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Cover Story

  • With the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) becoming operational and planning a new scheme for the public from April 2009, the stage is set for action in the pension industry. PFRDA Chairman Dhirendra Swarup tells Narayan Krishnamurthy how the new plan will work.
  • Price wars, new products and service initiatives…That’s what 2009 has in store for policyholders.
  • After the recent price cut, most developers would have squeezed their margins close to the minimum level, so we do not foresee any further price correction.
  • What is in store for investors in 2009? Money Today reached out to experts across all areas of personal finance to find out the new products and services that will be launched in the coming year.After detariff, what?Charting a brand new courseThe gain and pain of getting credit
  • Lenders will want a higher down payment. The impact of credit rating will see private banks offer a differential interest rate to borrowers based on their credit history and score.
  • Stringent lending norms will make it difficult to secure loans, but the cost of borrowing will definitely go down.
  • The provident fund has failed to deliver what it was set up to provide—inexpensive and effective social security for the organised sector.
  • This year might finally see the country’s first large-scale effort to build a system for its citizens’ social security.
  • The new year could see a shift towards protection and pure risk insurance covers.
  • Investment is likely to take a back seat compared with deposits and savings as banks focus once more on the basics.
  • In 2009, investors will use past performance as a benchmark while investing in funds. The industry must ensure that they are armed with the knowledge required to make informed decisions.
  • Price competition will force insurance companies to reduce costs and customise products. Buyers would have a choice of distribution channels, which would lead to differential pricing.
  • There’s hardly a bank whose site provides comprehensive and quality financial planning. We’ve got to work on this and provide consumers with a quality tool.
Dec 25, 2008
Stocks Sensex and terror: Taking stock

Sensex and terror: Taking stock

Nowhere is the resilience of Indians more apparent than on the Sensex, which seems to shrug off the effects of terror attacks every time. While the 9/11 slide was more an after-effect of the American markets.

A twist in the portfolio tale

As Dipen Sheth indulges in introspection, he proposes a change in the management of portfolios. An interactive style, he hopes, will help deal with the crisis in a better way.

Not so great expectations

Corporate earnings are likely to fall this year. Money Today studies the top companies and sectors to examine their performance over the next few quarters.
Insight Is the tide turning?

Is the tide turning?

After huge redemptions in September and October, November saw investors’ confidence returning.
Portfolio Doctor Late start, slow growth

Late start, slow growth

This Visakhapatnam-based couple must try to increase surplus money and invest it in equity diversified funds to accelerate the growth of their portfolio.
Tax How can I configure my pay to minimise my tax outgo?

How can I configure my pay to minimise my tax outgo?

The Income Tax Act offers exemptions for certain categories of allowances. You can opt for some of these to minimise your tax outgo. Besides these, there are some tax-free allowances on which the employer has to pay the fringe benefit tax.
Query Corner How is an economic recession different from a slowdown?

How is an economic recession different from a slowdown?

The economic downturn has spawned several misconceptions. One such erroneous notion is that the Indian economy is facing recession. Here’s what it means and why it is not correct.
Mutual Fund Nothing new to offer

Nothing new to offer

Money Today-Plexus Management evaluates the new IDFC Tax Advantage (ELSS) Fund. It is better to invest in a fund that has earned enough to reach a high NAV and thus ensures dividends for the period that you are locked in.

'G-sec yields may decline'

Debt investments are not risk-free, though the risk is lower. Also, there is always a liquidity risk during uncertain times.

Charting a brand new course

This year, the mutual fund space will witness tougher regulations, some new players and investor-centric plans.

What's an FoF?

During an economic slowdown or recession, it is not advisable to follow a fixed investment style in mutual funds as it can be detrimental to the fund’s performance.
Upfront Crisis meter

Crisis meter

Depression, recession, bear market... all have translated to job scares, a slowdown in demand and panic attacks. Here is a recap of the spillover effects of the ongoing economic imbroglio in the last fortnight, across the globe.

Persistence pays

Policyholders gain by staying with an insurance policy, and insurance companies benefit by offering better prices and making it possible for the policyholders to stay on.
Expert View No silver lining yet

No silver lining yet

Wealth is best created through rational investing in great businesses when they are undervalued. But doing so with no reference to economic fundamentals is not rational.
Technology Tech alert 2009

Tech alert 2009

Fast cars, powerful bikes, snazzy phones, gripping games… The new year is set to offer more than its share of goodies for gizmophiles. These are just some of the many gadgets that are likely to hit the Indian markets in 2009. We also look at the new technologies that are bound to rivet the masses.
Your Wallet Big brands on sale

Big brands on sale

Given the global financial crisis, 2009 shows every sign of being a slow year for retail sales. To lure upscale customers some of the globe's biggest brands are coming up with attractive price cuts.
Talk Back 'As financial year is ending, please write more about taxes'

'As financial year is ending, please write more about taxes'

We will be coming out with a special issue on tax soon. So keep an eye out for our taxation issue. You may also find the tax calculator on our Website useful.
Editors Note From the executive editor

From the executive editor

It is clear now that the impact of global recession on India will be severe. It may not suffer as much as the developed economies like the US, Europe and Japan, but the situation here will be worse than what was anticipated a couple of months ago.
My Idea Fishing for profits

Fishing for profits

Eight friends from diverse professions join hands to launch Monster Fishing, a company that offers a unique fishing holiday on the picturesque Andaman Islands.
Books Random logic

Random logic

There is more philosophy than finance in these cult books, but randomness requires this extensive build-up to be executed, or even understood, says Kamya Jaiswal.
New Business Shifting to a higher gear

Shifting to a higher gear

At an age when most people are planning to retire, Jagdish ‘Maruti’ Khattar has turned entrepreneur. With Carnation, a network of multi-brand auto sales and service centres, on the road, the 66-year-old is raring to go, says Rakesh Rai.
Insurance High value riding on low cost

High value riding on low cost

A life insurance policy covers your life, offering benefits in case of death. Riders are a good way of enhancing a policy without having to pay as much. They not only help spread the risk but can be selected to suit specific needs.
Now and Then Cup o' costs

Cup o' costs

In India instant noodles aren’t the cheapest of foods though they are considered convenient by millions of mothers and young, working professionals.
BASICS Are you a debt junkie?

Are you a debt junkie?

Credit is a double-edged sword—it can help you fight financial difficulties or land you in one. In a bid to expand, companies let the uninitiated rack up debt without informing them of its costs. Take this short quiz to find out how well you manage debt.
Banking To prepay or not

To prepay or not

The kind of loan you have taken will decide whether you should foreclose or stick to the EMI schedule. Foreclosing a loan may not always be a simple procedure or the best option. Here are the facts you should consider before doing so.