Ask Mint Money | Evaluate savings potential first, then decide on asset allocation

Ask Mint Money | Evaluate savings potential first, then decide on asset allocation

I am a 34-year-old married man with two children. My monthly salary is around 90,000. I have a life cover of 9 lakh for myself and 2 lakh for my wife with an aggregate annual premium of 43,000. I have taken a home loan of 20lakh for which I pay an equated monthly instalment of 19,000 and a car loan for which I pay 10,000 per month. I have invested in Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) and expect 5 lakh upon maturity. I have also invested 50,000 in tax-savings bonds and 2 lakh fixed deposits (FDs) in the name of my daughter and son each. How much should I ideally invest in stocks and what amount should I set aside for a child plan? I have a few traditional plans. I have a mediclaim for my family.

—Mohan Chetri

What you need to provide is a long-term asset base and this will need a disciplined approach. A very simple way to do it is to determine the surplus funds you have every month. This can be determined by reducing expenses. This saving needs to be invested over the long term in various asset classes. Once you have determined the availability of funds, next is the asset allocation.

As of now you are investing whenever there is surplus money in your bank. There is no rationale in savings. You need to make monthly savings. Investments in KVP and FDs do not make sense. Yes, to a certain extent you should be having fixed deposits. But that should be limited to bring liquidity in the portfolio. All these investments are taxable in the hands of the investor and even if they are made in your kid’s name and they are minors, the income is clubbed in the hands of the parents. Hence they are not very tax efficient. The good part in your case is that the need is long term, hence you can invest in equity. However, the best way for retail participation is through mutual funds. You should start systematic investment plan in various asset classes within equity. Large-cap, diversified equity, mid-cap, hybrid equity and gold can form part of your portfolio. Good funds to pick are DSP BlackRock Top 100, Franklin India Blue Chip from the large-cap stable. In the diversified category, you can pick from HDFC Equity and Templeton India Growth. Good mid-cap performers are IDFC premier Equity and HDFC Midcap Opportunities. And Hybrid funds such as HDFC Balanced, Birla Sun Life 95 are good options. For gold, you can invest either through exchange-traded funds or fund of funds.

Your insurance cover is inadequate. You need to have a cover of at least 5 times your annual income. Go for a term insurance and consider buying it online. You have not mentioned the kind of health insurance you have. However, please evaluate if it provides essential covers.

Surya Bhatia is a certified financial planner and principal consultant with Asset Managers

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