Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Details On Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme

The Finance Minister recently approved the operational features of the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS), and I felt it was a surprisingly complicated scheme which really doesn’t offer any great benefit to investors.

Who is eligible for RGESS?

The intent of this scheme is to bring new people into equities and that means if you have ever bought any shares or traded in derivatives then you are ineligible for the tax benefits under this scheme.
They are going to look at new investors on the basis of the PAN number so you are only eligible in this scheme if there have been no prior equity or derivative transactions in the Demat account linked to your PAN number.
Your taxable income should also be less than Rs. 10 lakhs in order to be eligible for this scheme. If your taxable income is more than that then you don’t qualify for this scheme.

How do you get the tax RGESS benefit?

In order to get the tax benefit, you have to invest in one or more of the following:
  1. Stocks listed under the BSE 100 or the CNX 100
  2. PSUs that are categorized as Maharatnas, Navratnas or Miniratnas
  3. FPO of PSUs mentioned above.
  4. IPO of PSUs whose turnover is not less than Rs. 4,000 crores in the last three financial years.
  5. ETFs and mutual funds who have RGESS securities as their underlying.
The maximum that you can invest for the purpose of this tax benefit is Rs. 50,000 and you can do so in installments in the financial year.

What is the tax benefit under RGESS?

You get to deduct half of the money invested under RGESS from your taxable income and thereby reduce your tax liability. So, if you invested Rs. 50,000 in eligible securities under this scheme then you can deduct half of that – Rs. 25,000 from your taxable income, and if your tax rate is 20% then you save Rs. 5,000 (20% of Rs. 25,000) from your taxes.

Is there a lock in period under RGESS?

There is a three year lock in period under RGESS which is further broken out into an initial blanket lock in period of 1 years which means you can’t trade in your RGESS securities within one year of claiming the tax benefit.
After the initial one year, you can trade in your securities provided you maintain a certain investment level. This investment level is dependent on the value of your shares at the time of the sale.
So, say you invested Rs. 50,000 at the beginning, and at the time of the first sale, the value of your investment is still Rs. 50,000 then you will need to show investments worth Rs. 50,000 in 270 days out of the 365 or 366 calendar days.
However, if your investment was worth only Rs. 25,000 when you initiated the sale then this is the amount you will need to maintain for the 270 days.
If your investment appreciated and is now worth Rs. 1,00,000 then you will only need to maintain investments worth Rs. 50,000 to be compliant with the scheme.
If you fail to do any of this then the tax benefit will be withdrawn however I’m not quite sure how they are going to implement this or even the initial blanket lock in period for that matter.

On the whole, the government has put in place a very complicated system of RGESS, which is likely to be a non-starter from day one, as the pain of complying with the formalities is more than the pleasure of saving a maximum amount of Rs5,000 from the scheme. -

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

When investing money for a year which is a better option - fixed deposit ,FMPs or MIP ??

Fixed deposits: Better than savings account are the other investment options like bank fixed deposits schemes. One can invest in a FD with varying maturities.

If he needs certain amount of money after 1 year, he can invest in for 1 year FD for that much amount and for other amount can have FDs of different maturity.

This will help him meet the liquidity needs and also earn interest. He can go for the regular returns options like the quarterly or half-yearly payout options. Else, he can choose interest re-investment option.

However, remember that interest income earned in FD and savings account is taxable.

FMPs: Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs) are income/debt schemes giving a fixed return over a period of time. They are actually similar to fixed deposits in banks. The maturities offered were varied, going from one month to three years. They are close ended schemes, which are open only for a fixed period of time during the initial offer. While the money is locked, FMPs give the investor an option to exit, which is subject to an exit load as per the funds regulations.

While similar to FDs, there are certain differences. While the returns on FDs are assured, returns on FMPs are indicative as there is a possibility of the actual returns deviating from what has been indicated to investors at the time of investing. The instruments are held till maturity, thus not getting affected any interest rate fluctuations.

The schemes have low credit risk as investments are mainly done in AAA or P1+ rated instruments with a short-term maturity profile. Further, it has minimal liquidity risk as they invest in short-term instruments, which give them adequate liquidity. Also the churning cost is very low as the instruments are held till maturity.

Taxation of FMP depends on the investment option. In the dividend option, investors have to bear the Dividend Distribution Tax. In growth option, returns earned are treated as capital gains- i.e. if investments are held for less than a year, than the interest income is added to the investor's income and is taxed at the marginal rate of tax.

As for long-term capital gains, the tax liability is computed using two methods i.e. without indexation (charged at 10% plus surcharge) and with indexation (charged at 20% plus surcharge) and). The tax liability will be the lower of the two.

FMP Yield: 9.30%
Tenure of FMP: 370 days
Indexation rate (assumed): 5.00%
Long term Capital Gains tax rate: 22.66%

The benefit of indexation for a FMP investor

Amount invested (assumed)(Rs): 100,000
Cash receivable on maturity; total interest @ 9.30%(Rs): 109,513.24
Indexed cost(Rs): 105,000.00
Taxable income(Rs): 4513.24
Tax payable(Rs): 1022.7
Post tax return (assumed): 8.30%
This 8.3% is more than the 6.25% to 6.5% offered by FD's

MIPs: They are hybrid instruments that invest some portion (around 5% - 20%) in equities and the balance in debt and money market instruments.

It provides monthly income to investors depending upon monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual options selected by the investors. MIPs aim to provide investors with regular payouts in form of dividends.

However, it is not mandatory for the funds to declare dividends and is subject to availability of distributable surplus.

While there is growth option to available in MIP, the return will not be in form of dividend but capital appreciation. Some portion of the funds is invested in equities. This provides impetus to the returns while retaining the safety from the debt investments.

It is like icing on the cake and would generate higher returns than the debt fund, albeit with a little higher risk. MIPs are launched with the objective of giving monthly income to investors. MIP is better for investors who are nearing retirement. MIP's appeal to conservative as well as risk taking investors.
Risk in MIP's: The debt portion is influenced by the interest rates. When the interest rate falls, the NAV rises as price of bond increases. When interest rate rises, NAV falls. At such times the equity portion of the fund helps to maintain the returns.

While equity portion makers it more risky than the pure debt fund, they are better than the balanced fund where investment in equity is to the extent of 40% to 50%. And with Indian markets expected to do good in the long term, MIPs would stand to gain.

On the tax front, they are better than FDs as dividends are tax free in the hands of investors, while interest on FDs is taxable.

Monday, 7 May 2012


What is SIP and how does it work:
What is SIP and how does it work: Just like recurring account, in SIP investor commits fix amount on a regular basis. In fact SIP is more convenient and investor friendly than recurring deposit. Investor can start SIP in any of the mutual fund scheme. In this investor can decide a particular day of the month on which he/she wants to make investment. Once day is decided and mentioned in the application form, fixed amount gets debited from the account on that particular day and equivalent numbers of units get allotted to investor based on that day's NAV.
Why SIP : Automatic Market Timing & Rupee Cost Averaging:
The biggest advantage of SIPis you can time the market automatically, as irrespective of market level, you keep investing on a regular basis. This allows you to take advantage of rupee cost averaging as you can buy more units when market is down and fewer units when market is up.
As it is clearly evident through SIP, your average cost of holding units comes down compare to average NAV.In this example, if an investor invests Rs.1000 per month for 12 months he accumulates 1186.79 units in volatile market. His average cost of holding these 1186.79 units comes to Rs.10. 11131 compared to average NAVof Rs.10.1625. This logic holds true in any type of market condition.
Disciplined Investing:
Important secret of wealth creation is start investing early and take advantage of power of compounding. It's not important how much you start with, but what is important is to start early and start investing small amount on a regular basis. SIPis best suited for this objective.
Can be done with small amount:
In investment world it is said that 'you don't have to be Wealthy to be an Investor but you definitely need to be an Investor to become Wealthy.' Sothe crux of the point is no matter how small your investment is, you should never shy away from investing. Through SIP, you can start with as little as Rs. 100 per month. With these small drops you can create an ocean for yourself in long term.
Scores over traditional recurring deposit:
Compared to traditional recurring product which yields 8 percent p.a. one can expect around 15 percent return from his/her SIP investment. This can go long way in terms of wealth creation over a period of 10to 15 years.
How about monthly investments to grow your money ?
Suppose you start investing in a diversified equity mutual fund through a Systemtic Investment Plan at age 3540
Your monthly investment Rs. 5000 Rs. 5000
You stop investing at age 6060
Your total contribution Rs. 15 lakhsRs. 12 lakhs
Assuming compounded annualised returns from the fund of 15%, your savings could grow to Rs. 1,37,82,803.88
(over 1 crore 37 lakhs) *
Rs. 66,35,367.20 (over 66 lakhs) *
A difference of just 5 year can lead to a wealth difference of Rs. 71 lakhs !
SIP - The Mantra for Wealth Creation:
It is true that these are challenging times for investors. Equities are down for 2008 and many of the equity related investments over past 1 year are showing negative returns. But one should look at broader picture. We are witnessing correction in equity market after seeing sustained Bull Runfor last five years. SENSEX that was trading at 3390 at the beginning of 2003 had touched 20800 in beginning of Jan 2008. We have seen more than 60per cent return in equity market in last two years. So it is but natural that market stops for breather. Equity markets are like running a marathon race not about running 100-mt races. In 100-meter race one needs to be fast and furious but in marathon steady runner wins the race. So in equity market if we want to make money for next five to ten years, these kinds of healthy corrections are welcome as it provides great opportunity for investment when market goes through this kind of consolidation phase and then again start its upward journey to scale new highs.
So question that arises in retail investor's mind is: Is this a good time to invest or market will correct further? Where market will go from here on? What kind of return I can generate in next six months to one year if I invest today? Honestly speaking there-is no clear answer to these questions. We strongly believe equity market is not for short term but it is the best avenue to create long-term wealth and more so for a growth economy like India where corporate profitability is only likely to go up in coming years which will automatically translate into higher SENSEX valuation.
But Volatility is an inherent part of equity investment and retail investors can ride this volatility and make it work in their favor through Systematic Investment Plan route. We all are familiar with recurring deposit of post office or banks and majority of us must be investing or must have invested through this recurring deposit route in our life. SIPis nothing but modern version of recurring deposit.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Gold may touch $7,000 per ounce before end of uptrend

According to Bank of  America Analyst MacNeilCurry, gold prices would need to double in less than a year to show the kind of extreme momentum that would signal the end to the long-term cyclical uptrend. "Until we see price action take some kind of massive speculative blow-off, where prices effectively double in a year or less, I have to maintain a long-term bullish bias."

The technical strategist added that gold's price could double in a shorter time frame, and that he was watching momentum most closely for indication of the kind of speculative fluctuations that would signal an end to the secular bull trend.

"That says to me, we'll probably see a move in gold, before all is said and done, to between $3,000 to $5,000 (per ounce) and potentially $7,000 per ounce," he said.

Using Elliott Wave counts on a logarithmic chart dating back to 1969, Curry's analysis points to a long-term target for gold at $6,081 per ounce. Gold has met an initial wave target at $1,801 an ounce, but momentum is much too subdued to doubt the uptrend, he said.

For example, gold's recent fluctuations have transpired amid very low volume. Friday's was the lowest so far this year. The chartist identified an intermediate price goal at $2,982 channel resistance, but warned, "The risks are to the upside."

The second major signal necessary to predict the cyclical uptrend was over is extremely high volatility. "If you go back and look at daily price highs at long-term tops across commodities, you should see daily ranges at high prices of about 10 to 15 percent, potentially 20 percent."

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

India can give 10-15% return in FY13: Foreign brokerages

Although CLSA has cut its target for the Sensex to 19,000 from 20,000, it still maintains its "overweight" rating on the index.
While the foreign brokerage firm has turned less bullish on the market due to adverse macro developments over the past few weeks, it still expects 10-12% market returns over the next one year, helped by valuations.
Meanwhile, last month, Goldman had set a March 2013 target of 6,100 for the Nifty index. That means around 15% upside from the current levels. Goldman Sachs had upgraded Indian stocks to "marketweight" from "underweight".
However, Sakthi Siva of Credit Suisse is neutral on India at this point in time. "We tend to favour markets that are in the cheapest four club. India actually joined the cheapest four club on January 3 and we upgraded India on the back of that call. But fortunately or unfortunately, India then put on about 25% in US dollar terms. So, as a valuation model it has since dropped out of the cheapest four club," she elaborates. 
Siva’s call is not to chase the rallies and buy the dips. "Every time there is a market correction or a dip, we are happier to recommend buying on those dips," she adds.
Goldman says oil prices remain "the most significant risk" to its "positive" view on India. Also, policy inaction can hurt the market sentiment. Global uncertainty is another concern that India has to deal with. The concerns in Europe will also probably persist for a while.
Given all these challenges, it is prudent to be cautious.