I have a demat account for the last 15 years. I am 76 and want to close the account as I have sold all my shares except of three companies-Birla Cotsyn, BTW Industries and Gajra Bevel Gears. The bank says I cannot close the account unless all the shares in it are sold. Since the companies mentioned above are not quoted in the market any more, I cannot sell them. Kindly advise how I can close this account.

Prableen Bajpai Founder, Managing Partner, FinFix Research & Analytics replies: The balance of a demat account has to be nil to close it. Of the three companies, two have very thin trading volumes. The third is no longer listed. You have two options. One, you can re-materialise all existing balance by converting the securities back into paper form from electronic form. For this, you have to approach your bank with a re-materialisation request form for each company. The forms will be verified and released to NSDL (depository) by your bank and then onto the issuer/R&T agent. If the companies can be contacted, the issuer/R&T agent will print the certificates and send it to you. The process should take 30-40 days. However, the process won’t get through if the company management does not respond. In such a scenario, you can transfer the security balance to a different account. It can be a demat operated by your children. The process is done by using a delivery instruction slip. Exercising one or a combination of both options will clear your demat account and allow it to be closed. Since the holding value of securities is less than Rs 50,000, your demat is a Basic Services Demat Account and thus no annual maintenance charges should be applied.

I am 25 and earn Rs 35,000 a month. My monthly expenses are around Rs 20,000. I want to save for some short-term and long-term goals. These include buying a house, funding my sister’s education and marriage. How should I invest my money?

Raj Khosla, Founder and Managing Director, Mymoneymantra.com replies: You have multiple goals and thus require strict discipline. Adopt a step-by-step approach. Immediately start an SIP of Rs 2,500 each in Axis Bluechip Fund and Kotak Standard Multi-Cap for 5 to 7 years and Rs 2,500 in DSP Mid Cap for long-term corpus building. Also start parking Rs 2,500 per month in PPF as it will offer you tax-free guaranteed return after 15 years. The remaining Rs 5,000 should be used to build an emergency liquid fund of at least Rs 1 lakh by investing in a mix of bank FDs and stable liquid schemes like Nippon India Liquid Fund. Review your portfolio annually, hike SIPs by 10% every year and reduce risk when goal is near and realign your portfolio. You should buy a term plan of Rs 50 lakh to secure your commitments.





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