Ask any average middle class person what they want from the Budget and the answer is lower prices and less tax. In a way these are contradictory goals because lower tax rates could mean a revenue shortfall. A tax revenue shortfall can cause a government to borrow more, causing the deficit to increase and that could cause a price rise. Didn’t make the link? Let me try and unpack this. The annual budget presentation is a financial statement of the central government where the collection of revenues and its spending is laid out. The government gets most of its revenue from taxes (both direct and indirect) and about one-fifth from non-tax sources. Direct taxes are paid by companies and individuals under various heads (income tax, tax on house property, tax on profits and so on). Of the total revenue, income tax on non corporates (that means us) is about one-fifth of the total revenue for the year. Corporations pay a bit more than we pay. Almost half of the revenue comes from indirect taxes—it used to be excise and sales tax, but now this revenue comes through goods and services tax (GST). The shortfall in revenue over what has to be spent is called a “deficit”. This deficit gets funded largely through the money the government borrows.
“The longer your time horizon, the more equity you can put in your mutual fund portfolio and the shorter your time horizon, the more debt funds you should have,” says personal finance expert Monika Halan in this episode of Money With Monika. “You need to break up your needs according to the distance of your goal,” she explains. Monika Halan is consulting editor, Mint, and author of ‘Let’s Talk Money’. Watch the full video for more.
Indian retail stock and bond investors may not have heard the name, but John C. Bogle (called Jack) impacted the way mutual funds are constructed, cost and sold all over the world. The founder of the $4.9 trillion Vanguard Group died on 16 January, a little over three months short of his 90th birthday. Bogle straddles the fund management world like a colossus, having turned an industry on its head more than 30 years ago by thinking of and acting in the interest of the retail investor. He did this by focusing on whittling down costs in two ways. One, to cut out the star fund manager and introduce index-based investing with wafer-thin costs. Two, to cut out the distributor and go “no-load”—where shares are sold without a commission or charge.
“A systematic investment plan, or SIP, is a route to a mutual fund and not the mutual fund itself,” explains personal finance expert Monika Halan in this episode of Money With Monika.“An SIP is similar to a recurring deposit (RD) in a way that it cultivates a savings habit, but they differ in returns. RDs result in fixed returns but SIPs are market-linked. Choose an SIP over lump sum investment to reduce market risks as it gives you the benefit of rupee-cost averaging,” she says. Monika Halan is consulting editor, Mint, and author of ‘Let’s Talk Money’. Watch the full video for more.
“There is no perfect moment to start investing. Just start,” says personal finance expert Monika Halan in this episode of Money With Monika. “It takes very little to start investing as much as just ₹500/month in a mutual fund SIP,” adds Monika. She explains to viewers why investing early will allow them to reap the benefits of compounding over the long term. Monika Halan is consulting editor with Mint and author of ‘Let’s Talk Money’. Money With Monika is a weekly personal finance show published on livemint.com
We just don’t get the big picture. The more I talk to people about money, the clearer it is that we compartmentalize our money lives so tightly that we totally fail to see the big picture. Every conversation with whoever I meet now swings around to money. People share their stories, their worries and their fears. They share the power equation within home that money causes. While housewives have always shared stories of the skewed power money equation, working women have equally scary stories. That’s because those who earn more than men have a triple burden—to manage work, home and the male ego. But most often the usual story is the fuzziness about how we think about money and how we simply are not able to see the whole money story.
In this episode of Money With Monika, personal finance expert Monika Halan delves into the importance of having debt mutual funds in your investment portfolio. Debt funds are flexible, she says, and are good for various shorter term goals but can be difficult to understand. ‘You can choose to invest in a conservative balanced fund if you want the safety of bonds with a flavour of equity,’ she adds. Monika Halan is consulting editor of Mint and author of ‘Let’s Talk Money’
The year 2018 taught us that buying last year’s winner is not a good idea. Several years of good returns, a successful ‘mutual funds sahi hai’ campaign and the spread of the SIP culture brought plenty of first-time investors into equity mutual funds. The SIP book grew 50% over calendar year 2017 and another 20% in 2018 despite choppy markets. New investors rushed in and some of them went straight to the winners of 2017—the mid- and small-cap mutual funds. Some of these funds had given returns of over 40% in 2017 inducing investors to throw caution to the winds and rush to the risky part of the equity market. Investors made two errors. One, bought last year’s winner in 2018. Two, allocated all their equity investment to the past winner.