What an unemployed 53 year old can do with $20K?

Dear AK, I am 53 and I have been jobless for more than a year. I have given up on job search. Fortunately, I am a saver and have almost 200k in savings. Jobless 10 years too soon, I need to make my savings last longer. My sister told me about a 5 years endowment plan from _____Life. Minimum required is $20,000. 2.25% p.a. is more than fixed deposits. (Email truncated.) Hi JK, 5 years is … [Read more...]

The fate of my investment in SPH.

"At SPH, we recognise the power of sharing in a world that's more connected than ever, across multiple platforms." Disruption to the media industry is faster and more frightening than I had expected. Actually, if an IT dinosaur like me can be a blogger, I shouldn't be alarmed by this but I am. That the disruption has impacted SPH is amply evident with its earnings declining in the last few … [Read more...]

Impressive passive income but are you lying, AK?

The love of money is the root of all evil or so the Church says. How much money did you donate to AK? Did you sell your flat to give $20K to AK? This is not the first time I have received an email like this but it has been quite a while. This one is actually pretty friendly: "I know about your blog from a forum... Very impressive passive income... there are people who say you are just … [Read more...]

Why lazy people "want" to continue working?

(I salute Tan Hock and Wilson Poh.) An exchange with another blogger. Blogger: Just thought I'd share this since many investment bloggers (whose plans, like mine and yours) are to live off investments; Not sure if it's because a significant number do not understand the trade-offs involved nor the aspirations of passive investors, but it is a poorly conceived notion that living off … [Read more...]

How AK uses his SRS money and why?

For anyone who pays quite a bit of income tax, I always suggest starting a SRS account. See related post #1. Since the inception of the SRS, I contributed the maximum allowed annually. I won't be doing it anymore since I no longer have an earned income and would not have to pay income tax. See related post #2. Since I have been maxing out my SRS account annually, I must have quite a bit of … [Read more...]

Holistic approach to a secure financial future.

(Decide how much income you will get from anasset and pay a fair price for that.) I am always happiest reading happy stories. I mean who wouldn't be? OK, if you need a reason, well, they are easier for me to reply to compared to sad stories. LOL. It is true that happy stories are easier to reply to and that makes me happy but I am happiest with happy stories because they are an affirmation of … [Read more...]

Average income workers have a choice to be rich!

I went out to lunch with my mom before sending her to the hospital. I went to a supermarket nearby to buy some chocolate which was on special offer before going to a bank to enjoy a cup of tea while waiting for her to call when she was done. I like buying things at knocked down prices (i.e. the chocolate) and I like free (i.e. the tea). Anyway, there was a big screen TV right in front of me … [Read more...]

Tea with LS: Withdraw CPF MSTU and interest at 55?

Very well researched and put together. Hats off to LS who originally placed this in the comments section. Hi AK, I guess this withdrawal regarding top-up money and its interest is causing a lot of confusion. This is due to the frequent changes in CPF policies/withdrawal rules. What is making it worse is that some of our CPF officers are also not as well-versed and providing wrong information … [Read more...]

Do online contribution to Medisave and get $88 Ang Bao.

The Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) which was known as the Medisave Contribution Ceiling (MCC) in the past has been raised from $49,800 to $52,000 in 2017. This means that we can voluntarily contribute $2,200 now. Of course, for those who are gainfully employed, this contribution will enjoy income tax relief. For people like me whose CPF-SA has already hit or exceeded the prevailing Minimum Sum or … [Read more...]

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew said China could become pushy.

"I don't want to sound apocalyptic but I don't see Taiwan as being able to resist the pull of the mainland. There will come a time when the 7th fleet cannot intervene." Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. A long time ago in ancient China, there was a big village that sat on both banks of a river. One day, there was a big fight in the village and villagers living on the left bank said they wanted to have nothing … [Read more...]

AK showing off his CPF-OA and MA (2017).

I thought that only my CPF-SA numbers garnered a following but it seems that my CPF-OA numbers have a following too. So, I agreed to share more of my CPF numbers here. Latest CPF numbers, OA, SA and MA: If we add all the three accounts together, the total amount of savings I have in the CPF is: S$723,088.16 At the ripe old age of 45 too. I know this is impressive to many people and … [Read more...]

AK showing off his CPF-SA numbers again?

(4 things you need to know about your new CPF statement.) I hope my blog has not caused too much trouble for the authorities. Just like my passive income numbers, my CPF-SA numbers seem to have garnered a following as readers reminded me on Facebook that it is time. Even Facebook reminded me that it is time. I guess sharing my CPF-SA numbers is inspiring to many readers and it helps them to … [Read more...]

Another undervalued investment of mine is no more?

(How much is a company worth if it ceased operation today?) Today, a reader sent this to me: Hi AK, is this related to AAReit har? http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/property-fund-of-aims-under-attack-from-wind-up-attempt?xtor=EREC-16-1[BT_Newsletter_1]-20170102-[Property+fund+of+AIMS+under+attack+from+wind-up+attempt]&xts=538380 AK says: This is not about AIMS AMP … [Read more...]

Power to become financially stronger is within us.

Although there were not many comments in my blog when I asked if I should continue talking to myself in 2017, I received many emails and also messages in FB. They are all positive (so far). I am particularly touched by a couple of emails. First, this email from a reader of modest means: Hi AK, As the new start of the year, first thing I want to do is to write this thank you note to … [Read more...]


A reader made a droll statement on FB and I decided to share some quotations from my favourite Science Fiction movie on the first day of 2017: Related post #1. There are many who do not believe in delayed gratification and the power it has to improve our financial health: I find your lack of faith disturbing. Related post #2. For those of us who believe that saving more and investing in … [Read more...]

Simple investment wisdom keeps us afloat.

What AK thinks of the LRIS: "Since I treat my CPF savings as a risk free and volatility free component (i.e. AAA rated sovereign bond) of my investment portfolio, I am unlikely to take part in the proposed Lifetime Retirement Investment Scheme (LRIS). Of course, money in the CPF-OA doubles up as a war chest which could be deployed in the event of a stock market crash for possibly better returns … [Read more...]

2016 full year passive income from non-REITs (Part 2).

As promised, this is Part 2 of a very long blog post. If you have not done so, read Part 1: HERE. Let us start this blog post with some gossip. Wah! Is Religare Health Trust going to be delisted? You say, I say, they say. Hmm. ;p Anyway, three big things happened in the non-REIT space for me. 1. A big thing was receiving a much larger than usual distribution from Religare Health Trust … [Read more...]

2016 full year passive income from non-REITs (Part 1).

During an "Evening with AK and friends", someone asked if I was going to sell my stocks as market guru Hu Li Yang was expecting a stock market crash. I said we should stay invested as the market was still awashed in liquidity and money will go to where it is treated best. See:Evening with AK and friends. So, what did I do in 2H 2016 in the non-REITs space? I made various purchases but, mostly, I … [Read more...]

$500,000 stuck in a bad commercial space investment!

READER: Hello AK, I have a question regarding real estate that I would like to ask you. I am a responsible investor and does my own homework before making any investment, so I will not make you responsible for any decisions I make. I have it down here in writing so you can have a peace of mind when you reply to my email. I am a stock investor which means I am not familiar with real … [Read more...]

Wife becomes "tai tai" because husband has high income.

Tai tai (太太) is a Chinese colloquial term for a wealthy married woman who does not work. (Source: Wikipedia.) I don't know if it is surprising to you but I have seen so many such cases over the years. There are childless couples who decide to stay childless because they want to concentrate on their careers and have double income. DINK. Double income no kids. The ones I am blogging about now … [Read more...]