This intriguing question was recently asked by my friend. Intriguing because it can be answered in two ways:

  • In one word!
  • Or by considering all possible ways an emergency fund would see some action!

By action, I of course refer to emergencies only! American financial coach Dave Ramsey, often says, "Christmas is not an emergency!"

Setting up an emergency fund is the first  item on the fiscal fitness checklist. Just how much should the emergency fund be? You can't make a calculator to address this one! It depends on whether you are a pessimist or optimist! It depends on the kind of bad things that have happen to you or to people you know and the frequency of their occurrence! read more


Reader Karthik suggested that many would prefer to access some of my calculators on Google Docs. Converting them would take a bit of doing since my earlier calculators are not written in a web-friendly way. If you need some calculators on Google Docs and are unable to convert them yourselves, let me know. I will do my best to make changes in the excel file so that they can be converted.

Karthik requested the Google Docs version of the Retirement planner Beginners Version: View it here read more


Note: The variable RD calculator gives the total post-tax interest. I have assumed that only the variable payments are subject to a penalty. That is if a variable payment is not made before a certain date (reader Srinivas says it is 10th in his case) then interest on the variable payment for that month will not be paid.

There was an issue with interest calculation for each FY when the monthly payments become variable. So I had to remove the original download link. I am trying to resolve this. read more


Worried about fluctuating stock market returns? Worried about sliding gold prices? Not sure how much to invest in equity or in gold? Here is an example of a portfolio based on an ingeniously simple notion that has proved to be remarkably stable irrespective of market conditions - stock/commodity/debt/currency markets!

The Permanent Portfolio in an alternative investing paradigm developed by Amercian investment adviser Harry Browne in 1981. The permanent portfolio comprises of stocks, bonds, cash and gold in equal  proportions (25%)!  This sounds bizarre because for long term goals most investment advisers would recommend (1) significant equity exposure. Typically 100-age. That is 65% equity allocation for a 35 year old and rest in debt. (2) little or no gold  exposure (not more than 10%)  (3) little or no cash. read more

This is a guest post by Jaina Shah (Co - Founder and Director – Credexpert). Credexpert is a credit and debt counselling company and has a team of industry experts who handhold individuals through their credit life cycle.

Follow these simple 5 steps and you will always have no debt stress or find yourself in a debt trap.

 Step 1…Know what you OWE

To make sure that you don’t miss your payments and to maintain good credit history and a good credit score, figure out exactly how much do you owe, to whom and how much. Keep a record of all your loans and credit cards, including information such as: read more