One of the common strategies used by insurance agents while trying to sell a unit linked insurance plan(ULIP) is to draw a comparison between the ULIP and mutual funds and show that the ULIP would provide superior returns to mutual funds over the long term and plus an insurance cover.
Comparing a ULIP with a mutual fund would be like comparing apples and oranges as they have different investment objectives, product features, investment structure, expense structures and fund management methods.
In addition to choosing the suitable mutual fund scheme for oneself, it is also important to choose the right plan. A mutual fund offers the investors various plans which differ on the basis of how the investment is structured, profit is distributed/invested and have different tax implications. Continue reading →
Out of all the heads under which income is chargeable to tax, income from house property is the most difficult to calculate. This is because this is a tax which is paid on notional income, i.e the annual value of the house which is its capacity to earn income and not on the actual income earned.
If you own only one self occupied house, it is not chargeable to tax.
If you have more than one property, you have an option of choosing one of them as self occupied whose annual value will be taken as NIL. The other property, even if it is not rented out and earning you an income would be deemed to have been rented out and tax is payable on the annual value based on this deemed rental income. This annual value is calculated as per the provisions of section 23 of Income Tax Act. Let us see how this is done step by step. Continue reading →
Most of the personal finance investment discussions are centered around what is the right time to enter the mutual fund and choosing the right type of fund for you (Pl see earlier article “Mutual fund is not a one size fits all product”). Once the investment is done, there is seldom any talk of when to exit from the fund. If the investment is doing well, we are reluctant to exit in anticipation of a further rise and if it falls below the principal value, we do not want to book a loss and hence we keep waiting for a recovery.
Just like it is important not to churn your investment very often to avoid lower yields, high charges and tax liabilities, it is also important not to hold on to investments for too long.
You should think of exiting from a mutual fund when –
- The target is reached – Once the fund has made the target profit set by you while investing, it is time to move out of it.
- The fund isn’t performing as per expectations – If the fund is not performing well relative to others in the same category.
- Change in your personal risk profile – Different stages in a person’s life (just started working, married with children, retired etc.), or changes in his financial profile alters his basic risk profile. Accordingly necessary changes should be made in his mutual fund portfolio.
- Change in the basic attribute of the fund – Often AMCs merge Mutual Funds, change the structure or investment style which could impact the fund performance and your investment objective may not be met.
- Some negative news of the fund house – If your mutual fund house is in news for wrong reasons like fraud, not adhering to investment norms etc, it is time to say goodbye.
- Emergence of new and better investment opportunities – The market for financial products is constantly changing with new financial products being launched regularly. A new alternate investment avenue with superior features or lower expenses could be a reason for switching the fund.
If you are from a non-finance background or do not have a good understanding of the financial markets, please consult your financial advisor before makes any such changes.