June 2010

Mandatory 25% Free Float on Listed Companies

The Amendment details as promised by the Finance Minister , for minimum threshold of 25%, to the public shareholding is here

The salient features of the amendment are as follows:

a)The minimum threshold level of public holding will be 25% for all listed companies.

b)Existing listed companies having less than 25% public holding have to reach theminimum 25% level by an annualadditionofnot less than 5% to public holding.

c)For new listing, if the post issue capital of the company calculated at offer price is more than Rs. 4000 crore, the company may be allowed to go public with 10% public shareholding and comply with the 25% public shareholding requirement by increasing its public shareholding by at least 5% per annum.

d)For companies whose draft offer document is pending with Securities and Exchange Board of India on or before these amendments are required to comply with 25% public shareholding requirement by increasing its public shareholding by at least 5% per annum, irrespective of the amount of post issue capital of the company calculated at offer price.

e)A company may increase its public shareholding by less than 5% in a year if such increase brings its public shareholding to the level of 25% in that year.

f)The requirement for continuous listing will be the same as the conditions for initial listing.

g)Every listed company shall maintain public shareholding of at least 25%.If the public shareholding in a listed company falls below 25% at any time, such company shall bring the public shareholding to 25% within a maximum period of 12 months from the date of such fall.

Effects of mandatory 25% free float —-

– Listed Indian companies have a free float of at least 25% as against the current minimum free float of 10%.
– Companies that have less than 25% free float shall have to sell at least 5% of outstanding equity each year and should attain the mandated level of 25% over a period of three years.
– Companies going to be listed can sell minimum 10% equity in the IPO if the market capitalization is Rs.4000 crore or above. However, they also should raise the free float to 25% over the next three years.
– Free float enhancement to 25% would lead to additional supply of stocks worth $ 31 billion from existing listed companies.
– Another huge round of equity flow could be expected if big PSUs like Coal India and BSNL are getting listed.
– Some companies would be re- rated upward while certain others could face a downward rating.
– Increase in free float leading to rising interest from large buyer, may act as catalysts for a positive rating. Stocks like SAIL, Power Grid, Power Finance Corporation etc.  can fall in this category.

Investor Classroom…

Here is a good link — a classroom from morningstar – for all kinds of Investors.whether you are a novice or an experienced investors. It talks about Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds and Portfolio etc.  The classroom is from Morningstar US site. However the concepts are applicable in India as well.

It also delves into the financial rations and basics of valuation.

http://www.morningstar.com/Cover/Classroom.html?t1=1173112294

Pretty Useful.

May 2010

You can SIP in stocks – The 10 Steps

You can SIP in stocks , Systematic INvestment Planning, The 10 Steps, Dollar Cost Averaging, Rupee Cost Averaging, .

SIP or Systematic Investment Planning is a concept. It means that you periodically invest your money. It inculcates discipline, takes out the emotional part of decision making and allows you to seamlessly participate in investing.

However, many people associate or assume that Sipping is available only with Mutual Funds. Thereby, they miss the whole essence of what SIP is all about. Indeed, mutual funds offer automatic withdrawals from your bank account to be invested in Mutual funds. And they promote SIP (albeit, not aggressively, you see, they want you to make the payments upfront and not by SIP).

However, it is to be noted that SIP is a concept and can be applied while purchasing shares or equity as well. Yes, you heard me right, you can SIP in stocks.

There are many cases, when you would want to SIP in equities like – (a) You want to build your own portfolio of stocks with a tilt towards a particular sector (b) You are a Buy-and-Hold type of Investor (c) You are interested in investing in good Dividend Yielding Stocks (d) You do not want to incur the annual AMC charges in the range of 1.75 -2.5% on your portfolio value year after year which all the actively managed Mutual Funds charge. Check this post. (e) You are interested in investing in ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds) etc.

There could be ‘n’ number of reasons where you are interested in investing in stocks. Once you have made up your mind that you want to invest in equities, you can go about doing a Systematic Investment Plan for your equity investment.

10 Steps to SIP in Stocks :

1. Decide on the intervals (or periods) in which you would like to SIP. eg: Monthly 25th of every month

2. Decide on the periodic SIP amount you would like to invest e.g.: Rs 14,000/- every month

3. Use a Calendar to set reminders. (I am a google addict You can use google calendar) or use whatever means (Physical Calendar, tell your wife etc.)so that you will receive a reminder call about the periodic investment. And you can set aside the funds to be allocated for investments.

4. Decide on the asset classes to invest. e.g.: ETF’s like Goldbees, NiftyBees, Stocks like HDFC, Cipla, BHEL, ITC etc. Debt ETF like Liquidbees (can be used for the for the debt component)

5. Decide the amount to be allocated to each asset e.g.: Rs 2,000/- each.

6. And that’s it you are all set to start sipping. Execute the Plan. Once you get a reminder Just go ahead and buy the assets.

7. Do a periodic review of your purchases every quarter in order to assess the performance.

8. Have a performance yardstick. Aim for good returns (Hey, there is no harm for trying to beat the index by a couple of percentage points year on year).

9. Measure your performance against the returns. Review.

10. Apart from TIME-WISE SIP, you can also go a step ahead. You can also do a PRICE-WISE SIP as well intelligently. If there is a > 10% drop in price of a stock between your two planned purchases, you can go ahead and pick up the stock and skip the next installment of that particular stock.

Eg: You pick up Rs 2000/- worth of Cairn India @ Rs 200/- on 25-Jan-2010. You have plan of picking up Rs2000/- worth of Cairn India on 25-Feb-2010. However , if Cairn India were to drop by > 10% or more in Jan itself , then go ahead and pick up in the stock in Jan and skip the Feb-2010 installment.

There are many Index ETF’s which are available and which are a good, low cost alternative to mutual funds which you can (or rather should) avail.

Understand what type of Investor you are, if You are the Saver Kind of Investor, go ahead SIP in Stocks. Step-by-Step over a period of time you would have created a portfolio of stocks which will generate income for you in form of dividends and which will also appreciate with time to generate wealth over a period of time.

March 2010

Understand charges other than Brokerage when Buying and Selling Shares

Understand charges ,other than Brokerage ,when Buying and Selling Shares,STT, Service Tax, Education Cess, Exchange Levy, Stamp Duty, DIS Charges, Interest ChargesMost of you must have bought and sold shares through intermediaries. Most of you are aware of the brokerage costs. However there are various other charges levied by Exchange. These charges are on top of brokerage costs and they kick in whenever you buy or sell shares or trade in Futures and options.

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It makes sense to be aware of these charges, understand the calculation of these charges and how it impacts the cost of purchase.

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Whenever you buy or sell shares, make sure you check the contract note. The contract note contains details of the purchase or sell you have made with the intermediary. Ensure that the quantities and the shares are correctly mentioned. You will see the following charges in addition to Brokerage charges – Securities Transaction Tax (STT), Stamp Duty, Exchange Levy, Service Tax, Education Cess etc.

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The below mentioned table provides a quick overview of the various charges involved when buying or selling shares or trading in Futures and options.


Cash Market Delivery

Cash Market Intra-day

Derivatives Futures

Derivatives Options

Brokerage *

* Approx costs taken – pls check with your intermediary.

.50%

.05%

.05%

Rs 100 per lot

Service Tax on Brokerage

10% of Brokerage

Education Cess on Service Tax

2% of Service Tax + Secondary and Higher Education Cess 1% of Service Tax

Securities Transactions Tax (STT)

(Charged on Volume)

0.125% of Volume

0.025% of Volume on
SELL transactions

0.017% of Volume on
SELL transactions

0.017% for Option Premium * Qty on SELL transactions and 0.125% of Settlement Value where Option is exercised

Exchange Levy

(Charged on Volume)

0.0034% of Volume in BSE and 0.0035% of Volume in NSE

0.0034% of Volume in BSE and 0.0035% of Volume in NSE

0.002% of Volume

0.05% of Premium * Qty

Stamp Duty

(Charged on Volume)

0.01% of Volume

0.002%of Volume

0.002% of Volume and closeout

0.002% of Premium and Notional value for Exercise / Assignment

Miscellaneous Charges (* Assumptions) — can Vary.

Pls check with your Intermediary

Physical Contract Note charges

Rs 20 /- per contract note. In case of digital contract notes , charges still apply, albeit they are less say Rs 10/- per contract note.

Delivery Instruction Slip Charges

Rs 10/- per transaction

Cheque Bouncing charges/ Cancellation Charges

Rs 300/-

Interest on Delayed Payments

20% pa

There are some other charges involved like SMS alert facility monthly charges, Processing Charges, Minimum Brokerage per day etc. which you should be aware of.

Here is a quick example to understand the impact of other charges.

Let us take the case of Cash Market Delivery Shares purchase of Reliance shares

BUY 100 QTY RELIANCE SHARES @ 1000/- per share.

Volume = Qty * Price = Rs 1,00,000/-

Brokerage = (Using the above assumption of .50%)

= .50% of Volume = =(.05/100) * 100000

= Rs 500/-

_______________________Other Charges__________________


Service Tax = 10% of Brokerage = Rs 50/-

Education Cess = (2 % + 1 %) of Service Tax = 3 % of Rs 50/- = Rs 1.5/-

STT = .125% of Volume = Rs 125/-

Stamp Duty = .01% on Volume = Rs 10/-

Exchange Levy = .0035% of Volume (NSE) = Rs 3.5/-


Total Cost= Rs 690.5/- This is Rs 190.5/- more than only the brokerage cost.


The Securities Transaction Tax (STT) is a second biggest cost after the brokerage. STT was introduced by Mr P Chidambaram in the union budget of 2004-2005. Securities Transaction Tax is applicable on purchase or sale of equity shares, derivatives, equity-oriented funds and equity-oriented mutual funds.

It makes sense to be aware of these costs and use them in your calculations.

You can find more information on some of the terminologies related to Demat at  http://www.sebi.gov.in/faq/faqdemat.html

Costly Investment Mistakes to avoid at all Cost – Final Part – IV

Costly Investment mistakes Part 4, Investment Planning, Financial Advise, Stocks, Mutual Funds Investing, Life Planning, Goal Oriented Planning.

In the process of investing, one often makes mistakes.

Here are some of the most common investing mistakes which investors generally make and some of which even I had made in the earlier part of my investment years

Of course, learning from the mistakes, continually, the investing experience has truly been rewarding experience.

You can also cultivate good habits of investing by avoiding the following mistakes.

This series is in continuation to the earlier 3 posts which contains the first 7 common mistakes committed by investors. You can read posts here. (Part I, Part II and Part III)

This post (Part IV) will throw light on the following common 3 mistakes generally committed by investors:

#8. No proper grip on Diversification – If Too little is bad , Too much is no good either

Don’t put your all your eggs in one basket.

There is wisdom is this old saying. Diversification is essentially spreading out investments across different types of asset classes.  (Different kinds of asset classes like Equities, Debt, Gold, and Real Estate etc.)

Even within one asset class – say, equities / mutual funds, portfolio has to be diversified eg: having stocks spread across sectors like Power, Banking, Oil, Telecom sectors, FMCG etc.

Example of over diversification: Having 20 different mutual funds, 50 different stocks and portfolio size is say 5lacs.

Example of under diversification: Having 2 stocks each of 2.5Lacs and both are from Oil sector.

Now, Great investors like Buffet and Munger of Berkshire Hathway, do engage serious money in specific stocks. However, you need to understand that they do intensive research, have access to top management of companies and are into serious investing business.

But for people , looking for investment avenues with the objective – that over a period of time it beats inflation, generates sufficient retirement corpus, provides emotional security, beats the debt instruments by couple of percentage points annualized, which does not provide sleepless nights —- for all such investors,having an optimal diversified portfolio is the way to go.


#9. Not paying attention to Fees, Expenses, Commissions, Taxes involved

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

Do you know that themajor earnings source of Mutual fund Providers(Players) are not via entry load (which is now banned by SEBI) , or via exit load (Incidentally these costs are the most advertised). They make their money thru thejuicy AMC charges, which each mutual fund charges you annually. So if you own around 10lacs of mutual fund. You are paying around 25,000/- Rs annually just for holding the units(Assuming highest expense ratios of 2.5% pa). The expenses get factored into the NAV (Net Asset Value) of the Mutual Fund Units. It is intangible and most investors do not feel the pain.

Do you know that over a period of 10 years, or 15 years what kind of negative impact this annual expense ratio business can have on your portfolio? This is over and above the widely known fact that around 80% of the mutual funds worldwide areknown to underperform the Indices. And the fund manager is also subject to performance pressures from the fund house and so has to keep churning his portfolio in order to keep up with the pressure of performing leading to further expense costs. This is one of the reasons I personally do not like mutual funds which do a lot of churning. (You can get the information on portfolio turnover and various expenses of mutual funds from websites like www.valueresearchonline.com or www.mutualfundsindia.com.)

Do you know that ULIP’s (an Investment+Insurance product) carry various expenses which ca be as high as 45 – 60% in the first year. There are umpteen number of charges like (premium allocation charges, mortality charges, admin charges, fund management charges etc, service tax) However the same is never explained by agents.

Do you know the various types of charges associated when you buy/sell shares? There are brokerage charges, service tax, education cess, securities transaction tax (STT), Stamp Duty, Exchange Levy etc.

It makes sense to be aware of these and various other charges involved so that you can make informed choices towards your way to successful investment.

#10. Stop trying to Copy others and Understand your self

Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.

Please understand that there is no one-size-fits all solution in the field of investments. Needs and Wants, Risk taking capabilities, vision, emotional quotient, varies from person to person. Many investors make a mistake in simply copying a friend’s (or a relative’s) strategy. Please understand that the strategy might work for him or her. But you need to assess your own situation before jumping into investments and regretting later.

Example: You friend might be doing Futures and Options and Speculation and he might be perfectly all-right with it. He might be having a substantial portfolio base (maybe a good ancestral inheritance) and would be willing to take the additional risk in search for higher returns. However the same strategy of jumping into F&O might not be good for you, if you are basically looking for investments to fulfill your child’s education needs.

Avoid the above common investment mistakes mentioned in this series and become a aware, intelligent and wise investor.

Costly Investment mistakes to avoid at all costs – Part I

Costly Investment mistakes to avoid at all costs , Investment Planning Tips, Financial Planning, Stocks, Mutual Funds Investing, Life Planning, Goal Oriented Planning.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

In the process of investing, one often makes mistakes. There is nothing wrong in it. However, repeating the same mistakes should be avoided. This is so much easier said then done. Never-the-less, we can always try. So, Here are some of the most common investing mistakes which investors generally make and some of which even I had made in the earlier part of my investment years.

I have been investing since 1997. Earlier part of the investment was when I was in US and then later after moving to India in 2005. I have been investing in both shares and real estate.

Of course, learning from the mistakes, continually, the investing experience has truly been rewarding experience. You can also cultivate good habits of investing by avoiding the following most common mistakes.

So here goes……..

#1. Investing without a Goal

If one does not know to which port he is sailing, no wind is favorable.

Beginning investors often begin by Casual Investing without any goals. This quite often leads to pain and heartburn because, without any goals, investments are treated as speculation instruments solely aimed at making more money in a shorter span of time, by chasing market performance and acting on market swings, something similar to get-rich-quick scheme. (Speculation is a different ball game and of course, many people do succeed at it. However as in Investments, there are different set of rules, full time efforts, and a different mind set and discipline which needs to be followed.).

Different goals require different strategies. Broadly goals can be divided into three types according to time frames.

Long term Goals– typically 7+ years (e.g.: retirement corpus, child education, child marriage etc.) should invest in Long term high risk/high return growth investment assets.

Medium term goal– typically 2 – 7 yrs (e.g.: deposit on house, planning a sabbatical from work etc.)  Require balanced risk investment strategy,

Short term goals– typically less than 2 yrs (e.g.: overseas holiday, purchase of car, any major house improvement expense etc) require conservative investment strategy.

So, Some of the following questions have to worked upon and answered to full satisfaction before setting out for investment: What am I investing for (Goal)? How much do I need for the goal to be met? What is the time frame of the investment going to be? Where do I need to invest? Should I do lump sum investment or Periodic investment? And so on…

Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail

#2. Not Starting to invest Early enough

This is one of the most common mistakes made by investors. Most of us keep waiting for the right time, or the right price, or the right time to begin investing. Remember, Time in the market and not timing the market is the simple way to success in investing. Please read my earlier post on Invest early, Invest Wise, Utilize the power of compounding.

#3. Emotional Investing , being short -sighted, falling to greed and fear, Not following the Investment Plan

A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart. –Jonathan Swift

Investing is a long term deliberate process. Long term investment strategy may not make you super rich overnight, but it will not make you a pauper either.

Getting emotionally involved with the portfolio movement is another mistake committed by many. Becoming greedy when markets rise or fearful when markets drop.Paper Money plays on emotions. Investors begin to time the market. Emotional buying and selling of shares based on sentiments often leads to selling low when market sentiments are bearish OR buying high when market sentiments are bullish.

This often results in additional costs, lost opportunities. And of course, if at all the investment was to meet some goals, and then all of that goes for a toss.

To be contd………. Part II. You can read Part II of this series here. (Costly Investment mistakes to avoid at all costs – Part II)

February 2010

Purpose of Investments

Purpose of Investments, Wealth Management, Wealth Generation, Accumulation, Distribution, Estate Planning, Tax Planning, Power of compounding.

The world of finance can be intimidating, But as Raplh Waldo Emerson says “Fear always springs from ignorance”. The stock market and so called greater financial world is not complicated once you become aware of the basics of investing and dispel fear of ignorance.

First let us see What is not a Investment? Now, This is fun….

First of all, Investing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. (There are other risky, very risky avenues of speculation to get-rich-quick which very often turn to get-poor-quick for people with no discipline and patience. Remember – High Risk , High Return, Less Risk, Less Return) . Investing is not speculation. Investing is not buying stocks on a “Hot Tip”. Always remember a Hot Tip leads to a bottomless Pit.:-). Investing is not following the herd which often leaves the investors high and dry. Investing is not listening to channels to analysts and always clicking on your portfolio to see it (along with your heartbeat) fluctuate on a daily basis. Investment should not be done emotionally (Oh, my uncle’s wife’s son’s friend’s sister wants to sell me a insurance cum investment policy, How can I say No. Well — Learn to say No. There are many things in life where you have to say No. ).  Investment is also not just about returns.

So that brings us to What is a Investment : Well, What does wikipedia have to say : “Investment is the commitment of money or capital to purchase financial instruments or other assets in order to gain profitable returns in form of interest, income, or appreciation of the value of the instrument”

Investing is putting your money to work for you in order to generate wealth. Generally Money is earned by income generated for some work done for which we trade our precious time. Problem is: for more money, you have to work more hours and give more time. And time is a limited resource. One way is to make your money work for you and start earning. Quite simply, making your money work for you maximizes your earning potential.

goal_purpose

Again, Investments have to be planned and done with a purpose, a meaning, and should be done to realize goals of life. Investments are not a one-size-fits-all manner and are individual specific, situation specific. Goals like, Retirement , Child Education, Child Marriage, House Purchase in future, Purchasing assets in future, — goals in different times/ stages of life. etc. And so Investment Planning is utmost important. Plan , Plan , Plan and then execute. Look at the big picture and do not miss the forest (long term enrichment goals) for the trees (unplanned short sightedness)

There are many different ways you can go about making an investment. Stocks, Mutual Funds, ETF’s , Money Market Liquid Funds, bank FD’s etc., or real estate , or  starting your own business. It does not matter which method you choose for investing your money. However, the objective is always to put your money to work over long periods of time (5 yrs-10yrs-15yrs+) with adequate margin of safety, and let the magic of compounding take over,  so that it beats inflation and generates wealth and fulfills the purpose and more or less  achieves the goals.

This is the most important concept in investing.