Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

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, schools provided support with remedial and supplementary lessons. Whereas for better performers, she indicated her belief that tuition could add unnecessary stress and prove counter-productive. The typical view held by the man on the street is that...

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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 told her that readers wouldn’t want to be spotted reading a blog with misleading chat-line ads showing pretty and scantily clad women being just a call away. I also reassured her that in time, the whole Singapore...

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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 money bombs, I appear to have attached a negative connotation to these events too. But truthfully speaking, they are actually some of the happiest moments in my life. If getting married to...

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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 based on the BIG assumption that human beings are rational. But are we really that rational? (I start to think of those big diamond rings and their price tags) Seems not, especially if you have been following the latest research and findings from...

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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 these. During my kindergarten and early Primary school years, the highlight of the afternoon was those one hour re-runs of some SBC (prior to TCS and Mediacorp) serials which included my all-time favourite 早安!...

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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 really concerned when we collected the keenly anticipated keys to our brand-new BTO flat in Punggol. In exchange for a humble abode, we also had to commit to almost $300,000 of debt. All these at the...

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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 placed a video below in case you don’t understand what I am talking about. I really feel for Mr Fredricksen and can’t imagine the day when my dear wife isn’t around...

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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 a few months, Aladdin slowly settled into his $5,000 a month office job. Having the good fortune to stumble on this great blog, he also started to have dreams of an early and comfortable retirement. Aladdin agreed...

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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 wasn’t any explanations or rationale of why I bought into specific companies and I also did not divulge the entry prices of these investments. It was especially dangerous, since there are many people out there who buys what financial bloggers buy...

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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 still, outdoors. Okok, I know I am being really greedy here. Why not let’s restrict the perfect world imagination to this blog instead. Ideally, I would only be spending an hour to churn out one quality post and my readers would increase geometrically until...

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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 pointing my fingers at those financial advisers/bloggers who always advocate budgeting or recording expenses but in actual fact, fail to do so. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post/guide detailing...

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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, I guess Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam was right in labelling the recent National Day Rally a “game-changer”. Enhancing HDB Grants for Singaporeans To be honest, even after PM Lee’s role as a housing agent...

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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 crowded. Singaporeans definitely know a bargain when they see one. Apparently, this bloodletting is due to big institutional funds withdrawing their funds from Asia. And obviously, the stock markets have not been spared. It was a sea...

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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 bank branches are always packed with people. Yet most Singaporeans (including me) continue to have an account with them and queue patiently for the services. Luckily for us, POSB has finally decided to reciprocate our kindness and faith towards them. In these recent few months, this...

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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 also offer aid to some of our less well-off pioneers. And among these policy shifts, the two most talked about changes are the introduction of Medishield Life and the impending abolishment of the PSLE T-score. Medishield Life Healthcare expenses is something that the elderly will always be constantly worried about. You never...

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