Cutting coupons, jumping through hoops to earn that extra 1% plus in interest, skipping that drink during lunch, looking for the lowest cost ETFs or brokers…

I know, a little bit, little bit will slowly add up to a mountain as in the words of wisdom from our Malay friends:

Sedikit-sedikit lama-lama jadi bukit.

However, there are 3 major financial decisions that if we got them “wrong”, all the nickel and dime above will come to naught…

  1. Your first property purchase

Buying our first home, whether it be public housing or private properties, this is probably our biggest financial purchase till now.

Get it right, or just plain being lucky, we have seen those who have parlayed their first property purchase into their first pot of gold. Those lucky bxxxxxxs!

Get it wrong as in overpaying… You do the math. You paid $100K more for your place than your neighbour next door. Multiply this $100K with bank interests over the next 20 to 25 years.

Pain right?

Now you know why someone the same age as you earning similar pay is able to inject a lot more cash into his portfolio or opportunity fund every year than you.

He paying himself first; you paying the bank first.

  1. To buy Car or not?

I’m not talking about getting a car to get girls or to boost your ego that sort of thing. I won’t go there as once we start, there’s no end one…

Here we just focus on we can afford a car, but the decision is whether we should spend that $100K first as in killing the golden goose?

Or do we keep the golden goose alive and be patient and slowly accumulate the golden eggs to buy that car?

This way, we can have both the golden goose and the car at the same time!

Problem is… Can your golden goose lay golden eggs every time? No rotten eggs ever?

And what if tomorrow never comes?

Also, driving a Ferrari at 50 is not the same as driving one at 30. Wink.

  1. Insurance

Want to know a fact? Insurance policies are mostly sold to.

Yah what?

If not why insurance companies dangle commissions and incentives to their agents to push these policies out?

When is the best time to push products out to unsuspecting bei kambings (little lambs)? Its when the customers are blur fxxxs, blur spiders, and blur sotongs…

For when these customers are financially literate, they will know how to buy what they need online and bypassing the agents. Just like retail investors/traders are able to transact online without calling their remisiers….

Insurance is one area where many readers of financial blogs will readily admit their regrets in buying based on trust from friends/relative peddling insurance policies to them…

They now know they should have practiced: Trust but Verify.

Imagine saving a dollar here, a dollar there for years… Only to discover you have been throwing away thousands annually in insurance premiums that you don’t need or were no appropriate for you.

Don’t sweat the small stuffs

Life is not a straight line extrapolation.

Above 3 examples are the “easier” financial ones.

I have not even gone to the much “harder” non-financial decisions like:

  1. a) Marriage – divorces and alimony not “cheap”…
  1. b) Health – well, that’s a bucket with leaky holes…

What? We can’t choose health? Well, we can choose what sort of lifestyle we want, our diets, to smoke or not; exercise no exercise; etc….

Singapore Man of Leisure (welcome to my blog; just google it!)