If you invest in mutual funds, get ready to disclose your annual income or net worth among other details in the new know-yourcustomer (KYC) form. In order to prevent crash in stock exchanges due to uncontrolled trades and wrong orders, the Securities and Exchange Board of India has barred exchanges from accepting any order exceeding Rs 10 crore. Your old cheques will remain valid till March 2013 as banks have failed to implement a new system proposed by the central bank. RBI has come up with draft guidelines to popularise fixed-rate home loans. The guidelines ask banks to encourage fixed rate long-term loan products with rate reset at 7-10 years. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to issue only online debit cards that require you to type in your secret code for each transaction. A look at recent rulings which can affect you - You might 'lose' a bigger chunk of your salary if the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) decides to expand the scope of salary for computing the EPF contribution. Life insurers may charge you less premiums from the next financial year as the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) plans to release new mortality rates.
When equity markets are rising, you should invest less in debt, as the two have a negative correlation. When equity is doing well, debt returns usually fall, and when debt is doing well, equity underperforms. In November 2012, market regulator Sebi allowed Fixed Maturity Plans (FMP) to buy credit default swaps, a product which insures debt investments. This is expected to make FMP investments more secure and attractive. A key assumption that you need to make while setting financial goals is the return from investments. Therefore, the key to the long-term success is to have realistic expectations and patience to allow investments to grow in a disciplined manner.
Equities have outperformed gold in 2012 resulting in 12.5 per cent average one-year return from diversified equity funds against 9.6 per cent of gold ETFs. SBI Magnum Equity has outperformed its category in the past five years -
Home loan insurance, or any mortgage redemption insurance plan, is inevitably part of a banker's sales pitch when extending sizable long-term credit, such as a home loan. Though lenders insist on it, the cover may not be necessary if you have adequate life insurance. Gerry Grimstone, Chairman, Standard Life, talks to Sarbajeet K Sen on a host of issues relating to the insurance sector. Edinburgh-based Standard Life has a 26 per cent stake in HDFC Life. Every day, professionals are exposed to risks that require special covers. A doctor, for instance, faces the risk of a financial liability as a result of an error while rendering professional service.
A loan to a family member or a friend is usually unsecured. The terms and conditions are undefined or hazy and demanding payback is difficult. And if the loan goes bad, the relationship also sours. Moreover, such a loan is usually interest-free. Make sure lending to a family member does not become a headache.
Sam Abraham introduces new products to help you zero in on those that offer value for money.
According to experts, any change in promoter holding is important from the investor's point of view. However, it should not be the only basis for investment decisions. Low-priced stocks are not always cheap. A stock's value is not gauged by its price alone but depends on its ability to give higher returns in the future. JK Lakshmi Cement is among the top gainers in the past six months with return of 108 per cent.
Electronic transactions are fast catching on but branch banking is unlikely to go out of fashion completely. Are you scouting for a loan to buy a house, a car or for your child's education? Given below are the best deals on offer from public and private sector lenders.
In a speculative market, the end-user interest is low, resulting in apartments lying vacant or yielding low rental income. Investing in areas where buyers are searching for homes rather than investment avenues can insulate you from any sharp price fall.
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Access to information is increasingly mobile. Here is a list of some Android and iOS apps to enhance your motoring life.
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2013 could be a year where you might have to remain cautious, and selective, on equity investment, while you will do well to spread a generous portion of your investible surplus across debt instruments.