Commodity Trading: Online Commodity Trading: How Commodity Trading Works?

There has been a good enough reason why people are now looking forward to Commodity Trading.

Advantages of Commodity Trading:Commodity Trading
Firstly, many investors have burnt their fingers in the recent turmoil in the stock markets across the globe. Hence, such people are now looking for alternative investments and Commodity Trading is one such option available to them.
Secondly, a Commodity is a real asset. Its not a virtual asset like stock or bond. A Commodity is produced, while a stock exists virtually. So people can make better interpretations of the Commodity Trading trends, by looking at weather reports, geographical circumstances, etc. Compare that to a company stock valuation, everything is hidden. Nobody knows what is going on within the company and whether the financial results disclosed are correct or not. Hence, there is better understanding on Commodity Trading.
Thirdly, Commodity Trading helps in hedging against unexpected price movements for the actual producer or the Commodity, like a farmer. He can lock in the profits much before the produce is available and can be shielded away from the various pricce movements in future.

What has been the historical performance of Commodity Trading and Commodity Mutual Funds?
We have done a study of best performing mutual funds in the article Best Performing Commodities Mutual Funds. It has been observed that Top 3 best performing stocks mutual fund over the past 1 year were actually the commodities funds.

What are the pre-requisites for Commodity Trading?
You must select what you want to trade on. Commodity trading is available for anything and everthing - Crude Oil, Gold, Silver, Potato, Soya, Pork, Beans, Oranges and almost every single thing that can be classified as a Commodity.
So if you believe that Gold prices are going to fall, you can short sell a Gold Commodity Future. If you believe that Crude Price is going to go up, then you can buy a Crude Oil Future. If you are an expert in crop production analysis or weather analysis, and you believe that Soya Crop is going to take a hit this year, then you can short sell Soya Futures. Or if you feel that a deadly flu can cause the pork industry to take a setback because it will affect lots of pigs, then you may short sell Pork futures.

How can you do Commodity Trading?
Today, the world is running over internet and mobile devices. For Commodity Trading, the simplest way is to open an Online Commodity Trading account with a Commodity Broker and all the orders can be placed at the click of a button. Do remember to check the quality of service and feedback about the broker.

Why should someone trade in Commodity
Commodity Trading allows you to benefit from price changes, without actually having to buy that Commodity. For e.g. if you believe gold prices are going to go up, then you can buy gold bars. However, you will need sufficient money to buy Gold Bars. Then you will have to worry about the safe storage of the gold bars which may further cost you. Third, you will have to rely upon your goldsmith to trust the quality of gold.

Compare that to Commodity Trading. You dont need full amount of money to buy the Gold, as you can trade on margin (a percentage of actual price). Then, you dont have to worry about storage as the Gold future contract is stored in your demat account. And third, you dont have to worry about the quality of gold, as that is implicitly covered in the Gold commodity futures contract.

What are the risks in Commodity Trading?
MTM Losses: The biggest risk in Commodity Trading is the MTM losses or the Mark to market Losses. Suppose that you buy a crude oil future which is going to expire after 3 months time and your agreed price is $50. However, say after 15 days of you buying the crude future, the price starts to drop and reaches the level of $35. You will then have to pay the difference and it has to be done on a daily basis, which is called mark to market.
If the price drops significantly, then you will end up paying money on a daily basis for MTM losses, so one should be careful about that.

Related: Crude Oil Price: Can you bet on Crude Oil Futures NOW? & Best Performing Commodities Mutual Funds

What are the other ways of Trading in Commodities?
Instead of being an active trader, you can also passively trade in commodities. There are hundreds of Commodity based mutual funds which allow you to take a bet on commodities without being an active trader. Few of them are listed in the article link provided above.

Bond Fund: Introduction, Investments, Trading, Example & Risks of Bond Funds

So now that we have seen the fallback and downturns of the stock markets, suddenly all the great traders and investors in the world have become cautious about the thing called RISK and SECURITY of their investments. It is human nature, when markets were going up and up and above in the last 6 years, everyone just hopped onto the stock market investments. Trouble started when the stock markets fell apart and people became concerned about risks, and they started seeking protection of their capital looking for alternatives to security and stock investments. Bonds or related financial products like Bond Funds provide an alternative to that in a compartive less risk less return formula.Bond Fund
In this article, we will discuss the concept of Bond Funds, How bond funds are traded, How to invest in Bond Funds, An example of Bond Fund and the risks associated with Bond Funds.

Let's begin with the basics:
What is a bond fund?
Like any other stock based mutual fund which invests in stocks, a bond fund is a sort of mutual fund which takes money from individual investors and invests it in the different bonds available in the market.

What are the kind of returns expected from a bond fund?
A bond gives interest at pre-defined intervals - like quarterly, six months, annual, etc. Since a bond fund invests in multiple types of bonds, it can pay dividends to its investors. But this is at the sole discretion of the bond fund manager and it is not his obligation. Though generally the bond funds tend to pay dividends more frequently than the individual bonds.
Other form of return that can come from bonds is the capital appreciation, i.e. instead of paying the dividend, the money is reinvested. Hence, if investors are looking for long term capital appreciation, then they can benefit from this.

What are the different types of bonds and bond funds available for investments?
There are mutliple types of bond funds depending primarily on the underlying bond type investments:

- Government or Treasury Bond funds: The bond funds which invests in bonds issued by Government or Treasury. Considered to be the most risk free investments as they are backed by the goverment.

- Mortgage Bond Funds: These bond funds are backed by the Mortgage loans issued. Their income or interest to be paid is derived from the interest on the mortgage loans. However, there is a risk of default on the mortgage loan and hence they are comparatively riskier than Goverment or treasury bonds. We have seen examples in recent past when even government backed mortgage companies like Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae were in problems.

- Municiple Bond Funds: Another safe investment. They are the bond funds which invest in bonds issued by the municple corporations. They sometimes also offer tax benefits.

- Corporate Bond Funds: These bond funds are the riskiest of the lot. For e.g. Effect on Lehman Brothers Bonds after Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy. Though rating agencies like S&P and Moody's tend to give a rating to these corporates and bonds, there is no guarantee of anything. It all works randomly and we have seen the fates of Lehman Brothers going bankrupt.

-Regional bond Funds: You can also have bond funds that invest in bonds of a particular region, like Russian Bond Funds, Asian Bond Funds, South America Bond Funds, etc.

What are the advantages of investing in Bond Funds
Firstly, they offer Diversification. A bond fund will not invest in bonds from one single company, but from multiple companies, hence it will be less risky compared to individual bond investments. On the flip side, it comes at the cost of fund management charges and administrative charges.

Related: Tax-Free Municipal Bonds & Tax Free Bond Fund ETF & Low Cost Mutual Funds

Liquidity: Another major benefit. You can sell back your bond fund units anytime you wish. Copare that to your individual bond investment, it will force you to wait for the bond to mature before you can redeem your money.
Then there are the implicit benefits of professional money management, but they come at a cost.

What are the risks of investing in bond funds?
First - the bond funds come at a cost - load, administrative charges, fund management charges or whatever they can be called.
Second - Corporate bonds are risky - no one knows the in and out of company issuing bonds. Any instance like Lehman Brothers bankruptcy can happen anytime
Third - They do not shield you from inflation

HDFC Flexindex Plan Review & Analysis

In this article, we will provide a review and analysis of the new offering from the HDFC Mutual Fund house, it is called the HDFC Flexindex Fund or HDFC Flexindex Plan.

What is so special about HDFC Flexindex Plan?
This HDFC Flexindex Plan offers the investors a facility to transfer investment money from a set group of HDFC managed select debt/liquid funds to a select group of equity schemes again managed by HDFC Mutual Fund, but based upon the desired level of investors trigger price. HDFC Flexindex


What is the Objective of HDFC FLEXINDEX PLAN
As mentioned in HDFC Flexindex Plan information site and advertisements,
• It helps investors to automatically transfer their investments from select debt / liquid schemes to select equity schemes of HDFC Mutual Fund at closing BSE SENSEX levels of their choice
• It thus facilitates an exposure to equities at targeted BSE SENSEX levels and helps to take advantage of market volatility

How does HDFC FLEXINDEX PLAN work?
• Investor puts money into select Debt / Liquid schemes of HDFC Mutual Fund
• Investor chooses four index levels or "trigger points"
• Money is transferred into select equity funds when specified index levels are reached or crossed
• In case "trigger points" are not achieved, balance amount (registered in select debt / liquid schemes) gets transferred into equity funds after 1 year in a phased manner

What are the investment options available for investing in HDFC Flexindex Plan?
There are two options:
1. Fixed Instalment Option.
Investment amount: Four equal installments (25% each). Transferred into the desired target scheme at specified SENSEX levels
2. Flexible Instalment Option.
Investment amount: Four variable installments (eg. 20%, 30%, 40%, 10% = 100%). Transferred into the desired target scheme at specified SENSEX levels.
In case all trigger options are not activated, the balance amount will be systematically transferred after 1 year from the date of registration into the target scheme. This will be done in six equal installments over 6 months

Advantages of HDFC FLEXINDEX PLAN
As claimed by HDFC Flexindex Plan brochures, they list the advantages as follows:

• It facilitates an exposure to equities at SENSEX levels of your choice; take advantage of market volatility
• It ensures that you invest at a targeted level and do not miss out on an opportunity; it enables automatic decision making at levels you are comfortable with
• Investments are into select equity schemes with long term track record
• Initial investment in liquid schemes help you to earn income till investments are switched to equity funds
• Take advantage of the market movements without the hassle of constant tracking

Related Competitor Product: ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund Review & Analysis

What are the debt schemes which are available under this HDFC Flexindex Plan?
• HDFC Liquid Fund
• HDFC Liquid Fund – Premium Plan
• HDFC Cash Management Fund – Call Plan, Savings Plan and Treasury
Advantage Plan
• HDFC Floating Rate Income Fund - Short Term Plan
• HDFC Short Term Plan
• HDFC High Interest Fund – Short Term Plan

What are the Target Schemes available under the HDFC Flexindex Plan?
Equity Schemes
• HDFC Index Fund
• HDFC Premier Multi-Cap Fund
• HDFC Core & Satellite Fund
• HDFC Capital Builder Fund
• HDFC Top 200 Fund
• HDFC Equity Fund
• HDFC Growth Fund

Balanced Schemes
• HDFC Balanced Fund
• HDFC Prudence Fund

What are the risks in HDFC Flexindex Plan?
The problem is that everything is managed by HDFC Mutual fund managers. Hence, there is single dependency risk.
Also, I could not find any information about the fund switching charges and administrative costs associated with this scheme.
Since this scheme has a limited no. of source and target funds (again from HDFC), then there is a risk of these funds underperforming.
Then, what if your desired trigger level is not reached, there is a risk of the objective of this scheme to be missed completely

ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund Review & Analysis

So what is the lesson learnt from this stock market turmoil? That is the answer to why ICICI Mutual fund house has come out with the NFO or New Fund offer for the ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund.
Now instead of getting into the hectic mumbo-jumbo, let me tell you straight. This is a new fund offer or NFO from ICICI and has a special facility that you can book your profits automatically once your investment reaches a certain pre-defined threshold.
Most of the problems with investing in stock markets or investing in mutual funds are caused by the fact that investors dont know when to book the profits. They believe that their stock investments will continue to grow forever. However, it is not true. Every now and then there comes a bear market and new things (pot-holes) are discovered which erode the investors capital completely. Ask an invesstor who has burnt himself by investing in Satyam Stock. Though Satyam is an extreme case, even bluechip stocks like ICICI Bank, Reliance, SBI, have fallen through the roof.

What is the solution to this problem?
The solution is not to be greedy and book your profits at pre-defined levels.
For e.g. before committing any money to any mutual fund, say you decide that you want to set your profit target at 20% levels. So once the profit of 20% is achieved, exit from that investment and transfer that money to a bank fixed deposit or savings account or bond, where your money is safe.
ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund claims to do that for you automatically. This is how ICICI describes the working of their fund:
ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund

As per the details available, ICICI Target Returns Fund has a facility by which investors can book profits automatically. In this fund, gains made above a certain trigger percentage get redeemed automatically from the fund and are switched to a fixed income fund, which is chosen beforehand. The investor can choose trigger percentages of 12, 20, 50 or 100. Whenever the gains since the initial investment or since the last trigger cross this percentage, the money gets switched.
Hence, they claim that your money will be secure at your desired levels and you will not have to worry about the market downturns.

What are the risks in ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund?
I see many risks here.
First, there is no guarantee that your desired profit level will be reached. What if the stock markets continue to go to the bottom or simply that they dont go up and remain sstagnant below the lowest trigger level.
Second, even if the trigger level is reached, your choice of switching is limited to Income funds again from ICICI. They are namely, ICICI Prudential Liquid Plan, ICICI Prudential Floating Rate Plan, ICICI Prudential Short Term Plan and ICICI Prudential Income Fund. What if these debt funds underperform and you suffer a loss even after switching your money?
Third, entry load is huge - 2.25% for retail investors investing less than 2 Crores. Then there is exit load if fund units are redeemed before 6 months - 1.5%, between 6 and 12 months - 1%.

So the choice is yours.

Are there any alternatives to ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund?
How about taking the risk on your own in the open market, instead of paying heaving entry and exit load to the fund managers? :-)
It is you who has to take the call, it is you who have to take the risk, it is you who have to decide your profit levels before investing in ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund. So why not simply decide the profit levels and invest in an Market Index based ETF as explained here. But do remember to exit when your desired profit level is reached.

Any tax benefit available for investing in ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund?
No. There is no tax benefit available.

What are the NFO dates for ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund
ICICI Prudential Target Returns Fund NFO is currently open and will close on 14 May 2009

Stora Enso Layoffs Job Cut: fires 2000 employees

The news is from Stora Enso, which is the major Paper company of Finnish-Swedish group of Europe, is reported to be going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Stora Enso as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. Stora Enso Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Stora Enso layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 2000 job cuts by Stora Enso. That will be around 7% of the total employee strength of Stora Enso.

What is the total no. of employees of Stora Enso?
The total no. of employees of Stora Enso is around 29,000.

What will be the cost and savings by Stora Enso layoffs?
Around 250 million Euros is expected to be saved.

When will the Stora Enso layoffs happen?
No info on concrete dates of layoffs.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Stora Enso layoffs ?
The layoffs would mainly be in the administrative division. There may be some restructuring in the company.

What is the primary reasons for Stora Enso layoffs?
It's all about the due to weak demand and bleak outlook for the paper market and the other usual reasons like worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about Stora Enso layoffs
As per Forbes, Stora Enso is one of the world's largest forest product companies making magazine paper, newsprint, fine paper, pulp and packaging boards. It has 85 production plants in more than 35 countries
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Stora Enso Layoffs Job Cut

AB Volvo Layoffs Job Cut: fires 1543 employees

The news is from AB Volvo, which is the major truck maker and automobile company of Europe, is reported to be going for layoffs. We had published reports about the Volvo Lay off Job Cut in October, then there was another report in November for Volvo Lay off Job Cut. And now there is news about further cuts. The news is not good for the employees of the AB Volvo as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. AB Volvo Logo
How many employees may be fired in the AB Volvo layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 1543 job cuts by AB Volvo. That will be around 5.5% of the total employee strength of AB Volvo.

What is the total no. of employees of AB Volvo?
The total no. of employees of AB Volvo is around 101381 in the beginning of 2009.

What will be the cost and savings by AB Volvo layoffs?
Around 120 million USD is expected to be saved.

When will the AB Volvo layoffs happen?
No info on concrete dates of layoffs.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the AB Volvo layoffs ?
Truck division - 655, Construction - 125 and consultants -100. Volvo Penta, boat engines maker, is firing 108. The powertrain division - 655.

What is the primary reasons for AB Volvo layoffs?
It's all about the due to weak demand for its trucks, construction equipment and engines and the other usual reasons like worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about AB Volvo layoffs
As per WSJ, Volvo, in announcing the new layoffs, cited the "sharp decline on world markets for heavy vehicles."
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of AB Volvo Layoffs Job Cut

T Rowe Price Layoffs Job Cut: fires 288 employees

The news is from T Rowe Price, which is the major asset management and investments company, is reported to be going for layoffs. The company has a tagline or punchline, "invest with Confidence", but seems like the employee confidence for this company is reducing. We had reported an instance of T. Rowe Price Mutual funds in our article Low Cost Mutual Funds. However, The news is not good for the employees of the T Rowe Price as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. T Rowe Price Logo
How many employees may be fired in the T Rowe Price layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 288 job cuts by T Rowe Price. That will be around 5.5% of the total employee strength of T Rowe Price.

What is the total no. of employees of T Rowe Price?
The total no. of employees of T Rowe Price is around 5300 as of now.

What will be the cost and savings by T Rowe Price layoffs?
Around 120 million USD is expected to be saved.

When will the T Rowe Price layoffs happen?
No info on concrete dates of layoffs.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the T Rowe Price layoffs ?
Most of the jobcuts have happend in the phone operations, processing and technology segments - the reasons being quoted is lower volumes of work. However, no fund manager is fired. Only some investment professional (around 6 in no.) are laid off.

What is the primary reasons for T Rowe Price layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about T Rowe Price layoffs
As per WSJ, "Financial certainty around the globe is beginning to stabilize," Chief Executive James Kennedy. But he added that while it's a stabilizing period, "we're not expecting a recovery any time soon."
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of T Rowe Price Layoffs Job Cut

Robert Bosch Automotive plant Layoffs Job Cut: fires 225 employees in South Carolina

The news is from Robert Bosch, which is the major auto and engine parts manufacturing company, is reported to be going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Robert Bosch as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. Robert Bosch Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Robert Bosch layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 225 job cuts by Robert Bosch.

What is the total no. of employees of Robert Bosch?
The total no. of employees of Robert Bosch is not known as of now. It is reported that Robert Bosch wants to have 1650 positions by the end of April.

What will be the cost and savings by Robert Bosch layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the Robert Bosch layoffs happen?
The layoffs are learnt to be already done on 21st April 2009.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Robert Bosch layoffs ?
The layoffs are being done in the North Charleston, South Carolina.

What is the primary reasons for Robert Bosch layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about Robert Bosch layoffs
As per Forbes, The North Charleston plant makes fuel injectors for diesel and gasoline-powered engines and also makes brake components.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Robert Bosch Layoffs Job Cut

HSBC Layoffs Job Cut: fires 100 HongKong employees

The news is from HSBC, which is the major asset management company, is reported to be going for layoffs. In March, we had reported about the HSBC Layoffs Job Cuts UK, before that there was some news about Firing of HSBC employees in India and today, the news has come from HSBC Hong Kong. The news is not good for the employees of the HSBC as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. HSBC Logo
How many employees may be fired in the HSBC layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 100 job cuts by HSBC. That is around 12% of the total employee strength HSBC has in Hong Kong.

What is the total no. of employees of HSBC?
The total no. of employees of HSBC is 1200 in Hong Kong before the layoffs.

What will be the cost and savings by HSBC layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the HSBC layoffs happen?
The layoffs are learnt to be already done on 21st April 2009.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the HSBC layoffs ?
The layoffs are being done in the private-banking division in Hong Kong.

What is the primary reasons for HSBC layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about HSBC layoffs
As per MarketWatch, The layoffs were the latest for HSBC, which has cut staff in the U.K., and has trimmed staff previously in Hong Kong, including several hundred cuts first reported in November of last year.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of HSBC Layoffs Job Cut

ETF Comparison: Historical performance of ETF Exchange Traded Funds

Now, as the regular readers of this blog may have observed, that I have been constantly advicing to go for investments in ETF or Exchange Traded Funds. I have published several articles proving that how ETF's prevent you from company specific risks, how it is impossible for anyone to consistently beat the market and hence the best way to invest is to go with the market and index based ETF's do exactly that. I have talked about Gold ETF and made a comparative analysis of their historical returns. Here are the articles related to them:

Related: SBI GETS-SBI Gold ETF NFO Review: SBI Gold Exchange Traded Scheme & Gold ETF: Historical Performace of Gold ETF & Gold ETF India

Then recently, Times Of India came out with an interesting observation. They provided a comparative analysis of the various Index based ETF in India. Though I have been proposing that the index based ETF's always track the underlying index almost exactly, but the report published by TOI seems to differ. Here is the digital image of the table about comparaive analysis of Index based ETF Exchange Traded Funds in India (as published by TOI - Image Courtesy TOI).
Historical performance Index ETF

It compares six ETF's which are based on Sensex or Nifty. They are:
1. Sensex Prudential Icici Exchange Traded Fund ETF
2. Kotak Sensex ETF
3. Quantum Index Fund (Nifty) ETF
4. Nifty Benchmark ETF
5. Nifty Junior Benchmark ETF
6. iShares Asia Trust Sensex ETF
(listed in Hong Kong)

As per the table above, the ETF have outperformed the underlying index by a significant margin (remember, 2% and above is considered to be significant). So how can that happen when it comes to the fact that ETF's closely mirror the underlying index? The answer lies in the trading activities. Suddenly there is a positive sign in the market so the investors want to invest their money in it. However, they have seen the fate of index listed companies like Satyam, which are busted for fraud, hence they do no want to take the company specific risks. So what is the best way to go forward, it is to invest in these Index based ETF and garner the returns without the company specific risks.

Related: Large Cap ETF v/s Mid Cap ETF: Historical Performance Check

Then how about the variation in the returns of the different ETF which are based on the same index?
Probably, that's where the company fund management comes into picture. If more investors of ETF have the faith in say, ICICI fund management company, then obviously the demand for ETF from ICICI will be higher compared to others.
So what's the net conclusion for us? Again, its all random for the short term, but if you are going for the long term, most of the ETF will give you the similar returns with 1-2% here or there

Russell Investments Layoffs Job Cut: fires 400 employees

The news is from Russell Investments, which is the major asset management company founded in 1936, is reported to be going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Russell Investments as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. Russell Investments Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Russell Investments layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 400 job cuts by Russell Investments. That is around 20% of the total employee strength Russell has globally.

What is the total no. of employees of Russell Investments?
The total no. of employees of Russell Investments is 2000 before the layoffs. Now it is at 1600.

What will be the cost and savings by Russell Investments layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the Russell Investments layoffs happen?
The layoffs are learnt to be already done on Wednesday.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Russell Investments layoffs ?
The headquarters at Tacoma is affected, possibly along with other locations. However, most of the job cuts are for the back-end non-client facing jobs. Very few portfolio managers and research people are affected.

What is the primary reasons for Russell Investments layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about Russell Investments layoffs
As per KomoNews, Russell Investments is offering severance packages to the affected employees, but the details are not available about the severance packages.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Russell Investments Layoffs Job Cut

Socially Responsible Mutual Funds SRI: Introduction, Investments, Example, Risks

In this article, we will talk about the so called Socially Responsible Mutual Funds. Topics covered are Examples of Socially Responsible Mutual Funds, How to invest in Socially Responsible Mutual Funds, Which funds in the markets are available for Socially Responsible Investments the Risk with Socially Responsible Mutual Funds, etc.Socially Responsible Mutual Fund Investments

Let's start with the basics:
What is a Socially Responsible Mutual Funds
We all know how mutual funds work. Now mutual funds which invest specifically in companies which act in a Socially Responsible manner, are considered to be Socially Responsible Mutual Funds. For example, we have the concpet of Ethical Funds - which basically means that a mutual fund house or a mutual fund manager defines a few ethical principles and invests in companies which follow those principles.
The Socially Responsible Mutual Funds are similar in nature in the way that it invests the money of investors in companies which are following practices which are considered to be socially responsible. These may include, but not limited to, the following:

1. Corporate governance and ethics: Following rules and policies for coporate governance ethically.
2. Workplace practices: Ensuring a good workplace for employees on factors like equal oppotunity employer, employee benefits, etc.
3. Environmental concerns: Green Initiatives, Not harmful to the environment
4. Product safety and impact: Concern for end consumer's safety and the impact of the end product on consumers as well as environment
5. Human rights: Employee rights, etc.
6. Community relations: Connecting with the locals, ensuring employee programs to help locals with their problems
7. Indigenous peoples' rights

Listed above are just few of the practices that a particular Socially Responsible Mutual Funds Manager can look for and establish the terms for investing the investors money in his funds. Again, the list is not comprehensive and it can increase depending upon the person's choice.
Then, there are other arenas as well which if NOT touched, can be considered as Socially Responsible Investing. Say if you are an animal loer and cannot tolerate cruelity towards animals, then you may not like to invest in companies which make fur coats & hats out of animal skins. If you are against smoking and tobacco consumption, then you may not like to invest in companies which manufacture cigarrates. If you are vegetarian, then you may not like to invest in companies which are in non-veg food processing business. Hence, the Socially Responsible Investing can vary from one individual to the other, depending upon his personal choice.

Related Articles: Green Mutual Funds  Low Cost Mutual Funds, Alternative Energy Mutual Funds

How should I selected a Socially Responsible Mutual Funds for investment?
It's a question which can be answered by looking at your own preferences. Below in this article we list out a sample of some Socially Responsible Mutual Funds. Depending upon your preferences, you are expected to get the details from the prospectus and see which Socially Responsible Mutual Funds match your expected preferences.

How do I check the performance of Socially Responsible Mutual Funds?
Every mutual fund declares a benchmark which it follows. Hence, the best would be to see how the fund has performed compared to its benchmark index. However, apart from the underlying benchmark index, there are some dedicated index exclusively for tracking the Socially Responsible Investments. KLD's Domini 400 Social Index (DS400) index is one such index which is the first benchmark index constructed using environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. It is a widely recognized benchmark for measuring the impact of social and environmental screening on investment portfolios. See how your selected Socially Responsible Mutual Funds has performed as compared to this index by comparing the returns of this index v/s you Socially Responsible Mutual Funds returns for the given time period.

Any examples of Socially Responsible Mutual Funds?
Yes, as available on the various sites on the internet and print media, here are some of the examples which are known to be Socially Responsible Mutual Funds.
Ariel Appreciation
Blue Small Cap Fund
Calvert Capital Accumulation
Calvert World Values International Equity
Green Century Equity
Pax World Balanced Fund
Winslow Green Growth Fund
Calvert Social Responsibilty Index
However, this is not complete list of Socially Responsible Mutual Funds and not a solicitation to buy or invest in them. Investors are expected to take their own decision as per their choice as there may be many more Socially Responsible Mutual Funds available in the market.

What are the risks involved in investing in Socially Responsible Mutual Funds?
The Socially Responsible Mutual Funds have to invest in companies which the fund manager believes to be Socially responsible. However, it is possible that the principles may not be actually followed by the company, or it may be followed by the company when the investments were made, but later the scenario changes. Hence, there is a risk of deviating from the established principles and how well your fund manager can track it.
Other than that, there is a risk of limitations. Basically, people invest to earn money. The more principles and rules you have, the shorter domain is left for you to experiment. Hence, there is no guarantee that your Socially Responsible Mutual Funds Investments will actually turn out to be outperformers as compared to any other general or sector specific Mutual Fund.

Infosys Salary Cut Pay Cut: Infosys Cuts Variable Pay

We had reported in the month of February about the possibility of Infosys Salary Variable Pay Cut News. It seems like the news is now confirmed. It has gone really deep as the company is reported to slash the variable pay to the tune of 58% at the higher levels of executives, where the variable pay itself accounts for almost 50% of the total salary. That would mean that the high end executives will now be getting poorer by 30% of their salary.Infosys Pay Cut



Though the good news is that the company officials have said that company will not be going for layoffs, instead it may go for pay cuts. There is obviously no salary hike this year and no promotions either, as reported on CNBC. There is a big pressure to keep the costs under control for the company. Rumors are doing rounds among the employees that the company may even go for measures like blocking outgoing phone calls from office, reduction in other benefits, etc. However, these remain rumors.

It is also reported by Mohandas Pai, the HR Head that some boardroom members have even taken a hit of upto 70 to 85 percent.
The fate of the Indian IT engineers dont seem to be that great, especially in the current market scenario. All the dreams of having that lucrative IT job with opportunities to fly worldwide and work with international clients is taking a toll. Worse is the case of people who have taken huge housing loans and car loans and will not find it difficult to repay their EMI. Hope that the situation gets better soon

Qantas Layoffs Job Cut: fires 1750 employees

The news is from Qantas, which is the Australina National Airline, is reported to be going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Qantas as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. Qantas Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Qantas layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 1750 job cuts by Qantas. There were 1500 job cuts in July 2008 and 90 senior management job cuts in March. These 1750 job cuts will be additional to that.

What is the total no. of employees of Qantas?
The total no. of employees of Qantas is 34,000 as of now.

What will be the cost and savings by Qantas layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the Qantas layoffs happen?
No info about any dates.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Qantas layoffs ?
500 Management jobs will be cut and the remaining 1250 job cuts will be from the other staff members.

What is the primary reasons for Qantas layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about Qantas layoffs
As per News.co.au, Qantas also slashed its full year pre-tax profit outlook to between $100 million and $200 million, down from its previous forecast of $500 million
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Qantas Layoffs Job Cut

Hudson's Bay Company HBC Layoffs Job Cut: fires 1000 Canada employees

The news is from Hudson's Bay Company HBC, which is the retail company, is reported to be going for layoffs in Canada. The news is not good for the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company HBC as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. Hudson Bay Company HBC Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Hudson's Bay Company HBC layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 1000 job cuts by Hudson's Bay Company HBC.

What is the total no. of employees of Hudson's Bay Company HBC?
The total no. of employees of Hudson's Bay Company HBC is 60,000 as of now. So the layoffs will constitute around 5% of the total employee strength.

What will be the cost and savings by Hudson's Bay Company HBC layoffs?
Around 150 million USD are expected to be saved.

When will the Hudson's Bay Company HBC layoffs happen?
No info about any dates.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Hudson's Bay Company HBC layoffs ?
All layoffs will be done in Canada. The retail and administrative units will be affected the worst.

What is the primary reasons for Hudson's Bay Company HBC layoffs?
Though the company quotes the reason as restructuring - formation of Shared Services Group that would combine finance, IT, supply chain and logistics and central operations from one functional team. However, It's all about the worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about Hudson's Bay Company HBC layoffs
As per AllHeadlineNews, Jeff Sherman, chief executive officer of Hudson Bay Trading Company has confirmed the development.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Hudson's Bay Company HBC Layoffs Job Cut

Michelin Layoffs Job Cut: fires 1000 employees due to Opelika, Alabama plant closure

The news is from Michelin, which is the leading tire or tyre maker of the world, is reported to be going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Michelin as the organization is going for job cuts because it has decided to close one of the tire plants at Opelika, Alabama. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. Michelin Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Michelin layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 1000 job cuts by Michelin. This is due the plant closure at Opelika, Alabama.

What is the total no. of employees of Michelin?
The total no. of employees of Michelin is not known as of now.

What will be the cost and savings by Michelin layoffs?
No info about that, but the plant closure and the layoffs are being done in response to the worsening market situtation and obviously the company does not see any better situation in future.

When will the Michelin layoffs happen?
The plant closure is expected to be in October, so the layoffs will happen by then.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Michelin layoffs ?
Opelika, Alabama will be affected.

What is the primary reasons for Michelin layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about Michelin layoffs
As per Greenvilleonline, Michelin has decided to provide a severance package, including separation pay and other benefits
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Michelin Layoffs Job Cut

Whirlpool Layoffs Job Cut: fires 5000 employees

The news is from Whirlpool or, which is the largest home appliance maker of USA, is reported to be going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Whirlpool as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. Whirlpool Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Whirlpool layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 5000 job cuts by Whirlpool.

What is the total no. of employees of Whirlpool UK?
The total no. of employees of Whirlpool is 80,000 as of now.

What will be the cost and savings by Whirlpool layoffs?
$275 million per year is expected to be saved.

When will the Whirlpool layoffs happen?
The layoffs are for 2009, so no concrete date is available. Some of the layoffs have emerged because of the several plant closures, so many positions are already closed.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Whirlpool layoffs ?
Whirlpool is on a closing spree - closing plants and jobs. As per AZCentral, 4 plants in LaVergne, Tenn.; Oxford, Miss.; Puebla, Mexico; and Reynosa, Mexico have closed which accounted for 2000 jobs. 500 jobs will go after plant closure at Jackson, Tenn. Another 500 jobs will be cut in America, while 1900 will loose jobs in Europe and other places.

What is the primary reasons for Whirlpool layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy, declining sales and no clear site of future revival. The company is also increasing the prices of its products in many markets because of the high cost of raw material.

Any other news about Whirlpool layoffs
As per AZCentral, Whirlpool had more than 80,000 employees after acquiring Maytag Corp. in March 2006 in a $1.8 billion deal.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Whirlpool Layoffs Job Cut

Johnson & Johnson J&J Layoffs Job Cut: fires 900 employees

The news is from Johnson & Johnson or J&J, which is reported to be going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Johnson & Johnson as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. Johnson & Johnson Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Johnson & Johnson layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 900 job cuts by Johnson & Johnson.

What is the total no. of employees of Johnson & Johnson UK?
The total no. of employees of Johnson & Johnson is 118,700 as of now, globally.

What will be the cost and savings by Johnson & Johnson layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the Johnson & Johnson layoffs happen?
The process is already underway, with many employees asked to go back to India.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Johnson & Johnson layoffs ?
Most of the layoffs are in U.S. sales department. Some of the vacant positions will not be filled and some will be asked to go.

What is the primary reasons for Johnson & Johnson layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy and no clear site of future revival. As per WSJ Health Blog, Generic competition is eating into sales of big J&J drugs. Antipsychotic Risperdal’s sales dropped to $2.21 billion last year from $3.42 billion in 2007 amid generic competition, Bloomberg explains, and epilepsy and migraine drug Topamax is another big seller that has gone generic lately.

Any other news about Johnson & Johnson layoffs
As per SmartMoney, The job cuts at Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit markets drugs including Concerta for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Johnson & Johnson Layoffs Job Cut

TCS Layoffs Job Cut: fires 500 UK jobs

The news is from TCS or Tata Consultancy Services, which is reported to be going for layoffs. We had reported last month about the possible TCS Layoff Job CutThe news is not good for the employees of the TCS as the organization is going for job cuts in UK. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. TCS Logo
How many employees may be fired in the TCS layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 500 job cuts by TCS. This will bring down the headcount of TCS employees in UK to 4500.

What is the total no. of employees of TCS UK?
The total no. of employees of TCS is 130,00 as of now globally. It is learnt that after the UK layoff, the employee strenght at UK for TCS will be 4500.

What will be the cost and savings by TCS layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the TCS layoffs happen?
The process is already underway, with many employees asked to go back to India.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the TCS layoffs ?
As per IndiaTimes, The company has pulled back sales and admin staff from delivery centers and customer offices in the UK to fill other posts in India.

What is the primary reasons for TCS layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy and no clear site of future revival.

Any other news about TCS layoffs
As per IndiaTimes, TCS has around 5,000 people working at some 50 locations in the UK, with a further 750 plus staff at its site in Peterborough.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of TCS Layoffs Job Cut

Large Cap ETF v/s Mid Cap ETF: Historical Performance Check

We've been giving a lot of advice about investing in ETF or Exchange Traded Funds. Here is an Example of Nifty based ETF. Some readers have also asked questions about whether they should go for Large Cap based ETF like the Nifty or Sensex based ETF or should they go for the Mid cap based ETF. Then there are some more investors who may look for much larger diversification, but with the benefits of ETF, so how has that performed?

In this article, we will look at the historical performance of the large cap ETF, mid cap ETF and much more diversified ETF from Benchmark ETF funds. The data provided is taken from the PDF that Benchmark funds have provided and the methodology is that used by Benchmark ETFs while making the calculations. The purpose of this article is NOT to advertise for Benchmark ETF, but to draw a comparison between Large Cap, Mid cap and diversified performance. Since the ETF's reflect the performance of the underlying index, their performance also give a very good analysis of whether you should go for large caps or mid caps or diversified funds. All data taken is as of February 27, 2009.

So here is the Historical Performance of Nifty Bees, the ETF based on Nifty 50 or the top 50 stocks of NSE as per market capitalization.
NiftyBees ETF Historical Performance
Returns for less than 1 year are absolute and more than one year are compounded annualized.
As we can observe in the data presented above by the Benchmark ETF, over a 5 year horizon NiftyBees ETF claims to provide a 10.67% annualized compounded returns.

Now, have a look at the Historical Performance of JuniorBees or the top 51 to 100 stocks of NSE as per the market capitalization.
JuniorBees ETF Historical Performance
Seeing the 5 year horizon, the annualized compunded returns from JuniorBees has been a mere 4.09 percent. Hence, over the long period, the Large Cap returns have outperformed the mid cap returns.

Related: SBI GETS-SBI Gold ETF NFO Review: SBI Gold Exchange Traded Scheme & Gold ETF: Historical Performance of Gold ETF & Gold ETF India

To cross-check, let's have a look at the data provided for the underlying index i.e. the Nifty 50 returns and the Nifty Junior Returns. If you compare the 5 year annualized compounded returns of the underlying benchmark index, you will see that the Nifty junior has provided a return of just 3.63% while Nifty 50 has provided a return of 8.94 percent.

Now this should be a sufficient sign for people who firmly believe that only Mid caps are the real winners and they may outperform the large caps. Well, that's not the case as you can see above.

Royal Bank of Scotland RBS Layoffs Job Cut: fires 9000 more employees

The news is from Royal Bank of Scotland RBS, which is reported to be going for further layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland RBS as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. The latest additon to the list of organization which may go for layoffs is the Royal Bank of Scotland RBS. Royal Bank of Scotland RBS
How many employees may be fired in the Royal Bank of Scotland RBS layoffs?
As per the reports, there are going to be 9000 job cuts by RBS. These will be in addition to 2700 job cuts already announced by the bank earlier.

What is the total no. of employees of Royal Bank of Scotland RBS ?
The total no. of employees of RBS is not known as of now.

What will be the cost and savings by Royal Bank of Scotland RBS layoffs?
It is expected that the layoff will save an estimated £2.5 billion($3.7 billion), over the next 3 years.

When will the Royal Bank of Scotland RBS layoffs happen?
No concrete dates.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Royal Bank of Scotland RBS layoffs ?
Around 50% of these job cuts are expected to be in Britain alone. Rest will be done worldwide. Jobs will be primarily going in Back office department.

What is the primary reasons for Royal Bank of Scotland RBS layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy and big budget deficit.

Any other news about Royal Bank of Scotland RBS layoffs
As per NYTimes, the bank is struggling to repay $160 billion U.S. of State aid received to save it from over-expansion and failure following the late 2008 global filnancial services meltdown.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Royal Bank of Scotland RBS Layoffs Job Cut

New York City NYC Layoffs Job Cut: proposed fires for 7000 more jobs

The news is from New York City NYC, which is reported to be going for further layoffs. We had reported in January about the New York City Workers NYC Layoffs Job Cut and there are these unfortunate additions to that news item. The news is not good for the employees of the New York City NYC as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. The latest additon to the list of organization which may go for layoffs is the New York City NYC. New York City NYC
How many employees may be fired in the New York City NYC layoffs?
As per the reports, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked city agencies to cut another 7,000 jobs. These are only the reported numbers, not actual layoffs finalized.

What is the total no. of employees of New York City NYC ?
Total No. of employees of New York state workers is 200,000 as of now. But around 141,000 of them are under the goverment control.

What will be the cost and savings by New York City NYC layoffs?
$350 million are expected to be saved for fiscal year 2010, if the proposed layoffs happen.

When will the New York City NYC layoffs happen?
No concrete dates, these are only proposed layoffs. However, the Agency heads have a deadline till April 13 to reply to the letter. So some info may come out by that time.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the New York City NYC layoffs ?
No info about that.

What is the primary reasons for New York City NYC layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, economy and big budget deficit.

Any other news about New York City NYC layoffs
As per Reuters, Union leaders weighing in on the letter said cutting staff has proved to be a failed strategy in the short- and long term. This may come as a relief to the employees of NYC.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of New York City NYC Layoffs Job Cut, if the layoffs happen

Deere Layoffs Job Cut: fires another 160 employees at Iowa factory

The news is from Deere, a global company for manufacturing farm equipments which is going for layoffs. We had reported in January about the John Deere Layoffs Job Cut and there are these unfortunate additions to it. The news is not good for the employees of the Deere as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. The latest additon to the list of organization which may go for layoffs is the Deere. Deere Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Deere layoffs?
As per the reports, there may be around 160 job cuts by the company. This is in addition to the Deere layoff in January where the company fired around 700 employees

What is the total no. of employees of Deere ?
The total no. of Deere employees is 56,700 as of now.

What will be the cost and savings by Deere layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the Deere layoffs happen?
As per the reports, the layoffs will be done on April 27, 2009.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Deere layoffs ?
The Des Moines, Iowa, factory will be affected. It manufactures tillage, planting, spraying and cotton-harvesting equipment.

What is the primary reasons for Deere layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, decline in demand and so on. Farmers are delaying their purchases for the farm equipments and hence the farm equipment companies like john Deere are feeling the heat.

Any other news about Deere layoffs
As per CNN, Sales of tractors and combines in the U.S. this year are expected to fall by 5% to 15% from 2008, according to industry estimates.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Deere Layoffs Job Cut

FedEx Layoffs Job Cut: fires 1000 employees

The news is from FedEx, a global company for post, parcel & cargo services which is going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the FedEx or Federal Express as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. The latest additon to the list of organization which may go for layoffs is the FedEx. FedEx Logo
How many employees may be fired in the FedEx layoffs?
As per the reports, there may be around 1000 job cuts by the company. This is in addition to the FedEx layoff in February where the company fired around 900 employees

What is the total no. of employees of FedEx ?
The total no. of FedEx employees is not known as of now.

What will be the cost and savings by FedEx layoffs?
Expected savings are $110 million over the next two years.

When will the FedEx layoffs happen?
As per the reports, the layoffs are already done.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the FedEx layoffs ?
Multiple locations will be affected - 50% of the proposed job cuts i.e. 500 of them will be gone in Memphis alone. It is reported that hourly employees, such as package handlers, mechanics and pilots are NOT included in the cuts.

What is the primary reasons for FedEx layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, decline in demand and so on.

Any other news about FedEx layoffs
As per BizJournal, FedEx company is also going for pay cut or salary cut to avoid more layoffs.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of FedEx Layoffs Job Cut

Solar Energy Storage: in batteries, PV Solar Cells & Solar Panels

One of the major benefits of Solar Energy is its free availability and high level of abundance. That is what makes it one of the most attractive sources for energy.

What are the benefits of using Solar Energy?
Here are the benefits for using Solar Energy:

1) Solar Energy is free of cost: You dont need to pay a penny for Solar Energy. That's why countries like Spain, US are using it in an efficient manner.

2) Solar Energy is abundant: Despite being freely available, Solar energy is available in abundance and will continue to do so for billions of years. Dont worry, Sun will not die till we die :-)

3) Solar Energy can be Collected and stored: Any energy collecting device like a battery can collect and hold solar energy. That makes it efficient for use of solar energy in multiple forms. Gone are the days when solar power used to be available only till sunset. With Soalr Storage devices, we can now have energy from Solar sources available 24*7. The application is usually integrated into solar photovoltaic system where energy collected and stored almost instantaneously.

Here is a demonstration of the setup that can be used to store solar energy in a battery: (Image Courtesy SunEnrgyFacts)
Solar Energy Storage

In a typical photovoltaic system, sunlight shines upon the photovoltaic modules. Next, solar cells convert light energy into electrical energy producing direct current (DC). This current is stored directly into a battery. Since our home use Alternating Current (AC), an inverter is connected to the battery to convert from DC to AC. With this typical arrangement, solar energy can be effectively used to power our home.

Transformation of Solar Energy:
As per the laws of Energy, any energy form can be easily transformed. Same goes with Solar Energy as well. So what we have here is a system which absorns the solar energy (like a photovoltaic system) and then convert or transform it into a storable form of energy. However, the problem is that photovoltaic cells are not that efficient and the apparatus costs a big sum of money. Although research is going on for improving the efficieny of the cells. Here is an article about Low cost PV Solar Cells & Solar Panels: High Efficiency of 40%

Transmission of Solar Energy
As with any other energy form, the solar energy once stored can be easily transmitted.

Solar Energy: Introduction, Trading, Investment, Risk & Example

In this article, we will talk about the concept of Solar Energy. Topics covered will include Types of Solar Energy, Sectors of Solar Energy, Solar Energy Companies, Investments in Solar Energy and what the various countries across the globe are doing for Solar Energy. Solar Energy
Let's start with the basics.

What is Solar Energy?
Energy itself can never be considered Solar. What it refers to is the source of the energy. Hence, when we talk about Solar Energy, we emphasize the fact that the energy has been sourced from the Sun or the centerpoint of the solar system. However, it does not mean that equipments like Solar Heaters and others are the only instruments to use solar energy. The benefit of Solar Energy is that it is portable, hence the power or energy generated from Solar Energy can be stored in batteries and can be used later. It may be used in car batteries, for illumination purposes, for heating, etc.
Now here is an interesting fact - only a minute amount of Solar Energy actually available is used by us. Rest all is actually not used, i.e. a source which is wasted.

What are the various types of Solar Energy?
Solar Energy can be of various type, depending on the source. Geothermal energy, Wind energy, Solar energy, Nuclear Power energy, and Hydroelectric energy are some of the examples of various types of Solar energy. Though some people may differ on the inclusion of nuclear energy because it is harmful to individual if it goes uncontrolled. However, when used with the right precaution, Nuclear energy is one of the most environment friendly sources. So it is generally considered as a Solar Energy.
Then, taking a step further, some also consider Anaerobic Digestion & Incineration Of Waste also as a form of Solar Energy.

Where is Solar Energy used?
As like any other form of energy, since Solar energy can be stored, it can be used for multiple forms whichever may require energy. Common examples include heating, electric power supply, light energy, and so on. Not only that, effective use of Solar Energy has found usage in Agriculture, Horticulture and even Greenhouse effects. Water Treatment (to make sea water potable) and cooking (Solar Cooker) are other usage of Solar energy. Solar chemical processes use solar energy to drive chemical reactions. Solar energy is also used to run solar vehicles.

Related: Solar Panels: Sources, Installation, Technology Introduction

What are the different types of Solar Techniques?
As per Wikipedia, "Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive or active depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques use photovoltaic panels, pumps, and fans to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include selecting materials with favorable thermal properties, designing spaces that naturally circulate air, and referencing the position of a building to the Sun."

Related Articles: Solar Mutual Funds  Low Cost Mutual Funds & Alternative Energy Mutual Funds
Green Energy

Which countries are actively using Solar Energy?
Solar Energy is being used across the globe. obviously the countries which receive a lot of sunlight would benefit from the solar energy, provided they have proper infrastructure to tap that energy. That's why, though African countries receive a lot of sunlight, the usage is low there. US is a big user of solar energy, and so are some of the European countries like Spain and Portugal

Green Energy: Introduction, Trading, Investment, Risk & Example

In this article, we will talk about the concept of Green Energy. Topics covered will include Types of Green Energy, Sectors of Green Energy, Green Energy Companies, Investments in Green Energy and what the various countries across the globe are doing for Green Energy. Green Energy
Let's start with the basics.

What is Green Energy?
Energy itself can never be considered Green. What it refers to is the source of the energy. Hence, when we talk about Green Energy, we mean that the source through which the energy has been produced is NOT harmful to the atmosphere and environment and are non-polluting. This may include sources which do not significantly increase the carbon dioxide (CO2) content in the atmosphere.

What are the varius types of Green Energy?
Green Energy can be of varius type, depending on the source. Geothermal energy, Wind energy, Solar energy, Nuclear Power energy, and Hydroelectric energy are some of the examples of various types of Green energy. Though some people may differ on the inclusion of nuclear energy because it is harmful to individual if it goes uncontrolled. However, when used with the right precaution, Nuclear energy is one of the most environment friendly sources. So it is geenrally considerd as a Green Energy.
Then, taking a step further, some also consider Anaerobic Digestion & Incineration Of Waste also as a form of Green Energy.

Where is Green Energy used?
As like any other form of energy, Green energy is also used as a form of electricity, for heating and for cogeneration.

What are the comparison figures for carbon emission for Green Energy as compared to other energy?
Some stats are available on Wikipedia for a comparative analysis. Nuclear Energy produces just 3.3 grams of carbon dioxide per KW-Hr of produced power. Compare that to 400 grams for natural gas and 700 grams for coal.

Related Articles: Green Mutual Funds  Low Cost Mutual Funds & Alternative Energy Mutual Funds

Which countries are actively using Green Energy?
Green Energy is being used across the globe. Considering Nuclear Energy to be a part of Green Energy, France leads the world in that as 75% of the electricty it uses comes from Nuclear Energy. Then US and UK are also using Green Energy significantly.

How can one buy or trade Green Energy?
Green Energy can be traded or bought through the Green Energy Providers. These are the utility organizations which have electricity retailing arrangements and make energy trading possible

SBI GETS-SBI Gold ETF NFO Review: SBI Gold Exchange Traded Scheme

OK, so the mutual fund arm of the India's largest bank has decided to ride the gold wave and hence it has come out with the NFO or New Fund offer for a gold based ETF. It's called the SBI GETS or SBI Gold Exchange Traded Scheme, which is basically a GOLD ETF. The fund is presently in its NFO or New Fund offer period and the NFO will close on April 28, 2009. SBI GETS Gold ETF

In this article, we will give a snapshot and review of the SBI GETS or SBI Gold Exchange Traded Scheme. The data has been sourced from the advertisements and site of the relevant Mutual fund house.
So basically, this is a Gold Based ETF from the SBI Mutual fund house which is trying to attract the investors who are looking for investing in Gold. As we all have witnessed, Gold prices in the recent past have shot up the roof and are now proving to be an excellent option for investors. SBI MF is trying to attract the investors with this.

The objective of this GOLD ETF or SBI GETS or SBI Gold Exchange Traded Scheme is to track the unit price closely with that of Gold.
Minimum Investment required during NFO : Rs. 5000/- and then in multiples of Re. 1

Load Structure of SBI GETS : Entry Load: Up to Rs. 25 Lakhs - 2.50 %, From Rs. 25 Lakhs to Rs. 50 Lakhs-1.50%, From Rs. 50 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Crore - 1.00 %, Rs. 1 Crore above - Nil.
Now this is where I would recommend that investors should NOT opt for subscription during NFO period. The reason - the entry load is heavy - 2.5%. Instead, wait for this SBI GETS ETF to list on the NSE Exchange, and then you can buy the units through your broker and have the following advantages:
1) You will pay a brokerage (maximum 1%) to your broker, instead of the heavy 2.5% entry load during the NFO
2) You will not have to meet the minimum 5000 Rs. requirement during the NFO.

So, the choice is yours.

The capital Allocation will be as follows: Gold and gold bullion - 90 - 100 %, Debt & Money Market Instruments - 0 - 10%

Then, are there any existing ETF's that you can buy?
Yes. Indian Market is now having more than 5 Gold ETF's from different fund houses. See details about Gold ETF India here .

What has been the historical performance of the existing Gold ETF schemes?
We have a comparative analysis of Gold ETF scheme. Please see the Gold ETF: Historical Performace of Gold ETF in India

Gold ETF: Historical Performace of Gold ETF in India, give similar returns

Initially, we had given the list of Gold ETFs available in India in this article. Now that it has been some time and we have been seeing heavy swings and volatility in Gold ETF, its time now to see the historical performace of these GOLD ETF and see how has your fund manager managed to give you returns.
We have collected data from the article published in Times of India which was based on research by ValueResearch and the figures mentioned here are sourced from that.
So here is the comparative table for Historical Performance of Gold ETF in India:
Gold ETF Historical Performance

As you can observe in the table above, the performance of all the Gold ETF's in India has been almost the same. The best being the Gold Benchamrk Fund from the Benchmark fund house which is famous for bringing ETF products to India. However, their 1 year return has been marginally higher than the rest of GOLD ETFs, which are Kotak Gold ETF, Quantum Gold ETF and UTI Gold ETF. The only laggard when you see the 1 year return has been the Reliance Gold ETF, whose 1 year returns have been less than 2% as compared to other Gold ETF's, as per valueresearch data.

So what's the verdict? Basically, ETF's are good - any ETF is good, as long as it can track the underlying prices correctly. Looking at the high returns from Gold in the recent past, even SBI Mutual Fund has decided to come out with its own Gold ETF called the SBI GETS-SBI Gold ETF NFO Review: SBI Gold Exchange Traded Scheme

Cardinal Health Layoffs Job Cut: fires 1300 employees

The news is from Cardinal Health, a battery manufacturing company which is going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Cardinal Health Technologies as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. The latest additon to the list of organization which may go for layoffs is the Cardinal Health. Cardinal Health Logo
How many employees may be fired in the Cardinal Health layoffs?
As per the reports, there may be around 1300 job cuts by the company.

What is the total no. of employees of Cardinal Health ?
There are about 16000 employees of Cardinal Health and the offices are spread across the country.

What will be the cost and savings by Cardinal Health layoffs?
Expected savings are $110 million over the next two years.

When will the Cardinal Health layoffs happen?
As per the reports, the layoffs will be within next six months.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Cardinal Health layoffs ?
Multiple locations will be affected - majority of the jobs will go at San Diego, around 200 of them. The employees who are affected by the layoffs belong to clinical and medical products unit.

What is the primary reasons for Cardinal Health layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, decline in demand and so on.

Any other news about Cardinal Health layoffs
As per FierceHealthCare, Cardinal Health company said that it was making the cuts largely in response to a dramatic slowdown in hospital purchases.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Cardinal Health Layoffs Job Cut

Exide Layoffs Job Cut: fires 570 employees at Bristol

The news is from Exide, a battery manufacturing company which is going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Exide Technologies as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. The latest additon to the list of organization which may go for layoffs is the Exide. Exide Logo

How many employees may be fired in the Exide layoffs?
As per the reports, there may be around 570 job cuts by the company.

What is the total no. of employees of Exide ?
There are about 810 employees of Exide at the Bristol Batteries plant. Hence, the layoffs constitute around 70% of the job cuts at Bristol facility.

What will be the cost and savings by Exide layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the Exide layoffs happen?
As per the reports, the layoffs will be made from May 1, 2009 onwards.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Exide layoffs ?
Facilities in Bristol will be affected. It is interesting to know that plant's middle management employees are the ones to be fires, and higher-level managers are moving into the middle managers’ jobs. So its a demotion for the higher ups.

What is the primary reasons for Exide layoffs?
It's all about the worsening market situation, decline in demand and so on.

Any other news about Exide layoffs
As per TimesNews, Exide Company official Bruce Cole said Wednesday the layoffs are "indefinite," but they "hope for an improvement in the marketplace that may allow us to put people back to work at our Bristol facility."
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Exide Layoffs Job Cut

Amazon Layoffs Job Cut: fires 210 employees: shuts shipping facility

The news is from Amazon, a which is going for layoffs. The news is not good for the employees of the Amazon as the organization is going for job cuts. Now the situation is getting worse for the employees as the recession is taking a toll on all sectors and all of the sectors are feeling the heat. The latest additon to the list of organization which may go for layoffs is the Amazon. Amazon Logo

How many employees may be fired in the Amazon layoffs?
As per the reports, there may be around 210 job cuts by the company. The cuts are coming because the company has decided to close down on the shipping facilities in several states across US.

What is the total no. of employees of Amazon ?
No info about the total no. of Amazon Employees.

What will be the cost and savings by Amazon layoffs?
No info about that.

When will the Amazon layoffs happen?
As per the reports, the layoffs will be made as soon as possible.

Which locations and department of employees will be affected by the Amazon layoffs ?
Facilities in Indiana, Nevada and Pennsylvania which were for distribution will be affected.

What is the primary reasons for Amazon layoffs?
Closure of Shipping facility is the reason for the layoffs.

Any other news about Amazon layoffs
As per VNUNet, Amazon plans to offer eight weeks' severance pay to affected workers.
Let's hope that alternative jobs are available to the affected employees of Amazon Layoffs Job Cut

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