Saturday, October 24, 2015

3 Important Financial Lessons From the World's Richest Man


3 Important Financial Lessons From the World's Richest Man
1.  Diversification
One lesson investors could learn from Bill Gates is the importance of diversification. Despite what many people believe, most of Gates' wealth is not in the form of Microsoft(NASDAQ: MSFT) stock. In fact, since he's sold many shares over the years, Bill Gates isn't even Microsoft's single largest shareholder anymore.  Most of Gates' wealth is in his investment company, called Cascade Investment, LLC, whose portfolio looks more like that of Warren Buffett than what you might expect from a tech billionaire. Gates makes a wide variety of investments through Cascade, including stock and venture capital investments, but just a few of the biggest publicly traded ones that we know about include AutoNation, Canadian National Railway, Ecolab, Deere, Liberty Global, and Waste Management. Additionally, Gates owns a large chunk of Berkshire Hathaway stock, essentially expanding his portfolio to include all of Buffett's stock picks.  The point is that even if you make a lot of money from one investment, it's unwise to leave all your eggs in one basket -- doing so leaves your wealth extremely vulnerable. Because of Gates' smart diversification of his wealth, he isn't too dependent on the success of any one of his investments, including the company he famously founded.


2.  Long-term focus
You can learn a lot by listening to what successful people have to say, and Bill Gates is no exception. One of his statements sheds light on a concept critical for successful wealth-building: a long-term focus. In his 1996 book, The Road Ahead, he said, "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction."

The statement is telling, because in a variety of ways, Gates' company, Microsoft, significantly underestimated unfolding changes. The company was famously slow to see the value of the Internet, and it also lost ground being late to appreciate how rapidly the mobile world would grow, not to mention cloud computing and open-source software. Gates has clearly learned the lesson he imparts the hard way.

Gates's statement is instructive for investors in several ways. First, of course, it reminds us to not be short-sighted when it comes to companies we invest in or think about investing in. We should think critically and broadly about them and their futures, lest we be caught unaware when they don't keep up with change or position themselves well to capitalize on it.

We should also bring a long-term view to our investments' performances. Don't buy a stock expecting it to pop within a year or two, because anything can happen in the stock market over short periods. Do think about what kind of growth you might expect over the coming decade. Look for companies that aren't just mispriced slow-growers with a 25% upside in them, but ones that have great long-term growth potential, that can multiply your wealth many times over – over the long haul.

3.  Understanding why we want to make money

An important lesson investors can take away from Bill Gates' success is that Gates has a strong understanding of his long-term financial goals. He doesn't invest just to stay atop the Forbes Global 400; rather, he understands that money is a powerful tool that allows us to fulfill our dreams and aspirations.

In his case, Gates is passionate about making the world a better place through philanthropy via his Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Though he needn't ever work another day in his life and could pretty much buy anything his heart desires, his portfolio decisions are based on what is best for the ultimate objective that leaves him feeling most fulfilled.

Understanding the reason we want to make money is important, because not only can it help us to live richer, happier lives, but it can also keep us from making foolish, short-term decisions that can result in a large permanent loss of capital.

For example, say you're 50 years old and investing to secure an income source for your retirement that's 15 years away. Your time horizon and goals mean that you probably want to avoid riskier stocks such as Tesla Motors or SolarCity in favor of more conservative blue-chip dividend names such as Kinder Morgan or ExxonMobil.

Most importantly, during times of market volatility, as we've recently seen, your long-term goal's emphasis on safe and growing income means you're less likely to panic and sell at a loss. Rather, the falling share prices and rising yields you can now obtain represent an even greater income stream in your golden years. 

Reference: 
http://www.msn.com/en-in/money/personalfinance/3-important-financial-lessons-from-the-worlds-richest-man/ar-AAe2LSJ?li=AAaeRVN&ocid=wispr#page=3


Five tax things that will help you ensure financial freedom


  1. Invest according to your goals and not just to save tax
    One of the most important points when it comes to taxation is that there are several tax deductions that are available for individual when they invest in specific instruments. One of the most popular routes is the benefit of a deduction under Section 80C. Here investment in specified instruments like Employees Provident Fund, Public Provident Fund, National Savings Certificates, Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, Equity Linked Savings Scheme, Life Insurance premium etc is eligible for a deduction upto Rs 1.5 lakh a year. This is a golden opportunity for an individual to plan their goals and then ensure that the amounts are invested that would achieve the goals and at the same time save tax. Often this angle of combining goals and tax savings investment is missed out. People do not invest according to their goals which leads to a position where they struggle to complete the tax requirements and at the same time their goals remain unmet. This is something that needs to be avoided so that one investment can yield multiple benefits.
  2. Boost for retirement planning
    The biggest financial goal for every individual is to plan for their retirement and this requires a huge sum of money. It often takes decades to plan and invest for retirement and the challenge on this front is big. A little bit of attention to the tax aspect can ensure that there is little to worry about on this front too. There are instruments like the Public Provident Fund and the Employees Provident Fund which provide double benefits. On one hand the amount invested gives a deduction from the taxable income to the individual under Section 80C but even greater is the benefit that is received on the payout. The amount earned on these schemes as interest is tax free so this reduces a huge burden when this is earned or when this is received. This can help in ensuring that the goal of retirement planning is tackled and freedom from this tension is achieved for an individual.
  3. Medical expenses taken care of
    Protection of the family of an individual is a big part of the entire financial planning process. This is the reason why medical insurance is a must for every individual so that any medical expenses do not prove to be a financial burden that can devastate the finances of the individual. A look at the tax aspect can once again provide double benefits as the premium paid on medical insurance policies upto Rs 25,000 for individuals upto 60 years and Rs 30,000 for those above 60 years is available as a deduction under Section 80D. At the same time even preventive check up costs upto Rs 5,000 are covered. This should encourage people to get freedom from the worry of medical expenses as well as get a tax benefit in the process.
  4. Powering education
    Most parents are worried about the education of their children due to the high cost involved. This is an area that provides for an improved career and earnings prospect in life. There is however a large cost that can come for achieving as this has spiraled in the last few years this but some small tax steps can ease the situation for the individual. An education loan for the purpose of higher education will ensure that the financial aspect of the process is met but at the same time it will also give a tax benefit to the individual when the loan is repaid. The interest that is paid on the loan will be allowed as a deduction for 8 years. This will also remove worries about meeting the high education costs and making it affordable.
  5. Wealth creation
    Equity is the best asset class that can help in the process of wealth creation and this benefit can be multiplied by also ensuring that the tax benefits are taken with it. Equity oriented investments like shares and equity oriented mutual funds have double benefits as the dividends are tax free and at the same time long term capital gains is charged at zero per cent rate which also makes the gains tax free. This can be used for the necessary asset allocation and the tax benefit will ensure that the goal of wealth creation takes place without taxes eating into the effort leading to another area that provides financial freedom.

Reference: 
http://www.msn.com/en-in/money/taxes/five-tax-things-that-will-help-you-ensure-financial-freedom/ar-BBlGdZe?li=AAaeRVN&ocid=wispr#page=1


http://www.msn.com/en-in/money/taxes/five-tax-things-that-will-help-you-ensure-financial-freedom/ar-BBlGdZe?li=AAaeRVN&ocid=wispr#page=1

Friday, March 22, 2013

Keep Listening...


There are articles written on various subjects.  Those on arts, culture, science, religion, sports, nature, etc... and most of them are predominantly on the subject with highlights of personalities and masters of the field.  

A man who evolved and is one of the masters of the game of cricket has brought so much against his name that it shall be compared with S&P 500 index.  Anyone who is buying this stock will only find profit.  The portfolio with just one stock will yield higher returns than most of the top mutual funds that are in the form of premier leagues.  This heavy weighed solo stock with the name "Sachin Tendulkar" is ruling the entire industry and can be listed under any index in the market.

How much ever we write about him, there is always something special that makes us narrate more in different ways, and still grab attention in countries sandwiched between Indian Ocean and the Pacific and the Atlantic.  So much can be written about this man that the number of pages on him will tick more than the pages from all the volumes of each epic.. Bhagvad Gita, Ramayana, Bible, Quran, etc.

If there is just one battle field in Gita, there are many cricket stadiums for this man.  If the battle field reverberates when Lord Krishna blows his conch shell 'Panchajanya'; the cricket stadiums all around the world reverberate when this man just walks in to the field.  
It is a 5 man army of Pandavas, here is this man who himself is as powerful as the 5 and the Lord in his game.
Arjuna's weapon is three feet long, so is this man's weapon.  Both drastically destructive.

Recently I was watching the highlights of his classic innings of 140* in the Irani Trophy 2013 played at Wankhade, Mumbai and then his 1st test century against England at Old Trafford in 1990.  The 2013 knock was merely a highlights of the 1990.  Absolutely similar shots and most of them driven straight past the bowler.  The plant in the pot with a single flower then, has now blossomed with hundred flowers each of those as beautiful as those in Ikebana.

His shots, each of them looks to represent different ragas, he has so many...  and the end of each song comes in the form of a dismissal.  We have heard of Lalgudi Jayaraman baani, Madurai Mani Iyer baani, Semmangudi mama's baani, GNB's baani to name a few...  Sachin's baani has a touch of all.  His weapon plays different musical instruments now !!!

Keep Listening...  The Kutcheri continues...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Series Analysis

What happened in this series is a lesson for any team playing without a plan. Sehwag's dismissal of the first ball doesn't dilutes the momentum, but the way Dravid plays. He concentrates more on staying in the crease than scoring runs. This is like shielding that gives the opponent ample time and ways to think further on pushing them to the backfoot. That's the way Dravid plays and he alone can withstand the increase of speed and swing, but the rest of the team like to play shots and eventually perish when the bowlers get well settled in a rhythm gifted by Dravid. It wouldn't be a bad idea to play Dravid at 6 or 7 that will give the top order to play an attacking game early on. We have seen India losing wickets trying to defend and see off the new ball in test matches, but the same team scoring 300+ on similar pitches and tough bowlers in one dayers. Dhoni played his usual way and scored runs, and only very few of them came of edges and poor bowling.
A point to note here is that most of them played with straight bat on these swing friendly pitches in England. Masters play more horizontal bat shots in swinging conditions and strait batted shots on bouncy pitches. Sachin Tendulkar & Mark Waugh are good examples to learn from. Both of them go down on their knees bending their right elbow to get enough room to play a square drive or a cut over the point for good length deliveries outside off stump in swinging conditions. Moving to the line of the ball reduce the chances of playing tentatively. High bat lift gives more power and timing to score runs easily. Shots like these are so safe and has the touch of elegance that we have seen them (Sachin and Mark) playing so well.
There were big shots played towards the end of India's 2nd innings with Swann bowling continuously conceding more runs. This is a good strategy by England to entertain the Indian fans and to fill in the stands for the next match.
With the series lost, "India should play the 4th test as an one off test" Harsha says. It'll be good for the Indian team to take a step back and plan well before the one day series. Sure a 5-0 Indian win is on the cards if they play with a plan.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Way to play - being the natural self

Just few months being crowned as world champions in one day internationals, India reclaimed with inspired performances over the last couple of years. Flying to England as favorites and a very much anticipated high profile series is turning out to be a host dominated series so far with two more test matches to go...
Between the good and unexpected levels of performances in the World Cup and England series respectively, India had the IPL followed by the tour of West Indies. Pity that India didn't had time to share the joy and feel proud of winning the WC. As rightly said by Nasser Hussain, India doesn't seem to be playing with the pride of being the number one team in the world. They don't seem to have the guts to stand firm to fight as a champion. Harsha Bhogle says... "It's rather easy to reach the top of the rankings than to keep hold of it for a period of time".
There could be several reasons for being 2 down in the test series, but the bunch of players aren't playing upto the standards of test match cricket. Not one player barring Rahul Dravid seem to be playing confidently or with a plan. Dravid plays in a way that deceives the bowlers to get better and better and be more attacking which is uncomfortable for the rest. A Sehwag kind of start is what will work for India at the moment. We have seen India play better in the shorter versions of the game, but definitely not after the world cup triumph. They lost 2 out of 5 matches against West Indies without Chris Gayle after IPL. A worrying factor is whether India has drafted a plan for the next one year. If this hasn't been done, it would be better to play a second string team for the upcoming series as it would only give youngsters a chance to step up and keep the frontline players on toes.
The current batting lot is playing an unnatural game by getting to a very defensive mode. They are looking to occupy the crease as long as possible. These guys are good one day players by nature and it would be better if they play in the same way. They should try scoring 5 runs per over and not be worried too much about losing the wicket.
The current bowling unit doesn't seem to bowl as in a test match to get 10 wickets in each innings. 90% of the wickets taken by the Indian bowlers aren't wicket taking deliveries in this test series so far.
Spin has been the strength for India and they should persist with its capabilities. Harbhajan could have been given the ball in the first 10 overs. Or even could have opened with Praveen Kumar who oscillates the ball well but not accelerate it.
Parthiv Patel would have been a better choice to open the batting instead of Mukund. Murli Kartik has done exceptionally well in this county season and would have been handy in this series.
Where are the bouncers, yorkers, slower ones, cutters, or atleast bowling to a set field ? It's silly to think that they wouldn't have thought of these varieties, but doesn't matter to be silly.... "Don't they have these options in their minds ???"
The only good thinking from India is that they aren't playing negative cricket, but definitely lack planning. Shame that they couldn't get a wicket in the first 47 overs in the 2 day match against Northamptonshire.
All the hype about Sachin's century has faded away now.
What's going to happen ???

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Gentleman's Game - only played by few...

They call it (Cricket) a "Gentleman's Game"... We have seen many instances of it all these years where the friendliness in the game is shown. However, it gradually started fading in late 80s though few thoughtful 'gentlemen' played/playing it with good spirits. Who other than 'Sachin Tendulkar' could be a better example with perfect sportsmanship and maintained friendship & respect. Hansie Cronje was one to have played it with good heart but unfortunately left his mind to think crazy. It really needs the same strong mind and heart to admit it publicly and rightly staying away from International Cricket.
Adam Gilchrist was another guy who can be called 'A Gentleman' among the rough and tough Aussies.
Incidents like Sachin's run out in the test match against Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Steve Waugh handling the ball in the test match against India at Chepauk, Michael Vaughan handling the ball in a test match against India, Peter Kirsten's dismissal in a match against India (Kapil Dev incident), Sachin's dismissal of Glenn McGrath when hit by a delivery that didn't bounce and given LBW, a player's helmet falling on the stumps, ball popping out of Gibbs's hand in '99 World Cup, etc., do happen. These dismissals leave a dark spot on everyone and in the game. They were unexpected (except the Kapil incident), but a lesson to be learnt and a bonus for the media to fill in their dailies.
The recent one on Bell's dismissal turned out with showering praises on the Indian captain and the team. But it's a shame on Bell to argue on the field and later coming on to bat after the generous decision by the Indian team. Though Bell admitted later, he had the same time to think and decide as Dhoni had and did at tea. Bell should have walked off and that would have shown professionalism. India had to decide and let Bell play play down safe on the dismissal.
If this could be revised, then each of the incidents mentioned earlier could have been reviewed and the decisions revised.They call it (Cricket) a "Gentleman's Game"... We have seen many instances of it all these years where the friendliness in the game is shown. However, it gradually started fading in late 80s though few thoughtful 'gentlemen' played/playing it with good spirits. Who other than Sachin Tendulkar' could be a better example with perfect sportsmanship and maintained friendship & respect. Hansie Cronje was one to have played it with good heart but unfortunately left his mind to think crazy. It really needs the same strong mind and heart to admit it publicly and rightly staying away from International Cricket. Adam Gilchrist was another guy who can be called 'A Gentleman' among the rough and tough Aussies.

Incidents like Sachin's run out in the test match against Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Steve Waugh handling the ball in the test match against India at Chepauk, Michael Vaughan handling the ball in a test match against India, Peter Kirsten's dismissal in a match against India (Kapil Dev incident), Sachin's dismissal of Glenn McGrath when hit by a delivery that didn't bounce and given LBW, a player's helmet falling on the stumps, ball popping out of Gibbs's hand in '99 World Cup, etc., do happen. These dismissals leave a dark spot on everyone and in the game. They were unexpected (except the Kapil incident), but a lesson to be learnt and a bonus for the media to fill in their dailies.

The recent one on Bell's dismissal turned out with showering praises on the Indian captain and the team. But it's a shame on Bell to argue on the field and later coming on to bat after the generous decision by the Indian team. Though Bell admitted later, he had the same time to think and decide as Dhoni had and did at tea. Bell should have walked off and that would have shown professionalism. India had to decide and let Bell bat again to play down safe on the dismissal.

If this could be revised, then each of the incidents mentioned earlier could have been reviewed and the decisions revised.