Weekend links: 31st July 2010

Here are some interesting articles I found this week:

1. Firefox 4 Beta 1 is smart looking, snappy @ Reuters

2. 5 Golden Rules to save for retirement @ Smarter Wallet

3. Is A Liberal Arts Education Worth it @ Digerati Life

4. India, US sign final nuclear pact, prepare for Obama visit @ Business Standard

5. Lack of consumer spending points to U.S. economic slowdown @ Bloomberg

6. The web’s new goldmine: Your secrets @ WSJ

Enjoy your Sunday!

Do you remember the crash of 2008?

The markets have been doing well lately, and people are getting interested in stock markets again. We have yet to reach the highs made earlier, but now the question on people’s mind is when rather than if.

2008 jolted a lot of people who were heavily invested in equities, and this chart of the Nifty is pretty good at explaining why.  image

There were a lot of people who not only made money in stocks, but also regarded themselves as geniuses, and their portfolio was proof of their talent.

The fall not only took their money away from them, but also showed that they had just been lucky to ride the bullish wave.

That realization scarred a lot of people, and in India where equities are often related with making a quick buck, or gambling, people were only too willing to get rid of the vice, and pull their money away from the market.

Now, the market is doing well, and people are getting back in the game. There is nothing wrong with investing in equities, but you need to be aware of the fact that the market can be really volatile in the short run, and can give you extreme heart-ache with very little warning.

The Nifty returns chart below shows returns for the calendar years 2002 through 2009. This further highlights why the crash of 2008 was so bad. Things were going along so well for the past few years, and suddenly everything fell apart.


Over these 7 years, the market returned at a CAGR of about 15%, and if someone were to keep at regular investment through say a systematic investment plan, then they would come out in pretty good shape today.

But most retail investors don’t have such a long horizon when investing in equities, and exit at precisely the wrong time.

If you have stock investments, and plan to continue investing in the market, then the above chart is a good reminder of how one bad year can ruin your investments, and why having a long term horizon in equities give you stable returns when you look at it for a period of several years.

How should a fresher find jobs?

I am getting an increasing number of emails from freshers who are looking to find jobs on OneMint, and since that is obviously not possible – I am going to write about the steps a fresher should take to find jobs.

I know that this is not relevant for most of our community members here, but if you have some advice for freshers, please leave a comment below.

fresher jobs
First day at job

Are there enough jobs for freshers?

I think this is the question that looms large for all freshers who are not placed from the campus. If you don’t get placed right out of campus, then things are going to be a bit harder for you, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of the world. I think back to my own placement days and think of all the needless drama that unfolded in those few days.

The important thing to remember is that it is only a matter of time that you get a job. It can be a bit depressing at times, but keep your chin high and keep looking. Though things can may look gloomy now, in a career that will span for tens of years – a few months here and there won’t matter much.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at what you should do in order to find a job.

What is the first thing a fresher should do to find a job?

The first thing is to make a resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) for yourself. You will need a resume to approach people who are in a position to give you a job. This has to be the first thing you do. There are several sample fresher resumes online, and you can model your own on any of these.

There is no point in contacting recruiters if you can’t leave your resume with them. If you don’t have one, then write one now.

Contact all friends and relatives

Finding your first job can be intimidating, and you want all the help you can get. Place calls to all your friends and relatives who could help you out. Send them your resumes and ask for help.

If you know people who are working for big companies, send your resume and ask them to upload it on their company job portal, and keep their eye open for walk – in interviews, and other company emails about jobs that match your educational background.

Get a decent email id

It is time to get a real email id now. You will need to email several recruiters, companies, friends and such, and you don’t want your potential recruiter to see that you thought the word freak would look cool as part of your email address.

Upload your resume on several job portals

Sending emails to random site owners will not help freshers (or anyone for that matter) in landing a job much, but creating an account on a job portal can go very far.

There are several popular sites that help you find jobs in India, and you should create an account in all of those. Here are some popular Indian job sites.

Times Jobs

Monster India


NCR Job Portal: This is a newer website, whose founder reached out to me.

Apply jobs through these portals

Once you create the account, the next step is to search for jobs related to your educational background. Put in a few keyword variations and apply for the jobs that appear in the results. Persevere at this, keep applying for jobs and actively check your email for replies. When you get a reply, respond promptly and don’t forget to attach your resumes and answer all the questions they ask in their email.

Keep an eye out for walk in interviews

Companies conduct walk in interviews for freshers, and although these can get crowded, it is a good place to hunt for jobs and increases your employment chances.


It can get a little daunting to finish your education and find yourself without a job, but remember that this situation is only temporary, and eventually you will find something which will be a good stepping stone for your career. Follow these tips, and all the best!

Image by Nicolas Karim

The Rupee Symbol, Capital Gains and Stock Valuations

Here are a few interesting links I found this week.

By now you must have seen the new Rupee symbol, and if you are interested in using it with MS Word, there is a font available that lets you do it. This link tells you how to use it. As far as I can tell, the font will only work on MS Word, and if you send the document to someone else, that person should have the font installed to be able to see the Rupee symbol.

Capital Mind has a good post and great comments on how Direct Tax Code will keep equity gains tax free till April 1 2011.

Tip Blog talks about buying stocks which are seemingly high, or waiting till the next market downturn?

The Psy Fi blog has an interesting post on Weightless Economies and story of a tax gone wrong in the UK.

Scott Adams has a post on conversations on his blog that is quite good, and touches upon how a lot of people don’t understand what it is to make good conversation. He further talks about how the Dale Carnegie course gave him knowledge that was a life-changing.

Digital Inspiration tells you how you can watch Indian TV live on your PC or Mobile phone.

TechCrunch talks about voice blogging and how Bubble Motion’s voice blogging service has 1.2 million paid subscribers in India. I didn’t even know such a thing existed.

The Digerati Life has an interesting post on a healthy and colorful diet.

Enjoy these posts, and if you have a related blog, please leave links in comments.

The Problogger 7 link challenge

I saw the 7 link challenge at Problogger today, and thought it was a really clever idea. The challenge is to write a post with links back to 7 older posts which fit the following categories:

  • Your first post
  • A post you enjoyed writing the most
  • A post which had a great discussion
  • A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written
  • Your most helpful post
  • A post with a title that you are proud of
  • A post that you wish more people had read

The 7 categories are really interesting, and that prompted me to respond to that challenge and come up with a post of my own. So, here goes:

1. My first post: Three posts came to my mind, when I thought about my first post. Should it be my first ever post on the internet, my first post on my own blog, or should it be the first post on One Mint.

I settled on my first ever post on the internet, which is rather pretentiously called: Understanding the nature and value of money, and I think I wrote it when I was 17 or so.

I thought about that idea for over a year. I do not remember if I talked to anyone about the idea; I just thought and thought about it for really long. I used to wonder what it means for an entire country to become rich, how can a nation make that leap, and what it really meant to have money at the level of a country, not an individual. I feel pretty proud of that post , especially when I look at the last para – Transportation: A revolution waiting to happen. I am happy I thought about understanding the nature of money for so long, and at a young age, as it has helped later on to keep perspective, and build on that understanding.

2. The post I enjoyed writing the most: I recently wrote about my experience of buying books online in India, and I enjoyed that post quite a bit.

I wanted to gift a book to my sister, and that led to me searching for online book stores in India. The post narrates my experience, and I enjoyed researching the stores, writing about them, as well as gifting the book to my sister.

3. A post in which you had great discussion: With over a 120 comments, the Reliance Infrastructure Mutual Fund post has generated the most discussion. A lot of readers have asked questions, and other readers have responded to them, which always makes me very happy.

4. A post on someone else’s blog you wished you’d written: I read at least 30 articles and blog posts on an average day, and I’d say at least 5 of them are totally refreshing, teach me something new, and make me wish that I had the knowledge to write such things.

However, this post by James Kwak on the loss of his beloved dog made me wish I had a heart to think about these things the way he does. If there is just one link you click in this post – let it be this one.

5. Your most helpful post: Probably this post which talks about How my LTA is taxed has helped a lot of people manage this particular tax better and save some money. I know it has helped at least a few people because they personally told me so, and that is why I include it here.

6. A post with a title you are proud of: I am not particularly good at writing headlines, but I think I did fairly well when I wrote: I am a PC, and I Kindle – a play on the new PC ads – in an article that talks about the Kindle app for the PC. I think the post with the cleverest title here was: I read PlayBoy for the articles, but the headline was not mine, it belonged to the Harvard paper I blogged about.

7. A post that you wish more people had read: Peter Lynch and his cocktail theory is a post I wish more people had read. It is a short post about a simple, powerful and funny idea about how market movement affect people’s behavior in cocktail parties. I wish more people read about the idea, and think about it every now and then. I feel that if more people were aware of this simple idea, it will at least save them from investing in the stock market when it is at its peak and burning their hands.

So there you have it – 7 posts which bring back pleasant memories. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Decoupling is evident in the long run

I have never taken decoupling seriously because of what normally happens during crashes. Here is a chart that illustrates it well.


When one major stock market falls, every other market in the world follows it. It can be the US, China or London or whatever.

When things are going good for emerging economies, people talk of decoupling and how domestic growth rates have insulated an economy from the international markets, and they make all sorts of other positive noises, but when things start going south – everything falls in tandem, and it feels like no one will be spared.

That is the reason I never took decoupling seriously, but today I read an awesome post by Sandip Sabharwal, and in it he talks about decoupling in a way I had never thought about earlier, and his way is perhaps the best way of thinking about decoupling.

Let me share the most powerful part of his post (emphasis his):

The Dow went up from a level of 1938 at the end of 1988 to a level of 11500 by the end of the year 1999. In the same time period the Japanese markets fell from a level of 39000 at the end of 1989 to a level of 19000 at the end of 1999. Thus the biggest boom of the stock markets in the US corresponded to the big decline in Japanese stock markets and the economy.
I believe that a similar thing is likely to happen over the next decade for India (and some other emerging economies).

Let me show you how this looks in a graph.


Essentially, he states that decoupling takes longer to show and while markets move together in the shorter run, in the long run, different markets move differently based on their own dynamics.

This was a very good post, and you should read the whole thing here.

Via Ranjan Varma

Economy and your finances carnival July 3rd 2010

Welcome to this edition of OneMint – economy and your finances.

Marcus Arkan presents Understand The A To Z Of Home Mortgage Canada posted at SMI Blog, saying, “Syndicate Mortgages provides Mortgage Canada News, and updates! And the Best Mortgage Canada Rates in today’s Market, no wonder more and more Canadians choose Syndicate Mortgages for all their Canada Mortgage needs!”

Sheryl Owen presents Change of Address: The Origin of the Ponzi Scam posted at Change of Address.

Leave Debt Behind.com presents Renting VS Buying a Home – Is Buying Always Better? posted at Leave Debt Behind.


Roshawn Watson presents 8 Questions for the Constantly Broke posted at Watson Inc, saying, “Recently, Yahoo Finance republished an article from US News entitled the “8 Questions for the Constantly Broke.” I enjoyed reading it. I wanted to highlight the major points from the article, provide some rationale and context for the advice given, provide some helpful and relevant rules of thumb for some of the various topics discussed, and share some personal anecdotes.”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Citi Credit Cards Review: From Citi Platinum Select To Citi Forward posted at The Digerati Life

PT presents Excessive Credit Card Debt: How Much is Too Much? posted at Prime Time Money.

Hussein Sumar presents How to Negotiate Debt Obligations with Creditors posted at Debt Consolidation, saying, “If creditors do not receive on time payments from you, they will often report your delinquency status to the major Credit Bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). But what if you are willing to make payments to the creditors, but not the full amount they are asking for? For example, you have $15,000 of credit card debt and your minimum monthly payment is $375. However, you can only afford to pay $200 a month at the moment. How do you negotiate with your creditors so as to get the payment terms to your advantage and get negative items deleted off your credit report? That is the purpose of this article.”

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Fixed or Variable, Why Not Both? posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “Combination mortgages offer exposure to both the security and predictable payments of fixed rate mortgages and the lower interest rates of variable rate mortgages.”


Kaushik Chokshi presents World Trends posted at Beyond Karma, saying, “World trends point to a deflationary depression…”

Sun presents How to Find a Summer Intern Job in Recession posted at The Sun’s Financial Diary.


Dividend Growth Investor presents Four Characteristics of The Best Dividend Growth Stocks posted at Dividend Growth Investor, saying, “Dividends provide investors with a return on investment even when markets are down. As a result investors get paid to hold their stocks through thick and thin.”

Infernios The Hoarding Dragon presents Hoarding Dragon Basics – Investing in Precious Metals posted at ThunderDrake, saying, “This website, through the guise of a dragon, offers investing lessons. This post entails a rather verbose introduction to the basics of precious metals. Those who walk away from this article should become more familiar with gold and silver as an investment!”

Madison DuPaix presents Comparing Different Types of Treasury Securities posted at My Dollar Plan.

The Investor presents Preference shares posted at Monevator.com, saying, “What are preference shares, and what advantages and disadvantages do they offer over normal common stock?”

Albie presents What is Impact Investing? – Social Business Tips posted at Matthew Alberto .com.

Mike Piper presents How Much Money Do I Need to Retire? (In 2 Easy Steps) posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “People think it’s a tricky question with complicated calculations. It really isn’t.”

FMF presents Avoid the “Ring-of-Fire” Countries posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “If you want to make the most of your investments, avoid these countries.”

Personal Finance

Consumer Boomer presents How to Compare Life Insurance Policies posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Let’s look at closer look at all the options when we compare the different types of life insurance policies and which might be best for your situation.”

Jessica Bosari presents 11 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Wallet | billeater.com posted at Billeater, saying, “11 yearly financial routines”

The Financial Blogger presents 4 Tax Refund Strategies posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “Receiving money from the government is always a lot of fun. However, you must have a tax refund strategy in place”

Mike @ Green Panda presents Friend or Foe: The Credit Card posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “The Credit Card: Friend or Foe? The problem is not the credit card, it is you! Let’s be honest for a second. Stop reading, grab your car keys and jump in. Look at the speedometer. It probably says that the machine can go over 100 mph. Do you really drive at that speeds?”

LeanLifeCoach presents Combating the Closing Techniques – The Assumptive Close posted at Eliminate The Muda!, saying, “Understanding the assumptive closing technique means you will be prepared to prevent yourself from falling for it. When a salesperson begins asking questions that require a positive answer be wary. When they try to hand you a pen be prepared.”

Steven and Debra presents The Homeowner’s Dilemma: To Amputate or To Suck-it-Up and Take One for the Team posted at The END TIMES Hoax, saying, “It’s probably about time homeowners who have decided to not walk away from their mortgages to man up to their decision and quit bellyaching about those who are walking away.”

Kim Luu presents Financial Security Takes More Than Being Frugal posted at Money and Risk, saying, “Most PF blogs focuses on saving money and investment, there are many other issues that still put people at risk despite a lifetime of savings.”

Jaqueline Dornbach presents How to Spend Less on Groceries posted at The Young Pastor’s Wife.

Rob presents Family Wealth Management posted at Stock Tips, saying, “Finances are an important issue among most families. Learning about family wealth management can help you stay on track with your goals.”

Jeff Rose, CFP presents How To Get The Best Rates For Term Life Insurance posted at Jeff Rose.

Richard Adams presents Four Steps For Decreasing Your Monthly Outgoings posted at Debt Assistance Guru.

Matt Mason presents Romance Without Finance is a Nuisance posted at FYMO Personal Finance Blog.

Tom Tessin presents 7 Steps When Negotiating for New / Used Cars posted at FGC Auto Blog, saying, “Are you thinking about purchasing a new or used car? 7 steps you can take in order to negotiate for one.”

Big Cajun Man presents Found Money Trap posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “If you find money, pay off debt!”

Super Saver presents Disputed Price Increase on Phone Bill and Won posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Last month, our phone bill was up 12%, with no changes made on our part.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of onemint – economy and your finances using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Expense Ratios of HDFC Gold ETF and ICICI Prudential Gold ETF

I wrote about the past two year returns on gold ETFs a few days ago, and got a comment on that inquiring about the expense ratio of the two new gold ETFs that are going to be launched shortly.

The first one is HDFC’s gold ETF, which is expected to have recurring expenses of 2.50% of weekly net average assets per its Scheme Information Document (SID).

The second gold ETF that is about to be launched is ICICI Prudential’s Gold ETF, which is also expected to have recurring expenses of 2.50% of its weekly average net assets per its SID that I found on the SEBI website.

If you look at my post on the best gold ETFs, or the list of all gold ETFs in the Indian market, these expenses compare to most of the funds, but are not among the lowest.