Each Monday, a roundup post is published with three or four segments:

(1) a list of posts published the week before, just in case you were unable to read them last week

(2) a short note on a physics fact.

(3) short notes or links to financial stuff I read last week. I read very little, but would like to force myself at least for the roundup post.

(4) a short list of posts from the archive for the benefit of new readers.

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Starting this week, I would like to post a roundup, each Monday with three or four segments:

(1) a list of posts published the week before, just in case you were too busy last week.

(2) a short note on a physics fact. Some readers suggested I do it, so let me give it a shot.

(3) short notes or links to financial stuff I read last week. I read very little, but would like to force myself at least for the roundup post.

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A roundup post after a long break!

  • Dev Ashish who runs stableinvestor.com has launched Ultra Long Term Stocks a stock-report subscription service. It would send out reports on stocks suitable for the buy-and-hold investor. Despite his youth, Dev is a level headed and experienced investor and runs a respectable blog. I think the service is quite reasonably priced and should be suitable for those who want to patiently create wealth.

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  • First an update on the mutual fund and financial goal tracker. Thanks to more feedback I have made some major improvements.
    • Ability to combine lump sum and SIP transactions in the same account statement
    • Option to change SIP end date. I forgot to add this earlier!
    • Improvements in the fund summary sheet and goal tracker
    • I have not added goal calculators which will be linked with the fund holdings
    • Graphs to plot evolution of a portfolio
    • I would like to test this for about one more week before releasing it (finally!). Before I forget, I need to compile the list of all those who took the trouble of sending feedback and post it.
    • If you are interested in testing it, leave a comment.
    • This week I asked, Should I invest for my child's marriage? If you have missed it, do read it including the interesting comments. I received this fabulous comment from Raesh Emani, at Asan Ideas for Wealth (FB group):

    'future is unknown and uncertain'.....let me add, 'past is known and certain (factual)'....what is left is 'TODAY and NOW'; so SAVE today and INVEST today. think this way 'everyday'. When the event happens, one might or might not spend what is accumulated for the purpose. But, the whole idea is Accumulate - spending is an option available when the event occurs. One can still accumulate and avoid spending or end up spending more. 'Accumulation is mandatory, Spending is a Choice'.

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  • First an update on the mutual fund and financial goal tracker. I have pretty much frozen the features of the tracker. I thank everyone for some incisive feedback. Thanks to you I have now included
    • the ability to calculate LTCG with indexation. Here is the stand-alone mutual fund capital gains calculator derived from the tracker.
    • auto-update goal calculations
    • the ability to handle NFOs
    • corrected major errors in SIP and lump sum investment sheet
    • modified error messages for better user experience.
    • The near-final version is now ready. If anyone is interested to test this out leave a comment. I will try and post the final version towards the end of the coming week.
    My financial plan creator has become popular in LinkedIn among international financial planners.  I would urge you to give it a try if you have not done so. It is a reasonably quick way of ascertaining 'where you stand' moneywise. On Jan. 2 it was featured by paper.li - a content curation service in its Financial life planning module. Several Indian financial planners  have also started using it. Some have given me suggestions to modify it for working couples. I will try and get to this soon.



    • Upfront commissions to mutual fund distributors by AMCs and to sub-brokers by main distributors is not a healthy practice. It could lead to distributors pushing unsuitable products to investors because of the commissions involved. To sow the seeds of conflict of interest, all you need to do is to dangle a carrot. Nothing illegal about it. The money is not coming out of the investors pocket. Then again, it is always hard to prove that mis-selling is illegal. I am not a fan of moneylife magazine when they claim to be beacons of financial literacy. However, when it comes to scandalmongering few can beat their team! Read on ... Is SEBI aware of huge mutual fund upfront commissions? One-sided and half-baked as it potentially could be (or is!), it does help create awareness.
      • Related articles posted by Sunderajan Padmanabhan at Asan Ideas for Wealth FB group.
        • Why upfront commissions need to be banned?
        • How MF distributors earn their commission  "... an upfront commission is easy money. It is earned by fanning out to 'target' investors and persuading them to invest in the 'new' product. The payment is for the effort of finding, convincing and closing a sale. It is a pure sales incentive. It also works like one, with clear targets for mobilisation and mark-ups for those that sell more. It also works in a small window of time when the new fund offer is open. Therefore, in order to earn an upfront commission, which can yield the distributors a fat, one-time income, and an all-expense paid trip to an exotic land, all that a distributor has to do is to walk the road and collect the cheque. Upfront commission encourages selling and a transaction-level activity with investors. It is a far cry from the real advisory effort of selling right and placing the customer first".
        SEBI had mandated that financial planners should not distribute mutual funds or sell insurance products.  Amusingly, it has said there should be a 'arms length' distance between the planning and distribution arms. This vague statement appears to be open to interpretation. While many others have not even bothered to comply with the regulation. Read my earlier roundup post for related links.It is obvious that this arm lengths definition has split opinion in the industry. Here is story by livemint. A quote from the article. "Sebi mandated that investment advisers should maintain an arm’s length between their advisory and distribution businesses. .... 'This is not in true spirit. How can you maintain an arm’s length if your family member heads that other division? The Sebi investor adviser guidelines has no definition of arm’s length', said Gaurav Mashruwala, a Mumbai-based financial planner". Here is another extensive article on the subject:  Is your business now illegal?

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