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10 smart ways to invest money

2014 promises to be a good year for Indians. With the political and economical situation looking positive, the common man too can enjoy financial prosperity. One of the most important steps towards financial security is investing your money wisely, in the right channels. Here are a few ideas how you can invest money in 2014:

1) Real Estate Investments:
2014 is a good time to invest in real estate properties which are affordable, especially in 2 tier and 3 tier cities, which includes Pune. Real estate prices are expected to increase in the coming years, so if you’re looking to invest in real estate, it is advisable to invest in an affordable property now, so that you can reap the returns from increased rates later down the line.
2014 is also a golden time for first home buyers. Apart from proving to be a financial security, buying a home of your own also delivers on happiness for the entire family. However, the keyword here is affordable. Real estate prices in most metro cities are already very high, so finding a good property at an affordable price is important.

Few builders in Pune, including Maple Shelters, are offering affordable homes, without compromising on quality, for as low as 10 lakhs. Some of the important things to look for while buying property is the builder’s repute, past project history, location of the project, appreciation rates in the past, amenities offered, quality of construction, certificates of land clearance, bank approvals, etc.
Benefits of investing in real estate:

  • Financial security
  • Depending on the location and project quality, you can be assured of increased returns
  • Mental peace and happiness for first home buyers
  • Increased quality of life for first home buyers

2) Fixed Deposits:
Fixed deposits is considered to be one of the safest investment options. Why? Because you can be sure of reasonable returns and the money is locked in safely. You can also be assured of getting back the total sum invested, along with interest, at the end of the investment period. The time period for an FD can range from 15 days to 5 years. The returns will of course depend on the financial organisation you choose to open an FD with, and the time span of your investment.
An important point to note, the returns from an FD account for senior citizens is higher; typically FDs offer returns at 10% interest rate to citizens above 60 years of age.
Benefits of investing in FDs:

  • Very safe
  • Assured investments
  • More returns in the long-term

3) Public Provident Fund
This is another very good investment option. The rates of return are generally around 9%. Every citizen is advised to have a PPF account because your returns are assured, your money remains safe since it’s a government scheme and more importantly, it is a great tax saving instrument, especially for people under the 30% tax brackets. If you invest in PPF, you are eligible for deductions on your income, helping you save money, which would otherwise be taxed. Even better, the interest earned on this investment is totally tax-free!
On the flip side, this is a long-term investment, and the time span of the investment can be as high as 15 years.
Benefits of investing in PPF:

  • Very safe
  • Assured returns
  • Compounded interest rate
  • Tax deductions
  • Better for long term investments

4) Gold
This year, experts are suggesting investments in silver rather than gold, since the predicted returns from gold is parallel to possible rupee appreciation indicating fewer chances of getting high returns from gold investments. However, if you do wish to buy gold, limit your gold investments to 5%-10% of your total investments.
Benefits of investing in gold:

  • Gold can be redeemed for jewellery
  • Relatively safe investment
  • Better for long term, especially to guard against short-term price fluctuations

5) Silver
If you wish to add a bit of a silver lining to your investment portfolio, you could consider a minimum investment in silver, since experts predict a rise in silver prices in the coming days.
Silver rates are expected to increase based on a forecast of increased demand for silver for industrial use. Though silver performed poorly in 2013, experts are predicting a shinier future for silver in 2014, based on the promise of an improved economic and political situation.

6) Insurance Policy Investments:
Insurance policy investments are a popular investment choice in 2014. There are different types of insurance policies, each providing different coverages. The good part about insurance policies is you get covered for substantial, unforeseen expenses with affordable, regular investments. The other benefit of this investment is the risk-free profits. The trick is however, in finding a suitable insurance policy, which has a low premium and good returns.
Benefits of investing in insurance policies:

  • Peace of mind about unforeseen expenditures
  • Risk-free profits

7) National Saving Certificate:
National Saving Certificate (NSC) is another popular investment option. This option comes with a 6 year time span and government subsidies, making it a safe investment choice, with assured returns.
You can begin with investment amounts as small as Rs. 100 and avail of an interest rate of 8%, which is calculated twice a year. You can also benefit from tax deductions of up to 1 lakh on NSC returns.
Benefits of investing in NSCs:

  • Very safe
  • Assured returns

8) Stocks:
For risk takers, the stock market promises to be a fertile investment option. With stocks, you can make greater profits with lesser amounts of money, in shorter periods of time.
However, the opposite is also true: you can also lose a lot of money very fast. There are high risks involved and returns are never assured. Therefore, before venturing into stocks, it is advisable to have thorough knowledge of the market, be aware of how much you wish to invest, your objective of investing and the time period, and to put your money in the hands of an honest broker who knows what he is doing and will make your money work hard for you.
Benefits of investing in stocks:

  • Faster way of making more profits

9) Mutual Funds:
Mutual funds are the safer way to invest in the equity market, without taking much risk. Mutual funds can generate good returns if you a) choose your mutual funds wisely b) diversify your portfolio to reduce risks c) make limited investments and d) be prepared to invest for longer periods of time
Benefits of investing in mutual funds:

  • Safer way of making profits; safer than stocks
  • High returns if investments are made wisely

10) Private Equity Investments:
Private equity investments are investments in equity securities of private companies. These investments do not depend on the traditional stock market scenario. Private equity investments make for a good investment option, with high returns. However, here again, there are high risks involved and investors are advised to thoroughly research the company they are investing into.
Benefits of private equity investments:

  • Faster, higher returns in shorter periods of time

Maple Shelters is into affordable homes, with flats starting from 9.6lakhs onwards in and around Pune. Maple Shelters is established with the vision of providing an affordable home to every Indian. Till now, we have completed 2 lac square feet of development, and have launched 7 Aapla Ghar projects, which promise affordable homes with all welfare amenities to the common man.
To celebrate the promise of stability and growth, Maple is offering a discount of Rs.25000-Rs.50000 on every Aapla Ghar flat bought before July 9th 2014.

Sources: zeenews, investfunds.in.