The Corporate Mom

Hello Moms! This is our part 2 in the Millennial Mom series. I am sure you recall our first one was The Media Mom.

To get started, I remember a discussion that dates back in time when I was a salaried employee. I was discussing my tax plan or rather the lack of it with another female colleague. I thought I was in pits as far as my investments were concerned, but to my utter surprise, my friend said that she has never made a single investment on her own. “There is something done by her husband on CA’s advice”, were her words. At that point, we were joined by another team mate and a senior, and the all women’s team shared their investments. A 5 year FD and real estate respectively were spoken of as their investments. But when asked, why these instruments, for what time horizon, what would be their future money requirements be like, these questions drew a blank. 

Now, Moms let me profile these women. Working millennial moms, married to high pressure jobs, over worked most of the times, all very well paid. Academically, management degree holders, fitness lovers, keen readers, well turned out, well travelled, conscious eaters and aware parents. Wouldn’t you expect them to be on top of their finances? But here’s the truth, they may have been HNIs along with their spouses but they were clueless about wealth creation.
Just like my colleagues, there are many millennial moms who have high disposable incomes but lack of awareness, interest and time add up to their financial ignorance. 
So there! We are sharing investments that the uninitiated can consider. These are overall recommendations which can aid in wealth generation and tax planning. However we do encourage our Corporate Mom to take help of a professional financial planner.

Emergency Fund: This is a critical element that we all must pay heed to. All the planning may go for a toss if we don’t keep an accessible emergency fund. Keeping all the money invested with a long term view may not be the best idea since exigencies can come down as a hard reality.

You should consider your 3 to 6 months expenses in emergency fund. If you are savvy about growing your money, then you can park the emergency funds in short term debt funds.

ELSS Funds: Equity Linked savings schemes are an ideal tax saving tool which can give better returns than traditional tax saving schemes. These are essentially tax saving mutual funds that come with a 3 year lock-in.

PPF: For those who are risk averse can invest in PPF for its tax efficiency but declining interest rates are definitely playing dampener on the returns. Plus a 15 year lock-in is a long enough horizon to get above-moderate returns from market linked products.

Mutual Funds: The equity markets have been climbing charts for the last few years. MFs have also been doing well therefore. Since MFs are professionally managed by a team of experts, they can be the best vehicle for working people. You don’t have to monitor market movements everyday basis. 

New investors with a long term horizon should start with large cap funds or balanced funds. 

The most preferred way for the salaried is Systematic Investment Plan better known as SIP. We will speak about it in detail in a following post.

Term Insurance: An important part of financial literacy is life cover. However due to misspelling and ignorance, it is not emphasized enough. Term Insurance is the protection that all income generators should take to cover for their lives in case of any uncertainties. It is a must for the Corporate Mom who makes a crucial contribution to household income.

In addition to above, working moms can also invest a small portion in Gold ETFs or if keen, then dabble in Equities with a long term view.

In the end, all we can say is investments don’t take as much time as we think. Moms and all women should consciously take steps towards investing. Remember Earning for Spending is not the deal, Earning for Growing is.

Is physical gold the real stuff?

Mommies, how many of us are ever-ready to go to the family jeweler’s store? Sometimes planned purchases, sometimes as company to a relative or friend and some impromptu visits often lands us in the jewellery store. And when does a visit translate into a purchase, is something we have all failed to fathom.
What doesn’t help is most jewellers are gifted sellers, plus the charm of yellow metal is too good to resist. Add to that those monthly installments’ schemes perpetually available. A purchase or two is so guaranteed.
Such unplanned visits may return us back with our piece of gold but it also robs us of our small savings. Usually, the purchase is funded partly by accumulated cash from our monthly kharcha and partly by credit. So we empty out our hard saved cash and also come under debt, atleast for a few months.
Secondly, Jewellery is for its emotional value. It can best be used as a gift for momentous occasions like marriag but hardly ever for profits with gold rate appreciation.
Thirdly, the jewellery cost includes making charges which could range between 10-15% above the gold’s value. When you sell it, there is usually 15% deduction again on gold value by the buyer. So effectively you lose out. Let’s illustrate this with an example.
If the gold rate today is Rs. 30000 per 10gms and you buy 10 gms of jewellery, you are charged by conservative estimates some Rs. 350 per gram as making charges. Your total cost here comes to Rs. 33500. Now say gold value appreciates by Rs. 5000 per 10 grams to Rs. 35000 per 10 grams in a few years. You want to sell the same jewellery. While the value is Rs. 35000, the buyer deducts 15% of gold value i.e. 5250. You get Rs. 29750.
What was the realization after a sharp rise in gold price? You had to pay Rs. 33500 but you would get only Rs. 29750.

The idea of this piece is to drive home the point that emptying your savings for jewellery is not the wisest thing to do often. There are certainly better uses of your money.