Why we are obsessed with money

What a way to exist!

For most of us, practically the whole day all we are thinking is about money and more specifically how to have more money!

As if money was the only thing in life. Unfortunately for most of us, circumstances just do not permit any other thought!

We are running behind money most of the time which is almost akin to have become obsessed with money. Everything that we are doing in life is centred around money.

Unfortunately, this is because we need money for anything and everything that we do. There’s nothing wrong and what are you doing, however the problem is that over time, it becomes a compulsive habit to keep earning more.

That’s where the danger is. The problem is that there is a point where from we chase money as an addiction, we chase money because we like to do so. If we did not chase money we would not know what to chase now because we get out identity from money and the amount of money we have.

Another thing is that right from childhood we are always taught and our minds are conditioned that everything that we are doing is going to be for the sake of earning money.

There is no one who told you that money is just a means, and then there is something greater in life to achieve. Some examples are legacy; building something, charity; to giving something / helping someone, passion; pursuing something and living; simply to enjoy life and your money

We have got addicted to this and how!

There are three reasons for this:

First, we are what we do. It is the human behaviour. I know I should exercise and I don’t. I know I should eat healthy and I don’t. I know I should spend time with my kids and I don’t. I know that, yes, money isn’t going to make me happy and I still keep trying to make money.

We live by the laws of inertia, in a pattern which is hard to break. But we have to break it. For ourselves and for the sake of people and reasons for which we are chasing money.

Secondly, we need signals of progress. Money is a measure of how far you have progressed in life. The more the money you have the more you can make sure your progress. It’s simply the logic of evolution. People need validation of their success. Bigger house, bigger car, branded goods and list goes on.

Thirdly, it’s the easy way out. It’s only human to avoid difficult things. Important things are very difficult to measure.  Have I been a good father or husband? Have I groomed my child well?  Such things take years to measure and we still don’t have answers.

So, should we not be focused on creating money for ourselves?

I’m not saying that. Definitely create. Take care of yourself for sure!! Use it to the maximum to make yourself happy!!! You need a certain amount and beyond that is extra.

The definition of their certain amount is naturally different from one person to another. If that extra is going to happen easily, without stress and without your involvement, then its fine. Basically don’t kill yourself for that extra. Be Smart.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a certified financial planner, wealth manager and financial freedom coach.

How the RBI actually helps you

RBI

Most of us in Mumbai, see this huge structure called the Reserve Bank of India and wonder what it really does. It’s also a tourist attraction!! It has so many other offices and again one wonders why they need to have so many offices. I’m going to try and highlight a very interesting part of RBI’s work and how it helps us directly on a day-to-day basis.

The RBI does a review of the monetary policy of the country at frequent intervals during the year. So how does the monetary policy help us investors to take smart decisions?

Monetary policy is a tool by which the RBI decides to raise interest rates or reduce interest rates or keep them steady.

In our country, as we’re an oil importing nation, this decision is very closely linked to Oil. Oil to a large extent contributes to inflation. We all know what happens when inflation keeps rising. We in India unfortunately do not see too much of inflation falling and things becoming cheaper.

Oil is Not Well

So when oil prices rise i.e. we see a rise in crude oil prices almost instantly we can expect rising food prices. This is because there is going to be a rising cost pressure for manufacturing & services. This rise obviously gets passed onto the retail consumers.

When this happens RBI adopts a hawkish stance, tries to pull money out of the system by raising interest rates. Now when interest rates rise no one seems to be interested in borrowing. This immediately puts a brakes on money circulation.  Less money chasing goods decreases the demand for money. This way it controls inflation.

There is yet another tool that the RBI has and that is known as the CRR or the cash reserve ratio.  This ratio in simple words means the amount of cash that the bank must maintain with the RBI as the percentage of the total assets. So when this increases banks are forced to park more with the RBI and this is also a way to control inflation.

On the other hand when things look dull, when there is a recession of sorts, the RBI comes to the rescue and gets into action to kickstart growth in the country. It does this by lowering the interest rates. This we all will understand quite easily because we see a direct benefit of this happening. We see a fall of interest outgo in our EMI’s for the home loan that we are carrying. New loans become cheaper.

Individuals are motivated to go out and make purchases, whether it is for a washing machine or a piece of real estate. Businesses are motivated to go out and borrow to buy more machinery, to expand capacity, to hire more staff and manpower and basically do everything that will add to the growth of business.

Economic growth results as a result of all this. It is also during this time that stock market rises, we see a rally in stock prices and mutual fund NAV’s jumping higher and higher each day. There is prosperity all around.

Critical Role

As you can see that the central bank of the country has a very very important role to play.  If it makes a mistake, things can go really wrong.  Imagine like the USA or Japan if our interest rates were very low; everyone would run to borrow, they would borrow more than they require because it would be cheap and easy to borrow. And that is very individuals would run into what is known as the debt trap, because someday you’ll have to pay back.

Each day the central bank attempts to make sure that everything in our country remains stable and financially there’s nothing that goes wrong dramatically.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

The year of the bond, once again!

We are not talking of James Bond, we are talking of investment bonds.

We are in a situation where the fixed deposit rates are at a general low and there is a lot of discontent among depositors of fixed deposits.

Whenever we see a situation like this, one way or the other, the bond markets come to the rescue. It comes to the rescue of smart depositors, who are agile to move their money from fixed deposits to bond funds.

Let’s understand what is happening and why.

What Exactly is Happening in the Bond Markets?

It is likely that in this year, investors of bond funds will make handsome gains. Bond prices may rise and there may be capital gains. Investors of bond funds not only earn the rate of interest, but also earn capital gains. So that way, they make more than the return they would make on fixed deposits. The returns could be a high single digit or sometimes as high as double digits.

Over three years, this will become practically tax free or the tax would be a very small amount. So, basically, I am thinking that a rally will happen in the bond market. There are three main reasons for this — reduction in government borrowing (which is favourable), recovery of trading losses (which is favourable) and no change in monetary policy (which is neutral).

A word of caution, however, that such bond market investments are also subject to bond-market volatility and should be considered ideally with the help of a financial expert.

Before proceeding further, let us, therefore, quickly explain a bond, bond fund and bond market. We need to do this because few people understand the bond markets and even fewer invest in the bond markets.

Bond is nothing, but a commercial transaction where the borrower is issuing a bond to the lender and the lender will earn a certain rate of interest. When interest rates fall, everyone becomes interested in owning that bond.

As a result, the demand for the bond increases, the price of the bond increases and the bondholder makes capital gains.

A bond fund is a fund where ordinary investors pool in their money and a fund manager buys them a portfolio of bonds.

Moving onto the Reasons For a Rally in Bond Funds…

Now, the fundamental reason for a rally is reduction in interest rates as it stimulates economy and growth.

Firstly, the government is a massive borrower of funds. So a reduction in government borrowing reduces the demand for money in the economy. As a result, prices of bonds rise and this contributes to capital gains for bond holders.

Secondly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently announced that the commercial banks and RBI, which are the largest lenders to the government, will have another year to offset losses they have incurred on account of buying government bonds in the past. This action will lead to a rise in the price of bonds and this contributes to capital gains for bond holders.

Lastly, on one side due to the rise in oil prices, there is more inflation and thus more money is needed for circulation in the economy. On the other side, many government bonds are maturing, which will provide money supply. So, it is likely that we see a neutralising effect and thus RBI will take no action. This inaction here will support capital gains as explained above. Hence, this year might be a year of good gains for the bond investors.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

Five new financial goals for you this summer

I am going to try and explain to you why the summer holidays of April and May are great months to get a lot of things started, financially speaking.

This time period in a way resets the financial clock. You also have the option to hit the reset button on everything you have done so far; financially speaking of course and hope to do better things better than you did last year.

Let’s look at some of the new and unusual things to do in April.

  • Make a learning budget

Learn something about money or anything you like. The best way to make money is to learn something about money. Just like if you wanted to learn cooking you will get into the cooking class. If you wanted to learn swimming you would enrol in the swimming class. If you find learning about money is too daunting task than learn something which is close at to your heart or related to your work. If you learn something new, there’s a possibility that you will use your new ideas to generate new income and in turn that will generate new wealth for you.  So make a budget, enrol somewhere and spend that budget. How about a % of your annual income? Spend it for sure!

  • Plan a unique holiday 

When you’re by yourself and without your mobile phone you will have the opportunity to think! When you have time to think, suddenly good ideas will come to your mind.  You may think this is silly but you can be sure that you will be amazed if your drivers experiment just once. So it might be a good idea to go for a holiday just by yourself. If you find that too intimidating, join a group of strangers. You can combine that with the adventures experience if you like.  Be extra careful if you’re going with your special buddies. Do this only if they are going to be in a position to help you discuss your idea and make it bigger. They must play the role of complimenting your thoughts. So make a schedule to do this holiday and obviously make a budget to make it happen. Think & create new ways of making wealth.

  • Make a prediction and make it happen

Be brave. Let’s aim to grow and multiply net worth by 50% by the time you come to the end of this financial year. This is not a joke and it is easier than you can imagine.  I’m speaking about NETWORTH and I’m not talking about return on investment. If your networth is Rs. 100 today, all I’m saying is that let’s aim to make this a 150 by the end of this year. This networth comprises of all your savings till date. This can be achieved by simply saving aggressively every month for the next twelve months. Just put this into a recurring deposit or liquid fund so you don’t spend it.  We just have to prove to ourselves that this is possible. Where and how we will invest this money will think about that later.

  • Eliminate a negative belief 

I want to give you an exercise here. Write down all your negative beliefs you have about money and wealth. Most people are not able to achieve the desired level of wealth because they think about wealth negatively. So even if you are earning a good amount of income you will never see yourself becoming wealthy. Examples are money causes problems, money causes a fight, managing money is complicated etc. Then for each negative thought, you have written down the positives i.e. the opposite for a few months. Soon negatively biased feelings will evaporate.

  • Make a new investment; something you have not done before

Again here you do not have to be a financial expert. The idea is to learn something new. There are hundreds of investment options. Our objective here is to learn something new. Talk to your advisor and seek his or her guidance. Just a word of caution here; don’t do anything which is speculative or is something that you just can’t understand. Do what do find easy you understand and do that then.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

Seeking financial freedom? The time is NOW!

John Lewis famously remarked, “If not now, then when? If not us, then who?” This is so appropriate in the current financial world that we live in.

That statement will leave to rest every other argument that is conservative and against the idea of wealth creation. We are often faced with the situation where there is no option but to create wealth. Read on to know why!

Interest rates are painfully low. For all those diehard fans of guaranteed investment returns, there’s hardly any place to go to. Thinking of fixed deposits? Feeling happy with 7%? And fully taxable? That period is over. Period.

That doctrine of investing into pure fixed deposits and similar instruments is unfortunately standing challenged. There is no option but to sprinkle it with a combination of a little something that will add to the returns earned from fixed income type of securities. In fact this category of investors are in a way, best placed in terms of the current tax laws.

They can earn about 9-10% with minimal or near zero tax over about five years and more. Starting to generate rate of return above the inflation level of 7% is starting to create wealth. So there it is; there is no option but to move in the direction of creating wealth.

For more evolved investors, who invest in equities and who and still sitting on the sidelines tend to run out of patience every now and then. They are sometimes waiting for the right time, sometimes waiting for correction, sometimes waiting for valuation and sometimes waiting for just nothing. Sometimes, just too busy to take action!

I totally understand not wanting to lose hard-earned money. But if the money does not move it will stagnate. That’s the problem with money.

Hit the Ground Running

Inaction and inactivity kills it. Makes it costly to hold. Makes us lose opportunities, sometimes small and sometimes significant. I know of many people including my dad, who just kept investing into equities and holding forever. No doubt they were hugely (big HUGELY) better off then the people in the same time zone. I think they could have done far better with some smart lessons on asset allocation. This is because if they compare the growth rate of their holding over a period of 20 or maybe 30 years the compounded rate of return earned is often not impressive.

It is just marginally better or a few percentage points above the fixed deposit rate. Hence the need for asset allocation, which simply put is not to have all eggs in one basket at any given point in time. These sections of investors anyways create wealth, and, asset allocation is the tool that ensures that the process of wealth creation continues uninterrupted. So again there it is; even for this section there is not option but to start enhancing their wealth creation activities, else returns will continue to remain forever mediocre.

Then there are skeptics and there is nothing much for skeptics of everything, except that they need a serious dose of financial education. Perhaps what if needed is a proof of concept and for that, which better country to live in other than India where financial transparency in investments is so high that I sometimes feel, it comes from another planet.

 Your Money Needs Action

Today, there is a whole lot of variety to choose from and we have never been more spoilt for choice. But the most important thing in all this is to understand that your money needs action. It needs activity and for that the time is now!

And furthermore, if you asked me this question 10 years ago; I would have said that, the Time is NOW. If you ask this question 10 years hence, I will still say the Time is NOW. Any time is the right time to start the process of creating wealth. All that is important is that you take your first step; then continue it all the way with zeal and determination… till you have the level of wealth that you desire. And if you accumulate more than you need, still do it and share it with the world.

If you want your financial freedom; then the Time is NOW!

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager and Financial Freedom Coach.

Young Turks: Here’s the success story of venture fund Aspada

Venture fund Aspada was co-founded by Kartik Srivatsa and Thomas Hyland in 2012 and has made 17 investments so far across Fin-tech, agriculture, health and edu-tech startups.

Young Turks takes a look at their investment thesis, their differentiated VC model and meet three of their portfolio companies – Capital Float that underwrites unsecured loans to startups and SMEs; Dunzo, a hyper local concierge and delivery player that is also Google’s first direct startup investment in India; WayCool, a Chennai-based agriculture-tech startup.

COVID-19 Impact: Next couple of weeks going to be tough for aviation, says Vistara CCO

Vistara expecting to operate all pre-COVID domestic flights by April 2021: CCO

Vinod Kannan, chief commercial officer at Vistara, in an interview with CNCB-TV18’s Anu Sharma, said, “It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks hereon.”

Kannan said that the airline is currently operating up to 140 flights daily compared to 160 that it was operating in February. He added that Vistara’s network planners were working on a daily basis now. Earlier, they would do planning on a monthly basis.

Watch video for more.

Recruitment activity logs 2% drop in March over previous month: Report

SSC, Staff Selection Commission

The recruitment activity saw a drop of 2 per cent in March 2021 over the previous month, mainly dragged by a decline in job postings in sectors including banking/financial services, insurance, production and manufacturing, according to a report. The overall data indicate that there was a slight decline in job posting activity in March, according to Monster Employment Index, a job analysis report by Monster.com, a Quess Company.

Industries such as banking/financial services, insurance (6 per cent), production and manufacturing (6 per cent), telcom/ISP (4 per cent), and media and entertainment (4 per cent), which previously showed a positive outlook, have witnessed a month-on-month decline in March 2021, owing to the pandemic, the report noted. “While the overall index witnessed a slight drop-in recruitment activity, major cities such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad show a positive outlook in hiring demand compared to last year. With companies re-adapting to the flexible-hybrid work model, and digital hiring on the rise with innovative tech, we anticipate a recovery of the Indian job market in the coming quarters,” Monster.com CEO Sekhar Garisa said.

The Monster Employment Index is a broad and comprehensive analysis of online job posting activity on the Monster platform and real-time review of online career outlets during March 2021. Further, the report stated that most functions and departments have witnessed a slight decline in March, compared to the previous month. However, the software, hardware, telecom roles continue to recover with a 2 per cent month-on-month growth as of March 2021 compared to February 2021. Functions such as HR and admin, marketing and communications and finance and accounts witnessed a slight dip of 2 per cent, it added. Hospitality and travel (12 per cent), which showed moderate growth in the previous month, saw a significant decline in March. Sales and business development (12 per cent) showed a negative trend in recruitment activity across all markets in March, compared to a positive (5 per cent) in February. Software, hardware, telecom (12 per cent) and arts/creative (3 per cent) are back to pre-Covid levels as of March, the report indicated. However, it added that customer service (36 per cent), hospitality and travel (35 per cent) and healthcare (26 per cent) have seen the highest year-on-year decline in March compared to the same month in 2020.

Meanwhile, in terms of month-on-month growth, the report revealed that several industries such as logistics, courier/freight/transportation (19 per cent), printing and packaging (5 per cent) and office equipment/automation (5 per cent) saw a significant increase in job postings in March compared with February. Industries such as agro-based (12 per cent), logistics/courier (9 per cent), telecom/ISP (8 per cent), and IT-hardware, software (5 per cent) also witnessed an upward trend year-on-year in March compared to the same month of 2020. Cities such as Bengaluru and Pune have witnessed a positive month-on-month uptrend of 2 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively, in March 2021. The same cities have also observed a yearly uptrend, with recruitment activities in Bengaluru (14 per cent), Hyderabad (6 per cent) and Pune (2 per cent) growing in March, compared to the corresponding month in 2020, the report added.

IFC to invest $100 mn in JC Flowers India fund to help resolve NPAs

Senior Bureaucrat Rajesh Khullar appointed Executive Director, World Bank

The World Bank Group entity International Finance Corporation (IFC) is partnering with JC Flowers to help domestic lenders resolve their distressed assets and free up capital for new lending apart from allowing mid-sized firms to preserve jobs and avoid insolvency amid the raging pandemic.

Under the project, which is an expansion of IFC’s distressed asset recovery programme in India, the lender will invest up to USD 100 million in the JC Flowers India opportunities fund on meeting certain conditions, with an initial commitment of USD 40 million, IFC said on Wednesday.

This partnership will create the first dedicated platform in India for mid-sized distressed assets, which account for USD 27 billion more than a third of corporate stressed assets. However, despite increasing demand for corporate resolution, mid-sized segment is underserved due to a lack of large transactions and challenges investors face in identifying attractive opportunities.

JC Flowers India opportunities fund is a partnership with Eight Capital Management, an Indian distressed assets investment firm. The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) estimates that a second wave of the pandemic could potentially cause non-performing loans to reach USD 200 billion, which nearly 15 per cent of gross loans by September 2021.

This partnership aims to support an inclusive economic recovery and revitalisation of the economy, promote credit growth, and ensure the continuity of hardest-hit businesses and livelihoods. Across the globe, the pandemic has dealt a blow to companies’ ability to repay their debts, and increased already soaring pre-crisis corporate debt levels, said Alfonso Garcia Mora, vice-president (Asia and Pacific) of IFC.

“a functioning market for distressed assets, this initiative will let viable Indian companies return more quickly to productivity, limit bankruptcy, and allow banks to return to their core lending business in support of medium and small enterprises. “Together with our partners, we remain committed to supporting India’s efforts to restore economic growth and stabilise the financial system,” he added.

In addition to its investment, IFC will also support JC Flowers and Eight Capital to adopt environmental and social standards in line with the IFC performance standards. The distressed asset recovery programme focuses on acquiring and resolving distressed assets, the refinancing and roll-over risks of viable entities, and restructuring of small enterprises.

Since its launch in 2007, the distressed asset recovery programme has committed USD 7.7 billion globally, including USD 5 billion mobilised from outside. It has also enabled banks to offload over USD 33 billion of non-performing assets (NPAs) and help over 18 million debtors resolve their obligations.

Maharashtra COVID curbs: Experts discuss the impact on businesses

As Maharashtra continues to battle the rise in COVID cases, the state government on Tuesday announced a 15-day long statewide curfew from April 14. All establishments, public places, activities, services except for essential services will remain closed.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, B Thiagarajan, Chairman of CII Maharashtra State Council and MD of Blue Star, said that running business operations will be somewhat painful, but “we are in agreement with government”.

“It is somewhat painful, but we are in agreement with the government. There were extensive consultations and on April 4 the Chief Minister himself spent more than an hour interacting with us and he had discussed with all the stakeholders. Given the situation that is prevailing in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra, I think these measures are essential,” he said.

Thiagarajan said that the next 15 days are very crucial for tackling COVID situation, but they are hopeful of bouncing back and being in a much better position by April-end.

He also said that they would be reducing industrial consumption of oxygen and providing it for medical purpose.

Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder & MD of Hiranandani Group, said that it is a warlike situation and they are fully supporting the government in every way. However, he said that the virus will keep returning if the vaccination is not adequate. “Without vaccinations, this situation won’t be fixed for good,” he said.

Rakesh Sharma, ED of Bajaj Auto, said unlike last year, transport companies have not seen drivers leave. He also said that since auto supply chain is multi-layered, only second and third level vendors could face issues. However, he believes that those issues can be managed with local level resolution.

According to Ashish Bhandari, MD & CEO of Thermax, the restrictions in Maharashtra could have been much worse. However, he expects a 15-20 percent impact on business due to the new restrictions.

Watch video for more.

Zomato converts itself into public limited company ahead of IPO, may set up own restaurants, hotels

Ahead of its initial public offer (IPO), foodtech company Zomato has converted itself into a public limited company and has also altered its memorandum of association for the new entity to include the possibility of setting up and run its own hotels and restaurants.

As per regulatory filings sourced from Tofler, Zomato converted itself from a private limited company to a public limited company and renamed itself to ‘Zomato Ltd’ from ‘Zomato Private Ltd’. Entrackr was the first to report on the development.

The company said it is considering filing a draft red herring prospectus with SEBI for the IPO. Zomato added that it proposed to convert into a public company in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. The company also amended the Memorandum of Association, in which it listed out the main objects to be pursued by the public company:

Some of the objects listed by the company include:

To run an internet portal to provide details of restaurants, menus etc

To set up interface and telephone helplines including but not limited to fine dining, home delivery etc

To act as collaborator, franchiser, marketer to hotels, restaurants, pubs etc

To carry on business of manufacturers, producers, processors, distributors in soft drinks, preparation of fruit juices, instant foods etc

To carry on business of consultants to hotels, holiday resorts, restaurants, etc

To run an online marketplace for B2B, B2C transactions for consumer products, general merchandise etc

To develop and operate logistics, delivery solutions, courier services etc

To provide products and services through IT including service of drones etc

The company also cited some ‘matters necessary for furtherance of the objects’, some of which include setting up hotels and restaurants and even cultivating land:

To purchase land, run hotels, restaurants

To cultivate land, establish poultry farms, etc

To carry on business of cold storage, cooking, presevation of products, including as contractors for any govt body

To buy, sell and deal in chicken, ducks, turkey, etc

The company did not offer any comments on the regulatory filings.

Sony Xperia 1 III and 5 III announced with better screens and cameras

Sony has  introduced its new phones, the flagship Xperia 1 III and the Xperia 5 III and Sony Xperia 10 III, at an event on Wednesday. “Introducing the all-new Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III — featuring advanced content creation features, levelled-up gaming capabilities, an immersive audio experience, 5G, next-generation processing power and more!”, Sony tweeted.

The two new phones have a variable telephoto camera that can use a 70mm and 105mm lens. The digital zoom can now reach upto 300mm, compared to 200mm in the previous models of Xperia 1 II and 5 II, which Sony claims is an AI super resolution zoom.

The rear camera has a 12MP 1/1.7 sensor along with an aperture of f/1.7 OIS lens.  The ultrawide mode camera uses another 12 MP 1/2.6 sensor and f/2.2 aperture.

Betting heavily on cameras, Sony has used T coated ZEISS lenses. The flagship phones have real-time eye autofocus. Optical Steady Shot allows users to utilise the 4K 120 fps recording feature for making solid slow-motion videos.

Another significant improvement over the previous versions is the screens on the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. The premier Xperia 1 III comes with a 6.5 inch OLED screen that is HDR enabled. It has a refresh rate of 120Hz and a 21:9 aspect ratio, with 4K resolution.

The smaller Xperia 5 III has a slightly smaller 6.1” OLED screen with Full HD resolution. It also has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, a 21:9 aspect ratio and comes HDR enabled.

Both the phones use the flagship processor, the Snapdragon 888 chipset. The Xperia 1 III has a slightly bigger RAM at 12GB than 8GB of the Xperia 5 III. The Xperia 1 III comes with 256 GB and 512 GB storage. The Xperia 5 III has two variants of 128 GB and 256 GB storage.

The phones have a 4,500 mAh battery unit with a three-year life promise and 30W fast charging. The Xperia 1 III also comes with wireless charging functionality.  The larger Xperia 1 III will be available in Frosted Purple, Frosted Gray and Frosted Black. Xperia 5 III will be available in black, green and pink.

The prices of the new phones have not been confirmed, but Sony has said that both phones will be available for purchase this summer.

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison

Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, has died in a federal prison, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Madoff died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, apparently from natural causes, the person said. The person was not authorised to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity. Last year, Madoff’s lawyers filed court papers to try to get the 82-year-old released from prison in the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he had suffered from end-stage renal disease and other chronic medical conditions. The request was denied. Madoff admitted swindling thousands of clients out of billions of dollars in investments over decades.

A court-appointed trustee has recovered more than USD 13 billion of an estimated USD 17.5 billion that investors put into Madoff’s business. At the time of his arrest, fake account statements were telling clients they had holdings worth USD 60 billion.

Infosys to hire more freshers in FY22; to address high attrition through compensation, promotions

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Infosys is pictured inside the company's headquarters in Bengaluru

Despite Infosys saw revenue growth and new deals, slowdown in the quarter spiked attrition sharply to 15.2 percent from 10 percent in the previous quarter.  The company management said the attrition numbers reflect a strong demand environment,  indicating a crunch of talents.

The Bengaluru-based IT giant saw a slightly subdued Q4 compared to the stellar numbers reported by larger peer Tata Consultancy Services.

Infosys COO U B Pravin Rao said that the company will sustain attrition at these levels for the next few quarters.

“We historically have attrition of 13-15%, the current attrition is at the higher end. We are doing many interventions for employees, including compensations, promotions, etc. We are very confident of sustaining attrition at these levels,” Rao said.

Infosys also has robust hiring plans, looking to add more freshers in FY22 than the previous fiscal.

“We added 21,000 freshers from campuses in FY21, and plan to add over 25,000 freshers in FY22,” Rao said.

Of the 21,000 freshers hired in FY21, over 19,000 were from India, and for FY22, the plan is to hire over 24,000 from campuses in India, Rao mentioned.

CFO Nilanjan ROy said the pay hikes and headwinds of normalcy returning have been factored into the margin guidance band of 22-24 percent for FY22.

TCS on Monday announced its highest quarterly net addition of employees and the lowest attrition in any year.

The company was able to keep attrition at all-time low levels at 7.2 percent and also made a record quarterly net addition of 19,388 employees in the March quarter.

With the record employee net addition in the quarter, the total headcount stood at 488,649, a net addition of 40,185 during the year.

Investment Guide: First Global’s Shankar Sharma on impact of ML and AI on investing

Shankar Sharma

In this episode of ‘Investment Guide’, Shankar Sharma, vice-chairman and Jt MD at First Global, shares his views on the impact of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) on investing.

How rules of investing game has changed?

Sharma said, “The rules of the games today are very different, earlier you could meet management, you could get some privilege access to data or information or get some real-world feel of things and be able to make decisions ahead of the curve. Here today the data is out there, it is publicly available and regulatorily companies are duty-bound to disclose everything to everybody.”

“When you have easy availability of data what has changed? That means that you edge has gone, your edge of being able to understand it better and earlier than other people is no longer there. So, the only edge you as a fund manager have any more is the ability to process, make sense of that data and human beings are not capable of processing so much data.”

Talking about takeover by the machines, he said, “Proficient grandmaster armed with computers can beat practically anything. Again, remember everything will have its success rate, as a human being your success rate might be 10-20 percent in normal investing decisions. As a machine, you can easily push that to maybe 40-50 percent if you are really proficient as a fund manager and you have built a great system you can push it to as high as 60 percent that is a huge difference.”

Sharma added, “It is not a magic bullet, you need a proficient human being to be able to build a great machine learning system. Not all machine models are going to be equal, just as not all human beings are equal.

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