Mentally and financially prepared for retrenchment.

This is part of an email a reader wrote to me after reading an updated blog post. (They invested in multiple properties and are now retrenched.) Reader: "Their experience is getting more common. I am in my late 50s and I see many friends and relatives in my age group being asked to go. I am sure it will be my turn soon as the company has not been doing well.  "I have been reading your … [Read more...]

They chose financial independence over home ownership.

This is somewhat extreme but watch how this Canadian couple chose financial independence over home ownership. They are in their 30s and, well, they are retired. If we qualified for a BTO HDB 5 room flat which costs, maybe, $500,000 today, why do we need to buy a condominium which costs $1.5 million, for example? If we didn't need so much living space, would a BTO HDB 3 room flat in Choa Chu … [Read more...]

Don’t do silly things and we can retire smart too.

A "special feature" (what I would call an advertorial or sponsored blog postif it were to appear in my blog which it won't) by a fund manager in The EDGE: "Your CPF may prove inadequate upon retirement because of several factors." The fund manager suggests "that both young and middle aged workers can invest in multi asset funds for diversification benefits." Do this and retire … [Read more...]

Thinking of topping up CPF-SA with $130K.

Hi Marcus, Firstly, you are still young! You still have 20 years before you hit 55. Time is still on your side and your own calculation proves it. ;) What you are thinking of doing (i.e. $130K lump sum contribution to you CPF-SA) is called a Minimum Sum Top Up (MSTU). This is meant to help us meet our retirement adequacy. My understanding is that it (together with interest earned) cannot be … [Read more...]

My girlfriend is more than US$100K in debt!

Human beings are rarely solitary. Although in modern societies with very high cost of living like ours, fewer people are thinking of getting married unless they want children (but, in Singapore, people who don't want to have children will still get married just to get a BTO HDB flat) and fewer who are married are staying married, many still need companionship in life. Realistically, once we … [Read more...]

Not giving in can only make us richer.

Although we like to say we have saved money when we buy something at a sale, the truth is if we spent money at a sale, we did not save money, we just spent less money. Happily, this reader didn't spend less money, he saved some money. Hi AK, Thanks to you ! I have just cancelled my 3 orders brought from Amazon's Black Friday. (around 350 USD) Upon re-reading one of your blogs again, I … [Read more...]

Audio books on saving and investing money.

I receive many emails each week. Unlike my early days in blogging, I might not reply to all of them although I still try. Believe it or not, I also receive emails in Chinese. My proficiency in Chinese has never been high. The best grade I received was a B3. Not bad but not good either. Unfortunately for me, emails in Chinese are the second most common after emails in English and they are … [Read more...]

To pay down HDB housing loan faster or not?

Not only do all of us have different financial circumstances, we also have different capacities to stomach stress.  What works for one might not work for another (i.e. what might give someone peace of mind might be quite stressful for another). So, listen to what others have to say but, ultimately, make our own decision, one that will not rob us of our precious sleep. Chat with Reader … [Read more...]

Passive income, CPF savings and a topless pic.

I have a friend of more than 20 years who used to be fabulously fit. Now, he is "flabulously" fat. He is even fatter than I was last year before I embarked on my effort to lose weight. A few months ago, he said I looked unhealthy because I lost too much weight in a short time. Basically, I lost plenty of fat without gaining enough muscle mass. My entire frame shrank. Imagine that. Horrible, … [Read more...]

AIMS Property Securities Fund (formerly MPSF).

A conversation with a reader led to a discussion about an old dusty investment which I would not have made knowing what I know today: Reader: if you like aims cap reit management so much, then do you like aims property fund? both are listed in sg Assi AK Different animal I have a legacy position It was MPSF it is a fund of funds just that alone made it a … [Read more...]

Trump won the election and I lost my life savings.

Reader: "Recently, my friend just shared with me that he lost 80k on the day that trump won the election. He went to short jap futures seeing that the DJIA futures were tumbling. The media were calling for doomdays and he shorted aggressively. In the end, he got stopped out. Now he has lost his entire savings. I wonder how long he will need to save another 80k. Now no more ammo to invest if a … [Read more...]

Why worried metrosexuals seek help from AK?

There are two parts to this blog post. The first part was written a few weeks ago before I decided to take a break from blogging. The second part was written a few days ago. --- FIRST PART --- Readers who have written to AK to ask for a private meeting would know that they are likely to have a reply in the negative. This is mainly because AK is a very private person. Well, it also has to … [Read more...]

Breadtalk, Old Chang Kee and QAF Limited.

I avoided buying Breadtalk's stock for a long time, probably for as long as I avoided buying their bread and I definitely have never bought their "fresh" soya bean milk before. All so expensive. Yes, I know. AK is very giamsiap. Terrible! A very high PE ratio and gearing makes the stock unpalatable. To make it even less attractive, the dividend is peanuts. Give shareholders only enough money … [Read more...]

A good wife worries about retirement adequacy.

A recent conversation with a reader: Hi AK I have been a silent reader mostly for several years now. And i am ashamed to say that i now feel like i have not learned well from your blog, and am caught in this situation where i just do not know if i should bite the loss of almost 15k, or just continue with the plan i bought from my FA. Hence, I am writing to hear your advice. I am 34 years … [Read more...]

Selling a car or a flat yourself.

Things change and that is one of the few constants in life. Some changes hardly matter but some changes affect our lives in a big way. Changes could also be catastrophic. Remember the Dodo. What is this leading to? A few months ago, I sold my car without going through a middle man. Cars of the same make, model and age at pre-owned car centers were going for upwards of $50K at that … [Read more...]

The AK passive income strategy after making $1m.

It has been a fortnight since I announced that I was taking a break from blogging. Time flies. Does this blog post signify the end of my break? No lah. I am still on a break. AK is lazy. This is just a short note to say AK is lazy but still alive. (Wink, wink.) The first thing I want to do is to share a very thoughtful message from a reader. I could tell that it is from the heart and not … [Read more...]

Investing for income is a journey I do not regret.

Conversation #1 3:09pm Assi AK If you enjoy writing, you will enjoy blogging. It is really that simple. :) People who start blogging because they think they can make money will (mostly) give up after a while... ;p 3:10pm Reader: Money will be the least consideration. 3:11pm Assi AK But it is time consuming... So, you have to think about that especially when you … [Read more...]

Jobless and still paying $30,000 a year for insurance.

Hi AK, I happen to come across your post and decide to email you for some advice. I am 41 and currently jobless as was retrenched. The only jobs available if I am willing to do is probably Security guard, Taxi driver etc. I am jobless for more than a year! Good news is I have about 200k my CPF OA and and 203k in my SA. If based on your compound theory and I leave the money till I reach 65 … [Read more...]

How to make a million dollars by investing for income?

In place of 2 blog posts, one on mypassive income from S-REITs and another one on my passive income from non-REITs for the first 9 months of 2016, I decided to write only one blog post but without all the usual numbers. OK, I know, AK is lazy. Bad AK! Bad AK! Well, I get asked whether it is possible for regular folks like you and me to make a million dollars through investing in the stock … [Read more...]