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Common information sources for financial planning

Range of sources

Before we make any investment, just like Vidhata did, we must check numerous sources of information. This is because every source that you use may have its own way of looking at a financial product. Using only a single source is likely to give you incomplete information about a product. So, always check more than one source and form your own opinion about which product suits you best. Here is a list of sources from which information on the above is available:

TV programmes

There are many business channels on television these days. The programmes on these channels are in English, Hindi and regional languages too. Some of them are more basic and explain the foundations of finance and products while others are more advanced. Some merely tell us the business and economic news. We must watch a good mix of education, news and analysis programmes.

Newspapers and Magazines

As long as we are able to read, there are plenty of articles available that will give us education, news and analysis. While reading these may take more time than watching television, they are likely to give us more in dept information that the Television since it is not possible to clutter a TV programme with facts and figures. A printed source also allows us to revisit information from time to time to make sure we have understood it well and in the right context.

Annual reports

If we invest in shares, we must keep a track of the performance of a company through its annual report. The annual report not only tells us about the financial performance of the company during the past year or two, it also tells us about the management’s plans for the future of the company.

Company/bank websites

Websites of firms tell us a lot about their performance, achievements, attitude towards the business and future plans. If we learn the basic use of the internet, we can easily find information on any company that we want to know more about.

Searches on the internet and blogs

Sometimes we may want to know more about an industry or an issue. This information may not be available on the websites of companies. If we learn to search for information, with the help of search engines such as Google or Yahoo, we can get the answers to most of the questions that we have in our minds. If we are still not satisfied, we can go to the blog sites of people who share their views on various topics and put forward our queries there. Remember, however, that every answer that we receive on internet blogs should be checked with other sources too.

Brokers and financial experts

People with experience in finance are sometimes a valuable source of information. They are likely to understand your query like no other source and give you a specific reply to it. Here again, make sure that you do not act only on the advice of one or two people. Your investment decisions should be based on a broad understanding gathered from various sources.

Some advisors that you can turn to are:

  • Certified Financial Advisors (by FPSB) ,
  • Licensed Stockbrokers (By SEBI/NSE/BSE),
  • Authorized insurance agents (By IRDA/Insurance Company),
  • Financial Literacy and Credit Counselling Centers (By RBI/Nationalized Bank) and
  • Authorized Business Correspondents (By RBI /Banks).

They could not only give you advice but help you with your financial planning exercise also.

Friends and family

Unless your friend and family circle contains qualifies experienced experts, use this source more for debate and discussion than actual information gathering or advice. Discussion and debate on financial products and issues is also important. It can help you to confirm your opinions and may open up queries that did not occur to you.

Source: Portal Content Team



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