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Financial Planning is a Must to deal with Recession

Most industries across the world are reeling under huge stress due to recession.

The Software and the Technology industry is the worst affected. Expect more Job Losses and Lay-Offs with advancement of Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

It makes sense to get yourself Financially Prepared before any untoward incident hits you or your family.

The below picture speaks volumes of an employees life in all industries today.

 

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We had posted an article in 2016 related to this and that holds true even today. Many Software Engineers and employees of other industry approached us after reading the article and they are much more confident people today. Click Here to read the article. Tamil Version: Click Here

 

IT Sector Layoffs

Pink Slips and Lay Offs in the Technology Sector is a common phenomenon now-a-days. Most people are terminated at the shortest notice period.

Majority of the people are not Financially Planned to face such situations.

A Financial Plan is must if you care for your loved ones. We at VRIDHI will walk your life with you. Call us for your Financial Planning today.

Below is the Audio of a conversation between the HR and an Employee of a Technology company. Hear it and THINK if can you handle such situation , if you were in his place. If you can’t handle… call VRIDHI now!

Click Here for the Audio.

Do share this with all those who you care for.

Also read this: https://vridhi.co.in/2016/03/26/must-read/

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Summer Vacation

Read this small Article before you plan for your Vacation

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Summers may entail tolerating the scorching heat but it is also the period when most families look forward to their ‘summer vacation’ where they travel to different places and spend memorable time with their loved ones. We often don’t think twice while spending for such vacations since it’s a much-needed break. However, if developed sensibly, you can easily plan a fun holiday within your budget and moreover end up saving too.
Given below are some financial planning tips for a vacation:

1. Plan in advance:

Last minute planning can prove to be a costly affair since travel fares and hotel tariffs largely increase during summers. You can save a lot of money if you plan beforehand. Once you have picked the location, go through the different travel options in addition to accommodation choices. Heavy discounts are often given to people who book in advance. If you wish to take a holiday abroad, keep the exchange rate in mind. Such detailed planning will ensure a smooth, fun trip without any last minute hassles.

2. Work out the various costs:

Once your destination is decided and the tickets are booked, the next important step is to understand the expenditure which will be incurred during the course of the journey such as sight-seeing expenses, meals, transport charges, souvenirs to be taken, shopping etc. Make sure you have adequate funds to take care of these outflows.

3. Begin saving beforehand for your journey:

After you have calculated the cost of the total trip, determine how much you need to save in order to pay the amount comfortably. For example, if the cost of your vacation is Rs. 50,000 and if you have 5 months before you leave, make sure you save Rs.10,000 every month. This could mean not going out for fancy dinners often or keeping some luxury purchases on hold but it’ll be worth the effort.

4. Keep unforeseen expenses in mind:

When you create a budget for your vacation, place some cash aside to take care of emergencies that might occur during the journey. It could include losing your baggage and shopping for spare clothes, doctor expenses in case of any family member being injured, spending an extra night at the hotel due to train/flight delays etc.

5. Be aware of credit card/debit card charges:

At times, card firms might impose additional charges on credit/debit cards especially when they are used in a foreign country. Call up your card company and check the fees you might have to pay while performing any transactions. It’s recommended to carry some cash instead of being completely dependent on cards.
Summer vacation trips are the best time to relax, bond with your family and create precious memories. Don’t let shortage of funds ruin your outing. Make a proper financial plan so that you enjoy every moment instead of worrying about the expenditure.

Source: Axis MF

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For good advice, find the Right Adviser

While word of mouth remains the best way to look for an adviser, there are other sources of information too

Kayezad E. Adajania, 3/5/16, Mint, source: http://www.livemint.com/Money/DskWfavBdrGZGXPej75UWN/For-good-advice-find-the-right-adviser.html

Your path to wealth creation is not just about choosing a good financial instrument. If you can decipher the right instrument and have time to manage your money consistently, then you can invest directly, like buying a direct plan in a mutual fund (MF) scheme. But if you need help in sifting and sorting, or don’t have the time to track your portfolio, then you need a skilled adviser to guide you. A good financial adviser can be a valuable resource to have. So who is she and how to find her?

We can classify advisers into two kinds, based on the services they offer. A plain-vanilla adviser is just a little better than an execution-only distributor. She offers basic advice on scheme selection, does your paperwork and helps you invest in MFs, and also in other instruments such as tax-free bonds, debentures and in post office savings instruments. She earns her commissions from the product manufacturers, such as fund houses. There are various qualifications, the least of which could be a certificate by the National Institute of Securities Markets. They do not charge any fee.

The second type of adviser offers more sophisticated advice and is registered with the capital markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). They are called registered investment advisers (RIA). Before 2013, this was a dispersed lot. Different financial planners had different levels of service; some charged fees, some did not; records were maintained in different ways; and so on. In 2013, Sebi asked such advisers—especially those who called themselves financial planners and offered advice across products—to register with it. The regulator also prescribed some minimum standards that they have to adhere to. Such advisers charge fees from clients.

Ask friends and family

The best way to look for a financial adviser is to ask around for references. Ask your friends, neighbours, colleagues and family members for a good distributor’s or a financial adviser’s name. “Nobody chooses a doctor or a chartered accountant without a reference. (Similarly) reference is also the key to choosing an adviser,” said Vinod Jain, principal adviser, Jain Investment Planner Pvt. Ltd.

A financial adviser who sells only MFs, typically, earns trail commission on the schemes she recommends. But if she recommends or advises multiple products, she needs to be an RIA. She could charge a fee, though there are a number of planners who aren’t yet registered. make sure you know what sort of an adviser you are looking for.

But will references guarantee you a good planner?

Sadique Neelgund, founder, Network FP, a firm that trains aspiring financial planners, said, “Most investors are currently dealing with the wrong kind of financial planners, agents or relationship managers, who are pushing products under the disguise of good advice.”

Apart from the fact that new financial advisers may be inexperienced, even many experienced advisers “appear to have not grown in their thought process,” said Anup Bhaiya, managing director and chief executive officer, Money Honey Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. So what should one do?

Bhaiya suggests that one do a little bit of digging around first. “Apart from asking a distributor about the number of years she has spent in the industry, also see her talking points. May be, a couple of transactions later, you will be able to see things more clearly. Ask intelligent questions. Try and decipher what she says. Do her thoughts and conversations have client interest in mind? Or is the conversation only around selling a product? That is an important aspect to look at,” he said.

Rohit Shah, a Sebi-registered RIA, and founder and chief executive officer, Getting You Rich, a financial planning firm, added: “Ask open-ended questions; those where the answers are more about perspective that about a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Things like how many clients has she been able to retain in subsequent years, what will the fees be second year onwards, and so on.”

Browse the Internet

Another way to zero in on your financial adviser is to search on the Internet (see graphics). This method is still evolving, though. Sebi’s website may be difficult to navigate as you have to browse names by first letters.MoneyUncle.com was launched on 30 April 2016 and offers only Mumbai-based planners. However, in future, it may expand to other cities. Akshay Dedhia, co-founder of the website said the firm “meets and analyses distributors who we enlist based on their qualifications and processes.”

Another website, http://www.advisorkhoj.com, asks you to choose the type of adviser you want and your area pin code, and then give you a list of names and contact details closest to you. Dedhia said that once you enter your requirements, the website will match you with advisers it feels are best suited to you.

Do double check with other databases like the ones from FPSB and Network FP platforms to ensure that you are getting the entire set of advisers. Both these portals offer more choice. Network FP, for instance, is a comprehensive search engine that helps you look out for an adviser based on area of expertise (such as financial planning, or creation of Wills and trusts), or products (MFs, direct equities, insurance, and others), or type of licensed adviser you want (registered with Association of Mutual Funds of India, or Sebi or a qualified insurance agent).

According to Neelgund, an adviser’s qualifications are also checked before enlisting. A declaration of ethical practices also has to be signed.

But is an Internet search the best way to find a person whom you will trust with your money?

“Referral is always the best way to find a good adviser but that does not mean one should not be open to approaching 2-3 more advisers from various credible sources,” said Neelgund.

Kavitha Menon, a Mumbai-based financial planner, says she gets all her clients through referrals, but a “credible Internet search portal” is also a good resource. “It could be a mix of both. Ask your friends and refer to a list. Meet with 2-3 planners and see who matches your requirements,” she said.

Fee or free?

A plain-vanilla distributor does not charge fees. However, her role is of a basic distributor who gives minimal advice and simply executes your various transactions. Most of the financial planners and Sebi-registered RIAs charge fees. While the fee charged varies, typically, it is between Rs.5,000 and Rs.25,000 in the first year. Sometimes, this does not include the first meeting that you have with your planner where both get to know one another. Once the adviser signs you up, the fee clock starts ticking. Some advisers also charge a nominal consultation fee for the first meeting. From the second year onwards, advisers usually charge fees as a percentage of your overall corpus.

Distributors mostly offer investment products and won’t really get into overall financial planning. That is where RIAs and CFPs come in. And hence the fees. Some evolved distributors, though, might also help you with a basic financial plan.

You need to keep your requirements in mind when you choose your planner. If you want a full financial plan, stay with an adviser. “You should pay your financial planner. If you want good advice and service, do not expect free service. If it is coming free, it may not be good for you,” said Menon. “The cost of good advice is always lesser than the cost of mistakes that one makes in the absence of good advice,” said Neelgund.

To make the cost structure better for you, the investor, Sebi now allows RIAs to offer you direct plans of MF schemes. Direct plans come with a lower expense ratio as the distributor’s commission will not be embedded in the scheme’s net asset value. This works to your advantage as now you will not pay twice—to your adviser as well as to the MF. Any financial product or service should be bought only after due diligence. The same holds true for financial advisers. Ask around. If that doesn’t work, search the Internet. But whatever be your medium, the basic dos and don’ts remain the same. Ask questions till you are satisfied with the answers, and only then take a final decision. After all, in some ways, it is a close relationship.

Also Visit: https://vridhi.co.in/2015/05/23/vridhi-connect/

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Must Read

Few thoughts specially written for Technology/Software Industry Professionals and Doctors who Save Lives of others*

Techies: Click Here      Doctors: Click Here

*Don’t read the above articles in case you Don’t Love your Money.

Golden rules of borrowing

Economic Times, 21/12/15, source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/borrow/golden-rules-of-borrowing/articleshow/50243359.cms

In an ideal world, everybody would have enough money for all his needs. In reality, many of us have little option but to borrow to meet our goals, both real and imagined. For banks and NBFCs, the gap between reality and aspirations is a huge opportunity. They are carpet bombing potential customers with loan offers, promising low rates, quick disbursals and easy processes. While technology has altered the way loans are being disbursed, the canons of prudent borrowing remain unchanged.

We list nine immutable rules of borrowing that potential customers must keep in mind.

DON’T BORROW MORE THAN YOU CAN REPAY
Don’t live beyond your means. Take a loan that you can easily repay. One thumb rule says car EMIs should not exceed 15% while personal loan EMIs should not account for more than 10% of the net monthly income. If your EMIs gobble up too much of your income, other critical financial goals might get impacted.

KEEP TENURE AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE
The longer the tenure, the lower is the EMI, which makes it very tempting to go for a 25-30 year loan. However, it is best to take a loan for the shortest tenure you can afford. In a long-term loan, the interest outgo is too high. Increasing the EMI amount can have a dramatic impact on the loan tenure. If a person takes a loan of Rs.50 lakh at 10% for 20 years, his EMI will be Rs.48,251. If he increases the EMI every year by 5%, the loan gets paid off in less than 12 years. If he increases the EMI by 10% every year, he would pay off the loan in just 9 years and 3 months. ENSURE TIMELY AND REGULAR REPAYMENT

Whether it is a short-term debt like a credit card bill or a long- term loan for your house, make sure you don’t miss the payment. Missing an EMI or delaying a payment are among the key factors that can impact your credit profile and hinder your chances of taking a loan for other needs later in life.

DON’T BORROW TO SPLURGE OR INVEST
Never use borrowed money to invest. Ultra-safe investments like fixed deposits and bonds won’t be able to match the rate of interest you pay on the loan. And investments such as equities are too volatile. Similarly, avoid taking a loan for discretionary spending. On the other hand, taking a loan for building an asset makes eminent sense.

TAKE INSURANCE WITH BIG-TICKET LOANS
If you take a large home or car loan, it is best to take insurance cover as well. Buy a term plan of the same amount to ensure that your family is not saddled with un- affordable debt if something hap- pens to you. The lender will take over the asset (house or car) if your dependents are unable to pay the EMI.

KEEP SHOPPING FOR BETTER RATES
Keep shopping around for the best rate and switch to a cheaper loan if possible. However, the difference should be at least 2 percentage points, otherwise the pre- payment penalty and processing charges will eat into gains.

READ THE FINE PRINT
Read the terms and conditions carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you are unable to understand the legalese, get a financial advisor or chartered accountant to take a look.

SUBSTITUTE HIGH COST LOANS
If you have too many loans running, it’s a good idea to consolidate your debts under one omnibus low-cost loan. It is also a good idea to prepay costly loans as soon as possible. Divert windfall gains towards repayment.

DON’T NIX RETIREMENT BY AVOIDING LOANS
Dipping into your retirement corpus to fund your child’s education can be risky. Students have options like loans and scholar- ships to cover their education costs but there is no such arrangement to help you plan your retirement needs. Your retirement is as important as your child’s education.

(This article is a condensed version of one originally published on September 14, 2015, and may contain chronological references based on that date.)

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