Why I Absolutely Loathe ULIPs and Insurance Investment Schemes

I recently wrote about why ULIPs aren’t a great investment for my Rupee Rani column and I thought I’d write a quick post here talking about my own ULIP experience.

ULIPs or Unit Linked Insurance Plans combine insurance with investment. Basically, insurance companies collect money from you to invest on your behalf while they also give you life insurance cover. So, it’s like a Mutual Fund in a way, with an amount of money that is promised to your family in case you die (how cheerful!). I was made to invest in one back in 2012 because of my incredibly pushy bank branch manager and my inability to say no back then. I’ve only regretted it since. For starters, the money doesn’t come back to you until the policy period matures and retrieving it before it does is an incredible pain in the ass. So I’m stuck paying premiums until 2019 and will only receive the returns in 2022.

The second reason is something that I realized more recently. It is the amount of money that you will have to pay in “Charges” for your ULIP – basically, they’re the Insurance company’s expenses that are not invested on your behalf. They are exorbitant and more importantly, insurance companies are incredibly sneaky in the way that they portray them to be minor. Read More

I Conducted A Workshop On Personal Finance!

For some reason, I feel like it’s been 2018 for a while now. 2017 seemed to pass by in a blink, but 2018 seems to be taking its time and truthfully, I am okay with that. ANYWAY, about six months ago, a lovely person from Flextronics, I’m going to call her ‘A’, sent me an email asking if I would be interested in conducting a small workshop with the women employees there about personal finance and the basics of personal finance. When I first read the email, my immediate reaction was to decline because I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it – I mean, I’m just a dork with a blog. I told her my baby was a little too tiny to be left alone (he was!) and asked if she would be able to reschedule to early 2018, while fervently praying that she would forget about it altogether. Read More

#WhatTheFinance – What is a Balanced Investment Portfolio?

A Balanced Investment Portfolio is a selection of investments that is capable of both providing growth as well as mitigating risks. I promise you that figuring out a balanced portfolio (so important) isn’t as boring as you think it might be. 

Let’s begin at the very beginning. Your investment portfolio comprises all the investments that you possess or that you have made in your name thus far. I’m not talking just about shares – it can be Fixed Deposits, it can be Bonds, it can be Gold, it can be real estate. Essentially, anything and everything that you’ve set aside for retirement, a specific goal like a house or car, or a rainy day. Now that we know what a portfolio is, let’s get into risk, which is crucial for understanding how to get a Balanced Investment Portfolio.’ Read More

#WhatTheFinance – What is Equity?

There’s a great deal of fantastic financial advice from seasoned experts out there in the world, but the reason so many of us aren’t able to act on it is that experts generally tend to use technical terms or employ finance jargon. So when a finance expert says something like ‘you need to diversify your equity holdings’, the first question that pops into your head is what is equity, even? Read More

Five Financial Rules For The Festive Season

The months from October to December mark our country’s “festive” season – where a number of religious holidays, weddings, good weather and a generally upbeat mood converge. This season sees a lot of gifting and plenty of sales both in stores and online. We are constantly told that their lives will be better if they buy X or use Y and that the happiest women are the ones who carry twenty shopping bags in each hand. While the festive season is a good time to pick up deals, remember these five rules before you check out. Read More

#WhatTheFinance: A Basic Introduction To Credit Cards

I was 18 when my father gave me my first credit card, an American Express add-on card that I could use only in the case of emergencies. I was very excited about that card – I even considered it to be my financial coming of age. Looking back, my American Express card was probably the worst card I could’ve had for “emergencies”, simply because not a single store accepted the card back then. Read More

Here’s Why You Should Know How To Calculate Return On Investment

Note: This post was edited on January 12th 2018 because the graphic showing return on investment for 8 months was wrong, as pointed out by commenter NMK. I try very hard to avoid mistakes, but shit happens! Always grateful to readers who point it out. I’ll also ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Check, double check, triple check! Thank you.  Read More