How to do tax-saving with mutual fund investments?

It might be difficult watch your hard earned savings simply getting deducted in taxes. The simplest thing to do would be to invest in a tax saving mutual fund, which helps you build wealth and reduce your tax liability. Remember though tax planning is challenging, it can also be rewarding if done correctly. So, we are giving you a quick run through about how you can save your hard earned money by investing in a Tax Saving (ELSS) mutual fund scheme.

An ELSS (Equity Linked Saving Scheme) could become you best choice if you are looking for:

Tax benefit u/s section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961
Opportunity to invest in the equity markets to grow your investment corpus
Long term Capital appreciation
Shortest lock-in period as compared to other tax saving instruments under Section 80C

As per SEBI’s categorization norms for mutual funds, ELSS is an open-ended equity-oriented mutual fund scheme that invests a minimum 80% of its assets in equity & equity related instruments.

Generally investment objective of an ELSS tax saving mutual funds is to achieve long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in equity and equity-related instruments.

A distinctive feature about ELSS is that compared to the other open-ended diversified equity mutual funds, investment in ELSS is subject to a compulsory lock-in period of three years. During this period, you cannot redeem your investments before the completion of three years from the date of the investment. After the lock-in, if you decide to redeem the investment on the realized gain, as per the current tax rules, LTCG (Long-term capital gains) tax applies.

Remember, though tax saving may be a major purpose behind investment in tax saving mutual fund; it’s a general expectation that any investment should also deliver some return. Hence, while evaluating your options for the tax saving mutual funds of 2021 to invest in, you need to look at the return column too. Do not forget that as an investor, should know the risk- reward tradeoff specific to an investment before taking the plunge with your hard earning money. You need to look beyond to see a historical growth of ELSS tax saving mutual funds for a period of at least 3 years.

If you are looking to save tax, lower your capital gains tax and long term risk adjusted returns from your investments, maybe you should consider adding an ELSS tax saving mutual fund to your portfolio.

Improving Your Presentation Skills: Calming Your Nerves So You Can Succeed In Public Speaking

Public speaking is rarely what we want it to be. More often than not fear, sweat and anxiety overwhelm us, leaving us shaking like a five-year old in front of a reprimanding teacher. The uneasiness that you experience before and during public speaking can make your presentation a big mess.

Don’t let a churning stomach and sweaty palms disrupt, or even worse, destroy your speech. While it’s not possible to completely eliminate your nervousness, improving your presentation skills is still possible once you learn a few tactics to control your nervousness.

Understand How Nervousness Manifests Itself

Unless you know what ruins your speech, how can you work on improving your presentation skills? The strange thing about speech nervousness is that it can take on different faces. It can be expressed through physical uneasiness, but it can also interfere with your language. People who are anxious about their speech often stammer, shake uncontrollably or have a squeaky voice, messing up their speech.

This is often a self-fulfilling prophecy: you focus so much on what might go wrong that you eventually make it happen. However, if you understand why and how your nervousness is expressed then you can easily learn to tame it and start improving your presentation skills.

Break Free From Your Nervousness

The first thing you should do is change your attitude towards public speaking. Understanding how deeply nervousness interferes with your public speaking success will give you a good perspective on how important it is to overcome it.

Control, Don’t Try To Eliminate

People set themselves up for failure when they try to completely eliminate their uneasiness. Even the most experienced, top-notch speakers will tell you they’re still feeling that subtle (or not so subtle) nervousness before their speech. And it’s fine too.

The key to adequately calming your nerves is to realize you cannot entirely and irreversibly eliminate them. Remember, improving your presentation skills means minimizing nervousness impact, not banishing it completely.

Be Prepared

Being fully prepared for you speech will sooth your nerves. You gain confidence when you know you can anticipate and handle any incidents during your speech. Get familiar with the speech room and its equipment. Network with your audience to remind yourself that they’re only human beings and not really that scary after all. Practice your speech until there’s no room for mistakes. Have alternatives for cases when something goes wrong, such as a forgotten point, a confusing conclusion, or a slide show being stuck.

Just Breathe

Being conscious of your breathing a few minutes before your speech will calm your nerves and give your lungs plenty of air to release all the built-up tension accumulated over the last few days. Deep breathing will improve your lung power and make you more alert thanks to better brain oxygenation.

Relax Your Mouth Muscles

Have you ever wondered why cats always seem so peaceful? They meow constantly. While you shouldn’t walk around your preparation area meowing around other speakers, you can still master the silent meow. This is something halfway between a yawn and a meow movement. Placing your hand over your mouth will conceal your trick of relaxing your mouth muscles for better articulation and freedom.

Prepare Yourself For Your Negotiation

Think of the areas within business that you negotiate.

Buying and selling products

Buying and selling services

Negotiating with your staff and team

Getting a pay rise

Having Part-time hours

Increasing head count

The list goes on.

In business you are constantly negotiating. Whether it is for goods or services or actually as a leader, persuading your team to follow your thoughts and directives in a persuasive manner. To be able to negotiate well could mean the difference between sinking and swimming. One thing for sure – it is likely to affect your bottom line.

The idea of this guide is to give you some basic principles in negotiation planning – now this does not fit all types of negotiation, but is trying to give you ideas before you buy and sell. We are going to look at it from your perspective and approach it from your style rather than a one size fits all training manual. Why? Because we are all different and have different needs and learning styles.

Most of us have negotiated all our lives. From the first time we screamed the house down demanding milk we have influenced people’s decisions.

Although this guide focuses more on business negotiation, this works on many aspects from booking hotels, training programmes, buying cars or antiques.

Preparation is a key element to any deal. Spending time developing this area is likely to be hugely beneficial in the long run.

The detail you require in planning depends on your needs – do you feel more comfortable with all the details you could possibly have or maybe a one-sheet summary be enough for you?

Once mastered, it ‘s great fun. Getting you some great deals not only to save but also create you money. The beauty of negotiation is it happens almost every day of our lives in some form or another so there’s plenty of time to practice!

What is negotiation? What does it mean to you?

To me, negotiation is to bargain, to reach an agreement ideally acceptable to both (or all) parties. The harder you negotiate, the more likely it is that you will tip the balance in your favour.

What you need to be aware of is tipping them so much that the other person jumps off the end and does not want to play anymore. In this case you have failed to create or indeed develop any long-term relationship and this may lead to difficult times ahead.

However, if you can justify what you are offering and make the other person feel happy with their lot (although maybe not skipping out of the room!!!), then you not only have created an effective deal for you, you may also be able to create bigger and better deals in the future (as well as some long lasting relationships).

The people you are negotiating with, for ease and a less them versus us approach, I am going to call the ‘other side,’ Team B.

The beginning
Without preparation and planning, our job will be infinitely more difficult. Preparation is universally agreed as the first stage of any negotiation. The other stages are:

PREPARE

DEBATE

PROPOSE

BARGAIN

AGREE

In a real negotiation you flit around in between all stages and rarely will you start at prepare and go through to agree without moving around.

At the first stage you can prepare so many things. Whether you are purchasing computer hardware or selling an advertising campaign this area is the cog of your wheel and influences ALL other areas.

Put yourself in the mindset of what do I need to do to get the deal that’s right for me?

To help you on your way with your list, here are just a few areas to think of:-

Details of the company you are trading with.

What can you have in advance of a negotiation that would be helpful?

What would be useful in the negotiation meeting to have right beside you?

Where can you get that information?

What is the Team B’s mission statement?

How can that help you in a negotiation?

Do you know anyone who has traded with them before?

Is their company prospectus of use, where can you get a copy?

How can you use the prospectus to your advantage?

How keen/desperate are they to trade? Maybe the prospectus will help you. What else could?

How are their competitors fairing? Are they offering deals?

Look at all the questions above with regards to their competitors.

Team B information
List the information to be sourced and where you can you get it? How can you use it to get the deal you want or at least be in control of the negotiation.

What do you want out of the Deal?
Ensure you have at least three ideas for outcomes.

Firstly your ideal outcome, a great deal for you, everything you want with all the bells and whistles (obviously to the point they will feel relatively happy with their outcome and you haven’t hacked them off so much they won’t send you a Christmas card ever again!)

Secondly an acceptable deal – OK you haven’t got everything but you’ve got more wins than losses and you can hold your head up high that you have the deal and you would be happy to trade with them again.

Thirdly – the bare minimum, what I call ‘the walk away rate.’ You need to be very sure of this as when it comes to the crunch you are prepared to ‘walk away.’

The thought of ‘can we afford to walk away’ may come in to play. If so, you need to be aware of this. If you can make sure you have an alternative to fall back on (i.e. a deal that you could do with someone else that can take the place of Team B’s offering if it’s not good enough). This is often called a BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.

Often people think there is no alternative but if you search hard enough you can often find one.

One companies solution (Team A) to a troubled negotiation was found when they felt there was no alternative. Their Team B – the sole provider of a certain item, felt they were in a dominant position as the market had no choice, found themselves coming unstuck at their aggressive and no compromise style.

If Team A had agreed to Team B’s offer they would have soon been out of business within three years. Their BATNA was to become a provider of the goods themselves and after a tough few years setting up, became strong competition against Team B!

Some hardened dealers will ask you early on ‘what’s your walk away rate?’ Be prepared for this and have your answer to hand. By this I don’t necessarily mean have a rate in mind but certainly have your answer to this.

List your three outcomes – ideal, good and acceptable. Do you have a BATNA?

Have you any easy-gives?

By this I mean things that have little or no value to you but could have a significant value to the other side. These could play a crucial role when it comes to the end of a negotiation when you are almost close to a deal.
For example:
If you work for a magazine have you got a front half page available and you need to sell it anyway – could you give them a positional upgrade.

If your selling a photocopier, have you still got some sample cartridges that you could include in the deal?

Although you are not breaking into a sweat by adding these in, it doesn’t mean you literally ‘give them away.’ If it’s valuable to Team B then make it special, it’s something to add in to get what you want and not to throw away lightly.

List your easy gives

Do they have things that you want, that you feel are easy gives
So what could Team B have that you would like as add-ins. Think of it from their perspective. If you have done your homework on their company you probably already have a good idea of this.

A couple of examples would be:
You are arranging a last minute dinner for some big clients. Has the restaurant the private room available in two weeks time? It’s unlikely someone will pay for it at this late stage so could you have it for free and even add in 3 bottles of wine. Think of how you could find out whether it is taken or not!!???! The restaurant could be very happy to fill the room that night and throw in some free wine, you are getting a good deal and the clients feel special because you are treating them like royalty!

You are buying a training package from a company and the course is £3000 they have quoted for 5 people. Can you send 6? Would you ask for 7 to settle on 6?

List their potential easy gives.

Preparation about the Meeting

Again list your areas that are important to you, however questions to think about:

Who is going from your company/side?

Who will be there from theirs?

The personalities of the people concerned and their relative seniority.

Where will the meeting be held?

Is there a good ‘home’ advantage?

What do you think they will want from the meeting/deal? If you have prepared well you are more likely to have an idea of this.

Opening Statement
Preparation can include your opening statement. The more you prepare beforehand the more time you have to concentrate on the nitty gritty of the negotiation.

What would be a great opening statement?

How could you take control of the meeting with what you first say?

Is it right to propose first? Does it feel right to you?

How would you feel if they proposed first?

Write your opening statement

Practice Anyone?
Some people really value a run through beforehand. Whether it is a pre-meeting to discuss what could come up, or asking a few colleagues who have not been involved to play Team B to gauge their reactions and maybe get a few helpful hints along the way. It’s also very useful so that you can see who best fits what role within the meeting.

The idea of this article is to give you a small insight into negotiation planning. Of course this is only a snapshot and many other ideas may be useful or indeed pertinent to your specific needs. However it is impossible to cover all types and all angles in a small guide. Added to this we haven’t even covered the negotiation itself!

Negotiation is a wonderful skill that can be developed and can save and gain you so much in business and in life.

Happy negotiating!