How to Increase Your Net Worth
By Saghir Aslam
Rawalpindi, Islamabad

(The following information is provided solely to educate the Muslim community about investing and financial planning. It is hoped that the Ummah will benefit from this effort through greater financial empowerment, enabling the community to live with dignity and fulfill their moral obligations towards charitable activities)
Calculating your net worth is a matter of math – add up your cash, investments, property values, life, insurance, financial interests in your business, and your assets such as rare collectables and jewelry. From the total, subtract all debts, including mortgage balance and the amount owed on credit cards and loans. While the calculation itself is simple, its importance goes far beyond. It can reshape your life.
Knowing your actual net worth is important not only for your future but also for family and loved ones as it relates to estate plan and how it affects their future. It helps the entire family.
So assuming you have all the numbers for calculation, how do you know what it really means? An important first step is to work with your financial advisor to determine your current situation. Having a clear picture of your net worth now, as well as where it may be in the future, is the starting point before making other decisions, such as beginning a gifting program or establishing a trust fund.
You can make a huge difference in your financials and have a lot of money for your retirement. If you plan properly whatever you want to do either it is TV, internet or anything else like that, try to reduce cost for example. TV companies try to sell you fancy expensive packages and you will not need or use majority of these channels, other than some news and some selected support events in my humble opinion.

Step 1: Analyze your spending
If your goal for the coming year is to improve your overall financial condition, increasing your net worth comes down to two basic choices. “You either save more or spend less” and “for many people the latter is the more viable option.”
“The starting point for reducing spending is to determine exactly where you are spending your money and then establish a budget.” Nothing that maintaining a household is more expensive today than as recently as 20 years ago, that the advances in technology – cell phones, computers, cable TVs, internet access – add a considerable amount to the average household’s expenses.
Individuals should ask themselves if they need everything they have. Extra spending is especially common among those just getting started in their careers who have more disposable income than they’re used to, these apply to everyone. Shop around and see if you can bundle Internet and TV into one less-expensive package. Consider making more meals at home instead of going out to eat. Analyze plans for your next vacation to make sure you’re making the best use of your money. “Many of us don’t think about where we are spending our money, so understanding that and then setting a budget is a great way to reduce expenditures.”
The first step in establishing a viable budget is to determine fixed costs, such as mortgage, insurance, utilites, and any other regular obligations. Then look at variable costs, such as leisure travel, entertainment and even splurges, like a new vehicle. “Once you examine these categories carefully, you can get a clear picture of how to start reducing costs.”

Step 2: Decrease your debts
Once you’ve decreased your variable costs, you can look into ways to decrease the fixed costs as well as get rid of or lower other debts you may have. For many people, the bulk of those come in the form of loans on your assets.”
Interest rates continue to be at historic lows. While many homeowners have taken advantage of these to refinance some mortgage and free up some monthly cash or pay down their home faster, it may be worth checking to see where you locked in to where rates are currently. Your mortgage isn’t the only place you should try to reduce your interest rate. Consider looking at the rate on any auto loans and refinance if it makes sense. Even unsecure debt, such as what you owe on credit cards, may be able to be reduced through consolidation or refinanced at a lower rate through a personal loan.
Talk with a banker to figure out what makes the most sense for your situation.

Step three: Boost your assets
Once you’ve worked on cutting and spending your debt, you may have more money to put toward increasing your assets. Owning a home and building equity has traditionally been one of the most common stepping stones to increasing net worth. Usually, a home is one of the most valuable assets of someone’s portfolio, if not the most valuable asset. In today’s mobile society, where employees are changing jobs and cities frequently, it’s more difficult to build equity.
“Buying a home should never replace saving for retirement. Many of us saw our parents realize sizeable increases in the values of their homes, which may have even outpaced the increase in their investments.” “Historically, homes have kept up with inflation but have not outpaced it.”
Saving for retirement is something you can do regardless of where you live, and with tax-deferred accounts, the savings may grow even faster. Try to max out your retirement contributions, at least up to any company match. If you put a saving plan into your budget, you’ll be less likely to try to access the money, allowing it to grow over time and thus boosting your net worth. “Resist the temptation during or after a move to spend your IRA funds.”
Before you can determine where you want to go and what you want to do, know where you stand at the present time. And the starting point of this understanding is knowing your net worth.
(Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and formulas that he has been using. He is merely providing information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr Aslam does not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, or any investment at all, nor does he suggest that anyone will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial planner. Mr Aslam does not have anything for sale.)
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Has The Australian Team Forgotten How Many Times It Has Been Whitewashed by Its South Asian Counterparts?
By Khurram Zia Khan

Recently, Ian Chappell passed a comment, telling the Pakistan cricket team to either improve their game or stay at home. The former Australian captain went on to say that until the struggling side does not up their game significantly and provide some sort of a challenge to the home side, the Pakistan team will not be invited for any future series.
According to Chappell, “Pakistan have now lost 12 Test matches on the trot in Australia, and somebody’s got to give them a kick up the bum. Cricket Australia have got to start saying “listen if things don’t improve we will stop with the invites.”
“You can’t continue to [play poor] cricket. You can’t bowl poorly, have conservative field placings and field sloppily and expect to play decent cricket in Australia,” he added.
I, for one, find Chappell’s comments inappropriate and arrogant, stemming from a lack of background knowledge.
What if India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka pass a statement of their own, stating that they will not be playing any future matches with Australia in the sub-continent anymore? As for performance, perhaps Chappell and the Australian cricket team have forgotten the times when they were whitewashed against South Asian teams in the last three years? I still remember how India hammered Australia by 4-0 in 2013, Pakistan by 2-0 in 2014, and Sri Lanka by 3-0 in 2015.
Furthermore, perhaps Chappell needs to take a look in the mirror and be reminded of the UAE match where Australia looked clueless when MisbahulHaq smashed the fastest Test century and Yasir Shah ripped them apart with his guile.
Where was Ian Chappell then?
I agree that our team’s performance has been dismal lately, case in point being the recent tour of Australia. But the most unpredictable team also drew a series with England in 2016, in the same country where Australia faced a humiliating loss. Furthermore, the Aussies reached their embarrassment pinnacle when Australia were shot out for a meagre score of 60 in the first innings of the Nottingham Test, courtesy of Stuart Broad’s magnificent bowling.
By suggesting not to invite Pakistan, Chappell is setting a precedent that no team should play on fields other than their own home grounds as the record of nearly all Test playing countries on foreign grounds is unimpresive.
Interestingly enough, Australia is scheduled to tour India in February. It is predicted that India will whitewash Australia, given their form on home grounds. If the prediction comes true, will it be wise for any senior or former player from India to ask the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to question their decision of inviting Australia to tour the country in the future?
Not only does Chappell’s statement make no sense but it also does not meet the standards of someone of his stature. Never in cricket history has any captain come forward and made such a statement. When did one team’s disappointing performance qualify as a criterion for revoking invitations for future tours? If the Australian team had been performing remarkably well throughout, Chappell’s arrogant statement would somewhat make sense. But how can you point a finger and question a team’s participation based on a few dismal performances?
Chappell should not only review his comments but also tender an apology not only to Pakistan but to the International Cricket Council (ICC) as well, which has been striving to promote cricket all around the world.
Pakistan cricket is passing through tough times. No team has toured Pakistan for the last eight years. In this dire moment, Pakistan needs support from the ICC and other Test playing countries. Unfortunately, the power houses of cricket have always found reasons to side-line Pakistan, and Chappell just gave them another one.
In fact, in 2000, Australia was the first team to show reservations regarding touring Pakistan based on some flimsy reason. However, their decision did not stop other countries from touring Pakistan, until the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.
On the contrary, Australia did not abandon its tour to England in 2006-07 even after the 2005 London bombings took place. Similarly, England continued their tour of India even after the disastrous Mumbai attack in 2010. In 1993, when the Tamil Tigers were terrorizing Sri Lanka, the New Zealand cricket team did not abandon their tour, even after a bomb blast outside their hotel. But the same country, Sri Lanka, had a different approach for Pakistan when their team packed the bags and immediately left Pakistan after the attack in 2009.
Pakistan’s overseas record fares much better in comparison to other Asian countries. Pakistan is the only country to have won ODI series in South Africa, along with remarkable records in England and New Zealand. However, Australia is the only venue where Pakistan’s record is poor. But this is simply because Pakistan does not tour Australia that often and are not familiar with their ground conditions. I am confident that if Pakistan were to tour Australia frequently, not only will their performance improve, but they may even win the series.
Furthermore, Chappell did not stop at the team but also took a jab at Misbah’s captaincy skills, stating,“A lot of their struggles were because they had no leadership. There was no inspiration from Misbah, so things have got to change in Pakistan.”
Commenting on Misbah’s future as the skipper, Chappell went on to say,“If I had anything to do with the selection then that will be it for Misbah as the captain, but in Pakistan they do some very strange things, so I wouldn’t bet on it.”
I, regrettably, agree with Chappell’s observation of Misbah. Pakistan did indeed lack inspiration.
Misbah should have thought out his strategy thoroughly after the first Test, especially when it came to using Yasir Shah’s talent. Shah continued to ball on the leg stump line to left handers and hence got hammered. A player that was meant to be the team’s ace player with his magnificent bowling skills was not resourced appropriately due to poor strategy and planning.
Pakistan cricket has certain flaws that are damaging its potential growth. Our selectors lack vision and keep recalling old war horses instead of grooming talented and skillful youngsters for the future. However, even with its flaws, our team has competed courageously with its strong opponents from the very first day, and I am confident that we will overcome all hurdles and continue to perform better in the future.
I hope Pakistan prepares itself before future tours to Australia, if there will be any, so that critics like Chappell are proved wrong and do not even dare pass such absurd statements in the future.
Team Pakistan Zindabad!
(Khurram Zia Khan is the media manager of Asiatic Public Relations. The Express Tribune)

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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