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Hazel Calvin

Finance

Marwan Kheireddine, and the Value of Bringing Credit Cards to Lebanon 

Marwan Kheireddine knows the importance of the banking sector. Having worked within it for decades, he has wanted to expand offerings for people in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon for many years. He is the chairman and CEO of AM Bank, and has diligently worked to bring credit cards to Lebanon. After coming to New York for an education, and gaining experience with how the US banking system works, he realized there was a completely untapped market in that no Lebanese banks offered credit cards at all.

At that time, in the early 1990s, his father was the AM Bank chairman. Kheireddine began working there, and started his push for credit cards. He reached out to Visa and Mastercard, but AM Bank was small, and the letters he sent were never answered. Fortunately, he had another option. He contacted Michael Milken, who had taught him corporate finance and who was, at the time, vice chairman of Citibank. Milken got him an introduction to the vice president of Mastercard, and AM Bank got its license to offer credit cards.

His father was still very skeptical, but Marwan Kheireddine was undeterred. He purchased an embossing machine and started offering Mastercard through the bank. Slowly, people started applying. After all, it was the only bank in Lebanon where they could get a credit card at all, and it remained that way for the first five years of offering credit cards. Even now, AM Bank still has a higher market share in credit cards than it does in general banking.

Driven by the Importance of Innovation

The most important area of focus for Marwan Kheireddine is innovation. He saw in his studies how offering credit cards saved Citibank, and saw through his own efforts how it caused growth and stability for AM Bank. He introduced cards with no interest charges, cards with higher interest, and cards that required annual fees. He launches options for new cards in just a couple of days, and continues to push for additional offerings that can provide more to customers and create more value for the bank, as well.

Kheireddine also changed the bank’s hours. Most banks at the time opened at 8:30am, and closed at 12:30pm. He started keeping AM Bank locations open until 5pm, and it wasn’t long before other banks in the country started to do the same thing. He was the first to offer digital banking, as well, and has stayed on top of technology and innovation since his very first day working at AM Bank. He has also worked for the Lebanese government, as minister of state, and helped shape the country.

The financial background of Marwan Kheireddine has made it easier for him to understand the complexities that went into the changes he wanted to make with AM Bank. He recognizes not only the value that banks bring to customers, but their importance in day-to-day society. Kheireddine also notices the significance of innovation through technology, as customers are looking for more ways to do things that are convenient. By having digital and technological options, banks can make that easier for their customers.

Kheireddine has an MBA from the Columbia Business School at Columbia University in New York, and is a serial entrepreneur who has created a number of small and medium-sized companies. He has been a board member on the Beirut Stock Exchange, and he is also a founding member of the Young Presidents’ Organization Lebanon chapter. As a board member of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, he has worked on transparency, social justice, and governance issues.

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Investment

A Small Guide to Investing in Property

Investing in property can be a tricky time, as there’s lots to understand. Here at We Buy Any House we have compiled a small guide on how to invest in property.

Why do People Invest in Property?

The concept of investing in property has become increasingly popular over the last decade or so, with people looking at investing in property as a way to fund their lifestyle instead of choosing a typical ‘9-5’ job. Here are some of the main reasons people choose to invest in property:

  • To use as rental income. This is especially useful for those who are self-employed, retired or those who have a predictable income which they aren’t satisfied with. Having a rental income gives them more freedom to be financially independent.
  • If they are trying to build a diverse portfolio for their business, then investing in property is a great way to achieve this.
  • They may invest in property to improve their capital growth, as property prices often rise which can be beneficial for investors.
  • The property market is extremely tangible, so therefore it’s easy to understand how it works and where you can gain or potentially lose leads.

How to Begin:

Think About Renting a Room Out:

To get a small taste for property investment, a great place to start is by renting out a room in your home. By making part of your home to work like an Airbnb, you can see the various things that go into being a property investor and manager.

Look at REIGs:

A great place to start is by investing in Real Estate Investment Groups (REIGs), which is ideal for those who want to own real estate in the rental market- and without the hassle of running your own real estate company. Collectively, a group of people manage the units of for example, an apartment complex- and in exchange for looking after the management of a building, the company will take a percentage of the monthly rent.

Flipping Investment Properties:

Another great place to begin your property investment journey is to begin by flipping houses. If you can find a cheap property that is in need of some TLC, you could begin doing a renovation on it, and redecorate the entire place and see how it sells on the property market. This would be a great way to see how you get on with a renovation strategy, coming up with an interior design idea and marketing the property.

Rent Out a Rented Property:

Renting out a property by yourself can seem ridiculously hard, therefore, renting out a property and delegating the other remaining bedrooms to others who want to live there is a great way to get your foot in the investor door. Firstly, it means that you are essentially occupying an investment property and will help you build up enough credit to qualify for a loan.

This article was written by a quick house sale company We Buy Any House. If you’re wondering “how can I sell my house fast?” or “how can I get someone to buy my house?”, head to the We Buy Any House website for more information relating to all property related enquiries

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Insurance

How to rebuild your life as a car accident victim in LA?

A car accident can change the victim’s entire life in unimaginable ways. The trauma stays forever if the victim loses limbs or is left paralyzed for life, no more in the condition to earn a living. 

If you fit into any of the categories we’ve mentioned above, you require the help of a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas. 

You can learn more about your rights and possible course of action in the sections to follow. Dive in!

What causes major chunks of auto accidents in LA?

There are many reasons. But the major causes include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Not giving heed to traffic rules
  • Driving under the influence of drugs 
  • Cutting lanes and overspeeding

As unlikely as it might seem, the streets are full of fools behind wheels who do not care for their safety and that of others on the road. 

If you’ve unfortunately been harmed, in any way, due to negligent driving by another person, you require the legal counsel of the best personal injury lawyers. 

You have insurance, then why legal assistance?

Insurance companies aren’t dying to put you out of your financial misery. They approach you soon after your accident not because they care, but because they want to rub their hands off you in the beginning. 

Why you ask us? 

Well, if insurers can coax you into signing papers early on, they’ll have their way out by paying you very little compensation. What about the wages you’ll lose until recovery? What about the future cost of treatment? You might require counseling sessions or surgeries later on – who pays for that?

Only an experienced personal injury lawyer is on your side – not your insurers nor the party who has put you in the hospital bed!

When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you get the following benefits:

  1. Experienced attorneys deal with insurers day in and day out. Hence, they will make sure nobody steals a single penny from your rightful settlement amount.
  2. They offer free consultation services. What’s more? They will never charge anything before they help you get the claim released. 
  3. They will make sure you’re paid for non-economic damages as well. 

How do you pick an attorney?

Now you know that insurance companies aren’t your companions, lawyers are. But, since Vegas is so full of auto accident attorneys, it can be overwhelming for an accident victim to pick the right lawyer. 

If that’s been troubling you too, here is a list of a few checkpoints that’ll help you in picking a lawyer that’ll certainly see you home.

  • Look at the winning track record and the money they’ve recovered for their clients. It will be mentioned on the website.
  • Take testimonials and Google reviews seriously. 
  • Anybody who asks for an upfront fee is not the right representative for you.

With this, we conclude our guide on the note that you might never meet with an accident and even if you do, you find the best legal aid possible!

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News

Unjust Termination

Despite the fact that many people who have lost jobs feel it was “wrongful,” particularly if it occurred without cause, the legal definition of wrongful termination is fairly specific. If you are fired for an illegal reason, such as a violation of federal anti-discrimination legislation or a contract breach, you have been terminated unfairly and are entitled to compensation. The employee’s firing cannot be based on his or her race, gender, ethnic origin, religion, or handicap. If an employee is dismissed as a result of filing a legal complaint against their employer or acting as a whistleblower, the employee is protected by law. The term “retaliation” is used to refer to such illegal conduct. The Wrongful Termination section of FindLaw covers what it means to be employed “at-will,” how to evaluate whether you have an implied employment contract, what constitutes wrongful termination, and how to file a case against your employer.

Employment-at-Will

By contrast, Montana does not have a “at-will” employment policy. As a result, your employer has the authority to fire you at will, even if you have committed no wrongdoing. Employees terminated illegally (for retaliation, discrimination, or breach of contract) are exempt from this provision. If you can demonstrate that your dismissal was motivated by racial intolerance or a sexist culture, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful termination.

Are You Confined by a Work Contract?

Employees who sign contracts outlining their tasks, responsibilities, and benefits have the right to expect their employers to adhere to these conditions. For instance, a written contract expressing a particular amount of work stability may be construed as establishing that the labor is not “at-will.” Additionally, the contract states that an employee may be terminated only if they fail to meet established standards, which means they cannot be terminated for any other reason. Even if you may not have a written employment contract, your employer may be bound by verbal promises.

Employment Loss Resulting from Discrimination

Racism, colorism, national origin, religion, disability, and pregnancy are the most often cited grounds for wrongful termination lawsuits involving discrimination. A workers compensation lawyer can also get involved. Federal and state legislation protects employees who exhibit certain qualities, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Because LGBT employees in California are protected, if a transgender employee is terminated, the employee may file a wrongful termination complaint against the employer.

If you believe you were fired on discriminatory grounds, you must file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within the time period specified.

Retaliation

For instance, an employee cannot be fired (or otherwise penalized) for reporting sexual harassment to his or her employer or for attempting to organize a labor union. Employers who retaliate against an employee may be sued for wrongful termination. Protected activities include medical leave, jury duty, military service, voting, and participation in an official investigation into the employer’s actions.

Federal and most state regulations prohibit retaliation against employees who expose suspected legal infractions through so-called “whistleblower” rights. For example, a whistleblower act protects an employee who informs the EPA that her employer is dumping toxic waste illegally into the local watershed (at least at the federal level).

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Finance

Know how to earn more money running a referral-based business

Are you running a referral-based business and looking for an opportunity to earn more? Then, you may not be disappointed. This blog will help entrepreneurs, travel and insurance agents, and retired persons looking for a lucrative business through a referral or affiliate program. You typically get paid for every high-quality referral you give. A personal loan affiliate program helps you earn additional income if you find and help people get an instant personal loan to meet their urgent financial requirements.

You don’t find many online businesses that give you more than 50K per month. A referral rewards program from IDFC FIRST Bank helps you earn money online without any investment. All you need to do is to know about IDFC FIRST Bank’s various financial products, especially instant personal loans offered for a medical emergency, home renovation, education, travel, and debt consolidation.

Being one of the best financial affiliate programs, you can have a second income sitting at home. You need to build a good network of social contacts for this purpose. You may come across friends, relatives, neighbours, and colleagues who look for a personal loan from a reliable source.

You can win their trust by helping them get a suitable loan from a reputed bank at a competitive interest rate and flexible EMI schedule. With this, you can help them tide them over a difficult period, and at the same time, receive compensation and reward from the bank.

Get to know IDFC FIRST Bank’s personal loan affiliate program

IDFC FIRST Bank through the MyFIRST Partner app helps you join an affiliate program and recommend its personal loans to people in return for monetary compensation. By offering one of the best personal finance affiliate programs, IDFC FIRST Bank gives you an opportunity to refer prospective loan applicants and earn money on every disbursement of a loan amount.

You have to involve in natural conversations with people who may want to know more about quick personal loans offered by IDFC FIRST Bank. By putting in a conscious effort, you can build prospective referrals looking for personal loans, which will help you earn money directly credited to your bank account. You don’t have any limits to the number of referrals that you can provide to the bank. With more referrals, you will earn more income.

To become a part of the affiliate program, you should be at least 18 years old and a citizen of India. The MyFIRST Partner app enables you to send completed personal loan applications and supporting documents for quick approvals. On verification and approval, your reference is converted into a lead. You receive a certain amount of money and exciting rewards after the disbursement of the loan amount.

How MyFIRST Partner app helps you earn more money?

To be a part of the personal loan affiliate program, you have to download the MyFIRST Partner app and register yourself by providing your full name, address, and bank details. Representing a leading bank like IDFC FIRST Bank makes it easy for you to get referrals who are interested in a personal loan.

Identifying people in your social and professional contacts and sharing your experience on the product or service can bring great results and income. The MyFIRST Partner app helps you check the instant loan application status through the ‘In Progress’ tab. Moreover, there is a dedicated team to help you with training and product knowledge on the app. Once the loan is approved and the amount disbursed, you receive a cash bonus credited every week to your account.

You can leverage the power of the MyFIRST Partner app and earn a minimum of Rs 25K every fortnight to promote your referral-based business.

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Finance

How Personal Injury Compensation is Calculated

The way in which compensation is calculated throughout the country can differ ver so slightly between states, but in the main the matrix which is used remains the same. Recently a Washington DC personal injury law firm was discussing this with us, and gave us the fill breakdown of what clients can expect when it comes to the awarding of compensation. If you have had an accident which wasn’t your fault and it resulted in injury, making a compensation claim is always a smart idea. If you win the case, here is how the court will decide how much compensation to pay out.

Economic Damages

The first aspect which the court will look at are the economic damages which should be paid out to the client. This will include the medical bills for the treatment of the injury, any loss of income because of the injury sustained and additional costs which this may have incurred. For example we have seen some cases whereby people couldn’t pay their rent and were forced to move, as a direct consequence of the injury. All of this will be factored into the claim.

Non-Economic Damages

Not all damage which you have sustained can be calculated in dollars and cents, and this is why we have the section for non-economic damages. This takes care of the pain and suffering which has been caused to the victim as a result of the accident. When it comes to calculating this, and putting a monetary figure on it, the court will take into consideration the type of injury sustained, and the severity of the injury. It may sound rather callous but ultimately different parts of the body are more valuable than others, and the severity further adds value to the claim. There is a very precise calculation which is used, with value placed on all kinds of different injuries. This changes state-by-state, in terms of the value placed on an injury.

Additionally we have to consider the emotional distress which someone has gone through and any consequences which have resulted from the injury with regards to mental health. Professionals will be consulted, who will have monitored the victim and who will then share their findings with the court. It will then be up to the court to decide how much extra could be paid out based on the emotional and mental impacts of the injury.

Punitive Damages

If there is a particular egregious case, whereby harm has been intentionally caused, we will also see punitive damages awarded to the client. This will usually come about following a criminal trial, although a settlement can be reached in some cases, if the client has no desire to go to trial. These damages are awarded less often than the economic and non-economic damages.

This is how compensation is calculated throughout the country and the only thing which will change between states is the value placed on the severity and the location of the injury which has been sustained.

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Finance

Know How ETF Can Be Used To Add Value To Your Portfolio

If you take a look at exchange traded funds, these are a unique investment tool that offers the best of two distinguished assets – the trading liquidity of stocks and diversification of mutual funds.

Defining Exchange Traded Funds

Also referred to as ETFs, exchange traded funds are open ended schemes that invest the majority of their investible corpus in the underlying securities of the index/benchmark that they track. As per market regulator SEBI guidelines, ETFs should invest a minimum of 95% of their total assets in the underlying benchmark. These funds try to generate returns that are close to how the index performs, but with minimum tracking error.

How do Exchange Traded Funds work?

When you invest in an exchange traded fund, you get exposure to a wide range of stocks that comprise the index. For example, if exchange traded fund tracks NIFTY 50 as its benchmark, the fund will invest in all the securities that comprise the benchmark, in the same fashion, without changing portfolio composition. They have passively managed funds that work in a slightly different fashion than other mutual funds. For example, both ETFs and other mutual funds invest in a pool of securities from the financial resources collated from investors sharing a common investment objective. These funds are designed to track the performance of the benchmark to generate similar returns. Unlike other mutual fund schemes that outperform the underlying benchmark, ETFs try to mimic the performance of the underlying securities of their benchmark and try to generate similar returns that are subject to tracking error.

How can ETFs add value to your portfolio?

Exchange traded funds give investors an exclusive equity market exposure. If you are someone who wants to invest in the stock market but fear that you might make a wrong investment decision, ETFs can help you understand how markets work. Also, since these are passive funds, they are cost effective and carry a low expense ratio as opposed to active funds that have a high expense ratio. Exchange traded funds have an expense ratio that is usually below 1% whereas other mutual funds may have an expense ratio that may go up to 2.25%.

Since you will be investing in a scheme that has a low expense ratio, your investments in ETFs can prove cost effective. Investing in a cost effective scheme is always good for an investment portfolio. Also, they are highly liquid in nature. Investors can do intraday trading with ETFs. However, they need to have a DEMAT account to store their bought ETF units. Since ETFs are traded at the stock exchange for their live market price during trading hours, investors need to have a trading account as well as DEMAT account. They can either take the long term investment approach or they can indulge in intraday investing as well.

ETFs are best suited for anyone who does want their mutual fund returns to be affected by human biases. When markets turn volatile, some investment decisions that the fund managers take can prove to be volatile for the investments. In such a scenario, ETF investors do not have to worry as their portfolio will remain the same and might be able to handle market volatility in a better way. Also, one does not need for the ETFs NAV to conclude for the day to trade in them. They do not have to place a buy or sell request to the fund house, unlike mutual funds that can only be traded at their NAV that is determined at the end of the day.

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Finance

Know How To Invest Lump Sum Amounts In Equity Mutual Funds

Investing in mutual funds is not only rewarding but also inculcates discipline. These days, everyone that you see around is investing in mutual funds and the reason behind this is the kind of returns these market linked schemes have been offering over the years. If you compare historical data, mutual funds have outperformed every other type of conventional investment instrument. People are slowly starting to realize that there is no point in locking their money in a fixed deposit or a Public Provident Fund because all you are getting really low returns. Also, there is no liquidity. If you have to withdraw a portion of your gains, you have to pay a penalty.

Mutual funds on the other hand do not have any lock-in period. There are literally thousands of mutual fund schemes to choose from. Investors should build a portfolio of schemes that give them exposure to different asset classes.

When it comes to equity mutual funds, most investors prefer the SIP mode. However, it is also possible to make a one-time lump-sum investment. While most investors choose the SIP route as it allows them to save and invest a fixed sum of their monthly income, wealth creation is possible through lump-sum investing as well.

If an old policy of yours has recently matured or if you have inherited some decent capital that you want to use to create compounding wealth, you can consider making a lump-sum investment in equity mutual funds.

Here are a few pointers to bear in mind when making lump-sum investments in market linked schemes like equity mutual funds.

Keep a long term investment time horizon

The money that you have invested in equity mutual funds through a lump-sum investment can only grow if you give it its own sweet time to grow. Do not be impatient if you witness a negative slope in your investment portfolio. The equity markets are always volatile in the short run. That’s because they constantly fluctuate and this, in turn, affects the performance of equity funds. The markets may seem volatile for time being, but they always correct themselves and bounce back. Hence, when making a lump-sum investment, keep a long term investment horizon and give your money some time to grow.

Keep an eye on market movements

The smart step to take when making a lump-sum investment is to keep a close eye on the market and enter at the right time. A lump-sum investing strategy will mostly work if you enter the markets when they are at rock bottom but show signs of potential growth. When you invest in a mutual fund scheme during a market downturn, you will be able to buy more units as the NAV (Net Asset Value) of the schemes will be low. This will average out the cost of purchase as you can buy units at a low price. When the markets normalize, the NAV of the scheme is bound to go up, thus helping you earn profits.

Seek diversification

While equity mutual funds are an ideal investment tool for long term wealth creation, investors should not invest all their money in one asset class. A mutual fund portfolio should have the right mix of equity and debt. This way, when there is an economic slowdown, investments in debt funds can offer the necessary cushion and help generate low but stable returns. It is less likely for all the asset classes to perform in tandem at once. Hence, one must make sure that if 80% of their portfolio of exposed to equity, a minimum of 20% of the assets can be allotted to debt mutual funds.

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Finance

WORRIED ABOUT MARKET? INVEST IN HYBRID MUTUAL FUNDS

Several investors are often apprehensive of investing in the markets given the current market situation. As a result, these investors are often on the lookout of safer investment options that can help them take a defensive position in the market. One such great investment option for such investors can be hybrid mutual funds. Hybrid funds ensure graded exposure to equity as per your risk profile. Different types of hybrid funds aim to cater to varying goals of investors. In this article, we will understand about hybrid funds, their types and why you should invest in hybrid mutual funds.

What is a balanced fund?

Balanced funds, commonly known as hybrid mutual funds are a type of mutual funds that contain both stock and bond component in a predetermined ratio in a single investment portfolio. The stock component in the fund helps the fund to earn higher returns on their portfolio, while the bond component in the fund helps to diminish the risk exposure of the fund.

Types of hybrid funds

There are different types of balanced funds an investor can choose from. Let’s have a look at some of these mutual funds. Balanced advantage funds or BAF is a hybrid fund wherein the fund manager determines the equity allocation in the fund. On the other, aggressive hybrid funds or AHF invest around 65% to 80% of their assets in equities and equity-related instruments. In the next category, equity savings funds have an equity exposure of around 20% to 40% as per the fund’s investment objectives. The remaining corpus in equity savings fund is allocated to debt instruments and hedged equity.

Advantages of balanced mutual funds

There are several benefits of investing in hybrid funds. Let’s look at a few of these advantages enjoyed by hybrid investors:

  1. Investment discipline – Hybrid funds decide their asset allocation to equity and debt instruments as per the investment objectives of the portfolio. As market movements are not uniform, this ratio of asset allocation might get distorted. If the equity markets experience rally, the originally decided ratio might work in the favor of equities.
  2. Flexibility – In all equity-fund categories, with the exception of flexi-cap funds, fund managers are bound to invest in these funds in a specific ratio. For instance, ELSS mutual funds are mandated to invest a minimum of 80% of their assets in equity investments. Multi-cap funds are mandated to invest at least 25% of assets in small-cap, mid-cap, and large-cap funds. Large-cap funds are authorized to invest in the companies of top 100 stocks. However, hybrid funds offer flexibility to investors to determine their asset allocation mix as per their financial objectives, risk profile, and investment horizon.
  3. Tax aspect – The equity component in balanced funds is taxed similar to equity funds and the debt component in hybrid funds are taxed similar to debt funds. If you are still confused about the tax aspect on their investments, you might consider availing of the services of a financial expert.

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Finance

Things to keep in mind before investing in international funds

Many retail investors can benefit from exposure to international investments. It is because they can invest in sectors and businesses that don’t exist in the Indian stock markets. Moreover, the Indian markets have a low correlation with certain international markets. This low correlation is advantageous since it lowers portfolio volatility and guarantees good diversification. These funds act as a hedge against Rupee depreciation.

While international funds have become the new trend in the world of mutual funds online, there are some basics to learn before you decide to add these to your portfolio basket.

  1. There are risks

The performance of some international funds in the last 5 to 10 years has been exceptional. Some funds clocked five-year annualized returns of more than 20%. However, the returns from some others declined to low single digits. Therefore, picking and tracking your international fund is vital.

With international funds, you are widening your geography. The theme is also potentially unfamiliar to you. As a result, it can be challenging to assess the long-term risks of investing in a particular international fund. Take the assistance of a reputable stock broking firm or financial management consultant for better decision making.

  1. It needs constant vigilance

Social, economic, and political factors in different countries influence the performance of mutual funds differently. Investors need to monitor the market movement for generating higher returns.

  1. Consider the currency impact

Investing in an international fund requires currency conversion. Your SIP in an underlying fund in a foreign capital market starts in Indian Rupees. The amount is then converted into the currency of the international market, where the underlying asset is issued. During redemption, the sale is executed in overseas currency. For payment to your account, the amount is again converted to Rupees. If the value of the Indian Rupee has appreciated against the currency of the underlying fund, you will be at a loss during currency conversion and vice versa.

  1. Focus on diversified options instead of themes

Many international funds are available today. In June 2021, there were around 50 international funds. Five years ago, the count was half. As a result, investors can feel overwhelmed while choosing an international fund. It is easy to make the wrong choice or pile on several different schemes.

Stay away from very specific themes. The chances of underperformance in these themes can be high in the long run.

  1. Tax-efficiency

It is vital to understand the tax liability on international funds. The concern of taxation can be a potential pitfall. For example, hybrid global funds allocate 65% to 70% of their corpus in domestic businesses and the remaining in international markets. As a result, their returns are subject to long-term capital gains tax.

Final thoughts

Adding international funds to your portfolio helps with diversification. Even if the Indian market is struggling, you can earn from the performance of some international themes. However, it is not easy to predict which international fund will give you the best returns. Use the Tata Capital Moneyfy App to invest in international funds and benefit from economic productivity across the globe.

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