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OLM Desk - 30 April 2023

Cyber Traps

Cyberspace is getting murkier by the day. I shudder to think what senior citizens might be going through on being robbed of their life’s savings by faceless, vicious criminals on the dark web. Smoke & Mirrors: Scammed And Scarred, How Seniors Navigate Cyber Traps is instructive in many ways. The issue is also of social decay than purely a criminal manifestation decoupled from society. Technological empowerment and awareness are one thing, but the more serious issue is the gradual decay of our social institutions. Blinded by greed and desperation, a major section of society is ready to commit crimes. Policing will only be adequate if the society manages to keep the balance of this world by nurturing its members with the required knowledge and wisdom. Senior citizens must also make efforts to update themselves about cyber entrapments staged by criminals to lure them into their net. I have been fortunate to get all the necessary help from my children whenever I have doubts regarding online transactions. Hence, seniors must take up the cudgels to fight and protect themselves.

Rajen Patwari, email

Choosing Index Funds

I bought an index fund in February this year. But, at the time, I didn’t quite understand tracking error—one of the two common terms in mutual funds discussed in It’s Raining Index Funds, But How Do You Choose One? besides expense ratio. Clearly, the time lag in aligning the portfolio with the changes in the index constituents is critical for returns—no wonder yields of different fund houses vary. So tracking the benchmark isn’t enough. Selection of index funds can be tricky, especially for a newcomer like me. The topic has helped me clarify my doubts.

Elvis Toppo, email

Index Fund Ratings

It was nice to have clarity on index funds and the aspects of choosing them in It’s Raining Index Funds, But How Do You Choose One? The tracking error and other factors of funds were eye-openers. As readers, we would like to have an index fund rating just like OLM 50 so we can know the index funds and their assets under management (AUM), get help in their selection, and stay on track.

Vrushank Shah, email

Interest Rates

The government with a fetish for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth must also consider senior citizens’ problems (Filling The Gaps In Individual Taxation, Outlook Money; December 2022). When they face mounting medical costs, insufficient savings and falling into debt traps, it is lamentable the government has no specific strategy to help them. With an uptick in economic activity and government earnings through goods and services tax (GST), which allows it to allocate huge funds for infrastructure development, digital connectivity, and other projects, is it not time to provide a 9 per cent interest rate on schemes meant for senior citizens?

Kangayam R. Narasimhan, email

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