My EPF Transfer Journey : Lessons Learned

My EPF Transfer Journey : Lessons Learned

POSTED BY JAGOINVESTOR ON APRIL 8, 2024 NO COMMENTS

One of our client’s EPF transfer did not happen properly and his total working years were not updated properly. He fought for many months and finally he got it updated.

Below is his experience in his own words.. please read.

My EPF Transfer Journey: Lessons Learned

Hi Everyone, I am Alok, a client of Jagoinvestor.com based in Pune.

I wanted to take a moment to share a significant experience related to EPF transfer and some lessons learned from that experience, It’s a bit long but I believe it’s worth recounting in full detail to shed light on a common issue many might face. I hope many others will be able to learn from my experience.

I had dedicated 17 years of my career to Company A before transitioning to Company B in July 2022.

Like any responsible employee, I promptly initiated the process of transferring my Provident Fund (PF) from Company A to Company B. However, to my dismay, my PF transfer request was unexpectedly rejected without a clear explanation.

Undeterred, I delved deeper into the matter and discovered that the rejection was due to an issue with the Non-Contribution Period (NCP) not being updated by my former employer, Company A.

This NCP stemmed from a 14-month period during which I was on an onsite deputation and consequently did not receive an Indian salary, hence no PF contributions were made.

My company failed to inform EPFO

Regrettably, Company A had failed to inform the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) about this period of non-contribution.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, I reached out to Jagoinvestor RM, whom I had a client relationship with seeking guidance. Their advice, along with insights from Manish, proved invaluable in navigating the complexities of resolving the issue.

My next step involved persistent follow-ups with the finance department of Company A. over five months, I engaged in numerous discussions and provided extensive documentation to rectify the NCP discrepancy.

Finally, after much back and forth, Company A took the matter up with the EPFO, resulting in a resolution that took a total of 13 months to achieve. The process involved a myriad of steps, including submitting joint declarations, compiling various documents, providing evidence of my deputation, and even negotiating penalties levied on the employer for the oversight.

My EPF was transferred finally with a proper update!

Ultimately, my PF was successfully transferred to Company B, and the NCP days were accurately reflected in my records.

What I learned through this ordeal was not just about navigating bureaucratic hurdles, but also about the importance of advocating for oneself and seeking resolution even in the face of daunting challenges. Furthermore, I realized that my experience could serve as a lesson for others who might find themselves in similar predicaments.

One crucial aspect that emerged from this journey is the intricate relationship between the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS).

While many might perceive EPS as a separate component, it’s vital to understand that the accuracy of both EPF and EPS data is interconnected. In my case, the Non-Contribution Period (NCP) not being updated by my employer had repercussions not only for my EPF but also for my EPS.

This is because the duration of NCP is subtracted from the overall service duration, impacting both components. Despite initially focusing on resolving the PF transfer issue, it became apparent that ensuring the accuracy of both EPF and EPS data was imperative. EPF-EPS interlinkage became evident as I delved deeper into the matter.

EPF Complexity!

Any discrepancies in one component could potentially affect the other, highlighting the need for comprehensive data accuracy across the board. Therefore, the resolution of the NCP issue wasn’t just about facilitating the PF transfer; it was about safeguarding the integrity of my entire Provident Fund account.

By recognizing this interconnection, I realized the importance of advocating not only for the transfer of PF funds but also for the accuracy of all associated data points. This understanding underscores the complexity of managing retirement funds and emphasizes the need for diligence in ensuring that all aspects of one’s financial portfolio are meticulously maintained.

In fact, upon sharing my story with colleagues from Company A who had also been on onsite assignments for extended periods, I discovered that many were unaware of the potential implications until I brought it to their attention.

I hope it helped you

Now, armed with this knowledge, they too are taking steps to ensure their NCP data is accurately updated by their employers. Apologies for the lengthy narrative, but I hope that sharing my journey in detail, it might provide valuable insights and guidance to anyone navigating similar waters.

Remember, persistence and proactive communication can often be the keys to overcoming even the most formidable challenges in the corporate landscape.

I hope my sharing will help others!

Just Keep Buying

Post Covid-19 hit lockdowns, India has seen a surge in demat accounts being opened. 

Around 114 million demat accounts were opened in 2023 alone which is around 2.8 times of 2020 number. Such has been the craze of the bull market we are witnessing.

The number of ‘demat’ accounts in India

As a result, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of traders offering tips for undisclosed fees. Add to that, there are so many YouTube videos where people knowing very little about finance and how stock markets operate have now become overnight financial influencers. Too much irrelevant information is now floating around for no reason at all.

In short, the drama around stock markets is increasing.

Think about it.

Stock prices of several railways and infrastructure companies have multiplied in the last couple of years with absolutely no change in their earnings or their fundamentals. Whereas a high quality bank like HDFC Bank which has been holding the ship steady has lost around 18% in January 2024 alone.

So now you get people on YouTube and television trying to justify everything.

  • If the market goes up, there’s enough justification.
  • If the market crashes, there’s enough justification.

So what should an investor do in such a scenario?

It’s simple, just keep buying!

In the long run, stock markets are a net positive indicator for wealth creation. They cannot become zero. It’s not in their nature.

Check this chart out

smallcap vs midcap

It’s a simple chart of Sensex, Mid cap and Small cap index performance over the last 20 years.

You don’t need to go into tremendous details to understand that in the long term, markets keep going up. We have seen the fall out of the 2008-09 debacle, the 2013 crisis of India being a Fragile 5 nation and the Covid-19 meltdown.

Yet, the prices keep going upwards.

Take HDFC Bank for example.

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a considerable amount of discussion around this stock. A lot of the youngsters who were born alongside the Bank’s launch date are declaring that this Bank’s future is over.

I believe some of these youngsters mindlessly comment via Telegram and YouTube, their careers are in grave danger.

Because if you take a 3 year horizon, then HDFC Bank’s stock has not gone anywhere.

But if you look at the last 2 decades, then the story is completely different.

It’s been a massive wealth-compounding machine for investors. I’ve written my own story of owning the stock which is up 30x now. (read here)

Now let’s take another example: Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL)

In the last 3 years, it has become a darling of the stock market. Some people want to own it and some people are wondering what stopped them from owning the stock.

Let’s see the charts.

This chart makes your heart melt by missing out on the stock. 

Just look at the chart, if you had owned it for the same period as you would have owned HDFC Bank.

It would have been your worst nightmare of a stock in the portfolio.

Agree to disagree?

So as an investor, you would have made money if you had simply invested with your mutual fund or a portfolio manager whose one of the top holdings has been HDFC Bank and not BHEL.

The shareholding pattern of both companies give a clear insight.

HDFC Bank

BHEL

BHEL has had a very low ownership from institutional investors (FII +DII) with 25% at best vs HDFC Bank with an ownership of 82% as of Dec 2023.

Yet, we often get swayed by making a quick buck. So we tend to make a mistake of timing the market. This never works. As a result, in 2024 itself we are going to see too many people closing their social media shops or being financial influencers.

One fine day they would vanish into thin air leaving your trading capital in the red zone.

So what should you do if you don’t wish to be in red?

So all you need to do is switch off from the markets and keep investing all the way through. If you don’t need your money for the next 15-20 years, then why bother about what’s happening today.

Just leave it to the experts.

Conclusion

With the information flow increasing with each day, it’s hard to understand what is signal and what is noise. It’s even harder when you have a full-time job or a business to run. Such stress tends to take a toll on our family lives too.

Some of us might even be thinking of making a quick buck in this bull run so that we can retire early. That can be a big pitfall too. Because you are trying to make immediate money without understanding the very nature of the beast.

So it’s best to leave it to the experts to navigate the bulls and the bears, while you take a good vacation on the beaches of the Bahamas. At the end of the day, what’s the use of money if we cannot spend it.

This article is written by Jinay Savla, Jagoinvestor

Navigating Interest Rates, Inflation, and your Financial Journey (Part 1/2)

Today we will talk about interest rates and inflation, the two hot topics of conversation in the investment world. I will try to simplify these two topics in a simple way and link it with your financial life.

The vast majority of views that we read in newspapers and blogs offer some form of asset allocation advice based on these 2 parameters. A simple retail investor like you and me will definitely get confused.

“To complicate is simple, to simplify is complicated. Everybody is able to complicate. Only a few can simplify.”  ~ Bruno Munari

Before we discuss interest rates and inflation, a story comes to mind. 

My wife and I really like to go for long drives. It just relaxes both of us. In fact, it’s the only common interest between the both of us.

For these long drives, we do some basic checks with the car and environment – whether it is raining or not, food, water and comfortable clothing. Since music is now streamed via the Internet, we don’t need to worry about CDs or cassettes, etc. Sorted.

Now when we start the car, Google Maps tells us that we will reach a particular destination in the next 7 hours with an average speed of 80 kmph based on the traffic. So we simply add a couple of hours of rest, washroom breaks and some lunch or dinner along the way. Effectively our journey becomes 8.5 to 9 hours.

Those of us who constantly drive on highways know the unpredictability of accidents. It’s like you are strolling and suddenly there’s a whole lot of traffic that you have to sit through. The crazy part is that there’s just no washroom or food mall available. So you are stuck in traffic listening to music and praying to God that the traffic clears very quickly.

Some uncles who are strolling around in such situations often become the messengers of bad news. It’s their duty to update every car whether there’s an accident, a fire, arrival of the ambulance, or police and then leave us with the hope that the traffic gets cleared quickly.

These unpredictable events lead us to a delay in reaching our destination and if we are not careful, these events also cause a bit of mental instability that leads to irritation.

But when the traffic clears, we drive as if our school’s last bell has rung and it’s time to go home. That feeling of relief. Some of us even want to cover the time wasted by driving at ridiculous speeds. It’s just different strokes for different folks. But if you just drive, you will reach your destination. It’s not rocket science.

Rocket science is what you do with your peace during these unpredictable events. That defines the happiness of your journey, not the destination.

Similarly, when you have planned your financial journey of life, there’s a destination set in your mind. Our financial independence is when we are no longer worried about looking after the expenses of our home and fulfilling the expectations of our loved ones.

There will always be some unpredictable events that will cause you to rethink your entire investment strategy. My humble request here is to understand the gravity of the situation before jumping into a complete restructuring of our financial plans. Because sometimes, the situation is made to sound a lot more horrible than it actually is.

Please keep an open mind and allow me to simplify these concepts to the best of my ability.

Inflation

This term has become the most used and highly abused in the world of investment today.

Some people talk about it as an end-of-the-world apocalypse in the making. It’s then linked to consumer spending and how things that are getting expensive won’t be consumed, so let’s stay away from the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, and so on and so forth. It’s hilarious and disturbing at the same time.

So let’s understand what inflation really is and what it means to common people like you and me.

Simply, inflation is understood as a simple rise in the price of a particular commodity or service. Suppose, the price of milk goes up from Rs. 75 per litre to Rs. 80 per litre, the extra Rs. 5 is attributable to inflation. If you add human intervention to it, such as putting the milk in a bottle and charging extra won’t be considered as inflation.

To track inflation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) uses the metric of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The idea is to capture the rise in price experienced by roughly 140 crore Indians. It’s a tough job, to be honest. That’s precisely the reason why such macroeconomic numbers should always be seen with a pinch of salt.

In the chart below, we capture the last 10 year’s journey of India’s CPI inflation. RBI has set a mandate to keep the CPI in the range of 4% to 6%.

CPI inflation in india

Currently, CPI is inching towards 8% which is out of RBI’s comfort zone of 4% to 6%. There are multiple explanations for this and in my opinion, every explanation is valid. Because in macroeconomics, data is always supported by a story that we create.

However, if you come to think about it, our yearly expenses don’t rise by a mere 4%. They tend to be well above 18-20%. We call this luxury inflation.

RBI constructs its CPI with the following constituents.

Shares of different groups of items in Consumer Price Index basket.

Don’t be surprised! This is how the RBI budgets itself. Our household budgets are different.

The major pie of the CPI basket falls into Food and beverages. It constitutes a good 45.86%. So any unusual price hikes in onions, tomatoes, etc. have a direct impact on the inflation rate. Housing is 10.07% which is largely stable in price.

We don’t see massive fluctuations in a matter of a few months. Fuel & Light does have a lot of impact on our wallets but for RBI’s CPI it’s barely 6.84%. So a whopping rise in petrol prices might not directly affect the inflation rate so much.

So it’s safe to say that RBI’s expectation of the inflation rate and the inflation rate that we experience are two separate things. Yet, we give a lot of importance to inflation and base our investment decisions on it too.

We should really reconsider it.

Next in line is Interest Rates!

Interest Rates

When an investment professional speaks about interest rates, he generally refers to the Repo rate published by the RBI in its Monetary Policy Meeting.

In layman’s terms, the Repo rate influences our fixed deposit interest rate that we receive from the banks and the loan interest rate that we take for a house, business, car or bike.

Inflation and interest rates are interdependent. When the inflation rate goes high, RBI generally prefers to hike the interest rate. When the inflation rate is low, RBI prefers to bring the interest rate down.

Why does this happen?

Think about RBI as a head of the family, someone like a grandfather who looks after the entire family’s budget. He is constantly strategizing about which child of his should go out on his own and which child will stay together. Plus, business decisions even when they are independently run by his children, he is there to keep guiding constantly.

Suppose our monthly budget is Rs. 3 lakhs for a family of 10 people, and suddenly the entire family wishes to go for a small vacation.

How will he do it?

There are 2 options, to either tighten the household budget for a few months so that he doesn’t need to withdraw from investments or ongoing business. Or he will borrow from the bank to fund the small vacation and recover it later from the investments or business.

In the first case, the entire family will have to go through a tough phase because their expenses will become less for a while. In the second case, there will be too much pressure on the grandfather and his children to recover the money.

Similar is the case with RBI. When inflation goes out of its comfort zone, like a grandfather, it has the option to limit the supply of money in the economy so that people spend less. Or it has the option to print more money that will have to be repaid at a later date to avoid currency depreciation.

In a nutshell, whenever we see interest rates going high, we have to assume that inflation is higher too and vice versa.

Let’s look at a brief history of RBI’s Repo rates (interest rates).

historical interest rates in india

Right from 2014, interest rates have been slowly coming down as inflation eased. However, in the last few months, we have seen them going back up. Home loans have become a bit expensive and so have our day-to-day expenses. But they are not so significant as to affect our budgets. If the price of tomatoes goes up, we will consume a bit less. It’s not a life-and-death situation for us.

Even if the interest on a home loan or car loan gets expensive by a couple of percentage points, most of us simply yawn. It’s not a material impact.

We are not macroeconomic forecasters who will tell you what is going to happen in the future. The intention of this article is different.

Yet, we take these 2 numbers seriously when considering our investments. Isn’t it so?

When interest rates are high, banks offer a very high fixed deposit rate. So we tend to move our money from equity to fixed deposits.

Contrary, when the interest rates are low, we move our money from fixed deposits to the equity market.

We forget the most important principle here.

The equity market is a completely different beast to conquer. Fixed deposit is a completely different financial instrument. They are not supposed to be interchanged due to some temporary economic factors.

What is an equity market then?

In simple terms, the equity market is a place where you get ownership of a business. So suppose, you want to own the growth of Reliance Industries. You will go to the equity market and buy some shares of the company. And if you want to sell because you don’t see any further growth in the same, then you can go and do that.

Companies like Zerodha, Upstox, etc. merely offer a platform to enable such a transaction. They are not the equity market themselves. They are merely enablers.

The factors that make you buy or sell a particular company’s stock is a completely different discussion that we will keep for a later date.

The biggest mistake that we see investors making today is simply moving their money out of fixed deposits and pumping it into equity markets. If you ask them why? That’s because equity markets will make better returns than the interest rates on fixed deposits.

Yes, we agree that equity markets will always make better investment returns than fixed deposits. Here’s a question I want to leave you with.

Will these interest rates and inflation make you a better investor?

Think about it.

Hint – We will cover this answer in the next article. Stay hooked.

The article is written by Jinay Savla, Jagoinvestor.

5 myths about FIRE busted (Indian context)

We all want to achieve financial independence in our life!

  • That day, when we will have enough money!! 
  • That day, when we will no longer have to worry about our future expenses!
  • That day, when we are out of the rat race finally!

For the last couple of years, we are hearing an acronym FIRE for this!

Myths about financial Freedom

Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE)

FIRE, or Financial Independence Retire Early, refers to achieving a point in life where you have enough money to cover your expenses and financial goals without having to work for a living.

Ideally, this happens well before the traditional retirement age of 58-60 years. Achieving FIRE means having financial security for your future, as well as the ability to travel well, spend on big-ticket expenses and also leave a legacy for future generations.

At this point, you no longer have a compulsion to actively work to “earn money”

FIRE is a great achievement 

Achieving FIRE is a wonderful accomplishment, but there are many myths that are still there in investors’ minds who have not explored or read much about this topic.

This article will bust some myths around the topic of FIRE for you today.

Let’s start!

Myth 1: FIRE is all about a big number!

Most people feel that FIRE is all about just reaching a target number. Like 5 cr or 10 cr

For those people who are totally new to this concept of FIRE, you shall know that one can call themselves financially free when you have

  • 30X of your yearly expenses – at age 60
  • 35-40X of your yearly expenses – at age 50
  • 45-50X of your yearly expenses – at age 40

* Note that all these are high-level thumb rules only!

For example, if you are at age 50 and your yearly expenses (considering everything in this) are Rs 20 lacs, then you would need 7-8 cr to call yourself financially free (FIRE’d) assuming you will live for another 40 yrs

NO, it’s not about reaching a number, but more about creating X times your expenses, when X can range from 30-50 depending on your age and your ability to invest the money properly.

  • For someone with a Rs 50,000 per month requirement in life, they need roughly 2-3 cr today
  • For someone with a 3 lacs per month requirement and wanting to FIRE at age 40, it would mean a 16-18 cr corpus today!

As you move in life, your expenses will change and hence your FIRE corpus goalpost will also shift!

Myth 2 : Life is all set after FIRE

Contrary to what most people imagine, life is not hunky-dory after you achieve FIRE.

Yes, life is very comfortable and you will surely be less worried than someone who doesn’t have enough money. But still, you have to constantly think about how your money is invested and how it’s going overall and if it will really last your lifetime or not.

This is especially true if you dont have enough margin of safety in your FIRE corpus. So if you do your calculations and Excel tells you that you need 10 cr for all your life, then if you actually FIRE with 10-12 cr, then you are on the edge!

You have very little margin of safety. The inflation can be totally different in future, you may not make exactly the same return on your portfolio, and you may have some totally unexpected life event

All these will still keep your thoughts occupied to some level.

Don’t expect yourself to be chilling on the Goa beaches with Pina Colada after FIRE. Life will be almost be the same for you  minus a lot of money worries

This is of course not true for someone who has multiple times what they truly require for financial freedom.

To learn more about FIRE, you can also watch my video below on various types of FIRE

Myth 3: So many people in India are achieving FIRE, and I am a looser

There is a lot of buzz around FIRE these days. You constantly see people on social media, youtube, telegram channels, and podcasts where the conversation is alive about FIRE.

There are many people who have already achieved FIRE or they are somewhere midway.

This has started putting a lot of “pressure” on millions of others that other than them, everyone is getting financially free these days!

Let me tell you something!

Me and my team have already interacted with more than 5000+ families in the last 10+ yrs in India + NRI and we have not seen more than 5-6 people who have achieved FIRE by the age of 40-45 yrs. I am talking about people who are into regular jobs and have to create their wealth from scratch.

Apart from these 5-6 people, there are dozens of other families who will achieve FIRE by the age 50 yrs, but not in their early 40s.

Rest all others, will at best retire at their regular 58-60 yrs age bracket. In fact, many of them may not even retire properly and may face financial crunch. I am considering the whole population here and not a specific class of people.

Only a tiny minority of people in India achieve financial freedom early in life in our observation now.

In absolute numbers, you will often see many people talking about achieving FIRE but remember that thousands of others are not close to it. In a group of 1000 people, if 2 people talk about reaching FIRE, the rest 998 people starts feeling that it’s a common thing these days

Having a few crores means FIRE?

Also, having a few crores does not mean a person has achieved FIRE.

A person having a nice loan-free house plus Rs 3-4 crores may not have even reached midway of FIRE. They look RICH (and they are) but they are not Financially FREE in the true sense. They have their own share of financial worries and insecurities.

FIRE before 50 yrs of age is a wild achievement, but it’s statistically very rare. Understand that it’s quite TOUGH to achieve and it’s normal to not achieve FIRE. You are surely not missing the FIRE bus, however, you shall give an honest attempt to achieve financial independence as early as possible

Myth 4: Achieving FIRE means never working again

FIRE is “Financial Independence Retire Early

However, most people focus on retiring early part which is often unreal. It’s very tough to not do anything all day and just retire from your job.  Humans are designed for staying busy and be active, to pursue something. People who FIRE actually keep working and dont sit at home.

One of our readers once shared with us that to experience how it feels after retirement, he took a very long break from job (around 2 months) and tried to see what life looks like and soon realised that it’s very tough to spend the day and also withdraw from your corpus for your day to day expenses. He had to return back to the job in 2 weeks as he could not take it.

Now that’s not the best example I could give but it simply gives you a hint that “I am not working again” after FIRE is mostly wishful thinking and mostly comes to mind if you are into a stressful job and dont take enough time to enjoy your life.

Better not aim for FIRE with that mindset.

At best, what will happen is as below

You will achieve FIRE, take a very very long break and then get back into some low-stress job/work which gives you a lot of flexibility and help you explore your hobbies/what you enjoy.

Also, its a good idea to talk to your spouse once about your plans of staying at home all day after FIRE, mostly you will be directed to keep working for a few more years as they won’t be able to tolerate you all day long at home 😉

Myth 5: FIRE requires extreme frugality and deprivation

This is one of the biggest myths in my opinion about FIRE.

A lot of people feel that cutting down on expenses and depriving themselves of the initial years will help them move towards FIRE. After all, what you save will get added to your wealth kitty.

This is not TRUE!

Most of the people who actually reach FIRE early in life are those whose focus is on increasing their INCOME and not those who cut down on their EXPENSES.

Cutting down on expenses has a limit, and truly speaking depriving yourself is not a healthy way to achieve financial freedom.

There are people who earn 5 lacs a month, stay their life in a decent manner in Rs 1 lac and save Rs 4 lacs a month in the right manner with discipline for years. These are the people who mostly FIRE young and not the one who earns a smaller income and is trying to squeeze the expenses a “bit more”

Dont do that!

Cutting expenses beyond a limit will mostly take away all the FUN from your life and add up some extra money in your kitty which eventually you will spend on something stupid again. It will not lead to financial independence.

How financial independence or FIRE is achieved ?

If you are naturally a frugal person and live with a very small amount of money, then it’s fine. But just make sure you dont fool yourself with trying to cut expenses where you truly dont want it.

Aim for Financial Freedom

The mail of this article was to simply present some facts about retirement and clear some myths so that one can pursue financial freedom with the right mindset. Do focus on your income and try to increase it and save a big chunk of that to invest smartly in inflation-beating financial products to create wealth in the true sense!

I have tried to share my personal thoughts and what I feel about the topic based on my experience.

Do share your thoughts about this topic. Have you seen some more myths in the minds of your friends/family about financial independence? Do share in the comments section!

EPS 95 – Should you opt for higher pension?

Some of the employees recently got a notification from their employers that they have to give a “joint declaration” if they want to opt for higher pension in EPS or not?

Let us try to clear the confusion on this.

Background 

So when a person gets a salary, there is a component called basic salary in their salary. 12% of that is contributed by employee end and 12% of that is matched by the employer.

However the 12% part which employer provides is further divided into 8.33% and 3.67%. The 8.33% part actually goes into something called EPS (Employee pension scheme) and rest goes into EPF. However the EPS part is limited to maximum of 8.33% of 15,000 which is considered as the ceiling for basic salary, due to which what happened is that a very small portion of money went into EPS and big part went to EPF.

Over the years, people were dissatisfied that pension portion is not matching their high salary which results to a very tiny pension amount does not makes sense.

Hence recently supreme court has given the order that all the eligible members (who were part of EPFO scheme before 2014) shall get a chance to correct this and some part of their EPF can be transferred to EPS which will result in higher pension.

We have created a small video presentation to make you understand this topic in detail , so please watch the video below.

5 reasons why you shall NOT opt for higher pension in EPS-95

  • If you want to get a higher lumpsum payout at the time of your retirement
  • if you don’t like EPFO as an organization and want to not engage with them post retirement
  • If you are someone who wants to retire early in life
  • If your salary can reduce in later years of your career
  • If you have already shifted many jobs and not transferred your earliar EPF accounts into current one’s

Conclusion

In the last I just want to include that if you want flexibility and want a bigger corpus then don’t opt for higher pension scheme. But if you are someone looking for fixed and guaranteed and you are comfortable with lower corpus at the time of retirement then you can think of moving into higher pension scheme.

10 learnings from my personal fitness journey (with webinar form)

This article is dedicated to Late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Sir. The article is not about him or on him, I just felt like dedicating to him.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

The article is written on health and trust me it has a direct connection with your overall life and wealth journey. We have trained hundreds of investors on retirement planning and our session starts with the conversation around ” Life Expectancy”. How long is the post retirement phase going to be after 60?- and we get answers like 80-85-90 yrs and and some claim they are going to live till 100 yrs.

Most investors are working hard to build a bigger corpus that can last till 80-85-90 or till hundred years of age. But are our body and habits truly aligned or prepared or are we preparing ourselves to live till 85-90-100 yrs?- is the question we all have to ask ourselves. If the answer is no, why have the retirement goal in the first place, why build a huge corpus in the first place? Why save and invest bigger amounts to secure monthly income till 90?

If you are not taking great care of yourself, if the stress levels are high, you stay very busy and there is very little or no time for yourself then this article will act as a wake-up call for you.

Health-worth vs net worth?

You may be shocked to know the way people treat their body is atrocious because we get our body for FREE, it is actually very bad and I can say that because I was doing the same for many many years. Most people are actively seeking to destroy it. The most natural state of vitality, aliveness and longevity is unknown because every person is actively engaged in destroying their body.

Take a pause and check your habits, your relationship with food and exercise and you will get your own answer or look around and examine people closely. I can say this because I was doing the same, no exercise, unhealthy food habits, no fixed time to sleep and working late nights. Make a list of things you are currently taking for granted.

There is really no excuse for abusing your body. Your body and your wealth are like your left and right foot on your journey to create an awesome life. Your relationship with your body shows how much respect you hold for yourself, taking extraordinary care of your body is the primary requirement or condition to create an awesome life.

We witness people in our life who suddenly go bankrupt ( diabetes , blood pressure , etc ) in the area of health, boom they have achieved their goal of destroying their body. We get so busy in our day to day life, the body becomes like a non-stop machine and in that process our health takes a back seat very easily.

It has been 5-6 years since I became conscious about my own fitness and health, I became a student of health and wellness, I started reading and applying things to my life to check what impact it can have on my quality of life. I am writing this article to share some of the health and fitness rules of my life.

This blog is about personal finance but trust me one breakdown in the area of health and all your wealth and the biggest of the corpus can lose its meaning.( Now, you know why the article is dedicated to Late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala sir)

Why take care of your body? ( In the first place)

Your body is a place for you to see and experience the world. It is the vehicle which helps you to experience being loved and for you to give love to others. You would not throw a televisIon set down a flight of stairs and then expect a clear picture from it. Yet you treat your body worse than you treat the television set and you expect exquisite performance from your body.

Our body comes without an owner’s Manual and so you must take it on yourself to learn about how to take great care of your body. The neglect of learning about your body is itself a way you neglect your body. When was the last time you learned something powerful about your body and you also put into practice what you learned? Unless you can say that you do that everyday, you are abusing your body through neglect.

Check for yourself are you addicted to some substance? Are you putting things into your body which you know is difficult for your body to handle? If you are committed to living an awesome life and you want to enjoy the corpus you are creating then you have to give that up, right now.

If you are unwilling to give that up, you are not serious about living an awesome life, you do not want to enjoy the wealth you are currently slogging for. It is possible that you may find this article “interesting”, a lot of people are interested in fitness and health conversations, they read, discuss and have all the world’s knowledge of health and fitness. But I give a damn to people being interested, being interested is lousy.

I want you to get off your back-side and start taking actions regarding your health. If you choose not to take actions , please know that you and I are not in the same reality. If you want to get on my wave-length there is more required than passing your life being interested in living an awesome life.

Oh come on when you give-up something( laziness, casualness, habits) there will be pain but do it anyway. This article has to be a turning point in your life, write to me [email protected] what is going to be your health vision from here onwards, what are you willing to give-up. Get damn serious about taking care of yourself. As I said before, health and wealth are like your left and right foot, it is going to be a long journey ( retirement and overall life) and you cannot jump on one foot for a longer period of time. You need both legs strong, health and wealth.

10 learnings from my personal fitness journey

Now, let me share top 10 changes or learnings from my personal fitness journey:

1. Intentional movement

What is important here is the word intentional, bring some intentional movement in your life. From morning till night you get many such opportunities to bring intentional movement in your life. I never use elevator in my office

2. Morning Regime

For years I started my day by consumed tea in the morning, instead of tea I now consume the green smoothie. It has kale, celery and other herbs which helps me to rich start my day very powerfully. Having a powerful gut is critical, our gut is like our body headquarter and we have to take care of our gut. Most diseases starts or are connected to a bad gut.

3. Break-up with Sugar

It was very hard for me to give-up on sugar. Trust me it is not going to be easy to quit sugar. An average Indian consumes more than 70 KG of sugar in one year. Sugar carries empty calories and puts you on a slow poison.

4. Stop Dieting

I think the word dieting is dangerous, it puts you in a temporary zone where you get results but you fail to hold on to those results in the long run.

I am not on diet, I have made some lifestyle changes which I can stay consistent with all my life. You will find many fancy diet programs and books on the internet, trust me you do not need any of them.

All you need is, ” Whatever you put into your mouth has to be high in nutrition”- Simple
Every plate of mine has – 40% Protein, 20% carbs,40% fibre ( Have these three in all your meals and you will start seeing the results)
5. Calisthenics

I spend time doing body weighted exercises, you actually do not need heavy weights or fancy gym equipment. Our body weight is enough for us to get the desired results. There are some basic movements one needs to understand, craft a simple daily schedule and follow it. I think every alternate day 30 min workout is all you need to keep yourself fit.

  • Push movement – Eg. push-ups
  • Pull movement – Eg. pull-ups or hanging exercises
  • Legs – exercises like squat or hinge

6. Breathing

Breathing is life and we have forgotten to breathe properly. Three times a day I do the 5-5-5 Breathing exercise. In this exercise you inhale at the count of 5, hold your breath on the count of 5 and release on the count of five. You repeat the same 3-5 times in a day. Let your colleagues watch you, don’t think about what they will think , practice breathing as and when you find time.

7. Water intake

If you want to enhance your fitness you have to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. I think water is the key ingredient in weight loss and it helps to enhance your overall fitness level. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water is extremely important, make this a rule in your life. Stay hydrated, have clean water and most importantly no soda or clod drinks or packed juices. They are liquid but not really good for you.

8. Skip breakfast

For years I was told breakfast is the most important meal of our day and we can’t dare to skip it. Well, I did not find the same in my research, it suggests that I skip my breakfast and it has worked for me. If you think having breakfast is vital for you then you can continue the same.

It is also important what you eat in your Breakfast, avoid cornflakes and cereals and watch for the ingredients. Do not consume things you do not understand. Have fruits at the start of the day or have some hot water and lemon in it to kick start your day.

9. Weight is a wrong measure

Most people are weight watchers, they measure their overall fitness by how much they weigh right now and what is their dream weight. Your weight is just one of the measures, you have to check how much muscle mass you have, what is your BMI and other internal parameters. When you get your body profiling done you get to know about so many hidden things about your body. If you want to take care of your body, get your body profiling done once every month. You can also buy a good weight scale which does body profiling on amazon or some other website.

10. Intermittent fasting

Fasting is truly magical , it is very powerful and it helps to reset your body to its natural rhythm. Start small , no need to go for long fasting windows, learn to first ride the wave, fast for 5 hours or 6 hours and slowly increase the window of fasting. Intermittent fasting is about giving a break to your internal machinery so that healing can take place. Instead of reading a lot about intermittent fasting just start implementing.

Here is a short fitness test video by Himali Desai for you.

Let me know in the comment section, if you were able to finish it or not?

And do share the article with others who can benefit from this article.

If you want to join a webinar I am doing next weekend on 18th Dec, 2022 at 10 am to share more about my fitness journey, here is the link to sign-up, and we will send the joining link (zoom).

Happy Health and Wealth to all!

Last 10 yrs returns of various Equity mutual funds (category wise)

Most mutual fund investors get lost in the world of various equity fund categories like Large cap, Flexi-cap, midcap, small-cap, focused funds, multi-cap, and whatnot.

Do investors keep wondering which category will provide the best returns over the long term? And in real life I have also seen most of the investors out of their ignorance compare the  fund return with the Sensex or nifty as thats the most easily benchmark to compare (example – market double ho gaya, but mera fund to utna accha nahi performance kar raha)

So here is what I did

I downloaded 9 equity categories mutual funds from advisorkhoj.com and sorted them on the basis of the last 10 yrs’ returns and found out how much a one-time investment of Rs 10 lacs became in value terms. In this period Sensex went from 17700 levels to 60,000 (this journey is just a single data point from 19th Aug 2012 to 19th Aug 2022, which I know is a biased data point, but that’s when I am writing the article, so whatever is the situation,I am doing it). This turned out to be approx 12.98% CAGR return and Rs 10 lacs became 33.94 lacs.

Before I go into charts and data, let me admit that this is not the “right” analysis as such and with some flaws. However, it reflects how many novice investors look at data. Some important disclaimer and important points I must share before you e-lynch me in the comments section for my stupidity.

Disclaimer and Important Points

  • This post is simply the data presentation of the data and not some analysis of which is the better or bad funds.
  • The article simply tells you about what has happened in the past and does not predict anything about the future.
  • Mutual fund SEBI categorization was done on October 6, 2017, but the fund performance data was taken before that, so a lot of funds are not in true sense the midcap, or large and midcap, etc, but we are simply taking them as it is, because that’s the current situation.
  • Not all funds categories were fixed from start. some funds exchanged hands from one category to another and their mandate was also changed. But we will let it be for creating the charts
  • Some very famous funds are not part of this analysis as they have not completed 10 yrs.
  • While the fund benchmark is different for each category, I am simply creating a simple comparison of which funds have at least created more wealth than Sensex.

Funds Category considered 

  • Large Cap Funds
  • Large and Midcap Funds
  • Midcap Funds
  • Small Cap Funds
  • Multicap Funds
  • Focused Funds
  • ELSS Funds
  • Flexicap Funds
  • Index Funds

Category #1: Large Cap Funds

There were 25 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 48.3 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 27.4 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Largecap mutual funds performance for last 10 yrs

Category #2: Large and Mid Cap Funds

There were 20 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 82.5 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 32.9 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Large and mid cap mutual funds performance for last 10 yrs

Category #3: Mid Cap Funds

There were 17 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 66.3 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 42.1 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Mid cap mutual funds performance for last 10 yrs

Category #4: Small Cap Funds

There were 11 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 98.1 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 39.3 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Smallcap mutual funds performance for last 10 yrs

Category #5: Multicap Funds

There were 6 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 66.7 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 37.2 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Multicap mutual funds performance for last 10 yrs

Category #6: Focused Funds

There were 12 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 54.8 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 29.9 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Focused mutual funds performance for last 10 yrs

Category #7: Flexicap Funds

There were 16 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 53.2 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 27 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Flexi cap mutual funds performance for last 10 yrs

Category #8: ELSS / TaxSaver Funds

There were 25 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 64.2 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 33.3 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Taxsaver elss mutual funds performance for last 10 yrs

Category #9: Index Funds

There were 19 funds in this category with 10+ yrs of data available. The topmost fund returned 41.7 lacs for the investment of 10 lacs and the worst did return 30.6 lacs. Here is the data in the chart.

Index Funds performance for last 10 yrs

Looking at all the funds in one frame

Let us put all the funds into one single chart to see which category returns have been better than others, worst than others, and their variation within the category.

Performance of various equity mutual funds in one single chart

There is no conclusion I am making from the data and chart in this article, as there are many issues with the fund’s category. You are free to make whatever inference you want to make out of this data.

Do leave a comment below with what has surprised and not surprised you about the data.

“Guaranteed 11% returns” – A new misselling in insurance (VIDEO)

Recently I got a call from an insurance company sales executives and they tried to sell me an insurance policy which they said had Guaranteed 11% returns.

The policy was Reliance Nippon Life Guaranteed Money Back Plan

I knew that there is surely some catch and they are kind of misselling me, I didn’t know what exactly it was. So I decided to dive deeper and find out more.

After I asked them tough questions, and once they realized that my knowledge about these things is much more than an average uninformed investor, they were ready to mail me from their official email id about what I will get. Finally, I solved the mystery like CID and told them the policy has just a 4.6% return and not 11%.

Do watch the video below to quickly understand the whole game.

Guaranteed 11% returns

So when I got this sales call, a lady told me that this was a 15 yrs plan, for which the premium payment term is just 10 yrs. I will have to pay Rs 1 lac for 10 yrs and I will get a total payment of Rs 24.72 lacs towards the end and the return turns out to be 11% IRR

This sounds quite attractive and anyone who is not happy with the FD returns these days will get attracted quite fast.

Here is the breakup of the amounts she told me I will get in 15 yrs

illustration misselling insurance policy with 11% guranteed returns

I told her to send me an illustration and she did that after some time (here is a PDF Copy)

When I saw the illustration, I saw that the premium was not Rs 1 lac, but it was Rs 1,05,263. This is the first thing that she never informed me of. So instead of 1 lac, the outgo from investors pocket is Rs. 1,05,263!

When I looked deeper, I found out that few numbers she told me over the phone are visible in the illustration, but the amount of Rs 8,99,147 was missing from the illustration. This was the SUM ASSURED amount.

She had mentioned to me on call that we will get this sum assured amount also, but the illustration had no information about it.

This was the Catch

So when I asked them – “Why is the sum assured not in the payment section?, you told me that I will get that also”

To this one of the seniors told me that it’s not in the illustration, but I will get it because “Sum Assured is always paid in the policy”. I told him that it’s paid when a person dies, but where is it written that I will get the sum assured amount apart from the other numbers he had mentioned” for which he didn’t have a clear answer.

The sales guy kept telling me I will get it and finally, he told me that it’s mentioned in the policy brochure. When I looked at the policy brochure, it was mentioned that it paid

but… but …but it paid in installments and THAT WAS THE CATCH

insurance policy brochure misselling

The sum assured is given to you in small parts in year 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and finally in 15th year. So it’s already paid to you which you can see in the image below.

However these guys were counting the sum assured again when they told me about the plan over the phone and that’s the reason they tell you that you will get a very big amount, which you will NOT!

They are just counting the same thing twice in the benefit and they are not even lying when they say that they can mail you that you will get “sum assured” in this policy because you are GETTING IT!

Are you getting the whole game? They are just saying the thing in an incomplete way and twisted format.

To properly understand the details, do watch the video above

How sum assured is counted twice in the policy for misselling

This was a catch which most of the investors are not able to catch and believe the sales call.

They also don’t find any mistake or bluff and even though they have heard that lots of misselling happen in the insurance sector, they still go with these policies.

IRR returns of just 4.65% instead of promised 11%

When I calculated the IRR of the policy with the correct numbers, the IRR turned out to be just 4.65% rather than the 11% they claimed over the call.

IRR of insurance policy

Conclusion

Do not fall for this kind of policies which does not clearly give full information on the returns and is too complicated to understand. They will try to convince you by saying things like they will email you from their official email id because they have learned that people have learned from previous missellings of ULIPS etc where nothing was given in writing and if they say something like that, it will look very trust worthy!

Just avoid it.

For your insurance needs, take a plain vanilla term plan and for your investments do invest in pure investments products like stocks, PPF, mutual funds, bank FD’s, NPS, etc, and keep things simple.

Can Cryptocurrency be considered as an asset class?

So the topic of debate today is “Is Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin be considered as an asset class?”

Till now we all know that there are many asset classes like Equity, Fixed Income, Real Estate, Cash and Commodities. Some people also argue if “Art” is an asset class or not.

And now, there is this new debate is crypto is the new asset class in itself or just an alternate currency or at best a speculative instrument?

Does Cryptocurrency fall under the definition of “Asset Class”?

Investopedia defines Asset Class as follows :

An asset class is a grouping of investments that exhibit similar characteristics and are subject to the same laws and regulations. Asset classes are made up of instruments which often behave similarly to one another in the marketplace.

If you look at “fixed income” asset class and see various instruments under it like Fixed Deposit, PPF, EPF, Senior Citizen Saving Scheme, NSC, Debt mutual funds etc. you will see that they have common characteristics (As they all are basically a loan given to someone) and various laws and regulations are similar across the country and globally (though the names of products can be different)

The same thing can be said to the Real estate asset class where Land, bungalow, REIT, Commercial shops all are physical spaces and their prices go up and down mainly due to similar reasons.

Can this be said for various cryptocurrencies also?

While all of the cryptocurrencies are basically a digital payment alternative based on blockchain technology, we are not very sure if it can also be considered a “store of value” unlike other asset classes. Also, there is no common agreement on how various countries want to see cryptocurrency? While there are various countries that have legalized crypto, there are many that have not done that.

At the same time, a large chunk of crypto investors is buying it mainly for speculative reasons and not as a fundamental investment instrument where they want it to grow in value due to some fundamental reason linked to the economy or its usage.

Here is an excerpt from a paper, which gives more idea on what I am saying!

crypto currency in various countries

Why I personally don’t want to consider Crypto as an asset class?

Cryptocurrencies have gained extreme popularity in the last 3-4 yrs and major crypto’s like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether etc has seen its market cap go into billions. It’s a complex world based on a very complex technology, which is again not like other asset classes which are quite easy to explain and understand for a common man.

Try explaining Real Estate or Equity to someone against the Crypto mining process and you will understand what I am trying to say.

Another reason why I personally don’t consider Crypto as an asset class is that cryptocurrency is in the end purely a software code. While it’s widely accepted and used, Are we saying that something which is so much dependent on a computer and electricity is considered as an asset class? What will happen if one day the world runs out of energy or all computers crash?

In the same case, things like equity, debt, real estate, cash (in any form), commodities, art all will survive and be there in some form.

When I asked this question on our telegram group and on Twitter, here were the responses.

Do you consider Crypto as another asset class or just a new-age online payment technology?

Coming to you, it’s also a matter of perception if you want to consider it as an asset class or not. Can you please share your thought process around it? What do you consider it?

Disclaimer: I am not saying that cryptocurrencies will not rise in value? All I am debating is if it shall fall under the definition of asset class or not?

FREE GIFT – A detailed Blackbox file for your family

Dear readers

Today we are releasing a FREE, very exhaustive and detailed google sheet for everyone which can act as a single point of information for your family to access all your data and information related to your financial life.

In this COVID Pandemic, a lot of families lost a family member and in many cases, it was the main breadwinner of the family. This left them in a situation where they had no idea about the insurance and investments made. They had to literally find each and every small piece of information from scratch and it was a very frustrating experience.

A lot of this be avoided if one just creates a master document file (also called as BlackBox file) and save all the information in that and share that file with their family.

We released it on Twitter platform, which has the link to COPY it on your google drive.

Can I request you to like the tweet and also retweet the same so that it can reach more and more people.

What all does this BlackBox file has?

  • Various Investments Details
  • Various Insurance Details
  • Various Contact Details
  • Various Important ID
  • Assets and Liabilities Section
  • Checklist of what to do after the death of account holder
  • Term Insurance Claim Process
  • Banking Claim Process
  • Mutual Funds Claim Process
  • PPF & EPF Claim Process
  • NPS Claim Process
  • Property Claim Process
  • Demat Claim Process
  • Video on 20 things to do post-death of a family member (English & Hindi)
  • Intro video on about this Sheet

Please copy the master file in your google account and fill it up and then share it with your spouse/family members. Do share this link in your office platform or other WhatsApp groups you are part of.

Also, do share your feedback about the sheet and if you liked it?