Here Are Some Important Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent

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  Not too long ago, the Internet was buzzing about discussions of dishonest or unethical financial advisors after lifestyle influencer Francesca Soh shared her bad experience. (Click here to read Part 1, where I distilled why the "advice" she shared after being through it herself is not entirely sound). While much has been said about black-sheep agents who mislead their clients into … [Read more...]

Tips On How To Pay Less for Budget Airline Tickets

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Ever bought tickets on a budget airline, only to realize upon checkout that the total price is much higher than you expected it to? Welcome to the real world. While we've gotten savvier at sourcing for cheaper travel deals online, the airlines have found other ways to earn our money as well. My friend Timothy wrote a good piece in Dollars and Sense today on How Budget Airlines Are Getting You … [Read more...]

Lifestyle Influencer Francesca Soh Learns The Truth About "Guaranteed Cash Back" In Her Insurance Policy

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Financial literacy and insurance is back in the spotlight again, after a 25-year-old lifestyle influencer and a 73-year-old lady shared about their unfortunate experience with their insurer. Everyone is talking about Francesca Soh's bad experience with her insurance agent and company after she publicly shared this on her Facebook Wall yesterday: As of today, her post has been shared over 600 … [Read more...]

What Can Singapore Learn From the Orlando Shootings?

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I still remember the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings like it happened yesterday (mainly because I previously did an in-depth paper on it), but what I also remember amidst the shock and terror were the stories of bravery and protection that emerged from the aftermath. Before we even got a chance to recover from the shocking shooting of singer Christina Grimmie (I was a huge fan), yesterday, the … [Read more...]

Dutech Holdings – The One That Got Away

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As an investor, some of the biggest frustrations we face are generally:       Refusing to sell when our investment thesis changes – often holding on in “hopes” that things will get better       Failing to buy when price fell to an all-time low       Buying before we did sufficient “homework” on the company – especially when it involves missing out on a crucial piece of information that … [Read more...]

How Paying 1% In Investment Fees Could Mean Giving Up To 1/3 Of Your Wealth

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Would you give up 1/3 of your future wealth just to invest in unit trusts, or a mutual fund? I'm sure most of you would agree that having a third of your portfolio value eroded in this way would quite clearly make this a bad investment tool to even begin with. Can you imagine anyone who would pay so much for such a type of investment? The funny thing is, there are plenty of people who … [Read more...]

Factors That Could Cause Your Stocks to Plummet in 2016

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My approach to investing involves finding a good business model that I like, looking at the financial position of the company in contrast to its industry peers and competitors, and of course, while also keeping an eye out on any risks that could potentially jeopardize my investment thesis. As such, while looking at macro economic trends shouldn't always be your priority focus (some investors … [Read more...]

What’s the Story Behind Technics Oil and Gas (SGX: 5CQ)?

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Apart from the missing plane on international news, here in Singapore, another drama has unfolded for retail investors. Technics Oil & Gas (SGX: 5CQ) was founded in 1990 and headquartered in Singapore. It has 350 employees and largely serves the oil and gas companies among its customers for repair and maintenance, leasing of equipment, and other various contract engineering projects. A part … [Read more...]

Buying A New Property? Here’s An Attractive Home Loan You’ve Not Heard Of

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What’s the biggest big-ticket item you’ve bought? For most of us, that will probably be our house, which we generally don’t have the ability to pay upfront anyway. Therefore, getting a good home loan is essential. I’ve recently been on the lookout for affordable home loans where my regular repayments will ideally be as low as possible. Most Singaporeans opt for a floating rate package, … [Read more...]

The Road To Financial Independence

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The road to financial independence isn't easy, but it isn't difficult either. It has been close to 1.5 years since I started writing about finance and lifestyle in Singapore as Budget Babe. In all this time, much ink has been spilled and much breath has been spent talking about the topic, and the elusive goal of how a young adult can start on the right foot towards achieving financial … [Read more...]

Understanding Home Loans in Singapore

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I was chatting with a friend today about how I'm considering investing in REITs, and he reminded me about how the rising interest rates environment are going to impact REITs negatively, since they mostly have high gearing on their properties. Then I realized, oh dear! REITs won't be the only ones affected when the Fed raises interest rates, because that affects our home loans too! How Your … [Read more...]

Up to 7GB + 100 minutes + FREE Whatsapp data + caller ID + roaming for $28/month on Circles.Life!

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Singapore's newest telco, Circles.Life, seemed to have just fallen from the sky out of nowhere, and I got the chance to attend their event yesterday. Among their attractive offerings, here's the best part: They're offering UNLIMITED DATA on Whatsapp, for free! This includes all messages, photos, videos, voice-recordings sent and voice calls made through Whatsapp. No kidding. I had to verify … [Read more...]

Cut Your Expenses by 20% Within A Month

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I found these awesome savings infographics and decided to add on with some of my own! Ever since I graduated from being a student to becoming a full-fledged working adult, it seems as though my monthly expenses has gone up exponentially. I still remember my university days when $500 was more than enough for me to survive on, but today, it seems like the busier I get with work (i.e. earning … [Read more...]

Retirement Saving Plans in Singapore – A Good Deal Or No?

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If you aren't already confused about all the different insurance plans available, here's a new type of plan to befuddle you further: retirement savings plans. AXA, Manulife and Tokio Marine are just some of the insurers who have launched new plans to cater to the growing demand for retirement products in Singapore. The plans generally promise regular payouts over 10 to 30 years to provide you … [Read more...]

Millennials Want Financial Security But Don’t Know How To Get There?

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Sometimes, it really amazes me at how so many people talk so much about wanting to get rich / become financially-independent, but yet are not willing to do the work required to get there. Credits: Human Resources Online Didn't their parents teach them that you can't have your cake and eat it too? The spotlight for the past few weeks have been on expats grousing that … [Read more...]

How China Will Affect Singapore’s Stock Market

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Screengrab from The Financial Times documentary Like many investors in Singapore, I pay attention and monitor the news surrounding the macro-economic sentiment that might affect the performance of our stock markets, including the Fed's decision on interest rates, commodity prices (especially oil) and unemployment rates. But of all these, the one that has piqued my interest since 2015 is the … [Read more...]

The Easiest Way To Build Wealth In Your 20s

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You probably already know that your 20s are going to be the best years of your life. Here's another nugget of golden advice I hope someone has already told you about your 20s : it is also the best years of your life to start building wealth. No, this post is not about the book, although its cover does provide an apt summary of what I'm about to say. Before you get all happy and go … [Read more...]

Telco Price War: The Best Provider For Each Budget?

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Everyone knows by now that MyRepublic has plans to become Singapore's fourth telco and snatch a slice of the market share away from SingTel, StarHub and M1. Even their website (https://my4thtelco.sg) boldly claims this vision. Shortly after it announced that it would give customers unlimited data for just $60 a month, or 2 GB for $6, the other three telcos launched into a price war within … [Read more...]

Should Investors Rejoice Over OSIM’s Takeover Offer of $1.32 Per Share?

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Many of us were keeping an eye on OSIM when it was announced that there would be a trading halt to OSIM shares on the stock market since last Wednesday. Today, CEO Ron Sim announced a takeover offer in a bid to privatize the company. For investors who own OSIM shares, could this be good or bad news? Well, that depends on when you bought OSIM. For many investors, OSIM was a darling stock, … [Read more...]

Here’s another reason to cancel your ILP

If you need another reason to cancel your investment-linked policy (ILP) which you may have bought a few years ago, consider this: a lot of financially-savvy folks are now cancelling theirs. I bought my first insurance policy, an ILP, at the advice of my then-financial agent. 2 years later, I cancelled it once I realized how I had been misled to think favourably of a policy that clearly wasn't … [Read more...]