Posts Tagged ‘Money

24
Apr
10

Teaser rates

ICICI Bank cut home loan rates by bringing back its old teaser home loan rate product till the end of the month (read news).

Wanted to find out what teaser rates mean.

Investopedia says:

“An initial rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). This rate will typically be below the going market rate, and is used by lenders to entice borrowers to choose ARMs over traditional mortgages. The teaser rate will be in effect for only a few months, at which point the rate will gradually climb until it reaches the full indexed rate, which will be a static margin rate plus the floating rate index to which the mortgage is tied.”

In most cases, a teaser rate will be quite attractive to the prospective customer. The rate is usually less than the current market rate for comparable services, which helps to grab the attention of consumers. Along with the introductory rate, the provider also quotes the rate structure that will be in place once the short-term teaser rate expires. Unfortunately, many consumers tend to overlook this data until the expiration takes place, and find themselves saddled with a rate that is above current market standards.

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23
Mar
10

ATM Skimming Machines

The picture below got me to think about researching on this topic

Clearly, this kind of a card data theft can be extremely dangerous. For all you know, you might have already been a prey.

Here’s a laundry list of ways the ATM machine could be skimmed.

This is an amazing presentation on ATM Skimming. Need to be careful the next time you are swiping your card in the ATM machine.

ATM Skimmers are available for sale here

19
Mar
10

PF, EPF and PPF

Now that I’ve started working and my salary falls in the taxable bracket, was just trying to figure out what each PF, EPF and PPF mean and what are the benefits of each of these.

EPF/ PF

The Employee Provident Fund, or provident fund as it is normally referred to, is a retirement benefit scheme that is available to salaried employees.

Under this scheme, a stipulated amount (currently 12%) is deducted from the employee’s salary and contributed towards the fund. This amount is decided by the government.

The employer also contributes an equal amount to the fund.

However, an employee can contribute more than the stipulated amount if the scheme allows for it. So, let’s say the employee decides 15% must be deducted towards the EPF. In this case, the employer is not obligated to pay any contribution over and above the amount as stipulated, which is 12%.

Return on Investment: 8.5% per annum

The amount accumulated in the PF is paid at the time of retirement or resignation. Or, it can be transferred from one company to the other if one changes jobs.

In case of the death of the employee, the accumulated balance is paid to the legal heir.

PPF

The Public Provident Fund has been established by the central government. You can voluntarily decide to open one. You need not be a salaried individual, you could be a consultant, a freelancer or even working on a contract basis. You can also open this account if you are not earning.

Any individual can open a PPF account in any nationalised bank or its branches that handle PPF accounts. You can also open it at the head post office or certain select post offices.

The minimum amount to be deposited in this account is Rs 500 per year. The maximum amount you can deposit every year is Rs 70,000.

Return on Investment: 8% per annum

The accumulated sum is repayable after 15 years.

The entire balance can be withdrawn on maturity, that is, after 15 years of the close of the financial year in which you opened the account.

And the most important part! Tax Impact

EPF

The amount you invest is eligible for deduction under the Rs 1,00,000 limit of Section 80C.

If you have worked continuously for a period of five years, the withdrawal of PF is not taxed.

If you have not worked for at least five years, but the PF has been transferred to the new employer, then too it is not taxed.

The tenure of employment with the new employer is included in computing the total of five years.

If you withdraw it before completion of five years, it is taxed.

But if your employment is terminated due to ill-health, the PF withdrawal is not taxed.

PPF

The amount you invest is eligible for deduction under the Rs 1,00,000 limit of Section 80C.

On maturity, you pay absolutely no tax.

All this gyaan borrowed from here

01
Feb
10

Algorithmic Trading

Aloha!

We are back after a loooong break. A lot of water has flown in Ganga since the last post. For starters, both authors changed have changed their workplaces, locations et al. Lots of brainstorming as to post topics etc (we also wanted to change the looks a bit, add some features, but I guess you’ll have to wait for sometime for that to happen) … So here we start with our first post on algorithmic trading.

Ok, I was not aware of this concept till Akshay briefed me about it. I was blown away when I got to know that more than 50% of trading in US and UK markets are automated. Yes, human programming and a computer execute over 50% of the trade in these markets (read this). So thought I should get a primer on how this works.

Market makers and some hedge funds, provide liquidity to the market, generating and executing orders automatically. In this “high frequency trading” (HFT) computers make the decision to initiate orders based on information that is received electronically, before human traders are even aware of the information.

Many different algorithms have been developed to implement different trading strategies. These algorithms or techniques are commonly given names such as “Iceberg”, “Dagger”, “Guerrilla”, “Sniper” and “Sniffer”.

Might just go in depth of each of these strategies in future posts.

An example of Algorithmic Trading in Indian markets

A program could be to sell the stock futures of a particular company and buy the stock if the futures price is x% higher than the stock price. Also, it could be to compare a set of variables — if rupee is more than 45 to the dollar, and crude oil is less than $60 per barrel — then the software would sell Infosys futures and buy HPCL shares.

Read this economic times article to see how it effects the Indian markets.

24
Nov
09

Polymer banknotes

Polymer banknotes were developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of Melbourne and were first issued as currency in Australia in 1988. These banknotes are made from the polymer biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) which greatly enhances durability of the banknotes. Polymer banknotes also incorporate many security features not available to paper banknotes, making counterfeiting much more difficult.

Trading as Securency, the RBA together with Innovia Films, market BOPP as ‘Guardian’ for countries with their own banknote printing facilities. Note Printing Australia (a subsidiary of the RBA) prints commemorative banknotes and banknotes for circulation and has done so for 20 countries.

Polymer banknotes were developed to increase the security of Australia’s paper currency against counterfeiting. In 1967 forgeries of the Australian $10 note were found in circulation and the RBA was concerned about an increase in counterfeiting with the release of colour photocopiers that year. In 1968 the RBA started collaborations with the CSIRO and funds were made available in 1969 for the experimental production of distinctive papers.

The insertion of an optically variable device (OVD) created from diffraction gratings in plastic as a security device inserted in banknotes was proposed in 1972. The first patent arising from the development of polymer banknotes was filed in 1973. In 1974 the technique of lamination was used to combine materials; the all-plastic laminate eventually chosen was a clear, BOPP laminate, in which OVDs could be inserted without needing to punch holes.

Read more here.

17
Nov
09

Bombay Stock Exchange

Have been dealing in stocks for more than a year now. Thought I might as well look up the history of the exchange I so frequently trade in. The Bombay Stock Exchange. Staying in Mumbai, I pass by BSE every other day. This tall BSE structure had very humble beginnings.

Bombay Stock Exchange is the oldest stock exchange in Asia with a rich heritage, now spanning three centuries in its 133 years of existence. What is now popularly known as BSE was established as “The Native Share & Stock Brokers’ Association” in 1875.

It also has the greatest number of listed companies in the world, with 4700 listed as of August 2007 (Not many companies have been added post it, people dreaded releasing IPOs in recession you see).

Some landmarks in its 133 year old history were

1830’s Business on corporate stocks and shares in Bank and Cotton presses started in Bombay.

1860-1865 Cotton price bubble as a result of the American Civil War

1870 – 90’s Sharp increase in share prices of jute industries followed by a boom in tea stocks and coal

1978-79 Base year of Sensex, defined to be 100.

1986 Sensex first compiled using a market Capitalization-Weighted methodology for 30 component stocks representing well-established companies across key sectors.

The BSE traces its history to the 1850s, when stockbrokers would gather under banyan trees in front of Mumbai’s Town Hall. The location of these meetings changed many times, as the number of brokers constantly increased. The group eventually moved to Dalal Street in 1874 and in 1875 became an official organization known as ‘The Native Share & Stock Brokers Association’. In 1956, the BSE became the first stock exchange to be recognized by the Indian Government under the Securities Contracts Regulation Act. The Bombay Stock Exchange developed the BSE Sensex in 1986, giving the BSE a means to measure overall performance of the exchange.

Bombay Stock Exchange is the oldest stock exchange in Asia with a rich heritage, now spanning three centuries in its 133 years of existence. What is now popularly known as BSE was established as “The Native Share & Stock Brokers’ Association” in 1875.



So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
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