The Ayam Buah Keluak Cheat

There was one Sunday which my family visited a food court. There was a stall which claim to sell “Nonya” food. So my wife bought the Ayam Buah Keluak. The outcome turn out to be anything but Ayam Buah Keluak. The stall did a short cut in the manner it cook Ayam Buah Keluak. The curry gravy used is meant for Asam fish. Before I continue, it is indeed true that the dish's gravy is indeed the asam … [Read more...]

Developing an unconventional life towards financial freedom

The more I experience the journey towards financial freedom, the more I realise it is to live an unconventional life. Why unconventional? Conventional wisdom teaches us to pursue materialism, to benchmark our success by seeing how big our homes are. How much income our careers generate and how are we keeping score in the game of “keeping up with your neighbours”. Think back at your … [Read more...]

Personal Finance Part 12 – Indebtedness

In this next article on personal finance, I would like to touch on the subject of debt. No doubt the news has been going on about credit card balances being rolled more often, amounts getting larger as well as people purchasing flats which are (to me) getting more expensive. The latest HDB flats which are part of the DBSS Scheme cost a cool S$720,000 for a 5-room larger unit, which is even more … [Read more...]

Fashion whims in insurance

Did you realise that financial/insurance products suffer from fashion whims too? During the good old bull times, we have products offered by companies touting good returns projected way into the future (I heard from a friend, the returns projected are at 10% or more). It's no surprise then that the returns are much less than projected - it's just not sustainable. So what's fashionable … [Read more...]

Know your credit history with Credit Bureau Singapore

Did you know that you can check your own credit history for S$5 using Credit Bureau Singapore? What is a Credit Bureau Some of you might be wondering what a credit bureau is. The Credit Bureau Singapore is where financial institutions upload and also check on your history with regards to obtaining credit i.e. mortgage loans , car loans, credit card and other unsecured credit … [Read more...]

Bad Habits of Retail Investors

I was referred by one of my client to his friend recently to help him with a financial plan. I went through his friend's needs, insurance and investments just like any of my other prospects. He is a single professional in the mid 40s. He believes in accumulating his wealth towards retirement and to take care of his aging parents. When we started to touch on investments, he opened up and told me … [Read more...]

Home for Living and not for profit taking

Quote from Albert Yang , A man is not a man; until there is a house that he may call his castle. A woman is not a woman; until she has a place she may call her home. And neither a man nor a woman can say anything about their house, until they are the masters of it, and own it outright and … [Read more...]

Doing what you love or loving what you do

The main stream media recently reported on the starting salaries of graduates in 2008 which was released by SMU, NTU and NUS in their respective graduate employment surveys. My own sense of the figures are that they are somewhat high because they were taken prior to the economy feeling the full effects of the global economic recession brought about by the US financial crisis. This post doesn’t … [Read more...]

Make time for important things

There is no point in winning the battle but to have lost the war. What are important things? The lesson to be learnt from the concept of pyrrhic victory is to balance the means by which you obtain your ends. Our objective (”ends”) in financial freedom is to generate enough passive income to be able to be financially free. In this quest, the process brings with it some valuable insights that … [Read more...]

Aviva’s SAF group insurance scheme

This week, I met up with a prospect who wanted a quick review and advice on his insurance portfolio. This young man in his mid 20s told me he chanced to come across my blog and subsequently, prompted him to email me with his request. His portfolio consisted of a basic MediShield plan, an endowment plan and Aviva's group insurance scheme with major illness cover which provided the cornerstone … [Read more...]

Shielding Against Creditors & Avoiding Untimely Liquadation

The performance of different investment options are beyond the control of investors. Followers of Modern Portfolio Theory believes that there are 2 types of risks - Systemic and Non-Systemic (or aka un-systemic). Non-systemic risks can be minimized through diversification. Nothing can be done about Systemic risk. In that sense, one can do something to their portfolio to minimize risk through … [Read more...]

Sunday’s rambling

I browsed through Sunday Times today and noticed that there is an article on the low rate of interest provided by financial institutions in Singapore recently, presumably due to the plunging SIBOR rate, again presumably because the world's central banks are cutting their rates to boost the economy. It's interesting that every politician have a fetish for growth. It's quite impossible to … [Read more...]

Budgeting for the near future

I was trying to determine the big ticket cash outflow in the near future over the weekend. The 3 biggest ticket items are car, property and wedding. I roughly know the first two and set budget for them already, so I need to estimate how much I have to cough out for the wedding. I started by writing down the names of the guests I wish to invite for the dinner. At last count, there are around 85 … [Read more...]

Avoid the risk of a life insurance policy

To consumers: When you buy a life insurance policy, you are taking a big risk. You do not know what will be the inflation and mortality rates in the future. In spite of this, you are required to commit a fixed premium payable for many years into the future. The insurance company does not know the future rates either. So, they have to take a risk. If they guarantee you a favourable rate and … [Read more...]

Financial Planning (difficulty) with retired client

Recently I encounter a situation doing financial planning for a retired couple. Certain facts have been changed to protect the identities of those involved but the main key points remain unchanged: This retired couple is in their late sixities/early seventies. They have about 50% of their net asset in their existing residential private property. They have no debt. The remaining 50% of their net … [Read more...]

Savings’ Objectives If You Are In Your Early 20’s…

As you know, in my profession as a financial associate, I get to do financial planning for a lot of people. It is a special privilege for me, as directly or indirectly, I get to see EXPLICITLY on how the rich and the poor managed their finance. I realised, its not really how much you earned, that matters. Rather, it is how much you SAVED. One of the tools that enables me to see vividly, … [Read more...]

Mystery shopper?

Today, I received an unexpected and unsolicited call from a ms x and our conversation went like this: ms x: mr patrick lim? myself: speaking. ms x: someone spoke highly of u and recommended me to u. m : thank u. may i ask who recommmended u to me please? ms x: well, the person who recommended me to u told me to keep this confidential. m : ok, i should not insist then. may i … [Read more...]

Does Saving Money Rank Highly In your Financial Priorities?

Last week, there was a harsh report from DBS that Singapore may lose 90,000 jobs due to the worst economic recession in recent decades, pushing the jobless rate to 5 per cent by mid-2010. It was further postulated that the economy may contract 4.8 percent in 2009. Singaporeans have not felt the brunt of the economic hardships just yet. Yes, manufacturing and exports are in the doldrums but many … [Read more...]

My ideas on insurance

As a lay person to insurance, it is not easy to ‘break into’ the knowledge banks of insurance. While I profess that I’m no way near a level where I can tell people what to do with their insurance, at least for now, I understand my own insurance needs and plans – which is the raison d’etre for wanting to know more about insurance. Let’s just talk about the difference between a whole life plan … [Read more...]

Expect the unexpected: navigating the potholes of financial freedom

A popular forum that I frequent has some of its forummers throwing around this phrase that has stuck to me in my journey towards financial freedom. The saying is simple and yet profound: Expect the unexpected The potholes of life Life’s journey is never completely smooth. Life throws you some potholes and you have to learn to ride out the bumps they present. My life has gone through a … [Read more...]