What can we do in this low interest rate environment in Singapore?

By: PanzerGrenadier Interest rates are low hovering around 1.5% or less for shorter tenures as can be seen here in my previous post on Singapore banks and fixed deposits interest rates for the last 2 years. There is nothing much we can do...unless In reality, for most savers, there is very little you can do if you are not willing to accept more risk for the possibility of greater returns. … [Read more...]

CPF Life

There has been a lot of discussion about CPF Life. On paper, it seems like an excellent scheme - pay you a sum of money for life. However, there are still many concerns e.g. what about those who does not have sufficient amount in their CPF, how much monthly payout to opt for, how much is the premiums etc. We can only wait for the government to release the exact details. However, one common … [Read more...]

Surviving Low Domestic Interbank Rates in Singapore

By: PanzerGrenadier Time deposit rates have moved downwards along with Domestic Interbank rates Interest rates for savings and fixed deposits (time deposits) have reduced sharply since Oct 2007 as can be seen in the Monetary Authority of Singapore data on domestic interbank rates since Jan 2007 to Jan 2008. It has moved downwards from the dizzying heights of 3% sometime in Feb 2007 and … [Read more...]

Vivolife – Market Comparison

Vivolife is a recently launched limited premium WL policy by NTUC. Patrick's comments has been pretty positive. Here's his take on it. By: Patrick Lim As promised, I have finally completed a market comparison of Vivolife versus the competition, meaning all 10/15/20/25 years limited premium whole life products priced with reviewable and non-guaranteed premiums. obviously, this will exclude … [Read more...]

Singapore Fixed Deposits Blog is born!

It is encouraging to know that more local bloggers have decided to share their Financial knowledge in spite of the current weak market sentiments. I hope this trend can and will continue. By: PanzerGrenadier I have decided to enlist the help of a forummer I met on one of the forums who has a keen interest and is well versed about fixed deposits interest rates. With his help, I am launching … [Read more...]

How to create a budget plan in 10 easy steps

By: Drizzt Before you can think about investing or buying insurance, you need to think about funding for these 2 items in the long run. Lets just say that buying a whole life policy is not a 1 year 2 year affair. You will be paying for almost 20 years to probably when you are 65 years old (And it can get even longer then that!) To grasp you can commit long term cash to such items, you will … [Read more...]

The Oprah Show

By: Patrick Lim Just caught the Oprah show - "Sick in America, it can happen to u" on the hallmark channel which was telecast from 10 to 11 pm. One of the guests for tonight's episode is a celebrity film-maker, Mr Michael Moore, who gain fame for his documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. Tonight's show highlights his latest piece, sicko which is an investigation of the American health care … [Read more...]

Means Testing

By: Tan Kin Lian Mr. Tan, What are your views about means-testing? REPLY It is a lot of work, all lot of uncertainty, for quite negligble savings. The Minister for Health said that the subsidy will be reduced from 80% to 65%. The savings to the government is only 15%. Most people who uses the C wards are likely to be the older and poorer people. Those who are affluent are most … [Read more...]

How do we invest for financial freedom?

By: PanzerGrenadier The straw poll that I did yesterday elicited 8 votes and it appears that the majority (63%) felt that "Don't know how to invest" is their toughest challenge in attaining financial freedom. While this poll is not statistically representative since the sample size doesn't even hit 30 for central limit theorem to kick in, it tells me what you would like to know more in our … [Read more...]

Charges under a investment linked policy

By: Tan Kin Lian Dear Mr. Tan, I am confused about the many charges under an investment-linked policy. The insurance agent does not explain them clearly to me. I am now stuck with these high charges. Can I get out of them? REPLY It is better to buy a low cost Term insurance, to provide the life insurance protection. You should invest in a unit trust or an investment fund with low … [Read more...]

Medisave, Medishield… Medi-crisis?

By: Patrick Lim This article appeared in today's front page of today: http://www.todayonline.com/pdf_open.asp?id=0501FPW001 By: Stanley Jeremiah The writer is a lawyer and chartered insurer who is immediate past president and council member of the Singapore Insurance Institute. Patrick's Comments: I agree with the crux of the issues raised. one of the critical points highlighted … [Read more...]

2008 Commentary

By: Wilfred Ling The Year 2008 has started. For every start of the year marks new beginnings. Those who had done well in Year 2007 (i.e. achieving whatever what they wanted to achieve) ought to congratulate themselves but it is also important to set out to new goals. On the other hand, those who did not do well in Year 2007 should not be discouraged. The Year 2008 has been given to you to try … [Read more...]

My New Year Wishes For The Insurance Industry

By: Patrick Lim Besides the usual resolutions made at this time of the passage of the old year, I have several wishes that I sincerely hope all insurance companies will give due and worthy consideration for implementation in the new year: A. Standardisation of all application forms B. Have a central pool of underwriters to underwrite applications C. Expand the list of coverage of critical … [Read more...]

TPD payout structure of earlier generation policies

Patrick's comments on the recent TPD ruling. By: Patrick Lim High Court draws distinction with policy-holders who are totally, permanently disabled By K.C. Vijayan (vijayan@sph.com.sg) TPD or not TPD - that was the question before a High Court judge. TPD is 'Total and Permanent Disability', and a standard clause in life insurance policies here. But how it is understood and applied … [Read more...]

Taxi fares in Singapore

By: Tan Kin Lian Fares and surcharges Applicable to CityCab, Comfort, Yellow-Top Cab, SMRT Taxis. Different fares apply to other operators Flagdown fare: S$2.80 (≤ 1 km) Meter fare S$0.20 (every 385 m thereafter or less > 1 km and ≤ 10 km) S$0.20 (every 330 m thereafter or less > 10 km) Waiting: S$0.20 (every 45 seconds or less) Booking S$3.50 (0730 - 0930 and 1700 - 2300 hours … [Read more...]

What is the best risk-free rate in Singapore?

By: Wilfred Ling During a Christmas gathering with friends, someone asked me for a question: What is the best risk-free instrument in Singapore? It was an easy question. My answer to that was: There is no risk-free instrument in Singapore. Traditional risk-free instrument is associated either with a bank deposit (preferably linked wiith the Singapore goverment) or the Singapore Government … [Read more...]

Insurers Not Protected From Risk

Patrick's comments on Dr Money's Article - Insurers Not Protected From Risk. By: Patrick Lim With regard to financial institutions like full banks and finance companies in the unlikely event of going bust, I heartily applaud the MAS's move to have implemented the deposit insurance scheme on April 01, 2006. Here's some nuggets of info on the deposit insurance scheme: From 1 April 2006, … [Read more...]

To be or not to be (in debt): that is the question

By: PanzerGrenadier Different people see debt differently The issue of debt raises many points of views among different people. Debt is an issue all of us have to deal with in one way or another because there are some things in life that we are unable to finance it fully in cash at the point of purchase. Your home for instance. As long as you have aspirations to own your own little abode, … [Read more...]

Act in the interest of consumers

By: Tan Kin Lian Dear Mr. Tan, You spent three decades promoting insurance. Why are you now posting anti-insurance articles in your blog. Why? REPLY I do not wish to be anti-anything or anti-anybody. My purpose is to educate the public, so that they can make the right choice for their future. In recent years, the right choice is: 1. Buy Term insurance to provide the … [Read more...]