Sunday, 28 August 2016

What Code Should You Learn?

What Code Should You Learn? - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

The digital world constantly changes. New technologies are introduced and new developments in the industry are being made known to the public. There will always be changes in technology. And technology will constantly improve to help create a better world.

And one of the primary movers of technology and the digital world is a computer programming language. This is the language spoken and understood by the computer. The computer language is machine language. Basically, what the computer can understand and process are just a bunch of one's and zeros. It is really upon the expertise of the programmer to create special software that could be understood by the computer and the human user.

Computer programming software follows a certain language that computers follow. Examples of these languages are the Assembly language, C++, FoxPro, Visual Basic, Visual FoxPro and several others. These types of software can mediate between the computer and the programmer. All the programmer has to do is to input the commands he would like the computer to do. He'll write the commands in the syntax that the computer programming language understands. The commands are then processed and converted into the machine language the computer processor understands. This is how the many applications and programs downloadable from the internet are created.

Different computer programming languages can provide different levels of functionality. Some software can give crisp graphical images. These programming languages are usually used in making games. Games are really what make computers half popular. And this is all because of the computer programming language created for making games that people from all over the world love. Games are complex individual programs that are interlinked together by the main game application.

Aside from computer games, programming languages allows for the development of functional software such as word processing programs, database programs, web-based applications, and several others. The software is made possible with the creation of the programming languages that are most fitting to the design and interface of the program being created. There are many times that a single application can be created multiple language platforms.

But then again, all of these programs won't be possible without the creation of an operating system. The operating system is the software by which a computer system runs. Popular examples of such software are the Windows platform, Linux, Unix, and Mac OS. There are a lot of old operating systems being used before and the most popular of which is DOS. The operating system serves as a good median for the computer and the processor's language. Its main job is to translate every single program created for the operating system and allow the machine to process them accordingly, so that people can run and use the program.

The evolution of computer programming languages is required in this ever-changing world. It is mandatory that they have to keep up with the demands of the current times. Before, computers are used against a black, monochrome background. Right now, computers uses images, colors, and interactive icons. The contrast is very striking that you can just imagine what would happened if there were no evolution that happened.

The introduction of new computer programming languages should be a welcome addition to the growing group of computer languages. The new features and abilities these can be used widely in different applications are in currently in demand.

Live the life you truly desearve

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Why NPS Is A Bad Investment For Your Retirement

Although India has the highest percentage of habitual savers (59%) (As per the survey conducted by Aegon Insurance across 15 countries), one thing that bothers most individuals during the golden years is the possibility of outliving their entire retirement corpus. But this worry can be addressed by investing wisely from an early age.

Before we delve into the subject matter; here are a couple of questions for an honest introspection:
1.  Have you provided for a pension facility? (The answer would be a "no" if you are working for a private limited company)
2.  Would you be keen to have a pension for life if provided by a Government of India Agency? (The answer would mostly be a "yes")

The investment avenue that we are talking about here is the "National Pension System (NPS)" offered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).. Over the years, subscriptions have jumped from 4 lakh in March 2009 to 123 lakh in March 2016.
If you are wondering how it works, here's a snapshot and it's features:

1.  NPS is a voluntary defined contribution scheme (i.e. the pension you receive depends on the retirement corpus accumulated over the years)
2.  The investments are pooled together and managed by professional fund managers appointed by PFRDA
3.  You have the flexibility of deciding the portfolio you wish to invest in (bonds, bills, corporate debentures, and shares)
4.  At the time of normal exit from NPS, you would be required to mandatorily purchase a life annuity from a PFRDA empanelled life insurer.
5.  A citizen of India (whether a resident or a non-resident) can participate in the NPS-All Citizen Model

The All Citizen Model (Unorganised Sector-UoS) offers two investment accounts—Tier I and Tier II with varied features:

1.  Tier I Account: It is a non-withdrawal account, which means the applicant isn't allowed to withdraw the contributions he has made. The objective of the account is to build a retirement corpus. The good news is an applicant is eligible to claim tax benefits on their contributions. The minimum amount to be contributed every year is Rs 6,000 (excluding charges and taxes) and can be made in multiples of Rs 500. If the applicant fails to contribute Rs 6,000 in a year, then his account would be frozen till the shortfall along with penalty isn't paid (Rs 100 per year of default)
2.  Tier II Account: This is a voluntary savings account and isn't linked to retirement. An applicant is free to withdraw from this account as per his requirement but isn't eligible to claim tax benefits on the contributions made. The minimum amount to be maintained is Rs 2,000 per year
NPS offers an applicant freedom to decide how his money will be invested. It offers two options—Active Choice and Auto Choice

For applicants investing in Active Choice, the entire pension wealth can be invested in Asset Class C or G and up to a maximum of 50% in equity (i.e. Asset Class E). While those investors lacking knowledge to manage their NPS investment can opt for Auto Choice (i.e. Lifecycle Fund). Here, the fraction of funds invested across three asset classes will be determined by a pre-defined portfolio.

The NPS offers 3 options for a subscriber to exit/withdraw the corpus as explained below:

1.  Before attaining 60 years: At least 80% of the accumulated corpus needs to be mandatorily used to purchase a life annuity and the balance 20% is paid in lump sum
2.  Upon attaining 60 years: At least 40% of the accumulated corpus needs to be mandatorily used to purchase a life annuity and the balance 60% is paid in lump sum. 40% of the accumulated retirement corpus is made tax free at the time of retirement as per the Union Budget of 2016 – 17. However, the subscriber has the option to defer the lump sum withdrawal till the age of 70 years.
3.  Death of the subscriber: The entire accumulated corpus (i.e. 100%) would be paid to the nominee or legal heir. There will not be any purchase of annuity and the entire proceeds received will be tax free in the hands of the nominee/legal heir as the Union Budget of 2016 – 17.
Some key developments:

1.  Over the years the asset under management (AUM) of NPS has grown from Rs 2,277 Crore as on March 2009 to Rs 1,18,810 Crore as on March 2016

2.  Moreover, Pension Fund Managers (PFMs(Source:PFRDA)) have clocked encouraging returns over the period
However, out of Rs 1,18,810 Crore AUM (as on March 2016), only Rs 1,333.16 Crore was the AUM under Tier I & Rs 192.84 Crore under Tier II for the All Citizen Model. This highlights couple of inefficiencies of this model to attract the common man:
1.  Inefficient Taxation: NPS does not enjoy the Exempt-Exempt-Exempt status unlike Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Public Provident Fund (PPF). As per the current tax laws, 60% of the accumulated retirement corpus will be brought under the tax ambit, making it unpopular vis-à-vis PPF. Moreover, the life annuity that a subscriber has to mandatorily purchase from the retirement corpus is also taxable as per the prevailing tax laws.
2.  Inability to beat inflation: A subscriber to the NPS is forced to buy a life annuity from a life insurance company. Annuities offer paltry returns (in the range of 3% to 7% pre-tax) making it an incompetent instrument to beat inflation.

However, in the bid to attract more subscribers and embrace technology; PFRDA has taken some key initiatives:
1.  Mobile App: Mobile App for NPS is now available to the subscribers in "Google Play Store" as "NPS by NSDL e-Gov". By using the app, one can:
a.  Transaction Statement: Raise request for transaction statement for a particular financial year.
b.  Account details: View NPS account details
c.  Statement of holding view: Details of scheme wise units along with latest NAV and the total value of the schemes (as on date) is available.
d.  View of last 5 contributions: Details of the last five contributions credited will be available i.e. credit date, tier type, amount and contribution remarks.
e.  Change in contact details (Telephone/Mobile no /email ID): At present, subscriber can change his/her contact details in CRA system using login credential. The same feature has been extended in Mobile App.
f.   Change password/Security question: Subscriber can add / modify his / her password and set security question (for password reset) through Mobile App. Subscriber will also be able to reset his/her password by answering secret questions.
g.  Notifications: Notifications, if any, from CRA will be available to the Subscriber. Short messages will be displayed here.
2.  Change of address using Aadhaar authentication: The subscribers can now update/modify their address using Aadhaar based authentication. The subscriber will also be permitted to add their permanent as well as correspondence address
3.  Scheme Preference change facility: The NPS Subscribers associated with All Citizens of India (UoS), Corporate sector and Government sector (for Tier II only) can now change their Scheme Preference by logging in. An OTP will be generated on the registered mobile number and after confirmation, the subscriber can change the Pension Fund Manager (PFM), Asset Class, Allocation Ratio and Scheme Options
4.  Tier II activation through eNPS: Any subscriber having a Tier I account in NPS can now activate a Tier II account online through eNPS. To activate a Tier II account, the subscriber has to enter their Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN), Date of Birth (DOB), and Permanent Account Number (PAN). Once the details are submitted, an OTP will be generated on the registered mobile number and after confirmation; the subscriber can go ahead and activate the Tier II account.
5.  KYC re-verification using Aadhaar authentication: A subscriber whose bank has not confirmed (rejected) his/her KYC verification request can now update their address details and confirm KYC using Aadhaar based authentication. He can do so using the eNPS module.
6.  Facility to contribute online: Subscribers are contributing through online mode using eNPS portal of NPS Trust. A facility has been made available to contribute online for subscribers using IPIN credentials in CRA system.
7.  Withdrawal from Tier II account: Till now a subscriber had to travel to the branch of the Point of Presence (POP) or Nodal Office mapped to his account. This caused a lot of inconvenience to the subscriber. Taking cue, PFRDA has come up with a facility wherein the subscriber can withdraw from his Tier II account using his login credentials and authenticating the OTP generated on his registered mobile number.
8.  Online IPIN generation: This facility will help a subscriber access his NPS account immediately without waiting for a physical I-PIN to be dispatched in the post:

To Conclude…

As Financial Planners with over a decade of experience, we believe this product does not hold enough promise to create a substantial corpus that will meet your retirement need citing its inability to beat inflation and inefficiency to save taxes.

Even if a subscriber decides to apply for one, it won't be prudent to be completely dependent on this single instrument as one plan for the golden years.

Rather, if you chalk-out a prudent financial plan with the help of a financial planner, and invest wisely as per the plan laid out (which would mostly recommend you equity allocation at younger age, and then as your age progresses balance the asset allocation between equity and debt instruments), then the corpus that you create will be substantial enough to meet your retirements needs.

Whets the things you should know that could make your retirement corpus bigger? 

Live the life you truly deserve
This article has been authored by PersonalFN, a Mumbai based Financial Planning and Mutual Fund research firm known for offering unbiased and honest opinion on investing.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Little Known Ways to Handle Tough Interview Questions

The secret of answering difficult interview questions

Answer Tough Question with Confidence

Each interview has at least one, a question that you really don’t know the best way to answer.  It is the one that you agonize over for days and keep going over it and over it in your head and you ask others how they would have answered.  There is no way to avoid these types of questions but you can answer them with confidence to give yourself peace of mind until you get a call back.

Demonstrate balance between professional education and people skills

Corporate world is changing rapidly and the hybrid employees are in demand that possess a set of hybrid skills. Career expert Susan Brennan says, “Technical skills are a minimum criteria in the recruitment process, it’s the personal qualities that make the difference”.
It’s the major reason why employers like the person that has a sense of balance between professional/technical education and soft skills. In other words it can be explained that intelligent quotient (IQ) alone is not sufficient but the balance with emotional quotient (EQ) makes you a hybrid employee.

Ask for a Movement to Think

Do not feel that you have to answer immediately after you have been asked a question.  You are not on a game show where the fastest contestant to answer wins.  Your
interviewers will appreciate that you have taken time to formulate your answer.  If you are concerned by a prolonged silence – don’t be, it is normal.  If you have been asked a question that you do not know exactly what to say, ask for a moment to think of an appropriate answer.  This is preferable to taking a long time to answer without explaining what you are doing.

Thank your interviewer for giving you the extra time

If you really can’t think of an answer off of the top of your head, ask if you can come back to the question in a moment – keep trying to think of an answer.  Don’t think that if you get to the end of the interview and you haven’t answered the question that you are off of the hook.  Even if your interviewer doesn’t ask again, it has not gone unnoticed that you didn’t respond to a question.  The best case scenario is for you to bring the topic back to the question and answer it accordingly.  Thank your interviewer for giving you the extra time to come up with the right answer.

Formulate first, answer second  

If it is a lengthy question that is broken into parts, break it down into, don’t try and answer it all at once – you can always ask for parts of the question to be repeated. It is always better to taking time or breaking the length then to answer wrongly. Let’s take a look a lengthy question like this- what is GST and how will GST work? Or what is GST and what are the potential areas of conflict? How will you handle such type of lengthy question? Think a while, formulate the answer and reply part first after second.

Apology is courtesy, not the Confession

Don’t hesitate to make an apology over the question thinking at which you are not capable of replying correctly. Apology is courtesy not the confession or failure. So be confident and positive while saying sorry. You must remember that in a corporate world professionalism always matters.

How will you deal such lengthy question upon which you are fully assured to answer part second but quite unknown to part first?

Live the life you truly deserve
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