A Creative Way to Impress a Girl?

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Saw this on a friend's Facebook post this morning. It's been quite some time since I last did a full-page newspaper ad placement for a client, but I vaguely recall our last 1/4 page ad cost us about $700. (Correct me if my figures are outdated!) Guys, are you spending too much on Singaporean girls? Ok, I'll concur that it is a pretty sweet and innovative gesture. If this guy can … [Read more...]

5 Common Job Interview Questions Fresh Graduates Should Expect (and How to Answer Them)

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With a few friends graduating soon, I thought I'd write this as a guide to how to excel in answering some common job interview questions. While there are tons of "model answers" out there, remember that your aim is to sound genuine and not have your answers sound rehearsed. In my day job, I also deal a lot with HR and hiring managers in Singapore, so I've highlighted the questions I've … [Read more...]

Should You Buy Direct or Through Your Insurance Agent?

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Yesterday, I woke up to exciting news which I've been waiting for quite some time now. MAS finally launched their Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI) initiative, allowing consumers to buy basic life insurance products directly instead of having to go through an insurance agent. This is great news for people like me, who are generally distrusting of financial advisors (and a little more … [Read more...]

My Stock Analysis: Keppel DC REIT

Keppel DC REIT has been getting quite a bit of attention since its recent IPO in December 2014, Recently I spent a considerable amount of time analyzing this company after my broker tried to convince me to buy it. I already made a mistake on one counter under his recommendations (lesson learnt: take what your broker tells you with a pinch of salt!) so I wasn't going to repeat the same error. So … [Read more...]

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing

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To some people, the thought of investing can be a scary one, whereas to others, it could be a rewarding journey and a way to get rich. Whatever your thoughts, the fact is that investing is not an easy journey, and definitely not one for the faint-hearted. You need to be intelligent, well-informed, and rational enough when it comes to investing. Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time … [Read more...]

We Are Singapore and We Will Go On. Rest in Peace, Lee Kuan Yew

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I'll never forget last week. I don't think any of us ever would. It was a hard week to get by, as the nation mourned together for the loss of our greatest leader ever. Funny how Singapore was ranked as the world's most emotionless society just 3 years ago, yet this past week saw an outpouring of grief never seen before. I don't think the world expected us to react this way. What would the … [Read more...]

Why Are Singaporeans Queuing Up for Hours to Pay Their Respects to Lee Kuan Yew?

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A number of people have been asking me if it's worth going to see Lee Kuan Yew's body before he gets cremated on Sunday. Some of the more common questions included, "Can you see his face? Cannot? Then maybe I won't go then..." "How long did you wait?" "I don't know if I should go down...there's so many things I need to do." With all the media coverage and live updates surrounding the sheer … [Read more...]

In tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

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It is with a heavy heart as I pen this post about our founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, who left us earlier this morning. I've been reading all the tributes and thought this would be a good chance to consolidate what Singapore owes to this man as we look back on how far we've come. While the nation grieves, I try to find comfort in the fact that people are taking the time to remember his legacy … [Read more...]

What Gushcloud and Its Influencers Did Wrong (and how Singtel did right)

Some of you may have read my piece on how Gushcloud spent a bomb on a poor response to Xiaxue's expose on their business when Xiaxue wrote about her investigations into Gushcloud's questionable business ethics last December. If you haven't already seen Part 2, you may read it here, where local telco SingTel gets implicated as well this time. My analysis this time focuses on what Gushcloud … [Read more...]

Sure Or Not? Singapore Minister Claims Younger Workers Can Save Enough to Retire

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"The retirement picture for younger Singaporeans is relatively healthy," said Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin. "Most Singaporeans who work regularly, and make prudent housing options, should have no worries building up a comfortable retirement nest egg within the CPF system."  I don't know about you, but I spotted at least 3 assumptions here: Assumption 1: The cost of living will not rise.  … [Read more...]

Should You Buy the New Travel Concession Pass?

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I've been lamenting the demise of my student concession card ever since I graduated from university a few years ago. Gone are the days when I could pay just $45 a month for public transport! But concession prices for adults are much more expensive at $120 each month, so I wanted to take a closer look at whether this would make financial sense or not. For the past 2 years, my average monthly … [Read more...]

What Should the Starting Pay for a Fresh Graduate Be? $4000?

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This morning I read the news on how 1 in 5 graduates expect a starting pay of $4,000. It took me by surprise, because hidden in the middle of the article is the fact that 70% believe they should be paid up to $4,000. It took me by surprise, because my starting pay was only $2,500 when I graduated a few years ago. After CPF deductions, my take-home pay was only $1,999 back then. I read on to … [Read more...]

Why We Need An Emergency Fund

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As a young 20-something, many of us often think we're invincible. Emergencies? Disasters? Nah, won't happen to us. Even I am guilty of this. But today I feel the need to inform people the crucial importance of having an emergency fund, even if you don't think you'll encounter any "emergencies" anytime soon in the next few years. Why you should have an emergency fund starting NOW 1. You might … [Read more...]

More Younger Customers Finding Instant Cash the New Way

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Earlier this week, a friend of mine wrote about younger customers heading to pawnshops for quick cash, and just yesterday, I read about a 31-year-old's failed plan to rob a bank in order to pay off his loans. My personal mantra is to (i) stay out of debt (ii) clear off debts as fast as I can (iii) have enough cash savings so that I never have to resort to taking a loan. But recently, I've been … [Read more...]

A Guide for the Fresh Graduates Turned Working Adults

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I remember feeling lost when I first graduated and took my first step into the working world. While it was exciting to start a new job and start earning a regular paycheck, I was also clueless and lost when it came to what I needed to do and what mistakes to avoid. There was no one to guide me, as my parents are not really savvy in this area and I'm the eldest child. I wished there was a blog that … [Read more...]

You CAN Afford to Invest on the Singapore Stock Market!

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Most people are scared to death of investing. I'm not surprised. Last week I spoke to one of my dance instructors and casually mentioned that I needed to save money because I wanted to invest and start buying stocks. At my words, she had a shocked look on her face, and advised me not to get involved as I could lose money. Natural reaction. Most of my friends who don't know better react the … [Read more...]

Money Posts

On Saving: How I Saved $20,000 in a Year How to Save $20,000 in 2015 Areas to Save Money in Singapore Why You Need An Emergency Fund I'm Only in My 20s! Why Do I Need to Start Saving So Early? Why Women Find It Harder to Save Guys: How to Save While Dating 14 Cheap Dating Ideas How to Save Money on Groceries How to Live A Rewarding Life While Saving On … [Read more...]

What Do We Really Need?

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What are real needs? If you look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we really don't need that much to survive and lead a decent life. In fact, distilling this to Singapore's context, our real needs can be categorized into: House: a roof over our head Food: for sustenance Clothing: comfy and to keep us warm Hygiene: to refresh and keep dirt away Today, however, our "needs" have … [Read more...]

How To Get Started on Investing

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Getting started on investing can be a pretty complicated process. As many of you regular readers would know, I started taking interest on how to make my money work better for me after I saved up $20,000 last year. After all, simply keeping your money in the bank is a foolish thing to do because your money decreases in value over time, due to inflation and rising costs of living. As your parents … [Read more...]