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The Savings Opportunity

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  • Jennifer Peaslee
  • January 17, 2015 04:17:01 AM

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The Savings Opportunity is a blog that explores all the different opportunities there are for saving money. This includes coupons, smart shopping, online deals, and other tips that help you save, reuse, and think wisely about your spending.

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SIP OR LUMPSUM? WHICH IS THE BEST INVESTMENT MODE FOR YOU?

Some questions are everlasting. They keep haunting us every now and then. The world of investing is no less. Investors are often torn between SIP and lumpsum mode of investment. They often wonder which mode has the potential to generate greater returns in the future? This article aims to solve the dilemma and help investors...

Some questions are everlasting. They keep haunting us every now and then. The world of investing is no less. Investors are often torn between SIP and lumpsum mode of investment. They often wonder which mode has the potential to generate greater returns in the future? This article aims to solve the dilemma and help investors decide between the most optimum mode of investment for their mutual funds.

Mutual fund investments provide exceptional flexibility to investors in modes of investment and different types of asset classes. That being said, the later isn’t that mystifying if you carefully assess your financial goals. However, a slightly overlooked yet equally significant aspect is choosing the appropriate mode of investment. There are two different ways to invest in mutual funds – SIP and Lumpsum.

What is an SIP?

SIP or systematic investment plan is a means to invest in mutual funds. Under SIP investment, an individual invests a pre-determined sum of money at regular intervals in their desired mutual fund schemes. The periodicity of the intervals can be daily, weekly, monthly, annually, etc. Under this disciplined form of investing, automated and regular investments are made against a particular mutual fund scheme.

What is lumpsum?

Under this mode of investment, an investor invests a substantial amount of money in a in one go. This method is often chosen to build superfluous wealth and liquidity. Unlike SIP investment, lumpsum investment requires to time of the market. Lumpsum mode of investment is usually recommended when the markets are continuously growing.

Pros and cons of lump sum investment

One of the main benefits of lumpsum investment is that they have the potential to provide significantly higher returns on mutual fund investments, provided that one time their investments properly. However, investors often overlook that it’s almost impossible to track the market and time their investments continuously. God forbid, if the timing is ticked off, one may incur a significant loss, one that might take ages to recover from. It is recommended to invest via lumpsum investment only if one has a high-risk appetitte and is prepared to wait long periods to fetch returns. On the plus side, longer duration equals higher returns, owing to the power of compounding.

Pros and cons of investing in SIP

Sip investments strive to instil financial discipline among investors. They also provide investors with the benefit of rupee cost averaging. In this concept, an investor buys more units of mutual funds when the markets are low and vice versa, thus averaging out the purchase cost of mutual funds. SIP mutual funds help to protect your investments from the volatility in the market in the long run.

SIP vs Lumpsum

Following are the differences between SIP and lumpsum:

Factors Lumpsum SIP
Cashflow Once Regular
Risk profile Moderate-high Low-moderate
Time of investment Subject to your investment goals and market volatility Subject to your investment goals but somewhat immune to market conditions
If an individual has an uncertain future income Relatively recommended Not recommended
Cost of investment High (requires a significant one-time investment) Less (thanks to rupee cost averaging)
Flexibility of investment Low High


3 WAYS ETFS ARE PERFECT FOR RETIREMENT

You must have read several articles on the importance of retirement planning and why you should build a retirement corpus for your golden period. However, one of the biggest roadblocks in achieving retirement plan is often choosing the right investment options. This article will cover one such investment option offered to investors to catalyse their...

You must have read several articles on the importance of retirement planning and why you should build a retirement corpus for your golden period. However, one of the biggest roadblocks in achieving retirement plan is often choosing the right investment options. This article will cover one such investment option offered to investors to catalyse their retirement planning – ETF (exchange-traded fund). Let’s understand how ETFs help in building a retirement corpus.

Reasons why ETF mutual funds are perfect for retirement planning:

Following are some of the reasons why ETF mutual funds are perfect for retirement planning:

  1. They make it easier to diversify your investment portfolio
    Diversification is the key to investments as throwing all your eggs in one basket can turn to be disastrous. If you invest all your savings in just a few stocks and those stocks don’t perform satisfactorily, your money will be in trouble. And if you are on the verge of retirement or already retired, a bad investment can easily wreck your plans for the future.
    With an ETF fund, you can achieve instant diversification. A single ETF fundmight contain different stocks, so if a few of those stocks take a tailspin, it likely won’t have a paramount on your portfolio as a whole.
  2. History is on your side in recovering from market downfalls
    History is proof that the stock market has time and again witnessed extreme volatility which can be unnerving for those investors who are planning for retirement. An investormight not be able to avert risk completely when they invest in the stock market. However, ETFs, especially index ETFs, make it much more likely that your savings recover from a market downfall.
    Index ETFs track specific stock market indices such as the Sensex 30 or the Nifty 50, and they are considered to be one of the least risky types of investments. Of course, this also means that if the stock market as a whole takes a hit, your investments will take a hit too.Although historically, the stock market has always bounced back from every downturn it has ever faced. This means index ETFs are likely to recover from even the worst market crashes, which is a chief advantage if you’re investing for your retirement.
  3. Investments in ETF require less research
    Investing in stocks requires much research to ensure that you are investing in reliable companies that’ll be around for the long haul. Several investors simply don’t want to put that kind of time and efforts into investing, and that is completely fine.
    If you want to take a hands-off approach to investing, an index ETF may prove to be your best bet. These are great “set it and forget it” types of investments as you can easily invest in an index ETF and then leave your money alone for decades.
    On the other hand, if you want a more customised investment portfolio, you may opt to invest in thematic funds. This approach allows you to invest in particular areas of the stock market without having to research individual companies heavily. Also, it limits your risk because you still invest in a large group of securities rather than just a few individual stocks.

When you save for retirement, where you invest matters significantly. ETFs are a smart investment option for many reasons, and by taking advantage of them, you can save more and better protect your investments. Happy investing!


WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SIPS?

As investors are becoming smarter in regard to the apt investment options, there are a plethora of investment instruments available to the investors in the financial market. One of the most popular and disciplined investment instruments is SIP investment. This article will cover different types of SIP options offered to investors. What is SIP? Systematic...

As investors are becoming smarter in regard to the apt investment options, there are a plethora of investment instruments available to the investors in the financial market. One of the most popular and disciplined investment instruments is SIP investment. This article will cover different types of SIP options offered to investors.

What is SIP?

Systematic investment plan or SIP is an investment vehicle offered by mutual fund houses to invest in mutual funds.

Types of SIP

Following are some of the most popular types of SIP in India:

  1. Top-up SIP
    Top-up SIPs offer their investors with the flexibility of either increasing or decreasing their SIP investment amount at regular intervals. As the salary of an individual usually hikes every year by a certain percentage, it makes sense to increase the SIP amount by the same percentage of salary surge each year. You can also use an SIP calculator to have a clear calculation. For instance, let’s assume Suresh started an SIP investment with Rs 10,000 per month and asked for a yearly top-up of Rs 1500. So, after first year his SIP would be Rs 11,500 pm. Then after another year, it will go up to Rs 13,000 and so on. With the increase in our age, our income also tends to grow, and it is suggested that our investments should also increase since our goals increase and the time horizon to achieve them decreases.
  2. Perpetual SIP
    Perpetual SIPs do not require any end date toone’s SIP investments. However, one has the liberty to redeem the fund any time they want, according to their needs. A few years back, this facility was not available to investors. As a result, a lot of SIPs would automatically stop once the investment duration is served. Due to this stoppage, it required unnecessary paperwork if the investor wants to restart the SIP. More often than not, individuals realised that any sort of discontinuity would interrupt the power of compounding. Hence, this fortified the introduction of perpetual SIPs among investors.
  3. Flexible SIP
    As opposed to traditional SIPs wherein the SIP amount is fixed, flexible SIPs do not have any fixed investment amount. Under this type of SIP, investors have the option to change their investment amount every time before instalment. An investor needs to choose a regular amount and the maximum amount they’d like to invest. This strategy is beneficial for those individuals who have an irregular flow of income. Some pro-active investors also resort to flexible SIPs to invest more when the markets are low.
  4. Trigger SIP
    Under trigger SIP, investors can redeem a part orfull amount of their SIP investment or even automatically switch to a different scheme as soon as the SIP amount reaches a pre-defined trigger point. This trigger could be set for both upside or downside events. Trigger SIP is beneficial to those who have a good understanding of the market volatility and the financial markets in general.

An investor invests in SIP for the financial discipline it offers which is required for investments in mutual funds. Almost all mutual fund houses provide a mutual funds SIP calculator to help you understand the estimated returns on your SIP investments. An SIP calculator can also be used to calculate the required amount to reach a particular corpus.Happy investing!


An Introductory Guide on Cyber Insurance

The world has gone digital. The traditional ways of conducting business have been replaced with online and more interactive forms. The number of transactions that occur online daily has increased by leaps and bounds. This puts everyone, who is either the sender or receiver of money at the risk of frauds and theft. Not only...

The world has gone digital. The traditional ways of conducting business have been replaced with online and more interactive forms. The number of transactions that occur online daily has increased by leaps and bounds. This puts everyone, who is either the sender or receiver of money at the risk of frauds and theft.

Not only financial transactions but the entire reputations of organisations are at stake. The different social media channels are the touchpoints between the customer and the organisation. These touchpoints make it imperative to have well-established security systems in place. While an organisation interacts with its customers or other stakeholders, it collects data about them. Acyber attack can pose a threat to the confidentiality of data.

To tackle these problems, one needs to install appropriate security layers to the information architecture. But there have been instances in the past where we come across news about data leaks. Hackers and other unethical individuals are devising new and new methods to compromise the integrity of these data and pose cyber threats.

Here come cyber insurance plans to your rescue!

What is cyber insurance?

Cyber insurance is a specialised type of insurance policy that protects the business entities and individuals from the financial risk relating to a data breach or risks that relate to Information Technology Infrastructure and activities. This concept of cyber insurance started to gain prominence in the early 2000s with the increase in internet reach to different parts of the globe. Also, cyber attacks have no fixed geographic location as it all happens on a virtual space leaving no trace of any attack.

Do you need cyber insurance?

If you ask this question to yourself, most likely it would be a yes. As the smartphone in our pockets is gaining more and more data about our vital information like personal data along with passwords to financial data, it becomes essential to buy one. Although you might be practising all possible safety measures to protect and safeguard your data, you don’t want to be crying over spilt milk. So why not just buy one.

What does cyber insurance coverage include?

The extent of your cyber insurance plan varies among the different insurance companies that offer this product. Below listed are some of the common types of costs included in your cyber insurance coverage.

  • Cost of investigation: After a cyber-attack takes place, it is investigated for the reasons. Some of the reasons are as follows-
  • What damage has occurred?
  • How can we repair the damage?
  • Is there any significant data loss?
  • Does the attack pose a threat to the organisation going forward?
  • How can it be prevented in the future?
  • Involving the services of a security firm to enforce data protection.
  • Losses to the business entities: Any monetary loss to your business can be avoided by availing a cyber insurance plan. Here, the financial loss due to downtime of your network or interruption of business, data loss and costs to manage these risks are covered by your insurance policy.
  • Identity Theft: When a cybercriminal gets unauthorised access to your personal information which is used to commit crimes in your name, cyber liability insurance will help you to safeguard yourself. An insurance cover will help in handling the defence and costs related to prosecution.
  • Phishing and Email spoofing: A more common occurrence of cybercrime not limited to targeting individuals is phishing and email spoofing. These illicit ways are used to gain access to sensitive information like your bank credentials by creating similar or hoax websites. Unaware individuals end up sharing this information posing a financial risk. A cyber insurance plan will help protect against these financial setbacks that otherwise will cost an entire life’s savings.

Apart from those mentioned above, malware attacks, cyber extortion, IT theft loss and media liability are a few other areas that are covered by your cyber liability insurance.

In conclusion, it is always prudent to opt for a cyber insurance cover. Assuming you possess what cyber-criminals want rather than thinking that you don’t will be a conservative approach to ensure the protection of critical information. Explore general insurance plans to secure yourself & your loved ones from any & all issues surrounding health, motor, home, travel and other aspects.


What is Personal Accident Cover in Motor Insurance?

Road accidents often get nasty. In some cases, the cars are totalled to the point there is no repair. The only way is to salvage it. In such severe accidents, apart from damage to property, one can sustain serious injuries; some injuries to the point that leaves a person disabled for life. These kinds of...

Road accidents often get nasty. In some cases, the cars are totalled to the point there is no repair. The only way is to salvage it. In such severe accidents, apart from damage to property, one can sustain serious injuries; some injuries to the point that leaves a person disabled for life.

These kinds of injuries are not only mentally devastating, but often lead to loss of livelihood in a few cases. Keeping in mind these kinds of accidents that take place in the country, it is mandatory to have a motor insurance policy. These motor plans have a compulsory extension in the form of personal accident (PA) cover. Whether you buy a third-party or comprehensive plan, personal accident cover is a mandatory component for the owner-driver.

As per regulation, every vehicle registered in the country needs to have at least third-party car insurance. Third-party insurance plans offer benefits to another person in case of an accident or injury.

Following are the benefits provided under third-party motor insurance plans-

  • Compensation without any limit in case of injury to life or disability or death.
  • Property damage is covered up to ₹7,50,000.
  • Personal Accident cover for the owner-driver, paid drivers or employee or passengers.

Do personal accident covers include any injuries caused to the driver?

Third-party insurance covers can be enhanced for a nominal premium to avail PA cover. Here, in case of an accident, the insurance company shall pay a pre-decided amount to the driver.

But there are a few conditions that need to be remembered when filing a claim using PA cover –

  • The car insured must be registered in the name of the owner-driver.
  • The policyholder shall be the owner-driver in this case.
  • The owner-driver must have a valid driving license.

Only if the above conditions are fulfilled, you can make a claim for personal accident cover in case of third-party car insurance plans. The requirements are similar in the case of private and commercial vehicle insurance.

Now you may contest, what in cases where a driver is appointed? Will the PA cover be available for such drivers too?

As per the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, you are liable to pay compensation for an employee in case of an injury at work. The insurance companies identified these cases and have made available an ‘accident cover for drivers’ too. At a nominal fee, this PA insurance cover can be opted to insure your driver as well.

Now you may think other passengers are travelling with the driver. What about them? Can they also be covered under a personal accident policy?

Yes! Passengers in your vehicle can also be insured using a PA cover. This add-on is called ‘Personal Accident cover for unnamed passengers’ and this cover for passengers is available in multiples of ₹ 10,000 which goes up to ₹ 2,00,000.

Here is a summary of the different accident covers that can be bought –

Policy type Persons insured Can be included in which policy?
Accident Cover Third-party individuals Third-party motor insurance plans
Personal Accident Cover Owner-driver Comprehensive motor policy or compulsory cover in third-party plans
Personal Accident Cover for drivers Paid drivers Optional add-on for comprehensive or third-party plans.
Personal Accident cover for Unnamed Passengers Passengers in the vehicle Optional add-on for comprehensive or third-party plans.

To conclude, whether you buy a comprehensive plan or third-party policy, do not forget to top-it with accident covers. They go a long way in ensuring financial as well as mental peace for the driver as well as passengers. At your next car / bike insurance renewal, remember to check for your motor insurance policy for coverage available. Stay insured and stay safe!


Expert Guidance On How To Purchase The Best Electric Heater

If your heating system is not working efficiently along longer and you are reading this article wrapped up in blankets, then it is time for you to consider buying an electric heater. In the past, they were considered to be an expensive option. However, today’s electric heaters from Electric Heating Expert are highly energy efficient....

If your heating system is not working efficiently along longer and you are reading this article wrapped up in blankets, then it is time for you to consider buying an electric heater. In the past, they were considered to be an expensive option. However, today’s electric heaters from Electric Heating Expert are highly energy efficient. Also, many of them are equipped with a wide selection of features like WiFi connectivity which allows you to control your heating no matter where you are. Electric heaters are not only very cost-effective these days, but given everything we have learned about fossil fuels, now is definitely the time to throw the firelighters away and move away from using propane gas heaters to search for a cleaner way for powering our lives. With the major move towards renewable, green energy, electricity is quickly becoming the leading way forward, especially for heating our houses.

If you are considering buying an electric heater, you can find a huge range of choices with a Google search, so it can be hard to know which one to choose. Our customers have sent us so many queries. So we decided to compile answers for the leading queries, in order to help you make the best decision for you.

How Efficient are Electric Heaters?

When you need to replace your heating system, electric radiators are definitely the most cost-effective and energy-efficient form of electrical heating. However, if you are in need of a boost in heat that a central heating system provides, then electric heaters are a very energy-efficient option as well. Given that numerous electric heaters immediately convert power into heat, an electric heater is considered to be almost 100% energy efficient. This means that you receive heat at the same rate that you use energy.

What benefits are offered by Electric Heaters?

The following are some of the major benefits that electric heaters provide.

1. They are inexpensive to operate.

The running costs on a portable electric heater tend to be quite low. If you are concerned that you will be using your heater for the same number of hours that you would a traditional boiler, don’t worry. They work very fast, which limits your energy use.

2. Since electric heaters work very quickly, their efficiency means you won’t need to wait very long to start felling the benefits that boosted heat provides.

3. They are available in a broad range of sizes and shapes.

Unlike traditional radiators, there are a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and styles of electric heaters to choose from. This means you can choose your heater according to your budget and also the frequency and type of heat you need, and how powerful of a heater you need to have.

4. They offer flexible heating

You can switch on an electric heater in the ream where it is needed most. This means you won’t waste energy heating empty rooms and areas. In many cases, in fact, it is less expensive to buy an electric heater for topping up the heat instead of just turning the boiler thermostat up.

How much does an Electric Heater cost?

That will depend on where you purchase it from and what kind of heater you select. A lower-end fan heater will tend to cost less than £10. On the other hand, a smart heater can cost more than £300. After you have chosen the best model for you, you should compare prices. Just make sure to choose a retailer with a good reputation and that offers the best warranty terms.


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