Financial Cyber Security: The Series


Dear all, This topic has actually been something that I feel quite passionately about. I think cyber security is a very serious issue, and unfortunately, the people that are the least able to effectively deal with cyber security are individuals. Why? Individuals are the most likely to lack time, resources (including money) and technical knowledge to effectively deal with cyber security. … [Read more...]

Are you taking opium?


In olden days, coolies or workers were addicted to opium. They have to keep working to earn more money to buy opium and the vicious cycle continues. They can never stop working because they are addicted to the 'high' from opium and this makes the employers happy because they can continue to exploit the workers and give low pay. Unless the workers can quit opium and upgrade their skills instead, … [Read more...]

Some CPF Matters : Understanding It Better By Actually Going Through The ProcessTo Do It (2)

Read? Turning 55 - and enjoying financial freedom (5) Today, Uncle8888 eng eng made another trip to Bishan CPF Branch. Last year. Thursday, 22 December 2016 It was like that .... CPF : You can withdraw interests from SA, OA and MA too. CW: Pls help to check how much interests I can draw out without touching my SA and OA. CPF: Wah! You have lots of interests to draw out. It … [Read more...]

5 red flags to spot a Ponzi scheme


Have you heard of these companies called Sunshine Empire, Geneva Gold and Gold Guarantee? Unfortunately, there is one thing these companies have in common: they are all Ponzi schemes. A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment scheme where a company pays returns to its old investors’ using capital injected by new investors. To keep up with the scam, more and more new investors are needed to … [Read more...]

Creating Isn’t Easy


One of my favorite movie scenes of all time comes from the film Limitless. Bradley Cooper plays Eddie – a down-and-out loser who’s struggling in his career as a writer. He comes across NZT-48 – a “smart drug” that lets him access 100% of his brain instead of the usual 10% (this is a myth, but hey, it’s a movie). He swallows the pill, and suddenly he’s the most productive, creative and … [Read more...]

Nah The Numbers Don’t Add Up

I read a few personal finance themed blogs here and there. Not just local ones, I mean. Sometimes, they get picked up by social media which tend to result in a particularly share-worthy (click-bait-ish) post.This particular one mentioned a 28 year old New Yorker who has retired with more than $2 million. Woah. Pitchforks! Many of the comments were outright negative and quick to dismiss it.If I had … [Read more...]

Bye EZ Link, Bye NETS Flash Pay, Hello MasterCard?

A while back ago, there was a news piece that quietly slipped past the radars of most people, but I read it with quite some keen interest. It was an article about how it was going to be possible to pay for public transport directly with your contactless credit card and charged through the credit card network instead of going through a stored value wallet. I recently saw a Facebook campaign by … [Read more...]

Expenses Update: February 2017

This update is at least a week late as I was simply too busy with the earlier posts. I honestly thought that there was a good chance we could spend less than $3,000 this month. Firstly, this is a short month with only 28 days and secondly, we managed to keep to within $500 for the eating out category, which is easily 50% lower than the norm. But some big purchases and gifts meant that wasn’t … [Read more...]

Feb 2017 Update

Update No. 1 on 2017 Priorities, Systems and Goals My progress so far… Priorities Systems / Goals Evaluation No. 1: Mental and Spiritual Health Meditate daily I meditate about 2-3 times per week. Pretty happy with this but will be great to increase weekly frequency to 3-4 times.  Practise yoga daily I practise yoga about 3-4 times per week. Pretty … [Read more...]

Is Pay TV Still A Reliable Cash Cow?


For the past 6 weeks, I have been blogging about the mobile services segment of telcos. It is time to move on to the next segment -- Pay TV. I will analyse Pay TV using Starhub's results, as Singtel has more business segments and operates in many countries. The figure below shows the no. of Pay TV subscriptions in FY2015 and FY2016. Starhub is kind enough to disclose its market penetration rate … [Read more...]

Capitastar and Frasers Rewards

As a KPO, apart from being thrifty, I tries to make sure that the money spent is fully utilized. For instance, I avoid paying cash/NETS as much as possible and prefer using credit card because there is rebates/miles/reward points. If you spend in either Capitaland Malls or Frasers Centrepoint Malls, you should participate in their loyalty/rewards programme. Simply register and download both … [Read more...]

How Much do you value having Options in Life?

A few days ago, I was alerted to a comment on my Facebook about a blog post. The author of the post came to a conclusion that it is better to use cash to pay down our mortgage, instead of using our government forced savings, the CPF OA account. I tried to understand why this person who shared this post was not very happy. Turns out, according to him, there is not just one scenario you need … [Read more...]

Personal tax rebate made me lost $98


Just before end of 2016, Max did a voluntary cash top up of $7k to his CPF-SA savings. As you can see from the dates of transfer, the transfer was a decision at the eleventh-hour. The transfer is split into two transaction ($3.8k + $3.2k) due to the daily transfer limit on my bank account. Max's voluntary cash top-up to CPF SA in year 2016 It was fortunate that the second … [Read more...]

Changes to Travel Smart Rewards

I received an email notification from Travel Smart Rewards today. For existing Travel Smart users, do take note of the following: Travel Smart Rewards will be transformed soon! In 1 April 2017, a new Travel Smart Rewards will be launched on a refreshed portal with new features and games. As an existing user, you will be automatically transferred to the new system. All you need to do is to update … [Read more...]

Get Up to S$210 Takashimaya Gift Vouchers with POSB or DBS Credit Cards


I received the following mailer from DBS. It says that from now till 31st May 2017, you can receive up to S$210 Takashimaya Gift Vouchers with a minimum spend of S$2,800 each calendar month on your DBS or POSB credit card. I am not sure if the promotion is exclusive only to me or everyone. However, I doubt I will be eligible for the promotion as unlikely I will spend S$2,800 a month. Thus, I … [Read more...]

DIY Your Pre-Wedding Shoot (for all budgets!)


Should couples spend on the pre-wedding shoot? Or is this an unwarranted expense? In the Western world, most brides wouldn't dream of letting their groom see them in their wedding dress before the big day. On the other hand, pre-wedding shoots are hugely popular in Asia, with some couples shelling out a bomb for these photos. Before we went for ours, I deliberated going to Korea to shoot ours … [Read more...]

OCBC 360 vs UOB One, Stan Chart Bonus saver, POSB Cashback, BOC Smart Saver


The longest title of a blog post I have ever had. As per Kevin's request to do an updated comparison table due to the many changes in the interest rates recently, the most recent one is OCBC 360 and last year it was BOC Smartsaver. The highlighted boxes give you the top interest rates in each categories For most of you, the recent changes in OCBC 360 have made you angry and … [Read more...]

Financial Independence : Withdrawal??? Passive Income > Living Expenses??? (Good time to refresh before my talk)

Read? Financial Independence : Withdrawal??? Passive Income > Living Expenses??? True Story! Damn Good Advice! Reply #4 on Nov 15, 2015 at 9:33am me200, candy188, and 1 more like this ReplyQuote  Post Options Post by oldman on Nov 15, 2015 at 9:33am As I am now a consumer of healthcare insurance, what I am learning about insurance companies scares me even more. I was in hospital … [Read more...]

Say VES and make $35,000 selling my car?

There was the CEVS and, now, we have the VES. Lucky for my readers, ASSI is always just ASSI. Anyway, the CEVS stands for Carbon Emission-Based Vehicle Scheme. Basically, cars with lower carbon emission were given rebates and I benefitted from this scheme when I bought a diesel car about a year ago. It reduced the price tag of my car by more than 10% which was a big deal. In January this … [Read more...]

Gili Lankanfushi : A Sneak Preview


Gili Lankanfushi is quite unlike what my wife and I are used to. Being frequent resort dwellers is one thing, but Gili Lankanfushi has certainly taken this experience up to another stratospheric level. One that I’m afraid it would be insanely difficult to match, let alone surpass. Picking a resort in Maldives is a tough task. Just how does one start to choose? My wife and I have fairly similar … [Read more...]