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From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom... A common man's journey
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Happiness Unlimited...How to be happy..always !!
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Dream On...Every setback is a little nudge from HIM to Dream On
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The Autobiography Of A Stock
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Manoj Arora    About Me
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Voted as Newsana's Top New Member

Being voted as a Top New member in one of the most promising blog sharing portals is a welcome news right after the scintillating Dubai Family vacations.... Read on....


Newsana is an online community of experts and thought leaders who share, discuss and work together to choose the five most essential news stories and ideas of the day on the topics of their expertise. Being recently selected as their expert on "Finance" and "Books", this was followed by the recent voting as the "Top New Member" last week.

You can read more about the voting as a top new member at the below link:
http://blog.newsana.com/2014/03/newsanas-top-new-member-manoj-arora/

Hard Work, Skills, Talent, Planning, Execution, Strategy, Knowledge - while all these are important ingredients to success - one key element that supersedes all of these is the "consistency" of sticking to your mission of life.

Consistency is the king !! 
You will never know which thread triggers off an avalanche of success - so keep doing the right things consistently - without extrapolating the current success as your future.. 
The avalanche is just right besides the next obstacle. You must persist enough.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Save Taxes on Capital Gains

Capital Gains are different from money gains. These are the biggest gains that you would ever earn in your life. Understand how to get smarter with capital gains and saving taxes arising out of such gains.. Read More.

What is a Capital?
Capital are the funds provided by lenders (and investors) to businesses to purchase real capital equipment for producing goods/services. Real capital or economic capital comprises physical goods that assist in the production of other goods and services.

Capital Vs Money
Capital is different from money. Money is used simply to purchase goods and services for consumption. Capital is more durable and is used to generate wealth through investment. Examples of capital include brand names, stocks, gold. All of these things are inputs that can be used to create wealth. Besides being used in production, capital can be rented out for a monthly or annual fee to create wealth.

What are Capital Gains?
An increase in the value of a capital asset (investment or real estate) that gives it a higher worth than the purchase price. The gain is not realized until the asset is sold. A capital gain may be short term (one year or less) or long term (more than one year) and must be claimed on income taxes. A capital loss is incurred when there is a decrease in the capital asset value compared to an asset's purchase price.

Assets that qualify for Capital Gains Tax
As we understood in the definition, a capital is different from money. So, not only you must understand the assets that qualify as Capital ,bit you must also understand the tax structure on those assets. Different assets have different capital gains tax levied on them. Lets go one by one:

(a) Stocks / Equity Funds
  • Any investment in stocks or Equity based funds for less than 1 year is termed as Short Term, and any gain arising out of the same as Short Term Capital Gain (STCG). Any mutual fund which invests 65% or more of the corpus in equity is considered as a equity based mutual fund.
  • STCG is taxed at a flat 15% of the gain.
  • Any investment in stocks for 1 year or more is termed as Long Term, and any gain arising out of the same as Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG)
  • There is ZERO tax on LTCG for this asset class.

(b) Bonds / NCDs 
  • Any investment in Bonds or Corporate Deposits for less than 1 year is termed as Short Term, and any gain arising out of the same as Short Term Capital Gain (STCG)
  • STCG is taxed as per the applicable tax slab that you are in. It could vary from 0% to 30% depending on the total income in the year. Click here to understand the current tax slab you belong to.
  • Any investment in Bonds or Corporate Deposits for 1 year or more is termed as Long Term, and any gain arising out of the same as Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG)
  • LTCG for this asset class is a flat 10% on the gain.

(c) Debt Oriented Funds / Gold ETFs / Gold Funds
  • Any investment in Debt oriented funds for less than 1 year is termed as Short Term, and any gain arising out of the same as Short Term Capital Gain (STCG). Any mutual fund which invests less than 65% of the corpus in equity is considered as a debt based mutual fund.
  • STCG is taxed as per the applicable tax slab that you are in. It could vary from 0% to 30% depending on the total income in the year. Click here to understand the current tax slab you belong to.
  • Any investment in Debt oriented funds for 1 year or more is termed as Long Term, and any gain arising out of the same as Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG)
  • LTCG for this asset class is either 10% flat or 20% on the gain after indexation.
  • Indexation/ Double indexation is a very useful strategy to make these gains virtually tax fee. Read here.

(d) Bullion / Jewellery / Real Estate
  • Any investment in Bullion or Jewelery for less than 3 years (Three years) is termed as Short Term, and any gain arising out of the same as Short Term Capital Gain (STCG). Remember that this involves holding the bullion / jewelery directly, and not via funds. For funds, the above section (c) is applicable.
  • STCG is taxed as per the applicable tax slab that you are in. It could vary from 0% to 30% depending on the total income in the year. Click here to understand the current tax slab you belong to.
  • Any investment in Bullion or Jewellery for 3 years or more is termed as Long Term, and any gain arising out of the same as Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG)
  • LTCG for this asset class is 20% on the gain after indexation.
  • Indexation/ Double indexation is a very useful strategy to make these gains virtually tax fee. Read more about it here.
  • You can save all your tax on Capital Gains out of real estate asset by investing the gain in another property or buying specific bonds. Understand this by an example by clicking here.

The right understanding can save immense taxes for you. Money saved is money earned. Get going.


Related Posts:

Cheers

Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you what money cannot !!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wake up Mr Driver

Imagine yourself driving a car on the highway, imagine that while driving, you intermittently loose control over the steering, brakes or the accelerator. How enjoyable is your journey? Its exactly the same way with you (the soul) intermittently losing control over what you say, what you eat, and what you think...Learn to take charge....Read on.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Income Tax Slabs

[Last Updated : 05-Jul-2017]
It is important to understand the tax slab under which you fall. Your income and your age will define your slab, and therefore your overall payable tax...Read on..

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Live it, Love it, Enjoy it - till you have it !!

Have you ever got angry on your child? Have you ever feared losing your job or your client? Have you ever felt jealous of your neighbors car ? Have you ever reacted on some other parent scolding your child? Have you ever felt that your boss always underestimates your performance? 
And, have you ever feared death? 
Remember that all our negative emotions (anger, hurt, jealousy, rejection....) stem from one core negative emotion, and we can overcome all these negative emotions, with the right knowledge. Read on...
The deadly Ego
If a community member of a village has been killed for marrying outside her caste or outside her village in the name of self respect, understand that it is Ego at play. When you shout back at someone who hits your car, remember that it is your Ego at work. When a lower grade clerk ignores the boss and does not salute him, and the boss does not like it, it is Ego at work yet again.

Ego is one single emotion that can be the difference between "living your life" and just scraping through it. Let us understand how it works, and then work upon ourselves to conquer it.

Key Elements of Ego
There are 2 key elements that define Ego:
  • Attachment
  • Wrong Image
Lets understand each of them in more detail.

 
What is "attachment"
Let us assume that i buy a new mobile phone. Since it is new, i get 'attached' to it, and this is equally relevant for any new gadget or device. It is as good as physical attachment to any other body part. If my hand (which is physically attached to my body) gets scratched, i will feel the physical pain, isn't it? Similarly, if there is a scratch on my mobile or it falls down, i get hurt emotionally. If someone praises my mobile, i feel good about my decision. That's how deeply we get attached to things around us. Attachment, is essentially, considering the external object to be a part of "us".

What is a "wrong image"
I completely understand that my mobile will NOT always remain unscratched or would fall down some day. It is also a fact that one day, this mobile would no longer would be relevant technologically, and no one is going to appreciate me for possessing this device after some time. All these are known facts to me, but i still go ahead and possess the new phone with the sub conscious assumption that it will not get scratched or will not fall. Making any such false alternative assumption is what is termed as a "wrong image".

Apply the same concept on your own self, and what results is EGO
EGO is essentially the "attachment" to a "wrong image" about our own self.
For understanding this vital concept, let us make it clear who "we" are : 
We are this beautiful soul, and that's it. We are nothing else, other than this soul.

What are the "wrong images" about your own self. 
Lets take a few examples:
  • That you are a "Director" of a company is a wrong image of yourself. This is an acquired role in your job or business. This is not you. You will lose this role one day.
  • That you are this "body" is a wrong image. This is acquired by you in this birth, but this is not you. You will leave it here.
  • That you are a father, mother, brother, sister, fiance - are all wrong images. These are all roles acquired by you and this is not you. You will lose all these roles and relationships one day.
  • That you are Manoj, Rohit, Shyam, Venkat, Amit, Joseph, Stephen, Anjali, Kavita - these are all acquired names but this is not you - a wrong image once again. You will lose this name one day.

How do we get attached to these wrong images:
In our day to day lives, we start feeling that we are the Director, this body, father, mother, Manoj, Anjali etc....

What are the implications of this attachment to this wrong image:
  • If a clerk ignores the "Director", the Director does not feel nice about it. (our attachment to the role of Director).
  • If some says i look ugly, i get hurt. (attachment to my body)
  • If my child disobeys me, i get hurt (attachment to the role of a father or mother)
  • If my boss says that Manoj is not a good performer, i get hurt (attachment to my name)

How Ego comes in play
  • I may fire the clerk as a revenge.
  • I may loose self confidence on myself when many people say i am ugly. I may be jealous of people who are good looking.
  • I may be angry at my child after understanding that he did not obey his father.
  • I may dislike my boss for not appreciating my performance.

My entire life can go in all these negative emotions just because of one wrong image of myself and that is the wrong image of "Who am I", and then getting attached to that wrong image of myself (Ego).

Look at your life, you got this body, got a family, got money, got a position - it is all meant to be used and enjoyed - rather than living in the fear of losing them at some stage, knowing the fact that we will definitely lose it one day. Just because of our attachment to this wrong image, we devoid ourselves of using them and enjoying them. 

Enjoy it , live it, use it, till you have it. You will definitely lose all these acquired things one day. You can live in the fear of losing money, position, job, family member, your body, and your entire journey of life would be fearful. In the end, you will anyway lose it, but your attachment (and therefore the fear) does not allow you to enjoy it while you have it with you.

So, go on - you beautiful soul - it is assured that you can never die - you have all these beautiful possessions - live them, enjoy them - till you have them.


Read more about who you are and what are your traits as a soul
Chapter 5.2 ~ Understanding the Soul - Happiness Unlimited (the book) - Launching May 2014.


Cheers


Manoj Arora
You are entitled to happiness unlimited !!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

5 Simple Questions you must answer (Video+)

After the webinar on 1st March 2014, which got people ruffled out of their comfort zones, this new video is creating ripples across the minds of hundreds of freedom seekers. 
This video will push you to THINK about answering 5 of the simplest, yet unanswered questions of your life.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Who knows you the best?

Who knows you the best? Your spouse, your parents, your children, your childhood friend? Or is there someone else who knows you better than anyone else in the entire universe? With knowledge, will come happiness. Read on....
Exercise
Let us do a simple exercise to get a grip of what we are trying to say.

Preparation

  • Sit alone in a room. 
  • Now, take a pen and a piece of paper. Don't read on, unless you have a pen and paper with you. This exercise will not be effective, if you are attempting to do it only in your mind. So, i reiterate. Please take a pen and paper in your hand. 
  • You are also not authorized to take help from anyone around you to complete this exercise. 
Phase-I
Now, start to write down "your own" 5 good qualities and 5 weaknesses. You can write either of them first. Make sure you keep a note of the time you are taking to write them. You have to write 5, not less. Once you are done, keep this paper aside. Move on to the next phase of the exercise only after you are done with this.
 

Phase-II
Now, take a fresh piece of paper, and start writing down 5 good qualities and 5 weaknesses of "your spouse" (or a very close friend, brother or sister). Please be explicitly clear of the person for whom you are writing it for. Again, you can write either of them first. Observe the time you are taking to write them.
 

Results
Unless you have been an exception, in most cases, it has been observed that it is much faster and easier to write down the qualities / weaknesses of the other person than of yourself. Think about what happened in your case. You probably know more about the other person than you know about yourself. Similarly, other people seem to know more about you. But i don't know that much about myself. Ponder on this for a little while. How good is this situation?

So, you go to office one day. One colleague says that you are a useless person as far as project reporting is concerned. The other person says that your project reports are by far the best. What do you infer from such contrasting statements from two different people about you? The truth can only be one - either you are good or you are not. So, how do you conclude whether you are good or not in project reporting. 

Remember that someone can say good about you, even if they don't feel it from inside. On the other hand, someone may say the worst thing about you just because that person had a fight with their boss or their spouse a few hours back. Therefore, the inputs coming to you may not be factually correct. Look at what you are doing with these factually incorrect inputs? You are using the lies and frustrations of people to motivate or demotivate yourself, isn't it? You have nothing in your control. Think about it. If someone says you are bad, you feel bad. If someone says you are exceptional, you feel good.

We are so dependent on what other people say, only because we do not know enough about our self, or we trust the other people's opinion about us, more than our own opinion. We just saw that we cannot trust the other person's judgment of us, because they will always speak from their own perceptions about us, their own life situations (their own reasons, frustrations etc..), their own personalities and sanskars. Someone who has a negative outlook towards life, is likely to sound negative to us as well. It is like people are seeing us through their own colored glasses. What they will see and say about me, is based on the color of the glass they are wearing. 

So, what some one else says about you (whether good or bad) is NOT likely to be the truth. It is not the true you. So, who knows the true YOU? IT is only and only you who know the true you. Isn't it?

You must know your true talents and skills (e.g. dancing, voice, music, sports etc..) as well as qualities (e.g. honesty, politeness, loving, caring etc..). You better know what are your strengths as well as your areas of improvements. Once you know that, then you are insulated from false appreciations or frustrating demotivating statements from others. The power comes back in my hands - the same power that was given way to others till now. 

So, you do not fluctuate either ways (low or high) with public opinion, thus leading to stability in your thoughts. Stable thoughts conserve power and energy. Once you feel powerful, bringing any change or transformation within you also becomes easier. Talk to yourself, know about yourself and lead a stable happy life.

Summary
  • Everyone i meet has an opinion about me
  • I have always created my self image depending upon what people think about me
  • Its now time to know myself
  • People are saying what they say from their own perspectives, own sanskars. This may not be the truth.
  • But what is the truth? The truth is only what i know about myself.
  • Let me take this moment to see my qualities - love, compassion, honesty, loyalty, empathy, harmony, happiness, power.
  • Let me also see my weaknesses. Let me just take one of them.
  • Today, as i move through the day, i am aware of my weakness and my qualities
  • Now, i pay attention in every interaction, i use my quality consciously choosing to use it everywhere, every time with everyone.

Read more about what is inside you
Chapter 7.1 ~ Power of Happiness is inside you - Happiness Unlimited (the book) - Launching April 2014.


Cheers


Manoj Arora
You are entitled to happiness unlimited !!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Withdrawal or Advance from Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

Almost all salaried people contribute a certain percentage of their salary towards their Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account every month. While most of us know that EPF is an effective tool that helps generate a corpus for life post retirement, many of us are unaware that you can make a withdrawal from your EPF account for urgent cash requirements....Read on...

Is it recommended to withdraw from EPF?
"Provident" literally means "Timely preparation for future." Therefore, a Provident fund is the fund accumulated for future.
An Employee provident fund (EPF) is basically a plan to provide financial security after retirement. It is, therefore, not advisable to withdraw any amount from one's provident fund account as Provident Funds are primarily meant for retirement planning, and retirement planning is one of the most important goal in any person's life. So, one should avoid doing so unless there is a real emergency. 

In fact, there are various advantages of continuing to invest in a provident fund (PF). Generally, the return on provident fund is higher than inflation, and the investment is from a tax free income.
Thus, withdrawing out of it would have the following consequences:
  • Retirement planning would go haywire
  • Tax-free status would be lost because the withdrawn money cannot be put back.
Therefore, withdrawal from a PF account is generally discouraged, as the purpose of opening it and accumulating money there is mainly for the second innings of your life. Generally, withdrawing PF stands out as a classic case of lack of prioritization and holistic approach in our financial decision making process. By making withdrawals from the PF to fund other goals, we end up pushing our retirement age or making higher contributions towards building retirement fund during the last few years of our employment.

Rules for withdrawal from EPF
However, in case one wants to withdraw money from his/ her PF account, the rules for the same are very stringent.

(A) For : Education or marriage
  • The employee should have completed at least 7 years of employment or service.
  • Withdrawal allowed for self, sibling(s) or children's marriage.
  • Withdrawal permitted for self or children's education only.
  • Proof of the education or wedding required to be submitted, such as a valid copy or a bonafide certificate of the payable fees or the wedding invitation.
  • In case of education, the individual needs to apply in Form 31 through his/her employer. 
  • Only 50% of the total corpus amount till date can be withdrawn.
  • Permitted thrice only during a person's total service tenure.

(B) For : Medical treatment
  • Withdrawal permitted for medical treatment of self, spouse, parents and children.
  • There is no restriction regarding the number of years of service.
  • The proof of hospitalization for a month or more along with an approved leave certificate from the employer for the corresponding period needs to be produced.
  • The member needs to obtain and deposit a certificate from the employer.
  • A certified proof or document of the disease should be submitted in Form 31 while applying for withdrawal. 
  • The maximum withdrawal allowed is 6 times the monthly salary of an individual or the total corpus amount, whichever is lesser

(C) For : Purchase of a plot
  • Should have completed at least 5 years of service.
  • The plot or property should be registered in the person's or his/her spouse's name or should be owned jointly.
  • The plot should not be entangled in any legal issues and the agreement registered under the Indian Registration Act with the Flat Promoter needs to be submitted along with the application form. 
  • The maximum withdrawal allowed is up to 24 times the salary of the individual.
  • It is allowed once during entire service tenure

(D) For : Construction or purchase of a flat, house or plot
  • The employee should have completed at least 5 years of service.
  • The house should be registered in the person's or his/her spouse's name or should be owned jointly.
  • The amount cannot be more than 36 times the monthly salary of the individual.
  • Allowed once during entire service tenure.

(E) For : Repayment of Home Loan
  • Should have completed at least 10 years of employment.
  • The house should be registered in the person's or his/her spouse's name or should be owned jointly.
  • The amount cannot be more than 36 times the monthly salary of the individual.
  • Allowed once during entire service tenure.

(F) For : Alteration or Renovation of house
  • Should have completed at least 5 years of service.
  • The house should be registered in the person's or his/her spouse's name or should be owned jointly.
  • The amount cannot be more than 12 times the individual's monthly salary.
  • Allowed once during entire service tenure.

(G) For : Pre-retirement
  • The individual must be at least 54 years old.
  • The amount cannot be more than 90% of the total corpus amount
  • Once during entire service tenure

What happens if someone is leaving an Organization?
On switching jobs, an employee can apply for transfer of money from the EPF account through a form which is filled by the employee and attested by the designated authority at the employer.
 

Withdrawal of money from the account in between two jobs is illegal and is permissible only under the following two circumstances:
  • When a member is in between two jobs
  • If the member has been unable to find another job for over two months
  • One has given up working or wants to be self-employed

Grievance related to withdrawal from EPF 

There is a mechanism to address grievances of EPF members which comes under the Consumer Protection Act. To report a grievance, a member needs to:
  • Log on to the website www.epfigms.gov.in
  • Click Register Grievance
  • Enter the details and information in the specified field.
 
Cheers

Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you what money cannot !!

Is TIME a great healer?

I used to listen it right from my school days "Time is a great healer". And i did see the results also - how things changed (and healed) with time. But, is time, truly a great healer? Is it wise to leave things for time to heal? Or is there a faster, better and a more efficient way, with which we have been empowered to heal ourselves?

If time was  a great healer, then why is that everyone's wound that was created a decade back or even earlier, has not healed until now? Or why did someone's wound heal faster than mine, considering that the time span was the same for both of us? Think about it. Asking time to heal things is like leaving it for destiny to solve the problem for you. It is as if there is a wound, and we just leave it. Do not do anything about it. 
Rather than you taking charge and doing something about it, how wise is it to leave it on the mercy of time to heal it for you?

Time, by itself, is not an entity. Let us take the example of any physical hurt. What would happen if we are physically hurt and leave the wound as it is - for time to heal? The body will definitely use the elapsed time to heal the wound. We might still say that "time" healed the wound, but actually, it was the "body" which initiated the healing process and healed the wound. It did use the time gap to heal it, but the process of healing was initiated and executed by the body, not the time.

What is the fuss behind who healed? Why are we talking about this? Because in many situations in life, we feel dis empowered and leave it for the time to heal our emotional problems. Just if we knew and if we realized that we had the power to heal ourselves, then perhaps, we would not leave it for the time to heal. Can we not heal ourselves? Can we not heal ourselves faster than what time alone can do? Can we not do it more efficiently?

Just like a physical wound, wherein, lets say, i had got a cut on my hand, what would i do? Would i not use my own power to put some antiseptic, bandage, and other first aid to heal myself OR would i leave it for time to take its due course and heal the wound? No doubt, the wound might get healed with time alone as well, but what is more wise in the given situation? - to leave the wound for time OR to use our own powers to heal it to the extent feasible. 

It is no rocket science that if we apply our own powers, we will be able to heal the wound much faster than if we had left it for time alone to heal.

Remember that the longer the wound is unhealed, it is much more vulnerable to further wounds. Remember the childhood days when you got hit on the same wound again and again?

It is exactly the same with our emotional wounds, the innumerable hurts that we carry with us. Someone shouted at me, someone hit me, someone ditched me, someone didn't come on time, someone didn't do the work as expected... - all these are emotional wounds that we carry with us, which snatch away the inherent happiness with in us. 

We can leave all this for time to heal, and rest assured, time will heal. But in the meanwhile, by the time the emotional wound is getting healed, my child spilled the water on the bed or my spouse did not switch off the unused lights - even miniscule wounds like these can re create  a deep wound on me. These smaller wounds can just act as a trigger, and because now i am weaker (not been fully healed from my previous wound), it is very easy to get wounded once again. Therefore getting my healing done "fast" becomes extremely important to prevent further wounds.

It, therefore, makes all the sense to use our own inherent powers to heal these wounds faster. So, that i come out of the weak state fast, and am ready to face the next challenge and protect myself and my inner happiness from such external triggers.

No one outside is going to heal me. I have to heal myself. And the solution to heal our self lies in our thought creation process. It is an art to understand the current thoughts running through our mind and replace them with healing thoughts. Meditation can also definitely help since it helps us to manage our thoughts

A lot to study in the book .. Happiness Unlimited


Read more about thought energy
Chapter 5.4 ~ Understanding the Thought to Destiny Cycle - Happiness Unlimited (the book) - Launching April 2014.


Cheers


Manoj Arora
You are entitled to happiness unlimited !!