SG Wealth Builder

To make money. To build wealth. To preserve wealth.

Year: 2014

Smart and Stupid Property Investors

During my in-camp reservist training a few months ago, I had a conversation with one of my army buddies regarding his matrimonial home in Clementi. He purchased the HDB flat with his wife and funded it with HDB concessionary loan about four years ago. I asked him why he didn’t look around and source for mortgage loans with lower interest rates instead. His reply to me was, “Why go for the hassle? Out of sight, out of mind!”
His response might sound cocky to many people but to me, he is just being stupid and careless with his money. Given the low interest rates for mortgage loans, he had effectively lost about $5000 in terms of higher interest incurred in the past four years. This amount of money could had been put to better use instead of giving to government agency (HDB). For example, he could have used the money to invest in himself and take up courses to upgrade his knowledge. He could also use the money for holiday trips to relax himself and enhance his well being. Instead, he chose to waste the money.
My friend is a teacher and hold the position of department head in his …

How to start your investment journey

Investment journey

Hi SG Wealth Builder,

I am Ryan and I am currently still schooling. I have read your articles on your blog and I am very inspired by your investment journey. I would like to get advice from you on how to make my first step. I want to create an income source and at the same time, learn and gain experience in investing. As I don’t come from a very well to do family, I always face struggle when it comes to money issues, for instance school fees. I have saved up to about 1k plus dollars and would like to know how can I start learning and make my first move. Please give me advice.Thank you,
Ryan
I received the email from one of my readers a couple of weeks ago and made some editorial amendments to the original content. It took me quite a while to craft out this article due to my recent massive pay cut in my day job. I was in a really distraught mode and was not quite in the right frame of mind to blog.
Investment journey
Nevertheless, I felt obliged to response to this young man because I can relate to his motivation

BullionStar explained the difference between spot price and price premium

BullionStar

Below is an article from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore where you can buy and store gold and silver at competitive prices. BullionStar was established in 2012 after Singapore government exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the goals of SG Wealth Builder is to educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation. 

Product Price Premium
Precious metals and bullion products in physical form often have a higher price than the spot-price. The spot-price is the price for which someone can buy certificates or futures on the commodity exchange. It is however mathematically impossible, based on the paper market volume traded, for these so called paper metal products to be fully backed by physical precious metals.
For customers of BullionStar, they can check the price premium by clicking on a specific product in the product overview to reach the product details page where price per gram, price per troy oz, the premium above the spot price and the spread between the buy and sell price are listed.
Price

Premium for Precious Metals
There are two components in the price

How to invest in gold in Singapore

I would like to know how to buy gold and invest for my future? Thank you – Ridhwan
There are many ways to invest in gold. Typically, you may buy gold jewellery, invest in gold mining stocks, ETF or gold derivatives. But personally, I prefer to invest in gold bullion, such as coins and bars. This is because in Singapore, the government has removed GST for investment precious metal (IPM). Last year, in one of my articles, I touched on Singapore’s exemption on the investment precious metal (IPM). 
Singapore’s regulatory framework for gold 

Basically, with effect from 1 Oct 2012, the importation and supply of IPM in Singapore are exempt from GST. The supply of IPM which is exported continues to be zero-rated. However, only precious metals in the form of a bar, ingot, wafer and coin which meet certain criteria can qualify as IPM.

To provide certainty, precious metal coins that qualify as IPM are prescribed in the GST Act. Precious metals which do not meet the criteria cannot qualify as IPM and the supply of non-IPM continues to be taxable. Examples of non-IPM are jewellery, scrap precious metals, numismatic coins and precious metals which are refined by refiners

Ruthless paycut

Last week, my colleagues had a briefing session conducted by HR Director who announced that our variable specialist allowances would be removed with effect 1 January 2015.When he made the announcement and solicited for our feedback, there was at least 5 minutes of silence. Everyone was too shell-shocked to react.

Since last year, there were lingering rumors that HR was hatching some plans to adjust our variable specialist allowances but we thought that the most drastic move that they would resort would be to incorporate the variable component into our basic pay. We never expect in our wildest dream that they would remove all our allowances. For many of us, the amount is a huge amount and make up at least 30% of our pay. So obviously we were very unhappy. The only consolation news was that the organization would remove the allowances in three years phases, so that affected staff would have time to adjust their personal finances.

This variable adjustable component was indicated in our salary contracts but the HR director insisted that the term “variable” means that the amount can be zero as well, subjected to individual performance and market condition. When he made that kind

Achieving financial freedom in Singapore

Dear SG Wealth Builder,

Sorry to message you out of the blue (you may consider to publish my email but kindly oblique my name and email).
 I am 37 as of this year and I am a civil servant (which means I cannot do part time jobs or start a business) who have difficulty achieving financial stability.

The only good thing now is that I am not in debt (finally), apart from the $10,000 medical bills incurred recently (I have a exclusion for heart) which I am paying $300 per month interest free.

I tried reading all your posts from day 1 and more or less understand your objectives and purpose of the blog. 

I am a person whom is very keen on being financially free in time to come and hope I can do it via investment. (one of the ways if i choose not to leave this current employment). 

However,  being an engineering student from polytechnic, I find it hard to kick-start my investment journey and often feel lost. Are you able to recommend me some books or what kind of topic I can look for before I can understand how this whole investment thing come about and

Secret formula to win the property game

For the past two months, I was really busy with my day-job as I was tasked to be one of the course instructors for my organization. Being an instructor was really challenging because of the need to be the subject matter expert. Mastery of classroom techniques is definitely important because you have to speak confidently and at the same time, capture the participants’ attentions. And of course, there was the need to develop the course materials, which was really a chore. But to our surprise, the course turned out really well and there were a lot of engagements between the participants and the instructors. In the end, my team really enjoyed the process because we helped each other to answer the queries.Knowing what you don’t know
During that busy period, I read the e-bookNo B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets to Building Wealth through Properties” for the second time during the MRT rides to work. Property Soul gave it to me and I had written a book review for her in my previous article.The reason why I re-read the book was because I believe that to be a successful wealth …

Property Investment Insights

A few months ago, Mediacorp Channel 8 broadcasted a programme about a Singapore lady who got the shock of her life when the CPF Board froze her CPF account which she is using to service her outstanding HDB loan.Apparently she is 54 years old this year and she mistakenly thought that her CPF monies was frozen because it would be transferred to the Retirement Account (RA). But actually what happened was that she had reached her CPF Withdrawal Limit and thus, she was not allowed to use further CPF savings to pay the remaining home loan in cash. Her plight is not surprising to me because I believe many Singaporeans are not aware of how this CPF rule works and how it would affect them when they reached their fifties.

According to Moneysense, if you applied for HDB Concessionary Loan to repay the loan for your properties in Singapore, there will be a cap to the amount of CPF savings you can use. This limit is called the CPF Valuation Limit and the amount is the lower of the purchase price or valuation at the time of purchase. For example: if you bought the property for $300,000 and its valuation

My financial journey

CPF monies

$250.That was the total amount of savings in my bank accounts when I just started working in 2005. On looking back, it was really a “touch and go” financial situation for me. I had depleted all my life savings because I had stopped receiving allowances from my parents when I was studying for a full time degree at NUS.

I did not want to burden my parents because my late father’s business was not doing well and my mom was a full time housewife. Our household income wasn’t that ideal back then partially also due to my father’s stroke condition.

So I had to supplement my savings with part-time jobs like giving tuition during the school holidays.So if you ask me what is it like to be poor, I can fully empathize. After all, I have went through this dark journey before and I am thankful that I had emerged from that challenging period to become a stronger person.

financial journey

For those who are born rich, social mobility may be a strange word to them, however I do not blame them because they do not know what is it like to worry for money. For the rich and wealthy, Singapore is

Guest Posting: 5 Forex trading metrics you’re probably not tracking but should be


Guest post by CMC Markets Singapore
Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned veteran in the forex arena, there are several common metrics that we all know we should be tracking. Such as support and resistance levels, pay-off ratios or lows and of course, profits and losses. There are many more but let’s look at 5 lesser tracked but equally critical metrics that could change the game for you:

1) Hold duration

Do you hold your long positions for a few days or are you comfortable with intraday trades? How long you hold a trade can reveal your appetite for risk. Short-term traders will exit at the first sign of a dip while traders who keep their position for more than a day jump in with a fairly good idea of what to expect from a pair. Then, there are position traders who may hold on to a currency for months or even years.

Keeping a journal of your holding duration will help you to understand your risk profile. This information can then be used to frame a suitable trading strategy that sits well with your risk level, earning goals and trading style.

What is Return on Invested Capital?

This article was written by Willie Keng and was first published in Value Invest Asia on 17 July 2014.

In a previous article, Stanley explained the Return on Equity (ROE). While the ROE focuses on the equity component of a company’s capital investments, the Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) measures return earned on investments funded by equity and debt.
It shows how much profit a company generates for every dollar of investments it makes in the business. ROIC is expressed as a percentage and shown in the formula below:

Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) = After-tax Operating Income / (Book Value of Invested Capital)
where Invested Capital = Fixed Assets + Current Assets – Current Liabilities – Cash

We can calculate the ROIC using an example from Banyan Tree Holdings’ (SGX: B58) financial statement:

Annual Report (SGD ’000) Fiscal Year 2012
Property, Plant and Equipment 729,558
Current Assets 349,304
Current Liabilities 231,875
Cash 120,824
Invested Capital 726,163
Fiscal Year 2013
Operating Income 51,641
Tax Rate 42%*
After-Tax Operating Income 29,951
Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) 4.1%

*The high tax rate was due to the different geographic segments the company operates in

Based on the calculations above, we note that

The REIT Association of Singapore

Stock market

As a financial blogger, I received a lot of media invitations from various financial institutes, banks and companies. Most of the times, I declined the invitations because of work commitments. Recently, I was invited to attend the official launch of REIT Association of Singapore (REITAS) on 17 November 2014. I would like to attend this event to find out more about the role of this association but as usual, I am unable to attend because of work schedule conflicts.

It seems to me that the association consists of big players from Keppel, Mapletree, Capitaland, Frasers and ARA Asset Management and their key thrusts are to engage Monetary Authority of Singapore on regulatory issues and to promote the understanding of REITs.

Stock market

This is a good development because as the industry matures, the association can help to look into areas that can be improved, especially on the structure of REITs. For example, in my previous article on REITs, I don’t understand why is there a need for external manager for REITs. Such requirement only incur more costs which would be eventually passed down to investors.

Most retail investors claim they know about the REIT they invested in but I suspected they

SPH in panic mode and invested $30 million in CoSine Holdings Pte Ltd

In October 2014, when SPH announced a decline of 6.8% in advertising revenues from newspaper and magazine, it was a sign of things to come. After all, the media giant derived the bulk of its income from advertisements and with the proliferation of cheaper and more effective online marketing platforms, they are beginning to feel the heat. In fact, social media and online blogs like SG Wealth Builder are giving SPH a run for their money. This is because with online blogs and websites, clients can market their products and services to the international market. In today’s context, the motivation for companies to advertise in Singapore newspapers and magazines is becoming less appealing due to the limited market reach.

Indeed, SPH might have seen this coming many years ago when it invested $18 million in ShareInvestor Holding Pte Ltd. Given the high internet penetration rate in Singapore, it made sense for SPH to make its foray into the digital media and establish revenue from its online media arm. Other notable online investments by SPH included Sgcarmart (bought for $60 million in 2013) and Hardwarezone ($7.1 million in 2006). Apart from these mega acquisitions, SPH had been relatively slow in acquiring

BullionStar: The first company in Singapore to pay salaries in Gold & Silver!

Below is a press release from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices. I have met the CEO, Mr Torgny Persson before and my impression is that he is a man with conviction in precious metals. His company is one of the first few bullion companies in Singapore to allow trading of gold in bitcoins. And now, BullionStar is the first company in Singapore to pay employees in gold and silver.
Starting this month, employees of BullionStar Pte Ltd can choose to have their salary paid in Gold or Silver bullion.  
Mr Torgny Persson, CEO of BullionStar Pte Ltd says: “Gold and Silver has been used as money throughout centuries and keep its purchasing power over time better than any other asset class. By paying our staff in Gold & Silver, we allow them to save in real money that keeps its value over time. As all our staff already prior to this arrangement save & invest in precious metals, it’s natural for them to embrace the new arrangement.”
The reason why employee Hong Kang welcomes the idea: “I believe in saving in precious metals as I

Unemployment and entrepreneurship in Singapore

Hi Gerald, Can you comment on the following: 1) How do people in their 40s find jobs in this day and age? (This being 2014) 2) How do you start a business venture with zero or very little (say about a SGD$1500) capital? 

Thank you. 

I received the above queries from one of my readers and it coincides with an article I read in Yahoo Singapore recently about underemployment rate of local graduates.  To me, this is a timely topic for me to dwell on because in a few more years, I will hit the forties bracket. Sooner or later, I may face the predicament or prospect of being retrenched from my job, so I think it is worthwhile to reflect and examine this issue now before it really impact me big time later on in my life.

To put things into perspective, the Singapore employment landscape has changed over the years. In the 80s and 90s, if you had tertiary qualifications, you would unlikely be fearful of the word “downsize” in your company because back then, there were not so many graduates with 10 – 15 years of working experiences in the job market. But times had changed. Nowadays,

SGX launches stock and company information portal StockFacts for investors

Singapore Exchange (SGX) launched a new research and company fundamentals portal on its website.
The portal, called SGX StockFacts, has several features, including:
  • A comprehensive research database, covering stock fundamentals for all SGX-listed companies
  • Customised search, giving investors flexibility to filter stocks across 20 screening criteria
  • New proprietary tools, including S&P Capital IQ Alpha Factor Composites, which ranks stocks based on eight investment style classifications
  • Ability to chart a company’s financials for the last five years
  • Downloading and printing of company snapshots for easy analysing
Mita Natarajan, Head of Corporate Services, Listings, SGX, said: “SGX has enhanced many aspects of the stock market in recent months. The SGX StockFacts portal, which presents vital research and stock fundamentals on all SGX-listed companies in a user-friendly way, is yet another improvement to add value to investors and companies. It will help investors make more informed investment decisions, raise the visibility of our companies and add vibrancy to the stock market.”
SGX StockFacts is collaboration between SGX and S&P Capital IQ, a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial and a provider of multi-asset class research, data and analytics.

It can be accessed through SGX’s corporate website at www.sgx.com/stockfacts. The url for the

A little act of caring creates a seamless ripple

The scene was at a supermarket where grandmother and her two grandchildren were shopping for groceries. Her granddaughter saw a lovely strawberry cake and wanted to buy it. However, when checking out the items at the cashier, grandmother realized that there was not enough money to buy the cake. So she promised her granddaughter that she would buy it another time. The little girl was very disappointed but nevertheless, left the shop reluctantly with her grandmother and brother.Just then, a gentleman was standing behind them and saw the situation. He paid for the cake and caught up with them. Gentleman gave the cake to the little girl but grandmother refused to accept it. At that point of time, the gentleman related his story to them.

He recounted that when he was young, his family was poor. On his seventh birthday, he and his mother went to a cake shop but had no money to buy a birthday cake. He was disappointed and refused to leave the shop. Then, a middle-age man who was standing behind them, saw the awkward situation and bought a birthday cake. He then offered the cake to him and wished him a happy birthday.

The mother

Property Education Seminar: Smart Landlords Vs Smart Tenants

This week, my mother is shortlisting new tenants after giving the marching orders to her current tenants. They are her fourth set of tenants in two years and all of them are Malaysians. Somehow, she always had issues with her tenants and all of them never last more than a year. Interestingly, the disputes were always on living habits and never on rental issues (all the tenants always paid the rental on time). As her children, we always advise our mother to give and take as there will definitely be frictions and misunderstandings when you live with strangers. Ultimately. it is better to develop harmonious relationships and create a win-win situation.Is there a good way to screen potential tenants? I wish I know because it is not possible to tell whether you can live in harmony with that person based just on a preliminary meeting. We all have bad habits and it takes time to adjust to your tenants or even family members’ bad habits. But of most importance is dealing with dishonest tenants and agents – how do landlords safeguard their interests against cheats? I have read articles of landlords being cheated of thousands of rental fees by tenants …

Grow Your Best and Most Important Asset – Personal Financial Investment Seminar

Investors who are into shares investments would say that stocks are the best assets in the world. Bullion investors would claim that gold is man’s most valuable asset. Real estate investors would argue that property is the most important asset we should possess in our life time. In my opinion, they are all wrong. The best and most important asset is your knowledge. Your analytical power and decision making abilities would shape your financial destiny and dictate whether you would be a rich or poor man.To make money from your investments, you must first and foremost cultivate learning and reading habits. Knowledge is key to understanding how the market works and having a strong foundation would help you navigate through the fierce financial storms. This blog was started in 2010, primarily to share entrepreneur, investment and money making ideas. I was inspired by ex-NTUC Income CEO, Mr Tan Kin Lian’s blog and hope I can make a difference to the society like what Mr Tan did in his blog, which focused mainly on issues related to insurance. Many Singaporeans had written to him to consult him on issues related to insurance.

Indeed, my blog has not achieved the kind of

Haw Par Corp an ultra value stock?

SG Wealth Builder Membership
I was doing research on Haw Par Corp recently and was surprised to discover that the company hold large amount of shares in UOB (68 millions), UIC (67.5 millions)  and UOL (41.4 millions).
According to Haw Par Corp’s website, their substantial investments consist “mainly of strategic holdings in United Overseas Bank Limited, UOL Group Limited and United Industrial Corporation Limited. They have been a stable source of funding – through recurring dividend income – and financial strength – at marked-to-market valuations – over the years.”
Based on the annual report, these shares contributed about 60.2% of the profits in 2013. This is a significant amount of income source from a non-core business segment. After all, Haw Par has always been regard by many investors as a healthcare company which manufactures the famous local brand, Tiger Balm ointment. Who would have guessed that it is actually an investment holding company with billion dollars worth of shares in blue chip companies? It seems that investors may not fully understood the true value of Haw Par Corp. Read on to find out more about my personal view on this often overlooked stock.
Haw Par stock
Before you become too excited about the stock, it is important …

Tactical Job Hunting

In today’s context, maintaining a job portal presence is important for job seekers. This is especially so in Singapore, where competition in the employment landscape is very high due to the influx of foreign talents. If you are actively looking for greener pasture, make sure you have a clear strategy in mind. Below is a sharing by Randy Lim, a recruitment consultant at GSI Executive Search. Randy can be contacted at randylim1976@gmail.com or randy.lim@gsiconsultants.comJob hunting can be a chore, and it can be quite a tedious process as well, and you’ll be surprised how much time and energy taken up to find a decent job. Here are some practical action that can be taken to better manage the whole process and experience.

Email
Have a dedicated email account for the job hunt, this way you can channel all your information, interview details, contacts, job portal alerts here.

On a more psychological sense, it can help to channel your energy and motivation the moment you open this email account, tell yourself to focus on the job search, not distracted by emails from Facebook, Twitter and other social media alerts.
Of course, please have a professional email address, enough said.

Excel

Singapore Kilobar Gold Contract To Launch in October 2014

To be a successful wealth builder, investors must always stay ahead of the the curve and keep abreast on the latest development in investment trends. As mentioned in my previous articles, in the past few years, the government has been trying to establish Singapore as a gold trading hub. Given the huge demand for gold from China and India, Singapore is strategically located to cater to the needs of Asian investors. Ultimately, the aim is to create more opportunities for retail investors and also to create higher value job opportunities.

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA), Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the World Gold Council, today announced that the new exchange-traded Singapore Kilobar Gold Contract (“Contract”) will launch on Monday, 13 October 2014.
The Contract is the first wholesale 25 kilobar gold contract to be offered globally and is the result of a successful collaboration among the four parties. The Contract caters to the continuing strong demand for physical gold in Asia, which has increased significantly over the last decade. Its introduction underpins the creation of a centralised kilobar gold market, characterised by real-time transparent price discovery, daily expiration with physical delivery and robust

Why I would not encourage my mother to take up the Enhanced HDB Lease Buyback Scheme

HDB lease buy back

On 03 Sep 2014, the government announced four enhancements to the HDB Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) as follows:1)  The scheme will be extended to 4-room HDB flats and to sweeten the deal, there will be a $10,000 cash bonus per household when the elderly participate in the scheme.

2)  The income ceiling will be raised to $10,000 from $3,000 per month to allow elderly who are still working or still living with their family members to qualify for this scheme.

3) The requirements to top up their CPF Retirement Accounts with the LBS proceeds will be relaxed as reflected in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Change in CPF Top-Up Requirement* for Households with Two or More Owners

Owner’s Age
Current
(Age-Adjusted MS)
New
(0.5 x Age-Adjusted MS)
CPF Draw-Down Age
(now 63) to 69
$155,000
$77,500
70 to 79
$145,000
$72,500
80 or older
$135,000
$67,500
 * Based on prevailing CPF MS of $155,000
4) Elderly can choose the length of lease to retain instead of the standard 30 years lease. This is to cater to the need of those who are in the 70 years old and above age group.
HDB lease buy back

By and large, the LBS is a good scheme

OCBC Open Account

More than 8,000 OCBC 360 Accounts opened using OCBC Open Account mobile application, 15% of total number opened 
Singapore, 29 September 2014 – OCBC Bank launched the first account opening application on smart phones in Singapore, on 2nd April 2014.  As the first bank in Singapore to do so, OCBC Bank continues to make banking simple and convenient with innovative products and services. With this simple-to-use app available on both ios and Android, customers can apply for the popular OCBC 360 Account on their mobile phones or tablets, without the need to visit a branch. Within six months, more than 8,000 accounts were opened via the OCBC Open Account app. This makes up around 15% of the total number of more than 60,000 OCBC 360 Accounts opened in the same period of time.
Amongst customers who have used this application to open their accounts, more than 80% are new-to-bank. They are mostly PMETs (professionals, managers, engineers and technicians), aged between 23 and 35 years old.
The OCBC Open Account app fits perfectly into the busy and hectic lifestyles of the PMETs as it has been designed to be simple and intuitive. It offers customers a seamless online account opening experience.

8 Things You Should Know About Your CPF Nomination

SG Wealth Builder

Below is an article published with permission from the CPF Board. Singaporeans should note the point that a Will does not cover the distribution of CPF savings after death. So please make your CPF nominations as soon as possible. You don’t want your loved ones to encounter complications over the distribution of your wealth after you are gone. What is the point of being rich but not able to transfer your wealth to your loved ones when you are not around?

A CPF nomination allows CPF members to specify who will receive their CPF savings, and how much each nominee should receive when they pass away. Here’s a list of FAQs to help you better understand it. Information on CPF nomination is also available at the CPF website.

SG Wealth Builder

SG Wealth Builder

Q1: What happens to my CPF monies if I pass away without making a CPF nomination?

Your entire savings in all your CPF accounts will be distributed by the Public Trustee to your family members according to the intestacy law or the Certificate of Inheritance (for Muslims).  So, you need not worry about your CPF monies landing in the wrong hands even if you do not make …

Career breaks

OUE

This is simply a flawed analysis and a one-size-fits-all kind of advice. Many successful corporate leaders and entrepreneurs have taken career breaks and became even more successful after those breaks.

I have a junior associate who quit last year to tour around the world (using her savings not parents money in case you are wondering) and now ready to return to work. 3-4 firms are competing for her. Some MNCs like people who are well exposed.

Also, getting out without a job and getting in again, it’s all about how one articulates his/her decision to quit. Another perspective is what the person has done during the out-of-job period. Be it charity, helping out family, traveling, or learning a new skills. If there’s something that helped build the person’s strengths, it will only make him/her even more attractive in searching for a new job – Anonymous Reader

The above comment was made by one of my readers in response to my previous article “Why You Should Not Quit Without a Job In Singapore”. His perspective was that taking a career break is good because it helps one to recharge and make a better comeback in their job journey.

career

While I

BullionStar: India’s June Gold Import Highest in 12 Months

Below is an article from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices. BullionStar was established in 2012 after Singapore government exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). 

Despite the fact the new Indian government, led by Narandra Modi since May, hasn’t lowered the import duties on both gold and silver, Indians keep on buying precious metals. Despite the fact we already knew this, there was less gold being smuggled into the country and more imported through official channels last June; 77 tonnes were gross imported, which is up 48 % from a month earlier, and up 75 % from June last year. This was accompanied by falling premiums.Gross export in June accounted for 4 tonnes, according to India’s customs department DGCIS. One of the import restrictions the Indian government implied on gold in 2013 was the 80/20 rule; of every amount of gold imported 20 % has to be re-exported. The gross amount exported in June falls short of the required 15.4 tonnes (20 % of 77 tonnes is 15.4 tonnes), meaning importers have some overdue obligations to be met in coming months. The other restriction …

Plan for future?

Investment journey
Should Singaporeans plan for their future? As a matter of personal policy, I feel it is not worth the effort and time to write an article to counter the work of other bloggers because I don’t wish to be seen as being cocky or aggressive.
But after reading one of the blog posts written by Teenage Investing, I am prompted to write this article. In his article on 12 September, the blogger felt indignant that one of his readers commented that his advice was a piece of joke and that he would rather not waste time planning for his future. The blogger went on to sign off his article and encouraged his readers to plan for his future.
Investment journey
Life is unpredictable and it is difficult to foresee what the future holds for us. If there are two things that I want to impart to my young daughter, they would be character resilience and the ability to learn transferable skills.
In today’s context, there are just too many obstacles that life would throw at you and having a plan would not help you to navigate through these challenges. I have seen people crumbled after failing to meet their targets and …

The reason why Singaporeans are unhappy

Singaporean

As children, happiness was all about getting our desired toys or playing our favorite games. If we did not get what we want, we threw tantrums or cried. When we became working adults, being happy meant achieving our goals and dreams. If we did not meet our self expectations, we became unhappy, frustrated and indulged in the blame game.

As we matured and entered into our twilight years, happiness was about attaining a balanced state of mind. If we were unhealthy or sick-ridden, we could not have a peace of mind.

The above philosophy perhaps summed up what happiness represents in different phases of our lives. In recent years, there were a lot of articles on this topic and there were also debates on how Singaporeans view the quality of their lives in the lion city. This is a natural progression of our civic society and many Singaporeans have began to think beyond the pursuit of money.

Success

Obviously, money is important and we should always respect money. But many of us begin to realize that life is not all about making more and more money. There are many things in life that money cannot buy – respect, love, kinship and

8 Things You Should Know When Using CPF for Property

Below is an article published with permission from the CPF Board. Singapore home owners should pay close attention to the policy on accrued interest for CPF monies.

Many members use CPF savings when buying a property. Before you decide on buying your dream home, we highly recommend reading “Things to look out for when buying a property using CPF” and watching “Buying a House” videos.  Here’re 8 essentials you should be aware of. Please note that the information may be different if you are using CPF for multiple properties.

Q1. What CPF savings can I use to buy a property?

Only Ordinary Account (OA) savings can be used for property. You can use it to:

(i)  Pay lumpsum/downpayment to HDB for the purchase of an HDB flat, or to a property developer or a seller for the purchase of a private property.

(ii)  Repay the housing loan taken for the purchase of HDB flat or private property.

(iii)  Pay legal fees, stamp duty, transfer fees and other related costs incurred in relation to the housing purchase.

(iv)  Repay a housing loan taken for the purchase of land and/or for construction of a house on that land

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