February 3, 2020

“The market does not trade upon what everybody knows, but upon what those with the best information can foresee” – William Hamilton
Budget is an annual exercise by union government to present it’s sources and application of funds. Sources include taxes and non-tax revenue that accrues to the government and planned borrowings. Application reflects areas where government will spend its sources and the same includes capital and non-capital expenditures.
As an investor it becomes important to know the provisions of the budget to the extent that one can plan his income & investments to receive higher post tax income in hand. All other provisions of the budget are not of much relevance to an investor except to know and understand how the budget will impact the economic activity in the country.
In our earlier communications we had stated that very high expectations have been set from the budget which for any Finance Minister will be near impossible to fulfill. We maintain our preliminary assessment of the budget – it is an expansionary budget and will increase consumption but its overall impact on growth of economy will not be that great. Sharp fall in stock markets were not confined to just Indian markets, it spread across all major global markets owing to various global events. So that do not reflect the market reaction to budget. And again such reaction is only for short term, for long term we need to look at the strength of the economy.
Let’s understand how we should plan our investments in the light of provisions of the new budget.
Old Vs New Tax Regime: In the old tax regime majorly following tax provisions were being used to save taxes that are done away with in the new tax regime:
a.       Section 80C provisions of deduction upto Rs.1,50,000/-
b.      Section 80D provisions of deduction upto Rs. 50,000/-
c.       Interest on housing loan upto Rs. 2,00,000/-
d.      Interest on Education loan to the extent paid in a financial year
e.      Standard deduction for salaried person upto Rs. 50,000/-
f.        House rent allowance received by an employee – usually ranging between 10 – 35% of the basic salary depending on the basic income, HRA received and rent paid.
So if you are a salaried employee availing all or some of the above provisions, you will be better off in the old tax regime. It would only be for the non-salaried class who will have to evaluate the two options and choose the beneficial one – again depending on how many of above provisions you use.
Equity: Major indices namely Nifty & Sensex performed quite well over last one year. But we were skeptical about this rally as it was a concentrated one just revolving around 15-20 stocks with no major sign of economic revival. Off late the market rally has started panning out over other large cap, mid-cap and even small cap stocks. Economy has also started showing off green shoots of revival. These are the indicators that as investor one must start increasing exposure towards equity now.
Debt: With insurance on bank deposit increased to 5 lakhs, investors in lower tax bracket can take advantage of the same by making fixed deposit with smaller banks that are offering very high interest rates compare to large settled banks. People in higher tax bracket should use listed bonds and debt mutual funds to earn higher post tax returns. As far as interest rates are concerned, we at InvestmentMitra feel that owing to pressure on consumer inflation RBI will take a pause for further rate cut. In fact we fear if inflation do run out of control, RBI may have to think otherwise.
Gold: Gold gave very good returns over last year. For the current year with revival in equity markets that may be more pronounced in second half of next fiscal, its performance may see some pressure. So we advise caution on gold.
We at InvestmentMitra have always believed that best returns is just a fancy idea. Your returns depend on your asset allocation that further depends on your financial planning and risk appetite.
Do write to us at ajay@investmentmitra.comfor any query on your investment and financial planning.
Team InvestmentMitra

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