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How we make money and why we are legally obligated to put your interests above our own

As a financial services firm, Elphinstone, Inc. – the company that owns and operates SmartRupee – must be able to command the respect and trust of its clients above all else. In order to do so, we have committed to upholding the highest ethical and legal standards in the financial services and investment management profession.  One of the ways in …

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How much should I plan to spend on my children’s weddings?

Why have we included this section? Surely, a wedding is not as important, as say a house, or retirement, or even college. This is not even your own wedding – it is your child’s wedding.   Obviously, the people who think this way are not Pakistani.   A typical wedding in Pakistan is over the top and ostentatious. We do not mean …

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When should I buy real estate and how much can I afford?

Can I afford a house?  If you are a young middle-class Pakistani, that question seems almost pointless. The real estate market is so ridiculously overvalued in Pakistan that it seems pointless regurgitating well known truisms.   But just to hammer it home one more time: the total value of residential real estate in Pakistan is around $1,211 billion (yes, that …

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How to think about emergencies and short-term cash needs in your financial planning

At SmartRupee, we look like we are all about long-term planning and savings. We most certainly do emphasise that part of financial planning, but we also acknowledge the undeniable reality: most people have short-term savings needs as well, and nearly everyone needs to have at least some cash saved up for emergencies as well.  The SmartRupee model allows this possibility and …

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Why Voluntary Pension Schemes are better than Provident or Gratuity funds

If you are employed at a company in Pakistan – and even if you are a younger employee at a government institution – there is a very good chance that you employer offers a provident fund or a gratuity fund, and possibly both. When creating your financial plan, the savings offered in your company’s provident or gratuity fund can be …

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How an expected inheritance can play a role in your life’s financial plan

Nobody wants to think about the demise of their parents or loved ones, least of all in so crude a set of terms as money. But for many middle class and upper middle class families in Pakistan, the family assets – which can often revolve around real estate – can be an important set of assets to consider in one’s …

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Why the stock market is a good investment, and how it compares to alternatives

When it comes to investing, the vast majority of Pakistanis think of gold, real estate and, occasionally, foreign currencies as investments. Some investors who are slightly more sophisticated may think of government bonds. Only a few dare to put their money in stocks. But the historical record demonstrates that stocks are the best long-term investment and offer some of the best opportunities …

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How you can retire (sort of) rich on a middle-class income

Starting salaries in Pakistan are notoriously low. The recent ‘my first salary’ trend on Twitter, where users shared their starting salary, was illuminating in Pakistan, if only to demonstrate just how low the standards are.  There is significant literature on why salaries are depressed in Pakistan: it has to do with joint family systems, low …

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