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The answer is actually a no-brainer! Of course you should switch to the direct mutual fund plans. Need some convincing? Use a calculator and consider the the pros and cons ...

Lets start at the very beginning  ...

What is a 'direct' mutual fund plan? A MF purchased directly from an asset management company (AMC) from Jan. 1st 2013

What is a 'regular' mutual fund plan? A MF purchased through a distributor. All purchases made directly from the AMC before Jan 1st 2013 and all ongoing SIPs will be treated as 'regular' purchases

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No I am not referring to myself! (although a few my students would have something to say about that!) I am referring to 'One Idiot' the new short film directed by Amole Gupte and produced by IFDC foundation as part of their initiative to spread financial literacy to young Indians.

If you haven't seen it please do so right away, right here!

I had requested IDFC if the movie can be part of 'Saarang' the annual student fest at IIT, Madras, one of the biggest such events in the country. I passed it onto the student organizers after getting IDFC's permission. The students loved it so much that they made it the opening event of the 'Saarang Film Festival'. I was asked to make the opening and closing remarks about the movie.

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Are you in your 20s, just starting out on a job? Are you married with no children yet? You want to buy a term insurance policy but confused about how much to get insured for? Use this calculator to find out:

http://freefincal.wordpress.com/insurance-calculator-for-the-young/

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Are you in your 20s, just starting out on a job? Are you married with no children yet? You want to buy a term insurance policy but confused about how much to get insured for?

If you have said yes to any of the above questions, here is a simple insurance calculator that would suit you.

Download the insurance calculator for the young

Do leave a comment and let me know if you found it useful and if can think of ways to improve it.

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When you invest in a mutual fund a percentage of what you earn as returns is subtracted to pay for the fund manager, fund distributor, advertising and other expenses. This is referred to as expense ratio.

For example if you invest Rs. 1 lakh in a fund and if the fund returns 10% in a year the amount will grow to Rs. 1,10,000. If a mutual fund quotes an expense ratio of 1%, then 1% of 1,10,000, that is 1,100, will be deducted and the value shown in the statement will be 1,08,900. This represents a return of 8.9% (not 10% - 1% as you might think!). For an expense ratio of 2% the value will be 1,07,800 or a net return of 7.8%.  A difference of only 1,100 one might think. For just a few years this does not matter much. Unfortunatelythe decrease in value due to the difference in expense ratios compounds if you stay invested for a long period of time. For example over a 15 year period the difference is 50,749 for 10% yearly returns. For 15%  returns the difference is 98857.

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