India does not have a lot of good information on the Internet about various common things and it is frustrating and time consuming to go about in choosing the right option.I tried to buy insurance on my 3 year old car and there was not a lot of good blogs/websites which would indicate how to go about buying the cheapest car insurance out there.Most of the websites and insurance comparison websites that have come up are in general biased and promote companies in order to generate commissions.So I decided on doing investigation on my own and finally managed to get extremely cheap car insurance which even surprised me.So even though this blog does not deal with personal finance issues much,I though I would write my experience so that others could benefit without without wasting time and money.

Food Prices are rising at an incredible pace around the world due to a combination of money printing by the USA and Bad Weather in Russia and Asia.The major cause of the Food Price Increase has been the global rush towards investing in commodities as currencies get devalued by countries eager to increase exports in a zero sum game.Wheat Prices were the first to rise after Russia stopped exports leading to the sharpest gain in the last 2 years.Corn prices have increased with increased demand from ethanol,bad harvests and relentless QE.Rice and Soybean prices were bound to rise in empathy with other grain prices.Note these two food varieties are substitutes of corn and wheat.So it makes sense for speculators and consumers to increase the demand for these 2 commodities as well.

Rice Price Increase after Flooding in Biggest Exporters

Rice Prices have shown a record increase after floods sharply reduced output in the 2 main exporter Vietnam and Thailand.With inventories being sharply cut and harvests going down it is not much of a surprise.Rice importing countries like Philippines will be badly hit as their per capita income is quite low and they have a large poor population highly sensitive to increasing food prices.Expect 2011 to be a Hunger Year for a large chunk of the world’s population thanks to Ben Bernake and print his way to prosperity team.

Rare Earth Metals which are sold as oxides have seen an exponential price rise in recent months with the corresponding rise in stock prices of rare earth stocks like Lynas,Molycorp,Avalon,Jiangxi Copper,Chinalco,Inner Mongolia Bao-Tao etc.While China has now said that it will increase production and exports of rare earth minerals next year,the confusing signals are sure to keep the prices of the rare earth minerals high.Note the reserves and production of rare earth minerals are finite and their uses growing ,the prices of rare earth minerals are bound to increase.While the last 2 months increase has been due to a combination of geopolitical factors,quantitative easing and speculation,it looks in the years ahead rare earth price should keep increasing.Note other supply sources are being developed in Russia,Vietnam,Kazakhstan,Australia,Africa and Canada.So there will be a lots of ups and downs,however the secular growth story of rare earth prices is intact.

The Commonwealth Games (CWG) hosted in New Delhi,India recently gave rise to a monumental scam.It is an open secret that huge amounts of cash were siphoned off by officials,politicians and contractors involved in infrastructure building.The cheating and fraud committed on public money has been exposed already.Some of the officials have been fired without a single one being jailed or convicted.The CWG Committee was led by a leader of India’s ruling party Suresh Kalmadi while the provincial government of Delhi is also ruled over the the Congress Party.The probes and investigation which were held in abeyance until the completion of the Games has started now.However like always expect a lot of media fanfare without any convictions or jailtime for the offenders.India’s Ruling Party Members are already blaming each other openly for being corrupt without fear of retribution.India’s Political and Business Elite has made the mockery of Indian Justice System a Child’s Game.The Chief Opposition Party also can’t come all guns blazing as one of its leader Sudhanshu Mittal has also been a kingpin in the Corruption Racket.

According to a report from Maplecroft,India and Bangladesh are the countries most at risk from the deleterious effects of Climate Change.The other countries in South Asia like Nepal,Myanmar,Pakistan are not far behind.Maldives the smallest country in South Asia is the heaviest in danger with its very existence at stake.Next in the list are African countries like Mozambique,Madagascar and others from Global Warming Changes like Droughts,Floods,Submersion etc.Note Climate Change has faced massive setbacks in recent time with the failure of the Copenhagen meet and not much chance of success with the next Cancun meet.USA and China the two biggest emitters of GHGs have been reluctant to move forward in the the Climate Change issue.Note the poorest countries are the most vulnerable to climate change and they have the least voice in climate change talks.Rich countries like Saudi Arabia have even blocked studies on climate change by poor island nations.

India is one of the largest consumers of Gold in the world with a strong cultural and religious affinity for this “barbaric relic”.Giving of gold jewellery during marriage is sort of compulsory and is even bought as an investment.The high prices of gold has failed to dampen the enthusiasm for gold amongst India’s increasingly wealthy classes.While Silver is also bought during some auspicious days such as “Dhanteras”,Gold rules the roost as far as precious metals are concerned.Traditionally Gold has been bought from jewellers in the form of jewellery by Indians,however sophistication of the Indian Financial Industry has increased the gold buying options for Indian investors.Here is examining some of the pros and cons of different investment options .


The best way to buy gold in India is through Gold BeEs ETF for low expenses and liquidity.However if you want to buy physical gold then your trusted family jeweler may the best choice as Banks and Reputed Retailers of Gold charge an exorbitant 8-10% transaction cost one way on gold.Can’t understand why the Banks have to fleece the customers in case of selling Gold.But knowing Indian Banks who love Regulation in fear of competition amongst each other it does not come as a big surprise.