Monday, June 19, 2017

Planning your finances before the stork arrives

Written by Shiv Nandan Negi -

Appeared on Daily News & Analysis-11-May-2017

Finding out that you are expecting a baby is the most memorable day of your life. Women start thinking about the cute little baby clothes and diapers. But what most women forget to take into consideration are the expenses that would follow this joyous news. There are some major pre- and post-birth expenses that you need to take into account and budget for, before you go on your maternity leave. Here are some tips to ensure a relaxed and peaceful maternity leave.
Medical expenses and hospital fees : The doctor's fee and the hospital bill will be your biggest expense. Talk to your doctor and find out what bill amount to expect in case of a natural birth or a C-section. Take into account the cost of a few ultrasounds, various blood tests and prenatal tests during these nine months.

Talk to HR : Find out about your company's maternity leave and insurance policy. Check what all maternity expenses and how much of your hospital bill will be covered by the insurance policy.
Spend wisely : Save money to make necessary expenditure later like BPA free feeding bottles, bowls, cutlery and toys, hypo allergic skin care products and diapers. Look out for any sale or discounts in the market to get lucrative deals.

Delay your maternity leave: Contrary to what women do, the maternity leave span is more crucial after the baby arrives. So, don't be in a rush to avail your maternity leave, and use it cherish the moments with your baby instead. This can also help in case you have less than 26 weeks of maternity leave or are just not yet ready to get back to work.
Budgeting after the baby has arrived
1) Baby birth is a time for gifts. Most of the time your family and friends will ask you what to gift the baby; use this opportunity to get items on your checklist to ease your financial burden. If you get double gifts then check with friends if they can be exchanged for something else that you need.
2) A lot of relatives and friends would give cash, use this money wisely to manage any unexpected expenses. You could also invest this money in a liquid fund so that it grows and is easily accessible when you need it.
3) If you live in a nuclear family, then you might want to check out day care options or hire a nanny to look after your baby when you get back to work. A few corporates offer day care facility to their employees, so find out if your company has any such facility.
Extended maternity leave : If you are still not ready to leave your baby then tap into your unused sick leaves, public holidays or any comp offs to buy in a few more days to spend with your baby. Check with your boss if you could work from home for a few weeks until you get back to work.
Extra income : Raising a baby is a physical, emotional and financial commitment and it is expensive. If you have any skills or are in a field that offers free lancing work, then you should take up those opportunities to earn an extra income. You would have to work three-four hours from the comfort of your home.
As the child grows so will your expenses. If you have already not started an SIP for your child's education and other expenses then please do so now. Invest in an equity and debt fund to diversify your investment and secure your child's future.
All in all, having a baby is a life changing experience which can be absolutely precious when well planned.

App download link - MintWalk

Co-Founded by private equity industry veterans and IIM alumni, Shiv Nandan Negi and Nikhil Banerjee, MintWalk ("GetClarity Fintech Services Pvt Ltd"), is a goal based Digital mutual investing platform.  It provides honest financial solutions, helping users fulfill their dreams (goals) in life through customized financial plans. 
Driving the concept of achieving our life’s goals and dreams, MintWalk provides a clean, immersive, non-intimidating user experience which is focused on decision making, and tracking the portfolio. MintWalk takes into consideration the user's goals, age, time period till Goal, tax bracket amongst multiple factors to customize the right plan. Algorithms work on artificial intelligence based systems which understand and anticipate needs better.  
A key feature that MintWalk provides is the periodic review of your investments, and based on progress, the App suggests course correction or modification of investments, thus ensuring that the user does not waver from their goal.
Mintwalk combines world class machine learning analytics with deep insight into behavioural sciences to create a platform  that anticipates user needs and provide a dynamic experience most relevant for the user. The app is now live on Google Play Store (iOS/web version work-in-progress).
MintWalk is registered with Association of Mutual Funds of India (AMFI) as a registered intermediary (ARN-107889) and is one of the very few firms in online and offline domain having a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) license issued by the regulator- SEBI.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Waiting Period in health insurance policies

#Icici Lombard #Apollo Munich #Hdfc  ergo
In past I have written about Top 10 common exclusions in health insurance policies, In this post I would like to bring to your notice about the #waiting #period in any health insurance policy. With  series of new and old health cover plans in this category from basic to elite health plans, health insurance companies design the health covers keeping in mind the cost it needs to bear the risk. More the risk for the company more will be the premium for the product. Companies decides health insurance rates depending on the health cover as well as the individual's health profile. So, while buying a health policy, choosing the cheapest option available may leave you in a lurch as it may have maximum exclusions and waiting period. Unlike features, exclusions and waiting periods are stuffed in the terms and conditions section and only available in the download section at the bottom of the insurer website. Pull that out. 

Especially if you have certain medical conditions or have a family history of certain health issues, it would be prudent to check the waiting period segment very carefully.

What is Waiting Period in health insurance policies?
Insurance policies come with waiting period clause, which is nothing but the length of time within which you cannot claim any/ certain benefits of the policy. Even if you have to undergo certain treatment/ hospitalisation, the insurance policy will not cover the expenses. The waiting period can be put under three categories - initial waiting period, pre-existing ailment waiting period and disease-specific waiting period.

Initial Waiting Period
This is for the first term buyers of the insurance policy. In this, if policyholders fall sick within 30-90 days of buying the policy, insurance companies don’t cover varying in each policy. However, in the case of hospitalization or medical expenses arising due to an accident, the policy is valid.

Pre-existing disease
If the policyholders have pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, Thyroid etc. Any ailment related to these or mentioned in the contract of the policy will have a certain waiting period 1-4 years to get the insurance benefits on the treatment. However, any other medical treatments will be covered during this period.

Disease-specific #waiting period
Any medical expenses arising from specific diseases listed in the policy document under this head would not be settled by the insurance company within the said period. The common disease under this categories are – arthritis, cataract, kidney stones etc.
#waiting period in health insurance is equally important aspect as exclusions

Waiting period for maternity cover - Many insurance policy doesn't cover maternity in the benefits list as it is not an emergency. However, few company offers it as fixed benefit plan as an additional option within the health policy fir extra premium. However, maternity benefits plan have a waiting period of 9 months to 48 months. So, buying policy early in life can help get this benefit as well. 

Insurance companies are in business of risks. They cover Medical expenses risk for a fraction as a premium. The under writing team develop the products after assessing the on their profitability and ensures that the have to settle least of the claims. However, it doesn't mean we stay away from buying health insurance, it is about taking informed decision and not choosing the cheapest product available in the market without comparing.

Stay healthy. Buy a good insurance product which suits your current health Profile, family history and offer adequate protection.

#Icici Lombard #Apollo Munich #Hdfc  ergo

Sunday, June 11, 2017

How safe is your fixed deposit in India?

The banking sector has been a roller-coaster ride for a while now! After losing 1.3 lakh crore market cap, Banks saw a sharp recovery in the stock performances of about 50% in 2016-17. While the stock market is always a bumpy roller coaster, Indian society of conservative saver, thought Bank to be the safe haven for keeping their wealth.

While capital markets volatility is always under scrutiny, nobody really questioned the sovereignty of the banks. In last decade, banks have come out with a major issue of NPA (where the companies and entities after taking loans, have stopped paying interest and (or) the principal, has turned into a bad asset for banks) and raising substantial capital to comply with Basel III norms. Many public sector Banks struggling with the pressure are taking the route of the merger to cope with the situations. While private players look comparatively well placed, many co-operative banks are coming under scrutiny because of their regional structure and lack of governance systems.

From news "In March, RBI imposed restrictions on Mumbai-based Kapol Co-operative Bank whose depositors were allowed to withdraw only up to Rs 3,000 of the total balance held in every saving bank or current account or any other deposit account, irrespective of the balance.
Every depositor is entitled to receive only up to a monetary ceiling of Rs 1 lakh, of his/her deposits from DICGC

Some facts we don't know- 

  • Incase Bank faces a closure or cancellation of license, you are exposed to risk of losing entire money above Rs. 1 lakh (Insured by DICGC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
  • All bank deposits including Fixed deposits, recurring deposits, saving and current account deposits are insured only up to 1 Lakh per account per bank
  • The DICGC is liable to pay the account holder within two months of claim receipt
  • Deposits in different banks are covered separately by DICGC
  • The insurance premium is paid entirely by the bank
Though public sector banks come with government backing, it is not immune to the challenges.    

In Global Context
In western countries, fixed deposits in banks are well insured. Hence, the bank can go bust but the deposits are much safe than Indian counterparts. Indian banks have a very low coverage of Rs 1 lac. Canada has protection for bank accounts and the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation offer covers till $100,000

What you can you do?

  • Choose big public/private sector banks - They are cash rich and comparatively safe
  • Don't choose FDs which offer much higher return than peers. This is a signal of risk
  • You can choose liquid funds and short-term debt funds, they mostly invest in government bonds(risk-free), and high-quality corporate bonds.  They offer higher interest income as well. 

India needs a better insurance cover for fixed deposits.
How safe is your fixed deposit in India?  How safe is your fixed deposit in India?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Your wealth is not defined by your salary


Hi folks!

The appraisal season is almost over by now, must be getting the new salary in your account. You will be amongst lucky few if you are happy with the appraisal you got. For those who aren't satisfied, there is a trick to make it better for your bank account and own happiness. There are many ways you can save that extra buck, more than often even having an extra cash-flow besides your 9-6 Job salary. Even if you are happy with your salary, still you can try!  I am listing 10 things to duel upon. Wear a thinking hat and find your one!

Hobby - This particular Skill we mostly pick up in childhood days! Like collecting coins, stickers, painting, singing, playing an instrument, photography etc. With age either we give up, or make a career out of it. But few in us keep a hidden interest in the subject and occasionally think about how to make a new beginning in it. Yes! new beginning is right decision at any scale you are comfocomfortable from making YouTube video of your recipes to having an exhibition of your artwork. Making some interesting YouTube video is a very inn thing! Making some quick dollars! Challenge your creative side! And enjoy!

Credit card - more than often considered as a villain for making financial mess, is a good product for easing out the cash flow. For making annual purchases like a TV, Fridge etc.. you don't need to make the chunk payment at one go, with a 50 day credit cycle, you can divide in two months  (by prepaying half of it) and saving a cash crunch situation and some brownie points as loyalty points on your credit card. Using it smartly helps you develop a good credit score, proves to be quite useful for a loan taking purpose in future. 
*pay Credit card bill on time, if you dont remember the dates, this idea is not good for you

Dividend mutual find (equity or equity based balanced mutual funds)- This particular product is really efficient as a second income. In case of some extra spending above your monthly budget this comes as a saviour. This is also tax efficient. You may consider monthly/quaterly/annual dividend plan. This attempts to provide a regular pay Out as promised, easing out some cash crunch issue, if you don't require the sum, you may chose to re-invest or keep the cash in bank account for liquidity.

Pool car - If you take your car to office, you can consider sharing the ride with Neighbors or office colleagues in the vicinity and share fuel cost. It can bring down a significant cost on fuel and also environment friendly.

Share your house - This is tricky. This is especially for people who own a house and find it difficult to pay the EMI and maintenance cost at the same time, to ease out here, you make keep like minded paying guest or opt for AIRBNB partnership of you have an extra room to spare.

Share a meal - Pizza Pasta, Burmese Khausue is a comfort food for many of us. Eating alone could be very boring and to heavy for the stomach. Mind sharing the meal with a friend and the cost?  Save upto few hundred rupees each time. 

Recycle/upcycle - Do you know even cigarette butt can be recycled? And you can earn from it too! Your discarded plastic bags bottles can be used for the repairing roads? Or China extract Gold and silver from your discarded phones! Too much cash in the trash I tell you. Next time think bwfore throwing anything in the garbage box! Money and environment both can get better.

Contingency find - setting aside 3 months income for an emergency is a prudent way to be prepared for unforseen, and a relaxed mind.

Save on bills - if you are habituated at setting AC yemparature at 21 degree in the winter, try raising it to 24 levels, you will see a difference in the electricity bill. Saving some water and cooking gas also Will save you some money. 

It pays to have an opinion - YouTube, Instagram, blogs, Twitter and Facebook all can help you earn extra buck if you are consistent with posts. Create your niche.. from finance, food, Fashion, poetry, recipes every niche has dedicated viewers! 

Enjoy the monsoon😊


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Rs. 1 is back! What you can buy for Rs.1.


In the World of Inflation and demonitisation, after making lot of wave by Rs. 2000 and Rs. 500, with a big bang the new kid has arrived! Rs. 1. 

When a water bottle cost Rs. 20, minimum Auto rickshaw fare is at Rs. 18 and Cab at 22, many major publications keenly following the re-launch of the hero Rs. 1 note. When my newspaper stack is sold Rs. 10 a killo, my interest on Rs.1 has increased many folds. I thought it would be interesting to see what all you can buy with Rs. 1. I have found 10 interesting things you can do with Rs. 1

Buy books on kindle - For this you need to have a smart phone, amazon app and kindle app. You will find dozens of book costing Rs. 1.

Take a cab - OLA Cabs just promoting share pass with Rs. 1 Grab it till the offer lasts! *terms and conditions applied.

Online shopping - Some crazy offers often can be seen on shopping portals as Rs. 1 sale

Invest in Equity-  No kidding, we have hundreds of share below the total value of Rs. 1. So literally you can own a company with Rs.1. (Hoewever funny it sounds, it's true. Yet buying penny stock can be injurious to financial health! This is just for information purpose)

Navaratna Hair oil  - Thanda and cool Navaratna oil available at Rs.1. Per pouch! 

Candies - Some candies still available at Rs.1 like Pulse, Vicks, alpenlibe! Grab it!

Shampoo - sunsilk shampoo pouches are available for Rs.1. 😊 quite a deal for a good hair wash!

Use public toilet - This also is available. You may use public toilet beginning Rs. 1

Photocopy - The black and white xerox or / photocopy is still available at Rs. 1 on in a A4 sheet in Mumbai.

Rs.1. As a loose change is awesome when Bata sell you shoes for Rs.1999, handing out the Rs. 1 change is a perfect revenge!!

Enjoy guys with the new Rs.1. Keep spending keep saving😊

# What-you-can-buy-for-rs-1

Some of my friends who contributed to do the ideas - Debo, Bono, Nitin.. and the list goes long. Thank you 😊

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Banking terms you need to know for daily use

We Indians are getting digitally savvy, shopping to donation, mails to good wishes everything is done on digital platform.

Our financial habits are also getting the flavour of digital evolution.  We do bankiBanking, investing, transaction with some taps and swipes.
So, I thought of dedicating this post for some terms we often come across specially using banking services.

MICR Code - Magnetic ink character recognition codeThe MICR encoding, called the MICR line, is at the bottom of cheques and other vouchers and typically includes the document-type indicator, bank codebank account number, cheque number, cheque amount, and a control indicator. The technology allows MICR readers to scan and read the information directly into a data-collection device. 

NEFTNEFT is a facility enabling bank customers in India to transfer funds between any two NEFT-enabled bank accounts on a one-to-one basis. It is done via electronic messages. NEFT settles fund transfers in hourly batches (now 30 minutes batches)with 12 (Now 23 settlements)settlements occurring between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM on week days. 

RTGSReal-time gross settlement are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money or securities takes place from one bank to another on a "real time" and on a "gross" basis. RTGS systems are typically used for high-value transactions that require and receive immediate clearing. 

CVVCVV is an anti-fraud security feature to help verify that you are in possession of your credit card. For Visa/Mastercard, the three-digit CVVnumber is printed on the signature panel on the back of the card immediately after the card's account number.

IFSC -The Indian Financial System Code (IFS Code or IFSC) is an alphanumeric code that facilitates electronic funds transfer in India. A code uniquely identifies each bank branch participating in the two main Payment and settlement systems in India: the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and the National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) systems.

mPinThe full form of MPIN is 'Mobile banking Personal Identification number'. It works as a password when you perform any transaction using mobile. It is a 4 digit (6 digits in some banks) secret code similar to the ATM PIN.

UPIUnified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience. 

ECSElectronic Clearance Service (ECS) scheme provides an alternative method of effecting bulk payment transactions like periodic (monthly/ quarterly/ half-yearly/ yearly) payments of interest/ salary/ pension/ commission/ dividend/ refund by Banks/Companies /Corporations /Government Departments. The transactions under this scheme move from a single User source (i.e. Banks/Companies /Corporations /Government Departments) to a large number of Destination Account Holders (Customers/Investors). This scheme obviates the need for issuing and handling paper instruments and thereby facilitates improved customer service by the Banks and Companies/Corporations/Government Departments effecting bulk payments.

Standing instructionStanding instructions are a way of making an automatic payment of a fixed amount to a loan, bill, or credit card at the same time every week or month. It can be made from your savings or checking account and is most commonly used to make payments to a mortgage, car loan, or to pay bills

Source - Wikipedia, indiapost

Please share if you like