Announcing OneMint Financial Planning Services

Shiv and I have been working with some paid clients during the last few months, and have been experimenting with various type of services, and we are now ready to announce this on the blog, and reach out to a wider audience.

There are two services that we are going to offer, and I’m going to talk about each of them in this post.

Comprehensive Financial Planning


The first type of service is full blown financial planning, and we have developed a five step process for this. We conduct a weekly call and follow that up with a report at the end of each week.

You can see what each step of the process entails in the table below.

Onemint Financial Planning Process

Each of the steps above lead into the next step, and finally helps prepare the comprehensive plan.


We will charge a fee of Rs. 15,000 for this service, which needs to be paid before we start the engagement.

Money Back Guarantee

We offer a no questions asked, money back guarantee that you can invoke at any time during the process and extends till 5 days after you receive the comprehensive financial plan.

There is no trick or hidden clause or disclaimers associated with this guarantee. We feel that 15,000 is not a small amount of money and if anyone feels that it has not been wisely spent, and they haven’t got their money’s worth, they should have it back. The loss in time and effort will be ours, and we will not ask you any questions or try to convince you of the value of the service. If the value wasn’t apparent enough to you during the process, then you needn’t pay for it.

One Time Consulting


There are often circumstances that need you to answer a question which requires some financial expertise. For example, you get a lump-sum, and need to know the best way to invest it to generate a monthly income, or you have your portfolio assessed, and need recommendation on what to do next. This type of analysis needs a couple of hours, and if you send your question to us, we’ll let you know if we can do this or not. We will have a call with you, and send out a written report here for this as well.


We will charge a fee of Rs. 2,000 for this service, which needs to be paid before we start the engagement.

Money Back Guarantee

The guarantee that we offer on the full blown consulting is applicable here as well, if you think your money wasn’t well spent, we will return it to you without any questions

How will this affect the blog?

Both of us plan to write the way we were writing before, and we don’t plan to change the nature or frequency of our posts because of this announcement. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or if you want to keep it private, please send me an email.


Happy New Year 2014

I am not doing any new year resolutions this year, but I have spent the past few days reflecting on how the year has gone by and some things that have worked well for me in the past year that I’d like to continue.

These are very simple things that a lot of you will already be doing but if you aren’t then they are definitely worth a try.

1. Build alliances with like minded people: Unfortunately the world of Indian personal finance is littered with problems, and dishonest people is one of the biggest problems it has.

It is very rare to find people making an honest living in this environment, and even when you find them it is quite hard to forge alliances with them. That’s why for a large part of OneMint’s existence it has been more or less a one man show. Somewhere along the way Shiv discovered the blog, and I got to know him professionally, and later personally. This is the luckiest thing that has happened to OneMint. Both of us have a common vision about personal finance, and regular readers should know all too well how detail oriented and honest he is. These are qualities that I deeply cherish and are rare in today’s environment.  Shiv and I have been working together for quite some time now and if not for him, I would have probably shut OneMint by now.

I realize how valuable he has been for the blog, and after meeting him I’ve been actively seeking like minded people in other areas of work as well, and try to find common grounds to work together and grow together. Finding people who share your vision and working with them instead of working in silos is one of the key things I want to continue to do in 2014.

2. Take time off: I think one of the main reasons for thinking about shutting down OneMint was that I was just burned out. For the last 5 years or so I have worked non stop on weekends and holidays, and I used to think that if you do something you enjoy you don’t get burned out, but that hasn’t been true for me. Somewhere in the last year, I got so fatigued that I just gave up on blogging. If it wasn’t for Shiv’s posts, the traffic would have died and OneMint would have died a slow death.

Doing things that you do for their own sake is what is truly a fun activity and if you don’t build in fun breaks in your routine, you won’t be able to sustain anything for the long run. I have started slotting in some time for recreational reading, TV, Chess, movies etc. all things that have no purpose other than fun to make me more productive in the rest of my time. I had come to this realization on my own, but reading The Power of Full Engagement made me grasp this concept much better.

3.Build a habit: I read Leo Babuta’s post on forming habits sometime this year, and at about that time I was thinking of what I could do to get physically more active.

Although it sounds pretty ridiculous, I took his advice and started off with five push-ups every day. How ridiculous is that, right? But it actually does work. If you want to build a habit, start with something exceedingly small, and as you get into a routine that habit will forge and you will be doing a lot more than you initially thought you would. I’ve been going to the gym quite frequently now, and those five push-ups have transformed into a full blown 60 minute workout.

4. Volunteer: I wanted to start volunteering my time this year, and I wanted to do something in the area of children and education, but as I explored options and spoke with people I realized it isn’t very straightforward to get volunteer work in this area.

I expanded my search and found that one of the things I could practically do was walk dogs at a local no kill shelter. It is just 15 minutes drive, and all you have to do is go there and walk the dogs that are there so they don’t stay locked inside their pen throughout the day and get some exercise and a chance to do their business.

In the beginning it didn’t seem like much, you just walk dogs for two hours a day every week, anyone can do that, and it doesn’t seem to be very meaningful, but we went there anyway. But as you do this regularly, you get a sense of the bigger picture, and how your small part in it allows the whole system to work. You’re there volunteering your time, so a dog gets a chance to stay there and not be killed due to lack of resources at the government shelter. I heard of a story of a family where the dad lost his job, had to give away their pet, and that pet was put down due to lack of resources. Their grief was compounded many times, and it is then that I understood that every small bit actually helps.

Every small bit helps, and if you are interested but haven’t found something that seems significant enough, just start with something, anything at all, it does mean something to someone and it will be better than doing nothing at all.

5. Re-read books: I read a lot but I never read the same book again, and I was definitely missing out because of this, I changed this habit a few months ago.

Re-reading helps reinforce good ideas that you picked up the first time around, and you often come across new ideas as well. This is a practice I would definitely continue in the new year as well.

I want to wish all of you a very happy new year, and hope that the new year brings you much wealth and prosperity!

Happy Independence Day!

One of my favorite poems of all time is ‘Where The Mind is Without Fear’ by Rabindranath Tagore, and it is only natural that I thought of it today as India celebrates its 67th Independence Day.

Unfortunately, it failed to bring a smile to me as it usually does. First, please spend a minute to read this beautiful poem.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

The country has not awaken in a heaven of freedom, and it isn’t getting there any time soon. I haven’t ever felt this despondent at the state of Indian affairs, and it is indeed a big reason why I haven’t posted here in a while.

Is there much purpose of an investing blog in an environment like this? If you can barely afford onions, what hope is there to save for retirement?

It is true that when things are going so depressingly wrong, it is hard to imagine they can ever change. During the great recession of 2008, it felt like the global economy will collapse and I certainly didn’t hear anyone predicting Dow making new highs in 2013 even a year ago.

With that in mind, I did buy into Indian equity last week. All our problems are self inflicted, which is sad, but it is also good because we have the power to solve them. We are not solving them now, but I do believe something somewhere will change that will turn things around. With that hope, I wish everyone a happy Independence day.


Resumption of Email Delivery

Long time readers will remember that there was a lot of problem with OneMint going down a few months ago. I had upgraded to a much better server and the problems had stopped. However, the problem resurfaced, and I got completely exasperated. I’ve changed hosts now, and moved to Synthesis Webhosting. So far it is a lot cheaper, and the site is faster as well, but fingers crossed!

In moving the site something happened and email delivery stopped. It was only last Sunday when Bemoneyaware helpfully told me to validate the feed that I found the error. Fixing that was how the email delivery got restored and a big thank you to Bemoneyaware for their help.

The large majority of people don’t realize that I was still writing while the email feed stopped working, so I’m using this post to announce that the email delivery is working along with links to the posts that never went out as emails.

Which countries does India import its oil from?

Why NRIs shouldn’t rejoice the Rupee fall?

Short term measures to stop Rupee slide won’t work

How to fill Excel ITR Form?

5 changes in content based on last week’s feedback

Last week I posted some stats about OneMint, and how I was disappointed by the fall in traffic witnessed in the last year. It was amazing to see so many comments and emails on that post, and I thank all of you for your support.

I’ve been thinking about all the feedback I got, and I have put together a list of 5 items that I want to do in the future based on it.  

1. Expand the scope of topics: Pattu posted the first comment on that post and it was about boredom – he was quite close to what I’ve been feeling over the past year or so and the reason for that is that almost all the content is now driven by what others have requested as opposed to the earlier years when I was writing about things that I stumbled upon and wanted to learn more on.

I need to get that mix going again and write about some non finance related topics that interest me and that I feel might be of interest to others. I think some articles explaining current events will be useful here too. For example, RBI has recently given a nod to create the country’s first mortgage guarantee company – why are they doing this? What does this mean for people, and how has other country’s experience with this been. This could also be lighter things like how does TIME decide that Aamir Khan or P. Chidambaram are influential enough to be in their list?

2. Answer comments within a day: No one mentioned this specifically, but I feel bad whenever it takes me more than a day to reply to a comment, and I’m going to try and respond to each and every comment within 24 hours. I get a fair bit of email as well and while I try to answer each and every email it is really hard to keep track of it. It’s a lot better to post a comment if you need a reply, and please don’t mind following up if I don’t respond to your email within a couple of days.

3. Add depth to the posts: There was criticism about posts being simple, and I’m going to try and address that by adding more content about difficult topics, and writing in more detail about simpler ones.

4.  Maintain posting frequency: With all that I’ve got going – 6 posts in a week is the most I can manage, and I’m going to try and stick to that for the rest of the year.

5. Covering more investment products: Unfortunately, there aren’t many good products and many times I look over a name and pass writing about it because it doesn’t look interesting enough. I got some feedback on covering more investment products even if they aren’t good because even that is meaningful information for people who don’t know about them.

I’m really grateful for all your feedback last week. It was quite unexpected, and has really energized me to focus on OneMint and try to grow it once again.

Nothing is as motivating as knowing that people find value in what you are doing, and I’m really glad that so many of you feel that way.

Update on OneMint Stats

I share OneMint numbers with you from time to time, and usually I do that when the blog hits a milestone or some other small achievement like that.

However, today I’m going to share stats of perhaps the worst quarter OneMint has ever had. I track some numbers on OneMint quarterly, and since this is a financial blog, the last quarter of every financial year is usually the best as far as traffic is concerned.

OneMint was very close to hitting one million pageviews per quarter in 2012, and I was fairly confident that the one million a quarter mark will be hit in Q1 2013. However, this is what happened:

   2013 Jan – Mar Growth / Decline (’12 Jan – Mar)
Pageviews 447,520 -53.67%
Unique Visitors 287,693 -41.78%
Visits 336,772 -43.34%
Pages / Visit 1.42 -12.88%
Avg Time on Site 00:1:21 -17.35%
Bounce Rate 78.93% 17.44%
New Visits 82.11% 3.48%

As you can well imagine, I’m very disappointed with these numbers, and when a friend casually remarked that by next year OneMint won’t even be in existence, I got a small shock and thought that I should introspect and spend some time on why OneMint has done so badly in recent times.

I hope that writing this will also help other bloggers avoid some mistakes that I have committed.

With that in mind, here is what I think I did wrong that has led to OneMint’s recent decline.

1. Answered comments late: I have not been answering comments as regularly as I used to and this has definitely led to a decline in traffic. People don’t post as often, and the ones who were likely to post follow ups don’t do it when the comments are old, so not answering comments in a timely fashion has led to decline.

2. Did not post frequently enough: I don’t know of an easy way to calculate this but I’m pretty sure that I haven’t posted as much in 2012 as I did in 2011, and that definitely leads to decline in traffic – every new article results in traffic so it is natural that if you post less frequently your traffic will go down as well.

3. Did not strategize posts: Suggest a Topic has been a great page because of the discussion it generates but I usually don’t think about how popular that question is likely to be. Not every question interests a large segment of readers and many times I think that I haven’t used my time to the most optimal possible. Sometimes I write posts which are very narrow in scope and that takes away from writing about other things that are of interest to a wider audience and that is definitely a cause for lower traffic.

4. Did not update old posts: The main source of traffic for OneMint is Google Search, and older posts usually send more traffic. In the past I have updated older posts with more current data so that the posts still remain relevant and don’t lose their search engine rankings, but in the last year I haven’t been updating posts as regularly and as a result they are dropping out of search engine rankings, and losing their traffic.

5. Did not write difficult posts: Although I hate to admit it, I’ve been prone to write about topics that I already know about and that’s usually not good for traffic. You want to write about things that are difficult and explain them so that posts get shared, and do well in search rankings, writing easy stuff is easy but won’t generate traffic long term.

I can go on and on but I want to stop here, and hear from you on what you think might have been the reason for OneMint’s decline, and for those of you who also have blogs, I hope that you don’t commit the same mistakes that I have!

FundsIndia to give a 1 gm gold coin to 5 lucky women

From looking at comments and email exchanges of regular readers, I’ve always had a feeling that the ratio of women to men reading OneMint is higher when compared to other blogs. I don’t have any stats to prove this, and I don’t know if this is just perception or reality, but it certainly did surprise me when I read an older Jago Investor survey that said only 10% of their readers were women.

I bring this up because when I saw a post at FundsIndia which said that they will select 5 lucky women and give them a 1 gram gold coin if they open their Funds India account today, I felt that this will be useful information for readers here.

So, if you are interested in opening an account there, today is a good day. You can click here to find out more about this.

I want to add that if you didn’t want to open an account anyway then just this incentive is not big enough to do so as this will add complexity to your financial life even if it doesn’t cost you anything in terms of money.

Disclosure: FundsIndia is an advertiser here, but they didn’t ask me to write about this thing. 

CIBIL Contest Winners

I’m delighted to announce the CIBIL contest winners today. This contest had the most participants that we’ve ever had, and it’s great to see that there is so much awareness among readers about the need and use of a credit score.

CIBIL had sent me the name of these three winners earlier today, and they haven’t been informed of it yet. I will send the email addresses of the readers to CIBIL and they will contact you directly for the next steps. If for any reason you need to contact me about this then you can leave a comment or use the Contact form to send a direct email.

CIBIL Winners

Here are the three winners:

1. Jayachandran
2. Kapil Dev Tejwani
3. Balamurugan Balasubramanian 

Congratulations to all three of you and thanks to everyone else for participating.

Forum is live again

We used to have a forum here about a year ago and then I got rid of it because of incessant spam which got totally out of control. A lot of you have asked for the forum since then and we have put it back live again. The link can be found on the top of the page, or you can just click here.

Your old user ids and passwords should work but if you don’t remember them then you can always set up a new password. The format is exactly the same as last time, and even the old threads are visible.

There are the following seven categories that you can choose from:

  1. Debt
  2. Gold, silver and other commodities
  3. Insurance
  4. Mutual Funds
  6. Taxation
  7. General / Others

If you have any feedback please leave a comment here.

Thank you for participating in the CIBIL contest and participant list

Thank you for participating in the CIBIL contest which is now over. I have created this list of participants that I will give CIBIL and they will declare the winner shortly.

Please go through it and let me know if you posted a comment and I missed you. If you simply emailed me then that was not a valid way of participating and I can’t add your name now, so only post a comment if you did that earlier.

All the best!

S.No. Name Source
1 vikrant First Blog Post
2 Santha Kumar Ramaiyan First Blog Post
3 Parijat First Blog Post
4 Vaibhav Bajpai First Blog Post
5 Rahul Kumar First Blog Post
6 Amit Tamhankar First Blog Post
7 Dheeraj First Blog Post
8 Rakesh First Blog Post
9 Kunal First Blog Post
10 Vinodh Kumar First Blog Post
11 Sriharsha K V First Blog Post
12 bluecrabs First Blog Post
13 rohan doshi First Blog Post
14 Satbir Singh First Blog Post
15 Vishal Ramaswamy First Blog Post
16 rahul chandalia First Blog Post
17 siddhant First Blog Post
18 Vivek First Blog Post
19 Ravi First Blog Post
20 Venkatesan S First Blog Post
21 Sunder First Blog Post
22 satbir First Blog Post
23 Vishnu Kumar First Blog Post
24 Mayank Shah First Blog Post
25 Ravi First Blog Post
26 Kunal First Blog Post
27 Shailesh Soni First Blog Post
28 Dipankar First Blog Post
29 Ashwin First Blog Post
30 Rajat First Blog Post
31 Ams First Blog Post
32 Divya First Blog Post
33 Anurag Garg First Blog Post
34 Sumeet Gupta First Blog Post
35 ashish maskara First Blog Post
36 Gavisha First Blog Post
37 Viral First Blog Post
38 K VENU First Blog Post
39 Gaurav Sharma First Blog Post
40 Paul First Blog Post
41 Kirti First Blog Post
42 Jayachandran First Blog Post
43 Anantha krishna T First Blog Post
44 Kunal First Blog Post
45 PP First Blog Post
46 Saurabh First Blog Post
47 Rahul Sharma First Blog Post
48 Vinay First Blog Post
49 Alok First Blog Post
50 Piyush First Blog Post
51 Vivek First Blog Post
52 Saurabh First Blog Post
53 shekhar Lohumi First Blog Post
54 naresh First Blog Post
55 Melwin FALCAO First Blog Post
56 Sachin First Blog Post
57 Vaibhav Bajpai First Blog Post
58 Madhur First Blog Post
59 Ankit K First Blog Post
60 Murugan First Blog Post
61 Ashok v First Blog Post
62 Jatin First Blog Post
63 Satish First Blog Post
64 sivakumar R First Blog Post
65 psnaidu First Blog Post
66 Abhishek Nair First Blog Post
67 Amit Chadha First Blog Post
68 soumya First Blog Post
69 Uma First Blog Post
70 Rakesh First Blog Post
71 M Nair First Blog Post
72 J.P.Taneja First Blog Post
73 Sanchit Arora First Blog Post
74 Ashish Balachandran First Blog Post
75 Narasimha Gupta First Blog Post
76 Pavithran First Blog Post
77 Balaji Chegu First Blog Post
78 Yuvarajan First Blog Post
79 Sricharan First Blog Post
80 Vish First Blog Post
81 Ravi Gupta First Blog Post
82 sham First Blog Post
83 Vikash Jain First Blog Post
84 Simhadri First Blog Post
85 Vignat Vora First Blog Post
86 pk First Blog Post
87 Mahesh I Second Blog Post
88 Vijayakumar S Second Blog Post
89 surya Second Blog Post
90 sairam Second Blog Post
91 Karthik Second Blog Post
92 Prakash Second Blog Post
93 Sandeep Second Blog Post
94 Omprakash Second Blog Post
95 Jatin Visaria Second Blog Post
96 r January 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm [edit] Second Blog Post
97 Rambabu Second Blog Post
98 Kapil Dev Tejwani Second Blog Post
99 harineem Second Blog Post
100 Vilas Second Blog Post
101 arun Second Blog Post
102 Rohit Sharma FB Wall
103 Kaustuv Sengupta FB Wall
104 Ramkishan Sonthalia FB Wall
105 Kaushal Turakhiya FB Wall
106 Anjani Singh FB Wall
107 Jaideep Bhide FB Wall
108 Mohammad Johar FB Wall
109 Abhijeet Sinha FB Wall
110 Sandeep Dhawan FB Wall
111 Padmanabhan Renganathan FB Wall
112 Balamurugan Balasubramanian FB Wall
113 Sanjeev Kumar FB Wall
114 Nagaraj Sharrma FB Wall
115 Preetam Shetty FB Wall
116 Gopal Ashish Sharma FB Wall
117 Mohsin Rafik Shaikh FB Wall
118 Anjali Kuttikar FB Wall
119 Deepak Sanghi FB Wall
120 Jaswinder Singh FB Wall
121 Venkatasamy Vvs FB Wall
122 Chintan Desai FB Wall
123 Pranjal Sarma FB Wall
124 Sugar Ray FB Wall
125 Niranjan Aroskar FB Wall
126 Vinayak Gadkari FB Wall
127 Parag Joshi FB Wall
128 Kamal Kothari FB Wall
129 Nikhil Gupta FB First Post
130 Siddharth Roy FB First Post
131 Mohit Agrawal FB First Post
132 Binny Mathew FB First Post
133 Pratik Parekh FB First Post
134 Siddharth Roy FB First Post
135 Suraj Shetty FB First Post
136 Sureshkumar Nallathambi FB First Post
137 Ravikiran Chakka FB First Post
138 Harshad Korde FB First Post
139 Sneha Dixit Sharma FB First Post
140 Crosswords Guy FB First Post
141 Piyush Khanwalkar FB First Post
142 Shivaji Dhuri FB First Post
143 Monty Shah FB First Post
144 Puneet Nirogam Aggarwal FB First Post
145 Goutam Lenka FB First Post
146 Yuvarajan Udayasankaran FB First Post
147 Raj Bose FB Second Post
148 Nitin Parmar FB Second Post
149 Arun Rathi FB Second Post
150 Satish Cool FB Second Post
151 Kaushal Turakhiya FB Second Post
152 Saurabh Karandikar FB Second Post
153 Ramkishan Sonthalia FB Second Post
154 Imtiaz Ahmed Siddiqui FB Second Post