Showing posts from 2010

The Four Levels of Wealth

FINANCIAL FREEDOM - such a big word. Desired by all, understood by few. So do you have your own definition of what financial freedom is, and what it means to you? Clarity is power, and the clearer our definition of financial freedom, the more likely it can be achieved. While I was reading Adam Khoo's Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires , I came across a well-defined explanation of what financial freedom is, along with the other different 3 levels of wealth. Level 1: Financial Stability This is achieved when one has enough liquid assets to cover his/her expenses for at least 6 months, and he/she has sufficient life and hospitalisation insurance to protect against permanent disability, inability to work, or sudden death.

Going After What You Really Want - T. Harv Eker

(Abstract from T. Harv Eker's Blog - Going After What You Really Want) The purpose for having money is pretty well the most important element in having money. Everyone I know who has become rich did so for a reason as if they needed to become rich. Most of them don’t live all that happily because they needed to become rich in order to prove that they’re okay, or responding to some programming other than an intention that moved them from their inner core. So go for whatever you want. In the end, we’re all going for the same thing. What we’re really seeking is the feeling that the objects of our wants will bring. A new house can give us a sense of comfort. A new car can heighten a feeling of importance. Travel and toys can invoke excitement and stave off boredom. Launching the business dream job can satisfy our need to achieve and be recognized. But we need to be real careful about what it is we want. Sometimes people keep wanting things and getting them, only to find out they

CPFIS-included funds sees 6.8% gain in Q3 (from IM$aavy)

Source: The Straits Times, Lorna Tan Funds held in the Central Provident Fund Investment Scheme (CPFIS) achieved average gains of 6.8 per cent in the three months ended in September, thanks to rallying global equity markets.

Govt introduces new measures to cool S'pore property market

Channel NewsAsia - Govt introduces new measures to cool S'pore property market - SINGAPORE: The government on Monday introduced more measures to cool the buoyant property market. These include raising the holding period for which a home seller must pay a stamp duty and reducing the maximum bank loan amount for existing home owners who want to buy another property.

Common Myths About Insurance

Here are some of the common myths about insurance that I have heard over my years of consultation work with clients. Some are quite absurd. Some make you think twice. Below are 5 of them and this should help you understand life insurance better. 1. You only get the money when you die. Some folks think that there is little purpose in buying insurance, as the proceeds will only be paid out upon one's death. This is one huge myth, often said by the ignorant. There are various forms of insurance other than death insurance. For example, disability insurance pays out when the insured suffers from a total and permanent disability, impeding his or her ability to earn a living. Critical illness insurance pays out upon the insured being diagnosed with a life threatening disease. Hospitalization insurance pays out when the insured is hospitalized, or needs to undergo surgery. As you can see, there are many forms of 'living benefits' that are paid to the insured during his or

S’poreans ill equipped for retirement, survey shows

(News article extracted from MyPaper, 23 Aug 2010) SINGAPOREANS are not savvy enough when it comes to planning their long-term finances and are, thus, generally unprepared for retirement, a study by HSBC has revealed. The HSBC Future of Retirement (FoR) survey, which polled 15,000 respondents across 15 markets and about 1,000 Singaporeans aged 30-70, found that a staggering 91 per cent of locals do not have any idea what their retirement income will look like.

What happens to my CPF savings after setting aside the Minimum Sum?

Once a CPF member has turned 55 and fulfilled the Minimum Sum requirement (currently at $123,000), any excess can be withdrawn in cash. What happens to the excess amount if he/she do not intend to withdraw this money? Let's take a look. If the CPF member decides not to withdraw at that point of time, the money left there will earn interest same as the account that is is from (i.e. if it is from the Ordinary Account, it will earn 2.5% interest). Therefore this is a better option than withdrawing all the money and leaving it in a bank account, which is paying interest of a fraction of a percent.

My Online Bookstore is up!

Hi all! I've finally taken time to compile some of the best resources that can help you achieve success, be it in your career, in your wealth, or in life. The link can be found in the bar near the top of my homepage. (or you can click here ) The e-store is hosted by so you can be assured of its reliability and security. I will continue adding more fantastic books and learning materials so that we can all grow. Feel free to give me any feedback at . Thank you and all the best to you, in everything that you do! CJH

Currency is designed to be lost

Currency is designed to move away from us. Its convenience and its portability means it can be spent or wasted easily. The entire economy is after our bucks and needs our bucks to survive. To be wealthy, we have to start converting our currency into true wealth. Investments, commodities, real estate, precious metals, just to name a few. If we make it a hobby to collect as much of these as possible, our net worth will definitely increase. :)

S'pore economy grew 18.8% in Q2

From iTODAY:S'pore economy grew 18.8% in Q2 Ryan Huang | Aug 11, 2010 12:00 AM SINGAPORE - The economy expanded 18.8 per cent in the second quarter from the corresponding period a year ago, slower than the initial estimate of 19.3 per cent, according to final data released yesterday by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). Despite the economy growing slower than initially forecast, MTI said the headline number was still a record for quarterly growth - boosted by a broad-based recovery, especially in biomedical manufacturing, electronics and tourism. "We have had an exceptional first half. Some of these factors are structural, and will continue to lend support in the second half," said Mr Ravi Menon, MTI's Permanent Secretary. Overall, the first half growth was at 17.9 per cent on-year - a record since 1975.

There should be no retirement age for S’pore: MM Lee

Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew says there should be no retirement age for workers in Singapore. He made the suggestion on Wednesday at a dialogue session in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) attended by over 900 senior managers, government officials and unionists. Read more here: Yahoo! Singapore News For the latest buzz on Retirement: Click Here

‘Whole Person’ Approach in Achieving Wealth

Many people who I have consulted over the past years seem to think that they can become rich simply by putting money into the stock market or trading a particular instrument. But no matter how many years they invest or trade, they don’t seem to be any richer. Therefore I believe otherwise. Becoming rich is much, much more than just picking a stock and waiting for it to grow. My experience, research and observations tell me that that is a ‘Whole Person’ concept that determines if one will be rich, poor, or somewhere in between. It is the line separating the successful and the not-so-successful. Read more...

The True Opportunity Cost of Owning a Car

Many young people go all out an buy a car soon after they start their first job. In Singapore (where I live), the cost of owning a car is very high. In fact, a mid-range car... Read more:

What is happening to the World???

If you have been following the business news for the past few weeks, you would have realized that it has been one of the most craziest moments in 2010, with financial news bombarded with tons of headlines and stock markets moving like a roller coaster. If you have not been actively observing the recent activities, here's a summarized list of significant headlines: Greece faces huge debt problems. Goldman Sachs was charged of fraud, sends the stock markets down due to investors' fears. The International Monetary Fund and European countries announced a 110 billion euro 3-year bail-out package for Greece. Gold shoots up to beyond US$1,200 per troy ounce. The euro drops to a low, due to fears about the strength (or rather the lack of it) in the Eurozone. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average mysteriously fell by almost 1000 points within minutes, causing panic in the markets. Some say it is due to concerns about Greece, some say a 'fat fingered' trader carele

Buffett's is 'best' US company

Came across this article 5 minutes ago and thought I'll share it with you guys. Though it is a short and brief article, I wish to highlight 2 important points. 1. Warren Buffett, though super rich, is a frugal person. How many people we know try to spend lavishly on lots of material things just to 'look rich', but in fact if you take a closer look at their bank account, they're really BROKE! 2. Warren Buffett is good at investing! Damn good! How? Firstly he believes in value investing. Instead of trying to go after the next 'hot tip' (be it on stocks or even football!), he knows the difference between value and price. Many people only see the price, and it is the most misleading thing to look at! Prices of stock changes EVERY SINGLE DAY! But NOT! So we must all learn how to judge value, like Mr Buffett. 3. (actually a continuation of the above point) Warren Buffett believes in LONG TERM INVESTING. His favorite holding period is 'forever!' (Yes, he

Just Started Working? Consider Term Insurance!

(If you have just started working, or going to graduate soon, you've gotta read this!)   Ever remembered the days when you just started working, and someone told you that you have to get some insurance cover? And remember that after paying off your study loan, this loan, that loan, buying work clothes, paying for your handphone bills, giving an allowance to your family, buying that nice bag, and other doodads, there's almost nothing left from that miserable little pay cheque?    No money left for insurance?    That doesn't take away the importance of insurance, and the possibility of one suffering a misfortunate such as premature death, disability, or major illness.   Well, here's a solution. Look at term insurance. They're cheap, they're simple to understand, and they suitable for most young people who just started on their career. There are 5 good reasons why someone who is in the early stages of his/her career needs to seriously consider starting an

Uncle Sam's Calling!

Dear all, It's that time of the year again! Yes, time to file your taxes! (My colleague just commented that it didn't feel that long since the last time she paid taxes). Here are some infomation from IRAS which may be of good use. It may look a bit technical and complicated, but in order not to distort any wordings or meanings, the information has been pasted wholesale from the IRAS website . Tax Rates for Resident Individuals For more guidance on how to file your taxes, you may wish to visit: IRAS: How to calculate my tax  . Do note that the tax treatment differs for Employees and Self Employeds. For example, income derived by a self-employed is assessable as trade income and he can claim trade losses against his trade income. An employee cannot claim losses and capital allowances against his employment income. To check what is taxable and what is not, click here . There are also a number of reliefs that you can file to save on your taxes. They can be found h

Inflation, Inflation, Inflation

Hi all, How's it going? Here are some latest updates on inflation. Let's start with Singapore. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, inflation ( as measured by the Consumer Price Index , or CPI in short) in 2009 was 0.6%. That's lower than what most expected, given that it was about 6.6% in 2008 (Reference: ) With the latest data, the following average inflation rates for the various periods can be calculated. I've done some work for you and here are the results: Period Average Annual Inflation (%) 40 yr 2.95 30 yr 2.13 20 yr 1.74 15 yr 1.43 10 yr 1.35 5 yr 2.16 As you can see, Singapore's average inflation rates are pretty low, hovering around 2 - 3%. The last 5 years had been relatively higher, at 2.16% A look at the longer term trend (the 40-year period) shows that inflation is close to 3%

Time for Prosperity and Wealth

First of all, "Gong Xi Fa Cai" to all Chinese readers! Chinese New Year is a time where greetings of wealth and prosperity is heard all over. And how aptly so, expecially in this Year of the Tiger. Why? A few weeks back, the stock market has taken a slight tumble on news that banks in China may be tightening its purses. Commodity prices have also fell. (I'm following the gold and silver prices day in, day out.) Well, seems like the markets may be presenting a good chance for us to enter, right? Yes, and no. Yes because it's always good to buy things, especially investments, at a lower price. No because it is not necessary. First of all, I wish to announce that I am not saying that this is the lowest price and that it is the 'perfect' time to buy in. I do not claim to be a guru of investing or an expert in timing the markets. I go for long term investing and I do not speculate on short term trends. Last week, during a business appointment, my clie

Retirement Woes

Hi all, how's it going? I came across this from the Straits Times Forum: ------ ST Forum HOME  >  ST FORUM  > ONLINE STORY Jan 30, 2010 Housing prices: Worry over impact  on retirement savings WITH prices of new three- and four-room flats reaching between $250,000 and $330,000 in some areas, I wonder how much a buyer will have in his CPF retirement account after paying for the flat in 20 to 30 years. I took a loan of $80,000 some 20 years back and the interest came up to $70,000  when I had finished paying for my flat. The Government should look into this or Singapore may end up with many  retirees with little in their CPF account, assuming an average household income of $3,000 to $4,000. Since HDB flat buyers may use 30 per cent of household income, they may be able to service their loans, but little is left for retirement. Besides, along the way, husband or wife may lose their jobs. Buyers are allowed to take up to a 30-year loan. By then, their e

Savings, System and Security (Part 3)

Part 3 of the 3-S is Security, or your safety net in times of misfortunes. Most people insure their homes, cars, businesses and other assets, but fail to realise the importance of insuring the greatest asset of all - themselves. Insurance is a vital component of wealth building. Without adequate insurance, our hard-earned savings or assets will go down the drain should we be struck with a life threatening illness, permanent disability or premature death. When we start work, we have a potential to earn a large sum of money. For most, it will be more than a million dollars (SGD). However, all these are just 'potential' earnings and have not materialized yet. An illness or disability could easily wipe out these potential earnings as our capacity to work will be affected. It is important to seek a qualified insurance consultant to work out what is the adequate level of insurance cover you need. Your consultant should be able to project your family's expenses throughout