The money, honey?
Indians have been saving at high rates of more than 32 per cent. Here are a few places where they’ve parked their money.
Real Estate: The rubble along our city roads says that the construction boom is still going strong. Global investment firms that slurped up to 30-40 per cent yields in the last two years are still making music. But soaring land prices and rising interest rates have made the domestic consumers wary, and actual transactions have reportedly dropped by around 50 per cent in the last few months.
Gold: Indians have something in common with the villain they read about in school, Shylock. Their love for gold. But times are clearly changing. Admittedly the price of the yellow metal is still on the rise except that it is steadily giving way to more immediately rewarding investments. And with luxury spending growing at 14 per cent, some of us are actually switching loyalties to diamonds.
Post Office: The humble Indiapost, whose mail volumes are being battered by growing internet use, is still posting a robust growth in its savings sector: RDs, KVPs, NSCs etc. Whether it is the 20-something working at the Gurgaon BPOs or the Himachali apple farmer or the retired journalist, the friendly neighbourhood post-office is still considered as a safe haven, especially by Tier II and III households.
Art: Trumpets were blown when 100 Hussains were commissioned for a billion rupees. The artist’s penchant for churning out paintings as fast as fruitcakes left the art world feeling a bit giddy. But he is not alone; the average prices per lot have tripled in the new millennium and buyers are now clamouring for their piece of the picture pie.
Stocks: The stock market has withstood rising interest rates better than the real estate sector. It helps that Indians are becoming savvier about diversifying their portfolios, and that boom-leading stocks in the bank, petroleum and IT havens have let their investors more than happy.