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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

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Since we cannot change the way the stock market operates all we can do is to make sense of its returns and invest wisely.In this post I use Sensex data to understand the nature of its fluctuating returns (including dividends!). The Excel sheet attached which will be of interest and utility to all investors regardless of experience/expertise.

To say that many investors are sacred of the stock market is an understatement. Many already invested in stock and mutual funds are worried about seeing their investment value in the red for months together. Many who consider equity investments stay away when they see the Sensex plunge a few hundred points every other day. read more

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How would you answer if someone asks you: “I know that a systematic investment plan (SIP) in a mutual fund is an effective way to accomplish financial goals, but how often should I invest? Each month? Each quarter? Or should I invest daily? Which option provides better returns?”

There are two ways of answering this: Without a calculator and with a calculator. Let us consider both.

 1. The PERSONAL finance way: I don’t care which option is better. I receive a monthly salary. I take out money for expenses after I invest for my goals. So for me it is convenient if the frequency of investment matches the frequency of cash inflow. If I didn’t have regular monthly income I will probably choose a quarterly SIP. read more

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It is a terrible idea to open a fixed deposit in your spouse’s name with your money. In general, this arrangement is a terrible idea with any taxable instrument. Terrible, because of the complex way in which the interest income will be taxed. Of course this is applicable only if you are a law abiding tax paying citizen!

The tax man has laid specific rules with regard to taxation arising from income clubbing. This is a diverse area and has its own complexities.  Bemoneyaware has written a comprehensive article on this: Clubbing of income. I am only interested in two aspects of income clubbing that apply to taxable instruments (fixed deposits in the present case): (a) investing in the spouse’s name and (b) investing in the minor child’s name. read more