Revisiting 2008-09 Economic Crisis – Causes & Aftermath!

The Financial Crisis which occurred between the time period of 2008–2009 was a mammoth economic crisis encompassing worldwide. It was an enormous setback to the global financial system and had a series of aftermath. The crisis is contemplated as the grimmest financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930 s by many eminent economists around the world.

The fracture of the economic system-induced monetary damage on millions of Americans and gradually escalated to other economies. The reasons and causes behind the catastrophe are not solely driven by one factor, but it is a conflux of several prominent factors. Let’s look at it step by step what caused the financial crisis of 2008!

What caused the 2008-09 Economic Crisis?

— Sub Prime Mortage

Subprime Mortgage commenced in the year 2007 with a crunch in the Subprime Mortgage Market in the United States. Subprime Mortgages and the Subprime Meltdown are usually termed as the felons for the onslaught of The Great Recession.

A subprime mortgage is generally remitted to borrowers with low credit ratings because the lender perceives the borrower with high-risk appetite regarding defaulting on the loan. Lending organizations often put a burden of high-interest rates on subprime mortgages compared to prime mortgages due to the exposure to steep risk.  Such mortgages didn’t require any down payment or, any proof of income.

Later, when the housing market took a crashing downturn, the borrowers found themselves in a precarious situation with their home values lesser than the value of their mortgage. Many of the borrowers lapsed because the associated interest rates were variable in nature according to the clause.  Initially, the lending institutions provided loans with low-interest rates but they swelled over time and as a result, the borrowers were underwater. Due to ballooning up of interest rates upon the principle, it was difficult for the borrowers to pay down the principal amount. Many lending institutions were flexible in the provision of these loans due to high capital liquidity and a golden opportunity to make a lump sum profit.

Immense greed also led them to pool in the mortgages and sell off to the investors. The heightened increase of population who could all of a sudden purchase mortgages resulted in a situation of a housing shortage which led to a rise in housing prices. The soaring demand for the housing market made way for easy sanction of loans. When a large chunk of people started defaulting on their mortgages, the loan sharks lost all their lent money and so did many financial institutions that had invested extensively in the pack of mortgages. The subprime mortgage deadlock continued to exist and eventually transformed into a global recessionary situation as its repercussions beamed thoroughly in the financial markets and economies around the globe.

— Lehman Brothers

lehman brothers bankruptcy 2008 09

The highly talked about Financial crash of 2008 had elongated lineage but it wasn’t palpable until September 2008 when its flak became quite noticeable to the world. The news of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers is heavily claimed to be the torchbearer of the great economic crisis.

The filing of the bankruptcy was one of the grand incidents in the pages of history. Lehman was the fourth-largest. an investment bank in the USA with $639 billion in assets, $619 billion in debt and consisted of 25,000 employees all over the world. The investment bank is considered to be the largest victim of the Subprime Mortgage generated Financial Crisis that mopped away all the financial markets in the year 2008. The deflation of Lehman’s was an extremely crucial event that tremendously added fuel to the fire and eroded an approximate amount of $10 trillion in market capitalization from global markets.

However, in spite of its stamina to emerge victorious from previous disasters, the downfall of the U.S. Housing Market completely brought Lehman to a rock bottom. Lehman’s hovering amount of leverage and its extensive portfolio full of mortgage securities pushed it to extreme vulnerability under declining market conditions. Finally, on 15th  September 2008 Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy. The further announcement of “No Bailouts”  intensified the panic-stricken scenarios. Lehman’s paralysis agitated global financial markets for days, weeks, months and years.

Also read: The Collapse of Lehman Brothers: A Case Study

— Politics and Other Factors

Since the era of the 1980s, bankers and politicians have constructed a peevish partnership. Politicians had dramatically bribed banks into generating absurd loans to un-creditworthy borrowers on the pretext of the confirmation of bank mergers according to the Community Reinvestment Act. Politicians effectively advertised the expansion of the American idea of homeownership without calculating the possible risks and negative consequences.

Bankers were paid ludicrous amounts of money to securitize pernicious subprime mortgages. On the other hand, Rating Agencies swept in profits by labeling virulent securities as worthy of investment ie. “A” grade. The firms that followed the herd and gave into the riskiest hazardous types of subprime mortgages, securities, and derivatives were the first to backslide when the house of cards stumbled one after the other. CITIGROUP is the most prominent example of falling under this category!

AFTERMATH: 2008-09 Economic Crisis

— Crisis on Banking Sector

lehman brothers crisis

The financial crisis viciously slaughtered the banking sector where a large number of banks had to be bailed out by governments while others were mandated into unions with stronger heads. Institutions like Merrill Lynch, American International Group, Halifax Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Fortis, Bradford & Bingley, Hypo Real Estate, and Alliance & Leicester were apprehended to pursue the road to bankruptcy but the announcement of a US Federal Bailout worth $85 Billion rescued them from absolute collapse. In spite of the “Bailouts” by the US Federal government, it became much more harrowing to take loans from the bank.

— Effect on the Equity Market

The 2008 crisis was a worldwide anomaly as it severely disturbed almost all the economies with a heightened degree of invasion. When the gigantic investment banks and eminent insurance companies were under immense pressure,  they started selling equities to get some liquid cash for debt payments. The selling pressure induced a relentless crash in the equity markets around the globe. Since almost all Capital markets consist of foreign institutional investors, the impact was noticeable everywhere. The Asian markets in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and  India were promptly affected and became parched after the U.S. Sub-Prime Crisis. Whenever there is a crucial correction in the markets in the USA it triggers all other markets as well because the rate of return in stocks is extremely correlated globally.

Also read: How Does The Stock Market Affect The Economy?

— Investor’s Catastrophe

The Bank Stocks went through a bloodbath where their respective dividends were ripped off and consequently led to the loss of wealth amongst investors. The majority of the population had much of their money parked in bank stocks because they were generating such high dividends.

— Declination in Consumer Wealth

The financial crisis caroused a critical role in the downfall of grass-root businesses and declination in consumer wealth. It also completely contributed to the European Sovereign-Debt Crisis which later manifested into a full-swing international issue and cornered the world’s banking system towards a deflation. Economies paced down during this phase as there was a decrease in international trade and the tightening of credits.

— Fall in Income & Opportunities

The Great Recession immediately fueled cutbacks in many reputed and non-reputed companies and there was a considerable fall in income. Great Recession restricted the opportunities for career enhancement and income raises. Financial flexibility was tremendously tampered by the Great Recession to a vast extent.

unemployment economic crisis

— Calamity in Economic Policies

The engineering of economic policies also altered thoroughly. Central Banks & Governments took on additional functions in regulating the financial system to managing monetary policy and also deployed new apparatuses like “Quantitative Easing” and ‘Austerity’. Quantitative Easing synthetically escalated the values of many fiscal assets, benefitting the existing wealthy section of the society. On the contrary, “Austerity Programmes” declined the aids and support available for the people belonging to the lowest rung of the income distribution. Austerity Programmes also led to the creation of high unemployment and curtailed public services.

Amidst the financial crisis, due to unfair structural reform, “Rich became richer” and “Poor became poorer.”

10 Common Mistakes While Investing in Mutual Funds

Mutual Fund investment is the talk of the town. These days, many people who earlier used to invest in the traditional saving schemes like PPF and FD are showing more interest in investing in Mutual Fund.

Ideally, if you don’t have a good knowledge of analyzing the security market, instead of directly investing in stocks, buying through Mutual Funds is a lot safer and more convenient. For the middle-class Indians, Mutual Fund investing is a wonderful way of fulfilling their desired goals. You can even start investing with as low as Rs 500 per month.

Irrespective of these advantages, there are many people- especially novice investors, who make a plethora of mistakes investing in Mutual Funds. In this post, we are going to discuss ten of the most common mistakes while investing in mutual funds.

10 Common mistakes while investing in mutual funds

Here are some of the general mistakes which you should avoid while investing in Mutual Funds:

1. Not defining any goal

You should clearly define your financial goals before you jump into Mutual Funds. One requires specifying his/her short and long term goals before deciding over the investment portfolio. If you are planning to go for a tour abroad after a year from now, investing in a Debt Fund seems more appropriate. On the other hand, if you wish to retire after 30 years from today, you should set up your SIPs in an Equity Fund to have a large corpus in hand during your retirement.

2. Not researching the fund properly before investing

Investing in the financial market makes no sense if you haven’t done proper research. Before investing in a Mutual Fund scheme, you need to know its fund type, exit load, historical returns, asset size, expense ratio, etc. You need to have a clear idea about your own risk-return profile before you invest your savings in some scheme. This article can provide you with the necessary guidance regarding making the selection of the right Mutual Fund.

3.  Reacting to short term market fluctuations

There are many investors who get scared when the market witnesses a bearish trend. You need to understand that Mutual Fund investing is basically meant for generating long term wealth. So, you should not react to any sharp correction in the market or short term volatility. Moreover, you should refrain from blindly following the stock market analysts and business channels on television. If you don’t keep yourself away from the noise, your chances of making larger returns from Mutual Funds will decrease.

4. Not having a long-term mindset

People generally invest in the Equity Funds to make huge money. Equity Funds can only generate long term wealth if you stay invested for a substantially long period of time. Many people sell their funds losing their enthusiasm and patience after suffering from short term losses. This doesn’t make any sense if you are aiming for quick money from an Equity Fund scheme.

mutual fund memes

5. Waiting for the perfect time to start investing

I have recently talked to some friends, to whom I had explained about Mutual Fund investing a year back. I was taken aback knowing that he is yet to start investing. He still couldn’t commence investing because he has been looking for the perfect time to invest. I must tell you that when it comes to investing, you should never think of timing the market. Timing the market is important only when you look to trade, and not invest. The market goes through several ups and down in order to reach to point B from point A over a significant period of time.

6. Not having an emergency fund

Many investors invest their entire savings in the Mutual Funds at one go. Therefore, it goes without saying that they don’t have sufficient money for meeting emergencies like medical expenses. So, for paying such expenses, they have no option but redeeming their units and end up paying exit load. Exit load is one type of charge which is levied by a Mutual Fund company if you redeem any units within a specific period of time from the date of investment.

7. Inadequate investment amount

In the case of Mutual Fund investing, you should increase your SIPs in accordance with the growth in your income. Many investors don’t understand the importance of this. Therefore, their SIPs remain the same over time and fail to generate their desired wealth in the long run. Moreover, the inflation rate goes up with time. So, this is also a reason that one should step up his/her SIPs with time to achieve the desired corpus.

8. The dilemma of dividend funds

You will find many people opting for Dividend based Mutual Funds. This is to be noted that the dividends from a Mutual Fund are paid to the investors out of that fund’s AUM. This results in decreasing the NAV of the units of such Mutual Fund. Mutual Funds work best only if you stay invested for a significant term and let the power of compounding play its role. So, if you invest in a growth plan instead of a dividend plan, the amount which you are not going to receive as the dividend is reinvested in the market. This results in creating more wealth in the future as compared to the earlier plan.

9. Not diversifying your mutual fund portfolio enough

When an investor invests in too many schemes of a particular type, he/she thinks that diversification is achieved. You should understand that each Mutual Fund scheme is a portfolio of diversified securities in itself. Therefore, investing in multiple schemes of a specific nature results in nothing but portfolio overlapping at a higher expense ratio. Instead of opting for it, investing in 2 or 3 schemes to the maximum helps in achieving the benefit of diversification.

10. Not monitoring your fund’s performances periodically

Among the investors who invest in the market regularly, only a few them track their investments periodically. If you review the performance of your portfolio timely, it would keep you aligned with your financial goals. Lack of periodic evaluation of funds results in keeping your portfolio filled with junk investments which keep pulling your mean portfolio returns down.

Also read:

Closing thoughts

AMFI came out with the campaign “Mutual Funds Sahi Hai” two years back. This four words campaign means that Mutual Funds are good in all respects. The main objective of this campaign was to create awareness among the Indians regarding Mutual Funds and bring more investors in the stock market.

However, it doesn’t mean that you can invest in any Mutual Fund scheme blindly. You must have heard this famous dialogue, “Mutual fund investments are subject to market risksPlease read all scheme related documents carefully before investing.” Mutual Fund investments don’t guarantee a fixed return. You need to go through all relevant documents and analyze the key aspects of a scheme, before investing in the same.

In this post, we tried to cover some major mistakes that plenty of investors make while investing in Mutual Funds. If you prevent yourself from committing these mistakes, we hope that you would become a better investor in the long run. Happy Investing!

What are the Different Career Options in Indian Stock Market?

The equity market has opened a lot of career opportunities in recent years. This market is getting bigger day by day and the opportunities for employment in the Stock Market are growing every day. People from all backgrounds whether science, commerce or humanities, are showing more and more interest to pursue their careers in Stock Market today.

On one hand, many people are opting to become a financial market participant and work independently. On the other, a significant number of Startups are establishing innovative ideas to create disruption in the Indian Securities Market.

In this post, we are going to discuss a few excellent share market career opportunities in India. Let’s get started.

Different Career Options in Indian Stock Market-

— Stock Broker

As you might already know, if you want to trade or invest in the Stock Market, you must open a trading and Demat Account. These two accounts are offered by stockbrokers. So, given the largely growing investing population of India, you can easily guess how prospective the career as a Stock Broker could be.

For example, If we take of Mr. Nithin Kamath, the founder of Zerodha (discount broker), he started off his career as an Engineer and subsequently started taking interest in the Stock Market. Later, he found the financial market so fascinating that he switched his profession as an engineer to a Stock Broker. In the year 2018, Zerodha, his stockbroking company was awarded the best discount broker entity in India by NSE.

zerodha kamath

Further, in order to become a Stock Broker or open a stockbroking entity, you don’t require a strict eligibility criterion in terms of academics. Nonetheless, you need to clear NISM exams and get your license from the SEBI. Anyways, if you plan to be a Stock Broker, it is important to gain a practical understanding of the Market. So, it is better to work with a Securities Broker for at least 5 years to gain requisite experience if you are willing to start your own venture.

Next, if you want to get employed in a Stock Broking Firm, you will need to clear 12th standard at the minimum. Graduating in Accounting, Economics or Finance will help you start your career from a decent level. Qualifying Post Graduation is not necessary but it might help in fast promotion in the industry. In case you have qualified professional courses like CFA, CA or FRM, no doubt your career path would become really smooth.

(Note: You can read detailed information regarding making a career as a Stock Market Broker here.)

— Financial or Investment Advisor

If you want to start your own consultancy business in the Financial Market, becoming a Financial Advisor or an Investment Advisor is a perspective option.

In recent years, AMFI has been trying hard to bring the income earners in our country to invest in the Mutual Fund industry through their campaign “Mutual fund Sahi hai!”. However, just AMFI is not big enough to educate and convince billions of people in our nation to invest their money in the financial market. As an Investment Advisor, you can reach a plethora of prospective clients.

Preparing customized financial plans, providing consultancy services on wealth management and educating people on financial products can assuredly help you to build a career and make good money in this industry.

To become a Registered Investment Advisor, you will require an education and certification criterion. If you have a graduate degree in Finance/Commerce or at least 5 years of work experience with a financial company, you meet the educational criteria. Note that if you are an engineer with just a B.Tech degree, you do not meet the educational criteria by SEBI. Here, you need work experience in the finance field for at least 5 years or a post-graduate degree in finance.

Anyways, if you are a Post Graduate degree in finance, you won’t require any work experience to apply for your license from SEBI. Further, whether you are a Graduate or a Post Graduate, you mandatorily need to clear the NISM Investment Advisory Certification exam to apply for the SEBI registered Investment advisor. Once you meet all the educational and certification criteria, you can apply to SEBI and get your license. (Note: You can read this post to learn further on how to become an Investment advisor in India.)

Besides, completing CA, CFA or CFP will also help you get the required knowledge you need to render professional services to your clients.

Also read: What is SEBI? And What is its role in Financial Market?

investment advisor

— Research Analyst

Apart from becoming an investment advisor, Equity Research Analyst is also a lucrative career option nowadays. Let us have a brief understanding of this.

Equity Research includes Buy-Side Research and Sell-Side Research. In the case of the former, the researcher work with a financial service organization which directly invests people’s money in the Stock Market. Here, you need to research the stocks to help the Fund Managers make decisions with respect to managing the available financial assets. In the case of Sell-Side Research, the researchers analyze equities and equity derivatives for the clients who are retail traders and investors.

If you want to start your own business as an independent Research Analyst, the eligibility criteria are similar to Investment Advisory option. Further, if you want to take a job as a Research Analyst, the top financial service entities in India look for candidates who are MBA graduates from Tier 1 institutes. Nonetheless, you can also make a career as a Research Analyst if you have completed CFA or CA. (Note: You can read further regarding Equity Research Analyst profession here.)

— Portfolio Management Services (PMS)

If you are a Mutual Fund investor, you might know that your investments are managed by experienced and skilled Portfolio Managers. The Wealth Management firms operating in India handle clients’ money via professionally qualified Fund Managers. Portfolio Management could be an extremely rewarding career if you are good at managing money and have a strong understanding of the Financial Market.

In order to enter this field, you will require professional qualifications like CA, CFA or MBA (Finance). Moreover, if you are a fresher, it is extremely hard to get into this field. Here, you may need experience of at least a decade of working in the Finance domain as you need to grasp the level of maturity of handling assets which amount in crores. Therefore, if you are considering to become a Portfolio Manager, you may first start working in the marketing and research for 5 to 10 years. (Note: Here is a blog that can answer your additional questions on the career as a Portfolio Manager)

Conclusion

In this article, we tried to cover different career options in Indian stock market. Parting advice- if you are planning to make a living from the Stock Market, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the financial world.

Although possessing academics and professional qualifications are necessary but having practical exposure to how the market exactly works is more important. Besides, whichever stock market career option you choose, having strong communication and analytical skills are always add-on advantages.

100 Minus Your Age Rule – The Easiest Asset Allocation Method!

100 minus your age rule: It’s always tricky to decide how much you should save and how much you should invest. Especially in riskier investment options like stocks or mutual funds. This is because the answer varies on different factors like the age, geography, or financial situation of the person. Moreover, the investing strategy of a 22-year-old need not be the same as that of a 60-year old. But, how much you should actually invest in different assets at the particular stage of your life?

There is no single correct answer to this question, and there can be multiple answers. However, it this post we are going to discuss one of the most popular allocation methods, known as the 100 minus your age rule.

What is 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation?

The 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Rule is one of the earliest and elementary methods of Asset Allocation, which proffers a rational procedure to determine the distribution of equity and debt in the portfolio.

This rule is devised on the vital axiom of curtailing risks as we gradually turn old. It also interprets the Asset Allocation which is completely based on the stage of your life. Over time, various theories and models have been devised in an endeavor to lend advice about this crucial decision. The 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Rule provides extensive assistance to decide the ratio of our investment in debt and equity.

The 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Rule which states that we should take 100 as the minuend and our age as the subtrahend.  The enumerated difference is the percentage of our network that we should be designating in stocks as of today, i.e. at our current age.

Examples of 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Rule

At first, we will decode the definition by taking a person belonging to the younger age bracket.

AGE OF AN INDIVIDUAL: 22 YEARS

As per the definition, we will subtract it from 100.

(100-22) Years  = 78 Years  = 78/100*100= 78 %

Thus, according to the rule, he/she should keep 78% of his/her portfolio in equities. The rest of the portion should include high-grade bondsgovernment debt, fixed deposits, and other relatively safer assets. On the other hand, when he/she reaches the age of  80,  he/she would diminish his/her allocation to stocks to just  20%.

asset allocation

Now, we will explain the definition by taking a  person belonging to the older age bracket.

AGE OF AN INDIVIDUAL: 67 YEARS

As per the definition, we will subtract it from 100.

(100-67) Years  = 33 Years  = 33/100*100= 33 %

Thus, according to the rule, he/she should keep 33% of his/her portfolio in stocks or riskier investment options. The rest of the portion should include high-grade bondsgovernment debt, fixed deposits, and other relatively safer assets.

How does the 100 Minus Age Rule work?

The logic is simple. When you are old, you will have a lot more responsibilities and expenses compared to when you’re young. For example, if you’re at 58, you might be worried about the retirement fund, retirement home, higher education of your kids, the marriage of your daughter/son, etc. On the contrary, when you are young, you do not have much expenses or responsibility. That’s why it is considered wise to take more risks and invest in high risk, high return investment opportunities when you are young.

In professional vocabulary, this is  attributed  as a “Declining Equity Glide Path.” Every year or, at an interval of a few years, we would have to decline our share in equities which in turn will diminish the volatility and level of uncertainty of our investment portfolio.

As we get older, one of the most essential guidelines of investing is to eventually scale down our risk level since retired personnel get no scope for second chances in reference to the revival of the market after a sharp plunge. Therefore, this example depicts the simple perception behind the 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Rule that strives to conclude that lesser the age, higher the risk-withstanding capacity &  more the age, lesser the competency to combat the storm of the stock market and vice versa.

Drawbacks of the 100 Minus Age Rule

100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Method comprises of several loopholes. Let us analyze each of them in a detailed discussion.

1. Presumption of the fact that the process of financial planning is similar for everybody

The ultimate truth is that the procedure of financial planning varies from person to person where everyone has their exclusive preference and needs for  Asset  Allocation.

2. Inconsiderate about the basic factors for asset allocation

Asset Allocation requires a well-defined consideration of diversified factors like financial situation, preferences, risk-taking ability, time horizon, goals, and investors’ psychology.

However, the recognized path to asset allocation is to elaborate our risk profile at the very first stage. Assessing our risk profile will aid us to contemplate the approximate risk we are ready to undertake for the investment.

The second thing that needs to be taken into account is the time horizon for the purpose of investment. On the basis of the analyzed risk profile and time horizon, the decision regarding the asset class is executed!

For example, if you are an aggressive risk pursuer and have a long term time horizon for investment then you can allocate a major portion of your asset to equities. The percentage can be 80 % or,  90% to stocks and rest into debts. In exceptional cases, if you are someone having a supreme risk appetite, you can even invest 100 % of your assets. On the contrary, if you have a short time horizon in your mind, then it always recommended investing in a debt fund despite being an aggressive risk-taker.

3. Inconsiderate about the change in Life Expectancy

Over the past few decades, there has been an unwavering increment in life expectancy around the globe. The hike is driven mainly by improvements in medical facilities and infrastructure. However, as the majority of the people have started surviving longer than before, many financial advisors feel that there is a dire need for amendment in the rule.

According to experts, the modified figures should be closer to 110 minus the age or, 120 minus the age. There is another aspect that has been absolutely overlooked by the 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Method. On average, women live nearly four to five years longer than men and thus, required corrections definitely need to be made in the rule to cater to the investment needs of women population.

4. Inconsistent results in reference to market fluctuations

Academicians and researchers had commenced a project to test the accuracy and performance of the 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Method aka Declining Equity Glide Path in different market cycles. Intensive research reports display that in bear cycles or, during poor market conditions, this method has delivered distressing outcomes. In reference to the market happenings of 1966, if somebody retired during that year, they would have run out of money 30 years after retirement.

The same experiment was also applied to a bull cycle or, in strong market conditions. During the booming period, the 100 Minus Age Asset Allocation Method generated good results with the strongest ending account values. However, it is not possible to predict or foresee future market performances at the time of an individual’s retirement. Thus, it would be wise to chalk out a sound allocation method that sails through the crests and troughs of the stock market.

Conclusion

The 100 minus your age is a simple, yet effective way to easily allocate assets depending on the stage of your life. This age rule is based on the principle of minimizing risks as you grow old and hence, simplifies the asset allocation. However, this rule also has a lot of drawbacks and hence while deciding the asset allocation, you should keep in mind your priorities and financial situation.

Also read: How to Invest in Share Market? A Complete Beginner’s Guide

That’s all. I hope it post is useful to the readers. Happy Investing.

6 Best Investment Options for NRIs in India

6 Best Investment Options for NRIs in India: Since the last two decades, India has been rapidly developing as an industrial hub. Day after day, our country is attracting more and more foreign direct investment (FDI). Moreover, these days we can see more and more investments coming from the NRIs to the Indian markets. And this is all happening because the Indian economy and government are offering adequate stability and flexibility to the investors. Not only India is conducive for business growth but our economy is also equipped with an extremely profitable financial market.

The year 2018 was not an immeasurable year for investing in the stocks as it witnessed significant bleeding throughout the year. Nonetheless, a similar situation was observed in any other country across the world. However, if you have a look at the year previous to that i.e. 2017, you would find that India’s stock market yielded around 29% return which was relatively higher than any other economy in the world.

Anyways, financial markets are subject to lots of ups and downs. It goes without saying that you need to undertake end-to-end research before you make your investment decision. Nevertheless, whatever investment option you opt for, it should always depend on your financial goals, liquidity requirement, risk appetite and expected returns.

In this post, we are going to discuss a few of the best investment options for NRIs in India which can provide them with adequate returns depending on their goals and needs.

6 Best Investment Options for NRIs in India.

Here are a few solid investment options in India where you can consider investing if you are an NRI.

— Fixed Deposit

Investing in Fixed Deposit is not only popular among the residents in India but also an attractive investment scheme for the NRIs. Being an NRI, you can open your FD with your NRE, NRO, or FCNR Account. All three of these are the types of bank accounts that an NRI can open in India.

Anyways, how much rate of interest will be applicable to your FD depends on the tenure of your deposit. In general, you can expect to earn interest between 6 to 7% on your account balance. Further, if you are a senior citizen, you would get the privilege of earning an extra interest of one percent. Moreover, this investment option is suitable for risk averse investors as FD is a comparatively safer form of investment.

Note: You can read more about the current Fixed Deposit rates in India here.

— Equity

In case you are an aggressive investor, you can consider investing in the equities listed in the Indian market. If you are an NRI, you can directly invest in the Indian stock market under the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PINS) of the RBI.

As an NRI, in order to invest in the stock market in India, you are required to have a bank account (NRE or NRO Account), a trading Account (with a SEBI registered Stock Broker), and a demat account. However, the maximum amount of your investment in the stocks of an Indian company cannot exceed 10% of its paid-up capital.

Further, this is to be noted that, as an NRI, you are not at all permitted to carry out intraday trading and short selling in India. This implies that you need to own the stocks before you can sell them.

— Mutual Fund

These days AMFI is working hard to promote Mutual Funds among the Indian population. Mutual Fund organizations pool money from their investors and then invest the same in the different financial assets. Mutual Funds have moderate risks as they are neither as risky as direct trading in stocks, nor they are as risk-candid as FDs. Further, mutual Fund investments can be highly profitable. There are a plethora of schemes available for Mutual Fund which can choose depending on your risk appetite and financial aspirations.

Anyways, if you are a person residing outside India, you would, unfortunately, face some limitations in mutual fund investing in India because of some rigid FATCA regulations. You are required to have an NRE or NRO Account for investing in the Indian Mutual Fund industry. Furthermore, you also have to invest in Indian rupees and not in any foreign currency.

Note: If you are new to mutual funds, check out our beginner’s resources for Mutual Fund Investing.

— Public Provident Fund (PPF)

A safer form of investment similar to FD is Public provident fund. PPF is an investment alternative which is backed by the Indian Government. Even if you are an NRI, you can invest in PPF. However, here the maximum limit is Rs 1.5 lakh in a financial year.

You can open your PPF account through a post office or through a branch of any nationalized bank in India. Although PPF comes with a lock-in period of 15 years it is definitely more tax efficient than FD. To know more about PPF, you can read this blog on our website.

— National Pension Scheme (NPS)

If you are looking for another tax-efficient investment option, you can even consider investing in NPS (National Pension Scheme). This is also cost-effective, easily accessible, and tax-efficient way to invest your money.

National Pension Scheme is an Indian Government sponsored pension system. If you invest in this instrument, your entire capital during maturity is treated as tax-free. Apart from that, you are not required to pay even a penny to the government as tax on the amount that you withdraw as pension. If you are an NRI aged between 18 and 60 years, you can open an NPS Account to start investing in this scheme. Click here to know more about NPS.

— Real Estate

It’s a fact that there are a lot of NRIs who stay abroad but look to buy their own house in India. Indian population is ever-growing and this is itself paving way for the advancement of Real Estate business in the nation. Being an NRI you can invest in a house property in India from where you can earn handsomely by letting it out to a third party.

However, this is to be noted that, you have to make any such purchases only in Indian rupee. Furthermore, you can’t buy agricultural lands, farmhouses, and plantations in India. Nonetheless, there is no restriction on you to inherit any such property or accepting them as gifts. Check out more on Real Estate investing in this article.

Closing thoughts

In this article, we tried to cover some of the best investment options for NRIs that they can consider if they are  planning to invest their savings in India from abroad.

If you are a profit-loving investor and looking for a long term capital appreciation, you can choose to invest in the Indian stocks or mutual funds. In case you are having a huge corpus, high risk appetite, and high return expectation, you can invest in the real estate sector. Besides, you can invest in an FD if you have a short investment horizon and looking for a guaranteed return. Lastly, you can opt for investing in PPF or NPS if you are willing to earn tax efficient returns and at the same time not bothered to park your money for a longer period of time.

Overall, nn the basis of your priorities, budget and expected returns, you can make a choice of any investing scheme that suits you in the most effective manner. While making any investment in a financial instrument, ensure that you have gone through the relevant documents and understood the salient features of the same.

Our best wishes on your investment journey. Happy investing!

10 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Stock - Investment Checklist!

Picking a winning stock that can give consistent returns for many years requires a lot of analysis and research. However, you can simplify the research process if you have an investment checklist.

Having a reliable checklist for picking stocks can reduce the chances of missing an important detail that you should have studied before investing in the stock. As Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway has famously quoted:

“No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use a checklist.” — Charlie Munger

In this post, we are going to discuss ten key questions to ask before purchasing a stock by every stock investor. Let’s get started.

Quick Note: Although there are hundreds of points to check while picking a stock to invest, however, most of them can be categorized among the ten questions listed below. Anyways, by no means, I claim that this is the best checklist for picking stocks. My suggestion would be to study the investment checklist given below, improvise and make your own list of questions. Further, for simplicity, I’ve not included financial ratios.

10 Questions to ask before purchasing a stock.

Here are the ten key questions that every investor should ask before investing in a stock.

1. What does the company do?

What are the products/services that the company offers? Do you understand the company’s business model? How does the company actually make money? What are the top/best-selling products of the company?

2. Who runs the company?

Who are the promoters/owners of the company? It the company a family-owned or professionally managed one? Who is managing the company? What are the credentials/background of CEO, MD, Board of directors and the management team? What is the shareholding pattern of the company?

3. Is the company profitable?

How much profits did the company generated in the last few years? How are the company’s gross, operating and net profit and what is the profit margin at each level? Is the profit of the company growing over time or stagnant/declining?

4. Does the company have a sustainable competitive advantage?

Does the company have a moat like intangible assets, customer switching cost, network effect, cost advantages or any other sustainable competitive advantage that can keep the competitors away from eating their profits?

5. How was the past performance of the company?

How is the company’s financials in the past few years? What’s the trend in the company’s income statement and cash flow statement? How are the sales, EBITDA, Cash from operating activities, free cash flow and other financial metrics over the past few years?

6. How strong is the company’s balance sheet?

Are the assets of the company growing over time? How much is the liability of the company? Is the company’s shareholder equity increasing? How much cash does the company have on the asset side? How much is the company’s Intangible assets, Inventories, Receivables, Payables and more? Does the company invest in its Research & Development, especially in a few sectors like Technology, Pharmaceutical, etc?

7. Was the management involved in past fraud or scams?

Was the company’s promoters or management involved in any past scam? Does the company has any history of cheating the shareholders or any past penalty by SEBI?

8. Who are the key competitors?

Who are the direct and indirect competitors of the company? What is the market share of the company vs the competitors in the industry? What this company is doing differently compared to its competitors? Are there any global competitors or the possibility of global leaders entering the same market anytime soon?

9. How much debt the company has?

How much short-term and long-term debt the company has? Does the company generate enough profits or Free cash flow to cover the debt in the upcoming years? Have the promoters pledged any of their shares?

10. How is the stock valued?

What is the true intrinsic value of the company? Is the company currently over-valued, under-valued or decently valued? Is the company relatively undervalued compared to the competitors and industry? What is the calculated intrinsic value by different valuation method? How much is the margin of safety? Will you be overpaying if you buy the stock right now?

Also read: How To Select A Stock To Invest In Indian Stock Market For Consistent Returns?

Closing Thoughts:

Although getting a recommendation or investing where friend/colleague suggested may land you into a few profitable deals. But if you want to make consistent returns from the market (and not just being lucky), you need to build your own trustable investing strategy.

It’s true that picking a winning stock required a tremendous amount of research. However, having an investment checklist of questions to ask before investing in stock significantly reduce the chances of investing in fundamentally weak stocks. Moreover, you can easily eliminate over 90% of the companies that don’t meet your checklist.

I hope the questions discussed in this post is helpful to you. If I missed any additional important to ask before purchasing stock in this investment checklist, feel free to mention below in the comment box.

That’s all. Have a great day and Happy Investing!

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – What does it actually mean?

Corporate social responsibility, which is known as CSR, is a type of mechanical business model that can help a company to be socially accountable and responsible to all the stakeholders and the public related to the interests of the company. With the help of corporate social responsibility, a company can be socially accountable to the people, and it means that it owes something to them. It is a type of corporate citizenship that a company has over time.

First of all, CSR helps in image building formation. 

With the help of the corporate social responsibility, a company can be conscious of the type of image that it creates to the society and impacts on the well-being of the people, directly and indirectly. There is a lot of impacts that the company can source out to the public. This can be done with the help of the economic, social, and environmental kind of ways.

If your company wants to engage in the work of corporate social responsibility, then they have to socially responsible for the well-being of the public whose interest lies in the company. It has to operate in such a way that it can be good and enhance the presence of the company, socially or culturally.  

Corporate social responsibility in India

When it comes to India, then it is the leading source of business from all around the world. It is the first country that has made corporate social responsibility CSR mandatory, which the help of passing a law in the amendment in April 2014. With the help of these companies act passed onto by India, now businesses can directly invest their profit into the area of the society, they can help the community to have a better formation for the further source, and in the best way, CSR becomes a hunger for every company out there in the market.  

tata trusts Corporate social responsibility

Company’s Act passed for maintaining CSR by Indian Companies

According to the whole of the company’s act, which was passed onto by India, it was sourced that the net worth of any business will now be a part of the CSR here. To the net profit of about 5 crores made by any company, around 2% of the same target is to be spend around for the well-being and management of the society as a whole so that the community can profit from the revenue which is managed by these companies.  

Before the same, India made it mandatory for the companies to disclose all their corporate social responsibility reports to the stakeholders and the shareholders of the company. 

They should be liable and should be a part of the company’s profit-earning capacity as well. These were included for the projects related to the company’s activities and the projects that were related to the activities taken by the company on-board.  

It was recommended all by the CSR committee as a whole to cover all the items listed in the source of the Companies Act, which was stated during the time of amendment. 

Also read: What is Corporate Governance? Principles, Examples & More

What is the whole methodology of the CSR Technique?

With the help and including CSR for companies out there, it can help them to profit and earn them for the scope of the long run. It is the procedure of assessing all the impact of the organization on society and then slowly evaluating all their responsibilities. These responsibilities, which are managed by the group of organizations that uses CSR is to help the community become a better place by distributing the part of the revenue which is made and even sourcing out the following aspects which are presented below.

1. Channeling the needs of the customers

The customers are the central part of it. With the help of the customers, an organization can run smoothly. With the use of corporate social responsibility, a business can go in for the long drive of run with the source of the customer that they have. It can help them to the pan and rule out the odds.

2. Helping the suppliers to earn

Another one which comes on the second lot is the suppliers of the business. A business can only profit when the suppliers are pleased. These are done with the help of corporate social responsibility. When the part revenue is distributed, the suppliers can be happy and supply more for the business and include their service for a longer time.

3. Creating a proper work environment

The environment where the business is incorporating should be steady, as well. If the climate is not stable, then a company cannot lead its growth and go towards the best. This is why corporate social responsibility can help to enhance the working environment, inside and out of the organization.  

4. Helping the communities

The communities are a huge part of society. These are the forums and groups through which the whole nation is based. If the business has to go for a longer duration, then they have to please the community members. This is done with the source of CSR and maintaining a cordial relationship with the communities of the society for a better outcome of results from altogether. The cities are the prime, and any organization should know it.

5. Providing comfort to the employees

The last one who lies here is the employees of the organization. If the working members of the organization are pleased, then only a business can run. Labor is what every organization needs out there and especially if they are skilled enough to do the job. CSR helps to have a proper relationship between the business and the labor.

Also read: Top 10 Companies in India by Market Capitalization

Legislation management for CSR

The most effective plan of corporate social responsibility for any business is to create legislation and to comply with it. Their investment for the source of the company should be a part of the whole society, and every decision that a company takes, the community should be a wholesome concern. The investments are a part of growth for any type of business out there, and only when the growth helps the community to lean towards the work of a company, the organization can have a more profitable revenue for the working years.  

Organizations in India always thrives for corporate social responsibility

There are a lot of organizations located in India which thrives on the source of corporate social responsibility and have benefitted from the whole idea. They have to take special CSR initiatives altogether, which can help them to integrate the cause and to work on the entire business process on the run. With the upcoming years in the market, all these have become an endless source of income for the business as a whole, and it has helped them to gain revenue.  

Besides growing your business, you should respect the culture and the beliefs of the people who are around you. With the help of respect, it creates a massive value of the business in the eyes of the public. It can help them to shape the business, which can be sourced out to a higher chance of collecting more revenue.

Businesses tend to profit more

With the help of CSR, an industry can source out their impending management and shape their responsibilities altogether. It can help them to understand the community at a large and also tend, adhere to the needs of the city. Companies do have a specific source and type of demand, which can help the department and the teamwork towards the development of particular purposes.

CSR management in Indian companies

CSR programs help the whole business to work for separate budgets and then support them in a wholesome way. It can improve the business to scope out the primary source of profit by looking after the well-being of society. When it comes to managing the source of work, then companies do have a specific source of the department which handles the work of corporate social responsibility. These are the departments that set up the policies of the CSR and then come up with freshly integrated ideas.

Zerodha Review 2020 – Is Free Investing Legit? [Pros and Cons]

Zerodha Review– Brokerage, Trading Platform, Account Opening Charges, Pros, Cons & More

Zerodha is the biggest discount broker in India and perfect for traders & investors looking for low brokerage, easy interface, and reliable trading platform. It offers a zero brokerage for delivery equity & direct mutual fund investments.

For all intraday, Futures & Options, currency, and commodity trades across NSE, BSE, MCX, it offers a brokerage of Flat ₹20 irrespective of the trading volume. It doesn’t matter whether you trade for Rs 1 lakh or 1 crore, you have to pay a flat low brokerage of Rs 20 per trade. Therefore, you can save a lot of brokerage charges on your trades using Zerodha as your broker.

In this Zerodha review, we will discuss the brokerage charges, account opening charges, maintenance charges, trading platforms, products, my personal experience of using Zerodha & more. By the end of this post, you’ll have a complete understanding of Zerodha trading services and whether this broker is right for you or not. Let’s get started.

Zerodha Review –Brokerage, Charges, Trading Platforms & More

1. Introduction

There are two types of stockbrokers in India. Full-Service brokers and Discount brokers. The full-service brokers offer a trading platform along with advisory. However, their brokerage charges are high. A few major full-service brokers in India are HDFC Securities, ICICI Direct, Motilal Oswal, etc.

On the other hand, discount brokers offer trading platforms with minimum brokerage charges. Nonetheless, they do not provide advisory services. The biggest advantage of a discount broker is that it saves a lot of brokerages for the traders/investors. On all other prospects, like performance, computerized trading systems etc- both offer similar facilities.

An important point to know here is that all the brokers- Full service or discount brokers are licensed and regulated in India by regulating bodies like SEBI.

Zerodha is a leading discount broker in India in terms of daily trading volume, growth and customer base. It is one of the most technologically advanced and cheap stockbrokers. Zerodha has over +1 million clients and contributes to over 10% of daily retail trading volumes across NSE, BSE, MCX.

Ironically, the term ‘Zerodha’ is derived from the fusion of an English and Sanskrit word. ‘Zero’+’Rodha’ where ‘Rodha’ means barrier. Overall, Zerodha means ‘Zero Barrier’.

It was started by Nitin Kamath, an Engineer by qualification, in 2010. Nithin bootstrapped and founded Zerodha in 2010 to overcome the hurdles he faced during his decade long stint as a trader. He was named one of the “Top 10 Businessmen to Watch Out for in 2016 in India” by The Economic Times for pioneering and scaling discount broking in India. Here are a few of the famous awards won by Zerodha recently:

— National Stock Exchange (NSE) “Retail brokerage of the year 2019” (& 2018)

— Outlook Money “Retail broker of the year 2017”

— Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the year (Startup) 2017”

2. Zerodha Brokerage Charges 

Zerodha offers trading services to buy and sell stocks, futures & options in equities, commodities, and currency segment. Here are the Zerodha brokerage charges:

– Free equity delivery

All your equity delivery investments (NSE, BSE), absolutely free — ₹0 brokerage.

– ₹20 intraday equity and F&O trades

₹20 or 0.01% (whichever is lower) per executed order on intraday trades across equity, currency, and commodity trades across NSE, BSE, and MCX.

TypeBrokerage Charges
Equity DeliveryRs. 0 (FREE)
Equity IntradayLower of Rs. 20 per executed order or 0.01%
Equity FuturesLower of Rs. 20 per executed order or 0.01%
Equity OptionsLower of Rs. 20 per executed order or 0.01%
Currency F&O Lower of Rs. 20 per executed order or 0.01%
CommodityLower of Rs. 20 per executed order or 0.01%

Quick note:

1. You can use this Zerodha Brokerage Calculator to get more ideas.

Zerodha brokerage calculator(Zerodha Brokerage Calculator)

2. Apart from brokerages, there are also a few other charges that you have to mandatorily pay on your transactions like Exchange transaction charge, STT, SEBI turnover charges, GST, etc.

You have to pay these charges no matter which stockbroker you prefer to trade in stocks and that too on both sides of transactions i.e. while buying and selling. However, the brokerage cost can be controlled by choosing a discount broker. For example, in the case of Zerodha, you can notice the total brokerage of Rs 40 for both sides of Intraday equity trading, even though the total turnover is Rs 8.4 Lakhs.

You can have read this blog post to understand the different charges while trading in stocks.

3. Zerodha Account Opening Charges & AMC

Here are the account opening charges for Zerodha

  1. Equity Trading Account: ₹200
  2. Commodity Account:₹100

If you want to trade in both equity and commodity, then you need to pay an account opening charge of Rs 200+Rs 100 = Rs 300. Anyways, if you are just interested in trading in stocks i.e. equities, you can open demat and trading for equity account at Rs 200. The demat account annual maintenance (AMC) charge is Rs 300 per year.

 4. Zerodha Products & Features

 Zerodha has built its own trading applications for the customers. It offers different trading terminals, websites, and mobile apps (Android/iOS) which are free for the customers.

— Kite 3.0

zerodha kite dashboard

Kite 3.0 is a modern technology-based trading platform with streaming market data, advanced charts, an elegant UI, and more. It is a minimalistic, intuitive, responsive, light, yet powerful web and mobile trading application offered by Zerodha. Kite provides Bandwidth consumption of fewer than 0.5 Kbps for a full market watch, extensive charting with over 100 indicators and 6 chart types, advanced order types like Brackets and cover, millisecond order placements, and more.

Overall, Kite provides an excellent experience to the users through its groundbreaking innovations presented with hassle-free usability.

— Kite mobile

zerodha mobile app

This is a mobile version of KITE for a seamless experience for mobile-users and available in both Android and iOS devices.

— Coin

Zerodha Coin is a platform that lets you buy mutual funds online directly from asset management companies. This platform is absolutely free since August 24, 2018. Here, you can make your investments without any commissions.

With the help of Zerodha Coin, you can have Direct mutual funds in DEMAT form, with the convenience of one portfolio across equity, MF, currency, etc. Moreover, it also provides a Single capital gain statement, P&L visualizations, and more. This Coin by Zerodha has made investments through SIPs really simple and flexible.

Other Partner Products

Apart from the above products, Zerodha also offers a few other partner programs:

  1. Smallcase: This thematic investment platform is powered by Kite Connect APIs. Smallcase helps users to invest in different themes by intelligently providing weighted baskets of stocks in each theme.
  2. Sensibull: This is an options trading platform which offers simplified options trading for new investors by providing powerful trading tools. Sensibull aims to make options trading safe, accessible, and most importantly, profitable for all.

Besides, Zerodha has also started a few educational initiatives to improve financial literacy and increase the participation of the common people in the financial world. Here are a few other products offered by Zerodha

  1. Zerodha Varsity: An educational platform to educate people about investing and trading. Zerodha Varsity offers free modules on Technical analysis, fundamental analysis, futures, options, risk management, trading psychology & more. Recently, Zerodha Varsity also launched its Varsity mobile app.
  2. Trading Q&A: An online forum powered by Zerodha to answer people’s most troublesome investing and trading questions.

5. Pros and cons of Zerodha Discount broker

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of using Zerodha trading platforms:

Pros of Opening Account with Zerodha

  1. Zero Brokerage Charges for Delivery
  2. Flat Charge for Intraday (Rs 20 or 0.01% whichever is lower per executed order for everything else)
  3. Same pricing for across all exchanges
  4. No upfront fee or turnover commitment
  5. Z-Connect, interactive blog, and portal for all your queries
  6. Trading, charting, and analysis, all rolled into one next-generation desktop platform Pi.
  7. Minimalistic, intuitive, responsive web-based trading platform Kite
  8. No minimum balance required to open Zerodha trading account
  9. Invest in direct mutual funds with same demat account through coin

Cons of Opening Account with Zerodha

  1. No advisory services or research report.
  2. 3-in-1 account (Saving+Demat+Trading) not available.
  3. Online IPO investment not available. (Now, Zerodha customers can invest in IPO’s through UPI payment. Read more about Zerodha IPO applying process here)

Note: Zerodha has recently started offering Zerodha IDFC FIRST Bank 3-in-1 account. However, to open a 3in1 account at Zerodha, you need to have an existing account with IDFC FIRST Bank. Accounts can only be opened online. Read more here.

6. Is Zerodha a Reliable Stockbroker? And is Free investing legit?

Is Zerodha safe for long-term investments? This is one of the biggest questions that come in the mind of first-time investors. Obviously, HDFC Securities, ICICI Direct, SBI cap, Kotak securities, etc are big brands in the name of the broking industry and been in the market for decades. Hence, they have built greater trust compared to Zerodha, especially for the ones who have never heard its name before.

Anyways, Zerodha, the discount broker, originated only in 2010. Therefore, if you’re not involved in the share market investments/tradings in the last decade, it’s no surprise to say that you might have not known this broker. However, in the short span of around 10 years, this broker has been able to beat all the big traditional brokers. Currently, Zerodha is the biggest stockbroker in India, based on the number of clients (over 15 lakh users), followed by ICICI Direct and HDFC securities ranking second and third.

Now, answering your question, Yes, Zerodha is safe and reliable. In fact, since origin, Zerodha has never faced any case of major violations from SEBI or any of the other exchanges. It is a profitable private company with no debts or liabilities.

Moreover, Zerodha is partnered with Central Depository Services Limited. CDSL’s main function is the holding securities either in certificated or uncertificated form, to enable the book-entry transfer of securities. Therefore, when it comes to the security of the shares in your demat account with Zerodha, you do not need to worry at all. The stockbrokers are just the agents of depositories.

Your stocks are actually held by central depositories and not by the depository participants (brokers). Therefore, even if something didn’t work out well with Zerodha, your stocks in the demat account are safely intact with CDSL. In short, Zerodha is completely legit and reliable for your trading or long-term investments in the Share market.

7. My experience of using Zerodha

It’s been over three years since I’m using Zerodha and I’m satisfied with the trading services provided by Zerodha.

Initially, I started with ICICI direct as my broker, but later I switched to Zerodha when I realized that I was paying way too much brokerages for my trading transactions.

Most beginners do not consider the brokerage charges while calculating the profits. I use to make the same mistake. And that’s why many times the final profits in my bank account (after deducting the brokerage and other charges) disappointed me as it was considerably lower than what I calculated in my head. I wish I had switched to a discount broker earlier as it could have saved me a lot of ‘unnecessary’ brokerages and moreover trading experience is even better on Zerodah. Nonetheless, I use Zerodha for making all my stock investments now.

Besides, there was one ‘cons’ of using Zerodha as a broker which bugged me in the past. And it was not having the facility for the customers to directly invest in Initial public offerings (IPOs) through the Zerodha dashboard. But this issue is also solved by Zerodha. Investors can now apply for IPOs directly within the Zerodha console. And the best part is that the process is really simple.

Finally, a lot of people complain that Zerodha doesn’t provide advisory services or buy/sell calls. I believe that one should never invest or trade based on the broker’s recommendation. There’s a conflict of interest here as the brokers will always make money when you trade and doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. Therefore, they might always motivate investors to trade frequently. Overall, Zerodha not giving advisory services doesn’t bother me. Moreover, they make us for these cons by providing educational initiates like Varsity.

8. How to open your trading & demat account with Zerodha?

Opening a demat and trading account with Zerodha is really fast and hassle-free. In fact, if you’ve all the documents, you can open your account and start trading within an hour.

Here are the documents required to open a demat and trading account at Zerodha: PAN CARD, Aadhar Card, 2 Passport size photos, Canceled cheque/ Saving bank account passbook. I will recommend keeping photocopies of all these documents ready before you apply for opening the accounts.

To open your trading & demat account at Zerodha, go to Zerodha website and click on ‘OPEN AN ACCOUNT’. Here is the direct link.

open demat at trading account at 5paisa

Note: You can find the detailed explanation on how to open your demat and trading account at Zerodha here.

9. Closing Thoughts

In the last decade, Zerodha has earned trust and respect among the trading population by providing reliable and technologically advanced trading services. It is definitely the largest discount broker in India. If you are looking to open your brokerage account with a reputable brand that offers low brokerages, and have a fast trading platform, Zerodha is definitely one of the best options.

That’s all for this post. I hope this Zerodha review is useful to you. If you have any additional queries regarding Zerodha or if you want to share your review of Zerodha, you can post it in our forum. I’ll be happy to answer your questions. Have a great day!

21 Do’s and Don’ts of Stock Market Investing for Beginners

Making money from stocks is simple if you strictly follow the do’s and don’ts of stock market investing. However, because of the lack of financial education, the majority of the investing population do what they are not supposed to ‘do’ in the market and vice-versa.

For example, the first and foremost rule to invest intelligently in stocks is to ‘not speculate’, but invest only after proper research. However, most people speculate in stocks and bet that the share price will go high in the upcoming days without any significant analysis.

In this post, we are going to discuss the do’s and don’t of stock market investing for beginners. Let’s get started.

21 Do’s and Don’ts of Stock Market Investing for beginners.

Do’s of Stock Market Investing

Here are a few of the do’s of stock market investing that every investor should follow:

1. Get an education

stock market meme 35

This is probably the most relevant do’s of stock market investing. If you really want to become a successful stock investor, start learning the market.

It doesn’t mean that you should enroll in a college program/degree. Self-education is the best way to learn. There are tons of free information available on the internet which you access to learn the market. Moreover, if you want to get a head-start, you can also enroll in a few good online stock market investing courses. Let the learning begin.

2. Start small

If you are just starting to learn how to swim, you won’t jump in 8 ft deep water, right? Similarly, when beginning to start investing in the stock market, start small. Invest the lowest possible amount and gradually increase your investments as you get more knowledge and confidence.

3. Get started early

I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of getting started soon with your finances. Time is in your favor when you start investing early. Moreover, here you get enough time to recover even if you make some losses during the early time of your investment journey.

Also read: Bunty and Babli: A financial story of how Bunty lost Rs 1,29,94,044!

4. Research before investing

One of the key reasons why people do not make money from stocks is that they do not put the initial efforts before investing in the share. Every investor needs to research the company before investing. Here you need to learn the company’s fundamentals, financial statements, ratios, management and more. If you do not want to regret later, research the company first before investing.

Also read: How To Select A Stock To Invest In Indian Stock Market For Consistent Returns?

5. Only invest what is surplus:

The stock market gives an immense opportunity to invest in your favorite companies and make money. However, there are always a few risks involved in the market, and no returns are guaranteed. Moreover, many times a bad (or bear market) may even last for years. Therefore, you should only invest the surplus money which does not affect your lifestyle even if you can’t get it out.

6. Have an investment goal

It’s easier to plan your investments (and to monitor your progress) if you have an investment goal/plan. Your goal may be to build a corpus of Rs 10 Crores in the next ten years or to build a retirement fund. Having a goal will keep you motivated and on track.

7. Build a stock portfolio

For making good consistent money from the stock market, just having two or three stocks is not enough. You need to build a winning stock portfolio of 8–12 stocks which can give you reliable returns.

Although it’s very less likely that you can find all the fantastic stocks to invest at once. However, year-after-year you can keep adding/removing stocks to build a strong portfolio that can help you reach your goals.

8. Average out:

It’s challenging to time the market and almost impossible to buy the stock at the exact bottom and sell them at the highest point. If you’ve done it, you might be lucky. A better approach here is to Buy/Sell in ‘steps’ (unless you find an amazing opportunity which the market offer sometimes).

9. Diversify

“Do not put all your eggs in one basket!”. The risk involved while investing in just one stock is way higher compared to a portfolio of ten stocks. Even if one or two of your stock starts performing poorly in the later scenario, it may not affect the entire portfolio too much. Your stock portfolio should be sufficiently diversified.

10. Invest for the long-term

It’s a common fact that all the veterans of the stock market who made an incredible fortune from stocks are long term investors. But why do long-term investing helps to build wealth? Because of the power of compounding, the eighth wonder of the world. If you want to build massive wealth from the market, invest for the long-term.

stock market meme 31

11. Hold the winners, cut the losers

Cut you losing stocks if they underperform for a long time and hold your winning stocks longer to allow them to offer even better returns. This is the golden mantra of investing that you should strictly follow. Moreover, keeping your winners and cutting losers will also help in building your dream portfolio.

Also read: The Biggest Investing Mistake that 90% Beginners Make!

12. Invest consistently

Most people get excited and enter the stock market when the market is doing well, and the indexes are touching new highs. However, if you only invest in a bull market and exit when the market is down i.e. when stocks are selling at discount, you will never find fantastic opportunities to pick cheap stocks.

Do not invest in the market just for a year. If you want to make good money from stocks, invest consistently and periodically increase your investment amount.

13. Have Patience

Most stocks take at least 1–2 years to give good returns to the investors. Moreover, the performances get better when you give more time. Have patience while investing in the share market and do not sell your stocks too soon for short term gratification.

Don’ts of Stock Market Investing:

14. Don’t take investing as gambling

Let me repeat this in simple words- “INVESTING IS NOT GAMBLING!”. Do not buy any random stock and expect it to give you two times return in a month.

stock market meme 4

Also read: 5 Signs That You are Gambling in Stocks.

15. Don’t invest blindly on free tips/recommendations

The moment you open your trading account, you’ll start getting free messages on your phone with BUY/SELL calls. But remember, there is no FREE lunch in this world. Why would anyone send a stranger free tips for multi-bagger stocks? Never invest blindly on free tips or recommendations that you receive, no matter how appealing they may sound.

16. Don’t have unrealistic expectations:

Yes, many lucky guys in the market have made 400–500% return on their single investment. However, the truth is that these kinds of news get quickly circulated (and inflated).

Have realistic expectations while investing in stocks. A return between 12–18% in a year is considered good in the market. Moreover, when you compound this return over multiple years, you will get way higher returns compared to 3.5% interest on your savings account.

Further, do not assume that you can get the same profits as others, who might be investing in stocks from many past years and may have acquired an amazing skill set. You can also get similar returns, but only after enough knowledge and practice.

17. Don’t over trade

When you are trading frequently, you are repeatedly paying for the brokerage and other charges. Don’t buy/sell the stocks too often. Take confident decisions and make transactions only when necessary.

18. Don’t follow the herd

Your colleague purchased a stock and made 67% returns from it within a year. Now, he’s boasting about it, and many of your office-mates are buying that stock. What would you do next? Should you buy the stock? Wrong!

No investor can get significant success from the market by following the herd. Do your own research, rather than following the crowd.

stock market meme 17

19. Avoid psychological biases/traps

There are a lot of physiological biases while investing that can adversely affect your investment decisions and your ability to make effective choices. For example- Confirmation Bias, Anchoring bias, Buyer’s Remorse, Superiority trap, etc.

Most of these biases are pre-programmed in human nature, and hence it might be a little difficult to notice them by the individuals. Anyways, knowing these biases can help you to avoid them causing any serious damage. Moreover, a good thing regarding these biases is that — like any habit, you can change or get over them by practice and efforts.

Also read: 5 Psychology Traps that Investors Need to Avoid!

20. Don’t take unnecessary risks

Investing all your money in a hot stock/industry to get a little higher return is never a wise move. Safeguarding your money is equally important than getting high returns. You should never take unnecessary risks while investing in stocks and your ‘risk-reward’ should always be balanced.

21. Don’t make emotional decisions

The human mind is very complex, and there are many factors both internal and external that can affect the choices we make. While investing in the stock market, do not take emotional decisions. No matter how much you like a company, if it is not profitable and doesn’t have a bright future potential, it may not be the right investment decision. Do not get emotional while making your investment decisions.

stock market meme 23

Bottom line

In this post, I tried to cover the do’s and don’ts of stock market investing for beginners. However, this is just a guide and not a manual. You will learn more do’s and don’t through your personal experiences when you start investing on your own.

I hope this article is useful to you. Have a great day and happy investing!

Zerodha vs 5Paisa: Compare Brokerage, Charges, Margin & More!

Zerodha and 5paisa are two of the biggest discount brokers in India. In this article, we are going to compare Zerodha vs 5Paisa by looking into their brokerage charges, account opening charges, maintenance charges, exposure margin, trading platforms and more.

This comparison between Zerodha and 5Paisa will highlight the major differences between these two brokers to help you find the best between 5paisa and Zerodha, based on your preferences.  

Zerodha Introduction

Zerodha, founded in 2010 by Nitin Kamath, is the biggest discount broker in India and perfect for traders & investors looking for low brokerage, easy interface, and reliable trading platform. It has over +1.5 million clients that contribute to over 15% of daily retail trading volumes across  BSE, NSE, and MCX.

In terms of brokerage charges, Zerodha offers a zero brokerage for delivery equity investment & direct mutual fund investments. For all intraday, F&O, currency, and commodity trades across NSE, BSE, MCX, it offers a flat brokerage of Flat ₹20 irrespective of the trading volume. Therefore, you can save a lot of brokerage charges on your trades using Zerodha as your broker.

Also read: How to Open a Demat and Trading Account at Zerodha?

5 Paisa Introduction

5Paisa is a discount broker that provides you the platform to trade in stocks, futures, and options at the lowest cost of Rs 20 flat per trade, even if you trade for Rs 10 Crore.

It is headquartered in Mumbai and is a part of India Infoline (IIFL), a leading non-banking financial institution in India with experience of over two decades (initially incorporated in 1995). 5paisa was re-launched with a new brokerage model for online retail broking services in late 2016. Later, it got de-merged from IIFL so that it can be listed on the stock exchanges. 5Paisa Capital started trading on NSE/BSE in November 2017, making it the first such listed financial digital marketplace.

5 Paise Capital provides a platform for all financial products including equities, derivatives, mutual funds, AIFs, bonds & debentures, insurance, and personal loans. The account opening process for 5Paisa is totally paperless based on Aadhaar. 5Paisa provides the trading facility in mobile, browser and desktop platforms. 

Zerodha vs 5Paisa Comparision:

NameZerodha5 Paisa
AboutZerodha is the largest stockbroker in India with +1.5 million clients and +10% of daily retail trading volumes across NSE, BSE, MCX. Located at Bangalore, Zerodha offers zerod brokerage on delivery trading and a flat rate of 0.01% or _20 per executed on all other segments.5paisa.com, second largest discount broker in India, is part of IIFL group (India Infoline), India's leading financial services company. It offers a flat brokerage of Rs 20 per trade for its clients.
Founded20102016
CompanyPrivatePublic
Main OfficeBangaloreMumbai
# of Active Clients on NSE (Nov 2019)9,09,0081,06,280
Broker ServiceDiscount BrokerDiscount Broker
Supported ExchangeNSE, BSE, MCX, NCDEXNSE, BSE
Brokerage SummaryFree for Delivery Trading and flat charge of Rs 20 for all other tradesRs 20 Per Trade
Servies offeredEquity, Derivatives, Currency, Mutual Funds & CommoditiesEquity, Derivatives, Currency, Mutual Funds
Account Opening ChargeRs 200Rs 650
Commodity Trading Opening chargeRs 100Can't trade in commodity
Annual Maintenance ChargeRs 300Rs 45 per month (only for months when you trade)
Trading PlatformKite 3 Web baased trading platform, Kite Mobile, Kite Connect API, Console, Pi, Sentinel, CoinInvestor terminal, trader terminal, 5 Paisa Trade Station
Brokerage Charges
Equity DeliveryFreeRs 20 per trade
Equity IntradayRs 20/ trade or 0.01% whichever is lowerRs 20 per trade
Equity Future ChargesRs 20/ trade or 0.01% whichever is lowerRs 20 per trade
Equity Options ChargesRs 20/ trade or 0.01% whichever is lowerRs 20 per trade
Currency future chargesRs 20/ trade or 0.01% whichever is lowerRs 20 per trade
Currency options chargesRs 20/ trade or 0.01% whichever is lowerRs 20 per trade
Commodity ChargesRs 20/ trade or 0.01% whichever is lowerNA
Minimum brokerage fees0.01% MinimumFlat Charges Rs 20
Call & Trade ChargesRs 20 + 18% GST OrderRs 100/ call
Margin Offered
Equity Margin DeliveryNo margin for delivery - Cash and carryUpto 4x for equity cash
Equity Margin IntradayUpto 20x (Based on stock)Upto 20x
Equity margin futuresIntraday - 40%(2.5x), Carry forward - 100%(1x) of Total margin Intra-day: 3.5x - Carry forward: 1x (no margin)
Equity margin optionsIntraday - 40%(2.5x), Carry forward - 100%(1x) of Total margin Intra-day: 1x - Carry forward: 1x
Commodity MarginIntraday - 40%(2.5x), Carry forward - 100%(1x) of Total margin NA
Currency futuresIntraday - 40%(2.5x), Carry forward - 100%(1x) of Total margin Intra-day: 1 time - Carry forward: 1x
Currency OptionsIntraday - 40%(2.5x), Carry forward - 100%(1x) of Total margin Intra-day: 1 time - Carry forward: 1x
Addons
3-in-1 AccountYes, with IDFC BankNo
Research & TipsNoYes (for higher plans)
Brokeage CalculatorYesYes
Span Margin CalculatorYesYes
Training & EducationYesYes
Interactive ChartsYesYes
Margin Against Shares (Equity Cash)YesYes
Margin Against Shares (Equity F&O)YesYes
IPO ServicesYesYes
Robo advisoryNoYes
Other FeaturesDirect Mutual fund investments, Kite APIs Mutual Fund Investments, Research reports
ProsZero brokerage charges for delivery trading, Simple and flat brokerage model in all other segments, Excellent trading platforms, Easy & fast online account opening, Direct mutual fund investments, Maximum brokearge of Rs 20Cheapest broker, flexible brokerage plans, Research reports availalble (but at extra cost)
ConsNo stock advisory or research reportsMCX and NCDEX Commodity trading unavailable, Call and trade Rs 100 per call, Higher charges of Rs per transaction on demat
Promotion/OfferFree delivery equity trading and Rs 20 or 0.01% wihchever is lower brokerage charge on all other tradesRight now - No Opening Charges, Annual maintence charges waived
WebsiteQuick Link to Open AccountQuick Link to Open Account

*Disclaimer: All pricing data was obtained from the published stockbroker’s web site as of 02/01/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. It can vary from time to time depending on the active campaigns by the brokers and hence recommended to refer to the broker’s website for the latest updates.

Also read: 8 Best Discount Brokers in India – Stockbrokers List 2019

Closing Thoughts

Both Zerodha and 5Paisa offers low brokerage and fast trading platforms for their clients.

Zerodha, being the biggest discount broker in India with over 15 lakh clients obviously adds trust and brand value. Moreover, initiatives like educational facility (Varsity), investment in IPO’s from the same dashboard, free direct mutual fund investments, etc create more value for its clients.

A few notable advantages of 5Paisa over Zerodha is that they offer Research reports and robo-advisory to their clients, which Zerodha don’t. However, this facility by 5Paisa is offered only to its clients with higher plans. Anyways, 5Paisa doesn’t offer commodity trading, which may be one of the cons for active traders.

Overall, Zerodha offers a little more benefits compared to 5Paisa for independent investors and traders.

7 Powerful New Year Resolutions For Stock Market Investors!

7 Powerful New Year Resolutions For Stock Market Investors!

A new year always excites everyone. It’s time for the people to make different personal and professional resolutions like to learn a new skill, learn how to swim, join the gym, try martial arts, create a new blog, explore a new language/country, start maintaining a journal, etc.

I’ve always loved new years and enjoyed making plans for the next year. This time also I’ve made a few resolutions. Professionally, this year I’m planning to expand my team, add new interactive features to our android app and become more active on Youtube. Personally, at the top of the list is to travel to three new countries and learn the Spanish language by the end of 2020.

Anyways, stock investors are ordinary people and hence, they also like to make resolutions for their new investing journey. However, if you an equity investor but do not have made resolutions for the new year yet, then we’ve got you covered.

In this post, we are going to discuss seven powerful new year resolutions for equity investors. All these resolutions are designed to make you a better investor by the end of the calendar year.

7 Powerful New Year Resolutions For Equity Investors

Here are the seven best new year resolutions for the Indian equity investors. I would recommend you to challenge yourself and accept as many resolutions (out of seven) as possible.

1. Save enough, Invest more

This is something that most youngsters struggle with. Although the older generation is doing much better in the art of saving, however, when it comes to intelligent investing — they too are not much mature.

If you are struggling with savings, plan to optimize your expenses this year. Track your spendings and perfect them wherever possible in order to increase your savings. However, do not just stop there. Invest those savings in different investment options based on your needs and risk tolerance. For beginners, investing in blue-chip stocks are a good option to get started.

2. Start goal-based investing

investment goal

Goal-based investing is a new way of wealth management where the individuals focus on attaining specific objectives or life-goals through their investments. Here, before starting to invest, the individual tries to answer the question- “What exactly are you investing for?”. The best part about goal-based investing is that here the investors do not focus on getting the highest possible returns. But the aim of this investment is to reach the desired returns that meet their goals.

This year, switch from the traditional investing to goal-based investing. Set a specific goal and start investing to achieve it. This goal can be owning your new house, funding your business venture, corpus for your kid’s education/marriage, retirement, travel fund, etc.

3. Increase your circle of competence

circle of competence

Because of different background, qualification, or experience, everyone has built up a greater knowledge in a specific area. In this certain field, these people have the expertise and hence, have a significant advantage. This is called the circle of competence.

The circle of competence might vary from people to people depending on the criteria mentioned above. For example, a doctor might have expertise in medicines, healthcare or pharmaceutical and he can consider this area as his circle of competence (COC).

This year, make a resolution to increase your circle of competence.

For example, let’s say you might have been ignoring tax saving mutual funds or ELSS or any other investment option just because you were not competent earlier. But this year, spend some time and effort to get comfortable in those investments.

Even for stock investors, there might be different industries or sectors that you may be ignoring. This can be because you do not have good knowledge of that industry and hence not inside your circle of competence. This year, learn those new industries and expand your circle of competence.

4. Be consistent

Consistency is the key to build long-term wealth. If you invest in equities just in a bull market and shy off during the bear market, it’s definitely not a good strategy. Bulls and bears are the part of the market and stocks are characterized to go up and down.

This year, make a resolution to become consistent in your investments.

If you have got a monthly SIP, then consistently keep investing in that plan. If you are a direct stock investor, then fix an allocation of money that you’ll invest in the market throughout the year, whenever you find the best opportunities. Overall, to win the game, you need to stay in the game. And that’s why you need to be consistent in your investment plans.

5. Become more Socially Responsible Investor

Socially Responsible Investing or SRI is choosing to invest in stocks that provide a financial gain as well as do social good. For example- investing in companies promoting health, cleaner energy, healthy foods, etc. The companies are evaluated based on the ESG index: environment, social justice, and corporate governance.

Being an investor gives you a lot of power in the financial world. This year, make a resolution to realize the power and influence you have as share investors to make a positive impact on society.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - What does it actually mean cover

6. Continue your education

The stock market is very dynamic and things keep on changing very fast here. New technology, a new sector, new research tool, etc. And that’s why the biggest resolution that you need to make this year is to continue your education.

This doesn’t mean to go and enroll in a university. You simply have to keep learning more. Whether it’s through courses, seminars, workshops, books or youtube videos, it’s up to you. But make sure that you keep on learning. One best way to continue your education is by taking a resolution to read at least one investing book each month. This is not a tough resolution and easily achievable. If you are not sure which books to read, here is a list of ten must-read books for stock market investors.

7. Diversify to other investments

This is the last resolutions to make this year. No matter how good you are in equities, do not invest all your money in the market. Stock market investments are subjected to market risk. And if you’ve allocated all your money in the market and it doesn’t perform well (because of whatever reason)– you are doomed.

This year, make a resolution to expand your investment options and look into alternative investment options. Maybe investing in real estate or diving into startups as Angel investor. Diversify your investments and reduce the potential risks.

Closing Thoughts

The new year is the best time to ‘make the change’ or ‘be the change’. Whether you want to meet your needs/goals or become a better investor, this is a great time to start working on it. Through the new year resolutions, take your investing to the next level this year. I wish you all the best and a happy new year 2020!

Dividend Growth Investing – A Beginner’s Guide

In this article, we are going to discuss Dividend Growth Investing. First of all, if you are not familiar with the meaning of dividends and want to learn what exactly are dividends, their pros and cons, please read this article. I’m confident that it will be helpful to you.

Today, we’ll take our earlier dividend investing discussion to the next level and understand what exactly is dividend ‘growth’ investing and why it is an amazing tool to make money from the share market for the passive investors. Here are the topics that we’ll discuss in this article:

What is Dividend Growth Investing? And how it differs from Dividend Investing?

Dividend investing in an old and proven formula for receiving money from your investments and building wealth. It means buying shares of those companies which pay good dividends.

When you invest in dividend stocks, you get this money directly credited in your bank account as dividends. By purchasing stocks, you’re a shareholder of that company. And hence you can enjoy the hard work of the CEOs and their employees of big corporations and earn dividends.

Next, dividend growth investing is a sub-set of dividend investing. However, the major difference is that here investors not just look at the high dividend-paying companies but also at the growth rate of the dividends and the company.

As growth is the measure of financial health, Dividend growth investing involves collecting the shares of fundamentally strong companies with a high annual dividend growth rate. As a thumb rule, the growth rate should be equal to or higher than inflation.

For example, if a company gave a dividend of Rs 10 per share last year, Rs 11 per share this year and expected to give a dividend of Rs 12.5 per share in the next year, this company can fall into this category. Anyways, the dividend growth investors look at more than at least five years of growth history while picking the stocks. Moreover, the dividend growth will not always be a linear curve but will be full of ups and downs. Nevertheless, the overall trend of dividend growth should be positive.

In short, the dividend growth investors do not want just a high dividend but growing dividends over time.

dividend growth investing stocks

Dividend Growth Stocks Characteristics

In which scenario will you be able to sleep better?

Knowing that you’re getting high dividends right now, but the dividends may fall in the future as the company is saturated. Or, the other scenario where you are getting decent dividends and have confidence that it will pay more dividends in the future as the company is continuously growing its revenue and profit.

A few characteristics of the Dividend Growth Stocks are:

  1. A strong business model with a well-managed and reliable board of directors.
  2. History of a shareholder-friendly company i.e. a company with regular dividends and no dividend cuts.
  3. Dividends continuously growing for the past few years.
  4. Strong Financials: Continous healthy growth in Topline and the Bottom line of the company’s income statement and cashflows.

These are the signs that reflect the company’s ability to grow and maintain solid cash flow to give regular dividends to its investors.

Examples of Dividend Growth Investing Stocks

For example, if you want to understand dividend growth investing, here are the examples of a few stocks whose dividends have been continuously growing for the past couple of years:

NameLast Market PriceMarket Cap (in Crores)Mar-14Mar-15Mar-16Mar-17Mar-18Mar-19
National Aluminum Co.₹42.35₹7,901.00 ₹1.50₹1.25₹2.00₹2.10₹4.28₹4.16
Bharat Petroleum₹492.00₹1,06,727.00 ₹5.67₹7.50₹10.34₹21.68₹19.05₹17.24
Vedanta₹147.15₹54,699.00 ₹3.25₹4.10₹3.50₹19.45₹21.20₹18.85
Hero MotoCorp₹2,308.00 ₹46,108.00 ₹65.00₹60.00₹72.00₹85.00₹95.00₹87.02
Tata Steel Ltd₹421.00₹47,431.00 ₹10.00₹8.00₹8.00₹10.00₹10.00₹13.00
Infosys₹714.00₹3,04,054.00 ₹15.57₹15.83₹12.97₹13.77₹22.01₹21.70
Bajaj Auto₹3,220.00 ₹93,188.00 ₹50.00₹50.00₹55.00₹55.00₹60.00₹60.00
Tata Chemicals₹654.00₹16,661.00 ₹10.00₹12.50₹10.00₹11.00₹22.00₹12.50
Hindustan Zinc₹206.25₹87,147.00 ₹3.50₹4.40₹27.80₹29.40₹8.00₹20.00
Power Grid₹186.95₹97,805.00 ₹2.58₹1.31₹2.31₹4.35₹5.25₹8.63
This table shows the Adj. Dividends Per Share for the given stocks from 2014-19 | (Data Source: EquityMaster)

Benefits of Dividend Growth Investing

We all know that holding good stocks for the long term can help build a huge portfolio. But what if we get regular dividends along with it. This can reduce the burden of timely selling your stocks to book profit. As dividends are continuously pumped in your account, you do not have to worry about the stock market price fluctuations. Moreover, here dividend re-investing can create wonders.

Here are a few of the common benefits of dividend growth investing:

  1. Dividend growth investing can be a major source to build long-term wealth to create passive returns.
  2. They can help you to get returns no matter how stocks are performing. And hence, dividend growth investing helps to avoid the biggest threat of getting no returns because of stock underperformance.
  3. Investors also get tax benefits while investing in dividends. It helps in minimizing taxes as dividend tax rates are lower compared to the regular capital gain taxes. Dividend earning up to Rs 10 lakhs is taxfree in India.

How to get started with Dividend Growth Investing?

There is a common misconception that high dividend yield means high returns. However, this may not be true and sometimes high yield may also represent a depressed stock.

Dividend Yield vs Dividend Growth:

Dividend yield = Dividend per share / Stock price per share

High dividend yield can be either because of an increased dividend payout or decreased share price. If the yield is high because the share price of that company has fallen significantly, it may also represent a value trap. Here, the stock may appear as a value stock because of low valuation. However, the main reason for its low valuation can be its poor performance or bad future prospects. Overall, high yield doesn’t refect a fundamentally strong dividend stock.

Further, also check the dividend payout while researching dividend growth stocks. Payout should be sustainable and growing. If a company offers a solid record of increasing payout per share on an annual basis, it is way better than a company giving a high dividend for just that year.

Dividend payout = Dividends per share / Earnings per share

As a thumb rule, a very high dividend payout is dangerous as it means that the company is giving away the majority of its profits as dividends and not retaining enough. A company generally distributes the majority of profits only when it does not have much growth investment opportunities. Typically, a payout ratio of more than 80–85% may reflect a dividend fall or cut in the near future.

Also read: How to Plan Your Passive Income The Right Way?

Summary

Dividend growth investing is an insanely powerful way to build passive wealth by investing in stocks. Moreover, as most dividend growth investors are long term investors, time is their best friend. A few common factors to check while investing in dividend growth stocks are dividend yield, payout ratio, and dividend growth rate. Apart, the company should also be well-managed and should have a decent financial growth rate.

5 Types of Stocks That Every Investor Should Know

5 Types of Stocks That Every Investor Should Know:

There are thousands of stocks publicly listed in the Indian stock market. And researching them one-by-one to pick the one that suits you the best may take weeks. That’s why these stocks are divided into different categories to help investors/traders classify these stocks to help them study better.

Stocks may be categorized based on different factors like their size, industry, location, etc. In this article, we are going to discuss five popular types of stocks that every investor should know.

5 Types of Stocks That Every Investor Should Know

— Based on Company Size (Market Capitalization)

To classify stocks based on their size, we use Market capitalization or market cap.

Market Capitalization refers to the total rupee value of the company’s share. It is calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by its present market share price.

Here, according to the size of the company, companies can be broadly divided into large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks. In general, the commonly accepted classification of companies based on their market capitalization in the Indian stock market is:

  1. Market cap Less than 8,500 Cr → Small cap
  2. Market cap Between 8,500 Cr to 28,000 Cr → Mid Cap
  3. Market cap Greater than 28,000 Cr → Large-cap

Note: You can read more about Small cap, Mid Cap and Large Cap Companies here.

Here are two more types of stocks based on the size that you should know:

  • Penny Stocks: Those stocks which trade at a very low market price (less than Rs 10) and have a very low market capitalization (typically under 100 crores) are called penny stocks in the Indian stock market. Penny stocks are the darlings of new investors. The low market price of these stocks makes them quite attractive to beginners.
  • Blue-chip stocks: Blue chip companies are large and well-established companies with a history of consistent performance. These companies are financially strong (usually debt-free or very low debts) and are capable to survive in tough market situations. Most of the blue-chip companies are the market leaders in their industry. A few of the common examples of blue-chip companies in India are HDFC Bank, ITC, Asian Paints, Maruti Suzuki, etc.

In addition, the stocks may also be classified as Mega-caps and Micro-caps based on their size. However, they are not frequently used.

— Based on Industry

Stocks are often categorized based on the sector or industry they fall like— Automobile stocks, Energy stocks, Technology stocks, etc. For example — all the companies that are related to automobiles will be considered as automobile stocks. Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Hero Motocorp, etc.

However, sometimes it might be a little difficult to quickly classify companies when their business model lies in two or more industries. For example, ITC Limited is a conglomerate, although it generates more than sixty percent of their revenue from tobacco products.

— Based on the Business Cycle

Based on the business cycles, the stocks can be classified as Cyclicals or Non-cyclical (Defensive) stocks.

  1. Cyclical Stocks: As the name suggests, cyclical stocks are those that move in the direction of the market. That is when the economy is doing well, the stocks go up and when there is a downturn in the economy, the value of the stock goes down too. Cyclical industries usually may include services like automobile, construction, travel and tourism, luxury products, etc.
  2. Non-Cyclical/Defensive stocks: The revenue and cash-flows and share price of non-cyclical companies continue to do well during an economic slow-down or depression as they are industries that produce the basic needs of life that people will continue to consume. Defensive stocks include goods and services in industries that are not affected by market fluctuations such as utilities, food, and medicines. It is basically any good or service that people will buy whether or not the economy is doing well. Moreover, Tobacco, Alcohol producing companies may fall into this category as people continue to consume these products even during a bad economy.

Also read: Cyclical and Non-cyclical stocks: How do they differ?

— Based on Investment Style

Based on the buying or investment style, stocks can be classified as growth stocks, value stocks and dividend stocks.

  1. Growth stocks: We can define a growth stock as a company that is growing at a very fast rate compared to its industry or market index. The share prices of these companies appreciate at a fast pace and the investors are ready to pay high prices for these companies to compensate for the faster growth.
  2. Value Stocks: The concept of value investing was famously introduced by Benjamin Graham, the mentor of Warren Buffett, back in the 1930s in his famous book ‘The Intelligent Investor’. A value stock has completely different characteristics than the growth stocks. These companies do not have a high growth rate, rather they grow slow. However, these stocks trade at a low (discounted) market price compared to their true/intrinsic value.
  3. Dividend Stocks: This is the third way to invest apart from the value stocks and growth stocks. An income stock approach is investing in those stocks which pay a high, regular and increasing dividend. The high dividend yield of these stocks mostly generates consistent returns for passive investors.

Also read: Growth Stocks vs Value stocks – A logical Comparison

— Based on Location

Finally, companies can also be classified based on where they are located. If the company is located in the same country as the investors, it is considered domestic stock. Otherwise, it will be regarded as International stocks. A lot of investors invest based on categories like the International market stocks, emerging market stocks, etc to diversify their portfolio.

Also read: 3 Easy Ways to Invest in Foreign Stocks From India.

Closing Thoughts

As discussed in this article, stocks can be classified in different types based on their characteristics. A few of the popular types of stocks that every investor should know are –

  1. Based on Size: Large caps, Mid caps, and Small caps,
  2. Based on Industry: Automobile stocks, Pharma Stocks, IT Stocks, etc.
  3. Based on Business Cycle: Cyclical and Non-cyclical,
  4. Based on Style: Growth stocks, Value stocks, Income stocks,
  5. Based on Location: International stock, Emerging markets, etc.

Classifying stocks makes it easier for investors to study the companies based on their preferences. That’s all for this article. Please comment below if you’ve any queries. I’ll be happy to help. Happy Investing.

10 Best Personal Finance Books Of All Time!

10 Best Personal Finance Books Of All Time!

“Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.”  -Dave Ramsey

These wise words of David Ramsey reflect the necessity of everyday lives, that is, learning about healthy spending habits and better ways of investment to lead a financially sound life.

Today in this world of never-ending expansion of economies, rise in prices, and increasing demands, individuals suffer from financial problems like debts, losses and increasing expenditure. To understand more about better ways of budgeting and inculcation of financially sound habits in order to overcome these problems, you should read books on personal finance where you can learn all about your personal income, expenditure, and savings.

10 Best Personal Finance Books Of All Time

Given below are the top ten books on personal finance which can shape your mind towards the same.

1. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

rich dad poor dad by robert kiyosaki What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki- You should always start with the best and the consistently number one ranked book on personal finance has undoubtedly been this Kiyosaki’s masterpiece.

The book talks about two different dads living two different lives altogether. One dad is rich and the other is comparatively poor. The book busts the misconception of relating highly educated to being rich and vice-versa. The book beautifully explores the utility of investment and how you can save money by working for it to make the money work for you later. The lucidity of the book makes it easy to read and understand. It definitely helps in improving your financial intelligence.

2. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko

the millionaire next door

This book is great for beginners who have just entered the realm of personal financing. The book is simple and easy to understand. It talks about the rudimentary concepts and instructions that should be followed and kept in mind while learning about personal finance. The author talks about establishing a healthy relationship between you and your money. Establishing goals are very important. You should choose your aim wisely and work for it.

3. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

the total money makeover

Well, we started this article by quoting David Ramsey and there is no reason as to why he should not be making it to this list. He has written one of the finest financial works for especially the young lot who wants to start investing and make money. Total Money Makeover talks in length about creating a well-toned budget by employing healthy money habits.

He talks about flabby expenses that are unhealthy and can push you into unending debt cycles. According to him, to be financially fit, you need to cut out those extra expenses carbs and stick to fat-free savings to get a total money makeover!

Also read: 7 Best Value Investing Books That You Cannot Afford to Miss.

4. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke by Suze Orman

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke by Suze Orman

This book on personal finance is written by a financial expert whose main focus is on the present generation who are suffering the so-called “Generation Debt”.

According to Suze, this Generation Debts accounts for people in their 20s and 30s who are graduating from their colleges with a heavy load of education loans and other student loans. They are stuck in a financial environment where the money is not generated easily, employment is not for all and therefore, they should do something to take the matters into their own hands to secure their future and make money. This book is known worldwide for its relevance and the present problem it touches that is faced by young people.

5. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This book is very inspirational for those who want to take up their lives to new heights, those who are not afraid to act to further their lives and reaching the goals they had set. Despite the old age of the book, it contains highly relevant lessons for each one of us. It talks about the way in which you can acquire wealth.

The author highlights the importance of planning and budgeting in order to amass wealth. Book also mentions a number of achievers and their success stories. The author also talks about the need for persistence which makes all the difference between a success and a failure and most importantly, the emphasis on knowledge acquisition before wealth acquisition which is truly marvelous to read!

6. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman who has been a recipient of the Nobel Prize has worked on this book as a reflection of his own life. This book talks about the decision making processes taken p by our mind. He talks about the capabilities of a human being when it comes to thinking. He differentiates this human mind into two systems where one is fast but emotional and the other is slow but more logical.

Through his book, Daniel tries to balance these two systems and bring about a synthesis which is better judgment and decisions. He talks about the benefits of slow thinking and how it helps in reaching to better and more reliable decisions. Lastly, he tries to cover the importance of harvesting distinct personal and professional lives and safeguarding of both.

Also read: 10 Best Mutual Fund Books Of All Time!

7. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind- Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker

This book by Eker acts as the bridge between aiming at success and achieving it. It is for those who believe in doing rather than just saying. This book explores mind-boggling questions like why some people become rich easily while others struggle to reach their level. Is there something different in their education or skills or training or work habits? Or is it just good luck for them? Such questions will really trigger your mind into thinking.

Eker talks about achieving success by using the blueprints of your personal money in your subconscious minds. It is these blueprints that will determine anybody’s financial lives. If your blueprint does not aim at making high levels of success, you will never be able to earn big money. It is that simple! Similar such ideas have been touched upon.

8. The Wealthy Gardener: Life Lessons on Prosperity between Father and Son by John Soforic

The Wealthy Gardener- Life Lessons on Prosperity between Father and Son by John Soforic

Do you know why this book is special? This book is special because it was written by a financially independent father for his financially dependent son. It will give you a glimpse of their lives where the father is educating his son on how to pursue his goals and further his interests.

The book talks about amassing wealth by earning excess money and saving. It talks about the ways in which one can overcome any hurdle that can land him inside a debt trap and wage slavery. He describes ways in which you can transform your financial weakness to strengths and how you should sense each opportunities and troubles before they come knocking your door.

9. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

This is a classic book when it comes to books on personal finance. This book has been appreciated by millions. The author extensively talks about the ways in which you can accomplish personal wealth. He talks about personal financial planning. The language is simple and easy to grasp.

This book is more like a guide that tries to address the present-day financial problems that you may be suffering which is offsetting you from the path of success and accomplishment. Going through the Babylonian time and Babylonian stories of rages to riches will definitely boost you up and make you your best financer to solve all the related problems. These solutions will stay with your forever and guide you throughout your path to prosperity.

10. Psych Yourself Rich: Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life by Farnoosh Torabi

Psych Yourself Rich- Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life by Farnoosh Torabi

This book comes to you by the well known personal finance star, Torabi. She talks about the importance of money and why it should be earned. The best part of Farnoosh’s work is that she extensively talks about the application of ways and methods she has discussed in order to gain wealth and success. It is more practical and handy.

According to the author, developing healthy habits, disciplined life, and a focused mindset are some of the most important essentials required to achieve your goals. A disciplined attitude can only help you grow as a financial well being. You should live in the present thinking about your future. Future planning is very important. You should work harder to earn big and thus, make every money of your count.

Also read: 3 Amazing Books to Read for a Successful Investing Mindset.

Closing Thoughts

The above-mentioned books will definitely help in building up your repository of financial knowledge. These books are not just meant for those who come from a finance background but for everyone who wants to succeed in their lives, those who want to earn and make it big.

7 Best Newspapers for Stock Market India to Read!

7 Best Newspapers for Stock Market India to Read!

Every active investor and trader needs to stay updated with the latest news about the stock market. Missing one key information – a big corporate announcement, new deals/projects, change in management or any scam/fraud allegations about your favorite stock may result in a change in profitability in your portfolio. But how to stay updated with the current happenings and events in the stock market? A simple answer is by reading newspapers.

We all know that reading newspapers is a good habit that can provide a great sense of educational value as well as keeping us updated with the latest happenings around us. A newspaper is basically a periodical publication containing well-written information about current events. Moreover, with the availability of the ‘e-Newspapers’ i.e. online newspapers, accessing these are a lot easier. In this article, we are going to discuss seven best newspapers to read and stay updated about the Stock Market. Here they go:

7 Best Newspapers for Stock Market India

1. Business Standard 

business-standard

The daily newspaper Business Standard (also available as an e-paper) is the first preferred choice of serious business readers. It is one of the largest Indian English-language daily edition newspaper published by Business Standard Ltd. The Business Standard provides the latest news about Economy, Finance, Current Affairs, International Management, Personal Finance, etc. You can check out stock prices of India’s leading companies, Sensex, Nifty, Gold, Silver, etc. They also offer an Android App available in the google play store. 

2. Livemint

Livemint Livemint is one of my favorite newspapers to read and stay updated with the stock market. The reason is its clear editorials and nicely designed pages.  This newspaper is published by HT Media, a Delhi-based media group that is controlled by the KK Birla family and also publishes Hindustan Times. Livemint provides information about Markets, Companies, Money, Start-ups, Mutual Funds, Investment Queries, Insurance, Technology and more. They also offer e-Paper, you can log-in and get the latest news.

3. The Hindu Business Line

hindu-business-line

The Hindu Business Line is an Indian business newspaper published by the publishers of the newspaper The Hindu located in Chennai, India. It gives daily market live updates about Sensex and Nifty, information about commodities, Forex, Gold & Silver Science, World, Sports, Real Estate, and also Trending topics in the Market. The e-Newspaper for the Hindu Business Line is also available.

4.Reuters

reuters

Reuters is the world’s largest international multimedia news. It provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world’s media organizations, and directly to consumers. Here you can get updates about Stocks, Business, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, etc. You can easily subscribe to their newsletters. The Reuters app is available in the play store. 

5. MoneyControl

money-control

Moneycontrol is one of the most popular websites to read financial news in India. It is owned by E-EIGHTEEN Dot Com Ltd., a subsidiary of the media house TV18. Though it is not exactly a newspaper, Moneycontrol financial portal offers end-of-day stock prices, stores of news (text and videos), analysis, data and tools on investing (across diverse asset classes), the business sector, and the economy. It also provides a few recommended Market Podcasts like ‘‘A morning walk down Dalal Street‘. You can also track the Market using Moneycontrol mobile app. 

6. The Economic Times

the economic times

Originated in 1961, The Economic Times is an Indian daily newspaper headquartered in Mumbai, India in English-language published by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. They provide the latest news updates on investing, Economy News, Business News, technology, etc. They offer a separate Economic Times Market section for their readers to stay updated to the stock market and financial world. Apart from the newspapers, the Economic Times also provides e-edition for the convenience of the user.

7. Bloomberg Quint

Bloomberg Quint

Bloomberg Quint is a multiplatform, Indian business and financial news company. It is a joint venture of Bloomberg News and Quintillion Media. They provide Bloomberg’s global leadership in business & financial news and data with Quintillion Media’s deep expertise in the Indian market and digital news delivery. Its main content is based on high-quality business news, market-moving news, top trends, economy news, international finance news, and compelling perspectives. They also offer market Podcasts.

Also read: 7 Must-Know Websites for Indian Stock Market Investors.

Bonus: 3 Additional Newspapers for Stock Market India

8. NDTV Profit

NDTV Profit

New Delhi Television, popularly known as NDTV, is an Indian television media company founded in 1988 by Radhika Roy, a journalist. NDTV gives updates like news, videos & photos about Business, Stock, Entertainment, stock talk, Sports, etc.  They also have an app that is Faster and Lighter, with features that ensure you get the latest news notifications. 

9.Yahoo finance

yahoo finance

Yahoo! Finance, a part of Yahoo!’s network, provides financial news, data, and commentary including stock quotes, press releases, financial reports, and original content. It provides real-time streaming quotes for many exchanges and provides stock information like their financial statements, latest announcements, updates, etc. Yahoo Finance also offers online tools for personal finance management which are very useful for its readers.

10. Google Finance

google finance

Google Finance is not exactly a publication but a news aggregator. On Google Finance, you can find all the latest financial information about stocks, market news, economy news, and top stories around the world in Finance. 

Closing Thoughts

There are hundreds of newspapers available in the market to read and stay updated with the Stock market. However, not all are equally good. Out of all the ten Best Newspapers for stock market India to read, my favorite ones are Livemint, MoneyControl, and Bloomberg Quint. Which one is yours? Comment below to answer. Further, if  I missed any popular newspapers that provide genuine information about the stock market, then please do comment below. Cheers!

5 Most Common Money Myths You Need to Avoid

AWhen you start earning, then a lot of people will tell you a ton of things to follow. Do you know why? Because when you are making more than people will be jealous of you and rather than being the motivation in your life, they will try to bring you down. But since they can’t hurt you in any way, they will create myths inside your head. These money myths are common and are happened to believe by a lot of people out there. Even the educated part of your society believes in it.

What are these money myths?

Well, these are common money myths which are needed to be avoided at any cost because they eat up your brain and does turn inside it. They are usually really harmless, but they come with a lot of misconception about earning. For instance, it does not harm you to believe in them, but them surely takes up a lot of time in your thoughts. For example, you might have heard your family members saying this and that when you are earning. And at some point in your life, you have believed in them. Well, these are just common, and they are random myths.

5 Common money myths to avoid right now

Here are the most common money myths you need to avoid right now.

Myth #1: You have to be rich to invest

Money myth - you have to be rich to invest

You want to make investment, but you have to be rich enough for them. You might laugh at this myth right now, but this is true, and a lot of people believes in it. And You don’t have to be costly for your investment. Investment can be done by a lot of people and especially if you want to have a secured future for yourself.

Finance is the part where you draw your own money, and there is always a risk to it. But you don’t have to be rich enough to do it. There are a number of investment options available which require very minimum monthly commitment like investing in ETFs, Mutual Funds, Index funds, direct equity investment etc. Moreover, Investment is the best way to grow your wealth. Believe it or not. We have seen people increase their wealth with the source of small systematic financing alone.

Myth #2: Savings cannot be done enough if you don’t earn enough

Money myth - savings cant be done if you do not earn enough

Savings are always a crucial part of your life. You don’t have to earn enough for that. If you want to save, then you can do it even if you are making 2k per month. It does not depend on what you make, but it solely depends on how much you are willing to think about your future.

Do you know that if you save at least 5% of your income in your bank, then it will amount to a lot more than what you can think of? Your savings are an integral part of your life, and you should never believe in this myth at all. If you save, then you are doing a favor for yourself and your family too.

If you are struggling with your budgeting, a simple rule that you can follow is 50/20/30 principle. According to 50/20/30 strategy, you should allocate 50% of your monthly income on ‘Needs’ (like rent, food etc), 20% of your monthly income on ‘Savings’ (like your retirement fund, investments etc) and the remaining 30% of your monthly income on your ‘Wants’ (like traveling, dining out etc). You can read more about 50/20/30 principle here.

Myth #3: You should leave your money management to hired experts

Money myth - you should leave your money management to hired experts

Don’t leave your money management on your financially educated partner or your family member or to a high priced financial advisor. If you are earning, then you should handle by on your own. It’s just a myth that you need to hire someone to manage your money. Always remember that whatever you are winning belongs to you and only you. And that’s why managing your own money efficiently is an important skill that everyone should learn.

For example, if you’re trading in equities or commodities from your earnings, always make sure to trade only that much money which does not affect your family even if you lose a bit. Similarly, if you’re actively involved in an online slot game, make sure to read everything possible about the game, have a strong strategy and a certain budget decided upon. This way you can manage your financials better without depending on anyone.

Myth #4: Investing in gold is always safe and better

Money myth invest in gold is safe and better

Always if you earn more, then you have to invest in gold. That is an absurd myth, and a lot of people believes and invests in gold. A large proportion of the Indian population considers Gold as one of the best options to invest in India. Here, gold is not only treated as a satisfactory long term wealth creator but also auspicious and a symbol of social status.

Anyways, Gold is a long term investment option and not suitable for earning short term gains. Moreover, the prices of Gold fluctuate in a cyclical manner. Therefore, one cannot expect Gold to perform well all the time. Overall, if you are seeking a regular source of income through your investments, Gold may never serve this purpose. However, if you want to hedge your existing investments in Equities and Bonds, you should consider investing in Gold.

Myth #5: Buying a home rather renting a place

Money myth buying a home rather than renting a place

You should hire a home, and you should not rent one is one of the most common myths which you will hear. A lot of people out there will explain this absurd point to you. Well, buying a home gives you better security, an area which is there for you and where you can count your name in.

But the decision of buying vs renting a home is not going to be the same for every individual. Whether you want to buy a house property or take it on rental, it totally depends on your financial situation. If buying accommodation suits my financial situation, it may not suit yours. Moreover, both the options are having their own perks and shortcomings.

Money myths are pervasive

Yes, myths regarding money are prevalent. Make sure that you are earning better and doing the best thing for yourself as well. If you are drawing and spending, then you are no useful than the rest of these people. You need to save your cash for future purpose, invest in options where you see that there is a built-in potential for you. Once you have found out your subject, it will be good enough for you.

And if you are afraid of spending cash a lot more to what you need, then you can opt-in for the credit card usage as well. Credit cards are right for you, and they help you to manage your budget and even stops you from overspending. Nonetheless, whatever be your situation, always try to avoid the money myths discussed in this article.

What is the TOWS Matrix? And how it is used?

What is the TOWS Matrix? And how it is used?

Apple, Amazon, and Google — we all have heard the renowned names of these gigantic companies and are quite familiar with their products. They have been sustaining through the zig-zags of an economy and have successfully created a brand value since their establishment.  All three companies must have done something right which helped them to stay in the game for the long run, unlike other companies that couldn’t sustain or, have fizzled out. In order to find out the answers to such statements, analysts take the help of marketing strategies.  Today, we will discuss one such theory called TOWS Matrix to find out the awaited answers. Well, without further adieu, put on your reading glasses and jump in!

TOWS Matrix can be interpreted as a framework to assess, create, compare, and finally decide upon the business strategies. It is a modified version of a SWOT analysis and is an abbreviation that stands for Threats, Opportunities, Weaknesses, Strength. It was invented by an American business professor called Heinz Weirich in 1982 to examine businesses from a practical approach in reference to administration and marketing. The evaluation is done by amalgamating the external opportunities and threats with a company’s internal strengths and weaknesses.

What is the TOWS Matrix?

TOWS Matrix begins with an audit of external threats and opportunities. Such scrutiny gives a clear insight and helps to adopt long term strategies. Thereafter, the internal strengths and weaknesses of a company are taken into consideration. In the next stage, the internal analysis gets intertwined with external analysis to devise a strategy.

TOWS Analysis goes way beyond the conventional SWOT Analysis and aids organizations to remain one step ahead in the ever-changing competitive landscape. The TOWS Matrix can also help in the generation of amazing ideas in relation to fruitful marketing strategies, decision-making, protection against threats, opportunities, diminishing threats, overcoming weaknesses and awareness regarding potential shortcomings.

tows matrix analysis

Although internal and external factors are incompatible features, there still exists a balance between them. Strengths and Weaknesses fall under internal factors and consist of HR policies, manufacturing processes, goals and objectives, attributes of the products and services offered to the target market, core values, work culture, staff, and fundamentals of the company.

On the contrary, Opportunities, and Threats fall under external factors and consists of government policies, dynamic nature of the market, evolving tastes and preferences of the customers, competition in the market, fluctuation rates of the raw materials required for the production and etcetera.

Now, we will move on to the discussion where we will discuss the four potential strategies of the TOWS Matrix. The four TOWS strategies are :

  • Strength/Opportunity (SO)
  • Weakness/Opportunity (WO)
  • Strength/Threat (ST)
  • Weakness/Threat (WT)

Strengths and Opportunities (SO) / Maxi-Maxi Strategy

The aim of a Maxi-Maxi Strategy is to utilize internal strengths to make optimum use of the external opportunities available to the company. In other words, the company has to utilize the strengths by using its resources to cash in on potential opportunities.

For example, if a  company has reasonably established a brand name in the market and has won the hearts of the consumers, there lies a golden opportunity to explore the new market locations or introducing a new line of products and services for the same target market. Such a step can turn out to be the best for the upliftment of the firm.

TOWS Matrix internal external

(Image Credits: B2U)

Strengths and Threats (ST) / Maxi-Mini Strategy

The aim of a Maxi-Mini strategy is to maximize the strengths of a company while minimizing the threats with the support of these strengths. Thus, a company should take advantage of the internal strengths to avoid massive external threats. This strategy indicates that the management of the organization can employ all the internal strengths to counter any of the possible threats that can come in the way of the business as obstacles.

Example: In the market, there is always a cut-throat competition amongst peers or, between new and old entrants. In such a scenario, to beat the competition, the lagging company needs to take advantage of the internal strengths such as quality, manufacturing techniques, legacy and customer service.

Weakness and Opportunities (WO) / Mini-Maxi Strategy

The Mini-Maxi strategy attempts to minimize the weaknesses and to maximize the opportunities. The aim is to revamp internal weaknesses by making use of external opportunities. The management of the company will detect various alternatives to look past the weaknesses and take control of the opportunities that come up in the course. It is always a wise decision to decline or correct the weaknesses and untap the opportunities.

Example: If the company doesn’t possess any expertise in any of the business domains which is necessary for the growth and is gifted an opportunity to ally with another company that has the needed expertise, it works as a fairly convenient situation for both the companies.

Weakness and Threats (WT) / Mini-Mini Strategy

The aim of the Mini-Mini strategy is to minimize weaknesses and minimize threats. This is definitely the most defensive spot in the TOWS Matrix. It is mostly utilized when a company is in a  deplorable position. In such a scenario, the company operates in an aggressive environment and has little or no development opportunities. The mini-mini strategy is nothing but a pessimistic style of liquidation of a company.

EXAMPLE: A company has lost its shine and glory and has lost the faith of the stakeholders. Thus, there exists a threat of losing out on funding and investment by investors. In this case. it might close down poor-selling products, cut down underperforming employees and build a hostile technique of selling. If optimistic, the company might look for merging with another suitable company to leverage its expertise and resources for hanging on to funding.

TOWS Matrix – Apple INC

apple steve jobs

Let us now apply these four strategies of TOWS Analysis to a famous company called Apple.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational organization specialized in technology and has its headquarters in Cupertino, California. Apple fabricates, builds and sells computer software, electronic products, and online services. The tech giant was established by Steve Jobs,  Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak in April 1976. It is considered as the world’s largest technology company by means of revenue and is also one of the world’s most valuable companies.

According to statistics, it is the world’s third-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung and Huawei. Apple’s renowned products consist of the iPad tablet computers, HomePod smart speaker, iPod portable media player, iPhone smartphone, Mac personal computer, Apple Watch smartwatch, AirPods wireless earbuds, and Apple TV digital media player. The online services provided by Apple are iTunes Store, Mac App Store, Apple TV+, iCloud, Apple Music, the iOS App Store, and  Apple TV+. In Fiscal YEAR 2018, the worldwide revenue of Apple totaled to $265 billion.

The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of Apple are mentioned below. After glancing through them, we will begin performing our TOWS Matrix according to the rule.

— Strengths

  1. Apple is known as a Market leader and thus, maintains a high standard across several products and services. It is the most trusted brand in the entire marketplace.
  2. It has a strong brand image and thus helps the audience to differentiate Apple from other competitors and positively influences the purchasing decisions.
  3. It possesses extensive financial strength and thus has higher profitability and liquidity.
  4. Apple has also a highly innovative and highly sophisticated supply chain which helps in maintaining efficiency.
  5. It also has High-profit margins because of the consistent sales of its popular products.
  6. The premium quality of its products allows Apple to enjoy a large and loyal customer base.

— Weakness

  1. Apple Products are not priced by keeping the competition in mind and can be afforded by a certain section or class.
  2. There is an availability of a narrow product range compared to its competitors.
  3. The products and services are only compatible with Apple products and are incompatible with the products of other brands.

— Opportunities

  1. There is a constant rise in demand and craze for mobile devices irrespective of the quoted price.

— Threats

  1. In spite of being market leaders, there has been an emergence of competitors.
  2. The cost of manufacturing has been constantly on the rise.
  3. There has been also a decline in the market share of Apple due to the falling demand of Laptops and Personal Computers.

— Strengths and Opportunities (SO) of Apple:

Since there has been an increase in demand for mobile devices, the company should increase its focus by concentrating on manufacturing and marketing to generate profit. Apple should also leverage its brand value and financial strength to enter into new products and consequently increase their sales and profit. Such a step will aid Apple benefit from its existing customer base and customer loyalty. Further, if it partners with other brands to mass-produce compatible products and create mutually advantageous relationships, it will highly assist Apple in hack into the customer base of other brands.

— Strengths and Threats (ST) of Apple:

Apple should build a diversified range of products to fabricate its customer base and diminish the pressure of competitiveness. Another most important point is to consider the cultural variance to retain the competitive advantage created by  Steve Jobs.

— Weakness and Opportunities (WO) of Apple

Since Apple has only high-end products, it should release a cluster of products at an affordable price to make it feasible for middle-class consumers. Creating a larger product sets and thereby, entering into a new product arena will also help Apple to serve new customer segments.

— Weaknesses and Threats (WT) of Apple

Releasing a range of competitively priced products to attract middle-class customers can change the scenario altogether to reduce the pressure from competitors. It should also widen the product sets and try to cash in on the capability of the existing supply chain to decrease the manufacturing costs.

Also read:

Advantages & Disadvantages of TOWS Analysis

We will now elaborate on the major pros and cons of TOWS Analysis.

Advantages of TOWS Matrix

  1. TOWS Analysis helps to stumble upon strategic ideas by interconnecting the internal and external factors for the organizations.
  2. It is cost-effective in nature.
  3. It’s user-friendly and can be performed by any layman after learning a few parameters.
  4. TOWS Analysis can be applied to any company irrespective of the industries and economies.
  5. It helps organizations to upgrade their strategies with changing dynamics.

Disadvantages of TOWS Matrix

  1. TOWS analysis becomes tough to handle if we are overloaded with information.
  2. On many occasions, TWOS Matrix doesn’t take the ever-changing competitive environment into consideration and can affect the main agenda of finding out strategies for business in attaining elevated profits, higher sales, creation of brand value and etcetera.

Summary

TOWS Matrix is a framework to assess, create, compare, and finally decide upon the business strategies. It is a modified version of a SWOT analysis. The TOWS Matrix helps in the generation of amazing ideas in relation to fruitful marketing strategies, decision-making, protection against threats, opportunities, diminishing threats, overcoming weaknesses and awareness regarding potential shortcomings.

The four TOWS strategies are Strength/Opportunity (SO), Weakness/Opportunity (WO), Strength/Threat (ST), and Weakness/Threat (WT).

TOWS Analysis can be applied to any company irrespective of the industries and economies. It is user-friendly and can be performed by any layman after learning a few parameters. However, the TOWS analysis becomes tough to handle if we are overloaded with information.

How to do a PESTLE Analysis? (Explanation & Example)

How to do a PESTLE Analysis? (Explanation & Example)

Hello readers! We are back with another interesting article that will help to enlighten your knowledge horizon regarding the nitty-gritty of strategic management for running a prosperous business.

Are you someone who is planning to take the road of entrepreneurship and set up a new business by quitting your 9 to 5? Then, this article is most definitely for you! Well, to start off, there are a lot of factors that are needed to take into consideration for establishing a start-up business. Interestingly, it is not only the startups but also the Blue Chip Companies who need to constantly gauge strategies for sustaining their businesses and make a prominence. Today, we are going to discuss a strategic management framework known as PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Environmental) Analysis which has emerged to be an important apparatus for scanning the internal and external factors impacting a business.

Let us first learn the definition to understand the concept of PESTLE Analysis.

What is PESTLE Analysis?

A PESTLE Analysis is a hypothesis under the category of marketing principles ensuring business growth and profitability.

Francis J. Aguilar, a professor at Harvard Business School is considered to be the founder of the PESTLE Analysis in 1964. However, it didn’t commence as PESTLE but started as ETPS and covered four broad factors namely  Economic, Technical, Political and Social aspects.

Initially, it was known as PEST Analysis. It is anatomy and a strategic management tool that helps to scrutinize the macro-environmental factors that may have a resonating influence on an organization’s accomplishments. The acronym PESTLE is the shortened form of Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal factors and Environmental factors. The concept largely helps companies to acquire a transparent insight into the intramural and extramural factors affecting their organization. It also provides a general overview of the environment from multifarious points before launching a new project, new product, new service, etc.

PESTLE Analysis is contemplated as the backbone of strategic management that interprets the approach of a company and defines an organization’s strategies and intertwined futuristic goals.  The theory can be applied to different industries in divergent scenarios because of its analytical flexibility. In order to conduct the PESTLE Analysis, it is utterly important to understand each letter of the “PESTLE” in depth.

PESTLE ANALYSIS Flow

— Political Factors

Political factors usually indicate the authoritative powers that a government possesses in the economy or, in case of a certain industry. Such factors consist of policies of the government, extent of political stability, foreign trade policy, fiscal policy, trade tariffs, labor law, health regulations, education system, environmental law, infrastructure, corruption, and etcetera. All these aspects need to be taken into account when evaluating the lucrativeness of a potential market.

Example: A government may levy a new tax policy or fiscal policy or trade tariffs in a new financial year which can affect the revenue generation of organizations to a large extent. Recently, the Government Of India has reduced corporate tax rates to 22% from 30%. Consequently, this move will help the top-notch companies to revive their profitability and would be a  good catalyst for luring investment from foreign investors. The announcement also arrives at a perfect time because major American organizations are involved in a trade war with China and are finding alternative global manufacturing pedestals.

— Economic Factors

Economic factors are crucial determinants and plays an important role in the performance of an economy. Such factors generally end up becoming a key decision-maker in the success or, failure of a company. A surge in the rate of inflation of any economy can affect the pricing pattern of a companies’ products and services. In addition, it also impacts the purchasing power parity of the consumers and brings about a change in the forces of demand and supply in the economy. The economic factors include inflation rates, exchange rates, interest rates, economic growth, gross domestic product, unemployment rates, economic growth and disposable income of consumers.

EXAMPLE: In  India, in the past few weeks, vegetable prices have skyrocketed and as a result, there is a rise in the rate of inflation. Consequently, due to the hike in prices, the purchasing power of people has gone down which ultimately indicates that there will be a fall in consumer demand.

— Social Factors

Social factors pin-point the social environment in relation to the industries and constitute the demographic features, customs, norms, and values of the population within the operating periphery of the organization. Social factors consider the population trends such as age distribution, cultural barriers, income distribution, the growth rate of population, lifestyle attitudes, career inclinations, and health consciousness.

All the above-mentioned aspects are very significant for marketing strategists when earmarking the customer bases. Apart from that, the factors also reveal information about the local workforce and their compliance to work under certain conditions.

EXAMPLE: In today’s era, the demand for junk foods like Pizza and Burgers has gone up extensively, especially amongst the younger generation. Thus, companies like Dominos, Pizza Hut, Burger King and KFC are churning out huge profits because of the consumers’ behavior. On the contrary, the same doesn’t hold true for the people in rural areas. This is how social factors affect companies’ revenue structure.

— Technological Factors

Technological Factors have relevance to modernization in technology which influences the performance of an industry. Such factors include a level of innovation, research, and development (R&D) activity, amount of technological awareness, technology incentives and automation. Technological Factors highly affect the decisions regarding entry/exit in an industry, launching of a new product and outsourcing production-related activities. Possessing a sound knowledge regarding technology helps companies from spending a lump sum amount of money on obtaining a technology that would become obsolete in the near future due to the innovation of newer technologies globally.

EXAMPLE: The business space is filled with cautionary sagas of large scale companies that became failures due to their inability to keep up with the dynamic technological innovation. One such prominent example is Kodak, a technology company that used to produce camera-centric products and hegemonized the photographic film market during most of the 20th century. The breakthrough in digital photography contributed to the catastrophic misfortune of their film-based business model.

— Legal Factors

Legal factors include laws such as health and safety laws, discrimination laws, safety standards, employment laws, consumer protection laws, copyright and patent laws and antitrust laws. Every company is bound to have awareness regarding the laws for the purpose of conducting ethical business. In addition, a business owner also needs to be aware of any possible alteration in legislation which may have an impact on the business in the long term. Interestingly, the set of rules and regulations varies from country to country. Analysis of legal factors figures out strategies based on the backdrop of the legislations. However, it is always advised to have an appointed lawyer or an attorney to guide through the complexities.

EXAMPLE: Nestle had to take away the packets of Maggi from the stores’ shelves after the  Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAAI) summoned Nestle because of their negligence to adhere with the laws of food safety. Regulators found lead content beyond the permissible limit in its instant noodle product.

— Environmental Factors

Environmental factors have appeared to become a pivotal character recently. They have become utterly valuable due to carbon footprint targets, scarcity of raw materials and pollution targets fixed by governments. Environmental factors include ecological facets like climate change, weather conditions, environmental offsets which highly govern tourism, agriculture, and farming industries. Especially, large-scale campaigns regarding the burning issue of climate change are leading to the change in operation and products of the companies. Therefore, practices of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability forms an integral part of the companies and is taking new shapes with each passing day.

EXAMPLE: Due to the imposition of government rules as a measure to curb global warming, regulations on fossil fuel industries have increased considerably and as a result, this move has started threatening the thriving coal, oil, and gas industries.

PESTLE Analysis Example — SONY

sony corporation

SONY is a Japanese MNC  and has abruptly metamorphosed into one of the dominant entertainment organizations in the world. Its versatile business products consist of electronics, entertainment gaming,  and financial services. The company is the owner of the largest music entertainment business around the globe and also a chief player in the film and television entertainment industry.

Political Factors

SONY is a world-class brand and has a prominent presence in several countries around the world.  The political scenario in different countries largely impacts the SONY’s success. As we know, political Stability ignites growth and political instability, on the other hand, paralyzes the rules and regulations of an economy. In Sony’s context, its supply chain is located in China. Thus, any kind of political disturbance in China will have a heavy influence on Sony’s generation of profits.

Economic Factors

SONY products fall under the category of luxury goods. Such goods are not items of necessity but are usually purchased when people want to splurge on themselves. In a nutshell, if you living paycheck to paycheck, a SONY product would not be a priority in your list of necessities. In another instance,  economic instability and the high rate of unemployment in a country will never attract buyers for the high-end SONY products. Consequently, the profits will touch a rock bottom. Therefore, it is crystal clear that a big giant like SONY extensively depends on stable and emerging economies to merchandise their entertainment products.

Social Factors

Traditions, culture, age distribution, taste, and preferences vary from nation to nation. SONY offers entertainment products beginning with movies to music which basically acts as an escape to reality. It is to be kept in mind that not every nation has the same pattern of entertainment. Therefore, it is extremely important for SONY to keep up to date regarding the buying trends of the consumers and consequently tailor the products and services fitting the requirements of the customers.

Technological Factors

SONY is a true blue technology company because every other product is correlated with the usage of technology in some way. The company’s  Video Game  Consoles are nothing but computer devices that produces video signal or,  optical image to exhibit a video game for multiple players. On the other hand, laptops help users to stay connected to social media and other websites on the world wide web. In today’s era, the availability of the internet has removed all the possible obstacles of communication and SONY has bagged this opportunity to market their products online. It has become convenient for the company to announce any new launch of products via the medium of the internet.

Legal Factors

Since SONY is an international company and sells its products across many countries, it also has to abide by the diversified legal regulations of different countries. Any failure to adhere to the legalization like labor laws to tax policies, the company might end up in serious legal trouble or lawsuits which can further affect their prosperous business.

Environmental Factors

Sony believes that their corporate pursuits will be possible when there is a practice of sustainable development and thus they are so full of conviction regarding climate change, conservation of biodiversity, renewability of resources and other valuable measures to save the environment. SONY has taken up initiatives regarding environmental activities since the 1990s.  In April’10, a new environmental plan was introduced by SONY to set up a sustainable community by accomplishing a zero carbon footprint by the year 2050.

We will now elaborate on the major pros and cons of PESTLE Analysis.

Advantages And Disadvantages of PESTLE Analysis

— Advantages of PESTLE Analysis

  1. PESTLE Analysis has a basic framework and follows a simple process for conducting an assessment.
  2. It furnishes a mechanism that allows an organization to pinpoint and cash in on golden opportunities and utilize them to reinforce a firm’s business model.
  3. It helps to diminish the impact and consequences of possible threats to an organization.
  4. It sanctions a company to examine the process of entering untapped markets both nationally and internationally.
  5. It helps to build a custom of strategic thinking for strengthening the company’s position.
  6. It is absolutely cost-effective and the cost to do any level of the assessment isn’t exposed to oscillations.

— Disadvantages of PESTLE Analysis

  1. PESTLE analysis cannot showcase the full picture because it only focuses on six factors that are external in nature. In strategic planning, one needs to go beyond these six factors which can provide internal insights as well.
  2. The Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors are very dynamic in nature. Any shift in any of these factors can change the result of PESTLE Analysis drastically.
  3. PESTLE Analysis is time-consuming in general and requires loads of data. Each of the factors needs to be thoroughly examined to come to a conclusion and thus, takes up a lot of time.

Summary

PESTLE Analysis provides a basic framework and follows a simple process for conducting an assessment. It is a hypothesis under the category of marketing principles ensuring business growth and profitability. In order to conduct the PESTLE Analysis, it is utterly important to understand each letter of the “PESTLE” in-depth i.e. Political Factors, Economic Factors, Social Factors, Technological Factors, Legal Factors & Environmental Factors.