Category Archives: Comments n Critics

Making your crores

You are well paid, well off, have a good lifestyle. But can you afford to stop working? If your answer is ‘No’, then you are just financially stable – as long as you get your monthly cheque – but far from being financially independent. You’re also not alone – a large number of people retire without being financially independent.

Financial independence is a state where you are free from all liabilities and have created sufficient wealth that can generate a constant stream of income that allows you to maintain your lifestyle without having to work them. Getting there requires meticulous planning and disciplined investment.

It also means revisiting your portfolio and investment strategy to ensure that your plan is not getting derailed by external factors like market forces and interest rate variables. Swatantra Kumar, 33, who works with a multinational firm in New Delhi, is a perfect example of a man moving towards attaining financial independence. Married to Shelly who also works, Kumar feels that he would need Rs 75 lakh for his three-year-old son, Lakshit’s higher education, marriage and their own retirement. Swatantra invests Rs 24,000 per month in a disciplined manner in mutual funds, Public Provident Fund and National Savings Certificate to meet these goals.

To be financially independent you need just six simple steps – finding out how much money you have today, knowing how much you need for tomorrow, getting adequate life cover (through a pure term plan only, do not buy any other insurance product), investing the surplus as per your risk taking ability, and writing a Will.

Home buying tops the priority list of all individuals and also is one of the most important asset that one builds. Also, with the availability of loan, which offers tax benefits, it becomes more beneficial.

While experts advise not to take loan for a depreciating asset, they say that individuals should careful while taking a home loan and not over-leverage in a bid to build the asset.

“One should not stretch to buy the house, buy only when the income is sufficient to support the purchase and keep headroom to meet increase in EMI (equated monthly installment),” said Amar Pandit, a Mumbai-based financial planner. The EMI should be such that it offers room for saving. “Ensure that you save 10-30 per cent of your income after you have paid your EMIs as it will act as a cushion in rainy days and you will be able to pay the EMI from the corpus built,” said Lovaii Navlakhi, managing director of the Bengaluru-based financial planning firm International Money Matters.

Once basic needs are covered, it is time to plan for wealth creation. Simple projections show that you do not need millions to make millions. All you need to do is begin investing – and begin early. An investment of Rs 5,000 per month started at age 25 can become Rs 1.6 crore by the age of 50 if invested in an instrument that returns an annual rate of 15 per cent.

“While equity and debt investment will differ individually, as a thumb rule one can allocate 100 minus your age in equity and the rest in debt,” said Surya Bhatia, principal consultant at the Delhi-based financial planning firm, Asset Managers. “Gold can also form a part and one can invest 5-10 per cent in it.”

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Identify and deal with backstabbers at work

Backstabbing at workplace certainly devastates individuals, especially when a person doesn’t know ho to deal with it. Now, career guru Kepcher has offered some advice on how to identify and cope with backstabbers at workplace.

Credit Stealer
Seemingly helpful team player who will enthusiastically support your suggestions and work to make the project a big success – particularly because she intends to take credit.
This will include magnifying her own role, using personal pronouns such as ‘I’ and ‘me’ as substitutes for “we” whenever possible.
The Chameleon
He, too, will appear to be a helpful team player, offering encouragement and support in private.
However, the chameleon will launch into his command performance whenever bosses are present and criticize ideas he supported some time back, including subtly accusing his peers of failing to notice the problems.
His every move is an effort to make himself look good – by making others look bad.
Backstabber In Chief
Occasionally, the Backstabber will also be the boss. Sigourney Weaver nailed this role in the movie “Working Girl.”
The most encouraging boss imaginable will steal the assistant’s potentially career-making idea.
How to handle all kinds of backstabbers at your office, by Kepcher, reports the New York Daily News:
Stay calm. Do not let them make you emotional and defensive.
Don’t wander through the jungle alone. Beware of private conversations that can be misquoted later. Use e-mail and group meetings to document your contributions.
Be polite, but persistent. Learn to say no.
Use direct phrases such as, “I’m perplexed you have so many negative comments about our idea since you were so supportive when we spoke privately yesterday. Is there a reason you didn’t bring up your concerns until now?”
By being direct and careful, you can help push the Backstabber species in your workplace to extinction as quickly as possible.

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