Say NO to Packaged Financial Products

This cyber Monday (30th Nov. 2015)  or if you prefer, Buy Nothing Day (Nov. 27th 2015 or Black Friday)  resolve to say NO to packaged financial products.  There is no need for a pension plan or a child’s education mutual fund or a child’s gift fund (like the one from Axis where one has to  invest only in the child’s name. Bad idea- Why you should not invest in your child’s name!)

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How to Conduct a Personal Financial Audit

I love December.  The Chennai Summer is busy recharging its batteries and therefore not in full force.  The Carnatic music season seems to begin earlier each year, thanks to some prudent marketing.  The semester is over, and for me, goal-based investing month starts!

Most of what little I know about personal finance and investing comes from time spent staring at Excel sheets in December. All my retirement and goal-based investing calculators were done in December as I evaluated my goals and future cash flow.

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Handling financial emergencies

November turned out to be one long month for Chennaites and most people in Tamil Nadu due to incessant rain. We were not affected by the rains much, but my desktop (technically my sons) and my laptop broke down in the space of 5 days. We had already spent too much money in handling minor to major repairs and had no choice but to replace them. So thanks to our emergency fund, ‘normalcy’ was restored soon enough. You know what they say about when it rains, … it pours!

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What Return Can I Expect From Equity Over the Long term? Part 1

How much can I expect from equity as an asset class for long-term goals?. This is a question one often hears from first-time investors, especially those who are migrating from the comfort of fixed deposits or real estate.

Unfortunately, answers from experienced equity investors are steeped in hindsight bias. They often extrapolate their own good fortune into the future.  Answers from salespersons cannot be vague. I have seen advisors state, “invest and after X years you will definitely get Y returns”!

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Commission-free investing: an idea whose time has come

Over the last 2+ years or so, and especially over the last year, I have gained the reputation of being a IFA-hater due to my promotion of direct mutual fund plans, DIY investing, conflict of interest, SEBI regulations and fee-only financial planning.

I have been part of heated debates on direct plans and fee-only advisory in Facebook group Asan Idea for Wealth and lost friends and a bit of my health as a result.

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