Author: Investment Moats

My Review of FIRE Your Retirement by Local Author Ivan Guan

I got a chance to read my friend Ivan Guan’s book Fire your retirement. For those who have not come across his content, you can read his financial sharing at SG Money Matters. Ivan have been writing for some time, introducing us to tax saving strategies and good plans for retirements. FIRE stands for financial independence retirement early. And this topic is close to Ivan’s heart for him to write about it. This is possibly the first book on FIRE in Singapore on this topic (you can get the book here). This is a light read and I think...

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The Personal Finance Angle of the Government Partial Shutdown

My memory of my first encounter with a Government shutdown was a few years ago in 2013. Back then, it feels like a really big deal, because, with most first time, you do not know how you should feel and what is the impact. Of course, the stock markets was affected, and thus it became somewhat of a concern to me. This is probably my second experience with a US Government Shutdown. The first time, I was shocked that the government could shut down because a lot of our lives are weaved together with the services the government provides....

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Make 2019 a Year of a Little More Pain

One of the quote that I remembered most fondly from last year was posted by United States financial blogger Financial Samurai about saving money. If you don’t find it painful saving money, you’re not saving enough. If you’re not sweating at the gym and your muscles don’t feel sore the next day, you might as well go eat a double cheeseburger with a milkshake and fries because you’re just wasting your time. The same goes with saving. I think he wouldn’t made this quote for no reason. This quote was made, possibly due to the culmination of what he...

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Singapore Savings Bonds SSB Feb 2019 Issue Yields 2.20% for 10 Year and 1.98% for 1 Year

Here is a higher yielding, safe way to save your money that you have no idea when you will need to use it, or your emergency fund. The February 2019’s SSB bonds yield an interest rate of 2.20%/yr for the next 10 years. You can apply through ATM or Internet Banking via the three banks (UOB,OCBC, DBS) However, if you only hold the SSB bonds for 1 year, with 2 semi-annual payments, your interest rate is 1.98%/yr. $10,000 will grow to $12,207 in 10 years. This bond is backed by the Singapore Government and its available to Singaporeans. A single...

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My 2018 Investing Result

I have never come up with a post about my wealth building as a summary for the year and really hate to come up with something like this because my results have always been bad. However, since some readers asked, I tried to keep it brief. Here are some things you need to know about my wealth building system, or how it has evolved until this current state: Active investor My main wealth machine is through active stock investing Asset allocation of Individual Equities and Bonds/Cash Portfolio Construction/Management takes place before individual financial assets (stocks, bonds, cash) selection My...

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My 2018 Annual Expenses: $19,665 and Financial Security Musings

This post is a review of my expense for the year of 2018. I started off with only $6,000 in my bank account and I am probably one of the bloggers that wasn’t such a well performing employee, or the one that had a great side line. So a lot of it has to come from watching what I spend. However, when I started doing this 5 years ago in 2014, it is more of whether I can keep this going and show something I am comfortable in showing. This post will show: links to past annual expenses review...

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Manulife US REIT and Keppel KBS Announced Minimal Impact from Section 267A Regulations and Barbados Tax Rate Changes

In my recent articles on Manulife and Keppel KBS, I highlighted a potential tax complication that could have an adverse impact on both REIT’s dividend yield. Both REITs own office properties in United States and have set up certain corporate structure to optimize the taxes that they have to pay. However, in Dec 2017, there was a big change in the United States tax code. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), was one of the biggest change to the tax code since 1986. There were a few sections in the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that affect Manulife and...

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The 2-3% Yielding Freehold Property is a Low Safe Withdrawal Rate

2 days ago, I wrote an article exploring the timing of retiring during a financial meltdown and explain the immense advantage of not drawing down the wealth during that period. Since then, I received an email from a long time reader, perhaps pointing out some things that I do not get so well. Since he is also a retiree, he presents his perspective how retirement can be better structured. His reply to my post: I felt compelled to discuss this issue. Having retired at age 60, XX years ago, the philosophy is not how many years the amount of...

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Timing Your Retirement after a Financial Meltdown Increases the Robustness of your Retirement Plan

Today’s Sunday post is on trying to plan the timing of your retirement, to coincide with certain financial market events. I think its interesting that we are discussing this when the global stock markets are down quite a fair bit. Pension Partners has a pretty good summary of how the equity markets around the world are handling it. And as someone planning when you should pull the trigger, how should your game plan be? I think there are a few tactics that we should navigate through these situation, but my focus today is on whether it is a better...

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Singapore Savings Bonds individual limit Increased to $200,000. SRS Approved as Well.

The government have found a way to borrow money from the citizens and not be criticized about it. This year have been special for the Singapore Savings Bonds in that if you held on to the SSB for 1 year, your yields would be near 1.6% to 2.0%. Subscription and demand for the Singapore Savings bonds have been overwhelming. This is why MAS have announced to: Let SRS account holders purchase Singapore Savings Bonds Double the individual limit that an individual can purchase the Singapore Savings Bonds. This means that, from 1 February 2019, each investor will be able to...

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Which CPF Life Plan Gives the Greatest Return?

This post might be a bit controversial but I think it has to be done for myself. Whenever I met up with the team at CPF, they made a suggestion that I should see whether there are any products out there that are comparable to the CPF Life. And I often dismissed that outright because of how much of an edge CPF have. They have the access to a much higher interest bonds, and thus their annuity product, the CPF Life can have a better return. Now, when we spend down our wealth, the priorities are a little different,...

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I Spent $1 to Open a SRS Account to Fix the Withdrawal Age

I never had an SRS Account. Until now. The SRS Account stands for Supplementary Retirement Scheme which is a voluntary scheme to encourage people to save for retirement. It is basically our private retirement plan, that supplement the government defined contribution plan, the CPF. When you contribute to your SRS account, you deferred paying taxes till the designated withdrawal time. This contribution amount will be a deduction on your total income, to derive a lower taxable income. During withdrawal time, only 50% of your withdrawal is subject to income tax. How much tax you will pay at withdrawal, will...

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Some Brain Farts can Cost you $3.5 million, slowing down your F.I Journey

I never had brain farts that cost me dearly monetary wise for some time (touch wood). Brain farts, for those that are not acquainted with the term, is some temporary mental lapse in judgement. I think the closest was in 2009 January. That was in the midst of one of the greatest financial crisis of our time. I decide to spend $2,107 on a STI put warrant. The idea was to hedge my downside exposure for the portfolio. Given that is the objective, if I lost money on this, at least it means the rest of my holdings would...

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The AXA Retire Happy Plus Increasing Payout Retirement Plan

I am going to cover some of these insurance retirement plans, since I have the resources to do so. I am doing this in order to let readers see it from my perspective. This is so that, if you met up with an adviser and this is put in front of you, you got another way of looking at it. Since I written a whole section on retirement planning & financial independence, it does make sense for me to view these plans, putting those considerations in mind. AXA Retire Happy Plus belongs to a class of limited payout retirement...

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The Feared Inverted Yield Curve is Often Useless

Yesterday, I posted the latest yield that you can get if you purchase the Singapore Savings Bonds. And a few readers main comment is that the yield curve is inverting and we should be careful. As you can see from the 1 year and 10 year SGS bond yield, the yields look to be narrowing. And if the yield inverts, it is a really bad thing. I think there is validity about respecting the yield curve, but as an indicator, it might not be the most reliable. My understanding of the yield curve The yield curve shows the prevailing...

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