Posts in category "financial-planning"


  • Should We Go With 3% Rule?

    I recently wrote a post about asset allocation in which a reader commented whether we should be using 3% safe withdrawal rate in Indian context instead of the 4% safe withdrawal rate that is generally accepted in the US (at least in the past). The commenter also provided a video supporting the 3% rule. I strongly encourage you to watch that first. It makes some good arguments. If you are interested, I’d also suggest you read the paper which contains all the details, assumptions, data and methodology used for the simulations. According to the research paper, it is recommended that one should go with a 3% safe withdrawal rate instead of the generally well known 4% rate.

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  • Is The Stock Market Peaking?

    I am a little bit concerned. The stock market has been giving great returns for the past 3 years or so. Since the COVID-19 pandemic there has never been a long drawn bear market scenario. How long can this continue? On top of it, I see more and more people getting involved in trading. Some are even quitting their jobs to do trading full time. Generally, when there is euphoria in the market, you see these kind of events happening. New traders, who think they are investors and think they have the know how, enter the stock market just as the market starts peaking. Then, armed with a bunch of algorithms based on back testing, start to do algo trading. When you see more and more of these people, you know the time has come for the market to crash.

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  • Don't Be Fully Invested

    While I encourage everyone to invest as much as possible, I’d also like to advice you to not be fully invested. I know this sounds a bit contradictory, but it actually makes sense if you analyze it. Some of us are excellent savers and investors to that point that any amount that we can save, we immediately think of investing. This is as much of a problem as people having trouble controlling their spending. If you optimize your investments to the point that you no longer have any buffer or flexibility left for unexpected expenses, you are in trouble. I have seen this happen to a couple of friends in the recent past and thought I’d pass on the advice so you can avoid similar mistakes.

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  • Should You Prepay Loan Or Invest?

    When you have some savings you might wonder whether to invest the savings or prepay your loan. I have always suggested a simple thumb rule, which is that if you anticipate your investments to give you better returns than the loan interest rate then invest, otherwise prepay your loan instead. Generally, for almost all kinds of loans the return on investment is usually lower than the loan interest. One exception is home loan which has a much lower effective interest rate because you get tax benefits. For most other loans it is better to prepay. That is a very simplistic rule, but does it really work? Let’s find out.

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  • What Is The Right Asset Allocation

    In discussions with various people, the question about asset allocation always comes up. Some want to know what asset allocation they should follow. Others question my asset allocation. Unfortunately, there is no one answer for what asset allocation one should go with. Everyone’s situation is different and their risk appetite is different. They should go wih an asset allocation that they are comfortable with. If they can’t figure it out by themselves, then they should hire a financial planner who can tell them what asset allocation to go with given their situation and mindset. If you push me to give one number, I always say 70% in equity and the rest in fixed income if you plan to retire early, but even otherwise too. In this post I want to go into some nuances.

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  • The Cost Of Ignorance

    Neither mrs. reynd nor myself (especially myself), are good negotiators or bargainers. Not sure how that happened, but I have a hunch as to why that might be the case. I know this weakness very well and hence delegate almost all bargaining to my better half. She is slightly better in this aspect but not by much. We have seen this come up over and over many a times, to our detriment, but we are probably too lazy to correct ourselves. The re-discovery of our skills (or lack there of) came to light just a few days ago when we decided to get our house painted.

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  • Changes To Extraordinary Items Reporting

    Recently I made some changes to how I report my extraordinary items. These items could be expenses or income. An extraordinary item is an unusual expense or income that is not accounted for in budget. Generally, I have planned expenses and have a budget for them, but in some rare cases, I had either unexpected income or expense that was not planned. Earlier, I used to consider all extraordinary income as growth in corpus and all extraordinary expenses as growth in expenses. But lately I have changed the reporting. Now, both extraordinary expense and income are considered as growth or drop in corpus. I applied the changes retroactively to all old expenses too. Read on to understand why I made this change.

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  • The Markets Of 2023

    The year 2023 is behind us, and this year was definitely less eventful than the past 3 years. Since COVID hit, things have changed quite a bit. It all started with the virus of course that wreaked havoc all over the world at the same time. There were a lot of side effects. Many lost loved ones, we were restricted to home isolation and lock downs were introduced. For the first time ever, we had everything closed including schools. Only the emergency services were running. The new work from home culture started. Then came pumping money in the fear and anticipation of reduced spending. The free flow of money caused inflation because people now had more money but nowhere to spend. Remember, everything was closed, so you could spend on nothing but food and health. Then came interest rate hikes to control the inflation. What a crazy ride.

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  • A Confusing Time In Stock Market

    The Indian stock market has been unrelenting in its growth. It feels like yesterday when I wrote that Sensex crossed the 60,000 milestone. Now, just 2 years later it is about to cross 70,000. But there is nothing impressive about it because that is a relatively low growth rate of 8%. Hardly anything to write about since we expect markets to do at least double digit growth. What is really impressive is that the market doubled in just three and a half years, which is a solid 22% growth. In June 2020, Sensex was around 35,000. The long term Sensex returns are around 13-14%. So should we be worried about a market crash?

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  • Be Prepared For Retirement

    There are many reasons one might want to retire early. Some may want to travel, some may want to sit and dream, and yet others might want to work on a startup or hobbies. Whatever the reasons might be, be prepared if the plan does not pan out. But more importantly remember that early retirement is not for everyone. I know a lot of people who have realized that early retirement is not for them. They don’t know what they would do if they retire early. For them, work is the thing that keeps them busy. That is a very good reason not to retire early and I am glad these people have a clear idea. While a few others want to retire early because the thought of freedom to do whatever you want sounds nice, or they are in a very stressful job. These kind of people can land up in trouble if they don’t have a plan.

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