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  • Only if they offer expected, high returns. Occasionally, it pays more to follow your own rationality and adopt a different approach. Here are some contrarian strategies that can result in more gains.
  • In the current scenario, yes. It's a better option than buying a house as the real estate market is overheated and speculation has driven up the prices, while rental values have not kept pace with this trend.
  • Yes, because all the factors that had contributed to the rise in the price of gold in 2008-10 are in play again and analysts expect the yellow metal to do well in the coming months.
  • Only if you can buy a new policy with a bigger insurance cover for the same price. Of late, term plan premiums have come down and online plans are far cheaper.
  • Life insurers are finally waking up to the potential of the Internet as they launch online products in quick succession. Customers are giving these plans a thumbs-up.
  • The uptrend in the stock market is attracting hordes of investors. However, adopting a contrarian approach and investing in other avenues can be equally profitable.
  • With inflation showing no signs of abating and the RBI not in a mood to ease the monetary tightening, medium- and long-term debt funds can continue to give poor returns.
  • Not if you have a 1-2 year investing horizon. Given the prevailing uncertainty and high valuations of other assets, fixed deposits are a better option now.
  • Not always. A stock could be available at a price lower than its peers for a variety of reasons. Don't be tempted by this. It's more important to know about the growth prospects of the company.
  • No, don't invest in a scrip just because it is in a fund's portfolio. Fund managers can also make mistakes, especially when valuations are at peak levels. A good share bought at a high price is a bad investment.
  • In the current financial uncertainty, following set principles of investing may not yield desirable returns. Find out how to maximise gains by adopting contrarian strategies.
Dec 01, 2010
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Smart Spending Affordable luxury

Affordable luxury

Members-only fashion websites offer deep discounts on luxury brands and high-end products. It's a win-win proposition for all - consumers, suppliers and the websites.

The world in my pocket

Buying is not always the better option. Hiring gadgets and appliances can be more cost-effective and convenient, especially if it's for the short term.

The Hot & the not so Happening

Sam Abraham reviews new products and services to help you zero in on those that offer value for money.

Big group, small price

Group buying is the latest online trend offering big discounts on leisure activities and at eateries, a first in the country.
Banking Double Whammy

Double Whammy

While a co-borrower can ease the burden of a loan, the move can backfire if the partner defaults. Here are some options to help resolve the situation.

Nothing Personal

Borrowing against assets such as gold or property can be a lot cheaper than a personal loan.
Careers Winning at Workplace

Winning at Workplace

In the final part of this sub-series on negotiation, Devashish Chakravarty suggests ways to deal with the boss, peers and juniors while maintaining a cordial relationship.

Voluntary Gains

If you are looking for a career shift or simply boost your resume, overseas volunteering can be a good option.

Paying to get cheated

While working from home is an attractive option, beware of swindlers who will rob you of your money instead of paying you.
Perspective Worth the weight?

Worth the weight?

It's ironical how we hate to lose out on a few grams of vegetables while haggling with the vendor, but are blinded by the bright lights of a store while picking up grocery.

Smooth way to pay

For many commuters, the worst part about using public transport is not the crowd, noise or traffic; it's the tedium of carrying a large amount of loose change.

European Option

The Securities and Exchange Board of India has now allowed the bourses to introduce the European style of trading stock options.

Realty check

Buying a house is a tedious, worrisome process, and it's not just financing that we are talking about. There are several things one needs to check.

Optimistic Indians

Indian consumers are the most confident worldwide, according to the Global Consumer Confidence Index survey released in November by research firm The Nielsen Company.

Protected Benefits

Does the fear of losing your credit card make you check your wallet every five minutes to ensure it's intact? A better and safer option is for you to go in for the SBI Platinum Card.

Growth plan

Life insurers are constantly coming up with innovative plans to woo customers. Now, it's the turn of HDFC Life, which has launched ProGrowth Maximiser, a 10-year Ulip.

Regulator Watch

A look at the recent rulings that can affect you:
Last Word Are you game?

Are you game?

Is it a winning market? You could play it for profit if the set of favourable factors, such as improving corporate performance, FII inflows and the upswing in hiring, continue.
Talk Back Letters talk back

Letters talk back

The story on investing in the current market boom (Finding Value at 21,000, November 2010) was informative. But isn't it better to book profits rather than try increase exposure to equity?
Mutual Fund Encouraging Growth

Encouraging Growth

Diversified investments in healthy sectors have helped MONEY TODAY-Value Research Lifestage Model Fund Portfolios earn steady returns in an erratic market.
Insurance A paltry price for protection

A paltry price for protection

The low cost of term insurance allows customers to buy adequate life cover. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you go shopping for one.

The risk of getting insured

Insurance continues to be missold despite industry's claims to the contrary and senior citizens are the softest targets as they don't understand the newfangled products.
Investment Capital safety, modest returns

Capital safety, modest returns

Structured products such as capital protection funds allow investors to gain an exposure to equities without the risk of a downside.

Disposition effect

In the third part of the series on investor psychology, learn why you tend to carry your losses or are blindfolded by small profits.
Stocks The comeback quarter

The comeback quarter

The second quarter results for 2010-11 indicate that the Indian markets have bounced back, with most companies exceeding analysts' expectations.

A period of strong growth

The second quarter of 2010-11 saw few surprises, with growth continuing in sales, order pipelines and earnings in domestic investment and consumption-driven sectors.

Fever pitch

It may have been a record year for IPOs, but investors need to be cautious, as the Sensex has breached the 20,000-level.
Expert View Why I will remember 2010

Why I will remember 2010

With its swings and surprises, growth and aggression, 2010 has left an impact. Here, four industry experts recall why the passing year is likely to be etched in memories - theirs and investors'.
Interviews 'Markets will give better returns next decade'

'Markets will give better returns next decade'

Amisha Vora, joint managing director, Prabhudas Lilladher, talks to R. Sree Ram about what the Indian investors can expect in the current market boom.
Query Corner Query Corner

Query Corner

Taxspanner.com will answer queries on tax, Antony Jacob, CEO of Apollo Munich, will deal with health insurance, and Anil Rego, CEO, Right Horizons, will tackle financial issues.
Books Grounded in basics

Grounded in basics

It's yet another primer on markets, but both veteran and novice investors can benefit from the lucid, sound advice.
Health Care A healthy spread

A healthy spread

Stand-alone health insurers are making a mark by introducing novel policies that cover everything from joint families to a visit to the dentist.
Mutual Funds Is the online channel cheaper for investors?

Is the online channel cheaper for investors?

Not if you are investing through a bank or a brokerage house. The fixed charges levied on mutual fund trading facility and debit of securities from a demat account will be too high.
Insight Best performing funds

Best performing funds

Mid-cap funds continue to fare better than the equity diversified large-caps, returning 37.9 per cent in the past one year compared with the latter's 25.6 per cent.

Best performing stocks

Small- and mid-cap stocks continue to do well, with eight stocks doubling in value in the past six months.

A Measure of Confidence

While retail investors seem upbeat in the current market scenario, corporates and advisers are more cautious, according to the latest J.P. Morgan Investment Confidence Index.

Diversified Achiever

Quantum Long Term Equity has delivered steady returns, beating the category and benchmark in the past three years.
Editors Note From the Editor

From the Editor

Anybody who had invested in Tata Consultancy Services in November 2007 would have more than tripled his money in the past three years. But few investors did.