Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Counter Recession

While everyone lament shortage of money during recession, one sure shot way to be financial comfortable is often not heeded. The way is to reduce the expenses and needless purchases. The expenses may include foreign trips, home makeover or any new gadgets. Any purchase that is not essential and can be put off should be put off for the future when the cash flow is much better.

For most people, these times are trying and hard. The economy is not going to get better anytime soon and in fact, we may see a double dip very soon. So while government does it part to manage economy, we can help ourselves to make our lives tad easier in this downturn economy.

1) Love your Job: First casualties in recession are new jobs. Companies stop hiring new recruits and in fact lay off many jobs. At this time the best job is the job you are holding. So, stay put where you are working right now and work hard. Banish any thoughts of finding job in any other company and cement your position in your current job.

2) Cost Cutting: Cost cutting is just not for corporates. You too should avoid lifestyle purchases like new smart phones, laptops, play station etc.

3) No new Loans: Do not make any purchases which mean new Loans. New cars or house are a strict NO when there is no job guarantee. EMI may mean additional strain on your budget. In a scenario where you can be laid off or you may face salary cuts, this is suicidal.

4) No Risky Investments: This is a time for conserving your resources. Do not invest in risky avenues like equity. Only invest considering your risk appetite. If you are in a business, then hold off your business expansion plans. Slow market may mean that you won't get returns soon or as expected.

5) Insure yourself: Even in downturn you need health and term Life Insurance Plans. Make sure that in your absence, your family can live comfortably without any fear of future. One basic rule is to have a minimum of 12 times the annual income as life cover in a term plan.

6) Continue SIP: During the recession, the stock market also will be low. This is the time when you can get best shares at cheapest prices. Keep faith in SIP to minimize your loss. Do not stop systematic insurance plans as you will loss the advantage of cost averaging. Cost averaging has two facets - buying more when the market is low; growing all when the market is high. We buy more units for the same investment, as the units of the mutual funds at a lower NAV (Net Asset Value). By stopping the SIPs we loss out at the buying more stage. This will also mean that you lose out during grow-all stage as you will not have adequate units in your hands for them to grow.

7) Learn: During downturn, it's the survival of the fittest. Companies want the best people to maximize their expenses. Also, educating yourself all the while makes you much more prepared for the upturn.

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