Indian Stocks Gain Globally - Is It The Right Time to Act?

30 November, 2020: Indian stocks rose to 76% to become the world’s second highest gainer in the stock market, driven by hopes of an early Covid-19 vaccine and greater weightage in MSCI indices.

The Indian stock market also marked a record capitalization of $2.31 trillion.

Good traction in all segments has been seen with NSE’s daily cash market to set a record of Rs. 1.47 trillion and a total of $14.87 billion from foreign investor inflows in November 2020. Experts say that the enthusiasm for the Indian stocks might last for some time in the market.

The stock market is doing well for now, but be wary before making a volatile decision. One potential mistake in these times can damage the financial future of many savers. So, let's learn the things you should avoid in such scenarios:

Avoid Indulging Bulk Buying

When markets are at a peak, people often jump the bandwagon and end up buying in bulk. This must be avoided by all means. Be focused and committed to your investments for the long haul to see significant gains.

Don’t Disburse Quality Stocks

The most common mistake done at such times by most people is they sell them and get others at a low valuation. One shouldn’t buy similar stocks from the same industry while selling the other at a high rate. This act may be beneficial in the longer run.

Changing the Risk Factor

Even the most balanced investor becomes vigorous, thus changing the risk-taking factors and disturbing their portfolio. The focus should always be on picking up the right stock at a fair price instead of getting carried away by the rally and dismantling all future financial goals.

(Source: News Reports)

Don’t forget to budget and manage your expenses to survive through the tough Covid-19 times. Use the Wizely app to budget & save as less as Rs. 100/- today.

Good News: Gold Prices Down By Over Rs 8,000 Since August

27 November, 2020: Thinking of buying gold and silver items? It might, finally be the right time for you. Gold prices are over Rs 8,000 lower than the rates as compared to August 2020, according to reports.

Gold prices on 26 November, Thursday rose marginally by Rs 17 to Rs 48,257 per 10 gram in the national capital. In the previous trade session, Gold had closed at Rs 48,240 per 10 grams. Silver prices closed at Rs 59,513 per kilogram from Rs 59,485 per kilogram in the previous trade.

Earlier in August 2020, the precious metal prices had soared to an all-time high of Rs 57,008 per 10 grams while silver had soared to a record-high of Rs 77,840 per kilogram.  

As per reports, gold was trading with gains at USD 1,815 per ounce, while silver was quoting flat at USD 23.42 per ounce in the international markets.

While this might be good news for investors currently, we still urge you to tread carefully and ensure a planned investment in precious metals. This way you would be able to budget and manage your expenses, without taking a sudden hit on your overall finances.

(Source: News Reports)

Don’t forget to budget and manage your expenses to survive through the tough Covid-19 times. Use the Wizely app to budget & save as less as Rs. 100/- today.

Digital Health Pass for International Travellers To Be Launched Soon

Photo by Yassine Khalfalli / Unsplash

25 November, 2020: The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) is all set to start a digital health pass to replace quarantine and reopen international travel. Working with the International Airlines Groups (IAG), IATA’s travel pass is in its final development stage and set to run pilot later this year with their official launch in for the first quarter of 2021.

IATA Travel Pass integrates four-open sourced and interrelated modules to provide end to end solution for international travellers. Global Registry of Health helps passengers offer precise information about testing, travel, and vaccines in the coming days.

In contrast, the Global Registry of Testing/ Vaccination helps centres and labs’ exact location to find at their departure location. With the app integration in place, passengers can create their digital passports, manage travel documents, and receive test and vaccination certificates for a seamless and improved journey.

IATA and IAG have collaborated on the project to ensure international safety travel and replacing quarantine.

"Our main priority is to get people traveling again safely in the immediate term that means giving governments confidence that systematic COVID-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine program. The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo, and Security.

(Source: News Reports)

Know These Changes in FY20 ITR Forms Before Filing Your Taxes

24 November, 2020: Planning to file your Income Tax Returns (ITR) before December? Good call. It is always a good idea to file your ITR well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush. The last date for filing ITR has been extended to 31 December in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic. But before filing ITR, know the changes that the income tax department has made in the notified ITR forms for FY20.

Every year the department brings new changes to the form to help the people benefit more from the compliance. Here are the changes in this year’s ITR forms that you should know about.

In stocks, long-term capital gains from equity shares and mutual funds above ₹1 lakh are now taxable. A grandfathering mechanism has been introduced in which taxes will be levied on listed shares and select units purchased before January 31, 2018. To record these, you have to impart these details of sales of equity in a company-oriented fund in which STT is paid under section 112A.

In tax-savings, taxpayers can now hold deductions for the investments made till July 31st, 2020, under section 80C for FY20. Premiums paid for self, family, and senior citizens under section 80D to be mentioned separately. You can also include more than one bank for tax refunds, and in the housing property schedule, a PAN number will be required for ITR-2 and schedules in ITR-2.

Tax planning is more than just saving the amount from your salary. If done correctly, one could benefit a lot over time. According to resources, people who wait until the end of the FY to plan their taxes are the ones who muddle to make investments to lessen their tax liability. Keep in mind that these last-minute rushes are without adequately analyzing the returns, risk, and other benefits from one’s assets, so instead of gaining, you might lose, including the critical sections; thus, it’s advisable to plan your returns from the beginning of the new year.

(Source: News Reports)

Don’t forget to budget and manage your expenses to survive through the tough Covid-19 times. Use the Wizely app to budget & save as less as Rs. 100/- today.

Beware of the New WhatsApp OTP Scam

Photo by Christian Wiediger / Unsplash

23 November, 2020: As per news reports, a new form WhatsApp OTP scam is being reported by the users where their friends' whatsapp accounts are being hacked into to send personalised messages to them and access their account.

WhatsApp is one of the world's most popular social messaging app, so it is also prone to various forms of hacks and manipulations to target various users of the app.

In the latest WhatsApp OTP scam, the hacker supposedly would send you a message claiming to be your friend or somebody from your contact list and lure you into believing that there is some form of emergency. Then the hacker will ask for an OTP, on the pretext of an accidental forward and then continue to send you multiple messages to lure you to forward the OTP.

Once you share the OTP, the hacker can then validate your WhatsApp account, lock you out of it and gain full access to your messages, contacts and groups. This personal information can then be used to extract money or other services from your friends and family without your knowledge.

WhatsApp's two-factor authentication can help you stay safe from such scams. And always remember: Never share your OTP or any other personal information with anyone to prevent such mishaps from happening!

(Source: News Reports)

Netflix to Launch a Weekend of Free & Unlimited Binge Watching

Photo by freestocks / Unsplash

20 November, 2020: Free and unlimited Netflix is a dream, but it’s coming true on December 5th & 6th. The most popular Netflix streaming service has approved that non-Netflix subscribers in India will get two days of free access to Netflix India’s content.

To get access to the free streaming, Indian users need to go to Netflix StreamFest Site and put a reminder, and when notified, you can log in and stream your unlimited and free streaming. There will be no need to add any card details, but you will be required to do it on the Netflix StreamFest website or via the android app to sign up.

Greg Peters, Chief Product Officer at Netflix, said, “We think that giving everyone in a country access to Netflix for free for a weekend could be a great way to expose a bunch of new people to the amazing stories that we have. Really creating an event, and hopefully get a bunch of those folks to sign up.”

Here are some quick hacks from Wizely to help you save up on your Netflix or any other video streaming service subscription:

  1. Share your account; splitting your subscriptions between friends and family is a great way to save money.
  2. Pause your subscription when you are not using it.
  3. Downgrade to 1080p; we know 4K is great but are you watching it on a 4k monitor that you need such high resolution?
  4. Keep an eye out for discounted Netflix gift cards to save some extra on your year-round subscription.

Happy weekend, folks!

(With inputs from news reports)

Google Launches the Redesigned Google Pay App in the US

Google Pay with a N26 credit card attached.
Photo by Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

19 November, 2020: Alphabet Inc’s Google has relaunched its payments' app, Google Pay in the US, including paid promotions & waitlists for banks launching in 2021 with Citigroup Inc and 10 other institutions. The new version enables users to transact with groups of people, explore different cashback offers from brands and other merchants, and even view analytics of their transactions.

A distribution fee will be received by Google for the promotions, thus opening a revenue potion for the advertising domain.

Caesar Sengupta, General Manager & VP, Payments at Google, said, "Our goal is to be the all-in-one app that gives users more value and control out of their money."

Companies like Apple Inc, Alibaba Group, Samsung Electronics Co, and PayPal Holdings Inc also give mobile wallet options for banking and shopping, while battling over security and other features.

The Google Pay app recently got a new logo. Some online reports also suggest that the company may bring a physical and digital debit card for Google Pay users in the US.

(With inputs from news reports)

EPFO Loses  Members, Firms in Oct Amid Economic Stress

18 November, 2020: Contributing establishments registered with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) plunged by more than 30,800 in October’20 from September'20, indicating companies may not be improving as quickly as expected and are withdrawing jobs because of continued stress.

As per the official data, the contributing establishments of EPFO dwindled to 504,044 in October from 534,869 in September.

As per a report in LiveMint, there has also been a drop in the number of EPF members by a whooping 1.8 million in October. These drops are encountered for the first time since May when the country was in lockdown. The situation was improving gradually until October and slowly started falling.

While contributing to a Provident Fund (PF) account may be a company or an individual's choice, an EPF account does come with its own set of benefits:

1. The PF online scheme offers a pre-fixed interest on the deposit held with the EPF India, which helps in the capital increase.

2. Around 8.33% of an employer’s contribution is directed towards the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS) to build a healthy retirement corpus.

3. An EPF fund serves as an emergency corpus when a member needs emergency funds.

4. Under Section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act, the EPF member gets the tax exemption benefits.

(With inputs from agencies and news reports)

Air Travel To Return To Pre-Covid Levels by Year-End: Civil Aviation Minister

Photo by Vivek Doshi / Unsplash

17 November, 2020: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri set forth confidence that air travel will reach the pre-Covid level by the end of the current year or maybe early next year.

While discussing at the 'Deccan Dialogue' organized by the Indian School of Business (ISB) in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, on 16 November, he stated that the civil aviation sector would probably reach the pre-Covid level at the end of this month. During this time, people are expected to keep following the safety protocol.

"We opened civil aviation on 25th May, a good two months and two days after we had completely locked down, with 30,000 passengers a day. Two or three days ago, just before Diwali, we carried 225,000 people," Hardeep Singh Puri said.

"At a scale at which we are opening up in a calibrated manner, we have already reached 70 percent capacity and I have asked my colleagues to look at 80 percent. I am confident that by 31st December or soon after that... means a week or two after that, we will be back to pre-Covid levels," he added.

Puri mentioned that he is optimistic about bringing aviation GDP back to India. He assured that the Civil Aviation sector would boost in the next few years, with the country getting 100 new airports and the fleet size reaching up to 2,000 from around 750 now.

It is still advised that people do not undertake unnecessary travel and be careful of fraudulent websites while booking tickets online. It is recommended that you plan your travel well in advance to avoid overspending on tickets.

You can now save for your travel plans on Wizely and earn interest on your savings!

Download the Wizely app now to get started.

(Source: News Reports)

Indian Economy May Be Recovering Faster Than Expected: Oxford Economics

Photo by / Unsplash

16 November, 2020: The Indian economy is seen recovering faster than expected and the Reserve Bank is likely to have come to an end of the rate easing cycle, according to global forecasting firm Oxford Economics.        

The covid-19 induced pandemic had spread a lot of pessimism and uncertainty in the market and people were worried about low consumer demand. Since the easing of the lockdowns, however, the markets have been booming.

A report by global forecasting firm Oxford Economics said that retail inflation is expected to average above 6% this fiscal.

The consumer inflation also rose back to pre-covid highs this October.

With retail inflation at 7.61% in October the prices of essential products are well above RBI's comfort zone. This makes it safe to predict that the easing measures that the government had been taking during the last few months might not be needed going ahead. Moody's investor service has also revised India's GDP contraction estimates to -8.9%.

The special trading session on November 14th witnessed record highs. The S&P BSE Sensex touched an all-time high of 43,830, while the Nifty 50 benchmark settled at 12,828.

The year has been difficult for all of us in some way or the other. With positive news from the vaccine makers, positive economic growth numbers, healthy market demand, we can hope for the scars of the pandemic to heal soon.

(With inputs from agency)

India in Historic Technical Recession, Says RBI

13 November, 2020: India has technically entered into a recession with a likely contraction in its GDP during the July-September period, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s first ever published 'nowcast.'

A technical recession occurs when an economy faces economic contraction for two quarters in a row.

RBI's Economic Activity Index estimates that India's GDP growth for the second quarter of the current financial year was negative and the GDP contracted by 8.6 percent during the quarter.

This is an estimate based on the high-frequency data with the RBI. Overall, since the Covid-19 pandemic hit India in March'20, the economy has slumped by about 23.9 percent.

A team of India’s famous economists, including the Central Bank’s Deputy Governor in charge of Monetary Policy, Michael Debrata Patra, claimed that the current economy is pushing the country into an unprecedented recession.

The RBI report also said that at a time when when global economic activity is besieged by the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19, incoming data for the month of October 2020 have brightened the near-term outlook for the Indian economy and stirred up consumer and business confidence.

The government is due to publish official statistics on November 27.

Wizely advises you to take the following steps to manage your finances during this recession:

1. Focus on increasing the amount of emergency savings.
2. Cut the cost or avoid discretionary spending.
3. Pay down all your outstanding debts, more specifically, high-cost debt such as your credit card debt.
4. Create a monthly budget to ensure that you are living within your means and not overspending.
5. Focus on one-time purchase of groceries and other household items.

(With inputs from IANS & news reports)

Govt Likely to Announce New Stimulus Package to Boost Stressed Sectors

12 November, 2020: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to announce a fresh round of stimulus of about $20 billion (₹1.5 lakh crore) today, 12th November, to help pull the economy out of its historic contraction. On Wednesday, 11 November, the government announced a $27 billion Production - Linked Incentive Scheme for manufacturers over the next five years from ten industries and hinted towards another stimulus package.

Experts say that the Indian economy might contract 10 percent in the fiscal year to March 2021. The scars of the pandemic are still severe in some of the sectors.

The stimulus package released in May’20 was focussed on providing liquidity and credit to small scale enterprises. Still, it had not been able to minimize the impact experienced by the hospitality and tourism industry. The economy contracted 23 percent in the June’20 quarter, one of the worst contractions in a long time.

Coronavirus cases are still surging in major Indian cities like Bengaluru, Delhi and the country has been adding over 40,000 cases a day.

Since March’20, the lockdown made several people understand the importance of financial planning, insurance, and an emergency fund. With the Diwali bonus around the corner, it is advisable to create an emergency fund either through a fixed deposit or a recurring deposit and keep putting money into it unless it has a value equal to at least six months of your salary.

(Source: News Reports)

11 November, 2020: Addressing the 73rd Annual General Meeting of the Indian Bank’s Association, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that banks need to discourage non-digital transactions and promote RuPay cards over other cards. In an attempt to push for digital India, she mandated all banks to link all customer accounts to their aadhaar cards latest by 31st March 2021. She also encouraged promoting UPI payments stating that India’s financial inclusion story is not over yet and that we still have a long way to go.

RuPay is the first of its kind Global card payment network from India, launched by National Payments Corporation of India, with wide acceptance in shops, ATM’s and online.

The promotion of this card can also be seen as a move to promote local and push forward the concept of self-sufficient India. There are many benefits associated with using RuPay cards such as low cost, protection of information of Indian consumers, etc.

The Finance Minister also pushed for ensuring account linkages to PAN and Aadhaar as and where applicable.

Wizely advises you to keep your bank account documents well-organized and error-free. It often happens that people are unaware of discrepancies in their documents and only find out about them when they need to make an urgent transaction.

So stay updated and save yourself much stress and difficulty.

(Source: News Reports)

Pfizer's Covid-19 Vaccine Update Rocks Global Stock Markets

10 November, 2020: The stock market indices around the world soared on Monday, 9th November on the news that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is proven to be effective in its large scale study.

The company along with its German drugmaker BioNTech SE said that the vaccine has been effective on 90% of the candidates in preventing Covid-19.

Pfizer stock that is currently trading at Rs.5875/- a piece on Tuesday, 10th November on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has soared 63% since March’20. The stock might move even more once the success of the vaccine is assured. The news release by the company has also caused a rally in the global markets with most indices covering all losses from the coronavirus pandemic and rallying further to reach higher highs.

The company is also working on providing the necessary safety and manufacturing data to assure the approval agencies of the quality of the vaccine. The recent results may mean that we are closer to a breakthrough to end the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wizely suggests that you understand that investing in stock markets comes with its own risk.

Understanding the company fundamentals, being aware of the underlying risks, and investing the right amount at the right time can help you make informed investment decisions.

So ensure that you make your investment choices carefully and smartly.

(Source: News Reports)

This Dhanteras, Invest in Gold Through Sovereign Gold Bonds

9 November, 2020: In the light of upcoming festivities, the eighth series of Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGB) 2020-21 is now open for subscription from today, 9th November till the 13th of November. This Gold scheme is a superior alternative to holding gold in a physical form. The risks and costs of storing the gold are eliminated through this bond.

According to the Ministry of Finance’s recent statement, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to offer a discount of Rs 50/- per gram less than the nominal value for a gold subscription. This offer is valid for those who agree to apply and pay for the scheme online.

The scheme’s issue price has been fixed at Rs 5,177 per gram in general and Rs 5,127 per gram for those who agree to apply and pay online to purchase gold, this Dhanteras.

The Government of India issues SGBs at a regular interval. It is always published on the current gold prices for a fixed period of eight years, but you are free to sell it after a lock-in period of five years. The investors get an interest of 2.5% annually through this bond scheme, which will be paid semi-annually.

(Source: News Reports)

Whatsapp Pay: Now Send Money Through Whatsapp Using UPI

WhatsApp Messenger Splashscreen. Can also be used for Mockups!
Photo by Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

6 November, 2020: The National Payments Corporation of India has given the green light to Facebook to launch WhatsApp pay using homegrown, multibank Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The app has been on a pilot for many years facing regulatory issues.

The payments market is currently dominated by Paytm, GPay, Phonepe, and a few others. With a trusted user base of over 400 million users, the company is expected to grow its user base organically and at a much higher speed than the competition.

Facebook has been open about its aim to become a one-stop solution for small businesses and simplify their day to day business practices through the app. The business feature on WhatsApp that allows users to add product catalogs and sell products directly through the app is part of the larger plan. The company might also use these catalogs as a jump of point to push users to its other services like Facebook shop etc.

Facebook has been working towards replicating these plans in other countries like Brazil; however, regulatory challenges have not been easy anywhere.

With the fast shift towards digital payments, Wizely advises you to ensure that you are careful while making online transactions and track your expenses to avoid overspending on digital payment platforms.

Always use a secure network and set a strong password to avoid any unauthorized transactions.

(Source: News Reports)

Good News: Indians May See Better Pay Hikes In 2021, Says Survey

Photo by Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

5 November, 2020: The Salary Trends Survey in India by Aon states that 85% of companies are set to tap offer salary hikes in 2021 compared to 71% in 2020.

The main sectors driving this growth are technology, healthcare, real estate, and services, which are expected to give an average raise of 7.3% in 2021 compared to 6.1%.

This is something to cheer about. The speedy recovery, hope for a vaccine, and promise of a better tomorrow have replaced all the negativity and confusion there in March earlier in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns across the world had caused havoc worldwide, especially in the job markets. People were looking at uncertain times ahead, and all organizations were leaning towards a safer approach. The recovery, however, has been much faster than most people expected. The number of jobless claims that soared to an all-time high in March and April has also come down at a similar pace, and many new economy companies have even declared salary hikes.

While we must celebrate the upcoming hikes, it is also important to remember the lessons that the lockdowns taught us.

Being financially strong and making wise financial decisions is of utmost importance. With the salary, the hike should walk in the amount we save and invest each month.

(Source: News Reports)

Gold Prices Drop Further, Silver Follows - To Invest Now or Wait?

Photo by vaibhav nagare / Unsplash

4 November, 2020: Gold prices dropped ahead of US elections. After a strong session day before, gold prices, as well as silver, fell yesterday. Even though the polls still show Biden in the lead, the race to the president’s seat is going to be a cut-throat one. The world awaits the outcome of the elections while the UK is set for it’s 2nd nationwide lockdown for a month.

Gold is seen as a hedge investment against market fluctuations and inflation. The stimulus measures taken by various governments were expected to give rise to price inflation and this speculation had caused gold to surge 24% this year.

While a major event like the US elections always comes along with market volatilities, this time the level of uncertainty is unusually high. With the new voting system that is also being allowed in some US states, there are also speculations on whether President Trump will even accept the election results or not.

The difference in the approach of the two candidates is also disabling the markets from choosing a direction. While ETF investors are still on the sidelines, gold investors are keenly waiting for the Fed meeting later this week that is going to discuss the new interest rate policies.

Gold ETFs have made it much easier for new investors to invest in gold as compared to the traditional way of buying physical gold. While it’s advisable to divide the amount one wishes to invest over a period of at least a year and invest it each month to get the best average, right now it might make sense to wait out the results season and then make an informed choice.

(Source: News Reports)

Unemployment, Covid-19 & Wizely's Financial Tips To Survive

3 November, 2020: The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it not just loss of lives, but also loss of jobs and employment opportunities. As per the Centre of Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India has reported an increase in its unemployment rate in October (including both urban and rural sectors). The data showed a jump of 1.04% since September 2020, rising to 6.90% in October 2020.

Wizely (a financial wellness app) advises Indian youth to take up vocational jobs if you have recently lost your jobs or are struggling to find one. Here are 3 ways to earn money while the pandemic is still going on:

  1. Online Tutoring - Since most schools/coaching institutes are shut at the moment, online tutoring is a new rage. Use your education to teach younger children and earn on the side.
  2. Freelance Writing - If you are fluent in a language, you can look for freelance writing gigs on sites such as craigslist and stay employed during pandemic.
  3. Delivery Executive - Online shopping has become an even bigger rage ever since the pandemic has set-in. You can join any e-commerce business in the delivery team and earn money during Covid-19.

Don’t forget to budget and manage your expenses to survive through the tough Covid-19 times. Use the Wizely app to budget & save as less as Rs. 100/- today.

(Source: News Reports)

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Team Wizely