Author: SG Wealth Builder

What does it mean to achieve financial freedom

In my previous post, one of my readers, CreateWealth8888, commented that my ex-colleague might have achieved financial freedom and therefore resigned from my company without a job. Well, I am not going to dwell on the issue of his resignation reason but I think CreateWealth8888 brought up an interesting topic and that is being financially free in Singapore. Everyone has his own definition of financial freedom. For me, being financially free in Singapore means you need not work but can still live comfortably without having to worry about the bills. And I think this is an important fact. Most...

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The peril of quitting without a job

Recently one of my colleagues tendered his resignation letter. I do not know his actual reason for resigning but apparently he was unhappy that he was overlooked for promotion, so I supposed he quit to register his unhappiness. As he resigned in an abrupt manner, I can only postulate that he has not found a new job. He is 40 this year, a bachelor and held only executive positions throughout his career. He does not have management experience nor post-graduate qualifications. Career suicide I am no HR expert, but I think my ex-colleague just committed a career suicide. Quitting...

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Investment Insight: Fixed Income Securities

As mentioned in my previous posting, I am sharing my views on fixed income securities, which refers to financial products that offer investors a return in the form of fixed periodic payments (coupon) and the eventual return of principal at maturity. Example of fixed income securities include government bonds and preference shares issued by companies. Benefits of Investing in Fixed Income Historically, the returns of stocks and bonds moved in opposite directions at the same time. Investors can reduce their portfolio risk through diversifying their investments on fixed income securities, which offer investors a predictable income stream during times...

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The correct way to invest your money

In life, besides working hard for money, you have to also ensure money work hard for you. This is especially so in this era of low saving interest rates. Currently the inflation rate is about 4 to 5% in Singapore and the bank saving rates are below 1%. So effectively, your purchasing power is eroded. So how do you go about beating the inflation and make sure that money is not slipping away from the pocket? The key is to invest your money correctly. When I meant investing, I do not mean that we should immediately  take out all...

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Dangerous Investment Advice

One of my readers, Createweath8888, commented in my previous post that in this era of low saving rate, it is wiser to “invest well with most of our saving” instead of putting our money in the bank. Whilst I respect his view, I consider that a reckless financial advice. Simply because investment is never risk free. There is always a risk that you could lose a portion or all of your monies. All of us must have a certain level of saving, then can we think or talk about investing. Depending on your comfort level, the amount of savings you...

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The magic of compounded savings

Two years ago, when I was wooing my wife, I gave her a plastic piggy bank as an anniversary gift. I noted back then that she had difficulty saving regularly because she needed to repay her student loan and supported her family. So I gave her a piggy bank hoping that she developed the good habit of saving. She was pleasantly surprised to receive the gift and made a commitment to deposit only one dollar coins in it. Subsequently, I also bought one for myself and after we got married, we challenged ourselves who can save more. Recently, both...

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Attaining personal financial success in Singapore

Some time ago, I wrote an article, “Three Ways to Become Rich in Singapore”. Recently, a reader commented that I made it sound so easy to become rich in Singapore. I think he misunderstood me. Striking it rich is never easy, especially in Singapore’s context. After all, if most Singaporeans are willing to toll 16 long years to obtain a tertiary qualification in the hope of securing a good job, what make you think that financial success can be achieved in a couple of years? The hard truth is that the route to wealth is never easy and the ideas which...

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The $100,000 Question

Singaporeans who are contemplating a new car must be wondering if it is worthwhile to buy now. This is especially so considering the sky-high Certificate of Entitlement (COE). Despite the recent drop in the prices of COE, the entitlement to drive a new car on Singapore roads still remain very expensive. Buyers need to fork out at least around $100,000 for a new car. This is by no means a small sum, even for a big ticket item. So let’s examine what are the factors we should consider before damaging our pockets. Buy for the right reason Most Singaporeans, especially...

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My comments on Xiaxue episode

Some of my thoughts on the recent Xiaxue’s name-and-shame fiasco. First of all, I do not wish to take sides on who is right and wrong. Because obviously it is easy to be an armchair critic and made morally correct statements. But  I think most importantly, what can we, as online citizens, learned from this incident. Be socially responsible This incident has certainly highlighted the worrying trend of irresponsible and baseless comments made by online citizen. Nowadays, you can find all sort of nonsensical and toxic online comments in forums, blogs and even Yahoo website. Many online citizens naively...

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How to find a good financial advisor

Most experts recommend novice investors to engage financial adviser to help them achieve their financial goals. Yet how do we find someone whom we can trust? Over the years, I have met many financial consultants, some good, some down right bad. I would like to share with my readers some of my experience dealing with these jokers. Title Inflation Many of the financial advisers I met carried with them big titles like Associate Director, Vice President, Sales Director, etc. A lot of them were also quite young. I think many of them suffered from the mistaken belief that if...

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Investment Insights: UOB Gold/Silver Saving Account

Two years ago, I wrote two articles on my investment experience on UOB Gold/Silver Saving Account. There were many comments and queries from my readers. Firstly, I must clarify that I did not represent UOB when I wrote the articles and UOB also does not pay me for promoting their product. Secondly, I wrote the articles based on my investment experience. I had made some money from it and thus, wished to share with my readers. I will not bear responsibility for any potential losses incurred as readers need to do homework before investing or alternatively, they should seek...

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Investment Insights: Importance of managing your ego and fear

In the investment circle, everyone knows the golden rule of setting targets for investments. But how many investors actually put that into practice when the crunch comes? After all, greed and fear often come into play whenever we make important financial decisions. Uneducated investors often make irrational decisions, leading to losses in their investments. They sell their stock holdings when the stock market crashes and buy when the market booms. When they lost money, they blame their stock brokers, they blame the market, they blame the stock analysts. They blame the whole world except themselves. What most investors failed to realize is that the greatest investment...

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Investment Insight: Whether to enter the stock market now

The recent mini-correction in the stock market must have caused some jitters to many local investors. Most of us wonder whether the current Euro debt mess, which has been on-going for three years, will spark off a major world-wide stock market mayhem or taper off in a few years. My own personal view is that history will repeat itself all over again and that a major correction is coming, probably at the second half of the year. During 2007-2008, my company announced pay adjustment for all existing employees and I remembered my pay was adjusted upwards by $550. The...

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Investment Insights: The importance of knowing your life purposes

Recently one of my colleagues attended a personal finance workshop arranged by my company. I was very interested to attend because the topics seemed very relevant to me but eventually I was unable to make it due to work commitments. Over lunch, my colleagues updated me that the workshop indeed was very useful as it touched on various money issues in the local context, like CPF, hospitalization shields, life insurance and retirement plans. The instructor also gave tips on investments and the key concept of managing personal finances (budgeting, knowing the difference between “needs” and wants”).OK, I thought to...

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