Author: A Singaporean Stockmarket Investor (ASSI)

Money from RHT Health Trust past and future. (We are responsible for our own financial future.)

I want to share an interesting video before starting on the blog proper. There is a lot of wisdom in this 5 minutes video clip and, unless we are born with a spoon made of some precious metal in our mouth, everyone, especially the young, should watch it. 1. Delay gratification (i.e. discretionary consumption), 2. understand the danger of taking on too much debt, 3. save money (that is what 401K means in USA and, for us, it would be the CPF and SRS), 4. start investing early, 5. let time and compound interest work their magic! We are...

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10.5% yield but must take a 200% loan.

Reader says… I have some money in bank and my Relationship Manager is pushing me to buy unit trusts with leveraged. Recommend me to take 100% loan so the yield will be higher from 5% to 8%. I could also take a 200% loan to get 10.5% yield. Good or bad? AK says… Gear up 200%!? Sack your Relationship Manager. Of course, the bank he works for won’t sack him. You sack him! I don’t borrow money to invest with. When you buy a unit trust, the only people guaranteed to make money are your Relationship Manager, the bank...

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Make investing easy by saying ‘here are three things’.

Reader #1 says… I attended few of your “Evening with AK and friends” sessions and like the way you analyse stocks. Can you share how you filter stocks, any key criteria before you put in your shortlist and start going through in details? AK says… Well, I cannot give you a set of criteria. Like Charlie Munger would say: “I can never make it easy by saying ‘Here are three things’. You have to derive it yourself to ingrain it in your head for the rest of your life.” However, I would tell you my starting point. I invest...

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Unfair FRS and ERS’ CPF LIFE payouts compared to BRS’?

Reader says… Singapore government seems to be steering the country to be more inclusive. What does that mean? It means if you have a lot of money in CPF, it will be used to tilt the balance or contribution to the needy individuals who do not have enough in their CPF. As in FRS CPF Life is NOT exactly twice payout from BRS CPF Life. AK says… Of course. People who have greater ability to help themselves should do so and not lean too much on the government for assistance. Reader says… Should do so? Based on? Retirement planning...

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Keep $20K in CPF OA when taking HDB loan. (Growing CPF SA after OA was wiped out by home purchase.)

Just as I was about to publish this blog, I saw the news hot from the oven. “Flat buyers will have more flexibility in using their Central Provident Fund (CPF) money, the Housing Board said as it launched 5,101 flats for sale from Tuesday (Aug 28). “Buyers can now keep up to $20,000 in their CPF Ordinary Accounts (OA) when they take a Housing Board loan. Before, they had to use all the funds in their OA first. “The funds can be used for their monthly mortgage instalments in times of need and will improve retirement adequacy if left...

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AK asks HDB-HIP-VERS can eat or not? Baojiak?

Single or married, if we are looking for a home in Singapore, the best value for money option is still a brand new HDB flat (i.e. BTO HDB flat), if we are allowed to buy one, of course. Heavily subsidised, brand new HDB flats pass the Rule of 15 test with flying colors. Don’t know what is the Rule of 15 test? See: Rule of 15. Singles weren’t always allowed to buy new HDB flats. Although allowed to buy only a one bedder (i.e. 2 room flat), allowing singles to buy new HDB flats is progressive thinking as many...

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Good men top up their wives’ CPF accounts!

Reader #1 says… I have decided to use cash, $10K annually for 18 years to top up my non-working spouse’s CPF SA. She currently has only $10K in her CPF SA. In this way, she should be able to meet the minimum sum by the age of 55 and join the CPF Life. 10K annually will be the minimum top up and will be around $280K by the time she is 55 if my calculation is correct. Any extra will be bonus. We are not very well-to-do, so we hope that with both of us on CPF Life, we...

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CPF SA time and income lost due to peer pressure.

Definition of “peer pressure”: A feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them. (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary) Reader says… In my 20s, I already had the intention of transferring the monies from my OA to SA. I also intended to make voluntary contribution to my CPF accounts at that point of time. I told my friends about my intention and they criticised my plan and called it a “stupid” idea. As a result, I did not execute my plan. I finally took action...

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What is behind hitting the FRS and what is our plan?

In the last few days, I have been sharing stories of young readers hitting the FRS in their CPF-SAs. Although it is meant to be encouraging, it has also caused some readers anxiety. I guess it is just like getting mixed response from readers after sharing my own CPF numbers over the years. “One type of rice feeds hundred types of people.” Direct translation of a Chinese saying. How we respond to something depends on our own beliefs and situation. However, there is no doubt that all of us need to be financially secure in our retirement. It is...

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FRS in CPF-SA at age 30? Yes, with ability and will!

Reader says… It’s been a while since I dropped you a note. The impact you have on my financial planning and share investments have been instrumental. I managed to hit my FRS before I turn 31 this Oct! In searching for financial guides, it always lead me back to your website. Please don’t ever remove it even if you stop writing! Enjoy your retirement! ???? AK says… I am very happy to read this. ???? This cornerstone in retirement funding will be a significant one for you because you have reinforced it so early in life. ???? Stories like...

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FRS in CPF-SA at age 30? Sharing in detail.

For the benefit of younger readers, the reader who hit the FRS in his CPF-SA at age 30 has decided to share his thoughts in great detail. Reader says… This is not about me per se. It is also about helping the next young person who is thinking of topping up his CPF. ???? Everyone has different backgrounds, incomes, obligations but sharing some reasons for me to hit the FRS early and to fully maximise our CPF systems. 1) The yearly increase in FRS should be covered by the interest of 4% each year. This means you are likely to...

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Hit the FRS in CPF-SA by age 32! Stunned like vegetable?

Reader, Spotlessmind, says… Discovered your blog a couple of months ago and found it both inspiring and educational. Having read varied opinions on the topic of CPF, I felt compelled to share my thoughts. Since I started working after graduation, I have been transferring all my money in the OA account into my SA account on the advice of my mother, who despite having only pre-university education, knows the power of compounding interest. Many of my friends (regardless of whether they are single/attached/married) worry that they will not be able to afford a flat in the future if the...

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Give me the freedom to enjoy life!

Reader says… Excluding cases where they need to work to have the $ to pay bills, be it for self, family or descendants. Most of the people I know in their 50-70’s would prefer working than the so-called relax life. A granny lament she would rather work than “enjoy life” at home. 2 other aunties I know of took up a 4-5 hour/day job after retiring. Their jobs are not the physically demanding kind. It’s mostly light duties in a comfortable pace environment. Not everyone views work the same way, like a chore. AK says… Of course, not everyone...

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Lost life savings and now in debt. (Investor or speculator?)

When are we investors and when are we speculators? When we buy into something that has intrinsic value which generates revenue and ideally provides us with an income, we are investors. When we buy into something that is the complete opposite but we feel that we could sell it for a higher price in future, we are speculators. People often get into serious trouble when they think they are investors when they are really speculators. Speculating is not for everyone. People of more modest means would do better if they stay away from speculating and just stick to investing....

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Jin jelly or jin buay song my CPF? Hosay liao!

Reader says… My colleague this week say CPF can only take out $ at 67. I say 65 start CPF life payout. 55 can take out too if hit FRS. He say can hit FRS meh? I say don hit take can take out $5k. He more agitated. ???? Looks like he believe he cannot hit FRS. Imagine I tell him in 2 months time I gg hit FRS. Lol AK says… Some people jin jelly. Now, this one jin buay song. How liddat? On its own, it might be insufficient but the CPF can help us on our journey towards...

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