Citizens' Issues
Moneylife Foundation: Five years on..
Moneylife Foundation has completed FIVE years. Five years in which it has established a strong fan following
You may like it, you may not- but Moneylife is there, making an impact on investors and regulators. I would like to think that if any investor were to sit in a corner, with every published issue of Moneylife magazine, it would be a full journey in investor education; and some more. And when it comes to taking on the regulators, I do not believe that any other publication is as forthright or forthcoming as Moneylife is. The launch of the Moneylife Foundation was a momentous one. 
I have been privileged to know Debashis and Sucheta and am glad that they have deemed it fit to let me ramble on in the magazine right from the first issue. Surely, a pleasure, a privilege and at times, a bit stressful, as I keep searching for a topic, and finally push it to Debashish and Sucheta for making sure that my communication is fair and proper and fit for reading.
In these five years, NEVER once have either of them told me to change my view, even if it be at odds with a stance they have taken in the magazine. And the freedom they have given me is without boundaries. I respect them for that. 
I must also mention the pain that they must be going through each time I push in my contribution at the eleventh (sometimes thirteenth) hour- unedited, full of errors, grammar haywire and disjointed. In the twelfth hour, they piece it together. Often, after seeing my article in print, I am surprised at the way the words flow and my article makes sense, even to me. Thanks, Debashish and Sucheta, for putting up with the spiel that I often send you, and making it look intelligent.
We generally have a tendency to remember only the latest. However, going back these five years, I look at several things that Moneylife pioneered. Honest to God interviews with fantastic achievers (not possible to name one in a galaxy that had stars like Dr Mashelkar, Glen Saldanha, Hafeez Contractor et al). And more importantly, to me, the choice of subjects and people always justified both halves of the magazine’s name. It was never just finance.
On the day of the launch, I recall a promise that was made by Sucheta and Debashis- Moneylife will not be like other magazines which presume that every reader is from the financial markets and use terms and jargons that leave us all scrambling for Google (more likely that we switch off after some time). And I believe that this promise has not been breached. Yes, sometimes, I have been guilty of using some ‘hifi’ terms which have left the common reader stumped- my apologies for that.
Some of my friends tell me that there is too much ‘negativism’ in the magazine. To them, I say that the financial regulations and markets have taken a heavy toll on investors. Scams and chicanery are second nature to the financial markets. In such markets, a strong voice is needed. To keep regulators alert and also to warn and educate investors and would be investors. From the first issue, Moneylife has fought battles for the investors.
I can go on.. For me, each issue has been one to look forward to. I must also say that Moneylife has received bouquets, but no bouquet is complete without a fair number of brickbats. In this journey, it is perhaps natural that the brickbats sometimes outweigh the bouquet. It is not my aim to please everyone, but to tell the truth. And of course, some will dispute the truth. I normally check my sources and based on my experiences, have a fair knowledge of what is reliable and what is not. Agree, not infallible, but works nine out of ten times. 
And all these are continuing without selling space and words for money. Yes, money is needed for all the seminars and the financial retrieval that is done for the members. A lot of good people have realised the contribution of Moneylife in today’s world of financial chicanery and kept the flame alive. I exhort everyone to give. Especially those who have gained from intervention of Moneylife can spread the word.
The team at Moneylife is also fantastic. Too many to name, but there are many who work quietly and ensure that the curtain rises in time, for each and every show.
The best to team Moneylife
Five is just a number and many more fives will touch Moneylife. 
A “Hi Five” to everyone ...



Santosh Kanekar

2 years ago

Mr Balakrishnan,

As an avid subscriber and fan of Moneylife, I completely endorse the principles and the approach the magazine stands for.

However, in the spirit of candidness, the article headline is Moneylife Foundation and the article goes on about the magazine. I was expecting an honest appraisal of the Foundation Events.

My 2 bit: the Deemed conveyance and the Passport (especially the moneylife campaign for passport office ) is phenomenal and one of the best value.

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Dear Bala,
I entered ML after 2nd year. Yet, I am doubly sure that the above contents are in the hearts of many moneylife lovers.
My own best wishes for this torch to continue burning.

Vaibhav Dhoka

2 years ago

Cheers for completing FIVE educative and informative supportive years.Investors reading magazine has ray of light in present day where most regulators behave as Deaf & Dumb.Long years to LEAD.

Budget and Senior Citizens

Will FM remove the current anomalies that affect taxation for senior citizens?


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Scarred on the Seas
How are cars affected when they are transported by ships like Hoegh Osaka?
The mv HOEGH OSAKA is one of hundreds of car-carriers making thousands of port calls every year, delivering three-wheelers to huge industrial and mining machines as well as what is known as ‘Roll on/ Roll off’ (RoRo) cargo all over the world. Life on these ships is not easy mainly because port stays are short; keeping the ships stable is very difficult and constant fatigue is a part of life.
I worked on a much smaller RoRo ship in the early 1980s, carrying Tata trucks and buses as well as Premier cars and a few fire-engines, once, from Bombay port to Sharjah and Kuwait. One thing, I know. The constant vibration, slamming, whipping, corkscrewing and general rock-and-roll in Indian Ocean / Arabian Sea monsoons was enough to give those cars and buses a lifetime of suspension-related issues. This is one reason I have stayed away from fully assembled cars brought by sea to India from abroad. 
With luxury cars, from Jaguar and BMW, destined for India, HOEGH OSAKA now floats listed heavily off Southampton port. Some 3,000 tonnes of water, with hydraulic fluid mixed in it, has entered the ship and work is on to try to pump this out. There is bound to be damage to the vehicles on board which include Rolls Royce and other luxury brands.
In a similar case, in December 2002, the mv JAGUAR ACE, with 4,703 Mazda cars, tipped over in the Pacific Ocean and was eventually towed to safety. Mazda publicised the VIN numbers of the affected cars, so that they would not re-enter the market. After deactivating the air-bags in each car and draining out all oils, it scrapped those cars totally. Will Jaguar/ Land Rover, BMW, Rolls Royce and others do the same?

Forget Motor-sports. Have Fun with Vintage Cars

Motor-sports used to be fun and games until a few decades ago, when you took any old car lying around, jazzed up the engine, bolted on some safety features, and headed for the mountains or interiors to try your skill-sets against others who had similar intentions. The idea was to have fun; competition was restricted to on-road and risks were a part of the package.
Over the decades, motor-sports became ‘professional’, costs went up and competition moved off the roads; fun was the last thing on anybody’s mind as the rules and regulations became nastier. The idea was apparently to exclude anybody who chose to have fun, while the risks went up even further.
Accidents and deaths in motor-sports in India have not changed since these exclusionary rules were introduced. By ‘exclusionary’ I mean that there is a rule that says that if you take part in motor-sports events which are not part of the ‘calendar’, then you, your team—everything—is excluded from all ‘official’ motor-sports. Incidentally, the state of affairs with ‘official’ motor-sports in India is like the state of affairs with ‘official’ cricket or most other sports in India.
This is why vintage and classic car and bike rallies are so much more fun. For one, pretty much anything goes. You can even stick an old Ambassador or Premier engine in any old crock you want; do it up and have a blast for under a lakh of rupees. In addition, these buggies attract more smiles per miles and the parties afterwards make you feel like a rock-star.
The import of vintage and classic cars into India was never easier. And, once in India, as well as registered, the value mostly appreciates; so you have another good deal going. Think about it. Nothing beats an old car or bike as an investment. Time to dig out that old car or bike lying around forgotten somewhere and get to work on it.


(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves.)


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