Why should I shift from Regular Plans to Direct Plans Mutual Funds?

Usually, when we place orders online we come across two products, those that don’t charge for delivery and the other that charges for the same. We normally opt or like the ones that are “Delivery Free”. Right?

The simple reason being we do not incur additional charges for our purchase and that reduces the burden of our expenses. Even Direct Plans and Regular Plans of Mutual Funds work on a similar concept.

Regular Plans are mutual funds that you buy through an intermediary such as an advisor, distributor or broker. These agents charge commission, trail or distribution fee for the service they provide, so the total expenditure for your investment is high. And not always do brokers or intermediaries intent to sell plans that suit your financial needs, their primary objective would be to push the scheme and earn their share of profit.

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real-estate

Real Estate vs Mutual Funds

“Put your money in land, because they aren’t making any more of it.”

-Will Rogers

A famous quote that many people believed in. People could not stop bragging enough of how their land and houses which cost peanuts before, were worth so much in a few decades. We’ve all heard the stories and rantings, but is it really true? Mr. Will Rogers, the famous American actor, made this quote in April 1930; over 80 years back! Since then there was a World War, India gained independence from the British and went through fourteen Presidents. How relevant are his words in our present scenario?

Most of us are familiar with the past stories of real estate; how a piece of land in the 60’s cost peanuts and is now worth a thousand times more but is that the story? Real Estate is still considered one of the greatest investments because it provides several tax incentives, it can be financed or used to leverage for cash when needed. But that’s not all that it has, let’s look at the other side of it.

The value of real-estate is clearly unpredictable; the property you buy today may be worth 10 times more or completely worthless years from now. There is a tremendous amount of time and energy that you spent on real estate with payment of taxes and utility bills, keeping it in good condition and also selecting new tenants as and when needed.

It allows the investor to gain value through modifications, but such value add-ons do not guarantee you anything in return. The everyday news carries dispute cases that have been under litigation for years for fraud, title, contract breach, etc. It can be used as leverage for cash, but when looking to sell it, it is difficult to find a buyer and the urgency of the situation may lead you to sell at a much lower value.

Still, do you want to put your investment in Real Estate? Let’s look at the current market. The total demand for urban real estate is estimated at 4.2 million units during the period 2016-2020 across the top cities in India. Sounds great right? But know this too, over 4.5 lakh homes remain unsold in the cities of Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, despite the huge demand in the market. The homes are either priced higher or are not placed in a good location. Considering all of this, real estate is not the best investment.

But how about Mutual Funds?

This is a vehicle to invest in diversified avenues of investment. It has the added benefit of cover from inflation in the market, and the premise of diversification there is much less to worry about. Mutual Funds has a range of funds that cater to the investor’s return and risk appetite which is professionally maintained by the fund manager. It provides various tax benefits and has high liquidity. Moreover, the number of AMCs have doubled over the past 3 years or so, and according to Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), over 70,000 new distributors have started to offer mutual funds over the recent years. Now that is a market worth investing in!

If rewards are the cheese and you are the mouse looking for it then Real Estate is the trap that promises you the tasty treat that tricks you to an investment that is ultimately a liability. The pain of dealing with realtors, settling legal disputes, having to put all your money with no immediate benefit is not what you need from an investment. 

Don’t invest in better, invest in the best!

Gold Investments

Different Gold investment options in India

You can invest in gold in various forms be it buying gold in the form of jewelry, coins, or bars in physical form, Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and the sovereign gold bonds (SGB ) in the paper-form. There is an option of gold mutual funds as well, where they are ‘fund of funds’ which further invest in gold ETFs.

 

Real Estate

Investments in Real Estate, not very Realistic

Home Sweet Home. It’s such a secured feeling to own land and have your property on it. The pride is immense and overwhelming.

Brokers also use these emotional flavours to sell properties. The ease with which one gets a loan these days has lead the masses to invest in real estate easily, but not wisely!!

We have heard our elders say, “Invest in real estate, the future value of the property will earn you a fortune”.

Is this really true?

Here are 6 reasons not to invest in Real Estate.

  1. Low Liquidity:

We buy property with the hope to sell it at a higher cost. But what if an emergency arises and we want liquid cash immediately. Remember your urgency in selling a property is a treat to a potential buyer. Because, your dire need for cash would lead you in selling your property at a lower price than its true value.

  1. Low returns

Most real estate investments fetch you the same amount of return as that of Fixed Deposits. Lines from Nishant Agarwal (managing partner and head (family office), ASK Wealth Advisors )“Considering the rising interest rates and high maintenance cost and tax on rentals and capital gains, I would not suggest investment in physical real estate”.There is no guarantee that you would find occupancy if you are depending on getting income in terms of rent.

Which means, it’s obvious you’re not getting index-beating returns..

  1. Unpredictable

I remember my dad saying  “20 years before if I had bought this house in Kammanhalli, I would have been a crorepati today”. Why?

Because rates increase in real estate depending on the property’s location not on how much you spend on the house, or how does the property look, which makes real estate an unpredictable asset class.

  1. Tracking is a pain.

Mutual Funds are managed by Professional Fund Managers, you have apps to give you alerts, even if you owned more than one scheme.

But how would you track real estate? How do you know that the broker dealing with the property is not a fraud? How would you track your property? You can’t track it daily, can you?

  1. Government Regulation

But the recent disruption announced by our Prime Minister, through “Demonetisation” has curbed the circulation of Black Money by stripping the status of our currency unit.

People don’t even let properties on lease these days, then forget buying a property. Thus reducing the demand of real estate in the market.

  1. Additional expenses.

You need to shell out a bomb to buy a property. Many opt for loans. But in addition, there are other expenses that come along with a property:

  • Maintenance charges
  • Finding a tenant
  • Commission to brokers
  • Utility Bills
  • Taxes

This is exhaustive both financially and physically.

The next time you want to Invest in Real Estate, Think!!

There are better options to invest such as  Mutual Funds. Direct Plans, SIPs, Gold Funds or Equity Mutual Funds help you with wealth creation in the long term. Use “MyWay Wealth” to discover, track and invest in Mutual Funds.

Debt

The Debt Story

Parents always warn us not to be in Debt. “Better to go Hungry to bed than to wake up in Debt” is what our dads would say in a stern tone. But why?
It has a simple reason! The word Debt is often referred to as borrowings such as a car loan, home loan or credit card loans. It reminds of the hunting calls from the credit card companies.
But, these are conventional thoughts.

As for the newer ideology… DEBT means products with “ RETURNS”.

The usual feeling that comes with “Investing” is “Fear”. They are normally two sides of the same coin, to most investors. But like Warren Buffett says
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”
Knowledge is what you require to make your first move in investing in Debt Instruments. The finance part, you will eventually figure it out once you are familiar with Debt and stop fearing it.

Here are few Debt Instruments and also a set of alternatives that will help you in your course of investing:

1.Savings Bank Account: Savings account is a necessity, not an instrument anymore. They encourage savings, are highly safe with their moderate interest rates and are flexible when it comes to withdrawing your money when you need it.

2. Bank Fixed Deposit: These are the most trusted funds because they give moderate yet periodic returns with Average interest rate of 4%-7 %. You get your principal amount back once your term is over. All this with zero risks. This fund is essentially useful when you want to park your money aside for an Emergency. One of the easiest ways to invest is to opt for smaller Fixed Deposits so that you don’t lose the entire interest on your deposit when you have to break it for an Emergency.

3.Provident Funds: If you are employed then Provident fund is your pie. Provident fund is the accumulated amount one gets on retiring from his/her job. The accumulated amount is the contributions one makes during the employment period.

Public Provident Fund: This instrument is provided by the Central Government to employees who are self-employed and those at the unorganized sector. These are long term savings scheme that provides income security at your old age. This investment is famous for guaranteed returns, tax benefits, withdrawals after lock-in periods and is voluntary. Both Provident Funds and Public Provident Funds are definite items in your investment list as they secure your life after retirement.

4.Recurring Deposit: When you hear Recurring Deposit, remember SAVINGS. Recurring Deposit is quite similar to fixed Deposits. The difference is that in the recurring deposit you deposit a fixed sum every month in a recurring deposit account for a fixed tenure and you earn interest on these deposits, thereby you practice the habit of saving.

Warning Bell: The usual jazz that brokers give when they sell schemes is “Higher Returns”. Ever wondered how, say, for example, Real Estate manages to provide high-interest rate. The trick is, Higher Returns is a sugar coating for the Hidden Risks. An easy thumb rule is to keep the Interest on Bank FD as your benchmark. Any scheme providing an Interest rate higher than that a Bank FD, will have the factor of higher Risk. However, there is a way to earn higher returns with Debt too with the help of Debt Mutual Funds.

Equity Mutual Funds

Equities! A Smart Way to Invest

People normally don’t find it safe to invest in Equity. They consider it a gamble. Why? Because your shares are traded in the stock market which is subjected to market fluctuations. Then why does Monika Halan, consulting Editor for Mint, state “I Love equity funds”  in her book “Let’s Talk Money”.

Let’s look at this picture:

Invest in Equities

 

Surprising! The most trusted instruments such as Fixed Deposit multiplies wealth only by 20 times whereas investments in Equity multiplies it by 260 times.

Equities are stocks, meaning shares of a company. When you invest in equities it means you own the shares of a company and are partial owners of the company

But the hitch is how do you know which company’s stock performs well? How are your shares trending in the market? When to sell or buy?

This arises the need to understand the difference between investors and traders. The work of a trader is to track the market minute to minute and closely monitor the fluctuations in the stock. But as an investor, you must ascertain your investment horizon and financial need, invest in Equities and to stay invested until investment purpose is achieved. Remember, “time in the market” is important not timing the market.

The best option to invest in Equities is through Mutual Funds. Even Monika Halan says that she doesn’t buy shares directly but rather invests in Equity through Mutual Funds. Because when you do so, the decision of picking the right stock is vested with Professional Fund Managers who track the movement of shares closely and rebalance the investment portfolio regularly. They have a tab on the performance of companies, markets, political events, interest rates, and past data that help them to forecast the future of a stock. With Mutual Funds, there is a scheme for every person depending on your risk and investment goal. Say if you are a conservative investor but are willing to take a little bit of risk then, with Mutual funds you can always have your investments primarily in Bonds (Debt) with a little exposure to Stock (Equity).

As an investor one should remember that Equity Investing is no gamble. In a growing economy like India, good investments should outperform in the long run, irrespective of the macroeconomic factors. The Table below will give a clear idea:

Time Period 1 year 3 years 5 years
Amount Invested (INR) 12000 36000 60000
L&T India Value Fund-Direct Plan Growth Option 10,948.02 37,485.68 76,658.66
ICICI Prudential Bluechip Fund-Direct Plan Growth 11,596.35 40,193.66 75,470.58
SBI Bluechip Fund Direct Growth 11,322.36 37,843.27 72,645.74

These are the Top Rated Funds on MyWay Wealth. The Table clearly shows that when Rs 1000 a month invested through SIP in these funds, say L&T India Value Fund-Direct Plan Growth Option for a period of 1 year gives a fund value of Rs. 10,948 which is lesser than the invested amount of Rs. 12000. But when the same process is carried out for a process of 5 years, the fund value is Rs. 76,658.66, which is 27% more than the invested amount Rs. 60000. The same pattern is seen in the other two funds as well.

India is expected to add the fourth-highest number of High Net Worth Individuals in the next five years, only behind the star economies of U.S., China, and Japan yet ahead of the European powerhouse – Germany.

Here’s what the High Net Worth Indians are doing right with their money-

HNI Indians: Source of Wealth

To make life simpler, here’s the inference you should care about – The wealthy have become wealthy through smart investing and by having a very good understanding of equities as an asset class.

Investing & Equity – bring these together and you will discover the secret sauce to wealth creation.

To sum it up, Equities may be volatile in the short run, but over the longer period, volatility will decrease and the returns will increase, thus reducing the risk.

So, Remember!

The thumb rule in Equity is to stay patient and remain invested for a long period to reap its benefits.

Investment Planning in case of job loss

Are you worrying about your Job Loss? Here is what you can do!

The thought of losing a job is very scary, isn’t it? With the evolving technologies around and automation happening in every industry, it is but natural to be worried. Any of us can lose our job at any time and the worst part is we can’t do anything about it.

What you usually do to get out of this fear is you start talking to your peers, your friends, spending more time with your loved ones or you may watch a motivational movie etc which can motivate you. Each of them will motivate you but you would end up getting the perfect answer for what if I lose my job?
So here are some best ways to prepare for and tackle the job-loss situation:

Create your emergency fund:

Build your emergency fund out of your income. Transfer around 30% of your saving income into Liquid funds or ultra-short-term funds where risk is minimal, and your money will start growing on a daily basis. An ideal emergency fund should be equal to six months’ future expenses or if you are having any EMI’s going on, it should at least equal future six months EMI.
Another option would be to reduce the EMI amount & increase the tenure of the loan temporarily till the time things get normal. This is not at all beneficial for you in the long term so better have an emergency fund in place.

Fun Fact: There are certain mutual funds like Reliance Liquid Fund which provide instant redemption facility whereby you can get your money in just 5-10 min in your bank account 24*7. These funds can give you returns ranging from 6.5% – 8%.

Understand the employee benefits:

You should be aware of all the details of your salary, your unused leaves and their compensation, insurance etc. It will help you in estimating the future income.

Utilize your open-ended/Withdrawable Investments:

You should always have an investment which can be easily liquidated. In such critical times, your real estate, Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC) etc investments will not help as you can’t liquidate them but your investment in mutual funds safeguard you in such cases.

Use loan protection plans if you have any:

To safeguard investors from any uncertain events, banks do provide loan protection before taking any loan. This plan covers other critical events like illness or job loss. If you have this policy, redeem the plan’s benefit at times of job loss.

Make sure about your personal Mediclaim Policy:

You should always make sure that you are having your own Mediclaim policy other than the one which gets provided by the employer. Medical emergencies can arise at any time and will impact you majorly in your crucial times.

Look ahead for the opportunities:

While it is obvious to get frustrated by job loss but at the same time, you should also think about the skill set, the knowledge set required to qualify for the best opportunities in the market. Because, the above measures will help you in tackling the temporary emergencies, knowledge and skill set will give you permanent solutions.

Losing a job is a stressful activity, however proper planning & a balanced approach can help you in coming out of such cases.

Direct vs Regular Plans

Why should I shift from Regular Plans to Direct Plans Mutual Funds?

Usually, when we place orders online we come across two products, those that don’t charge for delivery and the other that charges for the same. We normally opt or like the ones that are “Delivery Free”, right? The simple reason being we do not incur additional charges for our purchase and that reduces the burden of our expenses.
Even Direct Plans and Regular Plans of Mutual Funds work on a similar concept.

Regular Plans are mutual funds that you buy through an intermediary such as an advisor, distributor or broker. These agents charge commission, trail or distribution fee for the service they provide, so the total expenditure for your investment is high. And not always do brokers or intermediaries intent to sell plans that suit your financial needs, their primary objective would be to push the scheme and earn their share of profit.

Now let’s look at funds that are like delivery-free online products.
SEBI made new regulations with regards to Mutual Funds which was made effective on January 1, 2013, i.e. Introduction of Direct Plans. Direct Plans are those mutual funds in which investors can directly invest with Asset Management Companies (AMC) who do not involve intermediaries and do not charge any agent or broker fees. The advantage of Direct Plans is that the Net Asset Value (NAV – per share market value of a fund) is more when compared to Regular Plans implying that you get to earn more returns on your investments.

Let me help you understand with the help of an example:
A good investment of 2 lakhs in each Direct, as well as Regular plans for 20 years, yield different returns.

Direct Vs Regular

Direct Plans offer 42.2 lakhs which are 16.5 % returns, whereas Regular plans help you earn 32.7 lakhs which are approximately 15% returns. This is a clear example that Direct plan is more beneficial and hassle-free.
And did you know you can invest in Direct Plan Mutual Funds for zero commission and zero fees? Yes, “MyWay Wealth” app is India’s top trusted app for Direct Plan Mutual Funds, provides you this added advantage.

Who should invest in Regular and who should invest in Direct plans?

If you are a newbie in investing and have no prior knowledge of mutual funds, then initially you can opt for Regular plans. However, it’s highly recommended that you quickly switch to Direct plans once you have gathered enough experience and knowledge.

Now that you know Direct Plans are better than Regular Plans, Don’t miss on the 1-1.5% extra returns.

Invest in Term Insurance

Do women need Term Insurance?

 

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

-Warren Buffett

This phrase is so true when we speak about our Mothers. Mothers play such a significant role in our lives. The lessons they teach structure our lives beautifully. A woman has so many responsibilities to fulfill at various stages of her life, be it the role of a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and if you’re a working woman, then you’re even the bread earner of the family. As women, we know every nook and corner of our house and understand the needs of every family member; their favorite food, their outing spot, the gadgets they like and even their financial needs. We always want to protect our families from every trouble.

But what if we are not around our family? What happens when we cannot cater to their needs? What if we face an untimely death? Still, as mothers, we want our families to have a peaceful life after we have left them. For this, we need to prepare our families both mentally and financially. This arises the need for Women especially to have

“Term Insurance”

Term Insurance is the purest form of Life insurance, wherein you need to pay a fixed amount as a premium to a certain amount known as Sum Assured. And in case of your unfortunate death during the policy term, your family receives the amount.

Why should a working woman opt for Term Insurance?

  • The conventional thought is that men are the bread earners of the family, even though women work. Let’s imagine your income stops for a while. Can anything substitute that income? No, right? So a women’s salary is also a major source of income for the family. Also, Term insurance is provided based on the total income of the family. Hence your salary matters.
  • Since you’re a working woman you would help your partner in taking care of the expenses of your family. A term cover is essential because, in the absence of your income, it would help your partner to handle the expenses all by himself. Let’s say, for example, School fees of the children, EMI, loan, rent, etc.

What is the use of a term plan for a homemaker?

  • Even if you don’t make monetary contributions, your absence would still leave a huge void in your family.
  • Your partner or your siblings would have to carry forward your responsibilities.
  • With the help of term insurance, your partner or siblings can cut down on their work hours or part-time jobs and dedicate their time in fulfilling your responsibilities. (Planning of your child’s marriage /education or taking care of your parent’s medical needs). They would receive a fixed amount of income, that would cater to their financial necessities and goals.

Women receive certain special benefits with term insurance such as:

  • Special premium rates especially for women.
  • If you don’t smoke, then you receive attractive premium rate benefits.
  • Comprehensive protection with the option to choose Critical illnesses rider and other added riders as well with your term plan

How do I get Term Insurance done?

Working women normally have a busy schedule, an easier way to handle finances would be to use digital platforms. MyWay Wealth – India’s most trusted app for Direct Mutual Funds, is one such digital platform that offers Term Insurance. All you need is a few minutes on your smartphone and you will be able to provide a cover of 1 crore to your family, with the same amount with which you get a Netflix monthly subscription.

You may delay but life will not, and lost time is never found again. Hence plan your Term Insurance on MyWay Wealth app today and be rest assured regarding your families well-being. 

National Pension System (NPS)

How to plan your retirement with National Pension System (NPS)?

The best way to predict your future is to invest in it.

At a point when individuals retire they will either have no or very little monthly income. This means that, you have to alter your lifestyle. Coming to think of it, it’s actually difficult to compromise on your comforts and expenditure.

As a solution, opting a pension scheme would help you to save a good corpus for your old age, thus providing financial security and freedom. One such scheme that we will discuss today is the National Pension System (NPS).

The National Pension System is a Government initiative, with an intention to provide pension opportunity to every Indian (Resident or Non-Resident) and to inculcate the habit of saving specially for retirement. It was rolled out on January 2004 for new Government recruits and has been made mandatory for all central government employees and some state government employees. This scheme is not compulsory for Government Employees who have joined before January 2004, however they can always opt for it if they want to. As for the private sector employees, they are given a choice to choose between Employees’ Provident Fund Organization and NPS.

Eligibility for NPS

Any person between the age of 18 – 65 years can open an NPS account.

Types of NPS

There are two types of schemes under NPS: Tier 1 and Tier 2. Let’s dive deeper into both of them:

Tier 1

It is a mandatory account for all those who opt for NPS. It has different implications depending on the category you belong to:

  • The Government employees have to contribute 10% of their salary (salary = basic + DA) and the government will make equal contributions as well.
  • For others opting this scheme, the initial contributions is Rs. 500/- at the time of account opening and minimum annual contribution is Rs. 1000.

Tier 2

This is not a compulsory account like Tier 1. This account allows high liquidity as funds can be withdrawn any time. There are no contributions from the government or the employers in Tier 2 and include no tax exemptions either. There are three important points to make note of:

  • The minimum amount required to open this account is Rs. 1000/-
  • Minimum monthly contributions amount to Rs. 200/-
  • It is also necessary to hold a minimum balance of Rs. 200/- every financial year.

Exit Option

If you retire at 60:

  • 40% withdrawals are free from tax.
  • From the balance 60%, 40% minimum has to be used to purchase annuity and the remaining 20% can be used to either buy annuity or can be withdrawn by paying tax according to the tax slab you fall into.

If you retire before 60 years:

  • You would use 80% of your corpus to buy annuity.
  • And withdraw the remaining 20% by paying the amount taxable according to the tax slab you fall into.

Remember that the amount via annuity is taxed according to your tax slab. In the event of the account holder’s death, the entire amount is given to the nominee.

Tax Benefits

  • Investments in NPS receive tax deductions up to Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum under Section 80CCD of the Income Tax Act.
  • Also, NPS is one such instrument that provides additional tax deduction up to Rs. 50,000 under Section 80CCD(1B) in a financial year.
  • At term completion, 40% of the amount received is free from tax.

Investment options

One can invest in NPS through Fund Managers. Here is the list of Pension Fund Managers:

  • HDFC Pension Management Company.
  • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company.
  • Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company.
  • LIC Pension Fund.
  • Reliance Capital Asset Management Company.
  • SBI Pension Funds.
  • UTI Retirement Solutions.
  • Birla Sun Life Pension Management.

These fund managers invest funds in varying proportions of equity, corporate debt and government securities out of which:

  • Equity come with maximum risk but has higher chances to earn maximum returns.
  • Government securities come with minimum risk and least returns.

The two investment options available are:

  1. Active choice: With this investment option, an investor gets to mix equity, corporate debt and government securities as per his/ her choice. However, allocation to equity can be a maximum of 50%.
  2. Auto choice: Allocation is done as per the investor’s age. Let me explain this with the help of a table:
EquityTill the age of 35, equity portion is 50%, post which it reduces 2% yearly till it becomes 10% by the age of 55.
Corporate DebtTill the age of 35, the corporate debt is 30% , post which it reduces 1% every year till it becomes 10% by the age of 55.
Other Options

  • Aggressive life-cycle fund - begin with equity allocation of 75%

  • Conservative life-cycle fund - begin with equity allocation of 25%

They reduce as per the investor’s age advances.