Personal Investments

Have been thinking aloud and practicing investment habits but have limited myself to the following options 

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1.       Post Office instruments like NSC, KVP…
2.       Bank FD
3.       Insurance Plans (non ULIP)
4.       ULIP 
5.       RBI bonds
6.       Public Provident Fund(PPF)
7.       Equity – Shares
8.       Mutual Funds
9.       Gold
10.    Real Estate

I have experienced that most of the debt oriented options (FD, post office, Insurance, RBI bonds) does not give good returns and erodes as the inflation rises. Although PPF can be a good investment if you are planning for a term of 10 to 15 years also it is a tax free investment. 

Gold is an accepted investment in India but I did not find it to be providing good returns, it surly is a secure investment but not a very good investment and does not offer great returns. 

Equity comes with its own share of risks of the market and time commitments for identifying the stocks. People also get into misleading habit of timing the market and doing daily trading. My philosophy here is that we should get into the market with a long term vision and invest is strong proven companies or companies with a potential to grow. However, you need to invest a lot of time in identifying such companies and then of course stock-picking is not your profession hence how much justice can you do remains an open question! 

Mutual funds are safer than direct equity and does not require too much research. My thought is one should go for proven funds for 75% of the total investment to be made and for 25% take some risk of new funds/NFO. It is an investment where one can expect 20 to 25 % return per annum (equity diversified funds). 

Real estate seems to be a viable option however demands money to be invested in a large sum (between 40 to 80 lacs at least). Many fear the amount that needs to be put in and the future of the same in next 15 years horizon. I feel it is better to invest in land than a flat on the 8 floor in some society; however, it comes with the headache of maintaining and providing security to the premises. Also we need to the math on living on rent versus buying a house. 

Insurance as an investment is a confusing concept to me with so many agents and insurance companies promising 1000 things. However once you buy insurance you get to know the fine prints on mortality rate, admin charges and Terms of insurance. My thought is that one should buy pure insurance products with no returns / investment promise attached to it for 80% life coverage and for 20% can go for ULIP or other insurance products. 

Overall I am still doing research and trying to see if we have better/other options available. . .  


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