Which Investment Options Have the Best Returns?

Long past are the times when earning a lot and saving most of it was deemed a sound way of achieving financial security. The modern-day Indian wants time to relax and enjoy life while still ensuring a financially stable future.

The rapid rise in the number of people, both young and old, choosing to invest their money in various investment options over the last few years is a clear indicator of people’s changed mindset and their willingness to try new things to maximize their capital’s value. But not all investment options are alike or suited to everybody. You should analyze your priorities, the risk factors and, of course the returns before deciding on a plan to put your money into.

Investing in Public Provident Fund

Investing in public provident fund remains one of the most straightforward and secure, investment options, also one of the most profitable ways of making a long-term investment. Simply open a PPF account with the nearest post office or your preferred bank and start earning good interest for your deposit. The lock in period for your deposit in 15 years and you are allowed to further extend it by 5 years if you so desire.

Note that you cannot withdraw your PPF deposit until the end of the sixth year. On the brighter side, the returns from a PPF account are quite good, with the interest rates expected to either go up or remain stable in the times to come. Also, the interest you earn from your PPF deposit in exempt from taxes.

Investing in Mutual Funds

Mutual funds offer a unique balance of risk and reward for people keen on investing their money in bonds and equities. Long-term investment in mutual funds using systematic investment options can be a highly rewarding venture. Mutual finds work beautifully for people who aren’t interested in taking a big risk and want to make small, regular investments. Investing in mutual funds gives you a diverse investment portfolio and the returns are one of the best in the market.

Investing Directly in Shares or Equity

Perhaps the most rewarding investment plan for people looking for long term options, direct purchase of shares or equity virtually guarantees excellent returns if you keep invested for long durations, say 15 years or more. Investors, however, must make sure they’ve completely analyzed the share stock before proceeding with putting their money on it.

Investing in Gold

Gold has always been one of the most dependable and profitable investments in the world. It’s rarity and real world value make it the most sought precious metal in the world and with Indians being the biggest gold lovers in the world, it’s an automatic choice for everybody looking for big returns on their investment. There are several ways you can invest in gold—buy gold ETF or mutual funds, purchase a gold deposit scheme or simply purchase gold bars from a reputable jewelry store. It’s an excellent investment plan for people who aren’t interested in keeping their wealth tied up for a long stretch of time.

Investing in Company Fixed Deposits

Company Fixed Deposits or Company FDs are one of the most popular and rewarding investment options of the day. The interest rates are higher than those in case of bank fixed deposits. There is a degree of risk involved as corporate fixed deposits aren’t under the RBI’s control. There are no insurance benefits involved and investors can not withdraw their money until maturity. It’s advisable you keep that in mind and pick a suitable investment period. A wonderful, high returns opportunity for people willing to invest for a long term.

Investing in Bonds

Investing in bonds is a relatively secure and profitable option for investors who aren’t too keen on putting money in direct equity and mutual funds. Returns on bond investments is independent of the company’s performance so the investors are looking at fixed returns during the investment term. The returns from investing in bonds is higher than other low risk investment plans like fixed deposits.

While the average returns in case of a fixed deposit range from 6-7 percent, the average returns for bonds are about 6.5-8 percent. Bonds, both government and corporate are a wonderful option for those looking for a risk free investment plan. Bonds with higher ratings are the most secure while people looking for higher returns can opt to go with lower rated bonds that, while they carry a degree of risk, offer better gains.

Conclusion

One of the most common mistakes people make with their investments is failing to keep track of the them. While this happens more in case of long duration investments, people with short term investment plans too, often fail to meet the desired goals simply by forgetting about their investment. Sounds unbelievable, but it’s a fact nonetheless. Make sure you monitor the value and status of your investments at regular intervals, taking stock of where they stand and the direction they’re headed. Remember, a little care and attention can be the difference between good and great returns!

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When Job Hunting, Are Credit Scores Important to Employers?

Many job seekers fear not only the background checks but also the financial background checks  many employers conduct as part of their hiring process. While some may think these credit checks are unfair, sometimes they’re simply unavoidable.

The good news is that having bad credit will not automatically prevent you from acquiring employment. Telling the truth and being prepared to explain your financial setbacks to a prospective employer can even make you stand out among a sea of applicants. If on a job search with bad credit or fair, here are some helpful tips that might help you get hired.

Conduct a credit check

Many employers and companies check their job applicants’ credit reports, especially if the positions being applied to are ones involving money (financial advisors, accountants, etc) or a high level executive position that relates to a company’s financial well-being.

An applicant whose credit report contains a lot of missed payments/delinquencies may be deemed irresponsible, negligent, and lacking integrity.

Bring the issues up first

Employers usually conduct a credit check after your first interview or when they finally offer you the job. Regardless of when they choose to check your credit, however, it’s not a bad idea to bring up financial issues first – as well as other issues – that go beyond credit checks.

If your credit score has plummeted due to situations out of your control, it might be better to bring that information up to a potential employer.

Medical issues, home damage or any other problem that has stressed your finances, if explained to your employer, will have a positive effect. You can then let them know why your score is so low, and avoid them eventually finding out themselves and forming their own opinions.

Pre-screen the job position as well as the company

A good way to raise your chances of getting hired is to apply to companies that do not conduct credit checks as part of their hiring process. If the job needs you to have a security clearance, the company is working with the government, or you are applying for a management position or higher, you should expect that a credit check will be performed. If that’s the case, seeking credit repair assistance may help your job prospects.

Apply for the job

Even so, don’t avoid applying for jobs with companies that require credit checks. Take the risk and apply for the job because there’s really nothing to lose. While some companies reject applicants with bad credit right away, you may come across some that are more tolerant of your financial issues. They may be willing to give you a chance to explain your situation and prove your integrity.

By applying to companies that do and do not conduct credit checks simultaneously, you dramatically improve your chances of getting hired. If you’re working in an industry that requires good financial background, you may need to seek positions outside of your expertise until your score is at an acceptable level.

Gain momentum

Regardless, do not let your bad credit get in the way of finding employment. While on the search with have bad credit, aim for a fair credit score and then continue to improve.

Keep in mind that not all future employers think alike. While some may shun you right away, there will be others who will give you a chance to explain and prove that you have fully recovered from your financial setbacks and are the perfect candidate for the job.

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3 Worst Financial Mistakes That You Can Make

Making smart financial decisions is the primary goal of any financially responsible person. However, even the best of us can make mistakes when handling our finances. This is normal since the road to financial freedom is definitely not clear-cut, so there is no need to beat yourself up for making them. Nonetheless, you can learn from the example of other people and take the necessary steps to fix your own mistakes.  Here are the three worst common financial mistakes that you can make.

Don’t Rent, Own Your Home

This is one of the most common advice that people hear right after they leave their parent’s home and strike out on their own. Rent is money that you are never going to see again and will go straight into the pocket of your landlord. Most people will tell you to get a mortgage right away so that you will not waste your money on renting. However, you also need to remember that homeowners “waste” money, too. When you own a home, you also have monthly expenses to worry about such as homeowner’s association dues, mortgage insurance, property maintenance expenses, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance.

Owning your home is not something that you should take on, even when you are not ready. It is an asset that is difficult to liquidate – if you decide to move or relocate because of work, selling your home will make it harder for you. Plus, if something goes wrong, having a large mortgage will make it tough to find the money to pay for emergency expenses.

Enjoy Your Youth, Worry about Saving When You Get Married

Because of the increasing life expectancy these days, many of us are saving for 15 to 30 years of retirement. It is definitely better to start doing this when you are still young and your monthly budget does not include the financial burden of having a family. There are many things that you can even when you are still in your early 20’s. If you are a young business owner, for instance, investing in web traffic can lead to greater returns in the future. You can also take advantage of the immediate 100% return of an employer match on your 401k.

Debt Improves Your Credit Score

One of the things that you have to always keep in mind is that there is no such thing as a good debt. Of course, there are certainly good reasons to borrow money, but having any kind of debt will weigh your finances down. People who give this advice often also say carrying a credit balance is a good thing for your credit rating. However, your credit card actually makes up only a small percentage of your credit score. There are other factors that are taken into account such as the length of your credit history, the number of credit inquiries you have had recently, your payment consistency, and many others.

You will most likely have a better credit score if you use below 30% of your available credit. What this means is that the maximum balance that you carry on your credit card at any time should be 30% or less. More importantly, not paying your balance in full means that you have to pay for late fees – this, consequently, will bring your credit score down.

 

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