Category: Financial Planning for Defence Personnel

29 Jun 2017
Kitna Mileage deti hai- Financial Planning, humfauji.in

Kitna Mileage deti hai?

Sir, I’ve told him that he has a 80% Debt and 20% Equity portfolio where safety has been given more importance as this is his retirement corpus, but he insists that he won’t accept anything less than 15% annualized returns since the markets are now booming!” -I could make out my hapless young financial planner was at her wits end.

“Sanjeev, what is this yaar? My overall portfolio returns are 25% CAGR (Compounded Annualized Growth Rate) but this one stupid fund is stuck at 17% and my planner is just doing nothing about it!”, ranted one of our aggressive customer.

One of our bigger investor has moved almost 50% of his life’s savings to a well-known Portfolio Management Service (PMS) because his initial ‘test-drive’with their 100% equity portfolio produced great results in these rising markets.

We routinely get calls from prospective clients who ‘haggle’ with us on ‘returns’ – if they invest with us, will we surely get them 15-20-25% returns? If not, then why not? During such conversations, sometimes we feel as if we’re in the business of manufacturing returns rather than managing portfolios, helping meet customers’ future financial goals and keeping them away from harm’s way!

So, what am I trying to bring out here by these examples? ‘Safety’ and ‘Returns’ are two ends of the investment scale. The twain shall never meet!! Your own personal investment slider has to be placed on that scale in such a manner that it meets your risk comfort level, takes you solidly towards meeting your future requirements (‘financial goals’) comfortably and of course, takes care of the market conditions – now and in anticipated future. If you want more safety, you have to move away from returns expectations while desire for more returns will always compromise safety. This is a universal rule and never gets flouted.

The way we do not buy a car just because it gives high mileage disregarding all other factors, we do not need to only look at best returns all the time disregarding its suitability to us, risks taken by it and whether it enables us to get the money when we actually need it.

Most of us know this but we still keep hoping to hit upon that magic formula, that magic investment avenue, which will get us the ‘highest returns with highest safety’. Many unscrupulous elements, sensing this innate human desire, have made their fast bucks on it – the Hofflands, Sterling Tree Magnums, Ponzis and sms-stock-tipping schemes know this weakness and routinely surface to earn their millions and billions. We all hear and read about them, sympathize with the conned ones, bless ourselves that we’ve not fallen for such schemes and then go about looking for such quick returns schemes ourselves! Somewhere we assume that ‘high risk, high returns’ actually implies that if you take high returns, you get assured high returns!!

Herein comes a very basic question – What is the actual aim of investing? Is it to get highest possible returns at any cost and risk, Or is it to make our money grow so that we can meet our future requirements of life, give our children the best education, give our families a great standard of living, and have the money available in the right quantity when we need it? We can already sense you nodding to the latter. If that actually were so, why not make that as the start and end point of our investment process? Why not plan out how much we need for our future big-ticket expenses, what are the best investment avenues to accomplish each one of those ‘financial goals’, how to go about it so that we reach that end point without much risks and how to remain tax-efficient during the whole journey? Believe us, the investment journey will be more pleasurable, more sure-footed, and lead to far less sleepless nights if you change your focus from ‘Kitna Mileage Deti Hai’ to ‘Meeting my financial goals in life’.

And that’s where the concept of financial planning comes in – but then that’s a separate topic by itself, of which a large amount of knowledge is available on our Blog humfauji.in.

And for heaven’s sake, do not fall for those predictions of Sensex or stock levels – such predictions keep coming all the time and they sometimes even turn out to be true. But then, even a dead clock shows correct time twice a day!

For more information, feel free to reach us on, contactus@humfauji.in or call + 011 – 4240 2032, 40545977, 49036836 or

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01 Jun 2017
Strategies for Managing a Fast Growing Company-humfauji.in

Strategies for Managing a Fast Growing Company

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft once said that, “Longevity in the business is about being able to reinvent yourself or invent the future.”If you’ve been part of a start-up that has experienced rapid growth, then you’ll understand how important it is to constantly improvise and build systems that measure qualitative factors such as customer satisfaction, day-to-day market learning and incorporating innovation.Of course, that sounds much easier said than done but it needs a lot of time, energy and effort from the Core team to bring change, embrace growth and scale up. Also, you will find yourself juggling between organizational and managerial changes while keeping up with an increase in sales.

Regardless of how beneficial or detrimental acceleration there has been, you have to sustain these challenging changes and you have to grow along. But, how do you do it? Here are some tips on how to manage a fast growing company basis my experience as a COO of Hum Fauji Initiatives.

Have a medium-term goal

Yes you read that right. When planning out business, people mostly aim for either short-term or long-term goals.But a series of medium-term goals serve as the stepping stone of the bigger vision i.e. marking a name for your brand and yourself. Many fast-growing business owners change their goals too often, never quite completing a plan before starting the next one. So set medium-term goals and deliver it. You can also seek short-term goals simultaneously like setting skills, gaining market experiences, business accomplishments, etc. that will help you achieve the medium-term objectives faster.It also helps the management team and works effectively to keep the pace of your brand ambassadors, the CFPs in case of Hum Fauji Initiatives. You facilitate your staff way this and it leads to a healthy work environment.

Keep your customers happy, always

Who do you want to see happy at the end of the day? Your customer. No matter what stage your company is, you can never stop listening to your customers. In fact they are the direct reflection of how your product or service is. So always find a way to communicate with them, get immediate feedback, and find a way to keep them happy. Put in place a formal approach to listening to customers all the time and acting on their input. In short, when customers are happy with your business, nothing can stop your company’s growth.

At Hum Fauji Initiatives, customer service and customer feedback is significant. We conduct timely trainings for our team to help them understand the consumer insights and preferences. It is also essential to integrate the company values in the entire team.

Build a good team 

Having team members with right kind of skills is essential for a fast growing company. To maintain the structure, system and vision of your company, you need to recruit and hire the best people available so they can run each of their departments. By doing so, you can focus on the overall strategy. And once you form that team, you ought to develop an approach to managing your growth, possibly with the help of a mentor. In last 7 years, we have been guiding our team internally through one to one counselling and we also do it with the external experts who master the skill-sets that we want to inculcate in our team members as per the evolving ecosystem of financial advisory services.

Find a great mentor

As an entrepreneur, you have lot on your shoulders. A mentor with experience as an entrepreneur or business executive can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. You have the benefit of their experiences and the advice of someone who has been there before.When you are touring or busy pulling more and more business, your mentor can handle your teams and guide their projects. A good mentor with defined roles will any day add better productivity.

Subtract the old, add the new.

When it comes to business, there can be lots of factors or strategies that used to work but not anymore. You have to get rid of them. There are probably a bunch of things you’ve always done that slowed you down without you realizing it. It could be the systems your team use or traditional way of communication. You have to constantly think of modes that can put your employees into something more productive.

Managing a fast growing business requires constant changes in tactics and sometimes it involves tough decision making. This can involve addition and subtraction in the services we deliver, the territories we expand and also at times the people we work with –you have to be vigil and rational be it the choice of vendors or the team. Here I do not mean to be judgemental about the people you work with but I am suggesting about the dilemma a business owner has to undergo and how necessary it is to be rational about the larger business goal – the vision that you had begun with.

By applying the above strategies and learning to manoeuvre quickly will help your business grow and succeed. At Hum Fauji Initiatives, it is been a full circle of experiences, dilemma, an array of events where we go to learn & unlearn and the above is as per my experience as a COO of this amazing dream initiative I chose to be a part of – the Hum Fauji Initiatives.

For more information, feel free to reach us on, contactus@humfauji.in or call + 011 – 4240 2032, 40545977, 49036836 or

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27 Jul 2016
Decomplicate your life

Decomplicate your life

There’s too much of financial ‘wisdom’ being branded about. Too many words telling you too less. Don’t get overwhelmed with it – here’s the gist of it.

Financial planning is simple. One sincere Sunday sitting with your wife and you can pretty much simplify and sort a lot of your financial issues.

Generally you can’t help or control how much you earn. However what you do with the money after it is earned, is fully in your control. Most of us worry more about what they have no control on, and neglect what they have full control on, in financial matters.

You’re paying a lot of tax on your salary. Agreed. But there’s nothing much you can do about it. Stop worrying about it, therefore.

There’s a lot of tax you can save on the investments that you do after you get your salary. Worry about that. It is in your control!

If you want to save yourself future financial hassles, save for specific requirements (‘financial goals’) like children education, their marriage, a house etc, rather than saving in general. You’re more likely to stick to the savings plan if you know what is coming up in future.

Insure yourself, your house, your car, your business, your health against things that shouldn’t happen but can happen. It doesn’t cost much.

Don’t be proud of a big balance in your savings bank account or in FDs. Your banker is celebrating it more than you.

Don’t be proud of so many insurance policies you have. They’re creating a lot of wealth – for your insurance agent and the insurance company.

The big balance in your credit card statement is not your gain but what you owe. Settle it in full – always and every time.

Pay slip is not as complicated as you think. Understand it as also your taxation and the concept of inflation. There’s no bravado in not knowing about them.

Start healthy SIPs in a good bouquet of mutual funds. Great if you can do it yourself. Otherwise, don’t have an ego issue in going to a financial planner to manage your financial worries.

Build an emergency fund equal to about 3 – 6 months’ expenses. Put it away in a bank FD or better still, in a liquid fund.

You’ve never thought about WILL. It’s not that only others die prematurely. Get that protection umbrella over your family – you owe that much to your loved ones.

For more information, feel free to reach us on, contactus@humfauji.in or call + 011 – 4240 2032, 40545977, 49036836

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26 Apr 2016
Add health to Wealth

Add health to Wealth

Dear Friends,

Resolutions are traditionally made at the beginning of a calendar year. Can you make resolutions to improve your financial health in the year? The article series started in Financial Express from today onwards deals with this subject.

It kicks off with my views on how to add health to your wealth NOW. The article can also be accessed at the link http://www.financialexpress.com/article/personal-finance/why-epf-sip-and-will-should-be-part-of-your-financial-planning/243077/

 

Why EPF, SIP and WILL should be part of your financial planning

 Besides planning for financial health, one should assess the whole year’s expenses and the various money taps through which they can be met.

Financial year 2016-17 is well and truly in. Among the many things you look forward to, is to improve your financial health. The annual salary increments would be round the corner. But along with that, there would be several expenses lined up, including home loan EMIs, insurance premium payments and education expenses for children, among others. So, how should you plan your finances for the year ahead. What are the many steps that you should take to ensure that you have enough for all expenses and some savings after that to invest? What financial resolutions you need to take to keep your financial health intact, if not better it.

FeMoney spoke to some leading financial advisors to ascertain their views on how to plan your financial calendar. We start the series with views of Sanjeev Govila, CEO, Hum Fauji Initiatives, a leading financial planning entity.

Govila says besides planning for financial health, one should assess the whole year’s expenses and the various money taps through which they can be met. Your earnings estimates would give you an idea of the tax liabilities and you can lay the foundation of your financial plan around it. Make your tax-saving investments at the beginning of the year, instead of waiting till next March, says Govila.

He advises putting savings and investments through the automatic route through ECS and higher provident fund outgo from the salary itself. Also, if you have not made your Will, that should take priority in your financial planning calendar. Plough back some money into social causes, if you can. That would make you a happier person!

Govila’s 6 resolutions for a better financial year is as follows:

Take a firm hold of what are you expecting to earn during the year: This will make it clear as to what your tax liabilities will be. For a change, instead of investing in March for tax saving for the dying financial year, do it in April for the new FY. It will be more comfortably done and in a better manner. Probably last minute bank 5-year Fixed Deposits or National Savings Certificate (NSC) will get replaced by a systematic investment plan (SIP) in equity linked savings schemes (ELSS) in your scheme of things, where money is invested every month and results in a E-E-E (exempt, exempt, exempt) taxation with better returns.

Taxation drudgery done, look at your savings equation: Try to make it ‘Income – Savings = Expenses’ instead of ‘Income – Expenses = Savings’. It’ll result in a fuller life and minimise those ‘lifestyle’ expenses which actually only result in wasteful and avoidable expenses. And such a lifestyle change can only be done at the beginning of the year rather than when there’s no time left to act.

Assess expenses for the year, at what time they come up and how you’ll meet them: Don’t forget the big-ticket expenses like the life and car insurance premiums. Any maturities of FDs, insurance and other investments be also considered. Workout on a simple excel sheet would do the trick on a lazy Sunday in April.

As far as possible, make your savings automatic without needing your intervention: SIPs going from bank account, healthy Employees Provident Fund (EPF) outgo from the salary itself, ECS for insurance premiums etc are the planned tricks which go a long way in converting your money to wealth without hassles.

Two important aspects – Will and charity: If you haven’t yet made a Will, get after it. Make it now yourself or seek professional help. Don’t ignore it. Similarly, when you earn well, give back something to the society which has given so much to you in plenty. Choose a cause close to your heart, make you contributions online and automated. Ultimately, this is what you will have to show when it counts and your children will know that you walk the talk.

– Lastly, life is about living it Don’t forget to live a lifestyle you seek but overdoing it beyond a limit not only is an active wealth destroyer but also shows sooner than later around your girth!

 

(Source: Sarbajeet K Sen, The Financial Express, 26 April 2016)

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02 Apr 2015
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

To say that we should plan our finances well is just to state the obvious. However, in spite of this knowledge, most of us do not put in the small amount of effort required to plan for the financial future of self and our families – how many people do you know who have bought a house without a home loan or sent their children for expensive studies without education loan by simply saving in advance? We would plan a weekend recreational trip much more than most of our major financial events of life.

Probably it is the anticipated drudgery of planning or the fear of confronting requirement of large financial sums that make us postpone any sort of long-term planning, till it is right in front of us and can no longer be postponed. However, if we put in just a little bit of effort on a couple of lazy Sundays, we would be able to see the merits of planning for our life events in advance. See the table below which illustrates that if we plan in advance, we would not only save a lot of money but be more confident to face the big event:-

Financial Goal When to occur Present cost Future cost SIP required to fund the amount Alternate funding if not saved regularly Money saved vis-a-vis loan, even after tax benefits if any (30% tax bracket assumed)
Child’s Post Graduation 10 years later 10 Lakhs (5 Lakhs per year for 2 years) Rs 25.93 Lakhs @ 10% per year  of education inflation Rs 12,977 per month for 10 years Education loan of Rs 25.93 Lakhs @ 12% with EMI Rs 36,288 for 10 years Rs 8.75 Lakhs (Education loan of Rs 25.93 Lakhs @ 12% with EMI Rs 36,288 for 10 years)
Own house 10 years later Rs 70 Lakhs (Rs 20 Lakhs available now) 181.56 Lakhs @ 10% per year  of property inflation Rs 59,762 per month for 10 years Home loan of balance @ 9% with EMI of Rs 1.21 Lakhs for 15 years Rs 69.03 Lakhs (Home loan of balance @ 9% with EMI of Rs 1.21 Lakhs for 15 years)
Daughter’s Marriage 10 years later Rs 20 Lakhs Rs 35.81 Lakhs @ 6% per year of marriage inflation Rs 16,138 per month for 10 years Personal loan of Rs 35.81 Lakhs @13% with EMI of Rs 53,468 for 10 years Rs 28.35 Lakhs(Personal loan of Rs 35.81 Lakhs @13% with EMI of Rs 53,468 for 10 years)

 

In the table above, we have assumed that your money in equity mutual fund Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) will grow at 12% per annum. Remember that in equity MFs, such returns beyond just one year of investment are fully tax-free. Thus, by a very preliminary planning in advance, choosing the right course of action and executing it, you save on large amount of interest. In addition, by systematically planning it, you see the amount getting accumulated and gradually gain confidence about meeting the commitment, thus reducing your anxiety and stress about the financial need.

Inherent in our above analysis is the need for a change of attitude. Over a period of time, we have taken it as a fait accompli that on occurrence of a big financial event, we will go ahead and take a loan and pay EMIs for a long period. Thus we commit ourselves to a stressful life leading up to the event as we do not have the money ready and thereafter, the stress of the EMIs for a long period due to the loan taken. It is time we reversed the cycle by planning in advance and accumulating money through a financial instrument we are comfortable with. Do you know that if you take a home loan of Rs 50 Lakhs for 15 years at 10.15% rate of interest, you pay a total interest of Rs 47.26 Lakhs, thus actually paying back Rs 97.26 Lakhs? This inflates the real cost of your house. Even if you get the highest tax benefit (of 30%) on this loanon interest, you still pay Rs 33.08 Lakh as net interest on this loan. Probably, it is time you changed your way of meeting your financial goals by planning in advance so that you plan to succeed rather than plan to fail.

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