Your first step towards successful investmenting starts with taking stock of your finances. You should first know your income, expenses, liabilities, savings. Sure, you know all these things somewhat, but that is not enough. You should be absolutely clear about these things.

Boosting your savings is key to creating more money to invest. That is why you should closely examine your expenses, especially discretionary expenses, and figure out how you can cut down on them. Similarly, you should also closely examine your liabilities to figure out the cost involved in servicing them. For example, if you have a huge credit card outstanding, you should first clear that off. This is because it doesn't make sense to pay 40 per cent interest on a credit card loan and earning 12 per cent returns on your investments.

First, buy a health cover for you and family. Two, buy a term life insurance cover if you have financial dependants. Three, create a contingency fund that will cover your expenses of at least six months. These steps will ensure that no unforeseen events will derail your investment plans.

Next, try to find out answers to these questions.

  1. What are your financial goals?
  2. What is your investment horizon?
  3. What kind of investments should you make?
  4. How much money should you invest?

Don't try to be evasive while answering these questions. If you don't clearly spell out various goals and how much money you would require, you are unlikely to achieve them. This is because a forgotten goal can have a cascading impact on your other investment programme. Similarly, it is also very crucial to get the investment horizon and instruments right.

Here is an example of how to do it:

Goal: Rs. 5 lakh for a foreign holiday

Time: Five to seven years

Instrument: Equity

How much can you invest: Rs. 10,000 per month?

Quickly open the excel sheet and use the FV or Future Value formula to find out whether you would be able to be achieve the goal. Well, if the investment gives an annual return of 12 per cent per annum, the you would be able to create a corpus of Rs. 8 lakh in five years.


Why should you invest? The answer is very simple: to create wealth. And why would you want to create wealth? Well, to fund various financial goals you may have in your life like an expensive TV, foreign holiday, retirement, and so on.

The trouble is that most of us have a single source of income and there are various needs that are immediate, medium term and long term. If we move from one goal to the other with our accumulated savings, we would be left with almost nothing for our long-term goals. This is why it is important to not just keep money in the savings bank, but use it to make investments that will help you create wealth over a long period of time.

If you start your investments as early as possible, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. This is because time and compounding interests are a lethal combination that will multiply your wealth beyond your imagination over a long period of time.

Consider this example: Ram and Shyam are friends, both are 30 years of age. Ram invests Rs. 1,000 every month for his retirement. He manages an annual return of 12 per cent on his investments and succeeds in amassing a neat corpus of a little over Rs. 35 lakh at the end of 30 years. Shyam does nothing for 20 years. He suddenly wakes up 10 years before his retirement and starts investing Rs. 12,000 every month for the next 10 years. He also manages to pocket an annual return of 12 per cent on his investment. However, at the end of the exercise, Shyam managed to create only around Rs. 27 lakh for his retirement.

How is it possible? Ram was investing a measly Rs. 1,000 whereas Shyam was investing Rs. 12,000 every month. Well, it is possible because of the compounding interest. Some people call the eight wonder of the world because of its power to multiply money over a long period. If you invest in a disciplined manner and give your investments plenty of time, you can achieve most of your goals without much pain. For some academic interest, how much do you think Shyam will have to invest to create a corpus of Rs. 35 lakh? Well, he will have to invest around Rs. 15,000 per month for 10 years to create that kind of corpus.

If you are still not inspired enough to start your investment plan right away, here is a quick list of habits that stops you from being rich.

Waiting for the perfect plan: Spending months or years to come up with a fool-proof investment plan is not a great idea. There is no guarantee that your perfect plan indeed is going to be perfect. So, start right away.

Starting late: It is extremely difficult or almost impossible to catch up with someone who has started investing regularly much earlier. Even with a very large investment, you would find it difficult to catch up. Once again, start now.

Investing for short-term: Try to think beyond a few months or a year. You think of short-term investments only when you have short-term goals. Long-term goals need long-term investments. The basic rule: stick to debt investments for goals that are below three years. Invest in equity if your goal is five years away or longer.

Playing it safe: You can't build a large corpus with small investments in debt schemes. If you want anything substantial over inflation, you should invest in stocks. Get rid of the fear of stocks and invest in stocks for your long-term goals.

Looking for tips: Don't waste time looking for tips to get rich quick. Most of these tips would do exactly the opposite: rob you a chance of making money on your investments. If you have your basics right, shut out all the noise and stick to your plan. Take our word for it: you will be rich one day.

Trading is not investing: Getting in and out of investments, especially equity investments, is not a great idea. You will end up paying higher taxes on such frequent sale and purchases. It will also rob you a chance to make spectacular returns from your investments over a long period. Giving time to your investments is the key to creating wealth over a long period.


Just as rules are important for good living so also there are some golden rules of tax planning. The five simple yet effective golden rules of tax planning are:

1.Spread the taxable income among various members in your family;

2.Take full advantage of tax exemptions available under the law;

3.Take full advantage of permissible tax deductions and rebates available on stipulated tax-saving investments;

4.Make optimum use of tax-exempted incomes; and

5.Simple tax planning is smart tax planning.

Planning your income may or may not be a difficult question to answer but Tax Planning has been something which many people have found out to be very difficult. We rush to our CA's at the end of our financial yeas so that he can guide us as to where can we invest so that we can save maximum amount of tax There are many parameters that we need to take into consideration while planning for our tax as the benefit is going to be received by the government. We will not advise you to skip and not pay your tax because at the end of the whole thing is that who will be the sufferer amongst this it is we and this is a crime to not to pay your tax. But a proper planning is what is required. We have to compare the advantages of several tax saving schemes and depending upon your age, social liabilities, tax slabs and personal preferences, decide upon a right mix of investments, which shall reduce your tax liability to zero or the minimum possible. Every citizen has a fundamental right to avail all the tax incentives provided by the Government. Therefore, through prudent tax planning not only income-tax liability is reduced but also a better future is ensured due to compulsory savings in highly safe Government schemes. We sincerely advise all our readers and clients to plan their investments in such a way, that the post-tax yield is the highest possible keeping in view the basic parameters of safety and liquidity.


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