Category Archives: Personal Finance

Deepavali 2018 and SIP for My Retirement

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Deepavali is a special day for most of us. During my childhood days, Deepavali used be my favourite day in the entire year, more precious than my birthday, last day of school closing for annual leave or other festival days. Its not the new clothes, savouries, sweets, meet and greet family and friends that made the difference but the Crackers! Things have changed a lot in the past 2 decades, when the interest level for crackers has waned significantly, even among small children. Ironically, the courts decide when the crackers are to be burst, day, date and time and mostly, the entire family gets glued to the idiot box!

Retirement

Dhanteras is celebrated all over India on the 5th Nov, today and marks the beginning of Deepavali Celebrations! People pay respect to Lord Kubera and Goddess Lakshmi during this time. There is a long-standing custom of buying gold during Dhanteras. It is believed that a symbolic buying of gold, silver, jewellery, vehicles, property will act as a protection against ill will and bring good luck to every family member

“Goal based” investment has been gaining traction over a period of time. Among goals including buying a new house, medical corpus, world tour, kids’ higher education, retirement planning and creating a corpus for a trouble free (atleast w.r.t. to money) Golden age period is extremely critical. Various research studies show that Indians, relatively, attribute less importance to this when compared to people in other nations

We, typically give importance to our current needs like house, overseas vacations, kids education, marriage and tend to start thinking about retirement only in late forties or early fifties. In the current competitive world where disruption is the order of the day, unless we start thinking about retirement (I am referring to the cash flow part and not sitting in an easy chair and reading a newspaper free of work pressure!), early in our life, its not going to be a smooth ride. Unlike the government and public sector jobs, people working in private sector, professionals, business face the threat of stable jobs till 58 or 60 years. Retired people struggling with penury is becoming common now and more so since we have very little support from the government.

During this week from today to Friday, we are having a awareness drive to invest for retirement by initiating a SIP in Mutual Funds to emphasise the importance of Retirement goal and also use the auspicious period of Deepavali to protect us during the Retirement phase. I am anticipating every investor to contribute a new SIP this week (we have 8 already created even before publishing this note as and when I interacted with a few investors today) with the theme of “SIP for My Retirement”  

SIPs can be as low as 1000/- per month and I want to use the opportunity for everyone to participate. Whether its 1000/- or a 1 lakh SIP does not matter but inculcating the practice to start building the retirement corpus is. While a SIP of 1000/- rupees or 1 Lakh may not be sufficient for retirement depending on our lifestyle, needs among others and requires a separate retirement planning session to figure out the corpus, we can be sure that everyone of us have started thinking about retirement.

I am not initiating a business drive with this and the intent is to have maximum number of people to participate rather than the business volume. I will be publishing the number of Individuals who participated in this initiative, not names or volume, next week. The statistics will be interesting to see how many can be nudged to start thinking and investing using this opportunity. Please don’t worry about the size of instalment and the key is to participate for the cause of “My Retirement” Read it as your retirement (and not mine by creating new business 😊). Its probably a little late in the day but I was reading an article today morning which dwelled into challenges faced by retirees and took the cue from that.

Request you to send in a mail or message indicating the amount per month and we will work on setting up the plan with goal marked as “My Retirement”

<Blog # PenguWIN 1063 – Deepavali and SIP for My Retirement>

Carnage in Mid & SmallCap Stocks pulls down MF Returns

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Greetings from PenguWIN:

                                        Over the past few weeks, I received questions from half a dozen investors on the performance of the Equity funds and wanted to know whether their portfolio needs to be rejigged. My answer is “please hold” as it’s a phenomenon across different categories of funds, pronounced in Small and MidCap funds. The Sensex and Nifty are at all-time high with returns of 2.57% and 4.87% over the past 6 months while the mid and small caps have been battered with negative returns of (11.42%) and (16.46%). Over 50% of Mid and Small Cap stocks listed in NSE have lost more than 25% of their value.

            I am outlining some of the key reasons that has resulted in this poor performance.

  • Huge valuation of Mid and Small Cap stocks. Typically, in the past Mid and Small Cap stocks have traded at a discount to LargeCap. However, in the recent run till 2017 end, Mid and Small Cap stocks were trading at more than 200% of Price to Earnings of LargeCap (Nifty and Sensex)

 

  • SEBIs mandate on Categorization and Rationalization of MF Schemes in Oct 2017. Mutual Funds did not have clear definition of boundaries of Large, Mid and Small Caps and each fund house had its own definition. There were also multiple schemes of the same category, like 3 LargeCap funds in the same fund house. As a result of the SEBI mandate, fund houses have to merge/modify existing funds and also clean up the stocks that a scheme owns. Many funds, even Large Cap had sizeable allocation to Mid and SmallCap stocks forcing them to sell to adhere to SEBIs definition. When all fund houses tried to reduce their Mid and Small Cap stocks at the same time, there were not enough buyers resulting in steep valuation drop. Thus, MFs pressure to sell Mid and SmallCap stocks was a key driver

 

  • Surveillance Measures. Mid and SmallCap stocks are happy playgrounds for speculators and valuations go sky high without any change to the company fundamentals. SEBI in coordination with the BSE and NSE stock exchanges had been subjecting speculative stocks to surveillance measures since 2017. This covers both the changes not attributed to the fundamentals of stocks and also high volatility. Some of the highly traded stocks came under the scanner resulting in steep falls in price.

 

  • Governance Risks. Governance issues have surfaced among Mid and SmallCap companies where Auditors like Deloitte and PwC quit just before the results announcement citing inadequate disclosure. Auditors of over 30 listed companies have quit in 2018, till date, wherever they doubted the veracity of numbers. Both individual as well as institutional investors were caught unaware resulting in a selling spree bringing down the valuations to more than 50% in many stocks

 

Conclusion: While the Mid and Small Cap stocks correction might continue further, investors with higher risk appetite, investing systematically, will be rewarded handsomely. Just make sure that your asset allocation commensurate with your Risk Appetite and Risk Tolerance.

I believe the returns on investment in the poor are just as exciting as successes achieved in the business arena, and they are even more meaningful! - Bill Gates

<Blog # PenguWIN 1061 – Carnage in Mid & SmallCap Stocks pulls down MF Returns>

PenguWIN is 4 Years Old !

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Greetings from PenguWIN:

                                             Today, the 4th July 2018, we have successfully completed 4 years of operation and entering the 5th year.

Customers are key to any business and I love this quote by Sam Walton of Wal-Mart; “There is only one boss – the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”  With a small tweak, “Spending to Investing” it is very much applicable to us.

There are ups and downs in any business and will continue to be there, but the support received from our Investors, Friends and Well-wishers keeps us motivated and do better. One of the key reasons why I chose this profession is the change and investment discipline that we will be able to inculcate on individuals and families, as it is directly related to their personal finance and financial goals. I am happy that we have been able to start making that impact and hope that it continues to grow. The feeling that a customer is able to accumulate his medical corpus (achieve one of his financial goals) and we playing a small role in that, gives immense satisfaction. This is why many financial advisors have titled themselves as “Finance Doctors”

On the positive side, our customer loyalty is extremely high and I try to make sure that we do our best to service them. Referrals is one of the best marketing tools and in financial services business it’s the key that helps build your client base. Some of our clients go out of the way to talk to their acquaintances about their good experience, encourage them to connect with us and even follow up with us and check if those people have reached out.   

Expanding our scope of services has always been on my agenda and a few customers have also suggested this. On this front, I am happy to convey that we have added 3 new services.

  1. Partner with ICICI Life with specific focus on Term Insurance (Pure Risk Cover) and critical illness as they act as a hedge to protect our family in case of a contingency
  2. Partner with Monexo on Peer to Peer (P2P) lending. Monexo is an RBI registered, Peer to Peer lending platform. P2P lending is an emerging trend that is changing how investing and borrowing works. This needs a separate writeup, which I will share later.
  3. Partner with NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure and Warmond Trustees and Executors to offer Will preparation services. This is one area that I have been keen on and finally made some progress.

 

I firmly believe that just becoming a partner doesn’t mean anything and I would be following my “skin in the game approach” in these new services too. I have already bought a term cover from ICICI Life and started lending using the Monexo Platform. However, my Will writing is Work in Progress.

I have always wanted to be recognized as a trusted partner in the personal finance space, maintaining high levels of business ethics and not service people with pure financial interest, that is rampant in this business. I think we still have a lot of scope to expand our business and service clients in new areas and also increase the customer base. I hope your patronage towards PenguWIN increases during the years to come.  

"Investing is not supposed to be easy, and anybody who finds it easy is stupid.”  Charlie Munger 

<Blog # PenguWIN 1060 – PenguWIN is 4 Years Old ! >