Smart ways to invest and attain early financial freedom

Friends -First the disclosures - I am writing these posts to share my investing ideas and where I am investing my money. I am not recommending that you do what I am doing. Second disclosure – this is a long post – so be aware before you start reading. My last post advised you to get out of the stock markets as soon as possible. Till that post, for the past few years, I have been urging everyone get into stock markets through equity MF’s and direct equities. My past week’s actions have come from my belief that at volatile times like these, we need to be actively managing our assets. All I am doing is basically selling assets that are going down (equity) and buying assets that are going up. In the past few years, stock markets have done well and all of us made money. However, since early 2015, the markets have not performed - Sensex is minus 21% in the past 12 months. After watching and analyzing the markets for one year, I have turned bearish. I

Friends - If you have invested in equity MF’s - then I guess you would be seeing an erosion of value in the past few months. Normally in such situation, I would be recommending that you invest more and stay invested as the future is positive for Indian economy and that will have a rub off in the stock markets. However, I have turned my recommendation over today and I am recommending exiting all your equity MF’s for the time being. The reason is that the next few months look very volatile -the reason is not Indian economy – but the global factors – China is main the reason for this volatility – There is a fair amount of fears of further devaluation of the Yuan - (

Every year in Q1, I have many queries on where to invest to save tax under section 80C. Most readers come with ULIPS and Insurance schemes as they have been approached by someone advising them to invest in these schemes to save tax. So today I am sharing where I am investing this year and you can do the same. There are many options for saving under section 80C and one of my older blogposts had described the options available (there have been a few changes since then). I do not recommend investing through Insurance schemes (except term policy and health insurance) and ULIP schemes. Investing through FD’s. PPF’s also do not make sense to me in most years. I normally recommend investing through ELSS mutual funds and stay invested in the fund for three years with a view to avail the section 80C benefit. Last year I had recommended investing t

Friends – I do not have an answer to the question above. After all we all have lost money today. But I know that you must be wondering on the future course of action – hence I am sharing my thoughts The market is in the grip of bears now – I expect more down movements in the next few days. If you look at the reason for this, it all points to China – their economy is slowing down and their stock market was going up till one month back - their government trying to stem the stock market fall – they are devaluing their currency – the oil and commodity crash is also due to slowing Chinese demand. These cannot be reversed. And so there will be a china induced shock in the global markets. The countries that are commodity exporters like Australia, Brazil, South Africa will all get impacted due to lower exports to china. Those countries that are competing with china in exports like Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan all wil

My year end predictions, in Dec 2014, ended with the statement – “Aim at an overall return of 20% plus for your portfolio. It is easy to get this in 2015”. As you can see -I was off the mark. 20% returns this year is not as easy as it seemed six months back. The last six months has been a period of stalemate. BSE Sensex was 27500 on Jan 1st – it is hovering about 3.5% higher at 28460 as of 18th July. Gold hasn’t done any better – it was Rs. 2670 per gram on Jan 1st and today it is Rs. 2548 per gram. Real estate has also been hanging over the past 6 months – even though there is no accurate data available, there is a general sense there are very few buyers in real estate right now and the market is moving towards budget housing. Debt markets have done no better – for example HDFC Gilt fund LTP (this invests in long term government bonds) has given a paltry 0.6% over the past six months. I have had quite