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Wealth And The Golden Middle Path


wealthymatters.comAsceticism was experimented with and rejected by the Buddha before he attained enlightenment.

Buddha preached contentment (santutthi) and limited desires (appicchata).However, contentment and paucity of wishes must be accompanied by effort and diligence, not by complacency and idleness.

Poverty (dadiddiya) is never praised or encouraged by the Buddha. “For householders in this world, poverty is suffering” “Woeful in the world is poverty and debt.”Many passages in the Buddhist scriptures exhort lay people to seek and amass wealth in rightful ways. Among the good results of good kamma, one is to be wealthy.The possession of wealth by certain people is often praised and encouraged in the Pali Canon, indicating that wealth is something to be sought after. Among the Buddha’s lay disciples, the better known, the most helpful, and the most often praised were in large part wealthy persons, such as Anathapindika. Read more of this post

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More Ideas To Deal With Money Issues In The Family


wealthymatters,comHere are a few more tips for dealing with money issues in the family.You can find more in an older post here: http://wealthymatters.com/2011/04/12/dealing-with-savers-and-spenders/#more-1285

1)Set a limit on how much each person can spend without checking in with the others.While may be  restrictive, in reality it is a display of respect towards other family members.
2)Before taking on any new debt, such as a larger mortgage or a new car loan, save the amount of the future payment into a savings account for at least six months. If you can consistently save that much for six months, you can realistically afford the purchase. Better to know in advance the sacrifices you will need to make than have buyer’s remorse after the fact.
3)Build and keep an emergency fund for unseen expenses or events such as a job loss. The last thing you need when going through a difficult transition is the stress of worrying about money.

Quiz: What Is Your Wealth Beta ?


wealthymattersHere is a quiz put together by Robert Frank to help you decide just how transient your wealth may be.Just answer the questions below honestly and tally up your score and read the result from the list at the bottom of the post.

I took the quiz and worried that I had a couple of threes but I managed to remain Low Beta.Heaving a big sigh…..Take the quiz and find out how much danger you might be in.

1. Is your total debt relative to net worth …

a) Less than 10% (1 point)

b) Between 10%-20% (2 points)

c) More than 20% (3 points) Read more of this post

The High Beta Rich


Robert Frank’s new book “High-Beta Rich-How The Manic Wealthy Will Take Us To The Next Boom,Bubble And Bust” is based on interviews with more than 100 people with net worths (or former net worths) of $10m or more. These include the Blixseth family, former billionaires who had to lay off all 110 staff in their enormous residence; the Siegels, who had to abandon the largest private house in the US before it was completed; and Jack Warner, who built a fortune from various business, but ended up a penniless handyman.It is also a tale of how the financial crash of 2008 has affected the US more generally. It includes numerous unemployed former butlers, unoccupied mansions and falling tax revenue for fiscally-pressed state governments. In addition, Frank tells the story of upmarket repo men who specialise in repossessing planes, yachts and the like from indebted millionaires.So basically Frank revisits the lives of the people he profiled in Richistan, and follows up on what has happened to them in the years since he wrote the book in 2006. By 2011, some of these rich people have since gone from riches to rags, or merely to less affluence. His follow up on the people whose jobs it was to serve the needs of the rich shows how many of them are now finding it hard to secure stable jobs from the rich since the 2008 .Since the book with vivid sketches of how the rich, and the formerly rich, really live  is a sequel to Richistan, published in 2007, in which he profiled the lives of the rich before the recent financial bust, do read it before starting on this one. Read more of this post

Balanced Mutual Funds


 

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Balanced funds are mutual funds that invest in both equities and debt instruments.They normally keep their equity component in the range of 60%-75% and the  rest in debt products or cash.Some balanced mutual funds are considered to be more aggressive in that they have a larger equity component.For example, HDFC Prudence keeps its equity allocation around 75% in most of the cases and rest 25% in debt or cash. However,others like Reliance Regular Savings Balanced are considered less aggressive and have a lower equity component around 60-65% .

From the taxman’s point of view, any mutual fund which has equity component more than 65% is considered as an “Equity Fund” and so long term capital gains from sale of balanced mutual fund units too are exempted from tax after one year just like in the case of pure equity mutual funds . Read more of this post

Money As Debt – Paul Grignon


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I watched this documentary ‘Money as Debt’ by Paul Grignon today.It uses attractive animation to explain fractional reserve banking.And I can say that for the first time in my life I got to appreciate how humanity has managed to create the mountain of debt we have piled up.I always sensed that banks created money but only now I have a grasp of just how much.

I rate this video as  pretty good .It’s a bit theoretical but not too off putting all the same.I can’t say I was able to understand all the implications of everything I watched but I do know my brain will keep revisiting the ideas I could not grasp at the first go.So this movie will have managed to expand my mind a bit.

I can’t say I agree with the film maker’s idea of a world which will run out of resources to sustain growth because I believe that human ingenuity will just find new uses for materials and waste materials we do not consider resources today. Read more of this post

Bill Gross and Frogs


wealthymatters.comUsing the metaphor of frogs Bill Gross explains Financial Repression and the ways of dealing with it.Of course he speaks of the situation in the US but there is no reason why investors in other countries whose governments are struggling with debt can’t learn from him.All said and done not for nothing he is the Bond King!

To quote him “Put a frog in a kettle of boiling water and he’ll jump out faster and further than any of those blue ribbon winners at the Calaveras County jumping frog contest.Put him in a pot at room temperature, however, slowly turn up the temperature to boiling, and you’ll have frog legs for dinner. This latter, more unfortunate toad temporarily adapted to his external environment, which seemed like a practical thing to do, until – well, until he reached 212 degrees at which point he was cooked.”Financial repression is similar to slowly turning up the heat on poor froggy/the bond holder/saver. And the boiling point is when the nominal returns on bonds turns negative. Read more of this post

10 Ways To Get Rich


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What better person to tell you how to become wealthy than one whose name  is a long term fixture on the Forbes List?Here are Warren’s tips on how to get rich,put together by Alice Schroeder: Read more of this post

MIPs – Monthly Income Plans


MIPs are hybrid debtoriented mutual fund products.They are great places to park money if you have a 2-3 year horizon.The majority of the money in this case is invested in debt and the NAVs fall when the interest rates rise.Currently the equity  markets are showing some weakness and the interest rates are high,so MIP NAVs are low.So its a good time to pick up MIPs .HDFC and Reliance are 2 fund houses that are known for their treasury management operations.And HDFC and Birla Sun Life MIPs have perfomed well due to superior management of the equity component.

Here is a video that walks you through the ABCs of MIPs:

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