Category Archives: General

Are You Guilty Of Financial Infidelity With Your Partner?

Stories of financial infidelity:

Mahesh, a successful upcoming software engineer’s life was in a real mess; it is good he realized it at least now. He had come to meet me for financial advice and plan. He started doing online trade after learning that his colleagues were making a lot of money. But he had lost heavily due to his ill-luck, inexperience and lack of knowledge. He indulged in tactics of taking loan from one to repay the other and taking loans from another to repay the earlier loan. Mahesh was in debt to the extent of 20 lacs, and his creditors were pressurizing him to pay back loans given. So far he has not disclosed all these things to his young loving wife, Lekha.

Mahesh believed that Lekha was no good at finances and was just home bound. He also believed that he had to support her, but had no moral obligation to reveal anything else to her. Lekha was shocked to know that Mahesh was deep in debt. She was sensible and thrifty and thought they would soon lead a comfortable life, but her dreams were shattered and she was forced to sell all the jewelry and some of the household things that her parents had given her in marriage. They found that affording the rent of their flat was also too much, so they had to move to a smaller flat.

Lekha was happy for she knew at least now and could keep a track of Mahesh’s finances, but she lost faith in Mahesh as he hid vital financial information from her and decided that she had to start earning also to feel financially secure in their relationship. Mahesh’s financial infidelity has broken the very foundation of their marital life that is based in trust, confidence and open discussion of all vital issues.

Financial infidelity could go further in various other respects like the case of Ankit that hid vital information about the salary he earned and the increments he got, the loans he took, and the number of credit cards he used. He died of a severe cardiac arrest at the tender age of 32, and this was a shock not only to his wife and children, but also to his parents and in-laws.

Ankit’s wife Anila believed that he had taken sufficient insurance to protect the family in case of his death. She also believed that he had enough savings.  But Ankit a poor money manger had huge credit card dues, as he had borrowed for family expenses. Also he had a sizable amount of car loan and home loan. He had the habit of paying only the minimum due on credit cards. Besides he had defaulted payment of premium on some policies.

Anila was shocked and disposed off their flat and car to close the loans. She was left with very little from the insurance Ankit had. She only wished that Ankit had told her everything so that she could have set aside enough for the family and not had to send their son Amit to a government school and have no finances for his future education.

Recognize when there is financial infidelity:

Mutual Trust:

As the couple ties the knot and takes the marriage oath, it seems so pleasant, but I would say trust and respect for each other need to be for life. The break of trust and respect in major financial matters amounts to financial infidelity. I would say that transparency in marital relationships is very important and could help save situations that are irrevocable.

Financial Openness:

This applies to revealing the number of bank accounts a partner has and the nature of transactions made. You need to have an open discussion with your spouse on the financial matter like the number of credit cards you have, loans you borrow, investments you make, tax you pay…

Family Support:

You need to inform all your family members and dependents about your financial and debt status. Then you will be able to take decisions with much more clarity. Moreover, if your family members know about your debt, they will also change their spending habits and support you in getting out of debt faster

Equal Weight:

You could definitely be not guilty of financial infidelity if both your partner and you consider that equal weight should be given to both views in financial affairs. This is also necessary for the strong foundation of your relationship and family.

Spirit of compromise:

It is true that mutual trust and respect coupled with compromise can do a lot to remove financial infidelity and save the extreme situation that we have seen in the case of Mahesh’s and Ankit’s family. A spirit of compromise could definitely save financial infidelities that have their roots in selfishness on the part of one of the partners. This also apples to relationships that is emotionally vulnerable with one partner feeling inferior or being terrorized emotionally.

Lastly I am sure you would all refrain from the guilt of financial infidelity that could not just ruin the financial position of families and their overall peace, but could also cause certain devastating relationship issues that could not heal even in a lifetime.

The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (http://www.holisticinvestment.in/mutualfund-sip) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at ramalingam@holisticinvestment.in.

LASER scanners for vector projection

I made a LASER projector with DC motors. This can display only circular forms. I wanted to make one that can display vector graphics. There is an instructable to make these from speakers. I am also trying that but my setup has a lot of distortion.

In this alternative I have used the read head of the CD ROMs to move the mirrors and bounce the LASERS to make figures

What you need

Junk CD drives, screw driver star head, small round mirrors, glue and lot of patience.

You need to open the CD drives part by part till you reach the actual lens mechanism.

cd drive

What we need is a the actual read head with all the mechanism built around it.

lens mechanism

This is actually a set of two coils in between two very powerful magnets and it is used to focus the laser and read the CD. One of the coils moves the lens up and down and the other coil moves it left and right.

My concept was as follows.

Apply a constant voltage to push up the lens. Attach a mirror to it. and use the varying High, Low voltage at both ends to move the mirror left and right.

Following are the pictures that I have taken for my setup.

2012-02-05 22.38.59 2012-02-05 22.38.39

2012-02-05 22.46.51 2012-02-05 23.40.45

2012-02-05 22.38.23

The pictures show different views of the lens mechanisms. Wires have been soldered to the coil ends for the ease of connecting it to the microcontroller board. Mirrors have been glued on the lens and the mirror moves with the lens. Following is the video that shows these in action.

Following pictures have been taken after the setup was done and the microcontroller was programmed to move the mirrors.

I am able to draw something but one of the heads seems to be having some issues as it is creating a lot of distortion.

2012-02-06 00.21.08  2012-02-06 00.21.37

2012-02-06 00.12.43  2012-02-06 00.15.23

2012-02-06 00.55.21  2012-02-06 00.56.44

The pictures show the setup on a cardboard box wit the LASER. A small paper screen has been setup to have a look at the drawing. I was successful in drawing a horizontal and vertical lines. Slanted lines have some distortion and a lot more distortion is noticed when drawing characters.

I will be working on a more stable version and will post all the updates when it is done.

Arduino – Digital Thermometer

LCDs facinate me very much. The second thing I did with my Arduino and the 16×2 LCD was to hook it up as per this schematic and try to say hi 🙂

Then I used the same logic to display the temperature.

Things used for this project are

  1. Arduino UNO
  2. 16×2 Hitachi compatible LCD
  3. LM35 Temperature sensor

This tutorial was used for the project.

The LM35 was wired as shown in the figure.

http://www.ladyada.net/images/sensors/tmp36pinout.gif

The major challenge faced during this project was writing the float temperature to LCD. There seems to be some issue with converting float to string in Arduino. After a lot of search I stumbled across dtostrf(). This funciton converts any floating boint number to a string of difined length with defined precision in a predifined buffer which can be printed on the LCD via LiquidCrystal library’s lcd.print().

Video of the thermometer

Source Code (modified)
//TMP36 Pin Variables
#include <LiquidCrystal.h>
#include <stdio.h>

// initialize the library with the numbers of the interface pins
LiquidCrystal lcd(12, 11, 5, 4, 3, 2);
int sensorPin = 0; //the analog pin the TMP36’s Vout (sense) pin is connected to
//the resolution is 10 mV / degree centigrade with a
//500 mV offset to allow for negative temperatures

/*
* setup() – this function runs once when you turn your Arduino on
* We initialize the serial connection with the computer
*/
void setup()
{
lcd.begin(16, 2);
Serial.begin(9600);  //Start the serial connection with the computer
//to view the result open the serial monitor
}

void loop()                     // run over and over again

{
//getting the voltage reading from the temperature sensor
float reading = analogRead(sensorPin);

// converting that reading to voltage, for 3.3v arduino use 3.3
float voltage = reading * 5.0;
voltage /= 1024.0
;

// print out the voltage
Serial.print(voltage); Serial.println(” volts”);

// now print out the temperature
float temperatureC = (voltage -.05 )*100 ;  //converting from 10 mv per degree wit 500 mV offset
//to degrees ((volatge – 500mV) times 100)
int decimal,fraction;
char temp[5];

dtostrf(temperatureC,5,1,temp);
Serial.print(temp);
//Serial.print(temperatureC); Serial.println(” degree C”);

lcd.setCursor(1, 0);
lcd.write(temp);lcd.write(” degree C”);
// now convert to Fahrenheight
delay(1000);

//
float temperatureF = (temperatureC * 9.0 / 5.0) + 32.0;

//Serial.print(temperatureF); Serial.println(” degrees F”);

delay(1000);                                     //waiting a second
}

Why investors are not making returns in the stock market

http://media.economist.com/images/na/2009w01/Stock.jpgIn the last 10 years, sensex gas grown at 17.79% CAGR. That means, if someone could have invested Rs. 1 lac 10 years back, it could have grown to 5.14 lacs. In the last 10 years one third of diversified equity mutual funds have delivered a CAGR of more than 25%. That means if someone could have invested 10 years back in these mutual funds Rs.1lac, it could have grown to Rs.9.31 Lacs.

But how many investors have REALLY got these kinds of returns…?

In this context knowing about the study conducted by Dalbar to determine how the investment behavior and decisions impacted the overall investment performance would be advisable. Dalbar, Inc. is a US based leading financial services market research firm. They have done comparative study on the returns of S&P 500 Index and the returns of the investors for a 20 year period ending 31-12-10.

The study revealed the following two important facts.

  • The average return of the S&P 500 during this 20 year period is 9.14%.
  • The average return of the equity investor during the same period is only 3.27%

When the market is delivering so much, why is that the investor is making out less? What are all the factors contributing for this gap in the market returns and the investor returns?

Though the market is delivering returns, investors were not able to benefit. Why is it so? What went wrong?  It is because of the nature or character of the investor.

Agriculture is getting affected by nature, either because of excess rain or no rain.  But we found out a system to fight against this nature. We built dams. So whenever there is excess rain, dams retain water to save agriculture and whenever there is no rain, it releases water to help agriculture.

Similarly investors are supposed to find and build a dam against their nature and behaviour towards stock market investing in order to get better returns.

What are the natures or behaviours of an investor that blocks him from getting the market return?

Fear:

When stocks suffer large losses for a sustained period, the overall market can become more fearful of sustaining further losses. At that point in time everyone will come with their own logic, reasoning, and statistical evidence on the chances of further losses. Fear stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real”.

Greed:

Most of us have a desire to acquire as much wealth as possible in the shortest amount of time.  This get-rich-quick mentality makes it hard to maintain gains and keep to a strict investment plan over the long term.

An investment portfolio based on ones personality

Basing investment portfolios on one’s personal likes and dislikes are the first of the powerful influences. It is like investing in cars and fancy gadgets just because you love them. Investing on shares just because you think they are smart or flashy is ambiguous, for they could sink in the long run. It is better instead to invest in profitable ventures that pay in the long run. It is true; our investment fancies make us pay a heavy price.

Follow the flock policy

The follow the flock for fear of being the black sheep policy makes you as an investor to believe in following others in the share markets. The pitfalls of group behavior lead us to buying high and selling less.

It also leads to unbalanced investment emotions of black or white (wrong or right) with no shades of objectivity and rationality. Buying high and selling low has made many investors suffer heavy losses in the long run.
A look at positive investment behavior:

It is good to be investment smart with humility and reasonable aspirations that makes achievement of financial goals a reality. I have never known of any high return investments that did not have high risks.

Patience over a lifetime and being able to assume stress helps in aiming for long term positive returns and contributes to assuming less financial stress after retirement.

Positive investment behavior requires balanced moods, one of neither elation nor panic. Neither selling in a panic due to share market positions or adverse world or country conditions is advisable, nor is a reaction of extreme financial prosperity, both can destroy a lifetime of healthy investment. A long-term investor needs to realize that neither despairing nor elation of situations in civilization proves worthy for long term financial portfolios.

 

(The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at ramalingam@holisticinvestment.in.)

Factors To Consider Before Investing In IPO

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IPO’s or initial public offering is best understood as the first public offering of shares by a private limited company before listing in a stock market. Looking down IPO’s history of success and failure stories, you would be smart to first fully understand the various aspects behind such offerings and makes the right choice to invest or not in IPO’s. It is advisable to understand that

investing in IPO’s could prove risky with unfavorable market situations and sentiments and when the fundamentals of the company and industry are weak. It is best to go by facts, avoid being influenced by rumors and have a closer look at the past performances also.

Understanding the concept of investing in IPO does require a clear look into these factors:

It is not wise to believe rumors and success stories of IPO’s at face value, for investing in IPO’s is not easily learnt and there could be some misconceptions. So it is best to venture into IPO’s only after you have learnt the art of investing your hard earned money in them.

It is wrong to be overwhelmed with hearing general statements that some IPO’s are attractively priced. You would be smarter comparing the price earnings ratio that helps get the relationship between the stock price and the company’s earnings and comparing it with those of competitive companies.

Beware of being under the misconception that investing in IPO’s could give you great gains on listing. It has been noticed by both amateur as well as experienced investors that sometimes high losses are also made. It would be safer and secure not gambling in the shares of new issues.

It is good to experiment with new products in the market. But I would say that it is not smart to have this attitude with shares and invest in IPO’s. Investing is about getting effective and safe returns on the hard earned money that you put into shares, so it would be smarter putting your money to work in index stocks that have been in the market for a long time and have survived the volatile economic market for long.

Beware of being influenced by the favorable feeling and trend in the investment market to borrow money from financial institutions of brokerage companies for getting higher allotment of shares. It is sometimes very difficult to judge the trend of the market especially as an amateur and this could make you end up in huge losses coupled with the repayment of the loan with interest.

Some assume that investing in IPO’s would surely bring about gains in the long run. However I would suggest that you would definitely be much better off investing in good listed shares that have a proven record, though they sell at a higher price. However you may invest with sufficient information of the IPO’s, but could not always be sure that the listing will not bring down the issue price.

So it is best to be prudent and informative before investing in IPO’s.

Factors that have a bearing on analyzing investments in IPO’s:

It is first important to know that companies are required to file their draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with SEBI while floating an IPO. Analyzing this document would give you financial and other information about the company. The highest percentage of shares held by institutional investors, banks and financial institutions could be a positive indicator to invest in IPO’s.

The draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) would also provide other important information and indicators like the quality of management. The quality of management like their work experience, their past history or work experience, qualifications and projects handled would help in the decision to analyze IPO’s.

Another factor having a bearing is strong promoter backing. Big companies like Tata and Birla bring about credibility and also add a premium to the price of IPO’s. The ownership by the government and public sector undertakings are also an indicator of high level of safety of returns.

The other major, though not the only indicator though is grading, with a higher grading being good. However also could be false as seen with the IPO of Vasvani Industries that had a 2/5 grading.  Similarly high graded companies like Galaxy Surfactants with a CRISIL rating of 4/5 withdrew its IPO. So it is best to understand that even some good companies withdraw their IPO’s due to poor public sentiments and difficulty experienced in raising funds in the market.

The objective for raising funds would prove to be an important indicator to its profitability and time for return. Finding out this objective looking at various factors like the businesses past performance, future growth prospects, potential rate of return and profitability. In addition it is best to avoid investing in businesses that you cannot understand.

Last, but most important a periodic review would help you understand how your investment in IPO’s are fairing and help effect follow-up. However it is advisable to avoid taking hasty decisions to sell, as some IPO’s have underperformed initially but has given consistent returns in the long run. But prompt follow-up action would be required in case of IPO’s that lose very badly or are fundamentally wrongly invested.

 

To conclude investing in IPO’s is best kept to the minimum as they involve a high level of research and uncertainty. However if they are selectively chosen they would help avoid investments with bad performance.

 

The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at ramalingam@holisticinvestment.in.

Anna Hazare Fasts in Mumbai for Better Lokpal

http://images.smh.com.au/2011/12/27/2860928/DB_20111227201923743722-420x0.jpg

Anna Hazare Tuesday started a three-day fast for a strong Lokpal, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended the government’s proposed ombudsman following an opposition onslaught.
As MPs furiously debated the pros and cons of the Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha, Team Anna urged Parliament to dump the proposed legislation, saying it was too weak to combat the cancer of corruption.
Intervening, the prime minister insisted that the bill lives up to the promise MPs “collectively made to the people of the country” with a ‘sense of house’ resolution in August when Hazare fasted in Delhi.

Via TOI

A Study on Physical Gold and Gold ETF

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Stock Market has lead to tendency of many to go in for much safer investments that gives a reasonable return. This is the reason for gold gaining popularity as one of the safest avenues for investment.

Gold has always held importance as a good investment proposition since the days of our ancestors. But the recent trends of daylight robbery, murders and greed for the precious yellow metal with the difficulty of storage and safety of physical gold had made gold a cumbersome proposition. In addition, fraudulent and not uniform practices followed by jewelers and difficulty in establishing the purity of gold contributed to the popularity and desirability of gold ETF’s.

Gold ETF’s or gold exchange-traded funds are instruments investing in gold of 99.5% purity. Investing and maintaining these funds just required demat account and a trading account with a registered stockbroker. Gold ETF’s are more ideal than physical gold due the following reasons:

¨     Gold ETF’s are investments in gold of 99.5% purity only. It prevents one from falling into the clutches of some jewelers that fool customers with smooth and artistic talk. This avoids chances of misplacement of trust, as only a goldsmith could find out the exact purity.

¨     Owning something virtual like gold ETF’s does away with the difficulty of storage and security experienced in possessing physical gold. The units of gold ETF’s can easily be stored in both demat and trading account without being known to the greedy, cheaters, robbers and looters. A word of caution here, you could be sure of it all when you keep your units in accounts with privacy of user name and password.

¨     Gold ETF’s are most ideal for small investors as they can be purchased in small denominations sometimes of even 1 gram or ½ a gram. So ETF’s can be bought easily in small installments regularly and increased in the virtual form. This advantage is not available when investing in physical gold.

¨     Low cost, with affordability in dealing with gold ETF’s contributes to their desirability over physical gold. These instruments are listed in exchanges; the exchange traded mechanism helping to reduce processing charges, disbursements and collection charges. Gold ETF’s also help do away with the carry charges in gold futures.

¨     The ease to convert gold ETF’s into liquid cash easily at real time prices on the stock exchange avoiding charges like commission, and unnecessary fuss over quality and price by jewelers make them a desirable investment. This makes buying and selling these units easy.

¨     Right and uniform pricing in Gold ETF’s offered no scope for price discrimination that is experienced in encasing physical gold at the jewelers. One lacking knowledge and experience in dealing in gold would do best to invest in good gold ETF’s.

¨     Gold ETF’s offer protection from the liability of taxes. The taxation system for gold ETF’s is similar to non-equity mutual funds. One only needs to pay the lower of the two, long-term capital gains tax of 10 per cent without indexation or 20 per cent with indexation on profits made.

¨     Gold GTF’s are likely to show lesser tracking errors as compared to normal funds as the creation and redemption of units are done with units of the same type. This accounts for lesser liquid cash being required and the short time interval between buying and selling of units.

However some may disagree with me and say that the psychological satisfaction of seeing and feeling physical gold in the physical form is important and gold ETF’s are a fictitious concept. It is purely a question of ones own perception, but I would strongly contest gold ETF’s if investment, safety and security is ones objective.

If you keep gold in the form of ETF, you will not have any emotional attachment towards that. You will really consider it as an investment. If you need money for buying a property or kid’s higher education you will feel free to encash it. But in the case of physical gold, we will not be prepared to sell it because we will have emotional attachment towards physical gold.

So, Gold ETFs are the better way to invest in gold.

Understanding Form 16

http://www.thinkplaninvest.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/form-16.jpg

Most of us are aware of Form 16 given by our employers before April 30th each year that give details of the income earned, and tax deducted at source and paid to the government. This certificate proves useful in filing income tax returns. In addition banks also issuing Form 16 and Form16A to pension holders and those that earn interest income, with no Form 16 required when TDS is not deducted from salary. Knowing about Form 16 helps us to be a well-informed taxpayer and do better tax planning.

The 13 components of Form 16 are:

PAN that stands for Permanent Account Number, a 10 digit alpha-numeric code that is generated by the Income Tax Department of India. It is mandatory for everyone- NRI, PIO & companies that wishes to conduct business, file and pay taxes, invest, buy and sell property, open a demat or bank account to have this number in India. The need

TAN is best known as Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number is another mandatory 10 digit alpha-numeric number that is very necessary for all persons and companies that are responsible for collecting taxes. It proves useful to note that this number is unique in case of different companies.

Gross salary, the common term used in practice includes all regular incomes in an employee’s remuneration. It would include allowances, overtime pay, commissions, and bonuses, with all other amounts before the deductions are made.

 

It is best to know that perquisites are just additional benefits in addition to the fixed salaries. Known popularly as perks this term could include rent free accommodation, loans at subsidized rates and others.

Profits in lieu of salary are just payments given instead of salary that is given by at or in connection with retrenchment or termination of employment. This item forms a part of taxable income and includes gratuity, commuted value of pension, retrenchment compensation. However the contribution made by the employee or interest thereon is not taxed.

Next allowances in Form 16 are certain payments made or allotted to employees for bearing of certain expenses. It could include allowances like medical allowances, and travel allowances that are generally taxable in the hands of the employees.

House rent allowance or HRA In Form 16 refers to a special allowance paid to employees to meet the cost of housing. There is tax exemption on HRA and it is limited to the least of either the HRA received from employer, or rent paid in excess of 10% of the salary, or 50% of salary in metropolitan cities and 40% in other cities. The term salary here includes basic, dearness allowance and other commissions put together, this exemption not available to those that do not pay rent.

It is best to understand conveyance allowance as an allowance paid to an employee to meet commuting expenses between his/her home and place of work. There is a maximum exemption of Rs.800, with a special provision for an orthopedically handicapped employee until Rs.1600.

The term medical allowance paid for medical treatments and medicines is fully taxable. However reimbursement of medical expenses against submission of bills could get you a maximum exemption of Rs.15000 annually.

The allowance received to employees for entertainment services or entertainment allowance is allowed as a deduction for government employees. However in other cases one can avail of deduction as a least of actual allowance received, or 1/5th of salary excluding all other allowances and perquisites or Rs.5000.

Deductions as in Form 16 is given as an incentive given by the government to invest in certain long term savings schemes. This includes long term savings for retirement, insurance schemes and others that give tax breaks.

All taxes in India are subject to an education cess that is 3% of total tax payable. This contribution is made towards the Secondary and Higher Education development in the Indian economy.

It is lastly important to understand the relief granted to employees when salary is paid in arrears in a lump sum best known as Relief u/s 89. This includes salaries received in arrears/advance, family pension received in arrears, retirement benefits such as gratuity, commuted pension, VRS and retrenchment compensation.

Understanding your form 16 helps you in many ways like planning for taxes, filing your income tax and so on.

 

The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at ramalingam@holisticinvestment.in.

Insurance For Home Makers

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It has always been a question of common belief that the male member or the bread winner of the family only needs to be insured. This belief has emerged due to the fact that the financial interests of the other dependent family memebers had to be protected in case of death of the bread winner. However changes of lifestyles and with more women being employed in lucrative professions both in big cities and towns the perception of insurance has changed.

In addition the entry of many MNC-Indian insurance joint ventures, and their bringing out unique solutions and products, it is time that we all looked into taking insurance policies for home makers too. Home mekaers have been neglected all these years with regard to insurance.

It would be interesting to study why home makers too need insurance:

  • It is significant to note that in a country like India, homemakers contribute to households in the form of cooking, education of children and other menial work. But their importance and value of services evaluated in monetary terms is greatly neglected. It is true that the absence of these services on the death of the homemaker a big financial impact on lower and middle income families.
  • Another noteworthy factor that places a value on insurance of homemakers is that they provide great counsel to their spouse and children. So losing them would mean that lots of money would have to be spent on counseling services proving that loss of love and companionship is priceless.

 

  • It is also true that no one could replace a home maker mother and her loss could make it difficult to get competent and loving people to look after the family and children. It is also significant to note that the cost of competent daycare centers could be high and the cost of not insuring a home maker in lower and middle income families could be pretty high.
  • There is a money value behind each and every household work performed by the home maker. In case of any eventuality to the home maker, one need to shell out more money to upkeep the house in order.

 

Considering various aspects like paying expenses out of the pocket, remarriage and insurance, insurance proves to be the most reliable and safest solution. The insurance cover should be proportional to the amount of financial loss that would be suffered or through a need based cost replacement analysis.

 

In addition to insurance to guard against financial liabilities in case of death of a home maker it is vital to also plan for a dream retirement home and college education funds through various insurance linked plans.

 

Health insurance:

 

It is also true that insurance needs to be taken for critical illness, prolonged illness, accident or a major hospitalisation for all family members. It would also be beneficial to take health insurance policies early in life to gain benefits like full cover of all ailments and lower premium.

 

However each family could have their own unique insurance needs, so taking the advice of a trusted financial planner in the form of an insurance advisor or trusted bank would help. They would render you correct information, best skills and advice based on your family’s financial circumatances, priorities and risk profile.

 

Insurance for the whole family also requires that all the adult family members be fully aware of all the insurance policies taken, their benefits and exclusions and where they are kept. Having an open discussion about long term savings and insurance plans both for the bread earner and home maker and for children build a better family understanding and bond. They also convey the message that proper life insurance coverage should form an integral part of financial planning in families.

 

The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at ramalingam@holisticinvestment.in.

 

Critial Illness: What a Disaster!

http://www.kollewin.com/EX/09-15-00/key-man-critical-illness-insurance.jpgUrsula K. LeGuin quotes “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.”

 

I agree with Ursula K. LeGuin for critical illness could strike anyone at anytime and in any place with the modern trend of rise in lifestyle diseases that call for prompt and costly medical care. The necessity of critical insurance or health insurance with critical illness riders was strengthened with my friend Mr. Karthik being diagnosed with multiple blocks in his heart that involved a treatment of 3lac. Then one more friend told us all about the necessity of critical illness insurance and health insurance with critical illness.

 

Understanding all about critical insurance and health insurance with critical insurance riders would tell us that most such health insurance policies would cover 12 critical illness besides others. They could include heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), cancer, kidney failure, stroke, coma, liver failure, primary pulmonary arterial hypertension, multiple sclerosis, major organ transplant, aorta graft surgery and total blindness.

 

These diseases and surgical procedures could be wanted by anyone, at any time and anywhere and hence cannot be neglected at all. Health insurance companies generally undertake to pay a lump sum for the treatment of these diseases irrespective of the amount spent. Some companies may include such coverage on payment of additional premium every year. This could vary from company to company and also between companies dealing in life and general insurance.

 

Features of Critical Illness Insurance

 

  • It is quite possible to take up critical insurance policies or health insurance with critical insurance riders. When a critical insurance policy is taken the entire amount of the sum assured is paid on treatment of the critical insurance irrespective of the amount actually spent. Such a policy is a benefit plan.

 

  • The benefit payment under the Policy will generally be paid to you on survival for more than 30 days on post diagnosis of the critical illness.

 

  • However critical illness insurance will not cover ordinary hospitalization and medical expenses. While health insurance policies with critical illness riders would offer extra protection against critical illnesses with payment of additional premium. They would also pay the lump sum on the treatment of the critical illness.

 

  • However one needs to understand that critical illness insurance does not have any maturity value and just offer cover in case of critical illness. Such amounts may lapse on their not occurring. Life insurance policies offering critical insurance riders have a maturity value but no maturity value is allotted for riders. Riders merely cover the risk of critical insurance. However this need not deter one from taking up critical illness insurance, as it is well worth to cover risk of high expenses with critical illness.

 

  • Having a look into the premium on these policies would give us information that the amount of premium on critical illness insurance and riders for critical illness would vary depending on the age of the insured and the illnesses that are covered.
  • Critical illness insurance could have exclusive coverage for all critical diseases or for only some, the terms and conditions varying from company to company. A check would prove useful before taking up a critical illness insurance or life insurance with critical illness riders.
  • Tax benefits under Sec 80D or Sec 80C of the Income Tax Act are available.

Get critical insurance today

“Caution is a most valuable asset in fishing, especially if you are the fish.”

I am sure you would not prefer to be the fish that is not cautious, for life is so sweet and short. Mr. Karthik and his family are now out to advice families like them, for they believe their experience could educate others too.

What are you waiting for to take protection today? Information is nothing more than mental garbage if it doesn’t transfer an individual. Unimplemented knowledge is a burden. Our problem is not ignorance; but inaction. Don’t fall into this trap.

One of these days is none of these days; today is the day to start the big job. Just browse the net, discuss with financial planners for better understanding of the coverage required and product clarity, and get quotes and rest in peace with the best critical illness insurance for you.

 

The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at ramalingam@holisticinvestment.in.