Understanding The Basics Of Insurance

Warning: Plenty of economics lingo in this post. It’s quite surprising to find that I haven’t really mentioned much about insurance since the birth of this blog. Afterall, besides having a strong interest in the subject (motivated by previous negative experiences), I was also an Economics major who even took a module on Health Economics. So short of claiming to be an expert in this … [Read more...]

Expenditure Update: September 13

Yes, it’s time to wake up to the breakdown of our discretionary expenses as September has ended! Expenses-wise, this is a pretty good month as we spent $3,153, which is also well below the target of $3,500. And even after including last month’s higher expenses, the running average is still a healthy $3,427. A case of what gets measured gets contained? We shall see in the next few months. … [Read more...]

What If I Need The Money 3 Years Later?!

As mentioned in many of the pages and posts on this blog, we started a Regular Savings Plan (RSP) with Philip Sharebuilder back in Nov 2010. To minimize the monthly fees of $6 to 1% of the investment, we also committed $600 to this product every month. Since the plan offered us the option of choosing two counters without additional charges incurred, we allocated $500 to the STI ETF and $100 to one … [Read more...]

Counter-productive For Performing Students To Have Tuition?!

Tuition has been a hot topic for the past week and having been a full-time tutor for the bulk of my university days (3 years to be exact), I also have some strong views on this hot potato issue. This perennial issue made the headlines (once again) after Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah mentioned that tuition was unnecessary. Her argument was that for weaker students, … [Read more...]

How’s The Blog Doing So Far?

Since the middle of this year, I have been thinking about starting a finance blog. And exactly two months ago, I handed almost $200 bucks of cash to Bluehost to create this website. This was my first attempt at blogging and I had to justify my purchase to Mrs 15 HWW. After all, I could have easily opted for free alternatives with BlogSpot & WordPress, right? I bullshitted my way through. I … [Read more...]

Money Bomb 2: The Renovation

Previously, I blogged about Money Bomb 1: The Wedding where I shared how we actually budgeted for our wonderful wedding. As the title suggests, that is likely to be the first of many money bombs I will be sharing (it also helps that the article was pretty popular). So since it is still relatively fresh in our minds, here we are with the second money bomb: The Renovation. By depicting them as … [Read more...]

Financial Behaviour That Just Doesn’t Make Sense

Economics isn’t named the dismal science for no good reason. In terms of the accuracy of its predictions, it has more in common with Astrology than Physics or Chemistry. Seriously, if you had based your investment decisions on their predictions on when the economy would turn, I wouldn’t be surprised to find you living in the streets today. The problem is, these economic models are … [Read more...]

Get Rich With…Reading!

Unlike children of today, I didn’t have a computer, cell phone, tablet or even internet access until I was a teenager. And guess what? I am not complaining. I consider myself lucky to grow up in an age when there weren’t that many entertainment options. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t love to read as much as I do now and consequently, my English would not be good enough to churn out posts like … [Read more...]

3 Reasons Not To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

“Dear, are you sure we should take a 30-year home loan? Perhaps we should seriously consider a 25-year or even a 20-year loan instead. With our incomes, the higher monthly instalments shouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise, we could use some of our cash reserves to reduce the loan quantum. Somehow, stretching this debt to the time when we turn 55 doesn’t seem that great an idea to me” Mrs 15 HWW was … [Read more...]

Mr Fredricksen Should Have Saved More For His Trip!

After the Aladdin parody, I am on a roll with cartoons/movies and today, we shall be picking up some simple personal finance lessons from the movie “UP”. “UP” is one of my favourite movies in recent years. Its really a heartwarming show and I happened to have watched it a few times already. The best parts are actually the opening scenes which never fail to induce moisture in my eyes. I have … [Read more...]

Aladdin’s Choice: Superior Saving Rate Or Superior Investment Return?

Agrabah had fallen on hard times and Aladdin* decided to leave in search of better pastures for him and his wife, Jasmine. He decided to come to Singapore since knew that he would have little problems qualifying for Permanent Residency (PR). Afterall, he was a famous celebrity like Jackie, Jet and Gong Li. It also helped that the wages were relatively high for an officer worker in Singapore. After … [Read more...]

Passive Income Update: August 13

Not surprisingly, the My Passive Income page is by far the most popular page in my blog. Understandably so, since everybody loves taking a peek or two at each other’s assets to better benchmark themselves with others. That’s what we all did back in army. Remember those times when we were showering? ;p On hindsight, I also realised I did quite a shoddy job for that page. There … [Read more...]

Expenditure Update: August 13

In a perfect world, I would be working a 15 hour work week in a job I love and take pride in. Productivity would be sky high and I will still be justifying a salary of $3k to $5k, even though I work so much less. And instead of making myself fat at restaurants or spending my still hard-earned money at malls, the leisure time is spent having fun with friends/relatives in my home or better … [Read more...]

Our Fixed Expenses

I hate hypocrites. These people say one thing, but do another. No, I am not refering to the girlfriend that says “Anything’s fine for dinner” but gives you a frown when you suggest MacDonald’s, Ding Tai Fung or Sushi Tei. And I am also not talking about parents who spend their free time watching TV or playing mahjong but ask their children to study or read more story books. Ooops. I am actually … [Read more...]

Making HDBs More Affordable

In case you have the misconception that I am one of those anti-PAP Singaporeans after reading my views on the proposed Medisave Life and PSLE changes, let me correct it with the next sentence. The government has to be commended for introducing the latest set of housing measures to provide Singaporeans with “More Help, Stronger Support and Better Homes”. After reading HDB’s press release today, … [Read more...]

Take Advantage Of The Volatile Market Through Dollar Cost Averaging

For the past couple of weeks, some Asian currencies have been hit pretty badly and the Singapore dollar climbed to record highs against many of our neighbours’ currencies. Since I go to Johor Bahru pretty often, I took a leisurely walk to Change Alley during lunch time last Friday to check out the exchange rates. Unfortunately, most people thought the same way too and the place was super … [Read more...]

POSB: Our Friendly Banker Next Door

POSB pride themselves as being neighbours first and bankers second. And it’s true. Because Singaporeans have always treated POSB better than even their real neighbours. Otherwise, why are all of us lending POSB our hard-earned cash for no interest at all?! (Sorry, but I am not willing to factor in that abysmal 0.05%) Furthermore, besides offering the lowest interests, their ATMs and … [Read more...]

National Day Rally: Medishield Life & PSLE Changes

Last Sunday, PM Lee held his 10th National Day Rally and announced a slew of very promising social policy changes that were intended to transform Singapore into a “compassionate meritocracy”. Although Compassionate Singaporeans generally sound like an oxymoron to me, I remain optimistic towards many of these changes that attempt to level the playing field for children/young adults and … [Read more...]

Money Bomb 1: The Wedding

When I first started work, its wasn’t really that difficult for me to save more than 70% of our income. After all, I was staying with my parents. There wasn’t utility bills, groceries or mortgages to contend with. In this aspect, I am not the odd one out in this country. Unlike our Western counterparts, most Singaporeans stay with their parents after they start work. Due to our society’s emphasis … [Read more...]

You Won’t Want To Be Mr Average!

Even at Primary 1, I wasn’t an average performer, which was largely due to the motivation (fear probably more appropriate) my Mum gave me. She was a stay-at-home mum and spent plenty of time and effort to monitor my school work. We would do spelling from day till night until I got the entire list of words correct. Moreover, she had really high expectations of me. I would often get caned when … [Read more...]