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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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A Father's Diary
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Manoj Arora    About Me
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Is handling your finances that complex?

Warren Buffet, arguably, one of the biggest and most successful investors of all times, says that managing wealth and investing money does not require more than fundamental school education. 

On the other hand, most of us shy away from this subject, considering that we may not be qualified financial planners ourselves. The fact is that we don't need to be. 

Financial Planning is not at all complex, provided you can clearly differentiate between your financial need versus greed, and possess some fundamental sense about numbers (which you would have acquired by Class 10). 
You absolutely do not need any financial degrees, you do not need to inherit great wealth, and you don't have to be lucky. I had none, and I am a proud author of a bestseller on personal finance (From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom). 

What you really need to get wealthy is only rudimentary financial knowledge. On top of that, you would surely need the following traits to get wealthy:
  1. A strong reason : Why do you want to get wealthy? What do you want to do when you have enough wealth? How much is "enough" for you? You need to answer these questions for yourself and your life. And I can tell you that these questions can be objectively answered fairly easily.
  2. Planning : You would need to plan out your wealth - how much corpus you need and by when can you accumulate your corpus - you would need to have a trackable plan which can take you to financial freedom - a state where money is no more deciding what you do in life.
  3. Discipline and commitment to execute the plan: This is where most of us struggle. We do not lack knowledge or the ability to acquire knowledge; we lack the commitment to get the results. It is easier said than done. It is not a cakewalk to stay disciplined and committed for, let’s say, 20 years at a stretch. Hard work, skills, strategy, plan - all re important, but consistency is the king !!
  4. Getting innovative :  Getting innovative with your corpus to strive for better returns on investments, finding smarter ways to save your expenses, discovering more avenues of income, getting smarter on saving taxes and thus increasing your in-hand income - are some of the ways that can help you get to financial freedom faster.
Your goals and dreams in your life are the key to drive your discipline, commitment and execution. If you have a clear mission of your life, everything else will fall in place. As I often say to my readers - If the dream is big enough, facts do not count!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Video : Thoughts can be changed with daily practice - Destiny Cards is the tool

"Thoughts create destiny", "Think and Grow Rich", "The Magic of thinking Big", and hundreds of other such titles should be enough to convince you that "thoughts" are those vital seeds that lead us to our destiny. But do you know how to practically start taking charge of your thoughts?

It needs immense practice and lot of help from tools like Destiny Cards to start taking charge of your thoughts. Watch the video below that shows you how Destiny Cards can really help you take control of your thoughts, and therefore your Destiny.

Happiness is a daily thing. As you start altering your thought pattern on a daily basis, you start to impact your destiny that very moment. A person who is in charge of his thoughts is also in charge of his or her own happiness.


Manoj Arora

About "Happiness Unlimited"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What is Notional Rent for your rented house?

If you are someone who has rented out your house, you need to show this rent as an income along with your other sources of income. The taxation of your rental income depends on whether you have a loan running against this rented house or you own it fully. The amount that is considered for taxation could either be the Notional Rental for that house or your Actual Rent whichever is higher. Let us understand more...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why do we get hurdles while chasing goals?

Have you ever experienced that even though you have a clear goal in front of you, every time you go about chasing it, the nature conspires to present you with unexpected, tough, teasing, displeasing hurdles that "you feel" tend to stop you from reaching towards your goal. I have experienced this... and I can tell you why this happens, and how you can deal effectively with them..

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Seven (7) Income Tax related changes in Budget 2014 that you ought to know

Indian Union Budget 2014 came up with many surprises for an individual tax payer. Here are the 7 (seven) rule changes that you must leverage to the hilt. Remember that increasing the returns on your investments are as important as increasing your income, if not more.

(1) Increase in basic exemption limit 
The basic tax exemption limit has been increased from Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 2.5 lakh, which means that there is an additional Rs. 50,000 per year for you on which the government will not levy any tax. Since this additional money was levied a tax of 10% earlier, this would result in an approximate tax saving of Rs. 5,150 for most individual tax payers.
Though small, but a welcome change for all individuals.

(2) Increase in the ceiling for deduction of interest on loan taken for purchase of house (section 24(b)): 
Taxpayers would get more from their housing loans. Ceiling of deduction on interest on housing loan has been increased from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh in respect of self-occupied houses. For houses that are rented out, there was anyways no limit. Those who are paying high amount of home loan interest (more than 2 Lacs per year), the additional tax savings would be up to Rs. 15,450. 
This was long overdue and a welcome change for home loan seekers.

(3) Increase in the ceiling for deduction for investment (Sections 80C, 80CCC and 80CCE)
Ceiling on deduction on investments has been increased to Rs. 1.5 lakhs from Rs. 1 lakh. This allows the individuals to save tax on an additional Rs. 50,000 and depending on the tax bracket that they fall in, they can have tax savings of up to Rs. 15,450 (for 30% bracket). The common investments covered are EPF, PPF, Life insurance premium, housing loan repayment, children tuition fees, etc. 
This is another welcome change considering that the limit was set many years ago. 

(4) Tax exemption reinvestment on long term capital gains on sale of a house (Sections 54 and 54F): 
There was a lack of clarity about the quantum of tax deduction if taxpayer reinvested the amount of the long term capital gains (LTCG) in more than one house. The proposal seeks to clarify that the investment made only in one house would qualify for the tax deduction. Further, it is also clarified that the house to be acquired should be within India only.

(5) Tax exemption reinvestment of on long term capital gains on sale of any asset in capital gains tax saving bonds (section 54EC)
The tax law provides a deduction from long term capital gains if the amount of gains is invested in certain bonds within 6 months from the date sale of the long term capital asset. It further provides that the investment in such bonds in a financial year cannot exceed Rs. 50 lakhs.

(6) Taxation of income arising from non-equity oriented mutual funds: 
Until now, the units of non-equity oriented Mutual Funds were considered as long term capital assets if those were held for more than 12 months. This period has now been changed to 36 months. 
Currently, the taxpayers have an option to pay income tax on the long term capital gains on sale of such units at the rate of 10% without availing indexation benefit. This option has been taken off.
This would mean that the taxpayers would have to pay income tax at the rate of 20% after taking into consideration indexation benefit. 
These above changes would mean that the investments alternatives to Fixed Deposits such as FMPs would no longer be attractive unless the investments are made for more than 3 years. 

(7) Taxation of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)
REITs are structurally similar to mutual funds and invest only in real estate assets. The tax treatment of investments in the units of listed REITs has been made at par with those of listed equity shares. Therefore, the long term capital gains on sale of units of listed REITs would be tax exempt and the short term gains would be taxed only @ 15%. This proposal would make investment in REITs very attractive from tax perspective.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Solving the World Puzzle

How are you going to change the whole world? I mean, even if you decide to change yourself and your near and dear ones, this is still not good enough to impact the whole world. An interesting story reveals how the world will take care of itself, just if we can learn to....
A young girl, Anisha, just 5 years old, was getting bored on a Sunday morning. She was looking for someone to play with. Her mom was busy in the kitchen, so she decided to catch hold of her dad. Her dad had a very peculiar habit of reading the morning newspaper for at least 1 hour before attending to any other work. This habit was so much inculcated in his daily routine that he could not do away with this. His daughter knew of this as well. But having nothing else to excite her, she wanted to try her luck with her father.

Anisha went on, nudged her father and asked him if he could play with her. 
"I would definitely play with you sweat heart..but after 1 hour. I must read through the world news. I must know whats happening around me - in the society, this country and in the world around us. Now go on, and play of your own till that time. Go."

Anisha did not give up. She had already prepared herself to face this reluctance. She nudged him again and requested
"Can you take an exception for today, and not read the newspaper? I want to spend time with you. I am getting bored."

Father, as smart he was, just glanced on the newspaper and got a brilliant idea, which he thought would be a win-win. In the adjoining page, he saw an advertisement of a courier company wherein they had made a full page globe and also highlighted some of the key destinations across the globe where they deliver their services. Without wasting any time, he tore off the entire page, tore off the globe into at least 15-20 pieces, mixed them all up and gave it to Anisha.

"Here you go...if you can re-assemble the globe and finish it in the next 1 hour, i would consider you a genius, and would play for an hour with you everyday."

Knowing very well that this would be an almost impossible feat for her to achieve even in the next 24 hours, he convincingly sat back with the newspaper in his lap. Not more than 2 minutes had passed that Anisha started to nudge her dad again.

"Here you go..dad." 

"What do you mean, here you go...I told you to complete the puzzle." remarked Anisha's Dad trying to shun her hands while his eyes were still glued on the newspaper.

"I have finished your puzzle. Now, please keep your promise."

Shocked, embarrassed and puzzled by what he saw, he was mixed with a feeling of admiration of her daughter and the now the probable miss of the newspaper reading.

"How did you do it? How do you know all major countries and cities of the world. They dont teach you this level of geography in school at this age. Or do they?"

"Well, actually, I dont know where Europe is or Australia is or South Africa is." Anisha was honest and straight in her response.

"Then how did you complete the map?"

"It was pretty simple. There was a photograph of a person on the back side of the globe. Though I had no clue on how to fix the world, I do know how to fix a human being - I mean I know where to fit in the nose, eyes and ears..i just did that..the world globe took care of itself."

Dad got a simple and profound message that day.

If we just take care of our self, and if each one of us just does that, the world will obviously be taken care of. Before we start worrying about the world - let us worry about our own self - how honest we are, how neat we are, how caring we are, how helpful we are, and how are we bringing the change we want to see in the world, within ourselves.

Focusing back on ourselves also ensures that we do not blame someone else for the "non compliance" that we see around us. This prevents leakage of happiness, and we can live a happier and peaceful life.


Manoj Arora

About "Happiness Unlimited"

Friday, October 03, 2014

Article # 2 in CWB magazine : From a good life to a great life !!

After the first article was published in the "Complete Well Being" magazine in the July 2014 edition, we got a stupendous response and the magazine wanted us to publish more articles for them. The below article then appeared in the September 2014 edition of the magazine..

Life is good for so many of us...but can life be great ? Can we transform a good life to a great life? What is the distinguishing element that separates a good life from a great life? How can we transform our own lives?

If you think that there is "something" missing in your life, then this article is for you...
You can download and / or read the entire original article of the magazine here at this portal.

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Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you.... what money cannot !!
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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Video : Who is wrong in an argument?

Assume there is a heated argument that you are involved in, with someone at your workplace or within your family. Did you ever get the feeling that the other person is wrong? Ah..always? You are not the only one...Lets see who was wrong here...