How to Choose a Mutual Fund

We’ve all heard it — don’t choose a mutual fund just based on past performance or star rating. Then, how does one go about choosing a good fund? That is the question I want to answer today. While I am not expert at picking a good mutual fund, I did have my share of bad pickings and hence have had some wisdom knocked into me. So here are some tips on how to choose a good mutual fund based on my experience.    Disclaimer: Information provided in this blog is to help educate you. I am not suggesting that is … Continue reading “How to Choose a Mutual Fund”

Are Index Funds Better Than Active Funds?

In the US, index investing is all the rage. John Bogle who started the first index fund, contends that an index fund beats almost all actively managed mutual funds (after accounting for fees) in the long run. But does it work in India? That was the experiment I set out to conduct in early 2012.   Disclaimer: Any mutual fund names discussed here are purely for the study of the experiment and not a recommendation. I may or may not have owned, or still own these funds at the time of writing this post.   What got me started? When I … Continue reading “Are Index Funds Better Than Active Funds?”

The Gilt Experiment

 You’ve probably heard about the inverse relationship between bond prices and interest rates. When interest rates rise, bond prices fall and vice-versa. How can we use this information to make some money without a lot of volatility? Read along about my experiment with interest rate cycles.   Disclaimer: I would not advice anyone to take risks like I am about to explain in this post. It is supposed to be more of a study rather than any recommendation or advice. Any mutual fund names discussed here are purely for the study of the experiment and not a recommendation.   The Entrance It … Continue reading “The Gilt Experiment”

My Asset Allocation

I have discussed the 70:30 asset allocation in my previous 2 posts. However, I did not really follow the rule, not because it did not work for me, but for the simple reason that I wanted to learn market cycles and take risk while doing my investments. I would not suggest anyone play with investments like I did (unless you know what your are doing) and risk losing money. Instead follow the boring simple rule of 70:30 and it works. This is more of a case study of my investing style.   Disclaimer: The asset allocations discussed in this post worked … Continue reading “My Asset Allocation”

The 70:30 Asset Allocation

In my previous post, I talked about about allocating 70% to equity and 30% to fixed income and just keep that ratio irrespective of which stage you are in your life. But does it really work? Lets work out some examples to see how it might work under various conditions.   Pre-retirement While you are still not retired, you have income coming in and you are investing. It does not matter what markets are doing, your job is to just invest in such a way that you maintain the 70:30 split.   The way it would work is that every month … Continue reading “The 70:30 Asset Allocation”

Make Money Work For You

In my earlier post on How to Retire Early in Five Steps, I briefly touched upon asset allocation in step #3. In this post, I go into a bit more detail into how one should go about asset allocation for early retirement. Before understanding asset allocation, you need to understand asset classes. If you have not read my post on asset classes, head on over to that post.   Disclaimer: The asset allocations discussed here are only a suggestion, it may or may not work for you because your needs and requirements may be different from mine. Please work with your … Continue reading “Make Money Work For You”

Let’s Understand Asset Classes

Did you know that if you only invested all your money in stocks you would get incredible returns over the long term? But what if you cannot stomach the risk where your investment could erode by 70% within a few months? Would you be able to sleep soundly if you found that your Rs. 50 lakhs investment became Rs. 15 lakhs? If you don’t like the wild roller coaster ride then you might want to diversify your investments into different investment baskets of varying risks. Generally risk is correlated with returns, so lower risk usually means lower returns too. To … Continue reading “Let’s Understand Asset Classes”

Should You Retire Early?

Early retirement is not for every one, and it is not like everyone need to retire early. Don’t blindly follow the bandwagon and join the F.I.R.E (Financial Independence Retire Early) cult. You subconsciously know who you are, and whether early retirement makes sense for you. Here are some reasons why you may not want to retire early.   You don’t know what you will do with all the free time Just imagine, once you have achieved the goal of early retirement, and if you sit down to think “what’s next?”, then boy are you in trouble. You should already have … Continue reading “Should You Retire Early?”

How Long Will My Money Last?

How long will your money last? The oft given cliched answer is — it depends. It is true if you want someone to answer for you. But if you put some effort, you will be able to answer the question yourself. The only problem is that you should be able to make some good estimates of your expenses, inflation and investment return long into the future.   This is a continuation of my earlier post — How Much Do you Need to Retire. If you haven’t read it, I urge you to head over there first. So by now you … Continue reading “How Long Will My Money Last?”

How Much Do You Need To Retire?

I have touched upon this point briefly in step 5 of How to Retire Early in 5 Steps, but I thought I should expand a bit on that. Most people suggest the 4% rule, which basically states that if your expenses can be met by withdrawing 4% of your corpus, then that should be the corpus size. For example, if you need Rs. 50,000 per month to meet all your expenses comfortably in your retirement, then your corpus needs to be Rs. 50,000 * 12 / 4% = Rs. 1.5 crores. But does it really work?   For the skeptics, … Continue reading “How Much Do You Need To Retire?”