Saturday, January 28, 2017

Top 5 tax saving mutual fund schemes (ELSS) for 2017

As we approach year end, our search for the best tax saving instrument under 80c ends at tax saving #ELSS mutual fund schemes. By far the best investment tool with triple exemption benefit (no tax to be paid for buying, accumulation, redemption) with the lowest lock-in period of 3 years and maximum exposure to the capital market for young professionals or anyone who wishes to focus on long-term wealth creation through equity market. For the beginners, ELSS is an actively managed equity fund by an experienced fund managers with an equally equipped equity research team. Over last 5 years, ELSS category has given over 12% tax-free annualised return on an average which is way higher than any other tax saving tools. Hence, it is my favourite tax saving instrument.

Top 10 reasons to invest in ELSS schemes
  1.  Minimum investment for a monthly investment is Rs. 500
  2.  No obligation of repeat investment in the same fund every year
  3.  No maturity/redemption obligation on completion of 3 years (unless specified by the   fund/scheme), can withdraw anytime once the lock-in period is over
  4.  It can be held as long as the investor wants, giving it a chance to build long-term wealth
  5.  The fund is managed by able fund management teams
  6.  Low fee structure and expenses, about 2-2.5% yearly
  7.  No long term capital gain tax
  8.  Investor has an option to chose between dividend or growth fund
  9.  The dividend earned on these funds are tax-free
  10.  SIP method of investing would help in cost averaging
Some point of concerns –
As it is a pure equity investment, it carries market risks, highly volatile
The SIP mode of investment signifies each purchase will have a separate lock-in period of 3 years

Top 5 #Taxsaver #ELSS schemes for 2017

ELSS Schemes
AUM in crore
Returns for 3 Years
Returns for 5 years
#DSP-BR Tax Saver Fund
#Reliance Tax Saver
#Axis Long Term Equity Fund
3 star
#Birla SL Tax Relief 96
#Franklin India Tax Shield
3 star

I have listed 5 top ELSS scheme based on 5 parameters–
1. Funds with over 7 years existence
2. AUM over Rs. 1000 crore
3. Among top 10 fund house
4. Return analysis over 5 years
5. Rating consistency by CRISIL/ Value Research

This fund is out an out consistent over last 10 years. It has consistently beaten the index over 1 year, 3 year, 5 years return. This fund has out ranked most other funds in ELSS category in the period. Investment details The fund aims to generate medium to long-term return on majority investment in equity and equity related instruments. The fund has over 20% exposure in banking and finance sector however invested mostly in private sector banks, so less chance of getting affected by NPA. It has some quality cyclic stocks.

#Reliance Tax Saver Fund

ELSS fund with over 10 years existence, AUM over 5.5 thousand crore comes from a good pedigree. Rated 3 stars by CRISIL, the fund has beaten indices over 3 years and  5-year trailing returns. In the 1 and 2 year category, has been below the indices in many cases. It is a good investment with high-risk appetite. It has also given the highest return in the SIP for 10 years category. Investment details – This is a mid-cap, small-cap heavy fund, aims to generate wealth over long term. Fund manager looks for value buy of stocks with bottom-up stocks picking approach. The portfolio is well-diversified and spread across sectors. 

#Axis Long Term Equity Fund

With an AUM over 9,900 crores as of 20th Jan 2017, it leads the ELSS scheme in the top position. It has lagged in last 1 year in comparison to its peers and indices, but over 3 years, 5 years returns it is in the top 5 ranks. 
Investment details The scheme aims to generate regular long-term capital growth from a diversified portfolio of equity and related securities. It invests in companies with strong growth and sustainable business model. It has equity exposure up to 95%, given some trailing returns in the short-term but expected to even out over long term. It is still a good choice. It avoids buying companies which have excessive business uncertainty on account of cyclical, regulatory, political risks.

#Birla Sunlife TaxRelief 96   

A fund with good pedigree has a defined track history over20 years has a AUM of 2.3 thousand crore belong to good fund pedigree. In last 1year, it is trailing the index. While in 2, 3, 5 years returns, it has beaten indices return with significant margin. It has generated over 100% return over years. Investment details- It is a multicap fund with well-diversified portfolio. However, fund has a cyclical stock bias, which has its own effect on return cycles. Well diversified in its approach, the top 5 holdings only account for 26% of the portfolio.

#Franklin India Tax Shield
A fund with a track record over 7 years has been at par with index returns for 1 year and for over 2,3 and 5 years it has performed well above indices. This fund tends to be less volatile compared to its peers. Investment details- The process of the fund house is robust. This fund is known for having conservative approach, bottom-up style of stock picking and having growth style of investing. The fund with a large-cap bias which accounts for almost 60% of the portfolio has a 25% exposure in mid-cap, small-cap category.  Well diversified in portfolio construction, the top 5 holdings accounts for only 26% of the portfolio. 

Don’t break your head over minute investment return details, it is a game of sector allocation, Mkt-cap of companies and economic cycles. Choose a fund with a basic research and your investment style as criteria. #ELSS is nothing but an equity mutual fund and over long-term it is expected to give good returns, which also provide #tax benefits under income tax act, section 80C. However, it is advised to consult a professional financial planner before investing.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Direct Plan Vs. Regular plans which mutual fund plan to buy?

Direct plan or Regular plan

Amidst the volatile markets and global economic conditions, Indian #mutual fund industry has seen a steady upsurge in investments in last decade. Globally, India has established its position as an investment destination. Though Mutual Funds industry existed in India for last 30 years, its only last decade that individual investors warmed upto this investment tool.
SEBI, the regulatory authorities for equity markets in India has played a major role revamping the mutual fund industry with series of reforms and making mutual funds a transparent, low cost and high yielding instrument for individual investors. I can write a full article on the reformative steps of SEBI for the mutual fund industry which irks the players but it has only helped retail investors in gaining confidence on the investment tool.
But, in this article I would like to focus on the specific reform of splitting schemes in regular and direct plans. The move not only made a lot of news, it opened a new era low cost investing where equity direct plans cost up to 0.5 -1% less than the regular funds and 0.2% on debt funds.

What is a #direct plan and regular plan
Beginning Jan 1, 2013, all the #mutual funds mandatorily split its existing and new schemes into two with different NAVs (Unit price). The funds, when sold by the distributors were put into ‘Regular’ category, which included the upfront/trailing fee and transaction costs for the service of the broker/distributor. This is aimed at rationalizing broker’s cost for rendering his service.

‘Direct’ category for each scheme was created for investors who don’t take service of any distributor/advisor for mutual funds investment and buys from mutual fund office/online/ CAMS/KARVY App. They don’t need to pay for the extra upfront/trailing charges for the services.

Direct Vs. Regular plan
Though over time process of investing in mutual fund has become easy, but selecting the right products requires planning. Every mutual fund scheme has an investment objective and style. It is investor’s prerogative to choose right schemes based on his financial goals. However, brokers are often tempted by the upfront or trailing fee structure while suggesting funds. 

The distributors and advisors played an important role here in choosing right product mix for their clients. However, an informed investor need not require assistance on investing. Hence, SEBI proposed separate NAV for Direct funds deducting the distributor related costs.     

Illustration on how Rs. 10,000 grew from Jan 1, 2013 to Dc 2016 in direct Vis-à-vis regular plans

 Schemes – Largecap equity mutual fund                                               
Birla Sunlife Frontline Equity – Growth
Percentage return in 3 years
Total return
Direct plan
Growth Plan

ICICI Value Discovery  Midcap-smallcap fund
ICICI Pru Value Discovery – Growth
Percentage return in 3 years
Total return
Direct plan
Growth Plan

HDFC Income Fund – Debt oriented
HDFC Income Fund
Percentage return in 3 years
Total return
Direct plan
Growth Plan

Who should buy direct plan?
An informed investor should choose direct plans, as over 5 years the direct plans can give about 3-4 % extra return.

Alternative options?
If you are not financially savvy, take professional help on financial planning from certified advisors for a fee, and then buy mutual funds direct plans. But if you still require assistance in buying and managing your investments, you should buy with help of broker/distributor and choose ‘Regular’ plans. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

BSE IPO Details - sourced

Source - chittorgarh

#BSE Limited is the owner and operator of BSE Exchange (Bombay Stock Exchange), India's largest stock exchange by number of companies listed. The Bombay Stock Exchange was established in year 1875 as the first stock exchange in Asia. Today BSE has over 5000 companies listed on it, the highest in any exchange around the world. Worlds two leading global exchanges, Deutsche Bourse and Singapore Exchange are strategic partners of BSE.
BSE offers trading in Equity, Debt Instruments, Derivatives, Mutual Funds and SME Equity. The S&P BSE SENSEX is India's most widely tracked stock market benchmark index. BSE also offer services including risk management, clearing, settlement, market data services, IT services and solutions, licensing index products such as the S&P BSE SENSEX and financial & capital markets trainings.

BSE Limited Strengths
1. Strong brand recognition with a track record of innovation
2. Diversified and integrated business model and active relationship with market participants
3. State-of-the-art infrastructure and technology

Company Promoters:
The company is professionally managed and does not have an identifiable promoter. There are no shareholders who control individually or as a group, 15% or more of the voting rights of the company.
Company Financials:
Summary of financial Information
For the year/period ended (in Rs. Million)
Total Assets
Total Revenue
Profit After Tax (PAT)

Issue Detail:
  »»  Issue Open: Jan 23, 2017 - Jan 25, 2017 
  »»  Issue Type: Book Built Issue IPO 
  »»  Issue Size: 15,427,197 Equity Shares of Rs 2 aggregating up to Rs 1,243.43 Cr
    ›  Offer for Sale of 15,427,197 Equity Shares of Rs 2 aggregating up to Rs [.] Cr 
  »»  Face Value: Rs 2 Per Equity Share 
  »»  Issue Price: Rs. 805 - Rs. 806 Per Equity Share 
  »»  Market Lot: 18 Shares 
  »»  Minimum Order Quantity: 18 Shares 
  »»  Listing At: NSE

An indicative timetable in respect of the Offer:
  • Bid/Offer Opens On: Jan 23, 2017
  • Bid/Offer Closes On: Jan 25, 2017
  • Finalisation of Basis of Allotment: On or about Jan 31, 2017
  • Initiation of refunds: On or about Feb 01, 2017
  • Credit of Equity Shares to demat accounts: Feb 02, 2017
  • Commencement of trading of the Equity Shares: Feb 03, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Things you need to know about your Leave Travel Allowance (LTA)

There are dual benefits for Indian employees about traveling. While you take an official break for traveling any destination in India with your family, you also save tax on your travel expenses with LTA, which is provided by employer. It is only smart to make most of this benefit. This post aims to elaborate on certain features of LTA as a savings tool.  

What is LTA?
  • ·         #Leave Travel Allowance is an allowance provided by employers for domestic travel for the employee and immediate family
  •         It covers only the travel expense by air, train incurred during the travel, it also covers taxi and auto rickshaw only if train route is absent
  •      It covers the travel expenses incurred by the individual and their immediate family. Other family members are excluded from availing Leave Travel Allowance
  •         One can make a claim only twice in a block of four years, the present block is Jan 2014 – Dec 2017
  •      #LTA also can be carried to the next block if it is not utilised, if under utilised the balance amount can be added
  •          International travel expense cannot be claimed under LTA
  •          You can claim your Leave Travel Allowance if you haven’t travelled, but the amount will come under taxable income
  •         LTA is fully tax exempted under Section 10(5) of the Income-Tax Act, 1961, Rule 2B

Limitation of LTA
Like any other exemption rules, LTA also has its limitations. The companies have certain eligibility criteria for LTA.  If the allowance of the previous block is not exhausted, then one journey can be carried forward to the next block. However, the balance has to be exhausted within the first year of the next block. The allowance is capped by employers; the claims above the exemption limit will not be processed. LTA can only be claimed if the employee is part of the travel, family including spouse, children, brother and sister if they are dependants.

How you make most of LTA
As you can only claim twice in 4 year block, planning in advance helps. Ensure, you are taking prior written permission from the employer. Though air travel is allowed, it covers the minimum airfare of economy class. The road travel exemption is limited to the AC1 rail fare by the shortest route.
You need to keep the proof of your travel, tickets and copy of e-tickets in place.

Innovations in claiming LTA online – to help HR professionals an employers
Zeta, a Fintech startup, recently launched fully digital Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) solution, #Optima LTA Card, to help organisations manage employees’ leave travel allowance claims/ reimbursements digitally and enable employees to submit claims instantly. Built on digital platform, is designed to process LTA claims the paperless way. Employees are now empowered to submit their travel claims digitally and thereby avoid extensive paperwork. It is compliant with all legal mandates set by the Income Tax Department. Zeta team at the back-end tracks the shortest distance between two destinations using a government-approved database and thereby enable accurate assessment.

Organisations can be free of verifying paper bills manually since all verifications will be handled by Zeta Optima at the back end. Human Resource professionals can use this platform to digitally store bills for over seven years and can track LTA bills and claims online.

Happy traveling :) 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Breath-taking panoramic view from the balconies of ultra luxury residences amidst the buzzing city recreated at Malabar Hills of Thane

Nestled in the lap of mother nature, Malabar Hills, a hillock right on the coast of Arabian Sea have been a envied place for many of us. Quite close to the busiest roads of Mumbai, it lives in an eternal peace, where chirping of birds, thick woods coexist with the architectural marvels belonging to the who’s who of the country. 

Malabar Hills is a place one doesn’t cross by chance, it is a destination in itself, a place which is in the centre of the buzzing city, yet a world of nature’s very own. With view of beautiful sea coast your senses travels beyond your imaginations.

A similar destination in making is Pokhran road 2, located in Thane. Rightly popular as #MalabarHillsOfThane, surrounded by Yeoor Hills, next to Upavan lake it’s a destination which is treat to the eyes. The green location blends elegantly with the stylish upmarket residential destination.

Easily accessible from the highway, #MalabarHillsOfThane reminds me of Malabar Hills of Mumbai, the similarity of being attached to the city, yet a different world of serenity and class! The purity of nature has blessed the select few affluent nature loving residents. The unaffected greenery of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, just next to the buzzing city promises wellness to your body, senses and soul. The Malabar Hills of Thane, true to its name beautifully balances the purity of its location with the needs of residents of affluent society with super connectivity and fabulous social infrastructure.

The pride is in the address. Tata Housing’s newest project Serein on Pokhran Road 2, is an amalgamation of  ultimate luxury and nature’s beauty. Serein doesn’t only boasts of visual pleasure, the project is committed to holistic wellness of its residents. Located in the lap of Yeoor Hills, adored by the Upavan Lake, Serein perfectly justifies it’s name. The residential project by Tata Housing is an exclusively designed luxurious marvel keeping the nature’s elements intact with theme of outdoor living spaces, having abundant sunlight and natural ventilation.

True to it’s name and theme, every home is designed to increase the wellness quotient of its residents. Be it the vitamin C infused shower which soothes skin, hair and nails or the VOC paints for reducing health hazards, or the high quality glass, which significantly reduced the noise is designed to overall contribute to the wellness of its esteemed residents.

The outdoors of the project is designed carefully keeping with the nature. A pet park, nature trail, lotus pond, sand pit and organic farm are few of its many amenities adorning the location.

Over all, I am smitten by the beauty of the location and impressed with the project plan. I am eagerly waiting to see the Malabar Hills Of Thane full bloomed as a destination with the completion of the much anticipated project ‘Serein’ by Tata Housing.

Monday, January 9, 2017

10 investment ideas for happy 2017

We are living in a very busy world, leading a hectic life, especially in the metro cities. We have friends but no time to meet them, we like cooking but no time to buy choicest ingredients, we love movies but by the time weekend comes we are too tired and withdrawn. It’s one life! We must enjoy!
We should make most of everything we have. We must breathe fresh air, enjoy some music in the rain, laugh out loud with friends around and go on celebrating with the uninhibited spirit of life. However, though my mind wanders around Marine Drive alternate evenings, I am aware it’s not practically possible for a suburban resident. Sigh!
But hey! I may not get all I want at one go, but I will surely invest my time drawing up a list of 10 things which I will do in 2017 to make myself happy. These are definite investment tools,  for a true rich life.

1. Financial security – This is most important thing, having financial security. If your money doesn’t fulfil your basic requirements of life, you may not be in a position to enjoy a lot of things. So, invest some money in Mutual funds, plan your taxes, buy or renew your life insurance and also not to forget the health insurance. Once you have completed these financial commitments, you can be mentally free to indulge in self-pampering all the luxury you want.

2. Health and fitness – Besides buying a health insurance, you must choose to be healthy.  Consider routine medical check-up at-least once a year. Do some physical activities like jogging/yoga/swimming in the morning or evening, it will help in your physical and mental well-being.

3. Books – There is a saying that "dog is man’s best friend." But if you are not very comfortable with pets, you can try Books! Neither does it let down anyone nor does it bite. Go buy some books on fiction, non-fiction, world history or self help book. Choose as per your interest. It helps you groom as an individual. If you are an avid reader, you may also check out on amazon for kindle free e-books. I personally love them. Go for comics, if you like it!

4. Kitchen equipments – This is a little tricky one. Either you have to be a foodie or cooking enthusiast. A new baking tray or an air fryer, it only enhances the look and feel of the kitchen. It also gives you an opportunity to whip up some new dishes in a healthy way for your family.

5. Friends – Please don’t get me wrong here! I am not trying to commoditize friendship. I am just reiterating an old saying, ‘friends are the family we choose’. We should make some time for them to share some quality moments together. Bonding with friends over some food or games, can make you forget stress, let’s you feel light and help in emotional and social well-being.

6. Skills -  If you don’t grow, you are bound get side-lined or obsolete in some cases. It is important to periodically adding or honing your skills to keep up with the pace of time, and sometimes being ahead of the race. So, if you get an opportunity do some training offered by your employer, don’t pass it. You may also take up some part-time or online courses of your choice.

7. Hobby – This is one area of real recreation and sometimes an opportunity to reinvent  yourself. It’s always fresh, always new, it will make you feel good, it will enrich your creative senses and help you deal with otherwise mundane routine. So get ready with your boots for Sunday fishing, paint all your walls to give it a bright look. Do Whatever makes you feel happy!

8. A gadget – This is for the time we live in. It’s cool to have some gadgets on you. By default, we ‘ll have a smart phone, you may take this opportunity to invest in a gadget which interests you. If you are fitness freak you may buy a fitness band, it will track your daily physical activities. You may chose a good camera of you like photography. My personal recommendation is to get a kindle ebook reader for all the book lovers.

9. Gardening – You may or may not have a land patch for this, never mind, the pots are good enough for even vegetables. An amazing stress buster, you won’t be able to control your smiles and twinkle on your eyes, looking at the budding flowers, the growing leaves, tomatoes and mini bitter guards. Watering the plants, removing the dead leaves, cleaning the garden will make you much happier than you can imagine.

10. Groom yourself up, to get in with a vibrant life. Invest some time and money in getting a jazzy haircut, good spa. Some more in buying clothes and accessories to brighten up your look. And as they say shopping, is a therapy! Go indulge!

I like in staying busy and occupied always. But with time I realised, doing things which make you happy doesn’t really tire you. It makes you a happier person leading richer life. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Why road safety week is the right time to draw attention to personal accident insurance?

India set to celebrate road safety week, buy personal accident insurance, do your bit.
 How it is different from health insurance? What are the benefits of personal accident insurance? What are the exclusions in personal accident insurance?

India is all set and prepared for celebrating Road Safety Week in coming few days starting 11th Jan. Government authorities, various NGOs, volunteers and media are all gearing up to play their role in spreading awareness about road safety. While driving safe, maintaining your vehicle, following traffic rules and good roads remain the top priority topics, I would like to draw your attention to an equally important topic. And the topic is risk preparedness for the whatifs, what if after following  all rules, my vehicle bumps into a road divider and I get crashed with my vehicle? By default, my motor insurance may bear/reimburse majority of expenses of the vehicle, what happens to me? If I lose my limbs?. The health insurance may pay up the total medical expenses, but what happens after that? If can’t walk on my feet ever? If I can’t go back to my office-job? Who will take care of me and my family?  my term insurance may not have additonal feature.

Personal accident insurance is an answer to these whatifs. The statistics show that several thousand road accidents occur every year in major states - Uttar Pradesh, Maharastra on the top position. These road accidents lead to horrifying deaths, permanent disabilities, temporary disabilities and injuries which causes long time to heal. 

To address this issue, insurance company often bundle personal accident insurance with life or health insurance products for a small additional premium besides the stand alone policies. 

Personal accident insurance, unlike a health insurance, also have features which pay up a lumpsum amount to the policy holder/kin on death/major health set backs apart from cost of medical expenditure. The benefits depends on the plans chosen from different companies. The premium of personal accident insurance depends on coverage amount, risk profile of the person and the benefits covered in the policy. I have severed to Royal sundaram, HDFC Ergo and Bajaj Allianz GIC. I am not doing a product comparison in this pist, just listing down what all benefits can be availed, not specifying under each insurance company.

General features
1. It mostly covers accidents worldwide
2. It can be taken for individual/family of upto 4 person together, self, spouse and minor children
3. The entry age eligibility is upto 65 years
4. The protection cover come from 2 lakh to 2 crore 
5. It offers assistance in hospitalization, medical treatment, hospital cash and percentage of sum assured depending on the type of injury affecting body parts
6. Depending upon the contract, personal accident insurance covers accidents on roads, air travel, railway, accidents abroad and also injuries caused by accidents in home or work place. One must look at the policy details carefully to chose the best suitable or comprehensive plan.

Additional Benefits

1. It may also cover education for children upto a specific limit
2. Employment benefits
3. Legal expenses
4. Cumulative bonus per unclaimed year upto a certain persentage
How to claim the sum insured for personal accident? 
1. Incase of death of the policy holder, the nominee needs to fill up the clain form immediately or as soon possible, as per the guidelines of the insurance company with police Panchanama, FIR, Post mortem Report, Death Certificate and hospitalization and treatment history if applicable. 
2. Incase of PTD (Permanent Total Disability) & PPD (Permanent Partial Disability, Claim form needs to be furnished with disability Certificate from the treating doctor and their may be a medical examination done by insurance company
3. For claiming insurance on account of Temporary Total Disablement, Claim form must be submitted with medical Certificate from the treating doctor and leave certificate from the employer
4. After verification, claims team would assess the claim for completeness of documentation process. Insured may be sent a written communication in case there is a requirement of documents as per the insurance agreement. 
If the conditioned are fulfilled, insurance company raise a pay order and discharge voucher 

1. Injuries during war, neuclear radiation
2. Injuries related to professional or hazardous sports 
3. Self inflicting injuries and suicide
5. Family discount

Personal accident insurance comes in many form and offered by many entities including some of the leading banks on their debit/credit card. It is an important tool to minimize the impact by U uncertainties of life. Choose it wisely. Compare between the plans, also consider comparing with the health insurance and mediclaim plan to make a informed decisions. 

Lead a happy healthy and safe life  😊

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