SG Wealth Builder

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

Building wealth together

wealth

It was in 2012. Back then, this wealth blog had achieved some level of success which attracted a number of companies looking for partnerships. On one occasion, I was invited by an event company to promote an investment seminar. In return, I would be given a free ticket.

Usually, I would have declined such a request but one of the speakers turned out to be Jim Rogers, my favourite investment idol. Thus, I had accepted the invitation without hesitation and attended the event with much excitement.

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers, as we all know, is an American famous for building massive wealth from his investments. He shifted his place of residence to Singapore since 2007 because of his belief that Asia would be the best place to invest globally due to its immense potential for growth.

Ideally, he preferred China and Hong Kong to grow his wealth but because of pollution issues, he eventually settled down in Singapore.

During the seminar, Jim Rogers did not share any specific investment strategies nor disclose any stocks that he favoured or avoided. Instead, he provided very generic views and how “white-collar workers would work for farmers in the future” because no one wants …

The holy water of Hyflux Perpetual Securities

rights offering

As a home-grown water treatment plant developer, Hyflux needs no introduction. The company enjoys strong brand name in Singapore but in recent years, the business fundamentals had declined. To raise capital, Hyflux had jumped onto the bandwagon of issuing perpetual securities.

In 2016, Hyflux’s $300 million perpetual securities were selling like hotcakes as wealth builders rushed to purchase them like holy water. In fact, the perpetual securities were so oversubscribed that Hyflux expanded the offering to $500 million. In this article, I will share my views on Hyflux perpetual securities.

Perpetual Securities

The past 9 years had been a period of low-interest environment, driving investors to hunt for high yields investment instruments. The expansionary monetary policies in many developed countries had depressed bank saving rates and led to huge thirst among wealth builders hunting for yields.

Perpetual security had emerged as a form of attractive investment that yields lucrative returns. For those without active income, the prospect of having a fixed passive income that offers returns that are much higher than bank interest rates is simply a no-brainer, especially for retirees. But you must be fully aware of the risks before investing in such securities.

Typically, perpetual security is a …

A rare second chance for Marco Polo Marine

Marco Polo Marine

Will Marco Polo Marine sink or swim? The shares of the beleaguered marine logistic group were actively traded recently due to the massive stake disposal (10.29%) by UOB and the emergence of white knight, the Teo family, founders of the Super Group. For the stakeholders, the most pertinent question now is whether this counter has finally seen light at end of the tunnel?

The past two years had been a nightmare for Marco Polo Marine as it also engaged in an epic legal dispute with big boy, Sembcorp Marine over the former’s unilateral termination of a US$214.3 million contract for building a jack-up rig that was under construction at Sembcorp Marine’s PPL Shipyard. It was only in November 2017 that both parties reached an agreement in favour of PPL Shipyard. Marco Polo was also forced to withdraw its claims against PPL.

Crisis company

The significant upheaval in the shareholdings came about after the successful completion of the debt restructuring exercise in which new shares were issued to creditors and new investors. On looking back, the marine logistic company probably would not have gotten itself into this mess had it not ventured into the offshore sector in 2010. But then again, …

Stock market crash

stock market crash

On 5 February 2018, US Dow Jones plunged nearly 1,200 points, the biggest single-day decline on record. The sell-off in the US market came after a smaller decline of 666 points on the previous Friday. As expected, Asia stock markets suffered similar carnage. Straits Times Index was down 121 points on mid-day 6 February 2018.

Is this the start of a bear cycle or just a healthy correction? Many analysts had been forecasting the trend of the stock market for the longest time. A number of them predicted that a stock market crash is imminent. But the matter of fact is that nobody can predict the future. If someone tell you that he believes that the stock market will rise or fall, don’t believe him.

What is your strategy?

Whether it is a healthy pull-back or a devastating stock market crash, it is important to have an investing strategy. Far too many people lose their wealth to Mr Market not because of the failing of the stock market, but because of their flawed investment strategies, or the lack of it. If you followed my blog closely, you would have realized my strategy is to buy assets at discounted value or …

Civil war at cash-rich Genting Group

Genting Group

Civil war broke out at Genting Group as members of the founding family engage in explosive lawsuits which threaten to undermine the control of Executive Chairman, Lim Kok Thay. The legal battle involves the will left behind by the late founder, Lim Goh Tong. Apart from this, Kok Thay is also engaged in a separate lawsuit with one of his sisters over beneficial interest in a block of Genting shares.

Many people fear that the family feuds would lead to devastating turmoil for the revered casino operator. But as far as I am concerned, I am convinced that the Lim family would ride out the storm and move on from this dark chapter. After all, this is Genting Group, one of the most successful Malaysian business empire for the last 30 years. To claim that these legal battles would bring down Genting Group is ludicrous.

The success story of Genting Highlands gaming resort is indeed intriguing. In fact, it was so successful that Singapore changed the law to legalize casinos in 2006 (Casino Control Act), paving the way for Genting Group to build a gaming resort in Sentosa. Since then, Singapore has become the second largest gambling market in Asia, …

Why ComfortDelgro investors should run for their lives!

ComfortDelgro

Once upon a time in Singapore, taxi drivers held commuters to ransom with their ridiculous surcharges, bad practices of taking longer routes to earn higher fares and going ‘MIA’ during peak hours. Suffice to say, in every industry, there will always be black sheep. But the emergence of Grab and Uber have changed the game and levelled the playing field. Among the biggest casualty from this fall-out had to be ComfortDelgro, the largest taxi operator in Singapore.

The irony about ComfortDelgro is that as a taxi operator, it derives the bulk of its revenue from bus and MRT businesses, instead of its taxi business. With the disruption in the taxi landscape, perhaps in no time, ComfortDelgro may consider switching its taxi drivers to bus or train drivers. This scenario may become a reality due to a frightening competitive advantage of Uber and Grab – they are both relatively asset-lite companies. Read on to find out why this spell big trouble for this Singapore blue chip.

Horror ride for Comfort

The evolving on-demand transport landscape is indeed sweet revenge for commuters as taxi operators had monopolised the market for the longest time due to lack of credible taxi alternatives. A …

Is M1 a falling knife?

M1

Sometimes, life is stranger than fiction. In my years of investing in SGX stocks, I have come across many investors who persisted in buying more shares of companies whose business fundamentals turned sour. Perhaps they did not have the time to read the financial reports or maybe they just lack the competence to do a proper due diligence. So in M1 case, is it a case of catching a falling knife?

When investing in stock, never just study the trend of the share price. This is especially so if you consider yourself to be a long-term investor.

Recently, several financial bloggers purchased M1 shares on the basis that the shares had reached a “break-through” level. Whether they had made the correct decision is subjected to debate. After all, there is no right or wrong in the stock market. The only thing that matters is whether you have made money from the stock investments.

In my point of view, I would avoid investing in M1 shares at all cost. And the latest financial results vindicated that business fundamentals of M1 continued to slide.

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Light at end of tunnel for ST Engineering?

SG Wealth Builder

Being Singapore’s aerospace and defence group, one wonders whether ST Engineering has lost its investment fortress. Revenue has stagnated since FY2012 and net profit plunged from $576.2 million in FY2012 to $484.5 million in FY2016. Due to the declining financial performance, the stock price had also dropped from a high of $4.45 in FY2013 to the current $3.36 level.

Is ST Engineering a value trap or bargain buy now? This article will examine the merits and risks of investing in this government-linked company.

Land Systems

Firstly, as a defence group, ST Engineering enjoys a defensive fortress in Singapore as its Land Systems sector supports the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to modernize our fighting forces through major projects like the next-generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle. It also provides engineering solutions for various weapons and ammunition systems. For 3Q2017, commercial sales and defence sales constituted 63% or $1.0b, and 37% or $0.6b respectively of Group revenue.

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Sembcorp Industries Ltd

Sembcorp

Keppel Corp’s massive fine of USD 422 million over corruption charges had cast a spotlight on rival Sembcorp Marine. The record fine had raised questions on whether Sembcorp Marine would be implicated and created much uncertainties for the company. This is because it is not known if Sembcorp is currently being investigated by the authorities over corruption charges. Nevertheless, it is timely to review whether it is opportune to invest in the parent company, Sembcorp Industries Ltd.

Being rated as the world no.2 oil rig builder, Sembcorp Marine had endured a challenging FY2017 like Keppel Corp. Revenue decreased for rig building and offshore platform projects as well as contracts termination and inventories written down arising from the contract signed in October 2017 to sell nine jack-up oil drilling rigs. Revenue for nine months shrank to $1.7 billion, a decrease of 36% year-on-year. But net profit remained stable, at $28 million, an increase of 3% year-on-year.

Notwithstanding the above, it should be noted that Sembcorp Industries Ltd (SCI) is more than just Sembcorp Marine, which is listed separately on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange. SCI has three main businesses namely, Utilities, Marine and Urban Development.

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Legend of United Overseas Bank (UOB)

UOB

2017 had seen local banks like OCBC and DBS making strategic acquisitions to grow their wealth management portfolios. Yet UOB is surprisingly quiet on the merger and acquisition front. What is the venerable bank up to? Is merger king, Wee Cho Yaw, plotting something special in 2018?

Once upon a time in Singapore’s banking fraternity, there were four local “Heavenly Kings” – Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), United Overseas Bank (UOB), Overseas Union Bank (OUB) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation. They are all household names and I believe most Singaporeans have experiences with their bank products or services.

On looking back, the devastating effect of the Asian Financial Crisis in the nineties and the industry liberalization brought forth by the new Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulations changed the banking landscape forever. Through the years, UOB has staved off these challenges and emerged as one of the most powerful forces among its peers.

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DBS CEO laughing all the way to the bank

DBS

The recent upturn in Singapore economy led to a surge in local banks’ share price. Generally seen as the bellwether of the economy, bank stocks are extremely sensitive to economy conditions. South-East Asia largest bank, DBS, is no exception. The share price stormed to record high of $26.60, an impressive level not seen even during the boom years preceding the Great Financial Crisis.

The power surge of the share price had created much wealth for many wealth builders, including DBS CEO who bought 200,000 shares for $2.8 million in February 2016. For the man in the street, $2.8 million is lot of money. But for Piyush Gupta, his annual pay package in FY2016 was already $8.4 million. His purchase of DBS shares back then was driven by his conviction that the shares were grossly undervalued.

Indeed, his move was vindicated as the bank’s share price climbed by almost 100% within two years. If Gupta had held the shares from February 2016 till now, he would have made a profit of almost $2.8 million.

With the bullish form of the share price, it is indeed tempting to purchase DBS shares. However, it is important to review the financial performance and assess …

SG Wealth Builder Promotional Offer

SG Wealth Builder

Since 2010, I have been blogging about money and investment stuff. My spouse often asked why am I doing this through the years? After all, I am not compensated for the sharing and my blogging had led to a lot of sacrifice of my family time. Indeed, if I am doing this merely for fame or money, this blog would not have sustained till now. I am talking about 8 years of blogging, not 8 months.

Many bloggers would tell you that building a blog from scratches requires a tremendous amount of effort and time. Sometimes, after years of blogging, there is no guarantee that a blogger can find success in the readership. Along the way, I have seen so many promising bloggers giving up and turned to commenting in other investment forums instead.

The sole reason for the sustainability of this blog is passion. I love doing stock research and sharing my ideas with others. And I love writing because I always thought that to be able to inspire or create a change in others is a form of calling.

At certain stages in my life, I did consider giving up blogging because of my family and career commitments. …

Networking: Planting the seed of opportunities

networking

It has been several years since Singapore leaders led the movement of “Every School is a Good School”. The aim of this campaign is to place less emphasis on academic grades, thereby creating a less stressful environment for our children. While the intention is good, it does not address the main reason why Singapore parents are so keen to send their children to top primary schools. In this article, I will share my views on the importance of network and the importance of who you know.

What you know

To put things into perspective, most Singaporean parents want their kids to do well in life. Having a good education, though does not guarantee success, would likely to open many doors of opportunities. Education also allows social mobility. This means that one is able to enhance his social status on the back of his education. So clearly, the stake is high when it comes to a child’s education in Singapore.

Education is important to our career because it provides the basis of “what you know”. Most people place a lot of emphasis on this because it is used as an indicator on whether you are qualified for a job. There are …

Perennial Real Estate Holdings versus Raffles Medical

Dyna-Mac

The story of Perennial Real Estate Holdings is certainly intriguing. Having made its way into SGX stock market in 2014 after staging a massive $1.56 billion reverse takeover of St James Holdings (the famous nightclub operator), Perennial counts Wilmar International and Osim founder, Ron Sim as major shareholders (combined 35%). Recently, it announced a US$1.2 billion Joint Venture Vehicle with First Close of US$500 million to Invest in HSR Healthcare Integrated Mixed-use Developments in China.

The entry of Perennial Real Estate Holdings into China’s healthcare put it on a collision path against Raffles Medical, which announced that it is building two hospitals in China. Although the two healthcare players are from Singapore, their business models and backgrounds are fundamentally different. In this context, I will share my insights in this article.

Background of Perennial Real Estate

Although Perennial claims to be an integrated real estate and healthcare company, the business focus is predominantly in property development and management of mixed-use projects. In Singapore, Perennial has invested in and manages prime iconic properties located in the Civic District, Central Business District and Orchard Road precinct, such as CHIJMES, Capitol Singapore, AXA Tower, TripleOne Somerset, House of Tan Yeok Nee and Chinatown …

Will Keppel Corporation be destroyed by US shale oil?

Keppel Corporation

The recent corruption fine on Keppel Corporation amounting to $566.91 million by US, Brazil and Singapore authorities certainly rocked the market. The record fine came at a time when the oil market is perceived to be recovering from a devastating three-year slump. But more importantly, as a government-linked company, the episode left a taint on the reputation of Singapore, widely known to be one of the most corruption free cities in the world.

But beyond the corruption scandal, a far more sinister probably awaits Keppel Corp. In my opinion, it could be the dominance of US shale oil production that may change the game for the Singapore blue chip. Whilst the corruption fine may be staggering, Keppel Corp’s balance sheet is strong enough to withstand the impact without incurring significant damages to its growth prospects.

Diversified businesses

As an industrial conglomerate, Keppel Corporation has four major business divisions – Offshore and Marine, Property, Infrastructure and Investments. Keppel O&M (KOM) specializes in offshore rig design, construction and repair, ship repair and conversion, and specialised shipbuilding. It integrates and harnesses the experience and expertise of 20 yards and offices worldwide to be near customers and markets.

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From pork seller to CEO of Sheng Siong

Sheng Siong share price

From pork seller to CEO. Nope, this is not the plot of the latest Mediacorp drama nor the story of SG Wealth Builder. Instead, it is the real success story of Mr Lim Hock Chee, CEO of Sheng Siong. From a humble outlet at Ang Mo Kio, Mr Lim grew Sheng Siong to the third largest supermarket operator in Singapore and eventually got it listed in 2011.

Since its debut at IPO price of $0.33, the share price had been surging in recent years and even crossed the $1.00 in 2016. Given the bullish form, should investors enter this counter now or is it a value trap?

2017 proved to be another great year for Sheng Siong as the home-grown supermarket operator achieved revenue of $629 million and net profit of $52.8 million for nine months, an increase of 5% and 11.8% respectively year-on-year. The results were certainly impressive given the current weak retail sentiments. But as shared in my previous articles, I would not invest in this counter due to the following factors highlighted in this article.

Sheng Siong

Before reading this review, please check out the articles I have written on Sheng Siong. They would contain my research and insights …

SGX stock review 2017 – Noble Group

Noble Group

Due to a request from reader, I am consolidating a series of analysis for Noble Group in 2017. The links to the articles are below and they are unprotected for a limited time. Thereafter, they will be locked up and you need to register as member of SG Wealth Builder to access the premium content.

Do take note that this counter is very risky and novice investors should not attempt to trade it if there is a lack of understanding on the business model. This article is also only for information and not meant to induce or serve as a form of financial advice.

Noble Group

For Noble Group, 2017 will go down in its history as the most dramatic year as the commodity trader engaged in an epic swim-or sink-battle. From management upheaval, to lawsuits involving ex-CEOs, to plunging share price, vicious short-selling attacks, accusations of accounting malpractices, credit ratings downgrades, record earning losses and reported loss of bank support (DBS), Noble Group certainly looked on course to an explosive self-destruction path.

Despite the relentless troubles, Noble Group continued to attract institutional investors’ support. In June, Abu Dhabi’s Goldilocks emerged as surprise major shareholder while China sovereign wealth fund, CIC, remained …

5 SGX stocks to invest in 2018

SG Wealth Builder

With Dow Jones on course to hitting 25,000 points, the US stock market is certainly on a bull run. Over in Singapore, the Strait Times Index is not doing too badly either, adding 1.8% for the month of November and bringing its year-to-date dividend inclusive return to 23%, compared to an SGD denominated average returns of 18% for the benchmarks of Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. In this article, I will share my views on the 5 SGX stocks to invest in 2018.

For the past 7 years, I had been sharing my insights and strategies on a number of SGX stocks in this blog. However, two years ago, I have divested all my stock holding to fund the purchase of my new home. In spite of this, I have been analysing selected SGX stocks which I would invest in 2018 once my war chest is built up. On this note, it must be emphasized that I do not have a vested interest in the following SGX stocks. Readers and members must do their own diligence before investing in these counters.

SGX stock

OCBC

I am still beating myself for missing the boat on this one. Since 2016, I have been tracking …

Learn from Singapore government on how to use your CPF monies

CPF

The recent article by Dollar And Sense on how you can build one million dollar wealth using CPF by 65 certainly created a storm among netizens. While I do not dispute that this feat is definitely achievable, such an article does not paint a holistic picture and probably created plenty of false hopes to those who just started their financial journey. Let me share my insights in this article and how you should learn from Singapore government on how to use your CPF monies.

To put things into perspective, the author, Timothy Ho, is the founder of Dollar And Sense. Being an entrepreneur, it is unlikely that he contributes to his Ordinary Account. I may be wrong on this point and if so, I stand corrected. Therefore, when he encouraged readers not to use CPF monies to finance properties, he is probably speaking from his own experiences.

Okay fair enough, there are thousands of self-employees like Timothy who don’t have much CPF savings. Just think of taxi drivers, entrepreneurs and hawkers. But hey, the article was on how to build one million wealth with CPF right? Thus, what I am advocating now is managing your CPF monies to build a …

My stock analysis of Raffles Medical Group

Q&M Dental

Have you bought Raffles Medical shares recently? Since my last coverage on this counter on 24 August 2017, the share price of the private healthcare service provider had a 10% correction. What is happening? Should shareholders run for their lives?

To add value to readers, I will share my stock analysis of Raffles Medical Group. Through this, I hope readers will learn how to perform a basic evaluation on stocks and sign up as members of SG Wealth Builder.

Circle of Competence

When it comes to stock investing, the best approach is to invest within your “circle of competence”. This means that you don’t have to be an expert in every company in order to succeed. Instead, invest in an area in which you have a significant knowledge than the rest of investors. For example, if you are a healthcare worker, you are likely to know the trend of the healthcare industry, the market leaders, the demand and supply, and the key developments in the medical field. Thus, it is likely that you would be familiar with Raffles Medical Group and how it has fared in recent years.

But what if you don’t have the circle of competence? …

Top 5 Personal Finance Blog Articles

money

As the year draws to a close, it is timely to review how you have fared financially for 2017. Are your personal finances in order and did you grow your wealth? In this article, I will share my journey for the past one year and also the top 5 personal finance blog articles (in terms of traffic).

This year has been an exciting one for my family as we have finally moved into our new home. The motivation to upgrade from a 3-room HDB flat to an executive condominium was not purely a financial reason. Sure, the potential to “cash out” after the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is tempting. After all, ECs are sold at subsidized prices and home owners stand to make handsome profit after selling their homes. But the case for my family is different. We wanted our children to grow up in a better environment and forge a better future.

Due to the upgrade, I have done extensive research relating to home ownership, property taxes, home loans and financial matters relating to CPF. The analysis and strategies were subsequently shared in this blog. Many readers had feedback that they found the articles useful and insightful. Their comments …

Don’t invest in Bitcoin until you read this!

Genting Group

How high will it go? The recent euphoria over Bitcoin certainly caught the attention of many investors as the cryptocurrency soared past USD17,000, a remarkable 17-fold increase since the start of the year. Many wealth builders lamented that they had missed the boat of opportunity. While on the other hand, experts warned of an explosive bubble forming. In this article, I will share my view on Bitcoin and whether it is worth to invest in this digital currency.

Dawn of new currency

When it comes to investing, ignorance is not bliss. Therefore, it is important to look at both sides of the coin (no pun intended!) before making judgement. To put things into perspective, Bitcoin was first invented at a time of tremendous financial chaos – the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. Many young investors new to the money game may not be aware of the crisis of confidence in the financial markets back then. All over the world, people’s confidence of the banking systems were shaken to the core when Citibank, then among the world largest banks, was almost brought down to the knee.

Singapore was also not spare of the crisis either and the government was forced to …

SingTel knocked the wind out of Starhub

Singtel share price

Should Starhub investors run for their lives? The month of November had been a dreadful one for Singapore’s number two telecommunication player as its major shareholder, DBS, sold off 900,000 shares, then followed by the shock announcement of CEO Tan Tong Hai who will step down in May 2018. The bad news came swiftly after the announcement of the poor 3Q17 financial results. On the other hand, arch rival SingTel announced a set of smashing good financial results after the divestment of NetLink Trust.

Starhub in crisis?

The announcement of the departure of Tan Tong Hai was indeed surprising, coming at a time when the industry is undergoing a major shake-up. The disruptions caused by technology has led to challenging operating environment faced by all players as many consumers used applications to access overseas calls and short messages. The trend has led to declining revenue from mobile and fixed lines. In the past, IDD call charges and SMS had been cash cows for the telco players. Now, consumers typically use applications to bypass such services.

For Starhub, the decline started many years ago when it lost the monopoly of Pay TV coverage of English Premier League to SingTel in 2009. …

Make Singapore a caring society

caring society

The recent case of Annie Ee Yu Lian, a mentally disabled woman who was tortured to death by her long-time friend, certainly caused outrage among Singaporeans. It is indeed a tragic story and should never have happened in a first world country like Singapore. It made me wonder whether in the pursuit of wealth, can we afford to become a more gracious and caring society?

In life, what goes around comes around. I always believe in paying it forward. In response to my previous article, “GST should be raised to 12%”, some readers had also expressed concerns that the poor would be the most affected by the impending tax hike. Although such concern is indeed valid, it is important to note that part of the increased government spending could be on social needs. Then again, the perennial thinking is that the government should be responsible for making Singapore a caring society. Below is an article I wrote in 2014. I hope readers would be inspired to reach out for our fellow Singaporeans.

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 …

Civil service bonus

OUE

Against the backdrop of improving economic performance, Singapore government announced civil service bonus of 2 months, consisting of Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 1 month and Non-Pensionable Annual Allowance (NPAA) of 1 month. Lower-wage civil servants will get a minimum year-end AVC of $1,800.

Together with the mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 0.5 month, the total civil service bonus that will be paid to civil servants in 2017 is 2.5 months. This is excluding individual performance bonuses and other additional bonuses.

The civil service bonus was announced at a time when Singapore economy is undergoing a period of restructuring. Even though the economy expanded at a better than expected 3.5% for the first three quarters of 2017, labour demand remained uneven across sectors in 2017. The number of retrenchment for 2017 is expected to be much lower as compared to 2016, which hit a peak of 19,170, the highest since Great Financial Crisis.

Civil Service Bonus

The civil service bonus is widely used by the private sector as benchmark for staff bonuses. Usually, private companies tend to peg staff bonuses to civil service bonuses and reward staff who had performed well. Nonetheless, the private sector bonus also depends on how well the …

7 reasons to sign up SG Wealth Builder Membership

SG Wealth Builder

It seems like yesterday when I founded SG Wealth Builder. I can still remember the explosive passion and excitement when launching this wealth blog. Seven years had passed and the energy remains amazingly strong. During this period, there had been a lot of twists and turns. Nevertheless, the brand of this blog grew from strength to strength. Over time, I have also developed a voice that connects with my readers. It is this distinctive voice that attracted readers to keep coming back to this blog and many had become long-time followers. Now, I feel that it is the right time to convert this blog into SG Wealth Builder Membership site.

Value is what attracted readers and followers to SG Wealth Builder. Many people who visited my blog had provided numerous feedback that they had learned useful things that they were able to apply in their wealth building journey. Such compliments often invoked deep sense of self-satisfaction and achievement inside me.

To be able to make a difference in others certainly create a profound feeling. Thus, the motivation to bring this relationship to another level. In this article, I am going to share 7 reasons to sign up SG Wealth Builder …

BreadTalk Group to unlock value with property divestments?

BreadTalk

BreadTalk Group is a home-grown SGX stock which I have always admired because of its strong brand name and high-quality bakeries. When its founder, George Quek launched the first store in 2000, nobody could have predicted that he would go on to grow the BreadTalk chain store to such extent that it got listed in Singapore Exchange in 2003. Within three years, BreadTalk had become a force to be reckoned with in Singapore market and George had certainly wasted no time in exporting the brand overseas.

Today, BreadTalk operates close to 1,000 outlets across Singapore, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Supported by a global staff strength of 7,000, the stable of brands include BreadTalk, Toast Box, Food Republic and the operating rights to Din Tai Fung restaurants from Taiwan. These are all household names and together, they helped to reinforce BreadTalk business at the global stage.

BreadTalk

But behind the scene, George Quek had quietly built up an impressive portfolio of investment portfolio. Over the years, the divestment of these properties had generated a slew of dividends for loyal investors.

For example, in Q1FY16, the management declared an interim special dividend of 1.35 cents per share ($3.8 …

Battle of Singapore banks (OCBC, DBS and UOB)

DBS

Singapore “Big Three” local banks recently announced third quarter 2017 results. Although all three banks suffered from collateral damage arising from loan exposure to the oil and gas sector, the latest results were generally upbeat and data revealed resilient growth for OCBC, DBS and UOB.

Competition continued to be stiff among the banks but growth for all three banks is expected to be positive for the full-year as Singapore economic growth was predicted to exceed 3% for 2017.

OCBC took the lead

Net Performing Assets (NPAs) continued to weigh on the banks’ earning as the ailing oil and gas sector showed no signs of revival. DBS recorded a devastating 25% decline for 3Q17 profit as compared a year ago. Profit stood at $802 million, the worst among its close rivals. The dismal result for DBS was due to the massive allowances of $815 million made, largely for the loan exposure oil and gas sector. This was a huge provision and the amount indicated that the DBS CEO might have grossly underestimated the oil slump.

On the other hand, OCBC smashed in a solid profit of $1.06 billion for 3Q17, 12% above S$943 million a year ago. UOB came in second …

GST should be raised to 12%?

GST

On 6 August 2015, the Ministry of Finance took a rare step in refuting claims “the Government planning to raise the GST after the next General Elections”. Singapore government slammed online websites for spreading baseless claims that the GST would be raised from 7%. Personal finance website, Dollar And Sense, also rubbished the notion that GST would be raised to 10% on 22 September 2015.

Well, they could be wrong as PM Lee Hsien Loong recently dropped big hint that there could be impending tax hike due to increased government spending.

In my perspective, I feel that there could be a grave need for the GST to be raised to 12%. Yes, it is 12%. Why so? Am I crazy? After all, it had been 10 years since GST had been raised from 5% to 7%. That GST hike had been perceived to inflate the cost of living and many people feel that the tax is regressive because the poor would be affected the most.

Before dismissing this article, it is important to look at the big picture and understand the macroeconomic dynamics. In doing so, Singaporeans can then better understand the insights of our leaders before …

Biggest myths about CPF Nomination

CPF LIFE

The Chinese has a saying “You come to this world with nothing, and you shall leave this world with nothing.” Death is an inevitable phase of life which everyone would have to go through. While your CPF savings certainly belong to yours, the ownership would cease upon death. This is a fundamental universal truth. However, being a responsible wealth builder, I believe in forward planning. In this article, I will share my thoughts on the biggest myths about CPF nomination.

Recently, I have made my CPF nomination. The process was incredibly simple and easy. It is also free of charge. I was very impressed by CPF Board’s efficiency and service standard. Within three days, I got a follow-up call from a CPF officer confirming my nomination details were in order and within a week, I got an official letter from CPF Board.

CPF nomination

Will versus CPF nomination

The biggest myth about CPF monies is that you can make a will on it. Many Singaporeans are not aware that CPF savings are not covered under will. According to CPF Board website, CPF savings are not part of your estate. The policy intent is to protect from creditor claims on any outstanding …

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