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12 Best Investment Options in India for everyone in their 20s

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The word Investment refers to any item or any asset purchased with the main purpose of generating income or appreciation. This item or asset is acquired today with the hope that it will generate income or profit in the future when it is sold. What is bought today helps to create wealth tomorrow. There are several investment options in India.

So the sooner you start investing in the various investment options in India, the better it is for your future.

And is there better time than the 20s to start doing so? College life is over and jobs are in the offing. With campus selection being the norm today, you can secure employment while you are still in your final year in college. So 20s are wonderful years to be in. With new found financial freedom and trying to be responsible at the same time is sometimes very confusing in both personal and professional fronts. All investment options in India are available for those in 20s.

So grab the opportunities as soon as you can and take advantage of early investment for a secured life in your old age. You can choose from the best investment options in India as listed below.

1. Stocks

According to Investopedia, a stock is a share in the ownership of a company. They are equity in any company. Despite the fact that stocks are very volatile in nature many investors consider them as good investment options in India. They can give you very high gains or very deep losses as they depend on how that particular stock or the company is performing in the market. There are brokerage firms which help you to select the right stocks for a small fee. You can do online trading too with the help of a mobile app or a web based trading platform. By taking risks you can make good money, but even if you don’t, with age on your side, you will learn from your mistakes and invest wisely. Choose the right stock as it is one of the best investment options in India now and see your investments grow upwards.

2. Bonds

A bond is a loan or a fixed income investment in which the investor loans funds to a corporate company or to Government is one of choosy investment options in India. This entity borrows the money from you for a definite period of time at a fixed or variable interest rate. After this period is over the entity pays the loan amount back to you with added interest. Buying and selling bonds is not easy as we do not have a market for it. But you can do so indirectly by investing in Debt Mutual Funds or directly through any of trading platforms in secondary market. You can also do so by investing in IPOs (initial public offers) but these are rare. There are tax-free bonds in which you can invest for a longer period of time. They are safer and offer you comparatively lesser returns but can be good investment options in India for everyone in their 20s.

3. Post Office Savings Schemes

This is one of selective investment options in India. You can invest in your nearby post office in their Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) account. The minimum amount for opening an account is Rs 1500 or multiples of Rs 1500 for a period of 5 years. You will get a monthly interest for the full term. You can withdraw the interest or put it in their Recurring Deposit account for the same period. There are other savings schemes like Time Deposit (TD), NSC (for tax saving purpose) and 15 years Public Provident Fund to choose from. The TD can be taken for 1, 2, 3 or 5 years. The interest is paid annually but is calculated quarterly and compounded. Post Office Savings Schemes are oldest, safest and one of the best investment options in India.

4. Investing in Gold

Gold is considered to be the oldest and the most wildly sought investment options in India as its value increases very quickly. Gold deposit scheme, Gold ETF, Gold Bars, Gold Mutual Funds provide good investment options in a short period of time. Buying a small gold coin during festivals is considered very auspicious even today. Even banks sell them at a specific time. You can keep it as an investment or make an ornament with it or sell it when necessary, thus establishing it as one of traditional investment options in India.

5. Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are the best investment options in India now. When you start investing in your 20s, you have the biggest advantage of the number of years left to see your wealth increase by leaps and bounds. You can choose to invest a lump some money at one go or select a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) through your bank. If you see that you fund is not doing well in the market then you can switch over to a better fund. The tremendous increase in number of mutual funds and their popularity puts them on par with other top investment options in India.

6. Provident Fund

It is an ideal saving instrument and one of good investment options in India for the lower income workers who are in their 20s.  If you expect your tax payable during retirement will be more than what you are currently paying then this plan is ideally suited for you. Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) come under this category. The invested amount is tax-free up to a limit of Rs. 1.5 lakhs under section 80 C and the withdrawn amount is exempted from income tax. It is one of very valued investment options in India with withdrawal facility before and after retirement.

7. Corporate Fixed Deposits

The Company Fixed Deposits is another of investment options in India and they hold some element of risk but give more interest than the bank FDs. They do not come under any insurance benefit nor are they controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. When you opt for investing in Company Fixed Deposits do so for a longer period of time for higher interest rates but the risk factor will be high too. This is very suitable investment options in India for those who aspire for high interest rates and can take some amount of risk.

8. Commodities

Commodities are raw materials used in commerce to make other products. They can be agricultural (coffee, wheat, corn) or energy (natural gas, crude oil) or metals (gold, silver, iron). You can invest in commodities through a futures contract. Gold can be purchased online for as less as Re 1 with the help of Paytm Gold. So these investment options in India can be considered.

In this kind of investment options in India, you can earn huge profits or incur heavy losses. So choose wisely. Saving in commodity market should be for a longer period of time to earn good returns. Have a diversified portfolio and invest a small part of your money in the commodity market. This is one of discriminatory investment options in India for those who are aware of the procedures.

9. Life Insurance Plans

This is one of mandatory investment options in India for life coverage. There are several life insurance plans that suit youngsters. Unit Linked Insurance Plan or ULIP is a combination of insurance and investment. It provides you with risk cover for your life and gives you the option to invest in stocks, mutual funds or bonds. Term life insurance is a good option at young age as the premium will be less for protection and coverage for high sum assured. Endowment life insurance plans will suit to fulfill one’s future goals like children education, marriage, wealth accumulation, retirement etc. So choosing the right insurance plan can be a good investment options in India in your 20s.

10. Real Estate

Real Estate provides good investment options in India if you can start doing so in your 20s. It will help you to get a steady income and long term financial security as its value increases exponentially with the passage of time. It will provide you with tax benefits and help to beat inflation. You can take loan to buy a property. In case if financial necessity, you can mortgage your property to meet your needs. This is one of choice investment options in India where there is invariably appreciation of capital investment amount.

11. Bank Fixed Deposits

This is another of investment options in India. When you deposit a certain sum in a bank for a particular tenure at a fixed rate of interest, it is called as Fixed Deposit or FD. It provides you with a higher rate of interest than what you get in a savings account until the maturity date. Even if the stock market crashes, your funds will remain secured in the bank. You can also get a loan against your FD. Bank FDs are one of safest investment options in India till date.

12. Initial Public Offering (IPO)

IPO is launched by a privately held company only once, at the beginning, to become a public company, giving opportunity to investors can be one of good investment options in India. An IPO is a type of public offering in which shares of a company is sold to the general public and to the institutional investors. If you can buy them during the launch it will be a great advantage to you. If an IPO is launched by a reputed company then its stock is likely to go up during listing. You can make decent money by selling your stock or can stay invested for a longer period of time to earn more. Before investing in IPOs, acquire a good knowledge about the company to avoid losses. This is one of speculative investment options in India.

To achieve financial security in your old age you think ahead of various investment options in India and learn to save more than to spend more. Be aggressive and take risks when you are in your 20s. At older age these investment options in India will give a different comprehension and caution to investors.

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ECB launches small climate-change unit to lead Lagarde’s green push

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ECB launches small climate-change unit to lead Lagarde's green push 1

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is setting up a small team dedicated to climate change to spearhead its efforts to help the transition to a greener economy in the euro zone, ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Monday.

Lagarde has made the environment a priority since taking the helm at the ECB, taking a number of steps to include climate considerations in the central bank’s work as the euro zone’s banking watchdog and main financial institution.

She is now creating a team of around 10 ECB employees, reporting directly to her, to set the central bank’s agenda on climate-related topics.

“The climate change centre provides the structure we need to tackle the issue with the urgency and determination that it deserves,” Lagarde said in a speech.

She said that climate change belonged in the ECB’s remit as it could affect inflation and obstruct the flow of credit to the economy.

The ECB said earlier on Monday it would invest some of its own funds, which total 20.8 billion euros ($25.3 billion) and include capital paid in by euro zone countries, reserves and provisions, in a green bond fund run by the Bank for International Settlement.

More significantly, ECB policymakers are also debating what role climate considerations should play in the institution’s multi-trillion euro bond-buying programme.

So far the ECB has bought corporate bonds based on their outstanding amounts but Lagarde has said the bank might have to consider a more active approach to correct the market’s failure to price in climate risk.

“Our strategy review enables us to consider more deeply how we can continue to protect our mandate in the face of (climate) risks and, at the same time, strengthen the resilience of monetary policy and our balance sheet,” Lagarde said.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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What to expect in 2021: Top trends shaping the future of transportation

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What to expect in 2021: Top trends shaping the future of transportation 2

By Lee Jones, Director of Sales – Grocery, QSR and Selected Accounts for Northern Europe at Ingenico, a Worldline brand

The pandemic has reinforced the need for businesses to undergo digital transformation, which is pivotal in the digital economy. In 2020, we saw the shift to online and cashless payments accelerated as a result of increased social distancing and nationwide restrictions.

The biggest challenge on all businesses into 2021 will be how they continue to adapt and react to the ever changing new normal we are all experiencing. In this context, what should we expect this year and beyond, in terms of developments across key sectors, including transport, parking and electric vehicle (EV) charging?

Mobility as a service (MaaS) and the future of transportation

Social distancing and lockdown measures have brought about a real change in public habits when it comes to transportation. In the last three months alone, we have seen commuter journeys across the globe reduce by at least 70%, while longer-distance travel has fallen by up to 90%. With it, cash withdrawals for payment has drastically reduced by 60%.

Technological advancements, alongside open payments, have unlocked new possibilities across multiple industries and will continue to have a strong impact. Furthermore, travellers are expecting more as part of their basic service. Tap and pay is one of the biggest evolutions in consumer payments. Bringing ease and simplicity to everyday tasks, consumers have welcomed this development to the transport journey. In-app payments are also on the rise, offering customers the ability to plan ahead and remain assured that they have everything they need, in one place, for every leg of their journey. Many local transport networks now have their own apps with integrated timetables, payments, and ticket download capabilities. These capabilities are being enabled by smaller more portable terminals for transport staff, and self-scanning ticketing devices are streamlining the process even further.

Lee Jones

Lee Jones

Ultimately, the end goal for many transport providers is MaaS – providing an easy and frictionless all-encompassing transport system that guides consumers through the whole journey, no matter what mode of travel they choose. Additionally, payment will remain the key orchestrator that will drive further developments in the transportation and MaaS ecosystems in 2021. What remains critical is balancing the need for a fast and convenient payment with safety and data privacy in order to deliver superior customer experiences.

The EV charging market and the accelerating pace of change  

The EV charging market is moving quickly and represents a large opportunity for payments in the future. EVs are gradually becoming more popular, with registrations for EVs overtaking those of their diesel counterparts for the first time in European history this year. What’s more, forecasts indicate that by 2030, there will be almost 42 million public charging points deployed worldwide, as compared with 520,000 registered in 2019.

Our experience and expertise in this industry have enabled us to better understand but also address the challenges and complexities of fuel and EV payments. The current alternating current (AC) based chargers are set to be replaced by their direct charging (DC) counterparts, but merchants must still be able to guarantee payment for the charging provider. Power always needs to be converted from AC to DC when charging an electric vehicle, the technical difference between AC charging and DC charging is whether the power gets converted outside or inside the vehicle.

By offering innovative payment solutions to this market segment, we enable service operators to incorporate payments smoothly into their omnichannel customer experience that also allows businesses to easily develop acceptance and provide a unique omnichannel strategy for EV charging payments. From proximity to online payments, it will support businesses by offering a unique hardware solution optimized for PSD2 and SCA. It will manage both near field communication (NFC) cards and payments from cards/smartphones, as well as a single interface to manage all payments, after sales support and receipt with both ePortal and eReceipts.

Cashless options for parking payments

The ‘new normal’ is now partly defined by a shift in consumer preference for cashless, contactless and mobile or embedded payments. These are now the preferred payment choices when it comes to completing the check-in and check-out process. They are a time-saver and a more seamless way to pay.

Drivers are more self-reliant and empowered than ever before, having adopted technologies that work to make their life increasingly efficient. COVID-19 has given rise to both ePayment and omnichannel solutions gaining in popularity. This has been due to ticketless access control based on license plate recognition or the tap-in/tap-out experience, as well as embedded payments or mobile solutions for street parking.

These smart solutions help consider parking services more broadly as a part of overall mobility or shopping experience. Therefore, operators must rapidly adapt and scale new operational practices; accept electronic payment, update new contactless limits, introduce additional payments means, refund the user or even to reflect changing customer expectations to keep pace.

2021: the journey ahead

This year,  we expect to see an even greater shift towards a cashless society across these key sectors, making the buying experience quicker and more convenient overall.

As a result, merchants and operators must make the consumer experience their top priority as trends shift towards simplicity and convenience, ensuring online and mobile payments processes are as secure as possible.

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Opportunities and challenges facing financial services firms in 2021

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Opportunities and challenges facing financial services firms in 2021 3

By Paul McCreadie, Partner at ECI Partners, the leading growth-focused mid-market private equity firm

Despite 2020 being an enormously disruptive year for businesses, our latest Growth Index research reveals that almost three quarters (74%) of mid-market financial services companies remained resilient throughout the pandemic.

This is positive news, especially when taking into account the economic disruption that financial services firms have had to go through since the crisis began. No doubt 2021 will also hold its own challenges – as well as opportunities – for firms in this sector.

Challenges outlook

Unsurprisingly, the biggest short-term concern for financial firms for the year ahead involved changing pandemic guidance, with 42% citing this as a top concern. With the UK currently experiencing a third lockdown many financial services businesses will have already had to adapt to rapidly changing guidance, even since being surveyed.

Businesses will also be considering the need to invest in working from home operations, and there may be uncertainty over re-opening offices on a permanent basis.  According to the research 30% of financial services firms are planning to adopt remote working on a permanent basis, so decisions need to be made now about whether they invest more in enabling staff to do this, or in their current office premises.

Due to Brexit, UK financial services firms are no longer able to passport their services into Europe, which may cause problems, particularly in the next 12 months as the Brexit deal is ironed out and the agreement is put into practice. Despite this, Brexit was only cited by 24% of financial firms as a short-term concern. While it’s comforting to see that UK financial firms aren’t hugely concerned about Brexit at this juncture, it is going to be vital for the ongoing success of the industry that the UK is able to get straightforward access to Europe and operate there without issue, otherwise we may see these concern levels rise.

Looking ahead to longer-term concerns for financial services businesses, the top concern was global economic downturn, of which 40% of firms cited this as a worry when looking beyond 2021.

Investing and adopting tech

Traditionally, the financial services sector has been slow to adopt digital transformation. Issues with legacy systems, coupled with often large amounts of data and a reluctance to undertake potentially risky change processes, have meant many firms are behind the curve when it comes to technology adoption. It’s therefore promising to see that so much has changed over the last year, with 45% of financial services firms having invested in AI and machine learning technology – making it the top sector to have invested in this space over the last 12 months.

One business that exemplifies the benefits of investing in machine learning is Avantia, the technology-enabled insurance provider behind HomeProtect. The business has undergone a large tech transformation in the last few years, investing in an underlying machine learning platform and an in-house data science team, which provides them with capabilities to return a quote to over 98% of applicants in under one second. This tech investment has allowed them to become more scalable, provide a more stable platform, improve customer service and consequently, grow significantly.

This demonstrates how this kind of tech can help businesses to leverage tech in order to offer a better customer experience, and retain and grow market share through winning new customers. This resilience should combat some of the concerns that firms will face in the next year.

Additionally, half (51%) of financial services firms have invested in cybersecurity tech over the last year, which allows them to protect the platforms on which they operate and ensure ongoing provision of solutions to their customers.

International resilience

Clearly, there is a benefit of international revenues and profits on business resilience. In practice, this meant that businesses that weren’t internationally diversified in 2020 struggled more during the pandemic. In fact, the businesses considered to be the least resilient through the 2020 crisis were three times more likely to only operate domestically.

Perhaps an attribute towards financial services firms’ resilience in 2020, therefore, was the fact that 53% already had a presence in Europe throughout 2020 and 38% had a presence in North America. This internationalisation gave them an advantage that allowed them to weather the many storms of 2020.

Looking at how to capitalise on this throughout the rest of 2021, half (51%) of are planning overseas growth in Europe over the next 12 months, and 43% in North America. Further plans to expand internationally is not only a good sign for growth, but should further increase resilience within the sector.

Conclusion

While there are many concerns, the fact that financial services businesses are investing in technology like AI and machine learning, as well as still planning to grow internationally, means that they are providing themselves with the best chances of dealing with any upcoming challenges effectively.

In order to maintain their growth and resilience throughout the next 12 months, it’s imperative that they continue to put their customers first, invest in technology and remain on the front foot of digital change.

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