Posts tagged: funds

Smart Budgeting Tips and Tricks for Small Business Owners

business budgetCreating and launching your new small business can be a very exciting moment in one’s life. On the flip side it comes with its share of stresses. One such stress that many new business owners face is caused by finances. Starting a new business often requires a lot of upfront capital. According to one serial entrepreneur, Jay Reeder, who has started all kinds of businesses from software companies to an alpaca farm, “cashflow is the most important factor to growing a healthy business.” One way to alleviate some of the stress and financial burden of starting and maintaining a small business is to have a detailed budget to follow. Continue reading to learn seven proven methods to budget for your business wisely.

Let Your Employees Get Involved

It’s understandable to believe that since you are the owner of the business that you need to do everything yourself. Delegating tasks and involving others in your team is something all great leaders do. When budgeting for your business the same principal applies. Gather all your employees up and go over the budget together as a team. Not only will it provide your employees with a sense of camaraderie and importance it will keep them up to speed with what is happening within the business. Employees need to know this information especially if it could possibly affect them. Furthermore, having a few more sets of eyes on the budget wouldn’t hurt. Someone may point out something you’ve missed or point out an item on the budget that could be eating up too much cashflow. Lastly, it is instrumental that employees are well aware of the companies short and long term financial goals and their roles in responsibilities on the path to reaching that goal.

You Still Need to Pay Yourself

As a business owner it is very easy to get too caught up in the budget. Many are so focused on saving and allocating every penny within the business that they simply forget to pay themselves. While part of this is simply forgetting it is also due to guilt. You may feel guilty paying yourself or feel as though you may be taking too much money for yourself. At the end of the day you are another employee at your company and you have to remember to set money aside for yourself.

Identify and Understand Your Risks

No matter what business venture you pursue there are risks involved. Some risks can be serious enough to financially ruin your business and they need to be mitigated. The most effective method for doing so is to identify and plan for both long and short term risks your company may face. Such risks include changes to healthcare and increased premiums and increases in minimum wage. Being in a location that frequently experiences natural disasters can also put a serious dent in your operations and finances. Knowing what risks your company may face and following a strict budget will allow your business to save money for whatever life may throw at it.

Overestimate Your Expenses

For businesses that operate on a project to project format it is detrimental that you over estimate costs for your budget. We’ve all experienced having an unexpected cost or situation arise during a project that causes the initial budgeted amount to be exceeded. By over budgeting a project or job you can protect your business from unexpected financial burden. Often times such instances can cause a business to go under before it even had a chance to develop.

Anticipate Sales Cycles

It is not uncommon for your business to experience ups and downs throughout the year in regards to sales. Depending on your type of business the majority of sales may come during one or two seasons while the remainder of the year is slow. Effectively planning for those downturns is necessary for keeping your business open. During the slow periods its important to keep costs down and to plan for the next anticipated sales spike. It would also be wise to have money set aside while your busy to ride out the slow cycles to prevent your business from falling apart financially.

Time is Money

You’ve heard that phrase all too often. In life and in business especially that saying holds very true. You need to treat time as a commodity and as if it were money. Not accounting for time and how it may affect your business financially can derail any budget. This is especially important if your employees are paid on an hourly basis. Being mindful of deadlines is equally important. Set realistic completion times to ensure that the job is completed satisfactorily and on time.

Don’t Set It and Forget It

Once you have a budget in place it is important to keep a full court press on it. Many business owners simply forget to revisit their budget after it is initially created. This is a mistake that can financially cripple your business. Just like events and happenings in life constantly change so do events and happenings in business. Its important to be flexible and agile and to constantly monitor your budget. This will ensure that you do not go into the red and out of business. Anticipating what will happen next will keep you on budget and help you adapt to the ever-changing world of business.

Why You Should Not Invest in Mutual Funds Based on Absolute Returns

mutual fund investmentsWith every investment decision, investors only seek higher returns. Considered as a preferred choice for many, mutual funds offer high returns at a lower risk compared to direct equities. An investment in mutual fund allows investors to avail of the benefit of compounding interest and helps them generate optimum returns in the long term. Additionally, mutual fund investments may be made in the form of a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) and its returns carry tax benefits.

When it comes to determining the performance of a fund, investors are not aware of what to consider. Measuring the short-term performance of the fund may sometimes lead to wrong decisions. Many consider this short-term return as a benchmark and set wrong expectations. Therefore, it is important to assess the fund correctly in order to avoid wrong financial investment decisions.

Ways in which investment returns are calculated

If you want to check your mutual fund performance, you must first understand the different ways in which the returns are calculated.

• Point-to-point return or absolute return

This is the figure that, you arrive at by deducting the final Net Asset Value (NAV) from the initial investment amount. An absolute return does not take into consideration the period for which your money has been invested or the inflation during that period. For instance, if you invested INR 20,000 in 2015 and its current NAV is INR 30,000, then your absolute earning is INR 10,000.

• Annualized returns

Each fund shows returns that are compounded and not absolute. Mutual fund returns compound over a period and the Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) shows the year-on-year growth rate of the investment over a particular duration.

Why absolute returns do not reveal the right picture

Fund managers often ask investors to stay away from considering a point-to-point return. Let us delve deeper to find out why absolute returns should not be considered as a benchmark and may be misleading.

• Reflects an incorrect financial picture

For short-term mutual fund investments of a year or less, absolute returns may show the right results, but in case the investment is for a long-term, this does not hold true.Over a longer period, the fund may not be able to sustain the same or an increased return percentage. For example, if a fund outperforms in a three-year period, you may not be assured that it will perform the same way over a five-year duration. This also does not mean that you will not earn good returns over a longer period. The three-year return could be fueled by a positive market movement and a favorable macro environment. There could be a significantly higher return in a three-year period and an average or below-average return in the five-year duration.

• Performance depends on the type of fund

The performance of the mutual fund depends on the type of fund you are invested in. Equity funds are highly volatile and the returns on the same may vary from one period to another. It is also affected due to the market conditions. CAGR does not account intermittent volatility. The equity fund may have gone up by 40% in the first year and may dip by 25% in another, but the absolute return will not provide correct information about the fund. It might only show the upswing of 40% in a particular year and misguide investors.In fact, most top-performing mutual funds perform well in the first year and then slump in the next two years. Hence, the overall performance may be determined by considering a three-year or a five-year investment period.

In order to gain maximum return from mutual funds, fund managers insist investors remain invested in the long run in order to gain maximum mutual fund returns and to bring down the impact of the market changes to a minimum. Every investor should learn how to interpret the CAGR and understand the implications of three-year or five-year returns on the investment.

The biggest benefit of a mutual fund is the compounding of interest. CAGR is ideal for measuring performance over a longer period whereas absolute returns may only measure the performance for a year.

To invest in top-performing mutual funds, investors must use user-friendly tools like the Angel Wealth mobile application. It offers customized recommendations for your financial goals. It runs an ARQ investment engine, which has no human intervention and is powered by advanced algorithms. So download the Angel Wealth mobile app today and streamline your investments.

Government Employees Can Choose Their NPS Fund Managers

pension plansThe National Pension System (NPS) is a defined contribution retirement plan offered by the government. The plan is regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

Subscribers must avail their Tier 1 NPS accounts with one of the PFRDA-appointed Point of Presence (POP). The contributions may be invested in 3 asset classes’ viz. equities, government securities, and corporate bonds. These funds are managed by professional fund managers designated by the regulator.

NPS is compulsory for government employees except the armed forces. The plan is optional for the private sector personnel. An increasing number of private sector employees are choosing NPS to take advantage of the various tax benefits available under the Income Tax (IT) Act.

Here is how government employees may choose fund managers

Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN)

Applicants are updated about their PRAN application status through an email or SMS. This number is unique for each subscriber, which makes the NPS account completely portable. The applicants may check the status with the POP or the regulator’s website in case the PRAN card is not received.

Choosing the fund manager

Government employees did not have the liberty of choosing their fund manager as available under the All Citizen Model. The state or the central government had the responsibility of choosing the fund managers. However, recently, PFRDA announced that public sector employees will now be at par and may choose their preferred fund manager to handletheir NPS contributions.

Being able to choose their preferred fund manager provides the subscribers an opportunity to assume higher risks and enjoy better NPS interest rate. The returns on NPS contributions depend on the percentage that is invested in the different asset classes. Therefore, by investing the maximum permissible amount (50% of the total annual contribution) in equities offers investors the chance to earn higher returns.

Changing the fund manager

The private sector personnel also have the option of changing the fund manager in case they are unsatisfied with the services. The proposed modification by the regulator also makes the option of changing the fund manager available for the government employees.

Opportunity to earn higher returns

The public sector employer matches the annual contribution made by the employees to the NPS. Having the option to choose their preferred fund manager allows the subscribers to take advantage of investing more in equities, which may potentially increase their returns.

The NPS corpus may be withdrawn on maturity. Investors may withdraw 60% of this amount as a lump sum. The balance must be compulsorily converted to an annuity plan. Subscribers may use a pension plan calculator to estimate the potential returns on their investments.

The revised norms for government subscribers make NPS beneficial for the investors. They may now choose the fund manager and the investment breakdown to maximize their returns.However, the existing system of the government choosing the fund manager will also continue for those subscribers who do not want to make their own choice.

NPS Assets Investment Crosses Rs 1 Lakh Crore Mark

asset investments ideasThe National Pension System (NPS) is a voluntary defined contribution plan for retirement income. Individuals aged between 18 and 60 years can open a Tier I and Tier II account. They need to contribute a minimum amount of INR 6,000 per annum to the Tier I NPS account.

The contribution is invested among different asset classes, such as government bonds, corporate bonds, and equities. Contributors can indicate their investment choice to maximize their returns on investments.

Although the NPS was launched in 2009, it did not gain much popularity initially. Individuals shied away from investing in the NPS because of its complexity and a general lack of clarity related to their contributions.

However, in the previous year’s Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took a huge step towards increasing the popularity of this tax saving investments plan. He made contributions of up to INR 50,000 tax deductible under the section 80 CCD (1B) of the Income Tax Act. This deduction was over and above the existing benefit available for investments up to INR 1.5 lakhs under the section 80 CCE. This offers individuals a total tax deduction benefit of INR 2 lakhs under sections 80 CCD (1) and 80 CCD (1B).

As a result, an increased number of investors started investing in the National Pension System. Assets under management for the NPS crossed INR 1 lakh crores for the first time since the launch of this tax saving scheme.

Working of the NPS

Individual subscribers

They can open their NPS accounts with any of the “Point of Presence (POP)” appointed by the regulatory authority, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). They need to fill and submit the Common Subscriber Registration Form (CRSF) to the POP along with KYC documents and initial contribution. On successfully opening an account, users receive a Welcome Kit comprising the Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) card and other related documentation. The PRAN is unique for each subscriber and portable, giving you flexibility even if you change your job or location.

Tier I is the pension account while Tier II is the investment account. Withdrawals from Tier I accounts are limited and help to create the retirement corpus. Tier II is a voluntary investment facility and the amounts from this account can be withdrawn without any limitations.

Corporate subscribers

The corporate model for this tax saving scheme was made available from December 2011. It was customized to suit the requirements of different companies and employees. The NPS is an option offered for providing additional retirement benefits to the personnel, and can be made mandatory by the companies for their employees.

Companies can join this tax saving investments scheme through the POP. Employers who contribute to this pension plan on behalf of their employees also receive tax advantages, which make it attractive for them. Companies can claim such benefits for an amount that is up to 10% of the employees’ salaries (basic + dearness allowance) through deduction as business expenses.

Unlocking Cash For Your New Business

fundraising for businessMany of us dream of being our own boss, choosing our own hours, and doing something that we’re truly passionate about. But for as many benefits as we can think of, there are as many fears. What if it’s not financially viable? Will I be able to make as much as my current line of work? Where do I find the cash to start up? It is important not to silence these questions but to identify the rational ones and answer them honestly. One of the most common concerns is how to source the funds that would actually launch the business. The old adage goes that, “you have to spend money to make money”. There is an element of truth in that when it comes to beginning a business. You need funds for campaign launches and events, but also for normal living costs and unexpected expenses. What may seem overwhelming at first though is doable if you approach it methodically. Many people have found ways to unlock access to cash and have put it towards doing what they love.

Sell Off Non-Essentials

Selling what you already own can range from the minor to the major. You may feel that your new business will no longer require a car, for example. Without the daily commute or if you are moving to city lodgings, public transport will be sufficient. Not to mention far cheaper! You may have old collections such as DVDs, records, or clothing that could bring in a few extra hundred. It may seem a small contribution to a large sum but this could cover the cost of business cards, for example, or invites to a launch. Equally, if you are beginning a new chapter in your life you may consider selling your home. Even if you owe more on the house than it is worth or never got round to those repairs, businesses like Sell My House can purchase without hassle. If you are serious about managing your finance then cutting ties with a property that is actually wasting money could be a positive step.

Start Small

If we are aiming towards a seemingly impossible sum, it can be tempting to only aim high with investors and support. We might approach the bank as our first port of call, for example. We might approach large local businesses or successful entrepreneurs. It is important not to overlook or shun the support offered by those closest to us, however. Many of our family and friends might believe in our idea or business plan. Several small investments might actually be easier to manage in the early days than one big cash injection. For a new business, they are also more realistic. Keep family and friends informed of your plans, and if they offer support, take it!

Funding Platforms

Sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter have become more popular than ever. If you have a tangible goal and think that others might want to be a part of your business give it a try! Be honest about your goals, business plan, and likely return. Many people out there love to support new businesses even if there is unlikely to be a major return on their investment. This is especially true if your business plan is “ethical”, environmentally aware, or for the benefit of others.