Making Your Kids Financially Literate!

Arrival of a kid may be the most wonderful and joyful moment in any parent’s life. Along with joy this brings additional responsibility. Making your kid financial savvy forms an important part of modern day parenting.

Just as for any multi-storied building it is important to have strong base, it is important for your kid to gain knowledge about finance and investment right from his/her childhood days to be financially mature & informed. Right from automobile to electronics to real estate to FMCG companies, all are targeting this segment as children play very important role in buying decision of their parents. Just as it is important to inculcate good values and virtues, it is equally important to focus on financial literacy for your kids. Making them understand about money matters and finance can help them build strong investment base right from early stage of their life, allowing them to reap benefits later.

Different kids at different age groups need to trained in different way. Let us try to understand how money or finance related matters can be explained to kids in different age group.

Kids in 3 to 5 Year Age Group:
Make them understand about basics of money. Very first thing which they need to understand is what is money and importance of money. Why money is needed to buy everything.

Kids in 6 to 10 Year Age Group:
Kids start going to school and start interacting with outside world. They get more involved with their friends at school. There are few very important lessons to be teach at this stage. Like making the kid understand difference between need and want, importance of savings, basic skills of negotiations etc.

Here you can prepare a chart and put all essential items like food and grocery purchase, milk, house rent, electricity, clothes, fuel, school fees etc in essential item circle called ‘Need’ section of the chart and other items like eating out, going to movie, buying toys etc in non essential item circle called ‘Want’.

Create 3 jars or boxes: 
One for income, one for spending and last one for saving. Ask the kid to move money from income jar to spending jar whenever he wants to spend and transfer balance to saving jar.

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Ask the kid to put whatever he/she earns on birthday celebrations, festivals like Pongal and Diwali or through gifts in income jar. After spending on his/her books, stationary or any other miscellaneous items inculcate habit of transferring balance to saving jar. This will allow the kid to understand that we need to spend within our limits of income and positive balance should be left in income jar in an order to save.

Very important to make your kid understand about usage of ATM card. Importance of keeping the card and PIN safe and secured. Make him/her understand that ATM card is only one mode of withdrawing your own money from bank account. ATM machine is not giving you free money. Also open a savings bank account in kids name. There are many banks now a days which are offering junior account with basic banking facility like cheque book or ATM card.

Kid in 11 – 14 Year Age Group:
After making your kid financially aware about basic things related to money and concept of saving, now is the time to take things one level higher. At this age you can start discussing little more complicated but very important things with your kid.

You can start discussing with your kids about concepts of compounding. Importance of early start of investing in life to take maximum advantage of compounding.

Inflation:
Just as knowledge of compounding is important, knowledge of inflation is unavoidable. How inflation eats into the value of money and how it affects both investment as well as day to day life. Make the kid understand about why it is important for any investment to beat inflation to grow your money.

Usage of Credit Card:
Kids at this age are more exposed to internet and online world. Discuss about concepts of credit card, online payment and internet banking. Credit card is only mean to make transactions conveniently. Make your kid understand about not spending through credit card on something which you can not pay in cash later. One falls in debt trap if he/she spends beyond ones paying capacity. Discuss about high penalty and interest rates charged by credit card companies on late payment and how one’s credit score gets negatively affected.

Also discuss danger of providing personal data online and not sharing confidential information like passwords and fraud e mails in name of lottery winning, free holiday trips etc. Not to respond to these type of mails by providing account number / ATM Card, Credit Card number or PIN.

Kids in 15 – 18 Year Age Group:
This is the time when kids start preparing for their higher studies. Once the kid decides on type of course to pursue, you can ask the kid to calculate total cost involved for the course across different colleges which includes not only college fees but also study material cost, tuition fees, hostel expense if college is in different city as well as commutation cost. Kids can calculate the entire cost of the course across various colleges, compare and decide on his/her own. Also discuss about concept of education loan and pros and cons of taking education loan.

Adult Kids 18+ :
These are grown up kids either still studying or about to join work force in few years time. There are two very important lessons at this stage :

  • Importance of Insurance
  • Importance of Taxes

Explain concept of different kind of insurance like life insurance (term plan), health insurance, motor vehicle insurance etc. The best way to make the kid understand the concept is to take a term plan and medical insurance in kids name, involve him/her at every stage right from comparing different plans to premium payment to understanding policy document. Put responsibility of paying premium on your kid if he/she has already started earning.

Also importance of taxes while making any financial decision. Simple concept from filing income tax return, the importance of filing return and impact of taxes on investment return.

Educating your kid on financial matters is an ongoing process. Unfortunately our education system does not focus on practical aspect of finance world at primary or higher education level. The onus is on parents to educate their kids about financial matters so that they enter the professional world fully prepared.

Source: NJ Wealth

I want to be WEALTHY!

Need for more wealth is never ending. We want to be wealthy, free from stress, free from monthly rents, mortgages and wish to pursue our passion. But the irony is, only a few from the lot are able to achieve financial freedom. It’s not that we don’t work hard, we all do, but something is wrong somewhere and we don’t really handle it well. Why can’t we be wealthy in spite of the struggles that we go through each day even after years? We often wonder what is it that the wealthy do and we are not doing?

For becoming wealthy, you have to earn, save, invest, and thus multiply what you earn. We all know this, however there are some personality traits which are becoming boulders in our way to success. Today we will talk about some of these traits…

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ProcrastinationWe fail because we do not start on time, we keep on waiting for the right time, not realizing that if we do not start, the probability of winning is zero. Most of us are in the ‘planning to invest’ stage since ages, but this planning never ends, and we seldom move on to the next stage of ‘executing’. We know that we have to invest to save tax, to meet our future goals, to build wealth, but there is something stopping us to actualize it. ‘“I’ll start a SIP this year”, and I say this each year’, is the problem.

Band WagonMy neighbor is rich, I’ll do what he is doing; This is a common problem – each one is different in terms of their life stages, their goals, income-expense patterns, passion, expectations out of money, etc. So just mimicking a friend will lead us no where.

Lack of well framed goalsWe want to achieve a lot, but if someone asks us what do you want to do in life, or how do you see yourself ten years down the line. Most of us would have vague answers, since our goals are not clear. We don’t know what we want to achieve and what we are working for. And no matter how much we struggle, working without a mission is like a ship without a helm. You’ll never reach the shore if you don’t have a direction in life. You should have well framed goals and the time horizon to achieve them, before investing for those goals.

IndecisiveAnother major pit on our path to success is our inability to take decisions and to abide by them. At first, we are not able to decide whether to invest or not, then when to invest, and finally where to invest. And if at all we invest, we easily lose conviction in our decision and keep on changing our investment pattern, we sell what we have and buy something which our friend suggested. The cycle repeats in many forms and we end up wasting the time and efforts involved in making each investment. Result, we don’t end up anywhere.

Personal lifeNot having a happy married or family life, can be one of the biggest contributors to misery. It destroys your goals, your self confidence, your plans and your inner peace. In order to be wealthy, you have to start from your home and you have to maintain harmony and understanding in your relationships and invest time, care, love and concern in people around you.

Lack of patienceWe all want to make money and make it quick. Unfortunately, financial success is all about patience and time. Once you invest, you have to be patient and see it rise and fall, until it reaches a point where it serves your purpose. Often a fall in the investment pulls the rug from under our feet, and this state of panic leads to wrong investment decisions. We have to control our emotions when the times are bad and wait till the clouds roll by.

Some people just don’t want to take riskSome people are adventurous, and invest in high risk high return products, and at times lose the principal as well. And there are some, who do not want to risk their money at all, even if their age and financial position allows them to take some risk, they won’t. And both extremes, do not make money. Risk and reward go hand in hand, you have to take risk, to build your wealth, but it should be calculated on the basis of financial backgrounds, goals and risk appetite.

Standard of livingWe tend to imbibe the standard of living of our acquaintances. We buy things which we do not require and we cannot afford, in order to maintain a lifestyle and social status. A Levi’s jeans is equally good as a Diesel jeans and both serve the purpose, the reason spend Rs 16,000 on a Diesel jeans in the snob appeal it presents. If we cut down the expenses which are not necessary or stop paying a premium, not for quality but for brand value, we’ll be able to save a lot. And these accumulated savings, if invested wisely, will add to our better future.

The investors who are willing to overcome these personality traits will move towards their goal of becoming wealthy sooner than those who don’t.

Source: NJ Wealth

LTCG Tax On Equity: Demystifying Investors’ Concerns

Since the announcement of LTCG tax on Equity, the markets have not quite settled, and so are the investors. There are so many questions now – “Do I have to pay a tax on my Investment now?” “I thought I’ll get tax free Returns?” “Should I sell my investment, so that I don’t have to pay any tax?”, and the like. The minds are blocked by perceptions because every newspaper and TV channel has a different story to narrate, which is also the primary factor behind the hype.

What’s the New Law?

Long Term Capital Gains (Investment period > 1 year) of above Rs 1 Lakh from Equity stocks and Equity Mutual Funds, will now be taxed at 10%, which was fully exempt earlier. However, the gains made until 31st Jan 2018 will be grandfathered, meaning the capital gains made on the investment until 31st Jan 2018 will be exempt.

Tax Calculation: Amongst the most asked questions by clients at this point, is the tax calculation part. How will the grandfathering work? How much tax will be due on existing equity investments? How about new investments?, etc.

We have the following illustration, which shows the LTCG tax impact on an investment made in an Equity Mutual Fund on different dates, this will help you in solving a lot of queries:

Assumptions:

Investment Value on 31st Jan 2018 (Grandfathering Date): Rs 5 Lakhs

Redemption Date: 1st May 2019; Value on Redemption Date: Rs 620,000

LTCG

So, the above table shows that investors do not have to worry about the gains they have made historically, since all gains made prior to 31st Jan 2018 are tax free. As we see in the table above, in the first case, on a total gain of Rs 210,000 made over 2 years, the tax liability comes to just Rs 2,000. Also, long term capital gains made after the grandfathering date, upto Rs. 1 lakh, will be exempt.

Focus should be on the Goal: Further, it’s not just about tax, the investors must realize that they invested in Equity Mutual Funds with a goal in mind. If the goals are still far way, one need not worry about tax, rather they should stick to their investments. As such, in the long term – there is no other instrument that can match equity’s return despite the LTCG taxation @ 10% for gains over & above 1 lakh.

Source: NJ Wealth

New SIP investors feel the pain as equity fund returns disappoint!

SIP by SIP: That’s how the average Indian had a taste of equities in the past couple of years. But the steady road to riches, which involved monthly mutual fund purchases of a fixed amount, suddenly seems a bit rocky to many of them, who are beginning to look at mark to market losses as many stocks head south.

A report by NJ Wealth showed that SIP investors are losing in 78 of 137 equity mutual fund schemes, with the average loss at 1.5 per cent for two years. The loss is higher in mid/small-cap funds at 6 per cent, although in large-cap funds, they are gaining 1.5 per cent. Over longer tenures like three and five years, they are still in the black, by 5.21 per cent and 10.28 per cent, respectively.

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While most investors are not disturbed by the near-term volatility, distributors said that many new investors who came in for the first time seeing the returns of 2016 and 2017 are now feeling worried about these investments.

Investors have been pouring money into equity mutual funds through the SIP route. In December 2018, inflows through SIPs touched an all-time high of Rs 8,022 crore, a four-fold jump from Rs 1,916 crore in March 2015.

“Investors should continue with their SIPs and not worry as downturns help accumulate a higher number of units. This will help create wealth when the market cycle turns upward,” said Swarup Mohanty, CEO, Mirae Asset Mutual Fund.

Distributors point out that equity is a volatile asset class and would not give linear returns like a fixed deposit. They point that most SIPs are done by investors for the long term to meet their long-term goals such as children’s education, buying a house, or planning for their retirement.

“Equity returns are not consistent year on year. If you have done an SIP to meet a goal with a timeframe of five-seven years, you should not worry about low returns over a two-year period,” said Radhika Gupta, CEO, Edelweiss Mutual Fund.

<The above article is an excerpt from Economic Times Newspaper>