Author: A Singaporean Stockmarket Investor (ASSI)

Downsizing flat and upsizing parents’ retirement adequacy!

Reader: Thank you for sharing your financial journey and thoughts on your readers’ queries with us. My husband and I bought a BTO 4 room HDB flat 4 years ago. We are thinking of changing our HDB from a 4-room to a 3-room flat some time after the MOP (5 years). We are thinking of transferring the monthly CPF-OA contributions, excess of our monthly repayments, to SA for the 4% interest. My father is 63 years old and my mother is 57 years old. If I am not wrong, topping up $60K to my father’s RA means he can apply...

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This job is unpaid but offers exposure.

From time to time, I would receive emails like the following: Example 1: I wrote to you some time ago and was essentially rejected by you. maybe you are more open to it now…please allow me to suggest two ways where we can collaborate… ————————– Example 2: …we do not pay panelist. However, we still hope that you would consider to be a panelist… talking about how each individual should build their portfolio at every stage of their life which also fits into our theme for this year…. looking forward to your favourable reply. ————————– Watch this! ROFL! “Oh, this job is...

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My investment portfolio or my investment philosophy?

I am an investor but I am probably not a very good investor. Why? I also do a bit of speculation but when I do speculate, I know I am speculating and not investing. When we speculate, we should know we are taking on more risk. There is less certainty. So, when I do speculate, I try to size my positions more conservatively. For me, speculation is to investment like spice is to food. Those who like to ask me if prices are going up or down in future should take note. For example, when I decide that I...

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What to do if we don’t trust the CPF system?

I have been sharing quite a bit of stuff on Facebook regarding the CPF in recent days. Nothing new, really. They are mostly conversations with readers on stuff I have blogged about. I shared how I grew my CPF savings and also why it is an important part of my overall retirement funding strategy. I have also shared my numbers to exemplify the magic of compound interest. Of course, we know that there are people who do not believe in the CPF. This is nothing new. I am constantly amused by the reasons put forth as to why we should not...

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What should I do with my bonus?

Reader: I received a bonus and I was wondering which of these should I do: 1) voluntary top up my CPF SA 2) contribute to SRS 3) help my parents to buy hospitalization insurance 4) keep it as warchest I would be required to pay income taxes for this year of assessment. I would like to ask for your opinion. AK: You have to decide what is more important for you. No one can do this for you. 😉 For me, having insurance is important. Bad things happen and could wipe us out. Having said this, your parents should...

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Ascendas Hospitality Trust should do well.

A reader saw my blog on Ascendas H-Trust earlier this year and, after doing some research, decided to invest in the Trust for income. He shared the following with me: 1. 52% of net property income is derived from Australia and this proportion could rise because of the boom in tourism. Number of international flight routes have increased with more Chinese tourist arrivals. 2. 25% of net property income is derived from Japan and tourism has been on the rise in Japan as well. The Japanese government’s drive to almost double the number of visitors to 40 million by...

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Planning a $1.4m legacy but be aware of this.

Hi AK, I have an idea to bounce off you. Just chit chat. I know you don’t give advice. I am 54 and just became a father. I married rather late in life. As a father, I am thinking about my child’s future. I am well aware that by the time he is 21, I would be 75 if I am still alive by then. Next year, I will be able to withdraw more than $100K from my CPF account as I have already met the minimum sum for my age. I am thinking of putting the money into...

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Want to withdraw $500,000 from CPF at 55?

Hi AK, A quick intro about myself. I am 34 this year, staying in a bto hdb flat and have existing housing loan of $20k outstanding (serviced by my wife and myself). Checking with you on my strategy for CPF. I have around $5k in ordinary account, and $145k in special account. Already met my min sum for medisave. Am hoping to hit my S.A. min sum when I reach 35yo. My thinking is that once my min sum (FRS of $166k) for S.A. is met, all employment contribution will flow into my ordinary account(~$2k a mth), and I would...

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A big loan to buy a condo and CPF not enough.

The focus should be on the CPF but I cannot help but wonder if Kelly has little money, why is she spending it on dogs and cats? Shouldn’t she use the money to better prepare for her old age?  (Credit goes to Raymond Ng for sharing the above with me. ) Reader (not Kelly): I came to know of your blog recently and find it to be full of useful information.I regret that I did not know what you know and had not done what you’ve done in terms of CPF voluntary contributions when I first started working. I’ve...

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An average HDB household and $1 million.

Some might remember that I talked about an article written by Cai Haoxiang in The Business Times in 2013. He wrote about what an average household’s monthly expenses could look like in 2042, using the Household Expenditure Survey 2007-2008 from the Department of Statistics as reference. 1997-1998, an average HDB household’s expenses was S$2,681. 2007-2008, it was S$3,138. That was an increase of 17%. By 2042, if core inflation is 2% a year, that number would hit S$6,400. In 3 decades, the number doubled and then some. If we were to assume that costs would increase steadily, monthly expenses...

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Deposit for 5 years 11 months for higher returns?

Some readers might remember this blog post: http://singaporeanstocksinvestor.blogspot.sg/2016/06/mom-stunned-at-what-happened-to-her-cpf.html My mom has met the minimum sum for her cohort and she has also maxed out her CPF-MA. So, guess what my reaction was when she sent me the following SMS: “I went to XXX bank because my fixed deposit matured and they asked me to deposit for 5 years 11 months. Get 1.6% per year for first 5 years, Balance 11 months see how is performance. Get minimum 1% and maximum 2%. Principle guaranteed upon maturity but suffer penalty if withdraw before maturity. Can put or not?” Noooooooo! A thousand...

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Earn $350K a year and on track to financial freedom.

Hi AK, I hope this email finds you well! I have been your loyal reader for the past 2 years and have written occasionally to you. I like to share one additional perspective to achieving financial freedom which have not been written as much in your blog I believe: Focus on maximizing your earning potential so that you have a nest egg to use to achieve financial freedom I manage to develop my career in a niche field that is sought after and relevant- currently, I am making S$350K per year and will take 3 years to make S$1mil...

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Tea with Matthew Seah: Margin of safety.

Matthew shares with us a simple and important concept to invest more safely: The intrinsic value of a company could be calculated base on our estimations of various aspects of the business, both tangible and intangible. Hence one would require to look at both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the business in order to give a more holistic valuation of a company. Company valuation can be done using 2 broad types of valuation models: – absolute valuation; and – relative valuation. Absolute valuation is a valuation method that give you an absolute value to compare against the current market...

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Thinking of moving out of the family home?

Dear AK, As we know, Singapore citizens can buy a HDB if they are married. If they remain Single, they can get a flat at 35 years old. Each citizen cannot own more than one HDB at any point in time My father passed away some years ago, and I co-inherited the HDB with my mum. Hence, I am the half owner of my parent’s HDB apartment. I do not get along well with my mother, and I wish to move out as soon as possible. However, as I am already an owner of parent’s HDB apartment, I will...

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This condo investment has been a drag.

Reader: Hello AK, I read many of your interesting articles on your blog on financial matters. I would greatly appreciate some advice to manage my finances. I turned 55 and am still working. I live in a 3 room HDB flat fully paid for. I purchased a 2-bedder private condo in the east for investment purpose and renting it out since mid 2015. The rental is covering my mortgage loan but the other expenses such as property tax, home/fire insurance and maintenance/sinking fund amount to $7000. I am thinking of letting go this property… AK: If you are concerned...

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