Continue SIPs for long-term gains

Good read on SIP.

Continue SIPs for long-term gains: Exiting them in a downturn will hurt existing investments as well

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Free ! Free ! Free!

Yesterday, there was a news item about people jostling with each other for obtaining forms for cheap housing in Gujarat . ‘Ghar nu Ghar’ scheme (by current opposition  party in state ) of providing cheap housing to BPL families across the state has generated overwhelming response in the state.

Giving 'freebies' to middle / poor class has become a norm  for winning elections .Political parties are not the one to be blamed, public who have a never ending thirst for ' Free' items are the ones to be blamed.

In Tamil Nadu, it was free TV distribution to the public in the last regime. The latest ' gifts'  in TN  as a part of electoral promise include mixie, grinder and a table fan.

These are innovative ways to spend 'tax payer's ' money.


Fortunately or unfortunately , I got to witness one such free distribution in TN recently. There was a huge crowd at the distribution centre . The distribution was supposed to open at around 10 am. But I heard that the queue started around 4 am in the morning ( wow! look at the enthusiasm to get freebies).
Most of them in the queue , as I could judge could very well afford all that were distributed free and would probably have all these items in their home already( purchased by their hard earned money ,of course).
Every one was very clear that ' their right' to freebies should be honoured and there were strong verbal bouts when some one's name was not  figured out in the distribution list. Many had taken an off from their office keeping in mind the 'important' day. Families showed unity by taking turns to stand in the queue. Most of those in the queue were tuned to the latest music on their iPhone / Clon phones.
The autos were doing a good business that day by transporting the freebies home for a hefty charge.( Make hay while the sun shines).

This give me everything for ' Free! Free! Free!' hunger is definitely going to take our country  a long way in her development path!

PS:- When everyone was collecting the freebies , none was  worried about the lack of electricity (TN) for almost 10 hours a day without which the freebies would be of no use.  Long live democracy.

Also, Please don't ask me , " What were you doing there at the distribution center ??" :-)

Handwriting recognition on google

I noticed a new feature on google search while using my tablet. Google is able to recognise handwriting for search. We can write anywhere on the screen and the words are readily recognised for search. Not sure whether this feature is brand new. Try it out, on your tab now!

Mutual fund returns

I was having a quick look at the mutual fund returns ( by category of mutual funds, as on 14th aug 2012 ) over the last 3 years / 5 years.

The sensex has fared pretty bad over both the time periods i.e 3 and 5 year time line , when compared to the average returns of various fund categories.

The following are the charts for 5 year and 3 year returns from various MF categories (source valueresearchonline ). The charts show the category average,best, worst returns over the time period.

Surprisingly gold funds turn out to be the toppers in the 5 year category. Is it the time for return reversal in gold and equity? Time only would tell.

Buying gold jewellery - Does it multiply money?

I had to visit a gold store located in the busy business district of Chennai last weekend. After reading some pink paper reports about  'diminishing' interest of retail demand in gold, I expected the shop to be crowd free.

The reality was much different. I felt like, I was entering a crowded vegetable market ( The building was real big with 5 floors and some roughly some 3000/4000 sqft on each floor). As we had to got to the third floor, me and my wife  went towards the lift lobby area. There were around 50 people waiting for the lift and we  got to grab some  foot space on the lift after 15 minutes of waiting.

Third floor , our shopping destination, was crowded as well (with 80% space occupied on the floor by the fairer sex cutting across all economic classes from middle class to the uber rich ).  It took us a  few  minutes to spot the counter where we could find the range of  jewellery that we wanted.

The counter was busy with around 10 customers busily shopping for jewellery. We got the attention from the salesman after waiting for around 20 minutes. The shopping was done fairly in around 5 minutes. When the item was billed, it looked something like this

Item xx 20 gm
22 ct gold rate 2805
20 * 2805 = 56100
Wastage+ making charge + vat was around  6000 . So, the total amount of the bill was around 62,100.

As per the custom of the shop!, we showed our  proforma bill to one of  the guys roaming around the floor in white shirt. He gave us a discount of Rs 500. ( only god knows, what the basis of discount was and what happens to those folks who are ignorant of this custom!).

When we paid and packed out bags, my wife told me that 'gold' (read ' jewellery ' in between :-)) is indeed a great investment ( sarcastically pointing out to my equity portfolio). I also was reminded that the jewel we got last year @ 2640 per gram in the same shop was worth  2805 per gram! now. ( 165 per gm profit!!! yahooooo)

But when I made a back of the paper calculation to show that we have lost some money from last year's purchase and some real interest worth a few more thousand, my wife agreed . ( For those who need explanation, if we had bought 20 gms last year the bill would have been 57800 =52800 (20*2640) + 5000 ( 5000 for wastage+ making charge+vat- custom discount. The jeweller would buy back the 20 gm jewel now for 56100 only ( 2805*20). So, the real loss is    57800 - 56100 + interest lost on the original amount).

Now, coming back to the question of the post "Buying gold jewellery - Does it multiply money?" . The answer is definitely YES . It multiplies the gold jewellers money multi fold. That too when the shop is crowded like a vegetable market, no doubt about that. :-)

If you ask me whether it makes the buyer rich, I have no answers. The maximum I can say is 'It depends :-)'

Note:- The aforesaid jeweller has been  opening up branches aggressively across cities with oodles of  money made by selling gold jewellery!.

Want to be rich ?- Choose a 'Scalable' career

If you  have been wondering " Why I am not getting rich as fast I should?" or " What is left with me after slogging for hours @ business / office ?" or " What is stopping me from getting stinking rich?" ( What should I do to become a crorepathi or billionaire/millionaire) , here is probably a dimension which can answer your question at least partly.

Taleb ( NNT) in his book ' Black Swan' talks about scalable career.Taleb narrates that "one of his  fellow Wharton classmates explained to Taleb that in looking for a career, make sure that it is "scalable"".
What he meant by this is to look for a profession where you are not paid by the hour and therefore are not subject to the limitations of the amount of your labour.  This definitely is an interesting point of discussion.

Say, a doctor is paid by an hour. His physical presence and an "one on one" attention to a patient is required to earn money. This is not the case in case of an actor or an author. Their output ( movie or book) can be easily scaled up multi fold which can  make them earn money.
In other words, A scalable career or business is one that can grow at an extremely rapid pace, with roughly a base input from the people working on the business. For example, for each user a software or a web site not be recreated . Once a software ( or an app) is created , it is scalable.

Not that, if you are not in scalable business you cant get rich. It takes a long time and there is a limitation of non-scalability!

Here comes the catch

"A scalable profession is good only if you are successful; they are more competitive, produce monstrous inequalities, and are far more random with huge disparities between efforts and rewards -- a few can take a large share of the pie, leaving others out entirely at no fault of their own."

An average person can be successful in a non-scalable career. But only  few ( lucky!) can be successful in a scalable business or career.

So, if you have an option and requisite guts, choose a scalable career to become rich.

NPS fund performance and NAVs

If you are having an NPS account and want to know the latest NAV and fund value for your tier-1/2 account , you may login to the  NSDL website

If you want to compare or have a look at NAVs of the schemes run by all the fund managers ( PFM- Pension Fund Manager), then the  following link might be useful.

When you are on the webpage ,Choose  the PFM from the list of values  to see the NAVs of all the  schemes manged by the PFM.


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.

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