Category Archives: General

Retirement Planning – 2019

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Retirement Planning

My Learnings from Stock Market

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Greetings from PenguWIN,

I am sure every investor, especially those who have been investing for more than 3 years, would have their equity returns at all-time high. The compounded annual growth rate, CAGR, has risen to enviable levels, something which I haven’t seen in the past 18 years, since I have been investing.

From a long term perspective we can expect this number to be 11-14% which is Inflation plus our GDP(India’s Gross Domestic Product or aggregate value of goods and services at market price).

I wanted to share a few observations in this scenario:

  • Don’t get anchored on the fancy numbers that you see in your portfolio now and the reality in the long run, atleast the next decade would be 11-14%. No other asset class can come even closer to this, unless you are counting on black money


  • Interest rates are expected to be low. So, you can bid adieu fixed income returns, including Bank FD, Post Office NSC, PPF of more than 8% (8% itself is a little high). Post taxes and inflation this would be negative or close to zero. So, it would be difficult to almost impossible for investors, not to take any equity exposure. In the past there were planners who advised investors to move totally out of equity once they retire and survive with Bank FDs, Post Office MIS, SCSS, Annuities and so on. Those days are gone and unless you build a huge net-worth or corpus or would be receiving inflation adjusted pension from Government, chances are you will not have a peaceful retirement, without exposure to equity 


  • Financial Assets are relatively safe and have high liquidity. You don’t need to run behind your tenants, usurpers, courts or wait for years to monetize your assets. The trend that I see over the past few years is that the youngsters or many in my generation don’t have a liking for Real Estate as an asset class. Women in the same age group are not excited about huge amount of Jewelry or Silk sarees. Sleek and simple is the order of the day. If you leave an asset like golden belt (not sure what it’s called) that is worn by ladies around the hips with silk sarees, the chances are it will never come out of the locker or going to get traded for something of better use.


  • A few of our investors could not take the volatility that the equity markets provide. I normally say that equity investments are for over 5 years’ time horizon and blended or hybrid products can be looked at for 3 years. They listen to it, feel convinced and start the journey. However they keep losing patience whenever there are dips and need to be reinforced.  Nothing comes free and you need to be prepared for the roller coaster ride. 2 of our customers missed the current run, big time, though one has already started again in the last quarter. I wish I could have counselled them better and asked them to hold. The opportunity loss for them was huge. I had a similar situation in 2008-9 crisis when my wealth erosion was significantly high. But, I persisted and stayed quietly. No mentors or anyone to look up to during that period and it was DIY. I have never been let down since then and comfortably rode the numerous falls since then.


  • I keep reading that there are lot of youngsters who take inputs from various sites, applications and there are plenty out there. I have seen atleast 12 people giving market tips, teach stock market basis, defend a few stocks or say they are the next Infosys or HUL or Amazon or Google. Where is DSQ, Pentafour, Satyam, BaaN, Microland now? Where is Anil DAG now, who was given equal or close to (MDAG) that in 2007, the worst corporate story that I have come across in the entire world. How many people know that for a Flipkart or Zomato or Oyo there were dozens of companies that never saw the limelight. Without understanding our markets, people have started chasing Amazon, Google, Facebook FAANG and what not with websites enabling to buy international stocks


           Euphoria of New Fund Offers – 

                                                                                                          …..To be continued

Corona Pandemic – Life and Health Insurance

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Greetings from PenguWIN,

                                            The corona pandemic has impacted lives of everyone of us. It has made us sit back and seriously think about the welfare of our dependents. Forget creating wealth for them, their livelihood will be affected if proper planning is not done, especially young families where the spouses have (or one of them) a comfortable salary and their family would be dependent on this. Lives of young people were taken away. The official count itself is 4 Lakhs and this number is always disputed (expected to be higher)

Providing a safety net to our beloved ones is not a humongous task and can be done with 3 simple tools:

Life – pays a lump-sum or periodic payments to dependents on death of the insured,

Heath – when you or your family members are sick and hospitalised which happened to many during the pandemic and

Critical illness – when you get diagnosed with serious ailments that require huge expenses like Cancer, Chronic Liver or Kidney or Lung diseases, Coma, Parkinson.

Most of you might already have some or all of these through the companies that you are employed (group insurance). Professionals and small and micro entrepreneurs who are not formally employed and on their own will have to ensure that they have these in place.

People who already have all the three, life, health and critical need to review their adequacy of coverage. Without going into the calculation of coverage, a life insurance cover for a young family of  30 years old bread winner who makes a lakh per month, spouse who is a home maker and small kids, 50 lakhs cover will be too less, if the children need to be provided for studies upto a bachelor’s degree.

Similarly, a middle management employee who has been provided 5 lakhs of floater health cover by their company would have struggled if any of their family members would have been hospitalized for over a week due to Corona as the bill would run to a lakh of rupees per day in a Grade A hospital.

In health insurance you have an option of taking a super top-up, where the basic coverage will be done by your main insurer and anything over and above will be taken up by the top-up provider. Say, your Corona bill had run to 8 lakhs and your company health insurance has a limit of 5L, the first 5 lakhs of the bill would be taken by the company provided insurer and the additional 3 L will be taken up by the top-up provider. If the claim was only 5L or less then there is no claim for the top-up insurer and hence this policy works out cheaper than a overall base policy of say, 8 Lakhs.

Please make sure that elderly people (50+) buy a cover at the earliest as the insurance premium goes up with the age (and risk premium is higher with age) and in case of lifestyle diseases like BP, Diabetes, Heart problem, some insurers can even refuse providing insurance cover.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.