After a few hikes in marginal cost based funding rate (MCLR) by some banks in past two months, banks first raised the rates on bulk deposits.
Nikhil Walavalkar | Mar 01, 2018 01:13 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
The largest public sector bank in India – State Bank of India – has decided to increase the interest rate payable on retail deposits, followed by an increase in MCLR (marginal cost of funds-based lending rate) – the rate charged on loans – by up to 20 basis points. As the largest lender revises its interest rates, should you be worried with your financial plan?
Before getting into corrective measures and means to exploit the rate action, you should spend a minute understanding why rates have gone up.
“Towards the end of the financial year the liquidity in the market has gone down. The banks are keen to raise money. The rates are hiked as a lagged response to the rising bond yields,” said Mahendra Kumar Jajoo, head – fixed income, Mirae Asset Management.
For the uninitiated, the benchmark 10-year bond yield has moved up to 7.78 percent from a low of of 6.18 percent on December 7, 2016.
Banks typically take time to raise their fixed deposit rates. After a few hikes in MCLR by some banks in past two months, banks first raised the rates on bulk deposits. Now interest rates on retail fixed deposits are being hiked. This is a sign of relief for most fixed deposit investors who were forced to consider investing in the volatile stock markets through mutual funds.
Though the interest rate hike on fixed deposits is good news for conservative investors, one should not expect fireworks in the form of aggressive rate hikes in near future.
“As of now the liquidity tightening is the cause behind the fixed deposit rate hikes. RBI has maintained its neutral stance on the monetary issues. This may change to hawkish over next six months,” said Joydeep Sen, founder of wiseinvestor.in, a Mumbai-based wealth management firm.
Though the interest rates are set to go up and others are expected to follow SBI, the process of rate hikes will be gradual. “Bank fixed deposit investors may see higher rates over next six to twelve months. You can consider opting for six months to one year fixed deposits and rolling it over at higher rates when they mature,” Sen advised.
Rising interest rates, however, ring alarm bells for both bond fund investors and borrowers. The increase in yield suppresses the prices of bonds and thereby hurts investors in bond funds as net asset values of the bond funds go down. Recent spike in bond yields have taken a heavy toll on bond funds. Long term gilt funds lost 2.1 percent over past three months, on an average.
The prevalent bond yields are a result of the market discounting RBI’s hawkish stance one year down the line, according to experts. Although opinions are divided on the extent of a further surge in yields, there seems to be a consensus when it comes to volatility in the bond market.
If you are not comfortable with the volatility, you should stay away from long-term bond funds and income funds that invest in longer-term paper.
“Short term bond funds are good investment option at this juncture as they invest in bonds maturing in two to three years, where the yields are attractive,” said Jajoo. If you are comfortable with some amount of volatility and expect a sideways move in yields, you may consider investing in income funds and dynamic bond funds.
While fixed income investors see a mixed bag in the rising interest rate regime, borrowers, especially those on floating rate liabilities, are expected to see tough times ahead. The banking sector is undergoing a situation of extreme pressure on margins due to an increase in non-performing assets like never before.
The rise in yields and fixed deposit rates will ensure that banks will be forced to raise their MCLR. This will result in an increase in the floating rate for home loan borrowers. For example, if you have a Rs 50 lakh home loan for 15 years and the rate is hiked to 8.45 percent from 8.25 percent, then the EMI changes to Rs 49,090 from Rs 48,507, an increase of Rs 583. You may ascertain the possible impact on you using EMI calculator.
“Other banks will definitely follow the MCLR hike action of SBI. The rates on home loans may be hiked by the end of this month or in early April,” said Sukanya Kumar, founder of RetailLending.com.
Banks may postpone their rate hikes to attract home loan volumes and close the financial year with good numbers. But home loan borrowers should be prepared to pay higher EMIs in the near future.
Rates will be revised depending on the MCLR time frame. For example, if your home loan is linked to 6-month MCLR, you can expect rates to change after six months from the last reset. The 6-month MCLR prevalent at that time will be applicable to your home loan at the time of reset.
If interest rates continue their journey northward, cash flows do change for you. Account for them well in advance to ensure that you do not get caught off guard.
Find out in the ET Wealth RICS report
Updated: Dec 16, 2016, 05.37 PM IST | Economic Times
ET Wealth Survey Series is an effort to bridge the gap between industry, marketers and consumers. It is a well-researched effort to identify the vacuum that exists in the consumer personal finance space. With ET Wealth Surveys, we want you to know better how your audience earns, spends, invests and saves.
Of the universe of 156 million urban internet users, given here is the estimated size of each investment product:
By Jayant Pai | Jun 20, 2016, 07.00 AM IST | Economic Times
Every parent fondly looks forward to the day when children will begin earning a steady income. However, for Indian parents, it is difficult to sever the metaphorical umbilical cord even after their child secures financial independence.
There are various reasons parents do not shy away from advising their children on money matters. One, they feel that their naive children will be parted from their money if left to their own devices. Hence, right from the first payday, they will tell you about the virtues of saving and warn against reckless spending. Two, they do not want their children to make the same mistakes they made, be it a failed investment or a loan to a friend which was never returned. Three, errors of commission committed by close family members also play a part in conditioning parents’ thought process.
Why such advice may be less effective today: The previous generation was brought up on the belief that the collective wisdom of elders was indispensable. Today’s generation is a bundle of contradictions. On the one hand, they are avowedly individualistic. On the other, they are swear by the opinions of peers in social media on every topic, be it fashion, electronics or money. Hence, parental influence is waning.
While every generation thinks it knows best when it comes to finance and investments, today’s youngsters have more educational and decision-making tools at their disposal. These may be in the form of blogs, apps, portals and even robo-advisers/algorithms. In fact, they face a glut, rather than a drought, of information. Hence, parents may often be behind the curve.
Today, wealth managers are increasingly viewing such youngsters as an economically viable segment. Hand-holding newbies, with the hope of growing with them as they uptrade, is a strategic choice.
Should children listen to their parents? In most cases, the advice received from parents is well-meaning. That may not necessarily be true in case of advice from outsiders. However, good intentions alone are not sufficient to render it suitable. While certain home truths like avoiding borrowing for consumption or maintaining a high savings rate are worth heeding, others are better ignored.
For instance, many parents dissuade their children from investing in stocks and suggest they opt for fixed deposits or gold. This may stem either from their own poor experience in the stock market or a belief that stocks are risky and another form of gambling. However, by blindly heeding such advice, youngsters may do themselves a great disservice since they forego the power of compounding that equities offer.
Similarly, parents may consider real estate as a great investment option even if they have to avail of a heavy mortgage. Children should follow such advice only after considering the repercussions of paying EMIs for long tenures of 25-30 years. Also, some parents are averse to their children purchasing insurance policies, fearing that this is an invitation to disaster. Such superstitions should not stand in the way of protecting life, limb and health. In a nutshell, when it comes to parental advice, trust them, but verify the advice.
(By Jayant Pai, CFP & Head, Marketing at PPFAS Mutual Fund)
Source : http://goo.gl/iECSwU
By Babar Zaidi, ET Bureau | Mar 14, 2016, 10.30 IST | Economic Times
The 31 March deadline is barely two weeks away, but many taxpayers are yet to sew up their tax planning for the year. Either they were unfamiliar with the tax rules, confused by the array of options or just plain lazy. Whatever be the reason, they are now sitting ducks for unscrupulous distributors and financial advisers who capitalise on the approaching deadline and palm off high-cost investments to unsuspecting investors.
This week’s cover story is aimed at taxpayers who still have to invest under Section 80C. As a first step, calculate how much more you need to invest. Many taxpayers don’t know that tuition fees of up to two children is eligible for deduction under Section 80C. For many parents with schoolgoing children, this takes care of a large portion of their tax-saving investment limit.
Also, the principal portion of the home loan EMI and the stamp duty and the registration charges paid for a house bought during the year are all eligible for the deduction. If they include the contribution to the Provident Fund and premiums of existing insurance policies, they might discover that their tax planning is nearly taken care of. Use the table provided to calculate how much more you need to invest this year.
Put small amount in ELSS
Your approach now should be different from what we advised earlier this year. In January, we had listed ELSS funds as the best tax-saving instrument. They are low on charges, fairly transparent, offer high liquidity, the returns are tax-free and they have the potential to create wealth. Also, you are under no compulsion to make subsequent investments. Investing in ELSS funds is easy because you can apply online. Many fund houses even pick up KYC documents from your residence. You can also get your KYC done online.
However, at the same time, studies have shown that a staggered approach works best when investing in equity funds. It’s too late to take the SIP route in March and investing a large sum at one go can be risky. Investors who took the SIP route in top ELSS funds in 2014-15, have made money, but those who waited and invested lump sum in March 2015 are saddled with losses.
Unfortunately, not many investors understand the simple logic behind SIPs. Barely 15% of the total inflows into the ELSS category comes through monthly SIPs and nearly 25% of the total inflows are invested as lump sum in March. We suggest that you avoid putting a large sum at one go in ELSS funds and put only a small amount at this stage. It’s best to start an SIP after April in a scheme with a good track record.
PPF and FDs are safe bets
Unlike the ELSS funds, you can invest blindly in the PPF. If you already have a PPF account, just put the remaining portion of your Section 80C limit in it and be done with it. Opening a new account at this stage may not be feasible if you have to submit the proof of investment this week. Even if you manage to open an account, you will be cutting it too fine. If your investment cheque is not encashed by 31 March due to any reason, you may be denied the deduction for this year. Some banks like ICICI Bank allow online investments in the PPF, which is a better option than the offline route.
If you don’t have a PPF account, go for tax-saving fixed deposits or NSCs. They did not score very high rank in our ranking of tax saving instruments in January because the interest is fully taxable, which brings down the effective post-tax returns in the 30% tax bracket to less than 6%. However, with just two weeks left to go, they could be good options to save tax in a hurry. Sure, you will earn low returns, but there are no hidden charges or any compulsion to invest in subsequent years.
They will push you to buy insurance policies that can become millstones around your neck. Don’t sign up for insurance policies in a hurry. To make things easier for the buyer, the agent even does the paperwork. All the buyer has to do is sign the application form and write a cheque. But any investment that requires a multi-year commitment must be assessed in detail, so don’t let the agent force you into a decision.
In our January ranking, life insurance policies were at the bottom of the heap. Experts say it is not a good idea to mix insurance with investment. Buy a term plan for insuring yourself and invest in other more lucrative options than a traditional insurance policy that offers 6-7% returns. A costly insurance policy prevents you from investing for other goals. If you are paying a very high premium, it is advisable to turn the policy into a paid up plan. The insurance cover will continue but you can stop paying the premium.
Pension plans from insurance companies also rank very low. Even though 33% of the corpus was tax free on maturity, the low-cost New Pension System (NPS) was seen as a better alternative. Last year, the government announced an additional deduction of Rs 50,000 for investments in the NPS. This year’s Budget has made the scheme more attractive by making 40% of the corpus tax free on maturity.
Till a few months ago, opening an NPS account was considered an uphill task. You had to run around for weeks, even months, before the account became operative. This has now changed. Turn to Page 6 to know how you can take the online route to open an NPS account in just 25-30 minutes.
No proof? No problem
Salaried taxpayers are expected to submit proof of investment to their employers by mid-March. That window is nearly closed now. If you have not submitted the proof of your tax saving investments, TDS will be deducted from your March salary. But don’t let that stop you from investing now. If you are able to invest by 31 March, you can claim a refund of the excess tax deducted from your salary. However, you will get that money back only when you file your tax return in July.
Source : http://goo.gl/gZZqCR
Babar Zaidi | TNN | Jan 11, 2016, 08.57 AM IST | Times of India
Do-it-yourself tax planning can be rewarding and challenging. Rewarding, because you can choose the tax-saving instrument that best suits your needs. Challenging, because if you make the wrong choice, you are stuck with an unsuitable investment for at least 3-5 years. This is where our annual ranking of best tax-saving options can prove helpful. It assesses all the investment options on seven key parameters—returns, safety, flexibility, liquidity, costs, transparency and taxability of income. Each parameter is given equal weightage and a composite score is worked out for the various tax-saving options.
While the ranking is based on a robust methodology, your choice should also take into account your requirements and financial goals. We consider the pros and cons of each option and tell you which instrument is best suited for taxpayers in different situations and lifestages. We hope it will help you make an informed choice. Happy investing!
ELSS funds top our ranking because of their tremendous potential, high liquidity and transparency. The ELSS category has given average returns of 17.8% in the past 3 years. The 3-year lock-in period is the shortest for any Section 80C option.
If you have already fulfilled KYC requirements, you can invest online. Even if you are a new investor, fund houses facilitate the investment by picking up documents from your house and guiding you through the KYC screening. ELSS funds are equity schemes and carry the same market risk as any other diversified fund. Last year was not good for equities, and even top-rated ELSS funds lost money. However, the funds are miles ahead of PPF in 3- and 5-year returns.
The SIP route is the best way to contain the risk of investing in equity funds. However, with just three months left for the financial year to end, at best, a taxpayer will manage 2-3 SIPs before 31 March. Since valuations are not stretched right now, one can put in a bigger amount.
Opt for the direct plan. Returns are higher because charges are lower.
The new online Ulips are ultra cheap, with some of them costing even less than direct mutual funds. They also offer greater flexibility. Unlike ELSS funds, where the investment cannot be touched for three years, Ulip investors can switch their corpus from equity to debt, and vice versa. What’s more, there is no tax implication of gains made from switching because insurance plans enjoy exemption under Section 10 (10d). Even so, only savvy investors who know how to use the switching facility should get in.
Opt for liquid or debt funds of the Ulip and gradually shift the money to the equity fund.
The last Budget made the NPS attractive as a tax-saving tool by offering an additional tax deduction of Rs 50,000. Also, pension fund managers have been allowed to invest in a larger basket of stocks.
Concerns remain about the cap on equity exposure. Besides, the taxability of the NPS on maturity is a sore point. At least 40% of the corpus must be put in an annuity. Right now, the income from annuities is taxed at the normal rate.
Opt for the auto choice where the equity exposure is linked to age and comes down as you grow older.
PPF AND VPF
It’s been almost four years since the PPF rate was linked to the benchmark bond yield. But bond yields have stayed buoyant and the PPF rate has not fallen. However, the government has indicated that it will review the interest rates on small savings schemes, including PPF and NSCs. If this is a worry, opt for the Voluntary Provident Fund. It offers that same interest rate and tax benefits as the EPF. There is no limit to how much you can invest in the VPF. The contribution gets deducted from the salary itself so the investor does not even feel it go.
Allocate 25% of your pay hike to VPF. You won’t notice the deduction.
SUKANYA SAMRIDDHI SCHEME
This scheme for the girl child is a great way to save tax. It is open only to girls below 10. If you have a daughter that old, the Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme is a better option than bank deposits, child plans and even the PPF account. Accounts can be opened in any post office or designated branches of PSU banks with a minimum Rs 1,000. The maximum investment in a financial year is Rs 1.5 lakh and deposits can be made for 14 years. The account matures when the girl turns 21, though up to 50% of the corpus can be withdrawn after she turns 18.
Instead of PPF, put money in the Sukanya scheme and earn 50 bps more.
SENIOR CITIZENS’ SCHEME This is the best tax-saving instrument for retirees. At 9.3%, it offers the highest interest rate among all Post Office schemes. The tenure is 5 years, extendable by 3 years. Interest is paid quarterly on fixed dates. However, there is a Rs 15 lakh overall investment limit.
If you want ot invest more than Rs 15 lakh, gift the amount to your spouse and invest in her name.
BANK FDS AND NSCs
Though bank FDs and NSCs offer assured returns, the interest earned on the deposits is fully taxable. They are best suited to taxpayers in the 10% bracket or senior citizens who have exhausted the Rs 15 lakh limit in the Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme.
Invest in FDs and NSCs if you don’t have time to assess the other options and the deadline is near.
Pension plans from insurance companies still have high charges which makes them poor investments. They also force the investor to put a larger portion (66%) of the corpus in an annuity. The prevailing annuity rates are not very attractive. Pension plans launched by mutual funds have lower charges, but are MFs disguised as pension plans. Moreover, they are debtoriented plans so they are not eligible for tax benefits that equity plans enjoy.
Invest in plans from mutual funds. They offer greater flexibility than those from life insurers.
Traditional life insurance policies remain the worst way to save tax. Still, millions of taxpayers buy these policies every year, lured by the “triple benefits” of life insurance cover, longterm savings and tax benefits. Actually, these policies give very little cover. A premium of Rs 20,000 a year will get you a cover of roughly Rs 2 lakh. The returns are very poor, barely 6% if you opt for a 20-year plan. And the tax-free income is a sham. Going by the indexation rule, if the returns are below the inflation rate, the income should anyway be tax free. The problem is that once you sign up for these policies, they become millstones around your neck.
If you can’t afford to pay the premium, turn your insurance plan into a paid-up policy.
Rajeshwari Adappa | Tuesday, 24 November 2015 – 6:50am IST | Agency: dna | From the print edition
Defensive investment strategy of choosing secure and safe investments over riskier ones give lesser returns in the long run. The allocation to FDs and gold is much higher in India when compared to developed countries and the ownership of equities is very low. To get more bang for their buck, investors need to change their investment strategy as a few decades back, there were not many alternatives and inflation was not a known devil
For the same corpus invested in retirement funds, Indians make lesser money than their western counterparts.
Yogitaa Dand, financial advisor (associated with DSP BlackRock’s Winvestor initiative for women) says, “Yes, I do agree that Indians are not earning as much as they should from their investments, and hence, they do retire poorer than their foreign counterparts.”
“The reasons are manifold. However, the two distinctive reasons are that till date Indians have always given least priority to their retirement corpus and the greatest priority to the education of their children,” says Yogitaa.
Thus, Indians end up dipping into their nest egg, reducing the corpus considerably.
“Secondly, they have been more conservative in their investments, choosing secure and safe investments over riskier ones, which would otherwise have given them better returns in the long run,” adds Yogitaa.
A leading fund manager blames the “limiting thought process” for the comparatively poorer returns on investments. Indians use a ‘defensive’ investment strategy that lays too much stress on the ‘safety’ aspect.
“While we Indians have been very smart savers, unfortunately, we have not been the best of investors with our focus being on secure and assured return vehicles, eventually giving us lower returns,” says Yogitaa.
According to Vaibhav Agrawal, VP & head of research, Angel Broking, the reason for the lower returns on investments is that “the allocation to fixed deposits and gold is much higher in India when compared to developed countries. Also, the ownership of equities is very low in India.”
“In the US, the amount invested in equity mutual funds is $8.3 trillion (approx. Rs 550 lakh crore) and the amount in bank deposits is $10.4 trillion (approx. Rs 690 lakh crore). In India, the amount invested in equity mutual funds is Rs 3.8 lakh crore while the amount invested in bank deposits is Rs 89 lakh crore,” points out Agrawal.
Over a long term period, it has been seen that equity investments have given higher returns than bank FDs. “The compounded return from the top 50 schemes of equity MFs is in the region of 14.5% while the post-tax return on FDs is 6.5%,” says Agrawal. Even if one were to invest in the Nifty stocks, the returns would be in the region of 12% without dividend, and with dividend, the returns would be 13.5%.
Certified financial planner (CFP) Gaurav Mashruwala explains the reason for the bias towards FDs and other ‘safe’ investments. “Indians have seen very high interest rates in the past. The PPF fetched a return of 12% while bank FDs earned about 15-16% and company deposits earned even more at 21-22%,” he says.
“We also need to understand that a few decades back, we did not have many alternatives and choices to investments. Also, inflation was not a known devil,” adds Yogitaa.
Another reason for the ‘safe and defensive’ strategy seems to be the lack of a social security system in India. “We can look at NPS as an alternative to the social security system. However, it cannot be a complete substitute to the same,” points out Yogitaa.
But the volatility and unpredictability of the stock markets is the main roadblock in the case of equity investments. “Equity investments need a different mindset, much like that of a businessman,” points out Mashruwala. Not all investors are comfortable with the rollercoaster-like ups and downs of the stock markets.
The good news is that the scenario is changing. “People have started investing more in equities. The psychology of the investor and the regulator too is changing. Even the provident fund money is now being invested in equities,” adds Mashruwala.
If Indians want to get more bang for their buck, they need to change their investment strategy. “A person with a low risk investment portfolio can earn anywhere between 5-8% while a person with medium risk investment portfolio would earn approximately 8-10%. A person with a high risk investment portfolio would earn anywhere between 12-18% on a CAGR basis over a period of time,” explains Yogitaa. After all, risks and rewards are but two sides of the same coin.
Incidentally, Mashruwala is not too concerned about the western counterpart getting higher returns. “Remember, in all probability, the western counterpart also has more debt compared to the average Indian. It is highly likely that the Indian probably owns the house unlike his western counterpart,” says Mashruwala.
Source : http://goo.gl/hHcZR3
AYUSH BHARGAVA Financial Planner | Jul 30, 2015, 08.44 PM | Source: Moneycontrol.com
Fixed deposits cannot offer a rate of return in excess of inflation. If you are planning for a long term goal, employ of a mix of both debt and equity
It was during March – April 2015 when due to second consecutive fall in repo rate, banks started reducing fixed deposit (FD) rates and as a result, conservative investors started locking their money in FD and other debt products. Those who were looking for more returns were also seen investing into corporate FD with poor ratings. FD is one of the most popular products in India. More than half of the total financial saving in India is in the form of FD. Investment in India is not done according to the asset allocation or risk profile of an investor; it is done according to the risk profile of the product. One can often find investors searching for a product wherein savings will be safe and they can earn the maximum rate of return. This usually happens when one is not an expert with different financial products and investors with very little risk taking capacity end up making investment in fixed deposits or other fixed investment products.
Why over exposure in fixed income securities can be risky for long term goals?
Conservative investors should understand that investing only in debt products can result in over exposure in a particular asset class which will not only imbalance the portfolio but will also impact the overall return on investment. Fixed income securities are not capable of beating inflation in long term. Inflation erodes the major part of returns offered by fixed income products and this is the reason why one may not become rich or wealthy. These instruments are also not tax friendly as equity investments are. Interest earned on most of these instruments is taxable. The returns in this product are lower than equity investments in the long term and thus to achieve a particular goal a conservative investor needs to invest more as compared to an aggressive investor.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example – Suppose there are three investors with different risk profile. All of them want to accumulate Rs. 40 Lakh for their children’s graduation which is due after 15 years. They earn Rs. 40,000 per month and save Rs. 6,000 for investment purpose. Let’s see who will be able to achieve the goal.
It is clear from the above example that considering a return of 8% yearly on portfolio, conservative investor will not be able to accumulate the target amount. On the other hand an investor with a balanced view where he invests equally into equity and debt products (12% CAGR) and aggressive investor (considering 15% CAGR) will achieve goals without worrying about inflation and other issues.
Here the right asset allocation is very important. An aggressive investor cannot continue with equity all his life due to volatility factor and in the same manner a conservative investor cannot solely depend upon debt products and should consider tax liability of the product and its implication on future goals. He should consider including equity investment as a part of the portfolio which will help in beating inflation and thus maintaining a proper balance.
During accumulation phase overexposure in any asset class will always result in failure to achieve future goals. Please remember the strategy of having a fixed income focused portfolio will work during distribution phase where security is more important than other things. Even if you are retired and running a fixed income portfolio, it is better to run a portfolio comprising more tax efficient options such as tax free bonds and income funds.
Source : http://goo.gl/8q4n29