[AI] How to manage your money online

pradeep banakar pradeepsocialwork at gmail.com
Mon Aug 9 03:27:33 EDT 2010


The Times of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/itslideshow/6007357.cms

Despite having the resources to invest, many let good investment
opportunities pass merely because they want to avoid the sheer
drudgery of the process. This is where going online can help you. The
internet has gone far beyond providing bill payment and stock trading
in the financial services world.

Today, some of the best investment opportunities are available online
without hassle and without any intermediaries. No longer is it
necessary to fill lengthy forms, write out cheques and photocopy
documents providing proof of your existence. In the online world you
need not worry about making mistakes in your address or other details.
We take a look at the range of services you must avail online.

Online bank account
Not only can you view your statement live, you can transfer funds,
make payments and just about do any bank transaction online. Be it
your telephone bill, credit card bill, electricity bill or even your
insurance renewal premium, all of that can be paid online through your
bank account even if you do not have a credit card.

You can remit funds through NEFT (national electronic funds transfer)
to anyone anywhere in the country without having to write and post
cheques with the transfer taking place in hours rather than days.

Share tradin
Tired of being put on hold by your dealer? Tired of writing cheques,
depositing them and filling in demat slips? It’s time to switch to
online trading. Online trading is like having a broker’s terminal
before you. You can view prices real-time, with data such as the best
five ask and bid price, along with other parameters like the day’s
high, low and the volumes traded. You can also analyse your portfolio
online.

“Today, a total of 11% of all equity trades are executed online,
compared to 9.5% a year ago,” says Aseem Dhru, MD and CEO, HDFC
Securities. The ‘lite’ versions launched by some brokerages work fine
in case you are using a low speed internet.

Mutual funds
Today, mutual funds can be bought and sold online. “We have seen a big
surge in customers buying mutual funds online especially after new
Sebi guidelines abolishing entry loads,” says Vineet Arora, head
products and distribution, ICICI Securities.

There are several advantages of using the online route to buy mutual
funds. After the one-time paperwork, subsequent investments and
redemptions can be made with the click of a mouse and you do not have
to sign forms and cheques for every investment. You can get valuable
research advice and by using financial planning tools, you can
understand whether you are a conservative, aggressive or moderate
investor.

Company & bank FDs, bond
Though they carry higher credit risk, company fixed deposits offer a
higher interest rate than banks. “We do a due diligence before
recommending fixed deposits to our investors,” says Arora of ICICI
Securities. You can invest in fixed deposits online.

IPOs
Investors applying in IPOs can use the Applications supported by
Blocked Amount (ASBA) route. If you have an online broking account, an
ASBA application can be done at a click of a button. Doing it the
physical way would be a very tedious. Using this method, though funds
are blocked, money is pulled out only for the amount allotted. Thus
you continue to earn interest on the money parked in your savings bank
account.

Insurance
You can buy certain Ulips and term insurance online. In case you buy
certain HDFC Standard Life insurance policies, you stand to enjoy
savings up to 40% on allocation charges. “Our objective is to empower
the population to make a decision of selecting a life insurance on
their own,” says Sanjay Tripathy, executive vice-president and head,
marketing, HDFC Standard Life.

For the term insurance buyers, Aegon Religare has launched cheap term
insurance plan -- i-Term -- on its website.

Credit cards
Credit card bills can be paid online from your banking account, using
third party transfers. If you look at facilities such as Visa Bill
Pay, you get reminders for your bill payments. If you are keen on
saving money you can choose to stay with cards that offer you a ‘cash
back’ up to 5% of your bills on certain heads.

With enhanced security measures, online payments using credit cards
are gaining popularity. It not only brings you discount deals, but
also helps you track your expenses.

Home loan servicing
Many banks like HDFC Bank allows customers to pay home loan EMIs
online. This works best when you are stationed abroad. Banks such as
HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank have made available income tax certificate on
their website for the home loan customers.

-- TNN




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