The 28 Best Books on Personal Finance & Investing

personal-finance-investing-books

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”

The amount of wisdom that a book contains cannot be better described by this quote from Walt Disney. And the number of books written on any subject is endless too.

In this post, I share with you some of the best personal finance and investing books that I have come across over the years. The number on the list is not

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HDFC Bank Results: Will the rise continue?

HDFC Bank announced the results of its 1st Quarter (April – June) of 2020. A quarter most challenging for all businesses due to lockdown and economic uncertainties due to Covid-19.

The banking sector, being an essential sector, was operational during the lockdown. But challenges were plenty. Moratorium on loans meant lower inflows and higher risk of future bad loans (Non-Performing Assets). The entire industry was staring at its biggest crisis ever.

Amidst this, there was not many expectations from the first quarter results of any company. But Continue reading

Market Recovery Post Lockdown – Stay Put or Stay Out?

Nationwide lockdown

23rd March 2020 – Perhaps for the first time, we witnessed a nation-wide lockdown. Nobody had ever imagined life coming to a standstill for many days to come. Businesses were shut overnight, life was uncertain. 23rd March 2020 was also the day when Indian equity markets saw a recent low with Nifty closing at 7610. The future was uncertain – uncertain for employees, uncertain for businesses. Amid this uncertainty,Continue reading

You (Yes You!) Are Your Money’s Worst Enemy

Will you believe me if I say that you are your money’s worst enemy?

You will probably think that I am insane or just laugh it off as a joke.

You not admitting this will not change the fact – you are your money’s worst enemy. Ben Graham, the great value investor once said. “An investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself”.

We humans as a species make mistakes. We all have made numerous mistakes in our lives – as kids, in school, at work and so on. Do not worry, making mistake is not limited to only you – every human makes mistakes. Mistakes made by political leaders often result in wars and unrest, those made by economists and governors of central banks result in recession and unemployment.

Making mistakes is an integral part of human behavior.Continue reading

10 ‘Wall’uable Personal Finance Lessons from Rahul Dravid

‘Rahul Dravid’ – If you are a follower of cricket, I don’t have to ask if you know Rahul Dravid. And even if you do not follow cricket, odds are still very high that you know Rahul Dravid – one of the best cricketer that India has seen in the last three decades. A batsman with an almost perfect technique, a wonderful team player and above all a fine gentleman. This article is about Rahul Dravid and the personal finance lessons we can learn from his cricketing career. So, pad up and get ready to play some exquisite cover drives – just like RD did.Continue reading

Cheaper Loans – Mumkin Hai?

It was just another day at office and I walked out to the regular darshini (self-service restaurant) for lunch. While I was relishing my paneer fried rice, I overheard a conversation between two colleagues. They were talking about repo-linked loans. They were discussing about ‘a new rule’ because of which home loans and car loans will become cheaper. They were all praise for RBI for implementing this rule and one even went on to say ‘Modi hai to Mumkin hai’. But will your loan actually become cheaper? Will your EMI reduce? Will it benefit the customers? In the next few paragraphs, I will explain what this new rule is and how it will affect you.

What is repo-linked loan?

Repo-linked loan is a loan whose interest rate is based on the repo rate. For starters, repo rate is the rate at which RBI lends to other banks to meet their short-term obligations. RBI reviews this rate every two months and has the authority to change this rate depending upon economic conditions and inflation. The current repo rate is 5.4%. To know more about repo rate, click here.

RBI has been making efforts for banks to move to repo-linked loans since last few months and has finally issued a circular making it mandatory for all banks to offer home and auto loans based on repo rates from 1st October 2019.

How is this loan different from what is in offer currently?

Currently, all loan rates are calculated based on Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR). MCLR is a rate below which the bank cannot lend to any customer. This rate is arrived at by considering various factors including cost of borrowing for the bank. This rate is calculated internally by the bank. This is where the difference lies. While the MCLR is calculated by the bank and any change made to it is purely the decision of the bank, the new repo-linked loan rates will have to change automatically as and when RBI changes repo rates.

Why is there a need for these loans?

Under the current MCLR based loans, the banks never passed on the complete benefits of rate cuts by RBI to the customers. This resulted in better profit margins for the banks while the customers never got the benefits of lower cost of loans. There have been instances when RBI has expressed its displeasure about this. One such instance can be found here.

Is the new loan better than the previous one?

The answer is yes. The repo-linked loan brings about the much-needed transparency in movement of lending rates. Take for instance the current home loan rate of SBI is repo plus 2.25%. This means the interest rate on the loan will be repo plus 2.25% throughout the tenure of the loan. With current repo rate being 5.4%, the home loan rate is 7.65%. Of course, this is the lowest rate and there will be added margin to factor in loan duration, size and creditworthiness of the borrower.

Can I shift my existing loan to the new structure?

Yes, you can. If your bank has not already started offering repo-linked loans, it will offer one in the next few days. You need to understand the charges involved in shifting to the new structure and calculate the effective savings on interest due to the switch. Make a decision only after evaluating the net savings!

My loan is with LIC Housing Finance. Can I also avail this benefit?

Unfortunately No. Currently, RBI has only made it mandatory for banks to offer these loans. All NBFC’s including the likes of HDFC, PNB Housing Finance, Indiabulls Housing Finance etc. have no obligation to offer repo-linked loans. You can only hope to see such loans from your lender or choose to move to a bank. Remember, shifting a house loan will have costs such as processing fee, legal fee etc. Evaluate your net savings carefully before arriving at a decision.

Is there a catch?

Not exactly a catch, but something that you might not factor. Currently, interest rates are on a downward trend and are expected to remain so for some more time. Hence your loan rates might come down further in the coming months. But do brace up for a situation in the future where interest rates move up. Let higher interest rates not result in a shock.

If you have any question that has not been answered above, please do leave the question as a comment and I will be happy to answer. To know about our various services, click here.

FLIP your financial situation

If there’s one thing we Indians love the most; it is our freedom, the sense of liberation. We want freedom in every aspect of our lives – from simple things like what we eat, drink and wear to some of the most serious things like our career choices and political preferences. We hate it when we are controlled by anyone – parents, boss or the Government! In this context, I find it highly ironical to see slaves everywhere – in offices, parties and even colleges. Most youngsters today are slaves – slaves of money, slaves of their financial commitments.

Are you one of these slaves? Do you find it difficult to manage your finances by the end of the month? If yes, it is time for you to FLIP! Flip means

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Crazy about Cricket? Six Investing Lessons from IPL!

If there is something that can compete with Mr. Modi in popularity today, it is definitely the IPL. In a country where cricket is a religion and evokes strong emotions, it will be unfair if we do not learn a few investing lessons from the ongoing IPL season. Here are six lessons that you can learn from this IPL.

Investing Lesson 1: The early bird has a better chance of getting the worm.

As I write this, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Superkings have qualified

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