Credit Cards in our debt and credit fueled economy have become almost as indispensable as cash money.It is impossible to think of days when Credit Cards did not exist.But Credit Cards are a recent phenomenon and their ubiquity is owing to the ease with which Banks give these Cards.The reason is that Banks make a ton of money through the issue and usage of these credit cards at the expense of the consumers.The hidden costs of credit cards are not known to the customers as credit card processors like Mastercard and Visa make billions of dollars each year.This money is taken from the vendors of goods and services which charge you for this extra money that they pay.However Credit Cards also have substantial advantages if they are used wisely.However as we know in case of credit and debt the human mind is not prone to prudence and care.Many Americans have wracked up unsustainable credit card debt and destroyed their lives.The reason is that you get easy credit on thse cards .The incentive of short term pleasure buying stuff from your credit cards is too much to resist for most people.If the credit was unavailable then people would not have fallen into the problem of debt in the first place.

The Indian Income tax Act prescribes different tax slabs for Senior citizens, Women & Individuals including AOP (Association of Person), BOI (Body of Individuals) & HUF (Hindu Undivided Family).

To calculate the total income tax liability, one needs to follow the below mentioned process:

* Calculate your gross total income. This includes gross income from the five sources of income – Income from Salary, Business/ Profession, Capital Gains, House Property & Income from other sources.
* Calculate the net deductions for example donations, investments and savings such as provident fund subscriptions, Life Insurance Premiums etc.
* The net taxable income is gross total income less net deductions.
* Then the appropriate income tax rate is applied to calculate the total tax liability.
* Education Cess of 3% is applied on the tax payable to arrive at the total tax payable. Relief under various sections would be applied on this total tax.

Some very basic terms & their definitions used in context with the Indian Income Tax are given below:

ASSESSEE – is any person who is required to pay Income tax or any other sum payable under the Income Tax Act being interest, penalty etc.

ASSESSMENT YEAR – is the period comprising of twelve months starting on 1st of April & ending on 31st March of the next year. Assessment year succeeds the financial year. For eg. For the FY 2011-2012, the AY will be 2012-2013.

Private Banking in India has become one of the fastest growing businesses in the country with a rising wave of millionaires forming an attractive target segment for MNC banks looking for growth.Top Indian Banks have given spectacular returns driven by India’s 8% GDP growth and increasing financial penetration.Note Private Banking or Wealth Management business involves providing taxation,wealth managment,investment,insurance and other financial products under one umbrella to wealthy customers.The private banking customers recieve privileged services from the banks who provide a one stop contact person in the shape of a “relationship manager”.Compare this to normal banking customers who face namelss contact centre operators with little knowledge.Most of the foreign banks in India like Barclays,Standard Chartered,Citibank which have a big presence in India have been hiring aggressively and targeting wealthy customers through a big marketing spend.However the services being given leave a lot to be desired.”Trust” is the biggest quality in a banking relationship as a customer trusts his life savings and in this quality these banks have failed miserably.

The MarketWatch news column quotes a Citigroup analysis note that says that the Korean Stock Index Kospi level of 1960 incorporates an oil barrel prices of more than $115 .This is quite absurd since the stock market valuation at any point of time is a hugely complex function of a variety of structural,sentimental,cyclical factors.I have no doubt that the writers of the piece have done extensive analysis but the conclusion is so patently foolish that it earns the “Stupid Financial Analysis of the Day” award.

The Reserve Bank of India has clarified that Indian individuals cannot trade in the forex markets under FEMA rules.Note a number of Indian brokers and forex companies were advertising heavily promising big returns to retail investors.Note forex markets are extremely tough to trade even for professional traders for institutions.For retail investors they are a sure shot way to lose money in large amounts.Note forex markets offer much higher leverage than normal Futures Equity markets.Being an effectively zero sum game and requiring high amounts of knowledge ,forex markets are just too sophisticated for retail investors in my view.But they are quite lucrative for forex trading portals and companies whose main target semgent are retail investors.