What is Insurance Insurance is a contract between two parties whereby one party called insurer undertakes in exchange for a fixed sum called premium, to pay the other party called insured a fixed amount of money on the happening of certain event. “Insurance is the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one […]

Life Insurance is one of the most widely available and used financial products being used by people.But before buying various types of life insurance such as variable,term life insurance not many people do a pros and cons analysis.This is quite sad since it is one of the biggest yearly expenses and is one of the most important security assets for our family in case of death or serious injury.Life Insurance has different meanings in different countries as well.In India Life Insurance is mostly looked upon as an investment product.Most people buy insurance as an investment product leading to the wide prevalence of hybrid insurance investment products like ULIPs ,Child Plans etc.It is easily found that these hybrid products are wasteful since it would be cheaper to buy separate investment and insurance products.The main reason for the misselling is the financial illiteracy and ignorance about the advantages and disadvantages of life insurance and its products.Life Insurance Companies also don’t do a very good job in educating people about the right type of product as it is more profitable for them to sell the products which are disadvantageous to the customers.So we have a case where Life Insurance products advantages and disadvantages are not known and understood by most people around the world.

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.

Auto Industry in India is facing the twin problems of Fuel Price Hikes and High Interest Rates which have sharply reduced the growth of the industry.The Indian car companies were riding high in 2010 as the economy grew and many people in India graduated to the middle class.Some companies were showing triple digit growth rate as India become the hottest market in the world.All global car companies were in a rush to expand their India sales and distribution network at any cost.However 2011 has brought them down to earth with almost 50% increase in petrol prices keeping buyers away.On top of that car financing companies have also increased their interest rates for auto loans by around 2-3% which makes the servicing of the EMIs of car loan very difficult.This has made most buyers sit tight and wait for a better environment.The car companies which hiked price to pass on the increasing costs of steel and other commodities are in a pickle.They are being forced to sit on high inventories and can’t afford to give big discounts as well.

The sautomobile industry in India happens to be the ninth largest in the world. It is the fourth largest exporter of automobiles following Japan, South Korea and Thailand. It is the world’s second largest manufacturer of motorcycles, with annual sales exceeding 8.5 million in 2009. Several Indian automobile manufacturers have spread their operations globally. India manufactures over 17.5 million vehicles (including 2 wheeler and 4 wheeler) and exports about 2.33 million every year. India’s passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturing industry is the seventh largest in the world, with an annual production of more than 3.7 million units in 2010. In the commercial vehicle segment, Tata Motors is leader with a market share of about 64%, whereas Maruti Suzuki is leads the passenger vehicle segment with a market share of 46%. Hyundai Motor India and Mahindra and Mahindra are more interested in expanding their hold in the overseas market. (Source – Wikipedia).

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.