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Apr 092017
 

Universal Ass. Against Short Pitch Bowling has issued a press statement that they will be on non-strike for the entire Intolerant People’s League season. This came after month long talks between UAASPB and ISeeSee concluded without any decision. UAASPB leader Short-Ball Na-Daina informed the press that they had raised certain demands to ISeeSee including

  • Short-Ball = No-Ball: All balls pitched shorter than good length to be called No-Ball
  • Shortening fast bowlers run-up: Run-up for fat bowlers to be restricted to 5 steps
  • Life imprisonment for bowling bouncers

ISeeSee refused to agree on these terms as per their announcement yesterday. Nagraj, InSane Watt are some of the other noted members from UAASPB, who will join Na-Daina in the season long strike by remaining on non-strike against all potential abusers of short pitch bowling.

Apr 092017
 

A gamer was seriously “injured” after “being in a fix” for close to three & a half hours yesterday. It was reported that he was watching an IPL match when this happened. He was playing fantasy IPL game and he had chosen a perfect XI with 6 players from one team and 5 from the other. However, as the match started he got into the fix of indecision as “what to expect” from the next ball. Since most of the time it was his fantasy team’s batsman facing against his fantasy team bowler. There were numerous occasions where this pain peaked like-

  • Fantasy batsman at 49 trying a six against fantasy bowler with figures of 3.5-0-39-0, which is controversially caught at boundary by fantasy fielder and decision goes to third umpire
  • Power player faces fantasy bowler on a Hat-trick

Doctors have issued an advisory to fantasy league gamers to avoid choosing the perfect XI and instead make random selections to keep their anxiety under control.

Apr 092017
 

Manmani’s justify 200% increase in Talent Sharma pay, to retain “talent”

With the pay revision of Intolerant People’s League players last week, a lot of criticism has been observed over the 200% pay increase for Talent Sharma. A senior HR manager at Manmani’s explained “Talent is key to the first part of our strategy of starting bad and bouncing back. Without him, it would be difficult for us to lose first 4-5 games.

Liyo offer extended till next InPL

Liyo offer has been extended to all InPL players till the next season at a token price of wearing Liyo on their sleeves. They would also need to show up in dancing shoes in order to continue their Prime Liyo membership. A few players were seen training with the Cheer Girls before the start of matches in orer to grab the Liyo offer.

Ben “bhai” Hill-pe-House has been signed up Bare Angels

Bare Angels continue to take big strides towards their vision of fielding All Seamer XI. They have sacrificed another non-seamer Jai Prakash Dwivedi to pull in Ben “bhai” Hill-pe-House. He has been signed up for a mere 2 BHK on the hill. Read more about how Swing Khan has taken up a “supporting role” at Bare Angels.

 

Apr 022017
 

Swing Khan to be a “supporting actor”

Having Pet Kamin, Kabhi-se Kabada, MD Swami in the squad; it was looking difficult for Swing Khan to make an entry. After discussing with Bare Angels coach Wall, Swing has decided to play a supporting cast. He would be playing all matches supporting one of the 3 pacers, who will be rotated through the season.

Main-bhi Dravid (aka Me-too Dravid) out of InPL

Main-bhi Dravid has announced that he would be out of InPL due to shoulder injury. With Super Commando Dhruv’s aka McBc getting all the limelight in Pussy media post shoulder injury; Main-bhi has decided to go down the same path. His shy nature has often limited his marketability despite impressive performance on the field.

Robin Blue and A-Null Wicket-Le supported Main-bhi’s decision.

Meanwhile, even Mulli Ki-Jai joined the “shoulder injury to surgery” list; hoping to get into the limelight.

Superman to lead Beer Whiskey Rum in place of Super Commando Dhruv

As the Govt closes in on Maal-le Liya, Beer Whiskey Rum have other issues to sort out. With Super Commando Dhruv down with injury, Superman is going to lead the side. Apparently, Sabki-Le and InSane Watt were furious at not having got the position ahead of Superman. Their argument was that Sabki-Le has the larger than life image and bat; and InSane Watt is out of the Pussy team for quite sometime to lead with a fresh mind. Clearly, the club management still has some sense going.

RGSP signs I-Ran Mahir in place of Mi-Hell Harsh

After replacing Un-Honi with Tommy Smith as captain (read the full coverage here), Gutka Singh (owner of RGSP) has taken another important decision to replace Mi-Hell Harsh with unsold I-Ran Mahir. Hoping to get maximum publicity for the newly launched Gutka brand- Khaini Khao Jeevan Badhao, Gutka Singh is positive that I-Ran would be perfect fit as brand Icon apart from Tommy.

 

 

Mar 212017
 

Insurance is the most misunderstood and most abused financial product in India. Insurance companies have been notorious in duping uninformed customers with misfit products to generate profits. Lack of awareness of Insurance hasn’t helped either. The result is that people ignore this important requirement from financial security point of view.

While Insurance is of multiple kinds, the most basic and most important one is Life Insurance. It’s a product where Insurance company pays a certain predetermined amount (Sum Insured) to the dependents of an Insured person upon death of his/her death, in return for paying a much smaller amount (Insurance Premium) at frequent interval until death.

The simplest form of Life Insurance product is where the Insured keeps paying Insurance Premium at agreed frequency until death or end of policy term (25/30 years or age of 65/70 years) . In case of death within the policy term the dependent gets the Sum Assured and in case where Insured doesn’t die before the end of policy term, NO payout is made. This product or policy is called Term Insurance.

To put things in context, for a Term Plan with Sum Assured of Rs 1 crore the annual Insurance Premium is Rs 19,000 or nearly 0.2% of Sum Assured per year.

But why to buy a Term Plan?

The reason is because you care! A salaried person typically works till the age of 60 years. He/she acquires a certain amount of wealth till retirement and also fulfills important life needs/wants for his/her family- food, house, education, marriage, vacations, jewelry, durables, etc. All of this is provided through the salary he/she earns. But in the unforeseen event of his/her dying early, the dependent family’s requirement would seize to get fulfilled. This is when Term plan helps. A person can secure happy future for his/her family by paying a nominal amount towards Insurance. Term plan fills the financial void created by the departure of the earning member in the family.

Does this mean bachelors dont need it?

Strictly speaking, yes. If one doesn’t have anyone to get benefited then Term plan has no value. However, if one plans to start a family in future then it’s good to have a Term plan created even during bachelorhood. This is because the Premium rate for give value of Sum Assured keeps going up as one ages.

Apart from simple Term plan, there are many other products which provide Insurance along with certain other benefits. However, most of these combo products are financially sub optimal, as these are designed to provide greater return to the company and hence lesser return to the customers. The companies generally lure customers by giving “Money Back” at the end of policy term vs ZERO payout at the end of Term plan. However, the Premium rate for such products (Endowment Plans or Money Bank Plans) are so high that it doesn’t make financial sense to go for such plans.

 

Mar 212017
 

Venue: RGSP’s board meeting.

“He has refused to “eat” the gutkha and smile, for our next gutkha ad for overseas promotion.”

“But that’s no reason to sack him. And what guarantee do you have that Tommy Smith would “eat” our gutkha and also smile?”

“If Bond can do it then can’t imagine Tommy won’t. Afterall he is also white and devoid of any logic.”

“Well then, if that’s what you want, so be it. But what reason do we give to public, given that Un-Honi has already declared that he would continue being a captain in InPL?”

“Tell that we are adopting rotation policy.”

“But that is for players, not captains!”

“We will apply it to captaincy. Anyways, who cares about next season!”

 

 Posted by at 1:41 am
Mar 212017
 

[Disclaimer: This is not a sarcastic post]

For starters: Ubering means to use Uber. Uber is an app based taxi service. It’s essentially an on-demand taxi service where a user can call for a taxi by using the Uber app. Apart from Uber, this kind of service is also provided by Ola in India. To learn more about the cost and comparison between these two and with other transport service, read this.

With the rise of Uber and Ola, the ease and affordability of hiring a taxi has gone up significantly. This change triggers an important question- “Is it better to hire Uber or Ola instead of owning a car?”

The answer to this question, similar to the answer to “Buying vs Renting House“, requires a bit of calculation and a bit of qualitative reasoning.

So, first let’s look at what the numbers say.

First of all, see this to learn about the actual landed price of a car or On Road price.

Here’s a comparison of cost between owning the most basic car and hiring an Uber (UberGo specifically).

Buying vs Hiring Car_Alto

Buying vs Hiring Car_Alto

The conclusion is clear. If one is going to drive car by oneself then it makes sense to purchase a car rather than hiring a taxi. However, to make the comparison Like for Like it’s important to consider driver’s salary in “own car” option. In this scenario Uber is the clear winner, atleast at current rates in India (it would hold even with 40% increase from current rates).

A more realistic comparison would be to consider a mid range car with general accessories- for example a Maruti Swift. Here’s a comparison.

Buying vs Hiring Car_Swift

Buying vs Hiring Car_Swift

In this scenario the “own vs hire” decision is neutral when one doesn’t consider driver’s salary.

This goes against the general wisdom of hiring a taxi vs using own car. The reason is that people generally dont make this calculation at the time of purchase of car. And once a car is purchased the incremental cost of running is generally perceived to be the fuel cost, which is what the taxi fare is compared against. The less obvious but more relevant cost of running- purchase, maintenance etc. are generally excluded from the calculation.

This numeric analysis clearly shows that hiring a taxi (Uber, Ola) is much economic then owning a car (and hiring a driver to run it).

The qualitative factors of comparison, listed below, also favor hiring vs owning:

  • Ownership vs Upkeep: While owning a car is a matter of pride, the upkeep of car is a cumbersome task. Apart from paying for a parking slot in society apartments, there is hassle of routine cleaning, getting frequent maintenance, mending the puncture (flat tyre).
  • Convenience vs Availability: One’s own car is always available for use, for any destination. While a taxi may not be available on-demand (Uber and Ola are trying hard to bridge this, with good success). Also, a taxi may not be available for any destination (Inter-city, long vacation drive). However, specially in city, it’s more convenient to hire a taxi given that one doesn’t need to toil to find parking space.

In the end, it looks that both quantitatively and qualitatively hiring a taxi is much better than owning a car, personal pride aside!!!

Mar 202017
 

[Disclaimer: This is not a sarcastic post]

Buying a car is a matter of great pride for families in India. It probably rates just below buying a house in terms of life milestones for any middle class family.

Similar to the landed price of a house, the landed price or On Road price of a car is also not readily marketed or visible to a common man.

Here’s a table explaining the On Road price of an entry level car with basic feature.

On Road Price- Alto

On Road Price- Alto

As one can see, the On Road price of a car is nearly 10% higher than the marketed price (Ex- Showroom price). And this is just the  are minimum; if one wants to install more accessories- like central locking, stereo system, parking sensors, fog lamps, etc. then the price may go up by additional 10%.

 

Mar 132017
 

[Disclaimer: This post is not sarcastic]

Credit card always ring a negative bell in middle people’s mind. Rightly so. Credit card companies have been notorious in duping innocent customers with finer prints and hefty fines. Read here, the tyranny of one such customer at the hand of a big bank. However, if one is vigilant, ever so slightly, then it’s not actually bad.

First, let’s get to basics. Credit card is an instrument through which one can get “free” loan for a period of close to 1 month on an average. Basically it’s exactly like your ATM card, except you can’t draw cash using it (actually you can, but that is too costly and must be avoided). You can use it to make payment for shopping at super markets (or any big store which accepts card) and on e-commerce sites, or paying bills etc. online. You can even carry your Credit card overseas and make payment in foreign currency (provided you have an International validity card).

And to make these payments you dont need to have cash upfront. Once you make any payment using the credit card, the card company would send you a statement at the end of the month (or another fixed date) telling you how much you spent- when, where etc. This statement will also tell you when do you need to pay this “Free” loan back to the company. There is generally a time period of 15 days given from the date of statement to the date of payment. Hence, one gets anywhere between 15-45 days “free” loan depending on when the purchase was made. Important to note is that

Amount to be paid = Amount spent

There is not charge for the “free” credit period! This is the reason why everyone should have a credit card.

The statement also has columns for financing charges and due from previous statement. These would be generally blank if one makes credit card bill payment on/before time. But those who don’t see the dark side of Credit cards. If one doesn’t make the payment of outstanding within the due date, the bank charges a hefty interest rate (typically 3% pm or 36% pa) on the outstanding amount as well as a penalty. This is where it gets ugly and people who make this mistake end up swearing by the name of Credit cards.

But the solution is simple, just keep a tab of due date of credit card bill payment and ensure the full amount is paid in time. Better still, make the payment as soon as the bill arrives rather than waiting till the due date.

If one keeps this discipline then Credit cards are a boon. Not only do you get free credit period, there are often different kind of promotions run by either the Credit card company or merchants/etailers giving cashbacks and discount for using certain Credit card. Which brings me to my original point- have as many Credit cards as you can (and which you can rigorously track for due dates). Since, promotions are run across different kinds of Credit card, having multiple Credit cards increases the chances of being eligible for one.

However, one big factor to consider before plugging into the pool of Credit card is internet security. While maintaining discipline of making timely payments is within one’s control, internet security isn’t. Credit cards (or for that matter Debit cards, ATM’s, Netbanking) carry an inherent risk of online frauds. Having multiple cards only increases this risk. One of the precautions to take while enrolling for multiple credit cards is to keep the credit limit at the minimum. This will ensure the risk of fraud is limited. Another security measure is to disable International Usage on the card.

So, if you have the discipline go for it. But if you always turn late to meetings, avoid Credit cards.