This September: Think Long and Hard about your Investments, Assets and Their Transmission
The past three years have seen a wave of broker defaults that decimated investors' wealth by misappropriating shares or funds through a power of attorney (POA). And yet, a million new demat accounts have been opened since the lockdown, bringing a wave of new investors into the market.
Do they know the risks involved? Even as I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago, yet another stock broking firm has blown up – Anugrah Stock & Broking and its associates Teji Mandi Analytics and Om Shri Sai Investments had over Rs1000 crore of investors funds. You can read more here and also watch the video here.
As always there are heart-breaking stories about the loss of savings, and investors have been requesting our help to figure out how to salvage and initiate action against the company. We have done two things to help. We created a private group on Telegram, to bring together aggrieved investors, provide timely updates and help them look at collective action. You can join the channel here by first downloading the Telegram app.
More importantly, we are organizing a webinar that will be conducted by two advocates who have had long years of core experience working with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Advocate P R Ramesh and Advocate Sumit Agrawal are both securities lawyers with their own independent practice and we are most obliged to them for agreeing to a very quick webinar on 3rd September, Thursday, 5.30 pm on "What was wrong with Anugrah's promise and how can investors protect themselves in this crisis?"
This is an opportunity for Anugrah's investors to clarify doubts and figure out a way forward. It is equally a big opportunity for all investors to learn what to watch out for and understand the pain points.
Many of you are aware that we have conducted several other webinars to address issues of concern during the lockdown.
The big one for Mumbaikars was on high electricity bills that people have received with Prayas of Pune, the NGO that specializes in electricity. The amazingly large-hearted Advocate Manoj Harit once again spoke to SME and MSME investors who have been badly hit during the lockdown and followed it up with an open offer to guide those who have queries. The lockdown has forced people online for their day to day needs and financial transactions. Naturally, it is a boom time for fraudsters. Our in house tech afficianado, Yogesh Sapkale conducted an engaging seminar on how to watch out for online frauds and avoid becoming a 'bakra'. He will do another on in Marathi in the coming weeks.
Those of you who missed these sessions as well as the first one with RTI evangelist and former central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi can click on the links below and watch them.
We are also addressing a host of issues that are of utmost importance to each of us this month. This is the time to be thinking of making your Will and considering how to apportion your assets. We will have two sessions on that, more on empowerment through RTI and of course, improving your productivity. So read on and mark your calendars.
We also have a few other sessions in the pipeline and are in the process of finalising the finer details, stay tuned as we will be sharing updates very shortly.
If you have any suggestions on the topics that you would like us to cover in our webinars or would like to share your feedback, please do send us a mail on [email protected]
Programmes In August
After three consecutive months under lockdown, the debate over inflated electricity bills was becoming heated and some concerned consumers had even connected with Moneylife Foundation for assistance in evaluating their bills or for connecting with the authorities for resolution. Realising the importance of this issue, we had hosted a webinar with the assistance of Shantanu Dixit, from Prayas Energy Group, with the aim to explain how an electricity bill could be analysed and evaluated to discover whether it had in fact been inflated. The session was well attended with over 380 participants and we are quite pleased with the feedback we have received from our members.
If you could not attend the session, you can still refer to the video recording which has been published on our YouTube Channel. The video will give you a clear idea on how you can evaluate your bills and take the appropriate action if necessary. Do also read this article for a brief overview of the session.
With the effects of the pandemic and the subsequent nationwide lockdown affecting the MSME sector the most, we had invited Advocate Manoj Harit, whose firm handles cases for MSMEs on a regular basis, to explain the many changes that the government has made to the NPA guidelines and the bankruptcy rules. This session was also well received with Adv Harit, succinctly navigating and explaining in detail the revised rules that are now applicable to MSMEs. A video recording of this session is available on our YouTube channel for those that could not attend it live.
Finally, the pandemic and enforced lockdown forcing many consumers online, has seen a sharp rise in online frauds and opportunistic scammers are taking advantage of the increased number of online transactions. In order for you to stay safe in the digital world and avoid online frauds, our Deputy Editor, Yogesh Sapkale had given a detailed and interesting presentation on the common mistakes that people make while transacting online and how to best protect themselves in a growing digital world. A video recording of this session is also available on our YouTube Channel for those that did not attend the session live.
Moneylife TV & Helplines
With the outbreak of covid-19, our physical events and daily clinics for this month have been suspended for the safety and benefit of all those involved. However, in this lockdown period you can still take advantage of our numerous videos of past seminars and workshops which are always available on our YouTube Channel Moneylife TV and Moneylife News Bites.
Although counselling on various issues from our experts is not possible in-person, you are welcome to email on [email protected] with your details. We shall forward your mail to the expert for guidance and do our best to get your query resolved.
Also, Moneylife Foundation is now on Telegram and Instagram, so do follow us on these channels to stay updated on our activities and events.
Thank you for your support, stay safe and look forward to your good wishes always.
Founder-Trustee, Moneylife Foundation
Trustees: TS Krishnamurthy, Dr KC Chakrabarty, Walter Vieira, Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu.
Moneylife Foundation is registered with the Charity Commissioner of Mumbai, is an Affiliate member of OECD's International Network on Financial Education, is a Supporter Member of Consumers International, Development Partner of Advocates for International Development (A4ID), and is a winner of the 10th MR Pai Memorial Award.
Donations are eligible for tax benefits under Sec 80G of the Income Tax 1961 (50% tax exemption) and MLF is registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.