Rupee Rani
I want to invest in the stock market but I don’t know where to begin.

Q: I want to know if a home maker in her thirties, and from a science back ground can do CA? How tough will it be for them? Is it worth studying at mid 30's? 

A: Anyone can pursue CA because the course doesn’t have an age limit. However, it is important to note that although the course is designed for self-study, it isn’t one where you have the freedom of studying at home and taking a crack at the exams when they come. You have to compulsorily pursue three years of articleship/apprenticeship at a CA firm, where you will be required to be at work at least from 9 to 5. 10-hour days is usually the norm. Apart from this, you will have to attend classes either before work or after to help you learn the subjects. The there are the exams, which require a few months of intense preparation (I’m talking a minimum 8 hours of study) and have no guarantee of results.  

Even as a student, who had no other job other than to study and pass the exam, I found it difficult. Because I spent my days running from classes to work and to classes again. If you have a supportive family who will allow you to pursue CA and absorb all your responsibilities while you complete the course, I will say, go for it! If it seems difficult but you still want to study accounting, there are plenty of courses online. Good luck. 

Q: I want to invest in the stock market but I don’t know where to begin. What should I be reading to do my research before I begin investing? 

A: A good place to start would be financial newspapers. Websites like Moneycontrol also contain a wealth of information, as well as guides to help you invest your money. It’s easy to get confused by the sheer volume of information that’s out there. If it is possible for you to have a conversation with someone you know, who have already invested in the market, or with an investment professional, it would be more helpful than your own research. If equity markets seem too overwhelming, you can start out with Mutual Funds instead. 

Q: Could you please tell me about managing finances after the death of a spouse especially with respect to will/legal heir certificate, tax implications, property, bank accounts, stocks etc?

A: The death of a loved one is always a terrible event. The process of figuring out inheritance is dependent primarily on whether or not the deceased has left behind a will. If there is a will, then the same is to be executed, and if there isn’t, inheritance will work as per the inheritance laws framed by the religion that the deceased belongs to. It is a complex process and therefore, my advice would be that in the event of such a tragedy, it would be best to consult a lawyer. 

As for tax implications, Indian tax laws do not tax whatever you have acquired by inheritance. Tax (via Capital Gains) will come in to play only when you sell the same. 

(For any questions, write to Rupee Rani at rupeerani@thenewsminute.com)