Thursday, December 26, 2013

Year End Thoughts

When I started this blog, I was planning two posts per month. When I check the posts in 2013, I realize I failed terribly in this target. There were many months even without a single post this year. So, I thought I would write some thing, before the year ends.

But that "some thing" is the problem. When you blog without anything specifically in mind, it is easy to get it boring both for the writer and reader. At the risk of that, I will explore the year about to end.

How was the year 2013 for me financially? Looking back, I realize it was an year which did not go the way I planned. First the miss to submit investment proof to my employer on time, which caused tax cutting which is nearly equal to half my monthly salary, that too, for two months. It was very hard two months, but I realized that I can live with 50% of my salary, if I really want to. Later, I got the amount refunded by IT department.

Then there were unexpected medical emergencies. Unfortunately my medical plan did not cover 100%. Then more vehicle maintenance charges. Last year I upgraded my car, and for this car, I need to spend more money as maintenance charges. Not to mention it is far inferior in mileage to my previous car. And then more educational expenses for my children, considering all these, I was in a tight wallet throughout the year.

That means nothing on positive side? No. I got a good salary hike this year, even though a large part of it went to variable pay. During the variable payout, being a private limited company, my employer enjoys  freedom to come up with a convenient number as variable payout percentage. But we should be optimistic. I hope I will get a good percentage return next year.

Secondly, I have crossed many milestones this year. For one, I started a PPF account. For another, there is much increase in my net worth, thanks to the regular investments.

Then what should I look forward to in 2014? Of course I need to do many miles stones. I am listing here a few on hope that this would help some one else.

  • Increase my emergency fund
  • Increase life insurance coverage
  • Start investing in commodities like Gold.
  • Start investing in real estate (a least priority item)
  • Reduce expenses
The list can go on. If you remember what I wrote last year during this time, you can see I am making good progress. What's your experience in 2013? Please feel free to put it in comments.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!



Friday, July 5, 2013

Is a Home Loan Your Best Investment?

"Stupids are damn sure, while the intelligent are full of doubts" is one of my favorite quote. Not sure who said it. We can call it anonymous then. Why this is my favorite? If you ask a piece of advice from any one without much expertise in any area, he will say a definite answer, whereas if you ask the same question to an expert in that area, you will get a few pros and cons, which makes you more confused.

For example, ask an innumerate person how wise is a decision to invest in a house. Most probably, you will get a answer like "It is the best investment you can make". On the other hand ask a financial expert, definitely he will not be thrilled as much you expect. Well, he can figure out the pros and cons, but an yes or no depends on many factors.

I purchased a three bedroom flat three years ago. I was not a money conscous person at that time, so definitely I did not do my maths. But now I am, so I decided to analyze that decision. It is purely based on my personal experience.

I have a made Rs 10 Lakhs as down payment. and I went for a loan of Rs. 25 Lakhs for 20 years. I have to pay Rs 21,700 as EMI for this loan. Is it a wise investment? Assume my flat appreciates 15% Compound rate per year. So, at the end of 20 years, it will worth Rs 5.72 Crore.

Besides this, I can claim income tax reduction. I am in 20% tax slab, and assuming the tax laws will remain constant for this 20 years, I will save Rs 10 Lakhs.

So, my gain is a total of  Rs 5.82 Crores

Now, see how much I paid?
  • Rs 10 Lakhs downpayment
  • Rs 52 Lakhs as loan repayment
  • Approximately Rs 10 Lakhs as maintenance charges
This seems attractive. I paid 72 Lakhs and I got 5.82 Crore return. Let's just forget we have made many assumptions here.

Now consider another scenario. I had decided not to purchase the flat. and decided to invest the money in a bank recurring deposit. Assuming interest rates keep constant at 9%, let's recalculate.

I have paid Rs 10 Lakhs as down payment. I invest that right away for the 20 years. Also, I decide to invest Rs 21,000 that I pay as loan now. Wait, I cannot pay 21,000. If I did not purchase the flat I should have to pay rent. Also, more Income Tax.

However, if I decide to invest the Rs 10 Lakhs (which I paid as down payment) in an NBFC at 1% interest rate, I will get Rs 10,000 monthly. So this, can cover the rent. So, I am ignoring rent, but I have to pay income tax. Reducing that Rs 18,700 is left for investment every month.

So I invest 17,000 per month. This will be accumulated to 1.2 crore. Definitely this is not attractive as first scenario. But in both cases, we have made a few assumptions.

In first scenario
  • The price of your flat appreciates at 15% per year. Really? Think after 10 years, your flat will be old and obsolete.
  • There is no major maintenance
  • No insurance is not needed for the house (you know it is not true). Insurance charges are not considered in the calculation.
In the second scenario, the assumptions are
  • The rates of return is constant at 9% through out the years
  • You get 1% monthly return for the Rs 10 Lakhs investment you made for the next 20 years.
  • You invest in tax exempted schemes, so that no tax is not levied on the returns.
But there are some other factors, which you need to consider before purchasing a house.
  • The effort you put to find out an appropriate flat, background checks, and maintenance
  • Freedom and peace of mind of living a debt free life.
  • The pleasure of seeing your wealth getting accumulated. 
  • The freedom of life - If you don't like one rented house, you can move to another.
So, which one you should go? As I told you, the experts don't have the definite answers. They will confuse you more.

Please let me know your comments.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Why Our Parents Are So Rich?

Well, my father is not that much rich. He was a farmer (now retired), and did not make a lot of wealth in his lifetime.  but some times, money is not a measurement for one's greatness.

This is not the case with many of my friends. Their parents are rich. So rich that they take care many of their children's needs. They sponsored not only their children's education, but also paid their education loan,  sponsored their marriage, provided down payment for their cars/flats,  take care of their emergency situations like medical emergency or vehicle maintenance. Many of my friends take it for granted that their parents are the ATMs for them.

But think from where our parents get this unlimited money? If you ask them, you can hear the story of their struggles in their young age. How they survived with minimum government salary, how they paid hard their home loan, how they waited until their last years at their work to purchase their first car.  You will find it boring, but the answer to their richness lies in these stories.

The fact is that they missed many of the luxuries in their young age that we enjoy now. They did not have cell phones. They did not have computers. They did not have flat TVs. They did not have so much eat outs. They did not have branded clothes.

On the other hand they had a guaranteed pension. They started investing early thanks to the mandatory Provident Fund and Gratuity. I know we also have PF and gratuity, but we switch jobs in every 3 to 5 years, and the PF/gratuity is paid as down payment for our new cars/flats. Our parents missed the boom in equity markets, but all their investments in real estate and gold paid well.

Now the question is are we going to be so rich as our parents when we retire? The possibilities are less. Our parents lived poor and retired rich. We live rich and will retire poor?

Think about it. If you think your retirement is far away, remember our parents started investing for the retirement from the first month they started working.

Can we live the same way our parent did? Of course it is not possible to give up your cell phone or washing machine to live like them. However, you can learn to live within our means. Let's learn to say no to purchases on EMI. Let's use things until they wear out. Most importantly let's  learn to invest regularly.

Please let me know your thoughts through comments.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Safeguard Your Money

Busy office hours. My phone vibrates.

"Hello"

"Hello, I am from XYZ insurance company. We have a saving plan for you"

"Savings plan from an insurance company?"

"Yes, sir. It gives you fantastic returns."

"But I have never heard of a saving plan from insurance company"

"Sir, actually this is an endowment plan. But it gives awesome returns. So, it is a savings plan as well. Are you interested?"

"Yes, I am interested in savings plan. But I don't want to purchase from you"

"Not from me? Why, sir?"

"You tried to fool me first. It is an endowement plan, still you tried to cheat me by saying it is a saving plan. How can I trust you?"

Phone disconnected.

A fool and his money are soon parted - so goes the proverb. In modern times, you need to be extra intelligent to safeguard your money. Too many crooks are around.One carelessness can cost a lot.

I was little bit upset when I got an SMS saying I won the big lottery. From the newspapers I have already read about such scams. They will tell you won a few Crores as lottery. They will ask you to call to a number. When you call, they will tell you you need to pay transferring charges, which is only a few lakhs. If you hesitate, they will tell you need to pay only thousands. Then you think "If I loose, only a few thousands. If I get a few crores". So, you pay. Rest is assured. Money is gone

If I am already aware of this, why should I get upset when I receive such a message? What upsets me is that such notorious people got my phone number. I need to be extra cautious. This proved true in a few days.

Some one called me while I was driving. I stopped on the side, and answered the phone. "Sir, you have won a fiesta car for the best credit card payer for 2012". Nice to hear that. But not being a big credit card purchaser, I smelt a rat.

"In order to claim your price, you need to prove your identity"

"OK, go ahead"

"Just tell me your credit card is a Visa or Master card?"

"It is Visa card"

"Absolutely right sir. Second question. What's your termination date on your card?"

I give it.

"Again, right sir. Third question. Which is your 15 digit credit card number printed on your card"

"You want my credit card number?"

"Yes"

"I will give you now. You !@#$%#$^$&^%^*"

I disconnected.

I can imagine what would have been happened, if I give my credit card number.

If you are thinking that I have narrated two incidents to prove how smart I am, I will tell you another story. This time I was cheated.

I carry lunch to office. I know it is not that fashionable these days. But for your health and money, it is a good practice. I had a beautiful lunch box, which costs nearly Rs 1,000. One day, after lunch I put it in a bag and kept in luggage room. I forgot to zip the bag. While most of the area in our office is under camera surveillance, this room is not. After work, as usual I came to luggage room and took my bag. The moment I took it, I knew it is lighter than I expected. I checked inside, and found the lunch box is gone. Gone for good.

So, be always careful with your money.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

80C Tax Saving Planner

This is the start of the financial year, and this is the best time to start tax saving planning. The section 80C of income tax act, allows us to spend or invest our money in specified categories and to get tax exemption.

Somewhere in my blog, I complained that all the newspapers, magazine, blogs publish articles on tax savings on the last quarter of the finance year, when it is too late to do any planning. So, I decided to write about tax planning at the start of the finance year.

This is the best time to start planning. To help you a little with planning I have created one excel sheet. You can download the excel sheet here.

While using this excel sheet, please note below points.
  1. The target of your investment should not be only tax saving. It should be aligned to your financial goals. However, take into account different tax saving schemes so that you can get maximum return.
  2. Please spend some time to customize this excel sheet for your needs. Do not copy blindly.
  3. The excel sheet is created based on my knowledge and experience. It is not a replacement for professional tax advice.
  4. I cannot be held responsible for any losses due to recommendation. On the other hand, I don't mind sharing your returns with me.
  5. I have not included all schemed available under 80 C. I have included only ones, which are commonly used and which are recommended by me.
Hope this helps some one. Happy investing.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Seven Must Read Self Help Books

I decided to take a break from financial blogging and decided to write on some thing else. As I mentioned earlier, this blog is for financially illiterate people, and to keep them visiting, I should occasionally write about non financial topics.

This time I selected to write on books. What are my favorite books? If I include fictions also, it is a very difficult question. So, I exclude those and concentrate on self help books. You cannot be a successful man or woman by reading or copying ideas from these books. But, those books help you to see your life and problems in a different angle and brings in new ideas, which you never thought of before.

Here are my favorite Seven self help books. I deliberately mentioned "must read" to raise your curiosity. These are just my personal choice. You may have a different taste altogether.

1. THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Stephen R. Covey

This is a book, which does not need any introduction. First published in 1989 and sold out more than 25 million copies, I believe most of you already read this book. If not, don't waste time, grab one and read it.








2. NOW, DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS by  Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

This is a book, which triggered a paradigm shift for me. I believed I can ignore my strengths and need to improve my weakness for a successful living, until I read this book. But when I read this book, I realized that I need to work on my strengths rather than my weakness. For an example, just imagine in his childhood Sachin Tendulkar realized that bating is his strength and he needs to improve his bowling. If he ignored bating and tried to improve his bowling, would we have a bating genius now? Just read this book.



3. HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE by Dale Carnegie

 I am a big Carnegie fan, and I would recommend all books written by him. All his advises are simple, practical and effective. Read any one of his books, and I am sure you will agree with me.








4. RICH DAD POOR DAD by Robert Kiyosaki

My friends say whatever I talk to it will end up in finance. Here is the best finance book, I have ever read. The tag line "what the rich teach their kids about money that the poor and middle class do not" is enough to make you curious to read this book. I believe after this book, people used to use the term Rich to denote financially intelligent people.






5. YOU CAN NEGOTIATE ANY THING by Herb Cohen

Who will be winners in this world? People with greatest talent, dedication and education? This book says the winners are people who are not only competent, but also have the ability to negotiate. Learn the negotiation techniques from this book.




 






6. MEN ARE FROM MARS WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS by John Gray

This is a book I recommend to all married couples and people who plan to marry soon. We know men and women are different in their attitudes and behaviors. How different? The book answers this. By understanding the fundamental difference of genders, we can improve the relationships.







7. WHO MOVED MY CHEESE by Spencer Johnson

The less than 100 pages book, which can be read in one hour time, helps you to deal with change. When I first completed this book, I thought it says about things I already knew. In some of the situations where change is forced on me, which is similar to scenario described in this book, I adopted quickly and moved on. But I believe it is due to the nature of my profession. This book may be useful to thousands of other people. 

Do you have some other books to suggest? Please leave those names as comments.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Money, Happiness and Luck

The astrologer in the newspaper column advices me (not specifically to me, but to all, who shares my sun sign) that happiness is not related to money. I smiled reading this, wondering how he knew that I am unhappy because of money. Some times, you should believe in astrology.

Can some one be happy if he gets half the salary for two months? No? Exactly that happened to me this month. Next month also same will happen. Don't think I made some mistake at work and the company fined me. Then why the half salary? It is the Income Tax.

At the start of each financial year, we need to submit our investment plans for tax exemption to our employers. They will reduce Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) based on these plans. At the end of the financial year, we need to submit the proof of our investments. If these proof match with the plans we submitted, then every thing is fine. If not, they will reduce TDS based on the proofs.

So, what happened in my case this month? I have submitted the investment plan at the start of the financial year. At end of financial year, our company allows two time frames to submit the proofs. One week in  December and one week in January. There are many companies that allow to submit investment proofs until February last week, but we are not that lucky. So, if we miss these two windows, we are done. They will reduce the taxes without any tax exception from last two months salaries of the year (February and March).

Then, why did not I submit the proofs during these time frames? No, I was not on vacation. We Indians are not in the habit of taking one month vacation. Then what happened? During the submission window in December, I decided that I will submit in the January. Not due to procrastination, but I wanted to include my payments in the January in the proofs. And in January, I had to go on an official trip on a very short notice.  I have not even get time to think about investment proofs, I am in the flight. When I returned from the trip, Alas, the time frame is over.

Anyway, whatever happened is happened. What is the learning from this? No more agree to office trips on short notice? Well, that is not always practical. Submit whatever proofs available in the first window itself? But, Anticrastination is one of my problems, and I am trying to get rid of it. Change to a company, which allows more time frame to submit investment proofs? I can think of it.

On the other side, what is the impact of this half salary? The money which is deducted will not go for ever. I can claim this from IT department, when I submit IT returns. So, I may get back this money, may be in six months time. So, only problem is managing these two months.

What are the options in front of me to survive these two months?
  1. Go in an aggressive cost cutting mode, to live with half the salary.
  2. Use my emergency funds.
  3. Live on credit cards.
  4. Break one or two of my investments and live on it.
  5. Lend money from friends
  6. Go for a loan.
Well, obviously I will use the combination of 1 and 2, and may be 3 in worst case. If luck is on my side, I will not have to go options below it.

Now, come back to the learning from this. Unlike many of my friends, I planned my investments for the tax from start of last financial year. Continued those investments without fail during the entire year. All these planning and efforts went futile, just because of a bit of bad luck. Yes, I am coming to my point, Luck.

What is the biggest ingredient you needed to get rich? I will say it is luck. I know it is not inspiring, but I believe in luck. Because of luck you are born to this parents. Because of luck you selected the school or college you went. Because of luck you got this job. Because of luck you started investing early. Because of luck you continued your investment for long period. Because of luck you got good returns. Because of luck you are rich.

Convincing? My be not. Just because of luck, you cannot do every thing. For example, you need to put some efforts to start investing early. And to keep those investments even during hard times. But, remember, from where you came to know about the idea of investing early? From a friend? From a book? From a movie? Isn't it because of luck you happened to hear it? Well, many are unlucky not to hear about the idea of investing early in their careers. And some heard, but did not give any attention. Some gave some attention, but did not put efforts to do it.

Thinking more about it, to get rich you need luck and efforts. Only one is not going to work. So if you have not started investing early, at least be lucky enough to start it now. Put on efforts, and luck will follow. One or two times, bad luck may take you over, but not always. Start now. All the best.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Generation Gap

When I started blogging, I had one doubt. "Will any one read my blogs?". I have seen many financial blogs, which have thousands of readers, but those are written by financial experts and read by financial snobs. People read those blogs to find out which stock to buy, or which mutual fund to buy. On the other hand my blogs target financially illiterate people. And that is the big challenge. They are financially illiterate because they don't read any financial articles or blogs. It is like writing against smoking. People, who really smoke, not going to read those. So, my doubt was who is going to read my blog?

Then I thought at least my friends will read it. As I am writing it, out of curiosity they will visit my blog. So, I was expecting very few visitors to my blog. 

However, today when I see so much visitors, I am really happy. This is many fold what I expected. Really happy and would like to thank all my readers for your encouragement.

With that introduction I want to share my thoughts today. I was reading a blog on other day, which says many youngsters (hear the 20+ working professionals) are forced by their parents to avail big consumer loans for cars, home, etc even in the beginning of their career. When I thought about it further, three incidents came to my mind. Which I will narrate below.

Incident 1

My friend got Rs 5 Lakhs by a property sale. He wanted to invest that money in a bank Fixed Deposit. He is not really looking for the returns, but he wants to keep it as an emergency fund. Fixed deposits are very easy to break, so come any emergencies like job loss or medical emergency, he can use that money.

But things changed when his parents came to know about this. His parents wanted him to change his car, and go for an expensive car. Obviously, his wife joined with his parents, and finally he had to surrender to the combined pressure. He purchased a new car.

Incident 2

My friend was planning to get married. When he did a ballpark estimate of the marriage expense, he found that it will run into nearly Rs 10 Lakhs. He was not really happy to spend that much hard earned money. He talked with his parents about an idea of a register marriage. He will marry his fiancee in a register office, and only very near relatives and close friends will be invited. He estimated Rs 50,000 cost for this kind of marriage. If you can just ignore what others think, you can save Rs 9.5 Lakhs.

The idea was immediately rejected by his parents. But he was not ready to give up. After great deal of emotional blackmailing, his parents conditionally agreed this. He can go for such a marriage with one condition. The brides party should agree this.

He immediately called up his future in-laws. Again the idea was immediately rejected. The brides father kindly offered him to sponsor all the expenses of their marriage. But a firm no for other kind of marriage.

Finally, my friend has to go for a traditional marriage. They married and lived happily ever after, but Rs 9.5 Lakhs less richer.

Incident 3

Some one told me this incident, but I don't remember who. Here also the hero is a young man. He wanted to start a business. His father is ready to spend Rs 20 Lakhs for him, but not to start business. His father is ready to spend this money as bribe to get a job for his son. A job with Rs 10,000 as salary. Here also the son has to surrender to his father's wish. He goes to a 9 to 6 job nowadays. Let alone starting the business, should he invested the money in one of those micro financing companies, who pays 1% monthly interest, he should have been receiving Rs 20,000 monthly without leaving his home. Anyway, he believes his employer invests like that and paying him half his earnings.

Conclusion
What is the learning from these incidents? who thought wisely in these incidents? Younger generation or older generation? I am sure every one will not agree to me, but I think thoughts of younger generation are more prudent. If you think owning car, a bash marriage and a permanent job are important than your financial security and financial freedom, you will disagree with me.

Why do the older generation forces us to go for consumerism?  Of course, they do love us, and don't want to do any harm to us. Then why? To understand this, you need to follow the thought process. Our previous generation enjoyed the job security. Medical expenses and children's education were cheap on those days. So, they don't care that much about a personal emergency fund. To add to this, they got good returns for their investments, whether it is real estate, gold, or even from Provident Fund. They had a guaranteed retirement benefit.

But not all honey and milk for them too. It was hard to get a loan during those days. Credit cards were not heard of. Now we can get car loans, home loans even without visiting a bank branch. They may think why don't we make use of it?

What's the learning from these incidents? I am not saying immediately to reject any financial suggestions from your parents. There are many wise parents as well. But whenever you get a financial advice, no matter it is from your parents, friends or neighbors, please do understand this advice is based on their experience and their situation. Please judge it carefully, and make sure it suits you as well. 

Love your parents.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Art of Closing Insurance Policies

Why do so many people purchase Maruti cars? Because they produce quality cars? Or maintenance is cheap? Or availability of service stations? In my opinion none of these is true reason. The actual reason is people trust that brand name. When a few of my friends purchased cars, they first checked how much money they can afford. Then they checked which Maruti car is available for that money. Is it Alto, Rits, Swift, Ertiga or SX4. Then they purchased those cars. Easy. Maruti, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), SBI - all these companies enjoy the benefits of a trusted brand name.

I do not say people are missing any thing by purchasing Maruti cars, because Maruti produce quality cars. However, this is not the case with LIC and SBI. SBI as a bank is very competent. However, when it comes to mutual funds or Insurance - it is a different story. However, people blindly buy SBI mutual funds, just because those are from SBI.

The things are worse with LIC. Nowadays I am mastering the art of closing LIC policies. Not mine, but my friends. If one of my friends talks to me for half an hour about his insurance, he is convinced to close his policy. Why? I will teach you how to do it.

During any conversation when your friends mention about their LIC policies, jump on. But do not show the excitement. Casually ask them how much they pay as premium and what is the insurance coverage and maturity benefit. And then, ask them why they joined this scheme. The three possible answers to this question are 1) I want to save/invest some money. 2) I want my dependents to live a comfortable life even without me. 3) both 1 and 2.

No matter what they say, you can prove that they are losing money. Let's check one by one.

1) I want to save/invest some money
Don't be surprised by this answer. Many educated people buy insurance policies just for investment purpose. Don't tell them that it is not a good idea to mix insurance and investments. That will not sell. But you can tell them that how much money they are losing because of this policy.

For example, if a person pays Rs 5,000 as monthly premium, the insurance coverage will be Rs 12 L, for a 20 year term for most of the policies. On maturity, the insurer will get this amount as maturity benefit.  Usually this will be the guaranteed maturity benefit. Then they will pay bonus, which was declared every year. The LIC gives no guarantee at all for this bonus. However, many insurance agents convince the policy holders otherwise. This is the hardest part. Your friend will not believe you when you say the agent lied to him, because the insurance agent was his uncle, father's best friend, or his best friend's spouse. To convince this, go to LIC home page, and show him the details of his policy. 90% people do not read this information before they buy LIC policy. Usually, it will be difficult for them to digest the truth the agent cheated them, so I will tell them it may not be intentional. While the agent was talking about the policy, he may be confused with some other policy, because they talk about all the policies. This will relieve my friend, but I know the truth. Big commissions are paid to LIC agents for each policy, so they use one or two white lies to sell policies.

Now tell your friend that from LIC we can expect 5-6% compounded growth for your premiums from the past data. Next is the most tricky part. Go to any website which helps you calculate returns for recurring deposit. For example InvestmentYogi Calculators. Show him that what will be the return if he invests Rs. 5,000 per month for 20 years in PPF. PPF pays 8.6% returns compounded annually. In any case, the difference will be above Rs. 10L. Just convince your friend that he is losing more than 10L because of this LIC policy.

We are the people who bargain with autoriksha drivers to just save Rs 10. We drive through entire city to check price of mobile phone before purchasing one, just to save Rs 100. Then what if some one losing Rs 10 L? No need to tell any thing, watch your friend dialing his insurance agent to know how to close his policy.

I said PPF deliberately. Do not mention bank recurring deposits, because they don't have tax benefits. (80C benefits). Don't say mutual fund, because the returns are not guaranteed. If your friend learns from this mistake, and spend some time on his investments, he will soon realize the benefits of mutual funds. Leave it until then.


2) I want my dependents to live a comfortable life even without me
Well, this is the purpose of insurance. Unfortunately, LIC gives negligible insurance coverage. For Rs 5,000 premium, usually it is Rs 12L. Seldom sufficient for today's IT generation, whose annual salary runs above it. Just show your friends that for Rs 1000 a month, he can get nearly Rs 50L coverage, if he goes for an on line term insurance. (of course, conditions apply)

Now it is your job to explain your friend what a term insurance is. Most people have not heard of it, no insurance agents will explain this, because these are online policies and agents will not get any commission. go to wikipedia page on Term Insurance. and show him what a term insurance is. In a nutshell, the term insurance is a type of insurance in which you pay premiums to get insurance coverage for a certain term. In a term insurance there is no maturity benefits.


3) both 1 and 2
People, who buy insurance policies both for investment and insurance, were the easy preys to the insurance agents.  Because, when they ask about PPF to their insurance agent, the agent will say it has no insurance benefit. When he asks about term insurance, the agent will say there is no return. So, these people go for LIC endowment policies.

But it is equally easy to convince them that they made a mistake. If they are paying Rs. 5,000 as premium, ask them to split this to PPF and term insurance. If they invest Rs 4000 to PPF for 20 years, they can get Rs 24L+. Then if they spend Rs. 12,000 yearly (Rs. 1,000 per month) on a term insurance, they can get near to Rs 50L insurance coverage. This is far better than any endowment policy.

Conclusion
What will I get by making these people to close their LIC policies and switching to other investment tools? Nothing. On the other hand, I want people to manage their money well. I want people to get more returns on their investments, and more insured. And I want to stop these insurers and agents cheating their clients.

That's all the purpose of writing this blog.