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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |5092 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Apr 18, 2024

Ramalingam Kalirajan has over 23 years of experience in mutual funds and financial planning.
He has an MBA in finance from the University of Madras and is a certified financial planner.
He is the director and chief financial planner at Holistic Investment, a Chennai-based firm that offers financial planning and wealth management advice.... more
Shaikh Question by Shaikh on Jun 27, 2023Hindi

Hello Sir, I want to start my investment with Rs. 5,000/- P.M. The following details: 1. Consistently planning to invest for years i.e. 60 Months 2. Moderate Risk Profile 3. Long term financial goal.

Ans: For a 60-month investment horizon with a moderate risk profile and a long-term financial goal, consider diversifying your investment across equity and debt funds to balance risk and potential returns. You can start with a mix of large-cap and balanced funds to provide stability and growth potential. Allocate a portion to debt funds or hybrid funds for steady returns and lower volatility. Regularly review and adjust your portfolio as needed to stay aligned with your financial goals and risk tolerance. Consulting a Certified Financial Planner can help tailor your investment strategy to your specific needs and objectives.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information to be as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision.

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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |5092 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jun 05, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jun 05, 2024Hindi
I am 53 yrs and having a monthly salary of 1lakh , having a SIP of 70000 per month and having a pf of 6 lakh How I can plan my investment
Ans: Financial Planning for a 53-Year-Old: An In-Depth Guide
Planning your investments at 53 requires a strategic approach. Your monthly salary is Rs 1 lakh, and you have an impressive SIP of Rs 70,000 per month. Additionally, you have a provident fund (PF) of Rs 6 lakh. With careful planning, you can ensure a secure financial future.

Assessing Your Current Financial Situation
First, let's review your current financial situation. Your income and investments are crucial for future planning.

Monthly Salary: Rs 1 lakh

Your monthly income is a significant factor in your financial planning. It forms the basis for your savings, investments, and expenses.

SIP: Rs 70,000 per month

Your SIP investment shows a strong commitment to long-term wealth creation. SIPs are a disciplined way to invest, averaging out market volatility. With such a substantial monthly investment, you have the potential to accumulate significant wealth over time.

Provident Fund: Rs 6 lakh

Your PF balance of Rs 6 lakh is an essential part of your retirement corpus. Provident funds offer a secure and tax-efficient way to save for retirement.

Establishing Financial Goals
Define clear financial goals. Consider short-term, medium-term, and long-term objectives.

Short-Term Goals: Emergency fund, home renovations, vacations.

Short-term goals are those that you aim to achieve within the next few years. These goals typically require relatively smaller amounts of money and can be funded through regular savings or short-term investments.

Medium-Term Goals: Children’s education, marriage expenses.

Medium-term goals typically have a time horizon of 5-10 years. These goals require more significant financial planning and may involve investments in instruments with moderate risk levels.

Long-Term Goals: Retirement planning, health care needs.

Long-term goals are those that you aim to achieve over a longer time horizon, typically 10 years or more. These goals require careful planning and disciplined investing to ensure that you accumulate the necessary corpus by the time you need it.

Each goal requires different strategies. Aligning your investments with these goals will provide direction.

Building an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is essential. It provides a safety net during unexpected situations.

Recommendation: Save 6-12 months of expenses.

Strategy: Keep this fund in a savings account or liquid funds for easy access.

An emergency fund acts as a financial cushion during unforeseen events such as job loss, medical emergencies, or major repairs. By setting aside a portion of your income in a liquid account, you can ensure that you are prepared to handle any financial emergencies without having to dip into your long-term investments.

Reviewing Your Provident Fund
Your PF of Rs 6 lakh is a significant amount. It provides financial security and helps in retirement planning.

Consideration: Avoid withdrawing PF unless necessary. PF accumulates interest over time, providing substantial benefits.

Provident funds are one of the most popular retirement savings options in India due to their tax benefits and guaranteed returns. By contributing regularly to your PF and letting it grow over time, you can build a substantial corpus for your retirement years.

Evaluating Your SIP Investments
You are investing Rs 70,000 per month in SIPs. SIPs are excellent for rupee cost averaging and long-term growth.

Recommendation: Ensure your SIPs are diversified across various sectors and market capitalizations.

Strategy: Regularly review and rebalance your SIP portfolio to align with your risk tolerance and goals.

Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) are a popular investment option for retail investors due to their simplicity and affordability. By investing a fixed amount regularly in mutual funds, you can benefit from the power of compounding and rupee cost averaging, which can help you accumulate wealth over the long term.

Importance of Diversification
Diversification reduces risk and enhances returns. Invest in a mix of equity, debt, and hybrid funds.

Equity Funds: High growth potential, suitable for long-term goals.

Debt Funds: Stability and lower risk, ideal for short to medium-term goals.

Hybrid Funds: Balanced approach, combining equity and debt.

Diversification is a fundamental principle of investing that aims to spread your investment risk across different asset classes and sectors. By diversifying your investment portfolio, you can reduce the impact of any single investment's poor performance on your overall portfolio returns.

Retirement Planning
Retirement planning is crucial at this stage. You need to ensure a comfortable and secure retirement.

Estimation: Calculate the corpus required for retirement considering inflation and lifestyle.

Investment Strategy: Increase contributions to your retirement fund. Consider equity and hybrid funds for higher growth.

Retirement planning involves estimating the amount of money you will need to maintain your desired standard of living after you retire and then working backward to determine how much you need to save each month to achieve that goal. By starting early and investing regularly in retirement-oriented investment vehicles, you can build a substantial corpus for your golden years.

Health Care Planning
Healthcare costs can be substantial in retirement. Plan for medical emergencies and regular health expenses.

Health Insurance: Ensure adequate health insurance coverage. Consider a higher sum insured with critical illness coverage.

Health Savings Fund: Create a separate fund for medical expenses. Use debt funds or fixed deposits for this purpose.

Healthcare planning is an essential aspect of financial planning, especially as you age and your healthcare needs increase. By investing in a comprehensive health insurance policy and setting aside funds for medical emergencies, you can ensure that you are prepared to meet any healthcare expenses that may arise in the future without putting a strain on your finances.

Tax Planning
Efficient tax planning can save a significant amount of money. Utilize tax-saving instruments to reduce your tax liability.

Section 80C: Invest in ELSS, PPF, or NSC to claim deductions up to Rs 1.5 lakh.

Section 80D: Avail tax benefits on health insurance premiums for yourself and family.

Tax planning is an integral part of financial planning and involves structuring your finances in a way that minimizes your tax liability while maximizing your post-tax returns. By taking advantage of various tax-saving instruments and deductions available under the Income Tax Act, you can reduce your tax burden and increase your disposable income.

Reviewing Insurance Policies
Evaluate your existing insurance policies. Ensure they provide adequate coverage.

Life Insurance: Check if the sum assured is sufficient to cover your family’s needs.

ULIPs and Endowment Policies: Consider surrendering these policies if they are not performing well. Reinvest the proceeds in mutual funds for better returns.

Insurance planning is an essential component of financial planning and involves assessing your insurance needs and ensuring that you have adequate coverage to protect yourself and your loved ones against unforeseen events. By reviewing your existing insurance policies periodically and making necessary adjustments, you can ensure that you are adequately covered and that your insurance portfolio remains aligned with your financial goals.

Benefits of Actively Managed Funds
Avoid index funds and direct funds. Actively managed funds, through a Certified Financial Planner, offer several benefits.

Professional Management: Experienced fund managers make informed decisions.

Higher Returns: Actively managed funds have the potential to outperform the market.

Regular Monitoring: Regular reviews and adjustments ensure alignment with financial goals.

Actively managed funds are mutual funds in which fund managers actively make investment decisions with the aim of outperforming the market and generating higher returns for investors. By investing in actively managed funds through a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), you can benefit from professional management and expertise. Certified Financial Planners are trained professionals who can help you navigate the complexities of the financial markets and make informed investment decisions that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Creating a Withdrawal Strategy
A well-planned withdrawal strategy ensures you don’t outlive your savings.

Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP): Use SWPs in mutual funds to create a regular income stream during retirement.

Staggered Withdrawals: Avoid withdrawing large amounts at once to reduce tax liability and maintain growth potential.

Creating a withdrawal strategy is essential to ensure that you can sustain your lifestyle in retirement without depleting your savings too quickly. By implementing a systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) in mutual funds or staggering your withdrawals over time, you can generate a steady income stream while preserving the principal amount for future growth.

Estate Planning
Estate planning ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Will: Draft a will to specify how your assets should be distributed.

Nominees: Ensure all investments and accounts have updated nominee details.

Trust: Consider setting up a trust for more complex estate planning needs.

Estate planning is the process of arranging for the transfer of your assets to your heirs or beneficiaries after your death. By creating a will, designating nominees for your investments and accounts, and setting up trusts for more complex estate planning needs, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are provided for after you're gone.

Continuous Monitoring and Review
Regularly monitor and review your financial plan. Adjust strategies as needed to stay on track with your goals.

Annual Review: Conduct a thorough review of your financial plan at least once a year.

Life Changes: Update your plan for any significant life changes such as marriage, birth, or change in employment.

Continuous monitoring and review of your financial plan are essential to ensure that it remains aligned with your goals and objectives. By conducting an annual review and updating your plan for any significant life changes, you can make necessary adjustments to your investment portfolio and financial strategy to adapt to changing circumstances and stay on track towards achieving your long-term financial goals.

In conclusion, planning your investments at 53 is crucial for a secure future. Your current SIPs, provident fund, and monthly salary form a strong foundation for your financial plan. By diversifying your investments, planning for retirement and healthcare, and making informed decisions with the help of a Certified Financial Planner, you can achieve your financial goals and enjoy a comfortable and secure financial future.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


..Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |5092 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 15, 2024

Hello Sir, I am 33 years old male ready to invest 1.5 lakhs per month for the next 5 years. I also have a savings of rs 10 lakhs now.. How should i start building my investment portfolio?
Ans: Firstly, congratulations on your commitment to investing. Your financial future looks promising with a disciplined approach. Let’s build a solid investment strategy for you.

Your monthly investment capacity of Rs 1.5 lakhs and current savings of Rs 10 lakhs can be effectively utilized to achieve your financial goals. Here's a detailed guide on how to structure your portfolio.

Emergency Fund Allocation
An emergency fund is crucial. It ensures you are prepared for unforeseen expenses.

You already have Rs 10 lakhs in savings. I recommend setting aside a portion of this as your emergency fund. Typically, six months’ worth of expenses is a good benchmark. This fund should be easily accessible.

Consider placing this amount in a liquid fund or a short-term fixed deposit.

Asset Allocation Strategy
Asset allocation is the foundation of your investment strategy. It involves spreading your investments across various asset classes to balance risk and reward.

Equity Investments
Equity investments are essential for long-term growth. They provide higher returns compared to other asset classes.

However, equities also come with higher risk. A diversified approach can mitigate this risk.

Large Cap Funds: These funds invest in well-established companies with a strong market presence. They offer stable returns and lower risk compared to mid and small-cap funds.

Mid Cap Funds: These funds invest in medium-sized companies with potential for higher growth. They carry more risk but can yield substantial returns.

Small Cap Funds: These funds focus on smaller companies. They offer the highest growth potential but also come with higher volatility.

Flexi Cap Funds: These funds invest across market capitalizations, offering a balanced approach.

By diversifying across these categories, you can maximize your returns while managing risk.

Debt Investments
Debt investments provide stability and regular income. They are less volatile than equities.

Debt Mutual Funds: These funds invest in fixed-income securities like government bonds and corporate bonds. They offer regular returns with lower risk.

Corporate Bond Funds: These funds invest in high-rated corporate bonds. They provide better returns than government bonds but carry slightly higher risk.

Short-Term Debt Funds: These funds invest in short-term debt instruments. They are suitable for investors with a low-risk appetite.

Debt investments should form a significant part of your portfolio to balance the risks of equity investments.

Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)
A SIP is a disciplined way to invest in mutual funds. It spreads your investments over time, reducing market volatility.

Investing Rs 1.5 lakhs per month through SIPs can help you benefit from rupee cost averaging. This strategy ensures you buy more units when prices are low and fewer units when prices are high.

Regular vs Direct Mutual Funds
Investing through a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) can provide you with valuable insights and expert advice.

Disadvantages of Direct Funds
Direct funds require you to manage your investments yourself. This can be time-consuming and challenging.

You may lack the expertise to select the right funds and monitor your portfolio.

Benefits of Regular Funds
Regular funds, managed through a CFP, offer professional management and personalized advice.

A CFP can help you align your investments with your financial goals, monitor your portfolio, and make necessary adjustments.

Avoiding Index Funds
Index funds are passively managed. They aim to replicate the performance of a market index.

Disadvantages of Index Funds
They do not offer the potential for outperforming the market. They also do not adapt to market changes or take advantage of specific opportunities.

Benefits of Actively Managed Funds
Actively managed funds aim to outperform the market. Fund managers use their expertise to select the best stocks and adjust the portfolio based on market conditions.

This active management can lead to higher returns compared to index funds.

Diversification Across Sectors
Diversification is not just about asset classes. It’s also about spreading your investments across different sectors.

Invest in various sectors such as technology, healthcare, finance, and consumer goods. This reduces the impact of sector-specific downturns on your portfolio.

Rebalancing Your Portfolio
Regularly review and rebalance your portfolio. This ensures your asset allocation remains aligned with your financial goals.

Market movements can cause your portfolio to deviate from its original allocation. Rebalancing involves selling overperforming assets and buying underperforming ones.

This keeps your portfolio balanced and aligned with your risk tolerance.

Monitoring and Reviewing Investments
Regularly monitor your investments. Review your portfolio’s performance and make adjustments as needed.

A CFP can assist in this process. They provide ongoing advice and ensure your investments remain on track to meet your goals.

Tax Planning
Effective tax planning can enhance your returns. Utilize tax-saving instruments and strategies to minimize your tax liability.

Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS)
ELSS funds offer tax benefits under Section 80C. They invest in equities and have a lock-in period of three years.

This provides tax savings and potential for higher returns.

Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG)
Equity investments held for more than one year qualify for LTCG tax benefits. The gains are taxed at a lower rate compared to short-term gains.

Debt Fund Taxation
Debt funds held for more than three years qualify for LTCG tax benefits. The gains are taxed after considering indexation benefits, which adjust the purchase price for inflation.

Avoiding Investment in Real Estate
While real estate is a popular investment option, it comes with certain drawbacks.

Real estate investments are not easily liquidated. Selling property can take time and may not yield immediate cash.

High Costs
Real estate investments involve high costs, including property taxes, maintenance, and transaction fees.

Market Risk
The real estate market can be volatile. Property values can fluctuate, affecting your returns.

Avoiding Annuities
Annuities may seem attractive for retirement income but come with limitations.

High Fees
Annuities often have high fees and charges, which can erode your returns.

Limited Flexibility
Annuities offer limited flexibility. Once you invest, accessing your funds can be difficult.

Importance of Insurance
Adequate insurance coverage is crucial to protect your financial plan.

Term Insurance
Term insurance provides financial security to your dependents in case of your untimely demise. It offers high coverage at a low cost.

Health Insurance
Health insurance protects you from medical expenses. Opt for a comprehensive plan that covers hospitalization, critical illness, and other medical costs.

Setting Financial Goals
Clearly define your financial goals. This will guide your investment strategy.

Short-Term Goals
Short-term goals could include building an emergency fund, planning a vacation, or purchasing a vehicle.

Medium-Term Goals
Medium-term goals might involve saving for a down payment on a house, funding education, or starting a business.

Long-Term Goals
Long-term goals often include retirement planning, children’s education, and wealth accumulation.

Regular Financial Planning
Engage in regular financial planning. This involves setting goals, creating a plan, and monitoring your progress.

A CFP can assist in this process. They provide expert advice and ensure your financial plan remains on track.

Final Insights
Building a robust investment portfolio requires careful planning and regular monitoring.

Your commitment to investing Rs 1.5 lakhs per month sets a strong foundation for your financial future.

By diversifying your investments, balancing risk, and seeking professional advice, you can achieve your financial goals.

Remember to regularly review and adjust your portfolio to stay aligned with your objectives.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


..Read more

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Nayagam P P  |2234 Answers  |Ask -

Career Counsellor - Answered on Jul 21, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 20, 2024Hindi
Sir, i have completed my bachelors (BCA) in India in an engineering college and wishes to pursue my masters in a foreign country.My family is'nt well off so iam looking into schlorships.can you suggest some courses with good scope. Also which countries are best for IT field that provide great schlorship oppurtunities.
Ans: As far as Scholarships for Abroad Universities are concerned, you should have good scores from the entrance tests (whichever will be applicable according to the University's admission criteria), good past academic records, your extra and co-curricular activities, additional certifications, your Statement of Purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation etc. Those who have gained work experience of a minimum 2-3 years after graduation get preference in admission.

And most of the Universities do not provide 100% scholarships. You will have to bear some expenses (depends upon which University / College you get admission into & what all expenses only it will cover?) .

As you have mentioned that your parents NOT well-off financially, it is suggested to work for 2-3 years, earn some money and also gain work experience, then go for further education abroad.

Before approaching any Professional Abroad Education Consultant, do a thorough research about the Countries/Universities/Programs, shortlist those which you think will be most suitable, apply to 5-6 top Univerities offering Scholarships and finalize one best University/College for you.

All the BEST for Your Bright Future.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related document carefully before investing. The securities quoted are for illustration only and are not recommendatory. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information and as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision. RediffGURUS is an intermediary as per India's Information Technology Act.


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