Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Five things to do before you turn 30 — financially

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

1) Start investing in Mutual Funds
There is a reason why I mention this as the first point in the article. Mutual funds are by far the best starting tool for any investor. And this holds true for any type of investor — extremely aggressive ones and those who do not know much about investments.

The tough part of managing the portfolio is best left to the experienced funds managers who have adequate resources and the knowledge to best maintain the returns on their funds portfolio and manage the associate risks. They are far better informed than an individual can expect to be in most cases.

HOW TO DO IT?

Always go the SIP way, at least initially. Well, as the name (Systematic Investment Plan) suggests, you systematically invest a certain amount every month, irrespective of the market conditions. Choose one or two large-cap funds with a proven track record and then just stick to it. You can base your choice of funds on recommendations from websites like mutualfundsindia.com or taking help from your financial planners.

The amount invested every month can be as low as 500 rupees or maybe even 5 percent of your monthly salary to start with. You can start with small amounts and then gradually increase it when you get comfortable. You should have a minimum five-year horizon, the longer the better.

The golden bubble?

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The spot price of gold crossed $1500/oz on April 22 and confirmed the belief that gold and, even more so, silver, are the best investments. In the last one year, gold gave a return of more than 30 percent; equity (Sensex) a mere 10 percent.

U.S. vs China: which economy is bigger, better?

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A girl holds a U.S. and Chinese flag at the White House in Washington January 19, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files

(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

One of the most surprising developments resulting from the financial crisis is the belief among ordinary Americans that China has become the world’s leading economy. This view appeared in the roughest times of 2009 and has persisted even though the impact of the crisis has begun to ebb. U.S. media have frequently conveyed the same belief. But it is patently absurd.

Lower profits, uneasy market

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

On April 11, the CSO announced a further dip in industrial growth to 3.6 percent, bringing the Sensex down 189 points. That index was for February, the expectation about March is no better — which leaves the market a little cold.

What to expect from earnings season?

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of either Principal Pnb or Reuters)

The markets seem to be meandering in search of a push to move on in some direction.

Budget 2011: Good news for mutual fund industry?

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An employee counts rupees at a cash counter inside a bank in Mumbai June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Rupak de Chowdhuri/Files(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own own and do not represent those of either Principal Pnb or Reuters)

When it comes to the mutual fund industry, the 2011-12 budget has good news and not so bad news.

Chinese investment in US: $2 trln and counting

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Chinese one yuan coins are placed on 100 yuan banknotes in this illustrative photograph taken in Beijing February 8, 2011. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/Files
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

If most members of Congress were asked how much China has invested in the U.S., they would respond with about $900 billion. This is a notable sum. Yet it’s too low by $1 trillion and possibly more. If many participants in financial markets were asked about Chinese investment in the U.S., they would fret over the possibility of disinvestment. This seems perfectly reasonable. At present, though, it’s essentially impossible.

More important than the yuan: Opening China’s capital account

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Chinese one yuan coins are placed on 100 yuan banknotes in this illustrative photograph taken in Beijing February 8, 2011. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The entire global economy would benefit if the dollar-yuan exchange rate were driven by market demand. It would contribute to a U.S.-China economic relationship that is more balanced, more sustainable and more beneficial to people in both countries in a way that a government-ordered revaluation would not.

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