Passion at work

I was at a small roadside restaurant  ( Can rather be called an eatery) for my dinner yesterday. Was  looking for the hand wash. A young 20 something greeted me and guided me to the wash.

When I was back, I was guided to a good comfortable seat by the same person. Voluntarily and cheerfully , this young person helped me go through the 'Special Food' items of the day.

He cheerfully served the order and was more than attending till I left the eatery.

I was really happy as a customer. This young man should have been there at his work for at least 12 hours when I went in and he surely bowled me over by his exemplary service and enthusiasm. This attitude would definitely take anyone to places.

Started introspecting as to the amount of  passion that I show at my work place every day.No doubt , there is a scope of improvement. The benchmark for enthusiasm has definitely shot up after meeting this guy.

If one shows the same level of enthusiasm at work, any customer(internal or external to the organization) is going to return back with a smile and would definitely have a positive impact on the career ( eventually on the pay packet:-))).

So let's do ,what we have to do everyday, with a bit of more soul in it.

It's give back time.

In a society like India, where we have various starta of  economic status co-exist, Caring for those below us is very important.

Helping others ( not only through money , but other means too) makes life look more meaningful. In fact many get the feeling of emptiness in life as they dont look beyond their family.

Many HNIs are leading the way in philanthrophy and it's time for middle class India to join the  bandwagon.

Saving taxes through home loan

Are you one of those who are planning to save taxes through home loan . Do you know the answers for these.?
  •  Whether you can claim interest deduction and principal under 80c , if you have not got possession of your house?
  • Can loan taken from a friend or family be used for claiming deduction?
To find answers to these and a bit more , see this interesting article

Need to think afresh

Most of the time , we behave in a particular pattern ( the way we have groomed our mind to perform. At times ,it is definitely necessary that we come out of  the same and think afresh.
We might have heard this story earlier, but  a refresh would definitely help.

Tough road ahead for the two great global brands

Microsoft was almost  the undisputed software giant a decade ago . But smaller and newer companies like google, facebook and long time rivals like apple have been keeping it on the edge ( on internet, cloud computing, newer technologies,etc). With personal computing and networking slowly moving the mobile way , Microsoft is under need to reinvent itself very badly.

Nokia has been the leader in mobile handset market and symbian is still the leading OS of handsets. With competition from apple ( Mac in iphone, ipad) and android, Nokia feels the heat of it's slowly declining dominance in mobile handset market and need to be in top league of smart phone  vendors. Now, they have taken the call to almost abandon symbian and go along with Microsoft for software.

.Nokia ignoring android and moving towards Microsoft platform is  definitely a decision that has turned the world. It would be interesting to see how this marriage of the two big global brands augur for them.

As of now apple and google seem to be in a very dominant position. Unless Microsoft and Nokia come up with some innovative product combo, doom days for them in smart phone market is not long away.

Let's wait and watch!

Use "Cash" to curtail your expenses.

If you are an avid card user ( credit card or debit card) and wondering how to curtail your expenses , there is one simple way. Start spending in cash.

Keep your credit /debit card at home and always start spending by withdrawing cash. Try to avoid online payments/shopping too and  pay out your bills in cash.

This will definitely be less convenient than using a card but may end up reducing your expenses.

You will feel the real impact of spend when you are using cash for a payment. When you swipe a card, whether it is Rs 150 or 15000. it's just a single swipe. So, you don't feel the pinch of the spend . When the spend happens through cash, you my actually end up spending less cash as you SEE and FEEL the quantum of cash outgo.

By not using a credit card, you may curtail most of your impulsive purchases and will start planning & budgeting .( to withdraw and carry appropriate cash for payments/purchases).

You will also stop using future income for current needs when you stop using credit cards.

Try this out and curtail your expenses.

We are not selling you the flat , if you.....!

Tale 1-

My friend has been scouting around for a flat in Chennai.  Some of the statements that he got to hear from a few builders..

" We are not selling you the flat, if you are going to take a home loan from SBI"

My friend was keen on getting a loan only from SBI or HDFC as he believes they have  a stricter verification process in terms of the property titles.

One another told " We have'nt registered the UDS yet and that bank doesn't sanction the loan , if this is not done. So, you have to compulsorily opt for loan from XXX bank".

Lesson to be learnt ~ Do not deposit your money in banks that you feel are risky and have a less stringent loan verification process :-)

Tale 2-

The tale of another friend has been different yet. He has been asked by builder to pay 4.5 lakhs extra before the possession for " interest charges" for delayed release of payments from the bank. He was wondering what to do. Later after negotiation he settled for a "cash" payment of 1.5 lakhs to the builder after which registration was done.

Lesson to be learnt ~ There is nothing called transparency in real estate transactions, even while dealing with reputed builders. Be on the caution till you get away completely from them.

Ignorance is not bliss!

Normally I don't attend sales calls. But decided to attend a call when I was called by an insurance company.

Caller1: Sir, I am calling from XX company. We have a plan for you. Pay x for 3 years , no payment on 4th year, 5th year you would receive  6x ( roughly double of what one pays over 3 years).

Me: What is the rate of return?.

Caller1: I am not aware . Team lead will tell you.

Me: Is it an ULIP?.

Caller1: No it is not market linked and it is an endowment plan.So, returns are assured.

SBI bond issue 2011 and TDS confusion

SBI has come up with a bond issue again. The previous edition was a super duper hit and now the bonds come with more attractive interest rates for 10 year and 15 year periods.

These bonds would be available for trading and would be available in demat form only.

However there is some serious confusion about TDS for the bond issue(  tax deduction at source).

The prospectus says there would be TDS on interest beyond Rs 2500 pa  in one place and talks of TDS above interest of Rs 10000 pa in another ( prospectus on NSE site).

The application form says there will be no TDS as the bonds would be listed and for bonds held in demat form. The confusing part is the bond can be applied only if one has a demat account. :-)

Note :- TDS was not applicable in the previous edition.

SBI and regulators reviewing the prospectus should be more careful when coming up with the prospectus.

Brand , price and value

Was at a well known "branded" ice cream parlour yesterday. When I was trying to cherish my favorite ice cream scoop, I found that the taste or the flavor was not so good.

With little thought I could understand the reason behind this.

NPS performance

If you have been wondering about the performance of the six fund managers in NPS, you may find the following link useful.
The Equity funds seems not be be aggressively managed. if you had a higher equity allocation( 50%) your return might be lesser than a conservative investor in a period where equities have done fairly well.

Anyhow, it's too early to judge the performance with this sample.

One thing missing in the article is that there is no specific mention of tier-1 or tier-2 funds when discussing fund performance.

Here goes the link.

Taking care of your retired life!

Not long ago ( may be until a decade ago), a government job was considered a coveted one.  Now those jobs are not seen as the 'in' thing. Remuneration in government jobs have also gone up significantly and still there are thousands who chase them. But the 'charm' has definitely waded a lot.

The reason that these jobs had a good social standing because of the 1. Work life balance offered 2. Decent remuneration ( Private sector salaries were not sky high those days) 3. Job security and not to forget 4. Pension.

When will the real estate prices fall?

Real estate prices have skyrocketed and have almost have moved near astronomical heights in India. The last 7-8 years has seen the prices manifold. While a section has been waiting for this to fall, no significant correction has happened. 2008-2009 saw a period of lull during global recession, but no impact was actually felt in India. Let's try and look at the facts that have enabled soaring of prices.

Simple Indian Food - Feel @home ( Best veg food blog )

" A Ship is safe when it is in Harbour, but the ship was not built for that"


These are just opinions/ ideas exchanged. No one can claim us responsible for any investment failures /losses based on the ideas expressed here.

Feel free to mail your queries/ comments to