Top 10 doubts and answers in Financial Planning which every beginner investor has

POSTED BY Jagoinvestor ON September 24, 2009 COMMENTS (62)

Most of the newcomers and even some experienced people struggle with basic questions and concepts of Financial planning. I hear most of the readers on this blog and even over the chat with them asking the same kind of questions over and over again.

So here are top 10 questions and their answers. Read them and find out if it contains some of your doubts too…

Financial Planning

Question 1# I want to Buy a Life Insurance for my Financial dependents. What Should I buy?

Answer: Term Insurance, split the Insurance between 2 Insurance providers, better to take 5% increasing Cover option.

Question 2# I have to save for my retirement and Children Education and Marriage. It’s more than 15 years away. I can take small risk to moderate risk, where should I invest?

Answer: Invest in Equity Diversified Mutual funds via SIP. Keep reviewing the funds every 2-3 yrs. For now, choose the funds from this list of Best Mutual funds in 2009.

Question 3# I have no Idea about Stock Market and How it works and I am not even Interested to know how it works! Is there any way I can invest in Equity and Enjoy high returns?

Answer: Yes, The answer is same as #2. Invest in Equity Diversified Mutual funds via SIP method. Keep reviewing the funds every 2-3 yrs. For now, choose the funds from this list of Best Mutual funds in 2009. If you are not a big risk taken and have some heart problem then Invest in Balanced funds.

Question 4# I have recently got very excited by the idea of doing Stock Trading and make some consistent money from it. Any Tips?

Answer: Better do what you are doing right now… Trading is not everyone’s cup of tea. Unless you are very determined of making it as a career or a semi-career, don’t even try Trading unless you have no hobbies to keep your self-busy with. Read How a newcomer should start in Stock Markets first.

Question 5# I want to invest in FD or Endowment Policies for my child Education or Retirement which is more than 10 yrs away, Shall I?

Answer: No!! FD and Endowment Policies provide very bad “post tax post inflation” returns… most of the times… it’s Negative return after adjusting inflation and tax. The purchasing power of your money will decrease drastically in these kinds of Endowment policies.

Always remember

Short term = Debt
Long term = Equity

That’s the RULE NO 1. Look at how to choose the best FD for yourself.

Question 6# I need some money for my Sister’s Education or Marriage in 2 yrs, shall I Invest in Stocks or Mutual funds. I can see markets are rising now and I am sure that it will give me great Returns.

Answer: No!! It’s an Important goal and you can’t risk with that. Stay Away from Equity…The first thing you have to ask yourself is “Is Direct Equity for you”? And what do you mean you are “sure” about the markets moving up?

There is no such thing.. Markets didn’t even like Einstein and Newton who tried Predicting the movements, who are you !! Even though markets look easy, it’s too tough to make such calls…

Question 7#I have invested in some Endowment and money back policies. What can I do now?

Answer: Better make it a paid-up policy and take a term policy. You will save a lot of premium and hence you can invest it for long-term in Equity which you provide you much better returns. See the Review of Jeevan Tarang Policy from LIC.

Question 8# Should I hire a Financial Planner? I can read about Financial planning on blogs, through newspapers. I have increased my knowledge to an extent I can take care of myself. What to do?

Answer: It’s great that you have learnt it yourself, you should be able to take care of most of the things by yourself, but most of them will be day to day decisions when it comes to Financial Planning. It takes much more than just that!

Financial Planning is more than “Taking term insurance” or “Choosing some great mutual fund” or “good attitude about saving”

It requires

  • Time
  • Analysis of Current Situation in detail and linking each component with other for best results.
  • In-depth knowledge or at least basic level of knowledge of overall Financial Planning …
  • An attitude of thinking in terms of Financial planning.

It’s not everyone’s job. We all have expertise in some or the other field, we may be okay or good at Financial planning. If your Home electric wires have issues… better call an electrician even though you have learnt some basic Electronics in college and know what needs to be done.

It’s always better to hire an expert and pay him what it deserves. We all are in this world for some reason, better do your own part and let others do theirs.

Note: I am talking about overall Financial Planning and expert advice… taking basic advice can /should be done by yourself.

Question 9# How is an Insurance agent or Wealth/Portfolio Manager different than a Financial planner?

Answer: From decades, Agents and petty advisers with some basic knowledge in a single field claim to be a financial planner. Financial planning is a very different thing than just Insurance Planning or Investment planning.

They are part of Financial Planning and much much more than that. Its like surgery of current situation, trying to find the issues in the current situation, the defective parts of overall Financial life and then correcting those mistakes by linking different parts.

CFP is the standard certification accepted all over the world for Financial Planning; So if you are looking for your Financial planning. Only look for people who are some way related to CFP certifications.

They can either be pursuing it, completed it or have been given CFP certificate. You can also look for any trustworthy person you think have required Skills.

Question 10# But Why to do Financial Planning at all .. I have never done it and I think I am in a good shape .. I don’t see any financial issues with my life.

Answer: It’s an innocent belief. There is time for everything.. wait for 20-30 more years and you will be amazed to see you are so much short of your Retirement corpus. You are still alive, hence you can’t imagine your family Financial situation once you are gone …

Everything shows up later… There are people claiming to be “healthy” and then dying of “Heart Attacks” 2 yrs later .. and young people complaining for “Backaches” in Early 20’s … These are the people who don’t believe in regular checkups…

Just to save few hundreds these people take risk with there health and let it deteriorate to an extent when it’s too late…

There are people who have decided to do their Financial Planning, but they are already in too much mess now… because they have taken those junk Endowment policies long back thinking it will make them rich… once you analyse your Financial Situation by your Future eyes.

You will be amazed to find out how much of restructuring you are doing…

Comments please .. Do you know of any more common question which can find a place here. Which one of these was one of your doubts? Please leave a comment …

62 replies on this article “Top 10 doubts and answers in Financial Planning which every beginner investor has”

  1. spguptahyd says:

    Is it ok if I register in CAMS and ask for service in the MF schemes servised by CAMS across all AMC’s. Will ther be any issue. Reply ‘ spguptahyd@’

  2. Chetan Ambi says:

    Thanks Manish!! This clears some of our doubts on financial planning.

  3. Vinay says:

    Hi Manish,

    I am planning to purchase a flat and I will be opting for a housing loan. I am a salaried employee, and I recently switched to another company from Infosys. The bank requires “Form 16”, of past 3 years to provide the loan, which I do not have. Please confirm if there is an alternate document that can be submitted to the bank or can will I get “Form 16”, of past 3 years from my previous employer.


    1. That only the bank can tell because its on them to decide . they generally need the tax returns copy and the form 16 , give them all the proofs which can show the income stablity and income proof , thats what they want ultimately !

  4. Poonam Sharma says:

    Hello Sir,

    First of all I thank u so much as i learnt so many good things from ur articles, which i dont know before.

    I have one question, please help me if possible.

    I am 30 n my hubby is 31. At this stage we can invest 20k individually per year. I am confused where to invest. Can u please help me out. I am a salaried and he has Real Estate Biz.

    Warm Regards….

    1. It will depend on your situation , how much risk you want to take, how long can you leave this investment and all ?

  5. Murali says:

    Hi Manish,

    I am an NRI, I want to rent my house in India which would fetch me Rs.39,000/- per month. My monthy EMI (NRI loan from LIC, India) comes to around 41,000/-. I was plannnig to pay off major chunk of loan and leave say Rs.5 lac for EMI payment in future. This would considerably bring down my monthly EMI and excess interest paid in long run for the house.(which adds upto the total cost of house).

    My question is…

    1)Do I have to file and pay tax on this as the rent income for Rs.39,000/- when the EMI payment is Rs.41000/-.

    2)Is it advisable to I pay off major amount and keep my loan amount to 5 lacs as of now. In that senario, will I have to pay more amount as taxable income. Will I be eligable for Standard deduction of Rs.2 Lacs per financial year but how do we reflect the expenses for the same house that I am paying as EMI + house maintenance once in a while. What are my options to enjoy major chunk of rent income legally.

    3) Since I am NRI, do we have any website, where I can fill in and pay the taxes in appropriate way or its a norm to go thru CA only in India as I have no other transactions happening back home.

    Your clarification would help me and many of my friends with the same doubt.


    1. 1. Its more of an accounting thing .. Your EMI will be allowed only upto 1.5 lacs per year .. not more ..

      However your income will be high .. so you need to report it .. I assume you will anyways get in touch with some CA

      2. You can do that, because your tax outgo can still be same .. because anywyas you were able to claim upto 1.5 lacs in interest part

      3. You can make the payment online to tax department on their website

  6. Manoj says:

    Hi Manish,

    In your book, it was written that if we start investing early keeping a target with 25 years time frame but stops investing in MF after say 15 years and wait for remaining 10 years without further investing, we’ll still be able to create 80-85% of wealth by leaving it to grow by its own. I didn’t understand this.
    For example if I invest in equity MF for 15 years, how would it grow by its own in next 10 years? Since the no of units is going to be same in the 15th and 25th year, how would it grow in the last 10 years?

    1. the NAV will go up right .. when you buy 1 share , the price goes up , right !

      In the same way, your NAV will keep going up or down !

      1. Manoj Maindola says:

        Agree but on the 25th year it may be less than what it was on the 15th year.

        Also since we are not averaging in the last 10 years, isn’t my money on greater risk?
        Shouldn’t I move the money in Debt in the last 10 years using Systematic Withdrawal Plan?

        1. Yes .. but only in last 10 yrs .. I would say last 3-5 yrs is better.. depends on your risk appetite !

  7. Nikki says:

    Hi Manish,

    Is it true that from AY 2013-2014 additional tax benefit of Rs 20,000.00 available on the infrastructure bonds is no longer available. If yes then, what other instruments should an individual invest .

    1. Yes, not just 2013-2014 , it was not there last year also 2012-2013

  8. Jayanti says:

    Thanks Manish,

    I appreciate your resonse and advise.


  9. Jayanti says:

    Hi Manish,

    I cann’t thank you enough for the prompt reply. Sounds great, as I was looking for absolute no risk care for her. Here I have few doubts..shall be grateful if you can help with those too.
    1. Complete 20 Lac in one FD or is it advisable to divide it into smaller chunks for FD just in case of contingency withdrawal,to reduce penalties.
    2. There are different interest rates in different banks varying from 7.5 % to 10%. Though some cooperative banks and private banks do have good repute….the interest rates also differ in each nationalised bank by 1/2 to 1 %. Are there any hidden points , to check for. Which bank FD seems more suitable for this specific situation.
    3. Again long tenure shows lesser interest rate…so do we need to spread the said amt in different tennure.
    4. Roughly when I calculate 8% quarterly interest for one year on 20 L, its more than 1.2 L needed for the 1st year (@Rs.10,000/- pm). How should that surplus amount be utilised? Should it be reinvested in FD amount or used in other types of savings.
    5. Whats the formula to calculate how long the principal amount will fetch us the interest amount with desired 6% raise every year and last for n number of years.

    Last but not the least your articles are eye openers. The info you share were always floating around, but laymens never bother to understand it, no matter how educated they are. I congratulate you on this efforts.

    Thanks again,

    1. Jayanti

      Let me give you that information this way

      Out of 20 lacs, better take 1 lacs and mark it as emergency fund , so that incase you need money for some emergency you have it . Then put 4 lacs in another FD and 15 lacs as seperate , This 15 lacs can be treated as the main income generator . Whatever suggestions I gave you , take it as raw info .. you cant exactly achieve it like that ..

      Regarding formula . I used a calculator which we created for our wealth club members.

  10. Jayanti says:

    Hi Manish,

    I want to invest Rs.20 Lac for my widow mom in such a way that she gets Monthly income of 10 thousand + considering inflation of 6% min. every year for next 15-20 years. Can you help me with a guidelines to invest for her, she is 65 years. Your advice would be highly appreciated. I want to make her self- dependent financially. She has her own house and no other investments.


    1. Jayanti

      Great .. all you need to do is Put that money in a Fixed Deposit with a quarterly interest option back in the account , and ask your mother to withdraw the money on a yearly basis and then use it monthly . Assuming a 6% inflation and 8% return on FD , this should last around 20 yrs , given she withdraws 10,000 per month for 1st year and then increases it by 6% each year ! .

      Hope it helps

  11. Deepak N says:

    Hi Manish,

    I am a resident of Hyderabad. Infosys Technologies has started its second campus in an area of 450 acres in the outskirts of Hyderabad, with a plan of employing around 50,000 employees in next 10 years. Already 6,000 employees are working in that campus. All the open lands around 15 kms of this campus are turning into residential plots from various builders. I bought a north-east corner plot in a venture approved by HMDA(Hyderabad Metro Development Authority), ensuring clear title and basic amenities of road, drainage, electricity and water piping lines, fencing etc., prepared by venture developers. It costed me Rs. 7,50,000. The plot is 14 kms from Infosys Campus. Looking at the pace with which the entire area is turning into a real estate bubble, and the prices going high almost every month, i started doubting the amount of return i would get in the long run.

    1. Will there be good returns on investments in land, for a long term investments of 15 to 20 years?
    2. The price has almost grown 1.5 times in 2 years, which looks very good now. But once most of the plots in the area are sold, will the appreciation be good?
    3. I am planning to invest another 10 lakhs in that area, as there is a rush in prices and people are also buying it at any cost. Is that a good idea?
    4. I have closed my FDs for this purpose and good lands are available(seem promising on rents or resale), but i am worried on fluctuating market prices, due to Telangana issues in Hyderabad.
    5. Every rupee is hard earned, and losing it might become heart sinking. That is stopping me from taking a bold decision.

    Please advise.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Deepak N

    1. Deepak

      Given the trend , I think this kind of calculated risk will work . I would strongly suggest invest in it just make sure the titles are clear . A good idea would be to invest in one more plot which you are planning and keep one for short term like 5-6 yrs and one for a long run like 10-15 yrs . Sell of the first one to realise the minimum profit you expect ! .

  12. Karunakar Kona says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply..

  13. Karunakar Kona says:

    Hi Manish,

    Thanks for you valuable suggestions.

    I have an LIC endowment policy(Jeevan Anand) which has a premium 26K.I have paid 4 premiums(4 years) till now.Now I am planning to make this policy paid-up and invest the same amount in others like Mutual/debt funds.

    Can you please suggest which funds are better.


    1. You can invest in long term mutual funds like HDFC Equity or DSPBR top 100

  14. gurudev says:

    i want to invest 40,000 per month. what should be my portfolio. i currently have icici pinnacle pru life insurance program and an icici pru life insurance which invest in government security.

    1. Gurudev

      Better you tell us your goals and expectations in your financial life , only then some one can suggest you something .

  15. Sanjib Chakraborty says:

    I neighbor is a policy holder under Sudarshan Plan B, Policy No.- 06027573610, in the name of Abdur Rashid. But unfortunately he could not continue his premium after 9 consecutive premium paid. In this regards, is he entitled to get the money which is deposited in this plan in future or after maturity.

    1. Sanjib

      Ask him to refer to policy document !

  16. dhanasekar says:

    hi all ..can any one explain about canara bank robecco equity saver …I dont know anything about mutual fund,share market etc…I heard that my friend invested in this fund on 2009 for 3 years with one time investment 25000 Rs. After that 4 month once he was getting 4000 rs..for 3 years. recently he closed that scheme and got 39000 Rs as market value of 25000 Rs finally..Is this true scheme..Is this still available in market .. how to apply this ..can any one address me …..

  17. Ammu says:

    Thanks for the reply Manish. Could you pls also let me know if we have tax saving scheme if in investing in HDFC Top200?

  18. Ammu says:

    Hi Manish,
    I would like to some investments (3000-4000) per month for 10 years.I have a saving of 15Kper month.Currently I have 2 LIC policies, Jeevan Saral(premium-15K for 25 years) and Jeevan surabhi(premium-9K per month for 20 years) . Could you pls suggest if SIP, FD or VPF is the best?

    1. Ammu

      You should start your investments in SIP’s like HDFC Top 200 , DSPBR top 100 etc .. Better make your policies paid up and free up more money on per month basis


  19. Srinivas Patnaik says:

    Hey Manish,
    I was looking for some secure short term (about 6months) investment options.
    While browsing I came across the following sbi scheme:,16,384,594

    Can you tell something more about this – like eligibility, any conditions, what/how much tax can be saved etc.


    1. Srinivas

      Thats a Tax saving FD with 5 yrs of lock in , for a small period like 6 months , you really dont benefit greatly compared to FD , may be .5 or 1% extra , that too not guaranteed , what if things go wrong and you get that much less ..

      With Taxation , your chances of making extra return than a FD reduces more .. Also if its a small ticket investment like 20k or 50k , you hardly get few fundreds more than FD .. Some saving bank like Kotak and YES are not giving 6% on plain SAVING bank πŸ™‚ . So i would suggest not to worry to much for this short period . Do a FD


      1. Srinivas Patnaik says:

        Thanks Manish!

        “Some saving bank like Kotak and YES are not giving 6% on plain SAVING bank”

        I am sure you meant ‘…are NOW giving…’

        1. Yea .. i meant “are NOW Giving”

  20. Deepak says:


    Nice article!
    In case of endowment policy what is mean by “paid up”. In your Question 7 you suggested to “paid up” the policy. In my case, I am paying premium of Rs. 31000 per year for SBI Life insurance endowment policy(SBI Sudarshan PLAN B). I already paid 5 premiums and thinking to quit it now. What is paid up in this case ? Quitting the policy ?

    Please guide

    1. Deepak

      Making a policy paid up means , not quiting the policy , but stopping the paymnts from now on , in which case you get your paid premiums + Bonus till date at the maturity of policy .


      1. Deepak says:


        Thanks for your quick reply!
        Got the point of “paid-up” policy. Getting back Rs. 155000(5 premium)+bonus at the time of maturity value(which is 25 years from now) seems like a carrot at the end considering the inflation over the next 25 years. I am planning to take good coverage pure Term Insurance(credit goes to you). I had a little idea about term insurance but you know this * cheaters * (agents) who finally convince you to buy endowment plan. I really regret for that.

        I think I should quit the policy.
        anyways, thanks again


        1. Sounds good πŸ™‚


  21. Chirag Dangarwala says:

    Dear Sir,
    I have read your articles relating to Financial Planning / Investment etc. and all your artilces are throw lights on various aspect of life alongwith needs arise at various stage of life. Please advice me for following :
    I have to make planning for childrens’ education, childrens’ marriage / dream home / dream vactation and peaceful retirement life. I can take moderate risk. My earning alongwith my wife earning is Rs.3.60 Lacs P.a. I want to secure my family and enjoy their current std. of living even incase of my absence.

    Please help me and guide me to built up my wealth.

    1. manish says:


      You need to read on the topics and follow up on each topic . Read following

      Get back to me incase you have specific questions πŸ™‚


  22. arunsg says:

    Shouldn't it be "…their answers" ? Just a nit πŸ™‚

    1. manish says:


      What do you mean ?


  23. Ajay Gupta says:

    Thanks Manish for your suggestion.
    I was unable to find posts regarding FMPs or Debt Funds in this blog. Will expect some eye-openers regarding FMPs and Debt funds very shortly.


  24. Manish Chauhan says:


    You have to understand the tradeoff between safety and returns . 2 years is a small time frame and a big change can happen to someone's money in 2 yrs .. Imagine today was Dec 2007 and you wanted to invest in equity , In 1 yr , the value would have dropped to 50% or 40% and because of fear you will take it out so that you atleast save that part only to see it go back to 90% of original value in another 1 yr .

    So this kind of volatility does not suit to a person who is saving for some important goal where safety of capital is of utmost importance .

    In this case , you will have to compromise with small but secured returns. FD's , FMP or some Debt fund are probably 100% safe funds (except Debt funds) .

    If you can take some amount of risk , then Debt oriented funds (which have small equity exposure) are recommended .


  25. Ajay Gupta says:

    Hello Manish,

    You have advised to stay away from equity markets if the money is saved for sister's education/marriage which is 2 years away. Keeping the same example in mind, which is the best and safest way of investing the money with 2 years time horizon?


  26. Anonymous says:


  27. Manish Chauhan says:


    If company is defaulting on its deposits , I would say yes , there are chances that its equity prices are also little nervous , but it may not always be the case because Deposits can default for totally different reasons and prices of shares move for different reasons , not totally different though .

    Regarding returns from equity , yes you are true when you say that historical returns may not repeat . I truely agree there ..

    But !! .. The thing is when we say it may not repeat means that it may not be able to give similar kind of returns , if not 17% .. may be 15% or 14% or 20% … or lesser than that ..

    but we are mainly concerned about probability .. Equity is the best asset class in long term , this is not just 20-30 yrs old fact .. its centuries old fact .. it happening from decades .

    So now when we say its not 100% sure that it will repeat .. we are acutally saying we are just 99.9% sure .. now its you take if you want to take that risk for .1% or not πŸ™‚


  28. Anonymous says:

    thanks buddy,
    Regarding .. If Company is defaulting FD .. then its equity will also default/down… hence Irrespective of direct equity/MF, Investment will be at loss…
    It is not necessary that Historic return will be repeated, If it is prologued recession… then we will see ..

  29. Manish Chauhan says:


    OK , I was talking about normal Bank FD's which provide 9% interest .. Incase you are talking about Corporate FD . then here are the comments

    – They carry default risk , so they might not be able to return your money when you really need it . Check the company because you take that FD .

    – They are again taxable in investor hand . so if you come in 20% bracket , your post-tax return is 9.6% which is ok .

    – Your upper limit for return is capped at 12% then .. Unlike Equity you cant get more than that , However it depends on your Risk appetite and preferences . So better go what you are comfortable with .

    Regarding my comment about 12% from Equity in long run , The return of 12% is kind of minimum you can expect even after most of the things go wrong …

    Historically it has returned 17%+ and if things go as they are going .. you can easily expect 15%+ . 12% is the worst case sceanerio .. (fingers crossed) .



  30. Anonymous says:


    Company FD is providing 12% return, I agree it comes over cost of safety, but that is true with Equity As well…
    For detail, go over any financial service provider web
    As I said, and saying again If assuming I am planning my FD investment in such a way, I don't need to pay any single penny on it… What is the problem.
    If I am not wrong, it was one of your post, which talks about 12-13% return per annum over Long Term (10 year)(More you try harder to achieve, more risk you take and more drop in return), if you are able to recall fine, else I will post the link as well …

  31. Manish Chauhan says:


    What you should be interested in is Post tax return and not "pre-tax" returns .

    FD post tax return is not more than 6.5% considering you come in 20% bracket . Mutual funds have a post-tax return of more than 12% on an average over long term (25% over last 5 yrs .) .

    FD's are for short term investment only . Also which FD is providing 12% return . If they provide 12% return then they will be an excellent tool … I would then recommend FD to everyone .


  32. Manish Chauhan says:


    What you should be interested in is Post tax return and not "pre-tax" returns .

    FD post tax return is not more than 6.5% considering you come in 20% bracket . Mutual funds have a post-tax return of more than 12% on an average over long term (25% over last 5 yrs .) .

    FD's are for short term investment only . Also which FD is providing 12% return . If they provide 12% return then they will be an excellent tool … I would then recommend FD to everyone .


  33. Anonymous says:

    Why do you say FD is not effective way…
    Ultimately You target 12-13% return by Equity over long term..

    If FD is giving 12% (per year, effective yield will be 14.5%+) return over 3-5 years pre tax, And Person Can manage Tax Part (Either by TAX CHORI, or planning).. Then why not FD ??
    Any answer ?

  34. Manish Chauhan says:


    Yeah .. I think this happens because people hear other idiots who have made easy money handful of times by luck or some skills and they think they can replicate πŸ™‚


    Yeah .. thats true .. this is the same issue i talked in article .. People whom you are calling FP are not actually FP , they are something but not FP atleast … πŸ™‚


  35. Gurdial says:

    One reason people are a bit chary to enlist the services of a Financial Planner is the huge TRUST deficit.
    As I read some where-"97% of Financial Planner give a bad name to the other 3%".

  36. Manshu says:

    I like the advice about equities being risky and no one able to predict the market.

    I am surprised at how many people think they can beat the market and predict how it will behave, when probably not even a single person can do it in the whole world.

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