Will office property rents bottom in 2017?

The prospect of interest rate hikes by the Fed used to spark panic among investors. This was due to the widely-held view that a receding tide of liquidity would spark a selloff in Asian assets that had been pumped up by years of ultra-loose monetary policy in developed economies. Now, it seems that growth is not only recovering in the US but across much of the world. And, higher US interest rates … [Read more...]

Economists raise Singapore growth forecast for 2017: MAS survey

Economists have raised their forecasts for Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2017, according to a survey by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) unveiled on Wednesday. The median forecast of 23 economists surveyed in mid-February pointed to a 2.3% GDP growth this year. This is an improvement from the 1.5% growth forecasted in the previous MAS survey published in … [Read more...]

5 Things To Know Before You Start Investing

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Sharing is caring:So you have saved up some money and are unsatisfied with the little return you are getting from keeping your money in the bank? You heard about how you might be able to earn a little extra from investing in the market. You saw your friends doing it, you have seen movies about it and now you think you are ready to start your investing journey as well?Well, hold your horses. If you … [Read more...]

5 Things To Know Before You Start Investing

books-1024x818.jpg

Sharing is caring:So you have saved up some money and are unsatisfied with the little return you are getting from keeping your money in the bank? You heard about how you might be able to earn a little extra from investing in the market. You saw your friends doing it, you have seen movies about it and now you think you are ready to start your investing journey as well?Well, hold your horses. If you … [Read more...]

Creating Isn’t Easy

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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...]

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...]

Two Readers Share Their Money Struggles

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Okay people, it was International Women’s Day this week. We male financial bloggers aren’t known for our social skills around women, so I decided to try something a little different and let them do the talking this week. Last week, I asked my female readers to share their biggest challenges about money. I picked two stories that really stood out to win one free ticket each to The Future Is Female … [Read more...]

How to choose which CPF LIFE retirement plan is best for you

In the past, CPF retirement options were confusing. There used to be 12 different methods of getting your pension which only had subtle differences. This has since been reduced to just two basic options: CPF LIFE Basic, and CPF LIFE Standard. Here’s how to pick between the two. What is CPF LIFE in the first place? It’s actually an acronym for the Central Provident Fund Lifelong Income … [Read more...]

Learn To Optimise Your CPF

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CPF is something close to the hearts of Singaporeans. In fact, it is hard to meet an adult Singaporean without strong views on CPF policies or issues. Be it the inability to withdraw your CPF funds until age 55, interest rates on CPF funds, CPF LIFE or the compulsory Medisave contribution for self-employed (just ask any taxi uncle about this), few would sit on the fence. Much as we dislike some … [Read more...]

Food inflation in Malaysia and Singapore.

We are always saying how things are cheaper across the Causeway and I do it too. I have said it often enough to get rebuked by some of my Malaysian friends. "You Singaporeans only find it cheap because of the strong S$. Life is actually very difficult for common Malaysians, you know. And you people come here and drive prices up. You think the people in Johor like higher prices?" I grew up … [Read more...]

Thoughts On The BluePrint For Singapore’s Future

For the past couple of weeks after Budget 2017 was released, everybody’s mind was fixated on the 30% water price hike. In my humble opinion, if the intention of the water price hike is to shock Singaporeans into realising how valuable water should be, the government should probably be considering an even bigger percentage hike. Afterall, for the average Singaporean family (the 4-room dwellers), … [Read more...]

5 things Singaporeans must have by the time they’re 50

“How much do I need to retire?” That’s the question that makes financial advisors and wealth managers sigh. It’s impossible to answer because it can range from a few hundred thousand dollars (three meals a day and a one room flat) to the GDP of a small country (I want a yacht, two helicopters, a penthouse). So while no one can give you an exact number, we can at least point out a few … [Read more...]

Why I Am Staying With OCBC 360… For Now

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I received an SMS from OCBC about the new updates to the OCBC 360 account and after a couple of clicks, I was greeted with this: Basically, OCBC 360 has regressed from an amazing product three years ago to a good product two years ago and is now just an ok product at best. This is reflected by the many (somewhat vitriolic) blog posts about this change during the past 24 hours. Although I am … [Read more...]

Upcoming Event: The Future Is Female

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I have a love-hate relationship with email. On one hand, I love getting emails from my readers. I love your insights, your comments, and the great questions I get every week. However with the volume of emails I get, it’s also super hard for me to carry out a decent email conversation with any given person. Email is awesome when your question can be answered with 1-2 sentences. However, it sucks … [Read more...]

How well did S-REITs perform in 4Q16?

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As part of our goal to help investors better understand REITs, we are starting a new REIT series that aims to give a good summary of REIT performance during every quarter. We hope that through this “Report Card Series”, you can better grasp the important macro trends and factors that impacts the performance of REITs. While the quarterly reporting for Singapore-listed equities is still underway, we … [Read more...]

How hoarding money in the bank can destroy your retirement

Despite plenty of better options, many Singaporeans are still stuck with fixed deposits. Some of us are plagued with a “winning by not losing” mentality, where we think hoarding the money is safest. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, those who hoard rather than invest are the ones living on the edge. What’s wrong with just cramming money in accounts? The simple answer is inflation. … [Read more...]

Top 10 Singapore REITs that made you money if you invested from their IPO

Lately, Sabana REIT has been getting a lot of attention when a small group of unitholders moved to kick out the manager for delivering poor performance since its IPO in 2010. Early investors who bought Sabana at an IPO price of S$1.05 are now sitting on huge losses – Sabana last traded at just 43 cents per share. If we look at the history, Sabana REIT isn’t alone. There are several other … [Read more...]

What I Learnt From 4 Weeks Of Personal Training

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I’ll let you in on an embarrassing secret. Last year, I really wanted to build some muscle and “get fit”. I was too cheap to pay for a personal trainer, so I got hold of a copy of the Bikini Body Guide (BBG). As you can tell from the name, it’s a self-run fitness program. For ladies. I tried the first session and almost died. Somehow, I managed to stumble through 6 weeks of hell training, … [Read more...]

The Millionaire Teacher

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Nope, I am not talking about myself. I consider myself a teacher but I am definitely not a millionaire yet. (Although I do reckon our $380,000 portfolio should have a good chance of hitting that million mark in 10 years’ time.) The person I am referring to is Andrew Hallam, who wrote a best-selling book titled “Millionaire Teacher” five years ago. He’s back with the second edition of the book and … [Read more...]

Which Air Miles Card Should You Get First?

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Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. Sometimes I like writing about the specific tools and resources that I use. Email me to let me know if you’d like more posts like these! Last year, I blogged about how I redeemed a Singapore Airlines Suites ticket to Zurich. Since then, I’ve been getting requests to blog about more tips and tactics anyone could use to earn miles and redeem them for free … [Read more...]