The story on investing in the current market boom (Finding Value at 21,000, November 2010) was informative. But considering that the Sensex has breached the 21,000 level, isn't it better to book profits rather than try to increase exposure to equity? - VEERESH CHOPRA, Ludhiana
Though the Sensex has breached the 21,000 mark, in terms of valuation it is still lower than the previous high. The Sensex is trading at about 17 times the 2011-12 estimated earnings, which is neither cheap nor too expensive.
Remember that investors made money even during the 2008 peak. Most stocks that provided good alpha returns also earned high returns on equity. Even now, there are stocks that meet these criteria. Also, buy stocks that have proven track records and do so in a staggered manner. Caution is advisable, but don't ignore a good stock even in a market boom.
The change from the per minute pulse pricing to per second format in telecom (New Rules of the Game, November 2010) has probably impacted the maximum number of conumers in the previous financial year. Add to it the 3G initiative, including data cards, and consumers are set to derive more benefits at lower costs. - HANUMANT SINHA, Patna
The coverage of the revised Direct Taxes Code (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, October 2010) was very useful. I understand that the DTC proposes to impose tax on maturity returns from insurance policies. Should the policyholders, who have invested in unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips) for 5-7 years, exit before a cut-off date to save tax on maturity? - V. RAMAKRISHNAN, Bengaluru
Exiting Ulips may not be a good idea as these plans are front-loaded with charges. So, withdrawing before at least 10 years may prove to be costly. However, the Ulips that have a premium of less than 5% of the sum assured and are bought before the DTC comes into effect, will remain outside the tax net if held till maturity.
If an insurance policy is bought online, isn't it difficult for a customer to get information on the product as the intermediary or the agent has been eliminated? - SEEMA SIDHU, Delhi
The terms and conditions of an insurance policy are easily available online. The client can also contact the company directly. Moreover, if a customer is not satisfied, he can choose to cancel the policy within 15 days of receiving the documents. In such a case, the customer is paid back the premium, minus the cost of stamp duty, medical reports and proportionate premium for the period for which the risk was covered.
The story on the alternatives to debit cards (Secure Payment, November 2010) was handy. The safety that these cards offer against identity theft is worth the trouble of reapplying. - GANESH TENDULKAR, Mumbai
The story on cheap holiday destinations (Big Bash for Small Bucks, November 2010) was well-timed. I hope MONEY TODAY continues exploring such options for travellers who are on a tight budget. - SMITA SINGH, Amritsar