Project DIY: List of 64 freefincal “How To” Articles

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Here is an updated compilation of 64 “how to” articles published over time.  They have been organised into different sections for easy reference. Let me know if you have suggestions for such articles.


  • Personal Finance Basics – 9 posts
  • Investing for Financial Goals – 7 posts
  • Portfolio Managment – 9 posts
  • Income Tax – 4 posts
  • Mutual Fund Investing – 13 posts
  • Understanding Investment ‘risk’ – 6 posts
  • Stock Investing -3 posts
  • retirement planning – 2 posts
  • Other Topics – 11 posts

Personal Finance Basics

How to fortify your financial castle

How to get started in money management

Money Management: Where to Start and How to Start

How to Buy a Term Life Insurance Policy

How to choose a term life insurance provider in 30 minutes!

How to Buy a Health Insurance Policy

How to choose an SEBI registered investment adviser

How to choose the right financial product

Health Insurance from Banks: What to look for, How to buy

Photo credit: zzpza

Investing for Financial Goals

Financial Goal Planning: How to buy an Audi Car

How to use a retirement calculator

How to invest for long-term goals – part 1

How to invest for long-term goals – part 2

Deciding on asset allocation for a financial goal

How to plan for your child’s education and marriage

How to build a diversified mutual fund portfolio

Portfolio Management

How to review your mutual fund portfolio

How to track financial goals

How to Conduct a Personal Financial Audit

How to spot Mutual Fund Underperformers

How to handle Mutual Fund Underperformers

How to Review Your Mutual Fund SIPs

How to Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio

Do not enter equity markets if you do not know how to get out!

How to systematically reduce the risk associated with a SIP

Financial Goal Planning with a Unified Portfolio

Income Tax

Guide to efile Income Tax Return For AY 2014-15

Guide to efile Income Tax Return: ITR2, ITR2A and ITR4

Making the best use of section 80C for tax saving: an example

PPF or ELSS? Where should I Invest to Save Tax?

Mutual Fund Investing

Young Earners Guide to Mutual Fund Investing

How to choose a mutual fund

How to select an equity mutual fund in 30 minutes!

How to invest a lump sum in an equity mutual fund

How to use the mutual fund portfolio comparison tool

How to Invest in, or Switch to Direct Mutual Fund Plans

How to calculate returns from Dividend Mutual Funds?

Mutual Fund NFO: When to buy and How to buy

How to Select Mutual Fund Fixed Maturity Plans (FMP)

How to choose an index fund in India

How to choose an ELSS mutual fund for saving tax

How to Select Debt Mutual Funds Suitable For Your Financial Goals?

How to choose debt mutual funds with no credit risk and low volatility

Understanding investment ‘risk’

Equity investing: How to define ‘long-term’ and ‘short-term’

How to measure risk associated with an equity investment

Debt Mutual Fund Returns: How to expect when you are expecting!  

Equity Mutual Fund Investing: What to expect when you are expecting!

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

What Return Can I Expect From Equity Over the Long term? Part 2

Stock Investing

How to Build a Stock Screener

How to calculate returns from Stocks including dividends

User Guide: how to use the freefincal mutual fund and stock screeners

Retirement Planning

E-book: How to retire early in India

E-book: Post-retirement income generation strategies

Other topics

How to buy and sell direct mutual funds using MF Utility Portal

How To Apply Online For a MF Utility Account

How to make online contributions to NPS Tier I and Tier II accounts

How to get kids interested in money management

How to invest in current market conditions?

Investor FAQs on Returns

Say NO to Packaged Financial Products

Ten Questions Every Investor Should Answer

How to build “trust” online

How to buy tax-free bonds in the secondary market

How to become a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) in India


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My second book, Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantco-authored with Pranav Surya is now available at Amazon as paperback (₹ 199) and Kindle (free in unlimited or ₹ 99 – you could read with their free app on PC/tablet/mobile, no kindle necessary).

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About the Author M Pattabiraman author of freefincal.comM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the author and owner of  He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras since Aug 2006. Pattu” as he is popularly known, has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management.  He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. Pattu publishes unbiased, promotion-free research, analysis and holistic money management advice. Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with numbers based analysis on topical issues and has more than a 100 free calculators on different aspects of insurance and investment analysis. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates  and associations(see details below). Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, TamilNadu Investors Association etc. Contact information: freefincal {at} Gmail {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingMy first book is meant to help you ask the right questions, seek the right answers and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now.  It is also available in Kindle format.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You WantGamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantMy second book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner

The ultimate guide to travel by Pranav Surya

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover This is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step.  Get the pdf for ₹199 (instant download)

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  1. A good collection. As expected I have some suggestions for topics that could be included… Bucket strategy (or may be a whole section on how to manage the ‘withdrawal’ phase), Single portfolio for all goals.
    Also, adding the month/year of publishing in the line would help provide an idea of how current the article is. The ones on tax particularly age fast.
    Some articles could be in a different classification. e.g I found one of my favourites – choosing a debt fund – in the financial goals category and not mutual funds category.

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