Even as I write this, India’s job market is going through one of the worst crises ever. Two of the largest sectors – finance and IT which employ the majority of India’s workforce are experiencing a major slowdown. A leading IT company was in the news recently for laying off as many as 1000 employees in the tech capital of Bangalore without any notice.
When would be the right time to retire? This thought would have crossed our minds several times. Two or three decades back, if you posed this question to someone, the answer would have been an easy and obvious one- finish education, join an organization, have a stable career with hardly any job changes during the working years, and retire at the stipulated 58 or 60 years of age with all accumulated terminal benefits- PF, gratuity and pension and lead a simple retired life with this corpus. But today, given the job uncertainty and frequent job switches, increased cost of living and lifestyle problems and stress, when to retire has become a difficult decision to make.
This term “micro SIP” came in to existence in 2009, when SEBI relaxed the PAN card requirement norms for investments in SIPs or Systematic Investment Plans where the total aggregate investment made by an investor in SIPs ( incl. multiple SIPs ) in any financial year does not exceed Rs 50,000/-. For such small investors, a valid photo identity submitted along with the application would suffice.
We live in turbulent times – a volatile political and economic and environment, investment related scams and scandals, natural calamities and catastrophes and increased stress, lifestyle and personal issues. In such a scenario where everything is uncertain and unpredictable, the importance of protecting your assets cannot be over emphasized.
I still remember the first class of my MBA finance course. Stressing on the importance of our chosen stream of specialization, our professor had said “One who studies finance need not know about HR, IT or marketing, but even those who study or will make a career in the above mentioned areas will still have to be financially literate to be able to manage their finances efficiently.
Having understood the benefits of global diversification (see prev. post – Why should you diversify your portfolio globally?), here is a list of the various options available for investors.
We all are aware of the benefits of diversification and all of us try and maximize the returns and reduce the risk by maintaining a good mix of stocks, mutual funds, gold, real estate, fixed income and getting it managed professionally.
Talking of global investments, one might argue or question whether it is really required. We are a developing economy, growing at a fast pace. And when there are so many areas to invest across diverse sectors in our country, why look at investing outside your own country just to diversify a bit more? After all, understanding the global markets, evaluating the investment options, the regulatory laws with respect to investments, keeping in mind the currency fluctuations and the tax laws-it is not easy.