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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Planning Insurance!!! Think beyond life and health plans

 

 

Would you want to drive your car freely, but carefully, without the fear of having to pay high damage claims if an unfortunate accident occurs involving pedestrians or other outside individuals? Would you want to be away from your home without any fear of a theft at your home causing immense losses? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you should be going for general insurance policies of different types. General insurance protects individuals and companies from financial losses that may arrive in the event of undesirable risks materialising. Health insurance, also a part of general insurance, is aimed at protecting individuals from unforeseen healthcare costs ruining their finances.

 

The biggest protection offered by non-medical general insurers to individuals is the protection from losses due to Occurrences such as fire, storm, burglary, earthquake and explosion, whether accidental or natural. In case of companies, there are insurance plans that can protect them from loss of goods and the damage to business premises.

If your car or motorcycle meets with an accident and gets damaged, the insurance company pays the sum insured or the value of the vehicle which ever is less. If the vehicle or motorcycle is partially damaged, the cost of repairing is compensated, subject to a maximum of the insured value.

With increasing mobility of Indians, travel insurance holds significant importance too, particularly for visits to foreign countries. Besides covering unforeseen medical expenses abroad (that are very costly), travel insurance can protect you for pre-quantified amounts or post-event actual amounts, from damage or theft of personal possessions including travel documents, flight cancellations, long delays in departures and other events.

 


Tax Planning: Make the most of available tax-saving instruments

 

 

THE Public Provident Fund (PPF) is a long-term investment option that is available for investors to build a corpus over several years. This has been a popular investment route over the years and now, with the second draft of the Direct Tax Code ensuring that this will retain its tax exemption status in the future, there will be an increased interest. At a time when rising interest rates across the economy has raised several questions for investors about the routes that they can follow, the PPF is one instrument that can feature prominently among the choices. Investors must be clear about the various details before they make their specific investment plans. Here are a few points that need attention:

 

Investment & tax benefits

 

There are two aspects to an investment in the PPF. The first is the ability of the investor to actually invest some amount in the instrument, while the second point is the tax benefit that is associated with the instrument. The PPF is a 15year option that allows the investor to invest a sum of Rs 70,000 per annum in their account. The scheme can be extended in blocks of five years after the completion of the initial period of 15 years for an unlimited number of times.

The tax benefit available for the investment consists of two parts. The first involves the deduction from the taxable income that will be available under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. The amount of deduction is limited to Rs 70,000. This means that an investor looking to use this route will have to use some other option also in their effort to claim the maximum benefit of Rs 1 lakh that is possible under this section. The other tax benefit is in the form of the earning of the scheme in the form of interest that is also tax free in the hands of the investor.


The only point is that the earnings keep accumulating and will be paid out only on the completion of the time period of the scheme.


There is a need to take a look at the investment aspect because of the benefits that are available here.


Single account

 

When it comes to the PPF, there is a maximum amount of Rs 70,000 that can be contributed to an account during the year. So if an investor wants to invest additional sum, this would not be possible. Many people believe that the limit is for an account, so that if they open another account at a different place then they will be able to get an additional benefit. This is not so and no person can have multiple accounts to invest more.

Minor child

 

There is a provision for an account to be opened in the name of a monir child with a parent as a guardian.

However, if an individual thinks that by doing so they can invest a higher sum, then this is not possible.

This is due to the fact that the individual limit of Rs 70,000 is considered along with the figure that is invested in the account of a minor for whom the individual is the guardian.

Thus the limit that will be applicable for the purpose of the calculation will take into account the figure invested in both the accounts together. So this will nullify any attempt to get a higher benefit by contributing an additional Rs 70,000 in the account of a minor child after having contributed a similar amount to their own account.


Hindu Undivided Family

 

The third route that a lot of people also try and use for the purpose of ensuring that they are able to contribute a higher amount to the PPF account is by open ing an account in the name of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). Earlier, investors could use this option for ensuring a double investment benefit but this has been closed now. From 13 May, 2005 a new PPF account cannot be opened in the name of the HUF. However, if there is an earlier HUF account that has been running before this time period, then this can be continued. Investors on their part need to ensure that there is a proper use of the available limits so that they are able to achieve their financial objectives and that too smoothly.

 


Mutual Fund Review: BIRLA SUN LIFE 95

 

Last year, the fund delivered 70.2 per cent, while the category average was 61 per cent. The bias towards mid-cap stocks clearly worked in its favour. Till 2002, the fund tilted more towards large caps but when the rally started in 2003, it changed tack and gave in to the smaller fare. Having said that, the fund has been flexible in moving across capitalisation in line with market conditions.

The flexibility also extends to its changing composition. Its equity allocation has averaged around 69 per cent over the past year. The funds mandate permits the equity allocation to fluctuate between 50 and 75 per cent of its assets, and it has always stayed within that limit.

When Nishit Dholakia and Satyabrata Mohanty took over in June 2009, changes were apparent in the fund. A lot of shuffling took place in sector bets, while the number of stocks rose significantly to touch 60. The fund is fairly diversified and single-sector allocation has rarely crossed 16 per cent since 2006.

On the debt side, the portfolio has always been skewed towards bonds and debentures, as well as G-Secs. Over here, it will not be surprising to find aggressive maturity bets, should the need arise.

Over the past 14 years, this fund has underperformed its peers just three times. It rewards investors who hang in for the long term. Its five-year annualised return of 21 per cent (category average, 16 per cent) as on July 31 bears testimony to that.


Mutual Fund Review: Mirae Asset India Opportunities

 

 

Mirae Asset India Opportunities Fund has been putting up some good numbers, but nailing down its style is not easy. Give it some more time

 

At first blush, this would appear to be an aggressive offering. After all, that is what the perception of an opportunities fund is: one that takes bold sector and stock bets and swiftly moves between sectors wherever money is to be made. It is not unusual to find a very concentrated portfolio in such a fund. However, upfront let's be clear: that is not what the Mirae Asset India Opportunities Fund is all about.

 

The fund manager has complete flexibility to invest in stocks across sectors and market caps. He can move out of sectors which do not appear to have much upside and focus on those with greater chances of an upswing. But he keeps himself well grounded, in what one may refer to as a conservative strategy. "Our fund is not aggressive. Let me clearly state that this is a flexi-cap fund with a large-cap bias," is how fund manager Gopal Agrawal likes to describe it. "The beta of the fund has been 0.98 since inception," he emphasises. It's true. The portfolio does reflect this stance. The fund has more the feel of a diversified equity fund rather than that of an opportunistic one. Like most diversified funds, its top two sector bets are Financials and Energy. Even in its stock picks, the fund has rarely gone overboard.

What the fund manager attempts here is to target long-term appreciation and simultaneously capture short-term opportunities. Hence the dual strategy of investing in core (mandated between 60-70%) and tactical (30-40%) portfolio allocations. Agrawal maintains a core portfolio of 20-22 stocks with an average allocation of 54 per cent, the balance being opportunistic bets.

 

The bloated portfolio seems to be slightly out of place in such a fund where one would expect a more focussed approach. But then again, this is not the style of the fund manager. In its short life, the fund has already picked up a total of 142 stocks at some point of time or other and less than 50 per cent of them were held for more than six months. A direct result of the fund manager going for opportunistic bets. "We follow a core and satellite approach because of which the turnover is a little on the higher side," agrees Agrawal. "In this fund, the Top 20 holdings constitute 60 per cent of the portfolio. We have some stocks with smaller holding due to tactical reasons."

 

The fund's top sectors are Financials and Energy (35% of the portfolio) and have been so for a while. Both these sectors did not have a great run in 2009. Amongst all the BSE sector indices and the Sensex, BSE Bankex ranked sixth and BSE Oil & Gas ninth. "The banking and financial services space is the best sector to play economic recovery and growth. In the current fiscal, we are expecting an over 20 per cent loan growth and stable asset quality. NPAs are coming down significantly which will help re-rate the sector. We are also very positive on the gas-related business in India. The government's efforts to de-control the sector and the price hike of petro-products and gas may lead to re-rating here too," says the fund manager.

 

Whether one agrees with the positioning or not, Agrawal has proved his point. The fund was a top quartile performer in 2009 with a return of 109 per cent. Though he considers his fund to be a flexi-cap offering, according to our parameters and classification at Value Research, the fund falls in the "Large & Mid-cap" category. This category delivered 81 per cent last year while the fund's benchmark (BSE 200) fetched 88.50 per cent. A clear outperformer.

Agrawal began last year with a bang. He sold off 10 stocks comprising 10 per cent of the portfolio in January 2009 and raised equity exposure by the end of February to 93 per cent. The timing was perfect since the market did a complete turnaround in March 2009.

 

Despite the impressive numbers, he did miss out substantially on last year's rally in auto stocks. In 2009, BSE Auto delivered 204.16 per cent. But the fund did not really hop on to this ride. Agrawal entered the sector in July 2009, after a 2-month break and increased it to 7.31 per cent by the end of 2009. The average exposure of the category to Auto was 6.11 per cent in December 2009. "We participated in the Auto rally and benchmark-wise we are overweight on the sector," he says.

 

Since the start of this year, the fund's exposure to FMCG and Healthcare has shown a slight increase. "We are very positive on the Indian consumption theme which is why we added our exposure to the consumer sector and are overweight on it. In pharma, we are seeing significant opportunity in generics, CRAMS and domestic formulations. The Indian pharma sector is helping the world reduce costs of drugs without compromising on quality. But we are very selective in our approach to this sector," says Agrawal.

 

This is a new fund that still has to prove itself. No doubt it had a great 2009, but it did not impress in the three quarters of 2008. This is not a contrarian fund or a value offering, so it would be wrong to expect the stock and sector picks to be out of sync with what the market is betting on. However, if you are looking for an aggressive offering with very concentrated bets, this would not particularly fit the bill either. One would have to adopt a wait-and-watch stance with this large-cap tilted offering.

 


Warren Buffett: Three Ps of Buffettology

 

 

Three Ps of Buffettology. The three Ps are: Predictability, Price and People.

 

Predictability. Buffett's liking for some sectors and his famous refusal to get into some sectors like technology boils down to predictability. His investment choices are entirely based on products whose basic demand will remain predictable for decades to come. Not just that, the factors that will determine success or failure will also remain the same as they are today. At the core of Buffett's portfolio, there are companies that dominate businesses like soft drinks, shaving blades, candy, cheese, furniture, jewellery and (recently) railway freight services.

 

Price. This is the heart of value investing. Investments must be made at a low or at least fair price. This rules out any hot growth stocks, at least at any point of their history when they are widely recognised as growth stocks.

 

People. If you read what Buffett writes or says about his investments, he always lays great emphasis on the quality of management in his investments. Even in his private investments that he has taken complete control of, he ensures that the original management is not disturbed.

 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mutual Fund Review: HDFC Prudence Fund

HDFC Prudence Fund, launched on February 1, 1994, is one of the oldest funds in the equity-oriented hybrid funds category (also called as balanced funds). As of July, the fund's average assets under management (AUM) were `4,558 crore.

It has been ranked 'Crisil Mutual Fund Rank 1' for the past three quarters and has held the top rank on 22 occasions over the 10-year history of Crisil Mutual Fund Ranking. The high consistency in rankings is an indication of a blend of superior performance and disciplined portfolio management.

Investment style

It seeks to benefit from both asset classes, ie, it aims to provide capital appreciation of equities and stability of debt market instruments. During the last three years, the fund maintained an average 75 per cent exposure to equities. It's aggressively managed, showing a clear tilt towards equities over the last three years wherein the fund remained invested largely in equities, despite 2008's down cycle.

Performance

The fund has capitalised on equity market gains and outperformed the benchmark index (Crisil Balanced Fund Index) with a sizeable margin. It has generated nearly twice the benchmark index returns for various periods analysed (three months to five years) — much higher than its peers. During the downturn of 2008, the fund lost 43 per cent of its net asset value (NAV) from January 2008 (market peak) till March 2009, compared to 34 per cent of the Crisil Balanced Fund Index and 51 per cent of the S&P CNX Nifty. The fund's performance vis-à-vis its peers clearly stands out during the market recovery phase after March 2009. Till date, the fund's NAV multiplied 2.5 times (122 per cent gain) from its lowest point in March 2009, while the benchmark index returned 52 per cent and the S&P CNX Nifty gained 77 per cent.

Portfolio analysis

Within equities, the fund maintains a fairly diversified portfolio exposure across market capitalisation with a bias towards large-cap stocks. The average fund exposure to stocks in the BSE 100 and CNX Midcap index during the last two years is around 43 per cent and 18 per cent of the total portfolio.

The average number of stocks in the portfolio for the last two years is 61, indicating good stock-wise diversification. Within the debt portfolio, the fund has maintained good asset quality with a predominant exposure (21 per cent) to government securities and AAA/P1+ rated papers over the last two years.

Sector trends

Banks, pharmaceuticals and financial institutions have been the most preferred sectors in the fund's portfolio over the last three years, with exposure to these sectors being over a fourth of total assets. Banks, housing finance and consumer goods sectors were the largest contributors to total gains of the fund during the last two years.

How will Ulips be different from now

 

 

INVESTORS in unit-linked insurance plans, which are known as Ulips, will have some relief in the coming days, as new guidelines become effective for policies entering the market.

There are a lot of changes that will come into play and they will ensure that there is an added element to protect investor's interest. One such guideline refers to discontinued policies. Till now, investors often ended up paying a lot of charges on discontinuation of a policy before the completion of the policy term. This will now be restricted.

Here are some details with respect to discontinuation of unit-linked plans.


Applicability:

 

The first thing that has to be considered is the time period when the new guidelines related to discontinuation of Ulips will be applicable.
These guidelines say all policies cleared by the insurance regulator after this date will need to follow the stated directions.

Investors should first ensure whether the policy they are buying is covered by the new guidelines in order to benefit from the new norms.
Lock in and discontinuation: The primary factor that influences a number of investors is the lock-in for the policy. For a long time, there was a three-year min imum lock-in period for Ulips, which has now been raised to five years.

The important point is this five-year period also has a linkage to the discontinuation norm. After this period, no charge will be levied on the investor for discontinuing the policy.

Another important point is even if the policy is discontinued before the completion of the lock-in period, one will not get back the money till the five-year period is over.

Revival chances:

 

The benefit that the investor will get under the new guidelines is his ability to revive the policy even after the grace period for premium payment is over.

The grace period for the payment of premium is 15 days in case the premium payment is monthly, and 30 days if it is by any other frequency.

Once the grace period is over and the investor has not paid the premium, then the insurance company has to send a notice for revival of the policy within 15 days.

Within 30 days of the receipt of the notice, the investor can pay the premium and revive it.

This gives investors an additional opportunity to ensure that in case of genuine mistakes, they are able to continue with the policy.

If this option is not availed, then it will be considered as complete withdrawal from the policy without any life cover. This means the life cover will no longer continue, but the investor will get some amount after accounting for the charges and the time elapsed.

Liquidity:

 

If the investor feels that by discontinuing the policy any time she will get the amount immediately, she is mistaken. Because the money cannot be accessed till the time the lock-in period is over.

The amount will get transferred to a discontinued policy fund and be refunded on the completion of the lock-in period.

This fund will earn some interest (3.5 per cent) when it lies there and the total amount will be returned to the customer after deducting the discontinuation charges.

In case it is a pension or annuity plan, then only one third of the proceeds will be refunded to the investor while the rest will to used to purchase an annuity.

 

Discontinuation charges:

 

Some charges will be levied on the investor when a policy is discontinued, because the fund will incur a cost in completing the required procedure and action.

However, a limit has been set on the charges and they will not exceed a certain figure. The charges will depend on the annual premium. There are two categories here -Rs 25,000 or lower and those that are higher than this. There is a limit set on the charges to be deducted each year till the fifth year.

For example, if a person with a premium of Rs 20,000 discontinues the policy in the third year, the charges will be limited to the lower of 10 per cent of annualised premium or fund value at the time of discontinuation, subject to a limit of Rs 1,500. As the charges are not going to exceed a certain limit, the investor will know the exact cost that her action.

The good thing is that the insurance company is now barred from levying any other charges other than this and they cannot end up penalising the investor with a higher levy.  

 

Sebi lays down standard disclosure norms for mutual funds

Asks MFs To Publish Ads With Specific Nos Apart From Scheme & Benchmark Returns


   THE Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is planning a standard set of disclosures for mutual fund fact sheets, advertisements and scheme information documents (SID), a person familiar with the matter told ET. This will not only give a clearer picture about the performance of the schemes, but will also help investors compare similar schemes of different fund houses.


   The regulator is aiming at more of quantitative disclosures, and not just qualitative disclosures as is the case at present.


   For instance, take returns. The thinking within Sebi is that returns alone do not define performance. A scheme may generate high returns by taking more risks, but this may not be palatable to the conservative investors in that scheme. Once the risks taken by fund managers are quantified, investors can compare the performance of various schemes before deciding on the one that suits their temperament.


   Around three years ago, the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) had issued a standard format for fact sheets. But many fund houses do not adhere to that. One of the shortcomings of that format was that it left the definition of certain parameters to the discretion of fund houses. As a result, the performance of a scheme cannot be compared with that of its peer group.


   For example, certain funds disclose the volatility on a monthly basis, while other funds disclose the annualised volatility. The funds do not disclose the risk-free rate they have taken as the standard while calculating the Sharpe ratio — the measure of risk-adjusted returns. Many funds do not disclose portfolio turnover, which tells an investor how often the fund manager churns his holdings.


   Sebi has proposed certain quantitative parameters to assess the performance of various types of schemes. For instance, in case of equity schemes, fund returns will have to be mentioned on an annualised basis after accounting for short-term capital gains tax and the dividend paid out during that period. Further, funds should also calculate volatility as the annualised standard deviation of the weekly returns over the concerned period.


   Similarly, the recurring expenses being charged by the scheme are also important for the investor as most funds in their SID only disclose the maximum expenses they would charge. These generally comprise the outer limit and do not reflect the actual expenses being charged. Similarly, in debt schemes, the fund must reveal the short-term and long-term risk-free rates to help the investor assess whether the fund manager has actually attained higher returns for them.


   Sebi also wants the mutual funds to give advertisements that give a holistic view of the performance of asset management companies (AMCs). The fund houses will have to publish advertisements that have specific quantitative parameters apart from just the scheme and benchmark returns.


   "Most of the AMCs were advertising only the list of their best-performing schemes, while there is no mention of those schemes which are either faring poorly or giving average returns," said a person familiar with the regulator's proposals.

 

Fund Of Funds - Add feeder funds for diversification

A small exposure will ensure that there is adequate hedge when the equity market is not doing too well

If you have not taken notice of aslew of feeder funds in the market, it is time you did. They've clocked impressive returns during the current uptrend and provided diversification. Feeder funds became popular lately, with many international funds making a debut here.

Concept: Feeder funds invest via another fund called the master fund. Often, an onshore feeder fund will invest in an offshore master fund. This is done so that the foreign master fund can gain a tax advantage for domestic investors.

Feeder funds are a bit complex since they bring exchange rates into play. But, the investor remains unaware of such intricacies. These funds are launched to replenish or expand the asset base of a principal fund.

Existing feeder funds: Currently, there are 22 schemes floating, across domestic mutual funds. The popular ones being, AIG World Gold Fund, DSPBR World Gold Fund, ING Latin America Equity, HSBC Emerging Equity Funds and DWS Global Thematic Offshore.

While Sensex and Nifty gave 12.8 per cent and 14.79 per cent, respectively, over a six-month period, some of these offshore investments have given more. The global markets, have provided more than decent returns, even if emerging markets have won hands down.

Benchmark Asset Management recently launched India's first international exchange-traded fund (ETF) linked to Hong Kong's stock market index, Hang Seng. HSBC Mutual Fund has sought the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (Sebi) nod for a scheme that invests in a Brazilian fund.

The popularity index indicates there are more investors willing to invest in commodity-based offshore funds and emerging market funds. Reason: Commodities tend to outperform significantly during their market cycle and Indian investors tend to be drawn more towards returns and less towards asset allocation/diversification.

Taxation: Given that the underlying transactions of these funds are not subject to securities transaction tax, they are not treated at par with the domestic funds. The short-term capital gains tax (for holding period of less than 12-month) is 30 per cent. And the long-term capital gains tax (for holding more than 12 month) is 20 per cent post indexation.

Cost: Feeder funds do not charge entry load. But, there are other costs attached like fund management cost (See the table to know the expense ratio of various funds) .

There is no conclusive inference. There would be expenses of the original (offshore) fund. That's why funds like the World Gold Fund have a lower cost structure which would eventually work out to FMC of about 2-2.5 per cent. So, keep a tab on the charges of the original fund.

Suitability Analysis: It is important to ensure this portion on your portfolio does not get too huge to stomach. Gold mining funds have remained popular over the years. The uptrend in gold has attracted many investors with growing awareness of the benefits.

even during turbulent times, these funds have held their grit.

It is, however, important to understand they may not always outperform the regular equity diversified funds, which can be easily benchmarked against Indian indices. Global funds behave differently: One has to hold their act together when things look shaky. A 5-10 per cent exposure to such funds in your portfolio could be interesting and a well-thought out diversification.

Investing: Options for risk averse investors

Some avenues for those who cannot afford to risk their corpus


   Everyone tries to set aside some savings for future needs. These savings are built based on some factors of life. People invest savings in various investment instruments in order to protect their value from inflationary pressures. There are various types of investment instruments available in the market that can be segmented based on returns offered, lock-in period, risk etc.

 
   An investor should select and invest in instruments based on his risk appetite and look at building a portfolio that covers various needs that may arise in the future.


   These are some options that come with a low risk level:

Bank deposit    

The basic features of a bank deposit are safety of the principal amount, easy liquidation of the deposit and accumulation of regular interest. The interest rates on bank fixed deposits are on the rise after the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) decision to tighten the monetary policy.


   Those looking at parking their excess funds for a short term can use a savings bank account. Investments in saving bank accounts have become more attractive after the RBI's mandate to calculate interest on a daily account balance basis. Although, the interest accrued on bank deposits attract income tax, some tax planning can take care of it in most cases.


   Analysts suggest a bank deposit should be the choice when it comes to safety and easy liquidation along with guaranteed returns.

Debt-based bond    

Investments in liquid and debt-based mutual funds are also equivalent to bank deposits. These funds invest in risk-free government securities and top-rated corporate deposits. They offer slightly higher returns than bank deposits.


   Investors looking at a regular income can select schemes under monthly income plans. Investors looking for long-term investment instruments should also consider taxsaving instruments such as provident funds (PF, PPF, VPF etc), NSC, infrastructure funds etc.

Gold    

Investments in gold or gold-based instruments have been a haven for risk averse investors. Gold based instruments have yielded good returns in times of financial crisis. Some analysts believe the financial turbulence at the global level has more unpleasant surprises to come in the near future. As a result, the outlook for precious metals remains positive in the short to medium terms.


   Investors can look at buying gold or silver coins. However, it is important that investors should buy from reliable outlets. Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are like mutual funds. Their value depends on the price of gold. Usually, each unit of gold ETF represents one gram or half a gram of gold as the underlying asset. The units of gold ETFs are tradable in the markets and easy to maintain.

Combo schemes    

There are many mixed schemes available in the market that provide the flavour of more than one investment class. For example, equity-linked insurance scheme, equity plus debt combo saving scheme etc. These schemes are a good way to balance investments. It is important to understand the various terms and conditions well before investing.

Property    

Investors looking for a long-term investment option can go for a property. An investment in property earns a regular income in the form of rent, and gets capital appreciation. An investment in property is a low risk option. It is important for investors to complete their due diligence before investing in property.

 


Decoding Health Insurance



THE possibility of one undergoing some kind of expensive health treatment during the lifetime is much more than a sudden demise. Given the cost of treatment at private healthcare facilities, it's almost beyond reach for the Indian middle and lower income class to meet such expenses. Despite that, the penetration of health insurance in our country is extremely low. Only about 2% of the India's population is covered under medical insurance.


   This is partly because of a lack of understanding of various products and the need for these products. There is a wide range of health products available in the market, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Understanding them is important to make the right choice.

INDIVIDUAL HEALTH PLAN

The simplest form of health insurance is the individual mediclaim policies. It covers hospitalisation expenses for an individual for up to the sum assured limit. The insurance premium is dependent on the sum assured value. Unlike in the past, most plans now come with sub-limits for each of these heads.
   

Drawback:

There are restrictions in terms of preexisting ailments, out-patient treatments and other exclusions. There is a limit on maximum age at entry.

FAMILY FLOATERS

These plans consist of shared Individual Health Plan. The benefits are mostly the same, but the sum insured can be used for the treatment of any or all members of the family and not a single person. This reduces the need for you to pay from your pocket. It comes at a lower premium.
   

Drawback:

Most family floaters have an upper age limit of 55 years or 60 years. Moreover, coverage of children under this policy will cease once they reach 25 years. Therefore, a family floater is more suitable for a young family.

CRITICAL ILLNESS

This is not a category in itself, but an addition to the individual or family floater health plan. In India, these plans are sold separately, this is a major flaw in the sales of health insurance. An illness plan provides financial assistance if the insured develops a serious ailment, such as cancer or has a stroke.
   

Drawback:

This is not a comprehensive health insurance cover and only covers specific situations. Moreover, a diagnosis of a critical ailment like cancer, for example, may not be enough to trigger payment of the policy if the cancer has not spread or is not life threatening. Other restrictions may include a specific number of days the policyholder must be ill or must survive after diagnosis.

SENIOR CITIZEN HEALTH PLAN

Most basic mediclaim plans cap the entry age at around 60 years while Senior Citizens Health Plans are generally for the people in the age group of 60-80 years. Most can be renewed lifelong or up to the age of 90, and have a fixed coverage of, say, Rs 1 lakh or Rs 2 lakh.
   

Drawback:

One should watch out for the illnesses as many ailments are excluded from these plans.

DAILY HOSPITALISATION PLAN

Hospital Cash Plan is a daily cash benefit insurance policy that assists the policy holder to meet all his/her miscellaneous expenses during the period of their hospitalisation generally not covered in the regular health insurance. It acts as a supplement to the health insurance policy.
   

Drawback:

These plans are not sufficient in themselves as they only cover hospitalisation expenses and not medical costs.

UNIT-LINKED HEALTH PLAN

Although life insurers are selling these policies, they may not cover life risk. Out of the premium paid, a portion goes towards medical coverage and the rest of the premium is in the stock market just like a ULIP. They are defined benefits and the payout is not dependent on the cost actually incurred.
   

Drawback:

Linked to market, they are subjected to market risks and also costs like fund management charges.

MEDICAL COVER FROM LIFE INSURERS

Life insurance companies, too, have started offering health plans. These are long-term, having a fixed premium for, say, three, five, or even 10 years. These policies do not need to be renewed every year. There are variations in this policy, including some cash back policies also.
   

Drawback:

Claim procedure is relatively difficult in health policies provided by life insurers. Claim settlement ratio is higher at general insurance.

 


Credit Cards - New features

Many credit card users fail to take the benefit of features provided for convenience and security.

Even before the Reserve Bank of India mandated a compulsory password for online transactions, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank offered virtual cards.

Many users are not comfortable using their card online due to security reasons. That's why we introduced this facility,

Let's look at other such features that credit card companies are offering:

Pay by transaction :

The latest entrant in the credit card space, Dhanlaxmi Bank, offers cardholders a 45-day free credit period, irrespective of the billing date. While applying for the card, the applicant needs to just specify if he wants to pay like this or according to the billing cycle. In the former, the bank starts charging interest rates only from the 46th day onwards.

The bank also gives an online financial planning tool that analyses the expenditure, segment-wise. The customer can track if more money is being spent in lifestyle purchases or need-based purchases.

Add-on card restriction :

If you are afraid to give an add-on card to, say, your child, because of the high credit limit, there is a solution. Some issuers are issuing add-on cards, wherein the primary cardholder can restrict the credit limit. HDFC Bank allows you to restrict the limit to as low as Rs 1,000. Usually, the add-on card has the same credit limit as the primary card.

Lower interest rates :

Credit card issuers point out that many users, on an average, keep at least three cards, as they hold savings accounts or fixed deposits with different banks. Private credit card players providing better facilities charge exorbitant interest rates, upwards of 40 per cent.

Public sector banks such as Bank of India, Union Bank of India and Syndicate Bank have annual interest rates of 22-24 per cent. Even if a person has a card from these banks, he frequently uses the one that either has a higher credit limit or provides ease of payment

Chip-based cards :

If you are a frequent flyer to international destinations, there is a strong possibility that your data could be stolen (known as skimming). In fact, many issuers suggest customers destroy their cards if used internationally. To prevent such misuse, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank have started providing cards that are chip based, called EMV cards.

These cards have a chip, rather than a magnetic strip, that stores information in an encrypted form. In developed markets, the regulators have asked companies to compulsorily issue EMV cards.

While Axis Bank is issuing such cards to platinum cardholders, HDFC is replacing chip-based cards for customers who are international travellers. However, any customer can call for an upgrade.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Why invest in unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs)?

 

 

THE introduction of unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) has been, one of the most significant innovations in the field of life insurance over the past several decades. With the help of one product category it has addressed and overcome several concerns that customers had about life insurance –be it liquidity, flexibility or transparency.

Prior to the introduction of ULIPs, different goals of an individual were addressed with separate products. However, ULIPs are one stop solution for an individual's financial goals that are designed to enable consumers plan and fulfill all their long term financial goals, be it child education or marriage, wealth creation or even creating a retirement kitty. ULIPs are structured such that the protection (insurance) element and the savings element can be distinguished and hence managed according to one's specific needs, offering unprecedented flexibility and transparency.

Why invest in ULIPs


Traditionally, the policyholder had no control over asset allocation, so it did not, necessarily, match the consumer's lifestyle. Further, often, people wonder whether it is better to purchase separate financial products for their protection and savings needs. This may be a viable option for those who have the time and skill to manage several products separately. However, for those who want a convenient, economical, one-stop solution, ULIPs are the best bet.

ULIPs by design encourage long-term systematic and disciplined savings towards specific financial goals like -– retirement, child's education or marriage, wealth creation along with providing them protection. To understand how a ULIP meets the multiple needs of protection of both health and life; and savings in the same policy, let us take the example of a 35-year-old man with two young children.

With a premium of Rs 30,000 per annum, he could begin with a sum assured of Rs 5 lakh. The balance could be invested in a fund of his choice, possibly a balanced or growth option. As the children grow, he might want to increase the level of protection, which could be done by liquidating some of the units to pay for a risk premium. On the other hand, if he gets a significant raise, he could increase the savings element in the policy by topping it up.

As sound investment instrument, ULIPs take both risk and return potential into account. By investing across several asset classes it adds diversification to help manage risk. The underlying principle of asset allocation, therefore, lies on the fact that when an investor diversifies across asset classes, he gives himself the margin or flexibility to counter market uncertainties.

Key features of ULIPs:

  • Combination of investment + insurance.
  • Long-term, systematic and goal-based investment.
  • Automatic asset allocation/Diversification in several asset classes.
  • Flexibility and transparency.
  • Switching funds at no extra cost.
  • Tax benefits under Section 80c of the Income Tax Act.

Charge structure


It is a common myth that ULIPs are expensive financial products, instead it is a competitively priced product over a long term. The initial charges could be high, owing to the long term nature of the product. However, overall charge structure for the term comes down substantially over a long period of time. ULIPs also have a very competitive fund management charge in the industry. ULIPs are as transparent as other market-led investments. Every time the customer chooses a ULIP, he/she is provided a sales benefit illustration that explains the premium utilization and charges, year by year, for the term of the plan.

ULIPs also provide customers the freedom to switch between funds at no extra cost as against other market linked investments in which the customer bears the entry load (and even exit loads in some cases) for moving from debt to equity fund or vice versa.

Additional attractive features of ULIPs


Flexibility and transparency are the two key features of the product. Most ULIPs provide options to increase or reduce premiums after three years. While discontinuing premium payment is not conducive to long-term wealth generation, ULIPs, with their low or nil surrender charges, are customer-friendly and allow withdrawal of fund value in emergencies. ULIPs also provide an option to 'enhance' the kitty using top-ups that add to the existing fund value.

Through ULIPs, consumers can also decrease or increase protection over the term of the plan, as the protection needs of an average customer changes over his/her lifespan. Further, they offer the flexibility to add health insurance coverage by adding critical illness riders. Most ULIPs also offer customization whereby the customer can enhance or reduce or even totally drop such additional insurance covers during the term of the product. From a tax perspective, the premiums paid and the maturity proceeds from ULIPs are generally tax-free.

All these benefits rolled into one single product category is available only with ULIPs, making them an attractive 'wealth management-financial protection' solution. To sum up, ULIPs are unique as they automatically help policyholders enter into a systematic investment process besides providing the benefit of a life cover.

 


Managing personal finance is for long term



MONEY makes the world go round. Managing money is not on the top of everyone's mind — some do not think about it, others think that working hard to get the money is tiring enough — but even so, it remains just there: in the mind. Just because we use money as a unit of exchange for goods and services and start dealing with the physical currency early, some of us seem to think that we know all that we need to about money.

It's Time To Shake Off The Cobweb

With fast-changing regulations and intricately-woven global markets, there is a need to be continuously on top of the news — and be able to understand the implication of these on your personal finances to ensure that your money works as hard as you do. However, more often than not, we need a mistake to awaken us to the fact that money management is not as simple as it looks. Ask the CFO of your organisation today, and he will honestly tell you that he can handle the company's finances with consummate ease, but his personal finances are not in the desired state. The answer is not difficult to find: it is possibly easier to handle someone else's money, as the emotions attached are far less! (The products and the risks involved, and hence the skills and temperament required, too are vastly different.)

Men Are From Mars, But Do They Know The Way Back?

The key, then, is to find the right advisor to manage your money. Are you the overtrusting or gullible type? Or, are you inherently distrustful by nature because of your past experiences? In the former case, you need to make a mistake and only then learn to ask intelligent questions or do a detailed search before selecting your advisor. If you are the man who does not like asking for directions (which man is!), you are more prone to make the mistake and learn than women, who have it in their nature to compare and back their intuition. Lesson to be learnt: involve your wife or mother or sister in your personal search for your advisor.

Do It Yourself — But Always Err On The Side Of Caution

Sure, there are websites that offer free search and online tools to compare one investment option versus the other, but arguably only on a micro basis. Once I have decided that I want to invest in a bank deposit, I can compare where I will get the best rate. Mutual funds, too, have many research engines. But how do you decide what proportion of funds you need to allocate to equity, and within that to large cap funds? Sure, you can get a list of the best performing large-cap funds, but how many of them warn you that this is based on past performance only?

Neighbour's Envy: Take It With A Pinch Of Salt

We all are jealous of our neighbour or friend who boasts of his success in investments. Let me ask you a personal question. If you make 10 investment decisions, logically, you will get some right and some wrong. (Hopefully, more right than wrong.) Which of these decisions are you more likely to talk to your colleague about? Hence, do handle your "neighbour's envy" with a pinch of salt and follow a disciplined approach to investing.


   Managing personal finances is for the long term. Get that drilled into your head and ensure peace of mind while you tick off the achievement of your personal goals one by one.

 


Building portfolio - Basics

 

   Savings and investments are the basic steps in an individual's financial planning process. There are various options available in the market, and it is very important to plan and select the right investment instruments in order to get the best returns. It is advisable to start saving and investing as early as possible. It is also very important to allocate some of your time to planning and tracking your existing and planned investments. You cannot have all you plan for in your investment portfolio on day one - you need to build the portfolio slowly over time, and focus on diversification of instruments too.


   The first step is to identify your objectives. The objectives can be simply classified as short-term needs such as tax saving, insurance, buying some asset etc, and long-term needs such as a property, marriage, children's education, retirement etc. The next step is to identify your risk appetite, which is basically your capacity to bear loss on investments. Risk appetite is unique to each investor as it depends on various personal factors such as age, stability in earnings, financial background of the family etc.


   These are some of the broad categories of investment instruments that are available in the markets:

Tax-saving instruments    

It is important to plan to reduce your tax liability. The Income Tax Act specifies certain investment instruments that attract a rebate in income tax. For example, provident fund, NSC, infrastructure funds etc. However, most of these tax-saving instruments come with a long lock-in period. You can choose some of these tax-saving instruments to invest in.


   Investors with a low risk appetite can invest in debt based instruments like PPF, NSC etc, while investors with a high risk appetite can invest in a mix of tax saving mutual funds, PPF, NSC etc.

Insurance instruments    

It is important for everyone to have an adequate insurance cover on life and health. Analysts suggest an investor should have an insurance cover that is at least 5-8 times his annual income. On the other hand, you should have adequate medical cover as well for yourself and your immediate family members.


   Insurance schemes taken at a lower age come with lower premiums and therefore it is advisable to go in for adequate insurance cover during the early part of one's earning years. Unit linked insurance plans (ULIPs) are a good option to bundle one's investment and insurance needs.

Liquid and debt instruments    

Debt-based investment instruments are 'low risk and low returns' options, and provide for capital protection. Debt instruments are good for short and medium-term investment plans where investors are looking for liquidity. You can look at investing in various debt based investment instruments based on your needs.


   Some options are bank savings deposits, bank fixed deposits, debt based mutual funds etc.

Gold    

Investing in gold has gained popularity in recent times due to the lucrative returns. Gold-based investments add another dimension to a portfolio. It acts as a debt instrument and usually provides good returns during uncertain economic conditions. You can look at investing in gold either through the metal itself or through units of gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Equity-based instruments    

You can invest in the equity markets either directly in stocks or through indirect options - equity-based mutual funds. You can identify investment opportunities with some basic analysis. Ideally, only investors who have the time and understanding of markets should look at the direct stock method. Others should look at investments through funds managed by various fund houses.

 

Housing Loan: Role of guarantor


   Some banks and housing finance companies insist on a personal guarantor. The guarantor is required to meet norms specified by the bank. It is difficult to re-possess the property of a borrower in case of default. In order to safeguard its interests and to ensure the repayment of the loan is made in time, banks insist on a guarantor.


   Although the liability is secondary, it is always there. One should act as a guarantor only if he is satisfied with the credibility of the borrower.


   Usually, only individuals can act as guarantors. The guarantor basically provides a sort of security on behalf of borrower to the bank, that in case the borrower fails to repay the loan amount or other dues to the bank the guarantor will make good that shortfall. The guarantor has to enter into a deed of guarantee, where he agrees to make the payment in the event of applicant failing to pay the dues by the due date.


   A guarantor should satisfy all the norms relating to age and income applicable to a borrower. With a guarantor, the bank puts some sort of a moral obligation on the borrower to repay the loan. An immediate relative may act as a guarantor in case the policy of the bank permits it.


   Although usually a guarantor may be insisted on for loans above a specific amount, the more conservative banks insist on a guarantor irrespective of the loan amount involved. Some require a guarantor in all cases while others insist on a guarantor only if certain criteria are not met by the borrower.

Some of the conditions when a guarantor is required:

In case of sole applicant

If the borrower is residing in a city different from the city where he intends to purchase the property If the income of the borrower is variable in nature Absence of professional qualification in case of a self-employed borrower Borrower with a transferable job


If the borrower works in an industry where he may have to go abroad for long
In future, a guarantor can apply for a loan if he is capable of repaying both the instalments - on the guaranteed loan and his loan. If his repayment capacity does not make him eligible for a loan, the borrower may have to arrange for a replacement guarantee. This has to be done by releasing the current guarantor and providing the bank with another guarantor who meets all specified norms.


   In the event of the guarantor's death, the borrower has to get another guarantor.


   Many banks insist on only close relatives such as wife, father, sister, earning children etc as guarantors.

 

Take these precautions against credit card frauds!

 

 

Credit card information is privy and prone to theft. Therefore it is your responsibility to keep it safe from miscreants who may illegally use it and make you pay the price for the same because after all, you are the owner of the card. It is therefore important that precautions are taken so that you do not have to pay financially for the misdeeds of others. Take note of the following-

Avoid giving out credit card information: Credit card thieves are known to pose as credit card issuers to trick you into giving your credit card number. Therefore give your credit card details only on the calls initiated by you to the customer service number. Also do not submit your credit card number through email. As a general rule, most banks and credit card companies will never request your account numbers via e-mail.


No matter how official, credible an e-mail or website appears to be; if it is asking for sensitive information you can safely assume that it is not genuine. In fact, most banks explicitly state that they will never approach you for such information through email.


Shred anything with your credit card number on it: In order to prevent anyone from getting their hands on your credit card number, make sure that all documents carrying your credit card number are destroyed. Also, old credit cards which have expired should also be destroyed.

Report lost/stolen cards immediately: The sooner you report a missing credit card the less likely it is that you'll have to pay for any fraudulent charges made on your credit card. Make sure you always you're credit card number handy and also the customer services number of the company so that you can immediately inform them of a missing card.


Review your bills on a monthly basis: The easiest way of determining any credit card fraud on your card is by spotting any unauthorized transaction. If you notice a charge that does not belong to you, no matter how small the amount, report it to the credit card issuer on an immediate basis. Your credit card issuer will then guide you on what the future course of action should be.

Sign on the card- The moment you receive your card, make sure you put your signature on it. Although, it is mandatory to do so, some of us tend to ignore it, and it then can be easily misused if it falls into the hands of some miscreants. That's because the person can put his own signature on the card and start using it without creating any suspicion while transacting with various merchants.

Keep your PIN secure: Make sure you do not write the PIN on your card or you do not keep it accessible anywhere in your wallet. In a scenario your wallet being pick pocketed, both your card number and pin number will be available and cash can easily be withdrawn on the credit card.

Be careful of your CVV number: The CVV number can be used for online transactions. So anybody knowing your card number and your CVV number, can do online transactions (purchase of air tickets, equipments etc). Therefore, do not give a photocopy of both sides of your credit card to anyone. Also make sure that the websites on which your transacting online is safe and secure. For that, look for the lock on the bottom right corner of the screen.

Opt for a card protection plan: In case you have lost or have been robbed off your card, you're in double trouble- your card could be used for a fraudulent purchase and you lose the convenience to pay though the card. Besides, you may have lost all your other important documents such as pan card, driving license etc. which may have been in your wallet that has now been stolen. Look for a 'Card protection plan' to help you with such dilemmas.

•    What is a Card Protection Plan?

It is card protection service that can be used anywhere in the world when your card has been lost or stolen. All you need to do is call the CPP toll free domestic/international number as the case may be, which is a 24 hour service and inform them of the loss or theft. CPP in turn will inform all the issuers and get the cards canceled.


In addition, CPP will also help you in your travel, hotel bill payments to the extent of the coverage of the product you have chosen. Also you will get help on getting your documents done such as passport, driving license and new cards among other things.


You need to buy this product for which annual charges need to be paid. Then you need to register all your cards and all the documents you deem necessary.

Two types of products are available- Classic and Premium. The yearly charges are

•    Classic- Single user- Rs. 995; Joint Card user: Rs. 1495

•    Premium- Single user: Rs. 1295; Joint Card user: Rs. 1945

Cardholders can choose any of the above plans depending on their needs. Customers can be covered for fraud loss on their cards for an amount up to Rs. 1 lakh prior notification and Rs. 20 lakh post notification; overseas emergency assistance for payment of hotel expenses of up to Rs. 1.2 lakh and Rs. 60,000 in India; and replacement travel ticket advance of Rs 1.2 lakh while overseas and Rs 60,000 whilst in India.

This plan doesn't cover online frauds. So if your card is misused for online transactions by a third party, CPP does not protect you.

There is no cap on the number of cards that you can register for protection under one registration/membership. You can choose to register all your financial and non-financial cards such as membership/loyalty cards as well as other valuable documents such as driving license, passport, PAN card and any financial certificates.


•    Why should you opt for a CPP?

  • One phone call to block all the cards: In this plastic world, having an average of 2-3 cards is not uncommon at all. In case of a loss, the CPP requires you to dial only one toll free number which is available 24 hours. CPP will undertake the task of canceling all your cards. The card holder is thus saved from the trouble of calling all the credit card issuers separately.

 

  • Fraud protection: You get worldwide protection against fraudulent use of lost or stolen card.  Fraudulent protection is available pre-notification i.e. 7 days prior to reporting your card loss or theft and post notification.

 

  • Emergency travel, hotel assistance and document registration:  If you're stuck anywhere in India or abroad because you have lost all your cards, under CPP the worldwide emergency assistance will facilitate your tickets and hotel payments if your card is lost or stolen. You will also be able to opt for their help in getting your documents such as your passport or new cards in order by providing the necessary notifications and contact numbers.

    Plastic money has gained prominence in the last few years because the modern day Indian consumer has taken a liking to cashless travel. The convenience offered by credit cards to pay off bills, movie tickets, and other related transactions has resulted in an increase in its usage manifold. But there are also associated risks which you need to be aware of. Use it to serve your need but at the same time take all the care to avoid finding yourself in a spot of bother. 

 

Don't look at dividend to pick a mutual fund

 

 

Experts say dividend on a mutual fund scheme is mostly a gimmick used to attract investors MF experts say there has been rationalisation in dividend declared after Sebi's order

HIGH dividend payouts from the mutual fund company is not the real indicator of a fund's performance and one should not invest in mutual funds based on dividend payouts, say mutual funds experts.

Unlike stocks where dividend reflects performance of the company, dividend paid on a mutual fund scheme does not reflect a fund's performance. One should look at historic performance of the fund.

Unlike corporate dividends, where the firm distributes surplus, high mutual fund dividend does not really mean that the fund is performing well. Fund experts say there's no difference between an investor redeeming a part of mutual fund and a fund company paying a part of your returns in the form of dividend.

Till now, more than 135  equity schemes have paid dividends this year. The dividend paid is as high as 80 per cent in some cases.

For example, if the net asset value (NAV) of a fund is Rs 30 and it declares a dividend of 10 per cent, that is Rs 3 per unit, the NAV will drop to Rs 27 on the day the dividend is paid out. This is because the dividend is taken out of the NAV.

Dividend is redemption of the returns that your money has earned. An investor should not get carried away by the dividends paid by a fund house. One should look at the fund's performance to make investment decisions.

Dividend in mutual fund is mostly a market gimmick. It is not a return on capital, but mostly returning a part of your capital. Through dividend your own money is coming back to you. One should look at historical returns and performance of a fund and then only make any investment decisions.

However, mutual fund experts say there has been some rationalisation in dividend declared since the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (Sebi) order in March this year tightening the norms regarding the payout of dividends on mutual funds.

Sebi had ruled that funds would be able to pay dividends only out of accumulated returns and not out of money that is invested by unit holders. Taking a decision on which fund to buy based on past dividends declared is not appropriate. But things will change now subsequent to the Sebi order.

Mutual fund houses use dividends as a marketing tool to attract new investors mostly in the second half of the financial year to get a share of tax saving investments into their tax-saver funds.


Any investment decision depends on the goals of an investor. If an investor is looking at regular income in the form of dividends, he should opt for such plans. At this point of time, different variants of any financial product is available. It all depends on the customer.

 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

KYC norms for MF investments

What is KYC?

Client identification process is known as 'Know Your Customer or Client' aka- KYC. Sebi has made it mandatory for all mutual funds to know their clients. This would be in the form of verification of address and identity, providing financial status, occupation and such other demographic information to CDSL Ventures Limited (CVL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Central Depository Services India Limited. Investments equal to and more than Rs 50,000 in a mutual fund portfolio necessarily have to be accompanied by a KYC acknowledgement letter.

How to get KYC compliant?

CVL is the designated body to carry out the KYC compliance procedure for mutual fund investors. You have to approach CVL through any of the point of service (POS). The KYC application form is available on the CVL website in the downloads section. One can take a printout of the applicable form. The same is also available on mutual fund websites.


   Investors need to attach self-attested photocopy of the PAN card as identity proof, along with the application form. There is a need of self-attested photocopy of an address proof enlisted by CVL. Alternatively, the investors can also attach true copies attested by a notary or a gazetted officer or a manager of a scheduled commercial bank of a multinational foreign bank. Investors need not visit POS in person. The application can be routed through mutual fund distributors or a representative of investors. The original documents are verified at the counter and given back to the applicant or representatives of the applicant.


   Non-resident Indians also need to undertake the same process. They additionally have to provide certified true copy of their overseas address. If the same is in foreign language other than English, the same have to be translated in English for submission. The documents can be attested by consulate office or overseas branches of scheduled commercial banks registered in India.


   POS upon verification of the documents and receipt of duly filled-in application form issues an acknowledgement letter free of cost. The letter needs to be duly stamped and signed by representatives of POS. In case of joint holdings in a portfolio, all the joint holders have to get themselves KYC-compliant. Applications where the investments are in joint names, photocopies of KYC acknowledgement letters of all applicants must be attached with the application form. In the case of investments in the name of minors, the KYC acknowledgement letter of the guardian is a must.

What should you do with KYC acknowledgement letter?

Please note that neither POS nor CVL will inform about the KYC exercise you have completed in respect of any of the mutual fund houses. It is your responsibility to do so. You can attach a photocopy of KYC acknowledgement letter, along with the application letter, at the time of fresh investments. You can simply write to the fund houses where you have an investment and request them to update your KYC status. Such requests must be accompanied by the photocopies of the KYC acknowledgement letter. You can also attach the photocopy of KYC acknowledgement letter with your request for additional investments in your mutual fund portfolio.


   A point to note that upon submission of your KYC acknowledgement letter, the mutual fund house will update your status in their books. The address mentioned in your KYC letter will prevail over the address you have mentioned in your original application. All future correspondence by the fund house will be maintained at the address mentioned in the KYC letter.

 


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