rural population can cheer over their cash outflows coming down and/or postponed. Banks, housing developers and those buying low cost houses can be happy with the 1% interest support.

A budget at a critical time, but has brought job to most individuals. Pranab-da, your magical spell is working!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Movers & Shakers : Nilesh Shah CIO, Prudential ICICI Asset Management

Nilesh Shah CIO, Prudential ICICI Asset Management
Nilesh Shah, who took over as chief investment officer of Prudential ICICI Asset Management a couple of months ago, is known for his razor-sharp analytical mind and a perfect understanding of markets. A chartered accountancy course topper and a cost accountant to boot, Shah does not like to tom-tom his academic achievements. tarting his career at the merchant banking division of ICICI in 1992, Shah, 35, moved to JP Morgan’s forex department in Singapore. But he was back with the ICICI group after a brief stint there, this time with I-Sec. In 1997, he moved into fund management by joining Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund. But all that goes around, comes around. So Shah is back with Prudential ICICI. “It’s like coming back home,” he observes.With predecessor Dileep Madgavkar moving on to a bigger job in Singapore, Shah currently spends a lot of time motivating his new team to perform better. “My main objective is to get all our funds to rank in the top quartiles of their categories,” he says. Pru-ICICI investors should be happy if he delivers on that promise.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Make crores. Right NOW

Yogesh Chabria is the founders of He spends substantial part of his time educating and spreading awareness about the capital markets. Yogesh shares with you his ideas on investing in a fun, simple and easy to understand manner.
IF you had bought 100 shares of Wipro at the rate of Rs 100 per share in 1980, they would be worth Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion) today.

If you had invested Rs 10,000 in Infosys shares in 1992, you would be richer by Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) today.

If you had invested Rs 1,000 in Ranbaxy in 1980, you would have got Rs 1.9 crore (Rs 19 million) today!

And not so far back in time, if you had invested Rs 40,000 in Unitech during the lows of 2004, your bank account would see a whopping Rs 1.1 crore (Rs 11 million) today!

Some guy out there knew this. Today, he is laughing all the way to the bank. So what was the magic strategy that made this guy so rich? Simple.

He bought, he waited:

Waited for all those share splits and bonus declarations.

Waited for the company to grow from strength to strength.

Waited even when the shares teetered only to recoup in a few years' time.

Just as a child takes time to realise his/ her full potential, so does an investment need time to reward you handsomely.

Sure, the times are uncertain now. But let that not scare you to sell for a loss.

Patience pays:
Look back. You will notice that selling in such times makes no real sense in the longer run. Those who didn't sell their stocks during the May 2006 crash but had, in fact, bought more would be a very happy lot today.

Investing long term is like that: it rewards you handsomely. Always. Exercise patience. As champion broker Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said recently, if you want to learn more about patience, get married!

The way I see it, you don't really need to get married to learn patience. Just look back in time. All these stocks have been multi-baggers for those who stayed on for the long term. They would have fetched you unimaginable returns today.

Do your research:
You will learn a thing or two about making crores from a few lakhs. You can still make those crores!
Turn a deaf ear at the sceptics; look at beaten down sectors.

Consider aviation and hospitality. Today, aviation stocks are way below their lifetime highs. But, as India grows, so will travel. And within the next three years, they will reward you handsomely.

Most people ignore aviation and hotels. And that is why they merit my attention.

Pick up stocks that others are ignoring. People who create wealth do things that others do not. I am sure you could make crores if you do too!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Zodiac Investor

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Investing early pays better in long term

It is a known fact that thinking about investments early in life helps a lot but there is no definition for 'early'. For instance, in the last few decades investors aren't thinking about investing in property after retirement but well before it. In certain cases, young professionals are picking up property even before marriage and family.

So, the starting age for investing has been sliding down and as a result, the risk-taking ability has gone up substantially as the young have the courage to be aggressive.

Interestingly, not all young investors think they need to be aggressive with their investment options. Since the choice of products is influenced by the parents or their style of investing, many end up investing in a conservative way. In many cases, the products are chosen without much knowledge or proper understanding.

Here are some tips for young investors:

Choose according to your need

No product would fit the needs of different individuals and hence the choice of products is crucial for any investor. If you are beginning the investment process, make sure to understand the risks or features thoroughly. For instance, if you are not comfortable with long payment periods, avoid products like insurance or public provident fund as they expect long payment tenures. Though insurance offers the flexibility of short tenures, it would not be rewarding.

Think long term

The advantage of starting early would be defeated if you don't continue with the investment process for long. For instance, saving Rs 1,000 at 25 is good provided you do it for the next 30 years. On the contrary, saving the money for just a year will do no good.

Take risks as you have age on your side

At a young age, it is natural to feel uncomfortable with the nuances of money. Managing personal wealth is always a difficult task when compared with professional money. Yet, the task gets easier because of the long tenure money enjoys. The advantage of a long period of investing should also enable the investor to take risks by investing in products like equity which carry higher risk.

However, if one holds on to an investment for a long time or invests in a systematic way, the risk gets mitigated.

Review at regular intervals

Starting early has its own advantages, but generally, an investor ends up taking small steps towards investing. Hence, it may not be sufficient to meet long-term growing needs in line with the changing times. For instance, a mid-sized property may not be good enough when the size of the family expands, and the fixed deposit balance might well become the average savings balance a decade later.

So, review at regular intervals is a necessity and should be done in real earnest. While setting up a goal early in life is a big motivator, the goal in itself is a moving target. Hence, review your long-term goals at least once in 5-7 years and make the needed re-allocation accordingly.

Volatile markets offer value buys for long-term investors

The domestic equity markets gave a stellar performance last year where indices almost doubled from their lows in the same year. It may be a while before this feat happens again and 2010 may well turn out to be not so smooth a ride at least in the first half. The steady upmove has made the markets one of the most expensive equity markets and has led to concerns on excesses in valuations.

This coupled with apprehensions on inflation and earnings, potential tightening of interest rates and possible government action to reduce the fiscal deficit has sent the markets on a tailspin. With important events such as the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) monetary policy review followed by the Union Budget on the way, the markets would be driven by expectations and hence be quite volatile during this period.

Most investors approach market volatility with fear. More often than not, investors shift to safer bets when volatility in the market increases. Since the longterm growth story here looks good, any downside should be looked at as an opportunity to enter the markets.

Last year, the markets doubled in less than six months and this left many investors on the sidelines. The pace of the rise was so swift that many investors could not enter the markets. The next few months may provide ample opportunities to enter the markets.

Since the markets are expected to be volatile, here are some strategies investors can employ to make the volatility work to their advantage:

Invest in sectors not affected by inflation

One of the toughest tasks for the government this year would be to keep inflation under check. While supplyside constraints are being given due cognizance, sooner or later, the government will try to control the excess liquidity in the system through monetary policy changes.

While an increase in interest rates would affect bottomlines of many businesses, certain sectors such as education, healthcare, pharma, IT and FMCG will continue to perform.

For instance, the expansion in healthcare will continue due to growing awareness among masses on healthcare services. Though prices of goods will rise, the use of fast-moving consumer durables is related to necessity and lifestyle, and hence demand is unlikely to be restricted.

Investors would do well to add some of these defensive sector stocks to their investment portfolio.

Identify and invest in value stocks

Some sectors and specific stocks generally tend to get beaten down owing to certain short-term events. However, if you were to study the robustness of their business and future growth potential, the beaten down price may offer great value.

Investors should try to identify good stocks which are out of favour due to certain short-term concerns and are at prices which offer ample margin of safety. In the medium to long terms, these could turn out to be your best investments.
Volatile markets often present opportunities to enter. After you have decided which sectors and stocks to invest in, use every dip in the market as a buying opportunity.

Spreading investments over a period of time allows you to average out your costs in good stocks if the markets were to slide further.

Since the markets are expected to be volatile with a negative bias, certain bluechip stocks which had become quite expensive in the last rally may come down to realistic levels. Hence, in addition to mid-caps, largecap stocks may also present good opportunities.

Volatile market conditions offer investors with a longterm outlook an opportunity to build a portfolio of fundamentally-strong stocks at the right price. Investors who have the patience to tide over the volatile times without panicking will certainly be rewarded in the future.

Results, correction offer opportunity for investors

The results declared by the corporates for the third quarter so far have been good. Out of the 767 companies' results that are available, the revenue figures have gone up by around 18 percent and the profit or PAT growth has been around 45 percent. The revenue growth is an important indication of recovery. The second quarter results had shown an increase in the bottomlines rather than toplines due to cost cutting and suppressed commodity prices.

Hence, the December 2009 results assumed importance to indicate revenue growth, and economic recovery taking place in the country.

Auto and energy sectors shine

The increase in the revenue growth was contributed by the auto sector, which grew by around 55 percent, real estate by 62 percent and energy sector that grew by 46 percent. In contrast, sectors like fertilizers declined by 36 percent. This shows that the recovery is sector-specific and in select sectors.

The auto sector has moved from strength to strength since the day excise duty was rolled back as a part of the stimulus package. The quarterly performance of engineering companies has been a mixed bag so far. The engineering companies have seen many projects face delays on various fronts.

These include delays in financial closures, execution issues, funding problems from the client's side amidst ongoing execution of a project etc. The surprise element in this quarter's earnings was the energy sector. Due to suppressed prices the volume growth has been high as shown in the revenue numbers.

Interest rate and costs crucial

In the last few quarters, including the current one, companies benefited from lower overhead costs and lower raw material costs. But in the next few quarters, increasing raw material costs will impact the bottomlines, especially in the auto sector, which has reported such stellar numbers.

If there is an interest rate hike, the higher interest rate regime will also hit the toplines in the auto sector where the predominant buying is on borrowed money. So, to an extent, sales could be slightly lower than what investors are expecting. Hence, the impact of these two factors should be watched for early indications of earnings status in the fourth quarter.

Investment strategy

A series of changes has brought about a steep fall in the stock markets. Firstly, China had started withdrawing stimulus measures, which was followed by the US President's proposal to prevent US banks from engaging directly in some of their most profitable lines of business - proprietary trading.

A substantial part of the foreign institutional investor (FII) funds invested in emerging markets is through proprietary trading. Hence, the concerns and sell-offs in emerging markets are attributed to this change in regulation.

Correction offers opportunity

These steep corrections will provide opportunities for investors to buy quality stocks at reasonable valuations. This year, the markets will be ruled by three broad factors - earnings visibility, global recovery and extent of government reforms. While one can be optimistic on all these factors, a major issue the economy will face this year is the withdrawal of the stimulus - on both the monetary and fiscal fronts.

How it would impact the economy remains to be seen. Investors at this juncture should adopt a wait and watch policy till the budget. A good level of clarity will emerge then. Going by the third quarter results, IT, energy, auto and FMCG sectors can be chosen for investments after the on-going correction.

ELSS में निवेश से टैक्स बचत और रिटर्न दोनों

आप इस उधेड़बुन में होंगे कि टैक्स बचाने के लिए कहां पैसा लगाएं। इसके लिए आखिरी तारीख 31 मार्च है। बाजार में कई ऐसे जरिए हैं, जो सुरक्षा के वादे के साथ टैक्स बचत का दावा कर रहे हैं। अगर आपने अभी तक टैक्स बचत के लिए निवेश नहीं किया है तो किसी जानकार को सैलरी स्टेटमेंट दिखाकर टैक्स योग्य आमदनी का पता लगा सकते हैं। ध्यान रहे कि आप आयकर कानून की धारा 80सी के तहत एक लाख रुपए तक की आमदनी पर टैक्स बचा सकते हैं। इस धारा के तहत कर्मचारी भविष्य निधि (ईपीएफ), पब्लिक प्रॉविडेंट फंड (पीपीएफ), राष्ट्रीय बचत प्रमाणपत्र (एनएससी), पांच वर्ष तक के लिए फिक्स्ड डिपॉजिट (एफडी), यूनिट लिंक्ड इंश्योरेंस प्लान (यूलिप) और इक्विटी लिंक्ड सेविंग स्कीम (ईएलएसएस) में निवेश कर टैक्स छूट हासिल की जा सकती है। फाइनेंशियल प्लानर गौरव मशरूवाला का कहना है, 'अगर आप इक्विटी में निवेश के साथ कर राहत भी चाहते हैं तो ईएलएसएस आपके लिए बेहतर जरिया हो सकता है।' यह स्कीम डायवर्सिफाइड इक्विटी फंड की तरह है, लेकिन इसमें तीन वर्ष की लॉक-इन अवधि होती है। कई जानकार धारा 80सी में शामिल बहुत से इंस्ट्रूमेंट की तुलना में बेहतर रिटर्न के लिए इक्विटी को तरजीह देते हैं। मनी केयर फाइनेंशियल प्लानिंग के प्रमुख जनखाना शाह के अनुसार, 'शेयर बाजार में इस समय कम कीमत में आकर्षक शेयर खरीदे जा सकते हैं। इन हालात में ईएलएसएस में निवेश करना ठीक रहेगा। इसमें तीन वर्ष के लिए निवेश लॉक रहेगा और इसके बाद ये स्कीम आपको अच्छा रिटर्न दे सकती हैं।' इसके साथ ही कर बचाने वाली पांच वर्ष की जमा योजना और एनएससी की तरह इस पर मैच्योरिटी पर मिलने पर ब्याज पर कर नहीं देना होता। ईएलएसएस में तीन वर्ष की लॉक इन अवधि के बाद मिलने वाला भुगतान कर मुक्त होता है। पीपीएफ भी इस लिहाज से अच्छा निवेश है। इसमें 8 फीसदी का रिटर्न मिलता है और मैच्योरिटी पर मिलने वाली रकम कर मुक्त होती है। इसमें 15 वर्ष की लॉक इन अवधि बड़ी बाधा है। यूलिप की बात की जाए तो आज के समय में निवेश के साथ ही बीमा की सुविधा को देखते हुए करदाता इसे पसंद करते हैं, लेकिन इसमें शुरुआती शुल्क और बाद के भुगतान की वजह से यह कुछ महंगी पड़ती है। दूसरी ओर ईएलएसएस में एजेंट को दी जाने वाली कमीशन कम होती है और निवेश के लिए अधिक राशि उपलब्ध रहती है। यूलिप लंबी अवधि का प्रोडक्ट है और इसमें निवेशक को 10-15 वर्ष के समय में ही अच्छा रिटर्न मिल पाता है। इसके उलट ईएलएसएस में आप तीन वर्ष के बाद अपनी यूनिट भुना सकते हैं। अन्य निवेश के मुकाबले ईएलएसएस फंड जहां फायदेमंद हैं, वहीं इनके साथ कुछ सीमाएं भी जुड़ी हैं। किसी भी अन्य इक्विटी आधारित प्रोडक्ट की तरह इनमें भी जोखिम शामिल रहता है। जोखिम न चाहने वाले निवेशकों के लिए इससे दूर रहने में ही समझदारी है। ईएलएसएस फंड को चुनने के मानक किसी इक्विटी डायवर्सिफाइड फंड के समान ही होते हैं। निवेशकों को फंड चुनने से पहले उसके ट्रैक रिकॉर्ड, फंड मैनेजर, फंड हाउस और जोखिम के बारे में जानकारी जुटानी चाहिए। ऐसा फंड चुनना बेहतर रहता है, जिसने बाजार के सभी दौर में लगातार अच्छा प्रदर्शन किया हो। उस फंड से बचें, जिसका पिछला रिकॉर्ड ज्यादा अच्छा नहीं है लेकिन इसके बावजूद इसने हाल के महीनों में अच्छा रिटर्न दिया है। ईटी म्यूचुअल फंड ट्रैकर पर नजर डाली जाए तो यह पता चलता है कि एसबीआई मैग्नम टैक्स गेन स्कीम 1993 और सुदंरम टैक्स सेवर को पिछली चार तिमाहियों से लगातार प्लैटिनम या गोल्ड स्कीम की रेटिंग मिलती रही है। इससे यह स्पष्ट होता है कि इन दोनों फंडों में बाजार में चुनौतीपूर्ण स्थितियों के बीच भी अपनी क्षमता को साबित किया है।
-प्रीति कुलकर्णी