Author: Singapore Money Matters

Chart of the week – Commodities the falling angels

Last year April, I wrote an article “The Great Rotation of Gold“. I am a firm believer that the long term Commodity bull has run its course and money has to flow to other assets. True enough, Gold price has been falling for the past two years as shown in the chart below. However, that doesn’t mean the Gold price will keep on dropping but I believe it will most likely normalize and trade in a range for a long time. Having said that, Oil prices have finally joined other falling commodity prices. Below is the crude oil price chart. In my...

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Does a will override all insurance nominations?

In general, your Will overrides the nomination made under an Insurance Policy unless your nomination creates a Nomination under Section 49L Insurance Act or your have made a specific assignment. A “Nomination under Section 49L Insurance Act”, in a layman’s term, is a irrevocable nomination. When I say irrevocable, it means that you have “given” the insurance benefits to your named beneficiaries and “vowed” that you will never take it back. So it is understood that this cannot be voided by a will. However, like all matters in personal finance, things are not always so simple as we wish. This is...

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What are the real names of money

You may not be aware that money isn’t called money all the time. In temple it’s called “donation”, in school it’s “fee”, in marriage it’s called “dowry”, in divorce, “alimony”. When u owe someone, it’s called “debt”, when u pay the government, it’s called “tax”, when you pay to the court, it’s called “fine”. Civil servants retire with “pension”, boss give workers “salary”, master give subordinates “wages”, you provide your children “maintenance”. when u borrow from bank, it’s called “loan”. when you offer after a service, it’s called “tips”. Kidnappers receive it as “ransom”. Some people receive “bribe” in...

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Why Lasting Power of Attorney scheme needs to be improved

If you have $40 million assets, who would you trust to look after it? Apparently, Madam Chung Khin Chun, a wealthy widow with so much money, trusted her former China tour guide, Mr Yang Yin to take complete control of it. She was allegedly manipulated to grant a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to Yang Yin, now being sued by Madam Chung’s niece, Madam Hedy Mok. Mr Yang Yin was accused of neglecting their legal caretaker duties. It was also reported that together with his wife Madam Weng Yandan, Mr Yang Yin ‘flaunted’ their expensive lifestyles, where the source of wealth is questionable. At the same...

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Is Bancassurance the future for insurance companies?

In recent years, the market share of insurance tied agency was on the downtrend. Two rising sales channels are independent financial advisers and Bancassurance. Bancassurance is probably growing at the fastest pace. Bancassurance is the partnership between a bank and an insurance company whereby the insurance company uses the bank sales channel in order to sell insurance products, so that the insurance company reach its products to the bank’s client base. Bancassurance is very lucrative for the commercial banks. After all, it is the model that banks focus on selling and leave the servicing to the insurance companies themselves. The insurers are even willing...

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Three types of Insurance often overlooked by small business owners

If you’re like most small business owners, your personal life and business life are practically inseparable. That’s why it’s important for your personal insurance planning to take into account the unique consideration of owning and operating a small business. Unfortunately, most small business owners were not able to get good advice for 3 reasons Majority of insurance products are designed for working professionals who are employees as this has the widest market. Majority of insurance advisers are not trained to plan for business owners and thus lack of necessary knowledge and experience. Business owners are generally perceived as “high net...

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Five tips for engaging a real estate agent

Many Singaporeans buy, sell and lease their properties. You can choose to handle a property transaction on your own or engage the services of real estate agent. However, there are many disputes between consumers and agents in recent years. What should consumers look out for when engaging one? Here are five tips. Understand the Terminology in the Industry Under the new Estate Agents Act. “Estate agents” means estate agency businesses (sole proprietors, partnerships, and companies); “Salespersons” means individuals who perform estate agency work. Estate Agents are granted licence by CEA and the salespersons of the estate agents are registered. They can...

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How unconventional thinking can change your life

We all face difficult decisions in life. Sometimes the solution is just in front of us but it seems counterintuitive. However, many people do not realize that your old thoughts might be more harmful to you. There was a man who was walking along a cliff. All of a sudden, he slipped and lost his balance. Just about to fall off the cliff, he grabbed on to the ledge and was hanging there for dear life. He yelled out, “Is there anybody up there who can help me?” There was no answer. He kept calling and calling, “Is there anybody up...

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How to check your personal credit report in Singapore

Your credit report is important to you. A few month ago, I wrote a blog article about my encounter with one of the local banks who rejected my request to increase credit card limit for no good reason. I mentioned I had “AA” CBS Credit Score from Singapore Credit Bureau. A lot of readers wrote in to ask me about this. I have compiled the information to give you this completed guide to Credit Report in Singapore. Unknown to many people, credit report is more important than you think in your day to day life. Most lenders will check your credit file to assess your...

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3 lessons to learn from iPhone 6 flipping story and achieve your financial success

In today’s Straits Times article “Early birds get juiciest profits flipping iPhone 6″, it was reported that “in just 30 minutes, finance manager Sky Hui made a cool profit of $4,000 from buying and re-selling three new iPhones.” Interestingly, in this simple story, there are three essential lessons that you can learn to achiever greater financial success. Lesson #1: Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others How did Mr Hui do it? It was reported that he had pre-booked three 128GB iPhone 6 Plus devices with SingTel and renewed three contracts for himself and his parents to pay $746 for...

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Five reasons why you must define your investment goals

We are all familiar with Lewis Carroll’s story “Alice in wonderland”. One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” She asked “Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire Cat. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.” Have you ever drifted through life aimlessly, wondering why your life lacks purpose and significance? That is because you did not bother to write down your goals. It is the same when it comes to investment. Being in the financial advisory industry for more than ten years,...

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For some Singaporeans, growing old means living in a nursing home in Johor Bahru

The facts are very simple. Even with government subsidy, the fees for nursing homes in Johor are still much lower than one in Singapore. It was reported as early as 16th Feb 2009 by the Straits Times that “JB nursing homes draw some Singaporeans”. Just how expensive can this kind of long term care cost? It is easy to see from the table below that a bedridden patient will drain the family income by $4,000 to $5,000 per month.  Are Singaporeans prepared? (1 Source: “JB nursing homes draw some Singaporeans”, 16th Feb 2009, The Straits Times. 2 Source: http://www.singaporehomenursing.com/Singapore-Nursing-Salary.html. Assume 30 visits per...

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From Cinderella to Elsa – A reflection of wealth in generations

We all have heard of the story of Cinderella, a classic fairy tale which we all grew up with. Once upon a time, there was a pretty young girl named Cinderella who lived with her wicked stepmother and two selfish stepsisters. Then one day an invitation arrived from the palace. The King wanted all the young ladies of the land to come to the royal ball. Cinderella could not go because she had no gown to wear. However, with the help of a fairy god mother, a golden pumpkin and six grey mice, she turned into a beautiful princess for one night...

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All you need to know about Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS)

At the National Day Rally 2014, the Prime Minister announced revisions to the Lease Buyback Scheme. Owners of four-room Housing Board flats can now sell part of their lease back to the Government to supplement their retirement income. Previously the scheme was restricted to three-room and smaller flats. What is Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) The Enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) is an additional monetisation option to help low-income elderly households in 3-room and smaller flats to unlock part of their housing equity while continue living in their homes, and receive a lifelong income stream to supplement their retirement income. Under the...

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How will joint account investments be distributed if a person dies without a will?

Recently I received some questions from one of my readers of the blog. He asked if a person dies without a Will, how will the investments under joint account be distributed? I think this might be an interesting questions to many. Question 1: Unit Trust bought under Cash with a local bank and subsequently the sibling of the deceased was added as a joint owner and the decease still remained as Main applicant. In this example, if unit trust was bought under joint name, the account will be handled according to the terms and conditions of the account. Generally, the law of survivorship applies. That means the surviving...

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