Author: A Singaporean Stockmarket Investor (ASSI)

Reemployed with lower pay and worried about retirement.

Reader says… I have been a reader of your blog for many years now. Similar to your childhood experience – my parents also went thru bankruptcy during my teens and bad memories of money lenders coming to the old house. I am Malaysian and coming to 55 years old. I was made redundant middle of last year, was unemployed for 4 months and have since resumed working. My current gross salary is just enough to cover my household expenses + medical insurance for the whole family. (wife+ 3 kids.) My fear of becoming destitute in the old age has...

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What to do with $45K? It depends.

Reader: I have a bal of 45k which trying to find place to put. need for kid study or health problem. Is posb invest-saver a good choice? AK: Since you say you might need it for health problem, then, it is not money you can afford to lose. Go for the safest options. In case you are wondering, safest options are those that will not result in monetary loss. 🙂 So, if you need the money, you know you can get 100% of it. AK: Invest saver is an investment plan. There is a risk of monetary loss. The...

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What is effective annuity rate and is CPF Life competitive?

A reader read an article in The Straits Times on CPF Life and asked me to write a piece on it. I have blogged about CPF Life so much already and, so, to avoid boring anyone too much, I will try to keep this short. This is taken from a recent chat with another reader: foolishchameleon said… … with so many annuities in the market, what returns would be considered decent? 2.5%? 3% ? AK said… What is a decent return? I have not done any comparison lately but I know none is able to come close to what...

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How insurance weakened a family’s balance sheet?

This is the continuation of a conversation with a reader who is having difficulty accumulating an emergency fund and who depleted her savings after her dual income household became a single income household. Reader: I just read on “How many 20 years and $29,000 do we have?” I have the Prulink too and have been paying for 12 years now. Apart from this I have an endowment plan to be paid for another 9 years before mature. My husband and I plus 2 kids have whole life plans, personal accidental and hospitalisation plans. AK: You are (probably) paying too much...

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Exceeded CPF FRS and 2 questions.

Reader: May i get your advise on this matter. Am going 52, meet Full Retirement Sum (FRS) with excess. So OA, SA and MA all met limit. I read your blog said its good to do Voluntary Contribution (VC) to CPF. Questions: 1. If i do a VC, where or which account will the money go to since all 3 accounts had hit limit? 2. Can i withdraw the VC that i put in with interest together with my excess above the FRS at 55? Thanks for your advise in advance. AK: Please remember the CPF Annual Contribution Limit (i.e. $37,740...

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Insurance agent told me I am a valuable piece of art.

Agent: “We should do a review. Your salary is higher now. You should need bigger insurance coverage.” This was what one of my insurance agents said to me many years ago. I was wondering why did she say something like that. Wasn’t I financially more secure by then? Why would I need to increase my insurance coverage? Agent: “You are worth more now. Your life is more valuable. It is like insuring a valuable piece of art. More valuable the artwork, the higher the coverage.” OK, at that point, I think most people would have just bought into the...

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REITs and rights issues: Good at the right price.

Reader: Can I ask u a question regarding to recently cache log have issue a right maybe know is it this right can be convert able into share when expired? AK: Once they have expired, rights are worthless. Reader: Alamak Did u know when is expired date? Pls And How do I sell off AK: It has already expired. Reader: Alamak like that mean nothing can I do with it? AK: I blogged about this. I even posted a reminder on my FB wall. 😉 All instructions and closing date in the package sent out by the CDP too....

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Remove the CPF Annual Limit and…

Read comments section: HERE. In reply to AK’s comment that not having a cap (i.e. CPF annual contribution limit) would be a burden to the system, 全自然 said… I am not convinced how can more money by contributors in CPF be burdening the system. While the return of CPF is higher than fixed deposits or bonds, the money is locked almost permanently, well you get what i meant. To give a comparison, a whole life insurance can give a compound return of 4%, the insurance company will welcome more money if you are willing to put in. AK said… I...

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Is AK the investor right 6 times out of 10?

Recently, I got many more messages from readers on stocks I have blogged about. Please remember don’t buy or sell something based on what a blogger says. Always do your own due diligence. If you feel uneasy, it is possible that you didn’t know why you “invested” in something or you could be over invested. 1. If you didn’t know why you invested in something, you might want to get out. You are not investing. You are gambling. “Wah! AK says 8898 4D can tikam and really 3rd prize! This stock he says he is buying sure to win!” Sounds...

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Chatting and charting in "Evening with AK and friends".

I hope that everyone had fun at “Evening with AK and friends” and, of course, I hope it was helpful in one way or another. “Evenings with AK and friends” are chit chat sessions of epic proportion and this was probably the largest ever session as we had almost 100% attendance (160 strong audience). It felt a bit crowded and very warm! We chatted about stocks, CPF, insurance, real estate and dieting. Yes, dieting too. Basically, anything I have blogged about was fair game. I was surprised that almost everyone stayed until 10 pm when we called it a...

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Is investing in REITs right for you? (Rights issues hit 56 year old investor.)

Reader said… Dear Mr. AK, I am 56 and I started investing last year. I invested heavily in reits because of the higher yields and belief that they will fund my retirement. However, I have been hit by a string of rights issues including the recent one from cache logistics. I don’t have much spare cash and I am not prepared for these. Now, I wonder if I made a mistake in using my cpf money to invest in reits too. My brother in law told me that reits will take back all the money they give out as...

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Is 2.02% interest attractive? It depends.

Reader: Good day, have been reading your blog for few month. found many useful tip . esp the CPF sa. should have transfer once hdb loan paid off. 😞  Would like to ask for your view on an endowment plan which is 3year at 2.02%per year. It stated protected under Singapore Deposit Insurance. Thanks for your time. AK: 2.02% interest per annum for a lock in period of 3 years is unattractive to me. Liquidity is important to me as an investor. Unlike a fixed deposit where the only thing we give up is the interest if we should...

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"Husband lost his job and my savings is zero."

Reader said: I just recently read your blog but i really enjoy reading them. Hard truth with humor. I am 35 and a mother of 2, and I am so embarrassed to said that I have no war chest, emergency funds at all. All I have is debt that I have to pay for another 7 years for the whole family etc. Me and my hubby are not prudent in money and sad to say we always quarrel because of this especially when my hubby was asked to leave his good paying job. I have to dig my own...

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3Q 2017 passive income from S-REITs.

Although I did blog about REITs in 3Q 2017, I didn’t make any changes to my investments in S-REITs. Pretty much the status quo. Well, not entirely the status quo because there is the rights issue by Cache Logistics Trust which will close this evening. Since I have a small legacy position, I took up my entitlement and also applied for some excess rights. As it is an exercise to strengthen the REIT’s balance sheet, it does nothing to generate more passive income for me. See: Cache Logistics Trust Rights. Anything exciting happened? What would be the equivalent of...

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3Q 2017 passive income from non-REITs.

I continue to invest more in non-REITs, reducing my reliance on S-REITs for passive income in the process. The largest investment in non-REITs in 3Q 2017 was in SingTel. See: SingTel and Netlink NBN Trust. I accumulated a relatively large investment as SingTel’s share price declined to below $3.70 a share. I am more interested in the entity’s ability to pay consistent and meaningful dividends although a special dividend from the sale of Netlink NBN Trust would be a nice bonus. In 3Q 2017, I also nibbled at the following: 1. Wilmar. 2. Tuan Sing Holdings. 3. Comfort Delgro. As...

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