Appeal to ‘slow mind’ to wean investors off F&O

Can you solve this puzzle : A bat and a ball together cost ₹ 1,100.
The bat costs ₹ 1,000 more than the ball.
How much does the ball cost?

If your answer was ₹ 100, that´s incorrect.
The right answer is ₹ 50.
Nobel Laureate and behavioural economist Daniel Kahneman cites this example in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, to introduce the concept of the ´fast mind´ (which provides intuitive answers without conscious deliberation), and the ´slow mind´ (which is supposed to deliberate and endorse or reject the fast mind´s intuitive answers).
The fast mind´s immediate answers can be frequently wrong.
The slow mind is lazy and prone to biases.
Yet, with the right training, the slow mind can be tutored to amend the fast mind´s intuitive answers.
So what does this interesting puzzle have to do with weaning Individual Indian investors away from speculating in Futures & Options ? Read Harsh’s article in Business standard to know more..

Restrictions on foreign spends erode Brand India

The 20% deposit requirement imposed on overseas remittances inhibits all citizens from spending or investing overseas. The sweeping inhibitory measure is supposedly to catch a few wrong doers who abuse the Liberalised Remittance Scheme who anyways could , with a little dilligence, be identified from the mass of data that the department has. Harsh’s article in Business Standard on the long term costs of inhibiting/restricting our ordinary citizens from spending and/or investing overseas and the impact such measures have on our aspiration to be a Super power.

Podcast – How AA ecosystem can improve reach of investment advice

Harsh’s Podcast and article on AccountAggregator system and how it can help the #InvestmentAdvisory profession shed the tag of being an elitist profession and start catering to the needs of the every Indian who can benefit from the #Fiduciary advise. #AA will bring down the cost and time of collecting authentic data based on client consent and lead to the democratisation of #Investment advice.

High pension recipients can get short-changed in bailouts

Do not transfer large sums of money from your tax free Employee Provident Fund to the Employee Pension Account in the hope of getting a large pension in the future. As per the EPFOs own calculations the deficit was Rs. 15,000 crores as on March 31, 2017. The deficit position for the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2019 has not been released by the government but is likely to be much higher. Even the calculation of the deficit figure has not been made for the last 4 years. A pension fund that has not even calculated its liability is a scary place to invest your hard earned tax free Employee Provident Fund money. Those people depending on government bailout should be aware of the precedents whenever governments have stepped in to protect pensioners – those entitled to larger pensions inevitably get shortchanged in the process”.

Searchable database for unclaimed shares needed

Check on this link for the names of any investors who were active in teh stock markets in the 1980s/1990s . The link will provide details if any investor has unclaimed shares or dividends that have been transferred to IEPF. Around 48,000 crores are currently deposited with Investor Education and Protection fund (IEPF). IEPF does not have a functional search facility & investors are left to use private searchable databases.
Once discovered there are long tedious processes to recover the shares/dividends. Whilst action has been initiated by the finance minister to create an integrated portal to make the refund process simpler I make a plea in this article in Business Standard that a transparent searchable database is a must to reduce the mountain of unclaimed assets. comments welcome.

Beware! Govts do default on pension liabilities

Employees who are taken in by the promise of old pension scheme could do well to learn from Gandhi ji. In 1942, while the II world war raged, the Cripps Commission made a vague promise of granting Dominion Status after the war was over, if Indians would support the war effort. “I refuse to accept a post dated cheque on a failing bank” Gandhi ji responded. Politicians who are making the promise of restoring the “Old pension scheme” know that they will not be around when the time comes to actually pay the pension. They are just looking to save on making the employers contribution to NPS. The demand for the “Old Pension Scheme” explained through a Fable in Harsh’s article in Business Standard

Make nomination the third route of succession

Harsh participated in a panel discussion organised by the Department of Economic Affairs & SEBI on June 8 @ Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. It was part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrating 75 years of independence. FM Nirmala Sitaraman also spoke at the event. All the panelists including Harsh had the privilege of meeting her for a brief interaction before she spoke at the event.
The panel discussion was on “The growth of retails investors and the challenges in being an informed investor” . The article in Business Standard has the gist of the talk by me primarily on the need to change the laws just like the 2015 amendment in the Life Insurance Act to make succession the third route of succession. The Indian Citizens need an easy, quick and economical succession route for their assets to free them from the tyranny of their personal laws or wills both of which involve long, tedious, expensive Tarikh pe Tarikh court process.

More is less in client communication

Regulations and custom dictate a deluge of communications to an investor from advisors, platforms, mutual fund houses/PMS companies. With pre-and post communication coming in for each transaction it is a barrage of communication that overwhelms most investors. They respond by ignoring even the important communications that may be buried deep inside this barrage of communication. To top it most such communication is worded in non understandable legal language. One of the progressive regulators can take a lead to at least attempt much needed simplification and rationalisation exercise in the matter. A good first step would be to allow consumers to actively choose what kind of communication they wish to receive (or not receive) from their service providers. The second step would be to penalise service providers who disregard the active choice made by the consumer. Language and process simplification can follow later. Harsh’s article in Business Standard. Comments welcome.

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