Showing posts with label FinTalks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FinTalks. Show all posts

Friday, November 5, 2021

How much Term Insurance is sufficient?

(Source - Mint)

The covid-19 pandemic has driven home the point that taking life insurance is one of the most important financial decisions that one can make.

However, just buying life insurance is not enough. The key is to get an adequate sum assured to take care of your family’s needs. But how much is enough?

We look at four methods—human life value, income replacement value, expense replacement method, and underwriter’s thumb rule—that can help you calculate how much life cover you need.

Human life value

This method considers the economic value or human life value (HLV) of a person to the family. The concept primarily considers the value of future income, expenses, liabilities and investments.

“Under the HLV method, you need to consider your income, expenses, expected future responsibilities, and goals to determine the insurance need. This method is suggested as this gives better clarity keeping in mind the inflation," said Santosh Agarwal, chief business officer, life insurance,, an online marketplace for insurance.

If your goal is to sustain the present lifestyle of your family in the future, then determine how much it costs in today’s rupee value. This will help decide the amount of cover that you should take.

This method is recommended by most insurance companies, and many insurers have an HLV calculator on their websites.

Below is one such calculator:

Income replacement

Under this method, it is assumed that life insurance should replace the lost earnings of the breadwinner. One of the simplest ways to calculate your income replacement value is: insurance cover = current annual income x years left to retirement.

For example, if you are 40 years old, your yearly salary is ₹15 lakh and you plan to retire at the age of 60 years, the cover you will need is ₹3 crores ( ₹15 lakh x 20).

However, according to Melvin Joseph, a Sebi-registered investment adviser and founder of Finvin Financial Planners, one of the drawbacks of this method is that it can suggest a very high cover by considering future income.

Expense replacement

Under this method, which is recommended by financial planners, individuals need to calculate their day-to-day household expenses, loans, and goals such as children’s education, as well as providing for financially dependant parents for their entire lives. The figure you reach is the total money that your family will need.

The next step is to deduct the present value of your investments and the life cover you already have. While calculating the value of your investments, excluding assets such as the house you live in home and car, as your family members are likely to continue using them. The figure you get by deducting investments and insurance cover from expenses and goals will give you an idea of how much cover you need.

“I suggest expense replacement method, as it gives a more accurate picture of the insurance coverage amount and cover expenses of the survivors till the insured’s life expectancy," said Joseph.

Underwriter’s rule

For calculating the minimum cover you need, you can go by the common thumb rule of having a sum assured that is 10 times your annual income. So if your current annual income is ₹10 lakh, you should have a life cover worth at least ₹1 crore.

However, according to investment advisers, this method does not give the exact picture. “Most of the insurance companies promote insurance cover of 10 times your annual income. That is the reason it has become a thumb rule. The minimum cover should be at least 15-20 times your annual income," said Joseph. Insurance companies also offer cover of 25 times your annual income.

Take professional help to determine the policy type and the coverage that will best fit your budget and your family’s financial needs.

Written by - Suketh Shetty 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

These are the major companies that accept Bitcoin as payment.

Cryptocurrencies are never far from the headlines these days.
While buying and selling cryptos is becoming increasingly mainstream, the opportunities to spend virtual currencies are somewhat limited in comparison due to its volatility.

There are, however, a growing number of companies across a plethora of industries - from big tech to airlines - who are embracing cryptocurrencies, allowing customers to use them as an official method of payment for their goods and services.

Here are some of the biggest and more well-known companies using cryptos:

1. Pavilion Hotels & Resorts

As the latest company to permit crypto transactions, the Hong Kong-based Pavilion Hotels & Resorts group has also become the first international hotel chain to embrace virtual currency payments. The group - which owns properties in Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon, and Rome as well as Bali and Phuket - will accept bookings using 40 different tokens, including Bitcoin and Ethereum from July through their partnership with payment platform Coindirect.

2. AXA Insurance

As of the start of April, the insurance broker behemoth will allow customers in Switzerland to use Bitcoin as a payment option for their bills. The decision to embrace cryptocurrencies has been in the pipeline since market research conducted by the company in 2019 found that nearly a third of respondents aged 18 to 55 had either already invested in them or were interested in doing so.

Customers will now have a reference code printed on bills for non-life insurance policies in order to pay their premiums through crypto exchange Bitcoin Suisse which will then convert them into Swiss Francs.
3. Microsoft

As one of the largest software companies in the world, it is significant that Microsoft accepts Bitcoin payments, going some way to instill a degree of confidence in using cryptos. Redeemed for credit in topping up user accounts, Bitcoin can be used to pay for an array of services, including Xbox Live and Skype.The company’s interest in crypto technology doesn’t end there. Utilizing blockchain, Microsoft has also launched ION, a two-layered authentication platform on the Bitcoin network in late March. Instead of payments, the technology creates digital IDs to authenticate online identities.

4. Starbucks

Following an extensive trial, Starbucks customers can now use the new Bakkt app to pay for drinks and goods at the coffee chain with converted Bitcoin. According to the app’s creators, 500,000 people took up the invitation-only, early access programme to test the digital wallet as a method of payment.

5. Tesla

The CEO of electric carmaker Tesla Elon Musk has an up and down relationship with Bitcoin. Initially, the company announced earlier this year that it would accept Bitcoin payments for vehicle purchases in the US. It comes off the back of a $1.5 billion (€1.2 billion) investment in the cryptocurrency by Elon Musk’s company in February. However, this has now been turned on its head with pronouncements that Tesla will put Bitcoin transactions on hold until more than 50 per cent of tokens are mined using renewable energy.
6. Amazon

It was reported earlier this year that Amazon was joining the ranks of other tech giants, including Facebook, in laying the groundwork for its own exclusive cryptocurrency. That said, the e-commerce company doesn’t directly accept cryptos yet. You can, however, buy Amazon vouchers through crypto-only company Bitrefill, a platform that makes living on cryptocurrencies easier by converting Bitcoin into gift cards, refill phones, and so on.

7. Visa

Credit card company Visa confirmed at the end of March that it was piloting a scheme with the platform to accept cryptocurrency to settle transactions on its payment network. It will now accept USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin crypto that is pegged to the value of the US dollar.

8. PayPal

Following an announcement in October last year, PayPal users can now buy, sell or hold a select few cryptos, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. In addition, you’ll be able to track cryptocurrencies through the PayPal app. The only drawback is that money can’t be transferred out of the company’s digital wallet.

9. airBaltic

Latvian airline airBaltic became the first aviation company in the world to accept Bitcoin as payment for fares back in 2014. According to the company, it has processed more than 1,000 Bitcoin transactions since it launched the payment option seven years ago. Its decision to do so saw another eastern European airline, LOT Polish Airlines, follow suit the following year.

10. Coca Cola

Amatil, the drinks’ giant’s bottler and distributor in the Asia-Pacific region, has enabled cryptocurrency as a method of payment through its partnership with the Centrapay platform. As of 2020, there are now over 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand which are geared to accept cryptos to pay for drinks.

11. LOT Polish Airlines

Following in the wake of airBaltic, LOT Polish Airlines announced in 2015 that it would also accept Bitcoin as a payment method for flights. Despite the six years that have passed since its decision, LOT remains one of the only European airlines to allow cryptocurrency as a payment option.

12. Expedia

Travel giant Expedia is one of the most prominent travel agencies to accept Bitcoin through its partnership with crypto-friendly travel booking platform Travala. You can now book 700,000 hotels from the website’s listings with more than 30 different cryptos, including Bitcoin.

13. Lush

Lush was one of the first global companies to adapt to the use of cryptocurrencies, fully embracing them in 2017 when the handmade cosmetics company started to allow Bitcoin payments for orders on its website through a partnership with

Written by - Suketh Shetty

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The investment hack that supersedes all: Invest in yourself.

You need to look at ROI – Return on Investment. One of the best investments you will ever make is in your own human capital.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

10 mistakes people make while buying Term Insurance Plan

Our world is full of uncertainties and hence Term Insurance is incredibly important. Since the market is flooded with a multitude of options, choosing the best term plan could be potentially daunting.

In my previous blog I have mentioned why should we take Term Insurance. Now let’s look at Top 10 mistakes that people make while buying Term Insurance in India.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Should you opt for Term plan while Financial Planning?

Financial planning refers to the process of meeting financial goals with the help of appropriate management of your finances. This includes elements of wealth creation, protection, retirement planning, planning for specific milestones, and most importantly planning for emergencies and contingencies. But where does the term plan fit in?

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Cryptocurrency – Why do Governments fear them?

Cryptocurrency should be declared word of the decade – I mean even non-saving groups are all praises about this form of “currency” (or not? Let’s call it crypto rather than currency for now)

Now, why do almighty Governments of various countries fear crypto?

That lack of central authority is the primary reason governments are afraid of cryptocurrency. To understand this fear, it is important to know a little bit about governments and their conventional currencies.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Beware of using the ‘100 minus age’ thumb rule for equity allocation

Have you ever heard about the “100 minus age” thumb rule?


The rule says that you subtract your age from 100 to arrive at the ideal asset allocation for your investments. So, if you are 30, then 100-30 would give 70, which is the percentage of equity you can have in your portfolio. That is, you have Equity: Debt in 70:30 ratio. For someone who is 35, the rule will suggest 65 percent (= 100 - age 35) as the equity allocation. This rule is majorly used to calculate retirement corpus.

One major problem with this rule is that it simply assumes that age alone decides a person’s asset allocation. This not true. Factors such as investor’s risk appetite, goal timelines,tax, and return requirements are the major factors that decide asset allocation as well.


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