Archive for December, 2007

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Updates about my blog

December 16, 2007

A few updates about my blog. I have added a podcast feed from odiogo. So anybody interested to listen rather than read my post can download the podcast. Thats just another feature of this blog. Also i have included links from other blogs that i constantly read.These blogs cover lot of areas from business, technology, real estate and self-improvement. Just check them out. You might like a few of them.

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Power of web will democratise the system

December 13, 2007

This post is just to make you realize the power of web. How can one leverage web to communicate his thoughts and thereby fight effectively against the system. The system could be any entity: political, non-political, business organizations or any individual. This post is all about how we can take better decisions and learn from each other mistakes. Web as a medium fosters faster communication at a wider audience with less transmission loss. For Example, the rating of a new movie is known instantly . People have the liberty to judge a movie without needing to visit the theatre. IMDB – Internet Movie Database has the ratings for all the movies. It also includes reviews written by movie-goers. Thanks to the evolution of web from 1.0 to 2.0 . Web 1.0 was all about displaying static content. Web 2.0 is all about of social networking. It defines how group of people communicate to take informed decision and share information for each other’s benefit

I will quote few instances where i used social networking to make informed decision. The objective of this post is to make you embrace the power of web2.0 for the betterment of society. In March 2006 I had planned to buy a bike. In this age you are spoiled for choices. To choose one that best fits you is a tough proposition. I bumped on a website called mouthshut.com . This site has rating of all the products on earth – you name and it is there. You can find the reviews posted by users of the product. And you can also rate the reviews posted by other users. You can build a network of trusted users and set aside the untrusty ones. You can add products to your wishlist and can receive notifications whenever any user adds a review of that product. And now that is really cool. By the way you can find my review of indiaplaza.in at here . When it comes to rating restaurants, i look upto burrp.com – A social networking site built to specifically rate restaurants, hotels in your city. Such sites makes business organizations to be on their toes. They are aware that any mistake they make has a lot of repercussions. Corporates are infact using the same medium to attract customers too. Mouthshut has introduced a new feature called Corporate blog through which corporates can get first hand info about how customers feel about their product. Social networking is going to redefine how we buy and how companies sell their products. I ll definitely encourage you to be a part of this redefinning process.

Another such instance of my brushes with web2.0 is the creation of this blog. One of the reason why i decided to blog was to share information to a wider audience who can benefit from it. And with this post i have started my initial albeit small baby steps towards that goal [:)]

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Time for Tax planning

December 1, 2007

In the past few days, i have been thinking about my tax planning for this year. I generally invest my money in ELSS apart from PF (which is mandatory for everybody to invest money in). The other investment options like PPF, NSC, Govt Bonds don’t generate good returns although they are less risky. ELSS are basically mutual funds that invest money in Stock markets. The catch here is they have a minimum lock-in period of 3 years. On an average they have generated 30% profit, which is commendable compared to what other tax saving investments offer (max 8.5%). Few Funds have given 1-year close to 80% . ELSS are a must to invest in for any investor in his 20s since the long-term benefits outweigh the risks involved. So my next step was to analyse all ELSS funds available in the market and decide on 3-4. I spread my investments over 3-4 mutual funds as diversifying has its own advantage. Some of the websites that i surf include moneycontrol.com and valueresearchonline.com . Both the sites have different ways to grade MFs and hence present a problem of their own. MFs selects those MFs whose recent run in stock markets has been phenomenal whereas Valueresearchonline selects those MFs who have a long standing record (say for min 3 yrs) in investing in stock markets. So that boils down to betting on funds that are new kids on the block or Funds that are old horses. Any risk averse investor should prefer betting on track-proven funds and any investor capable of taking risks can bet on the risky ones. Given my risk profile i would choose 3 risky funds and 1 track proven fund. Moreover based on my experience, those funds who have given very good 1-yr return had fallen down as time passed. Hence it takes a lot of time to optimise the right mix of funds.

I went through the reports of both the sites and at last narrowed on 4 ELSS. I have chosen one proven fund in ELSS – SBI Magnum Tax gain. One other fund is of a risky nature – Principal Tax Savings. The rest two have been around for quite some time. They are Birla sun life and Sundaram PNB tax saver. SBI magnum Tax gain has been given 5 star rating and the rest of them have been given a 4-star rating (Source:Valueresearchonline.com ). The mix of their portfolios rightly suits my profile too. SBI Magnum invests primarily on Large cap stocks that provide both value and growth. Prinicipal Tax savings invests in midcap stocks that are growth oriented. hence risky in nature The rest two are safe bets – they invest primarily on large cap stocks that are growth oriented. While investing in ELSS, one can choose 3 options namely growth, dividen-payout and dividend-reinvest. i wouldnt suggest anyone to choose dividend-reinvest as the units bought at the time dividend was announced can be sold only after 3- years .Just check this blog site for more info. Now that i have decided which ELSS to inves, i need to decide the time frame when i ll buy these units. The Stock markets have been hitting new highs everyday. I m planning to invest when the markets undergo correction. Now when will the markets correct is a million dollar question ? Do you have the answer ? 😛

Let me know incase you do

Till then,

Happy tax saving,

Maverik