Author: SG Wealth Builder

Year end bonuses

Its that time of the year when salaried workers collect their year end bonuses. A couple of weeks ago, the government had also declared 13th month and 0.70 month variable bonuses for all civil servants. With the world economy still in the doldrums, I believe most Singapore workers’ year end bonuses would be modest, in view of anticipated moderated growth for Singapore economy. This year will be the 7th time I am collecting year end bonuses. I will be receiving 2.5 months of bonuses, excluding 13th month. The amount is not big, but substantial enough for me to settle...

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SGD1075 monthly salary for SMRT PRC drivers

In the aftermath of the SMRT PRC bus captain illegal strike, SMRT revealed that they had actually revised the salaries for their Chinese bus captains to $1075. The company had also revealed the salaries of their Malaysian drivers and showed that the Chinese drivers are actually on par with their Malaysian counterparts, if the cost of the free accomodations was factored in. I was actually quite appalled that the PRC drivers earned only slightly more than $1000. I always have this impression that bus captains have to be qualified through tough training and assessed for their driving skills. So to pay someone who is qualified to...

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Who said pay is not important?

Yesterday Channel 8 news bulletin reported 102 SMRT PRC bus drivers protested over pay issue. They went on strike after realizing that their Malaysian counterparts received larger increments and bonus payouts. They also complained of poor living conditions in their dormitories. It was also reported that SMRT has previously revised their pay a few months ago but at the same time, adjusted their working shifts to make it difficult for them to claim more shift allowances. This episode of wage protest by PRC bus drivers is not only bad publicity for SMRT, but also tarnished the reputation of Singapore as a model city...

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Earn your first million as an appreneur

Nowadays, most people carry smart phones and download apps. This represent a good opportunity to make good money from making apps. In fact, with the advent of online technology, the entry barrier to develop an app has been lowered. Nowadays, you don’t need much programming skill to develop a simple app. All you need is a good solid idea that has not been developed as an app and is useful in our daily lives. Every now and then, you would come across articles on wonder kids who became rich from developing apps. Some of these kids were not even...

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Retiring in Singapore

Recently, on a flight to Japan for work, I watched Andy Lau and Deanie Ip’s A Simple Life. The heartwarming film is based on a true story of a producer and his servant. It is about a relationship between a young master called Roger (Lau) and the servant of the family who raised him, Sister Peach (Ip). I had a lot of mixed feelings after watching the film and decided to blog down my thoughts. Just like Hong Kong, Singapore is also facing the ageing population issue. To tackle the “silver tsunami”, the government is currently building up the...

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My investment adventure with YHM (formerly known as China Enersave)

I invested in YHM, formerly known as China Enersave, since 2008. Recently, I noted that it is currently one of the top traded stock in Singapore stock market. I would like to share with my readers my investment experience on this stock.Back in 2008, China Enersave was a company that specialized in building and operating biomass generation plants in China. The business model was good as it collected waste biomass from farmers in China and used the waste as feedstock to generate electricity. However, instead of focussing on the renewable energy sector, the company made the terrible mistake of investing in...

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Lending money to friends

Recently, one of my army acquaintenances texted me to borrow money from me. He is one of my reservist army bunkmates and I got to know him only a few years back (both of us were from different units during active times). When I received his message for help, I was a bit apprehensive to lend him the money. This is because my father was hospitalized recently and my wife is a full time homemaker. And I have a baby daughter. So I thought to myself if I had any spare cash, my priority would go to my immediatel...

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Bedok room for rental

My parents would like to rent out their spare bedroom in Bedok for $650 ($700 with aircon). The room is furnished with a single bed and built-in wardrobe. Tenant is not allowed to cook in room or kitchen. My parents’ flat is conveniently located just 5minutes walk from the bedok interchange. The flat is also located near to many amenities, such as Bedok Point shopping mall, Bedok Stadium, Bedok Library, swimming pool, Bedok Reservoir and Bedok MRT station. The best thing is that there are many coffeeshops and hawker centres around the vicinity. So access to food is not...

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Singapore government revamped Medishield after SG Web Reviews’ complaint

On 10 Oct 2012, I wrote an article on “The state of healthcare in Singapore” and criticized the limitations of 3M (Medisave, Medishield and Medifund). Two days after my blog posting was published, the Singapore government immediately announced changes in the Medishield, our national healthcare insurance. Among the changes included the coverage and claim limits for policyholders. Readers might call it pure coincidence. After all, the changes would take effect only in March next year, even though it was announced two days after my blog posting. I would like to think so but most importantly, the government’s action validate...

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My blog, my vision, my aspiration

I am happy to receive many comments recently. Some of my readers found my views harsh and then there are also a few private emails from my readers who supported my stance on the Genneva issue. All I can say is that there are no right or wrong views. I respect their views and appreciate them for taking time to express their thoughts in my blog. In life, it is important that we all have our own stances and views on issues. We learned and become better investors through mistakes made by others. The objective of this blog is to express my thoughts and feelings. It...

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The state of healthcare in Singapore

The past few weeks has been very distressing for my family. My dad was hopitalized and warded in the intensive care unit for pneumonia. During this period, we received a couple of calls from the hospital informing us that my dad was in very critical condition and that we should visit him immediately. Thankfully, he pulled through and is now warded in the general ward. At the back of our mind, we were also very concerned about the costs incurred because we are all aware of the exorbitant hospitalization fees in Singapore. Incidentally, my late father-in-law was also hospitalized...

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Is it right to blame Singapore government for your stupid investment mistakes?

In my previous post, one of my readers, “Jack”, wrote me a long comment. He blasted me for being callous and for gloating over Genneva victims’ plight. Well, firstly I must apologize that his comment was inadvertently deleted today when I used my iphone to view his comment. As my policy is to publish all comments, I sincerely hope Jack can re-post his comment again in my blog for sharing purposes. With regards to his comment, I have a few issues which I think need some clarification. Fools Never Learn The objective of my previous blog is never to...

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The wrong way to invest

A few days ago, I saw a Channel 8 news bulletin on Genneva Gold Trading Firm, which is a company that offers gold buyback scheme to investors. Apparently, it is being sued by its customers for not meeting its financial obligations. Quite a number of Singaporeans had actually invested with the company. In the news, one customer even showed the reporter that he had invested hundred of thousands in such scheme but is now desperate to get back his monies. At the back of my mind, I doubt he can ever get back any of his principle investment. Even...

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Victory for k1 minority shareholders!

Last month, I posted an article on GKB Holding’s proposed voluntary conditional cash offer for k1 Ventures Limited, the investment arm of Keppel Group. I am pleased to inform readers that the proposal did not go through and that the offer had lapsed on 14 September. The company had received only 77.62% of the total number of issued shares, way below the required 90% for the proposal to go through. Extension of offer closing date I was quite annoyed with GKB Holdings for extending the offer closing date TWICE. I thought the management of GKB Holdings was quite disrespectful to...

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QE3 and opportunities for investors

Last week, the US Fed announced another round of money printing programme known as QE3. It was reported that US$40 billion of new money will be issued every month until the US jobs situation improves. Since 2008, the US government had purchased trillions worth of Treasury securities, hoping to revive the economy and stimulate job growth. However, the strategy doesn’t seem to work and US unemployment remains stubbornly high at about 8%. I am not surprised that the US Fed announced this QE3. This stimulus measure comes at a time when the US citizen is voting for a new...

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