book giveaway

Announcing the Winner of the April Book Giveaway

by Vinaya HS on April 15, 2013

in Finance

It’s never an easy task to judge and pick “one” winner for the book giveaway contests. Each entry is usually brilliant and insightful in its own right. So, I often — and as in this case too — let the computer pick a winner for me. And, the winner of the April Book Giveaway for a copy of the book Beginners Guide to Investing with Confidence is reader Sharan.

Congratulations Sharan! I will email you with the details.

Thanks everyone for participating.

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Reader Priya asks –

I stumbled upon your site today while searching for ideas to choose a good term plan, given that there are an array of products available online and offline. I understand that with your analysis, AEGON Religare iTerm Plan is the better of the plans in the market. I also understand that its premiums are the lowest too.

But I read another article where the claim settlement ratio was given a lot of importance along with the premium amount. So, now I am really confused since AEGON Religare does not seem to be settling claims as much as it should. I would like to know your point of view on this front.

Image of Beginner's Guide to Investing with Confidence book
While I certainly have my own set of thoughts on this topic, I’d like to throw open the floor to you and hear what you have to say (given that the key performance indicator of Claim Settlement Ratio seems to cause a lot of debate and headaches). The most well thought through response wins a copy of the brand new book “Beginner’s Guide to Investing with Confidence” from Value Research.

Deadline for your responses is next Friday (April 12, 2013) morning. I’ll pick a winner then but I will be sharing my thoughts and arguments to your responses through the week.

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Wow!

I was really happy reading each one of your responses to the October Book Giveaway. There were both “practical” and “philosophical” thoughts among the responses. Since each response was perfectly correct within its context I had a really hard time deciding upon a winner.

Therefore, I let the computer pick a winner for me.

And…the computer picked reader Srinivas.

Congratulations, Srinivas! I will email you separately for your mailing address.

Again, a BIG thanks to everyone else who participated. I wish I could pick each one you to be the winner.

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First, my sincere apologies for delaying this. Unexpected work-related travel plus a bit of laziness from my side after coming back. There were several great responses to the September Book Giveaway for a full year’s subscription (12-issues; postal delivery) to Value Research’s Wealth Insight magazine.

As always, for me, the pain lies in picking just one winner out of several equally good entries.

So, this time around, the winner is Anil Kuppa. Anil also happens to be the first reader to win two book giveaways — about a year back he’d won the book giveaway for a copy of the book I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Congratulations Anil.

A round of applause to everyone who participated. Thanks!

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September’s Book Giveaway is fun to participate in and your comments could prove extremely helpful to one of our fellow readers.

Continuing the story from where I left it last, a Capital Advisor reader wrote in –


My husband, aged 35, has a Jeevan Anand policy for a sum assured of Rs 15 lacs for which the annual premium is Rs 82,524. The policy inception date is 23-November-2009 and the maturity date is 23-November-2030.

I, being a housewife and aged 30, also have a Jeevan Anand policy for a sum assured of Rs 10 lacs for which the annual premium is Rs 51,510. The policy inception date is 26-November-2009 and the maturity date is 26-November-2030.

I honestly don’t understand why the agent sold us a policy in my name. The premium for this year is soon due in November, 2012, but having read your past articles I’m not sure if we should continue these policies at all. I’d like to know which Jeevan Anand policy should we surrender and what our overall loss would be upon surrendering.



Image of Wealth Insight MagazineRs 134,034 per year as premium for two Jeevan Anand policies! I am speechless! But here’s your chance to speak up and advise this reader about what they ought to do with those useless policies.

The best answer wins a full year’s subscription (12-issues; postal delivery) to Value Research’s Wealth Insight magazine. I read this magazine each month and I find it quite insightful (!).

To participate, simply leave a comment explaining what you believe the reader should do about their Jeevan Anand policies. Remember, the more insightful your answer is, the higher are your chances at winning. And don’t forget to leave your email address along with your comment.

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Announcing the Winner of the August Book Giveaway

by Vinaya HS on August 17, 2012

in Finance

That was quite an interesting discussion we had for the August book giveaway.

Personally speaking, I like the concept of person-to-person micro-loans facilitated through an online portal such as i-lend.in. I wouldn’t mind investing about a lac rupees (100,000) and earning a decent monthly income at some point in the future. I’m saying in the future because at this point in time I simply don’t have the time (!) to due the necessary due diligence on borrowers who I’d be interested in funding.

That said, the winner of the August book giveaway for a copy of the book “The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love And Work Better To Live More” is reader Bhaskar.

Congratulations Bhaskar! I will write to you separately for your mailing address.

A BIG thanks to everyone who participated.

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Thought I’d give the August Book Giveaway an interesting twist.

The write-up below explains the rationale behind i-lend.in, a portal that facilitates P2P investments and borrowings. This write-up was provided to me by the team who own and run i-lend.in. I felt that you, as an astute reader of Capital Advisor, could share your thoughts, critique, or experiences on the concept of peer-to-peer lending and borrowing thereby helping i-lend.in to improve their service.

The best feedback/comment to this write-up wins a copy of the book “The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love And Work Better To Live More.”

Full Disclosure — I have no business or personal relationship with i-lend.in. This contest is sponsored by me and is only meant to gauge what you as a potential investor or borrower think of such a service.

That said, I’ll hand over this post to the i-Lend team…


P2P Investments/Borrowings — New Asset Class for Investors, Low Cost Personal Loans for Borrowers.

P2P means peer-to-peer. i-lend facilitates P2P investments and borrowings. i-lend’s portal combines traditional lending practices with social networking to create the platform where borrowers and investors transact. Borrowers benefit from lower rates and lenders get higher returns with optimized risk.

Borrower Process –

Key benefits to borrowers –

  • Lower rates of interest.

  • Flexible loan amounts. Banks impose lower limits on amounts of personal loans.

  • No pre payment penalties which lets the borrower close a loan quickly.

Borrowers can borrow from Rs 25,000 up to Rs 3,00,000 for tenures from 6-months to 36-months. Stringent verification of borrower is undertaken by i-lend. i-lend verifies the residence and office addresses, income proof, and bank statements. In addition, i-lend also checks the references that the borrower provides.

After the verification, the borrower is allowed to put up a loan request. The loan request allows the borrower to describe the purpose of the loan, his background, provide a reasoning as to why he is a worthy borrower. The borrower is encouraged to support the request with both images and videos. After completing the request, the borrower can browse the investor listings and approach the investors and request for a loan.

Similarly, the investors can also approach the borrowers. The investors can ask additional questions to the borrower.

Investor Process –

Key benefits to investors –

  • Higher returns when compared to fixed deposits etc.

  • Possibly lower risk compared to equity & equity-related instruments.

A similar but a lot simpler verification is undertaken of the investor by i-lend. Post this, the investor is allowed to list an investor profile and approach borrowers listed on the site. Investors can invest as low as Rs 5,000 and up to a maximum of Rs 3,00,000. The minimum rate of interest is 12%.

i-lend.in is owned by Dipamkara Web Ventures Pvt. Ltd. Dipamkara is founded by experienced technocrats with a combined experience of more than 40 years and is based out of Hyderabad. Investors and Borrowers can understand more about our process by reading our Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.i-lend.in/faq.html.

Download Icon
The i-lend team was kind enough to provide an offline version of their FAQ. Click here to download the PDF-version of the i-lend.in FAQ.

Image of the book The $100 Startup
So, what’s your opinion about the i-lend P2P Service?

You’re welcome to share your thoughts, critique, or experiences on the concept of peer-to-peer lending and borrowing. The best feedback/comment to this write-up wins a copy of the book “The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love And Work Better To Live More”.

Remember, the more detailed and thoughtful your comment is the higher are your chances at winning this giveaway. And as always, don’t forget to type-in your email address with your entry.

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Announcing the Winner of the July Book Giveaway

by Vinaya HS on July 20, 2012

in Finance

It was such good fun reading your responses to the July Book Giveaway contest. But since I pretty much liked all the entries, I had to get the computer to pick a winner for me.

So, here we go…

The winner of the July Book Giveaway for a copy of the book “The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money” is reader Madhav for the entry –

Fidelity India Special Situations Fund: For those who are in special situations or want to be in special situations after investing in this fund.

Congratulations Madhav! I will write to you separately for your mailing address.

A BIG round of thanks to everyone who participated.

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Image of the July Book Giveaway on Capital Advisor
So here’s the eighth book giveaway on Capital Advisor.

I generally try and do one book giveaway each month and I hope you’re enjoying these contests as much as I am.

Continuing from where we left on Monday afternoon, winning the July book giveaway on Capital Advisor for a copy of the book The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money is really really simple.

All that you need to do is –

Tell me what’s the one extremely-funnily-named financial product that you have come across this far (you need not necessarily have invested in it). You also get bonus points for adding your own punch line to that name.

To participate, simply leave your response as a comment below. And don’t forget to leave your email address.

I’ll pick a winner about a week from today. Thanks in advance for participating.

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Announcing the Winner Of the June Book Giveaway

by Vinaya HS on June 11, 2012

in Finance

It’s been a quiet beginning to June over here since I had to take a break from my usual writing routine. I was out of action for a couple of days thanks to a viral fever and then due to a family emergency. The response to the June book giveaway was lukewarm but nonetheless your responses do show that you’ve clearly thought through what you’re going to do in case of an unexpected job loss.

So, a BIG thanks to everyone who participated.

And the winner of a copy of the book The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World is reader Ashwin. Congratulations, Ashwin. I will write to you separately for your mailing address.

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Image of the book The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World
Here’s another book that you need to read today.

Set your own rules. Live the life you want. Change the world.

How many of us can actually do that today? More important, how many of us dream of doing that some day? I’m certain that most of us belong to the “dreamers” category hoping to one day break free from all those rules that someone else sets for us to follow. This book just might be your ticket to freedom.

And you can win a copy right here on Capital Advisor.

Here’s all that you need to do to participate –

Simply leave a comment explaining how prepared you are financially should you lose your job this morning? Remember, the more descriptive your answer is the better is your chance of winning. And don’t forget to leave your email address.

I’ll pick a winner about a week from today. Thanks in advance for participating.

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I followed-up with reader T S Ashok, the winner of the December book giveaway for the Savings and Investment Yearbook 2012 by Value Research what his key takeaways from the book were. Here’s Ashok’s response in an easy to read Q & A format –

Q: What are your Top-5 key takeaways from the Savings and Investment Yearbook 2012 by Value Research?

Here are the five key topics in the book (these were also accepted by many of my friends as good investment options after reading the book). When I said it directly, they did not accept the fact. But after reading the topics themselves, they accepted.

a. Mutual Funds
b. Post Office RD
c. Infrastructure Bonds
d. Stocks — Equity
e. Income Tax Planning

Q: What is your overall assessment of the Savings and Investment Yearbook 2012 by Value Research?

This is a very good book for beginners especially for those who’ve just started their earning career with their first job. It is also very helpful for people who are retired and who want to know where to keep their most valuable money after retirement. But for those who have already started doing financial planning and who are regular readers of blogs like yours, they may feel that the information in the book is very old. Just my view.

Thanks Ashok for helping spread financial knowledge and awareness through this giveaway. Look forward to your participation in future contests.

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I followed-up with reader Rakesh, one of the winners of the Jago Investor — Change Your Relationship With Money book giveaway in March, what his key takeaways from the book were. Here’s Rakesh’s response in an easy to read Q & A format –

[There were actually two winners in March. I'm still bugging the other winner to read the book and share his perspectives. I won't give up.]

Q: What are your top-5 key takeaways from the Jago Investor-book?

  • The language used is very simple and can be understood by a common man.

  • Good use of charts for depicting future goals.

  • Use of day-to-day/personal life examples make it more interesting to read.

  • More stress laid on early investment.

  • Good use of pictures make it more easier to understand.

Q: What is your overall assessment of the Jago Investor-book?

I have read the book and think it’s great. It’s a must read for anyone starting off with their finances. Those already reading Jago Investor [the blog] will find some of the articles in the book familiar but nevertheless even for people with sound knowledge in financial planning this book is a good refresher. I am going to ask my wife to read it and then pass it on to my friends.

Rakesh was good to his word, got his wife to read the book, and shared her feedback as well –

  • An excellent book for a beginner.

  • Has good knowledge about handling one’s personal finances.

  • Uses good real-life examples.

Wonderful.


Update: A few more takeaways from the other winner, Raghu. (See…I make it a point to ensure that you really do read a book.)

Since I am new to personal finance, I found the book very interesting to read. The examples and characters used in the book make it an entertaining read. Some of my key takeaways were –

  • An Open Secret — Initial chapters focus on one of our open secrets i.e. “start investing early” and its impact on our financial life. Since managing a long-term investment is much like growing a tree, investing early lowers our burden later.

  • Compounding and Term Insurance — Ways of compounding against time through simple pictures makes the reader curious but some calculations are not clear. Buying adequate term life insurance equals peace of mind.

  • Goal-based Investing — Linking your investment with goals in life keeps you more focused and satisfied in your financial life.

Overall, as the title of the book suggests, it’s an initiative towards shaking the investor and driving them to take productive action. But at certain places the calculations were not clear thereby making the reader to rethink. The book mainly focuses on the fundamentals of personal finance which everyone must be aware so that it helps them to meet their financial objectives. Finally, this book is must read for newbies to personal finance.

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Given all that official travel way back in January, I completely forgot to announce the winner of the January Book Giveaway. I was taking stock of all previous book giveaways only to discover that the January one was amiss. So here it is –

The winner of the Stock Market Book by Dalal Street Investment Journal is reader Ravi. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your personal finance goals for the new financial year. I will email you separately for your mailing address.

Have a nice day everyone. And for those of you who have your permanent residences in Bangalore, hope you were an early bird and availed the 5% discount for paying your property tax within the stipulated deadline.

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Announcing the Winner Of the April Book Giveaway

by Vinaya HS on April 27, 2012

in Finance

There were several wonderful responses to the April book giveaway. It’s really heartening to see each one of you recognize the mistakes you’ve made in your personal finance journey and then take corrective actions to set them right. It’s even more heartening to see you share your experiences so that other readers can benefit too. Hence, a BIG thanks from my side to each one of you.

This time around, the computer picked Tushar Jain to be the winner of the April book giveaway of The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9–5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich. Congratulations Tushar! I will write to you separately for your mailing address.

Stay tuned for the May book giveaway…

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Thumbnail of The 4-Hour Work Week Book by Tim Ferriss
I am totally hooked to this book.

I’ll say that again. I am totally hooked to this book.

I’ve only read through about a hundred pages or so, but each page has made me stop and think quite a bit about life, work, and personal finances. I’m so hooked that I wanted to giveaway a copy ASAP. This book’s going to make you seriously question every aspect of your life as you lead it today. Note that down.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll end-up answering –

  • What is the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of your life hoping for happiness in the last?

  • Is it really necessary to work like a slave to live like a millionaire?

  • How has being “realistic” or “responsible” kept you from the life you want?

  • How has doing what you “should” resulted in sub-par experiences or regret for not having done something else?

  • Look at what you’re currently doing and ask yourself, “What would happen if I did the opposite of the people around me? What will I sacrifice if I continue on this track for 5, 10, or 20 years?”

I believe this book will be a revelation for you just as it has been for me.

Here’s how you can win a copy of the book –

Answer this simple question.

What are the top-3 financial mistakes that you’ve committed and how are you recovering from these?

Remember the more detailed your response is the better is your chance of winning the book. Leave your response in the comments section along with your email address.

I will announce the winner in about a week’s time. Thanks for participating.

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Guest Post: Five Key Takeaways From the ERE-Book

by Vinaya HS on April 13, 2012

in Finance

I followed-up with reader Ashutosh, the winner of the Early Retirement Extreme book that also happened to be the first ever book giveaway on Capital Advisor, what his key takeaways from the book were. Here’s Ashutosh’s response in an easy to read Q & A format –

First of all let me apologize for the delay in response. I can give a million excuses, but the bottom-line is, it was plain laziness period. I have read the ERE-book almost full, the last few chapters still remain, however I think I am in a position now to answer your questions.

[Once you win a book giveaway on Capital Advisor, I make it a point to keep prodding you until you actually read the book!]

Q: What are your top-5 key takeaways from the ERE-book?

  • Start Early – Most of us only begin to realize the importance of investing when we cross thirty.

  • Forget Timing, Think Compounding – Don’t set a mental block like “I will start investing the day I can save Rs 20,000 per month.” The amount doesn’t matter, it’s all about timing and compounding.

  • Salary & Saving are Not Linked – Very few of us really are able to differentiate between the two. Common misnomer is higher the salary the better it is. Seldom do people realize that if you are earning more and spending even more, you are surely headed towards a debt trap.

  • Control Your Lifestyle Expenses – It’s very important to keep such expenses under control. Most of us automatically assume that bigger designation implies that we ought to be eating at certain star rated hotels / hanging out at certain “hep” places.

  • Do Your Goal Setting – Goal setting quantifies the amount of money, the time frame required and also the method to reach there.

Q: What is your overall assessment of the ERE-book?

ERE gives a very different perspective on retirement planning. A book written by a non-finance person, based on his first hand experience on the journey towards financial freedom. The feeling of “been there-done that” comes out very clearly throughout the book. This is something that lacks in most other books, even the ones written by financial planning experts.

Thanks, Ashutosh.

I now request you to pass the book on to someone you know who can benefit from it.

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For the March book giveaway, Manish Chauhan of Jago Investor fame (both the blog and the book) has been kind enough to sponsor a copy of his recently launched book on personal finance to one lucky winner. I decided to match a copy as well. Manish also asked me to post a review the book with the following caveat –

Do read the book from a novice’s or a starter’s eye else you will feel “what’s new in this book.” The book was written keeping in mind the majority of people who need to understand the basics of personal finance and I am seeing some experts saying “not much in the book for pro’s” which is obvious! Just a heads-up.

So here are my thoughts on the book –

  • Overall, I believe that “Jago Investor — Change Your Relationship With Money” is a pretty solid book to read for someone who’s just got started on his/her personal finance journey and towards this end the book does indeed meet its stated objective.

  • Even if you’re a bit ahead on the personal finance learning curve, the book does have something to offer. For me, the introductory chapter on the principles of compounding through the excellent visualizations offered the maximum learning. I now have a completely new context for compounding. In the same chapter, Manish briefly touches upon the concept of semi-retirement and how saving-up early into your career can help you achieve that (and as regular readers know I’m a big advocate of early retirement and I wish I’d started much earlier).

  • What I did find missing in the book, however, is how do you deal with psychological nuances especially when you’re a novice when it comes to personal finances. For example, if someone had told me to save an additional Rs 5,000 per month towards early-retirement when I was 22 and into my first job, I’d have laughed them away. It’s pretty tough however for anyone to write about psychological nudges.

  • I found the chapter containing the topic of “Women and Personal Finances” exceptionally timely and relevant to my own situation as well. I’ve written before that D is least interested in personal finances and that to me is a major worry. Thanks to Manish, I’m now thinking about how easy I can make it for D to have access to all of the information that she needs and how I can put everything on auto-pilot.

  • The easy conversational tone and fictional examples/characters make the book entertaining to read. Do the action plans at the end of each chapter (and any question sets that you find in-chapter) and you will have a much better picture of your current situation, your goals, your priorities, and your future financial path to get there.

  • Manish also stresses every now and then on the importance of being fit not only with respect to your personal finances but also with respect to your health. I personally strongly believe that your success in personal finance (or just about anything else that you do in life) has good health/good physical and mental fitness as it’s foundation.

  • Things that could possibly put a novice reader off are the abrupt appearance of financial terms such as CAGR without accompanying footnote explanations. Some of the tables and illustrations early on run into pages and a reader could be lost amidst all that information. Otherwise, I can’t pinpoint anything as a flaw (Manish did inform me in advance of a minor mistake in one of the illustrations and which should already be set right in the current set of prints).

  • Finally, I think this book is a must read irrespective of your level of financial awareness. To me it was a great refresher course on the fundamentals of personal finance. I’m glad that I read this book. Thanks Manish!

And the lucky winners of the March book giveaway are — Raghu and Rakesh. Congratulations! You both win a copy each of “Jago Investor — Change Your Relationship With Money.” I will email you both separately for your mailing address. Thanks for participating.

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I followed-up with Anil, the winner of the I Will Teach You To Be Rich book giveaway, on what his key takeaways from the book were (that’s also one way to ensure that the winners actually read the book!). Anil was kind enough to write a pretty detailed response that I’m posting as a guest post in Q & A format.

What are your Top-5 key takeaways from the IWTYTBR-book?

  • Start early. In most cases, the investments which we make at the beginning of our career give the highest returns.

  • Do not try to keep up with friends in terms of expenses. We, or rather I, tend to buy things which our friends bought. We do not know why they bought those things but we always want to keep up with friends. I have this habit and I’m still trying to get rid of it. A very good example is clothes. Most of my friends buy branded clothes. Though I like to dress simple, I buy branded clothes.

  • Conscious spending. We really need to know what we are interested in buying and what we actually end up buying. In my case, I should track my expenses and find out where my money is going. I’m yet to figure out what’s needed and what’s unnecessary. It’s OK to spend guilt-free on something but it’s also important to cut down that money somewhere else.

  • Save for a goal. When we save for a goal, we save more than when we save without a goal. It doesn’t make much sense if we’re saving without any goal. We can as well spend that money as we have not yet set goals. Goals could be anything like marriage, retirement, buying a home or car, taking a vacation or just about anything which requires more than your monthly take-home salary.

  • Focus on the big wins. This is similar to me earlier comment on conscious spending. If we cut down our expenses on minor things we might not save much. We should rather focus rather on the big wins.

  • Savings and checking accounts in the US are equivalent to savings and emergency account in my terms. Emergency account could be split between debt funds and a normal savings account. I have two savings accounts — ICICI and SBI. ICICI is like my checking account and SBI is my savings (emergency account).

  • Get rid of emotions and do the calculations. A good example is about credit cards. The author has mentioned that he pays annual fees on credit cards because he accumulates more points which translate to more benefits. I never thought so. I always had the notion that I should not pay for something which is available for free. I should now compare holistically.

What is your overall assessment of the IWTYTBR-book?

The book was very simple to read and understand. Some of the chapters such as credit cards, IRA, 401(k) were not completely relevant but we could relate to those as we have similar equivalents. I liked the comparison between frugal people and cheap people. On reading the book, I could come to the conclusion that the US financial system thrives on defaulting customers. I also have felt that Indian Banks are a lot more mature — no overdraft charges, higher interest on savings account, etc. But the APR on credit cards in India is too high compared to that in the US.

The chapter on getting everything automated is tough. I have one question related to that. It’s easy to setup ECS for different things such as credit card, power bill, phone bill, etc. But the problem comes when the phone or other utilities are disconnected and the money is debited for that despite asking the bank to stop the ECS. I have read several such cases and for this reason I have never issued an ECS. I guess I’m deviating from the main point. Overall, the book had several lessons.

Thanks, Anil.

I now request you to pass the book on to someone you know who can benefit from it.

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DSIJ_Stock_Market_Book
Here’s how you can participate and win the Stock Market Book by Dalal Street Investment Journal this January. Simply leave a comment explaining what, in 2012, is your primary financial goal and why? Remember, the more detailed your entry the better are your chances of winning.

And here’s a sample chapter from the book.

I’ll announce the winner in about a week’s time.

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