Smart ways to invest and attain early financial freedom

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

2014 was a wonderful year – this was the year when most investments (except gold) gave great returns – there is a good chance you have made decent returns if you were either on Direct Equity or MF or Real estate or even Debt funds. So what does 2015 look like? Looks good. Here are my recommendations for 2015 –areas where you can make 20% plus returns:   Direct Equity - Stay invested in equity and increase your exposure to equity.  I believe 2015 will be the year of equity markets in India. Globally US is doing better and EU, Japan are struggling, China is slowing down and the Emerging countries like Indonesia, South Afr

With Indian stock markets giving a 31% return, there is a sense amongst many of us of having missed the opportunity.   Plus there is this fear that if we enter too late, we will be the losers.   Also quite a few of my readers have some amount invested in stocks and they want to know if they can increase their allocation at the current levels.   And there are others who are asking whether they must exit the stock markets and take home the profits.   So the question that I want to answer is what should I do?   Let us see a few graphs before I share my point of view:   Here is the data of HDFC Bank share and the Nifty for the past 13 years so. If you were thinking of investing on say 1st Jan 2010 – you would have felt uncomfortable as it was pretty high then – but see what has happened since then. This logic is true for most years except for 2007/2008.