Special appeal to all Singaporeans to support Adelyn

Many times, we took our health for granted. It is only when we lost our health, then we truly appreciate the beauty of life. I chanced upon this blog by a Singaporean girl called Adelyn Xinhui. She is born with cornea defect. I think many Singaporeans would recognise her face as she appeared in several Mediacorp charity shows before.

Xinhui has just released a music album, hoping to raise money for a cornea transplant operation. The operation cost more than $40k for each eye. Please read her story in (http://adelynxinhui.blogspot.sg/). In a gesture of support, my wife and me had bought one copy from her mom. Please help to spread the words around.

This operation may offer the girl a chance to lead a new lease of life and she genuinely needs help from fellow Singaporeans. I believe most of us can spare $20 to do a good cause.

Below is an extract from Adelyn’s blog:

My name is Adelyn. I am 10 years old. I was born with cornea defect called “Peter Anomaly”. I was sent for 4 times of cornea transplant when I was between 8 to 12 month old. However, all the cornea was rejected. Today, I can only visual lights, shadows and colors.

I started learning piano when I was 3 year old and now I am in Grade 5. I am always curious about things that happened around me. I like to explore new things. I can’t see, but I can feel.

I had tried out horse riding, ballet dancing, Inline skating and many other more. Currently, I am learning violin and going for Grade 1 examination in September.

Last year, my mother learned from the media there is a new type of cornea transplant “Boston Kpro”. It is a type of artificial …

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Robert Kiyosaki

In recent months, I have been receiving requests from media and event organizers looking to promote their events on my blog, SG Wealth Builder. One of them was an event organizer who wished to promote Robert Kiyosaki’s event “The Power of Financial Education” held at Singapore Expo, June 2012.

I was approached a couple of weeks before the event was due to take place and was at first a bit skeptical. I mean my blog, SG Wealth Builder, is not even a popular investment blog in Singapore, so why would the event company chose to promote their event in it? I told my wife about it and she also found it puzzling.

Robert Kiyosaki

Anyway, both the event company and me didn’t manage to work out a deal on time and so I missed the opportunity to promote Robert Kiyosaki’s event. On hindsight, I feel that it is a compliment that someone actually approached me to help them promote their events. Even though the deal didn’t go through, I feel honored that my blog, SG Wealth Builder, was considered by Robert Kiyosaki’s event company.

For the uninitiated, Robert Kiyoski is the famous author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a motivational book on personal finance. I read his book more than 16 years ago when I was a teenager and I must say it really changed the way I viewed money, career and investment.

In fact, I would say Kiyosaki is a game changer in the industry as during that time, there were very few books that focus on personal finance and investing. He is a strong proponent of entrepreneurship, investing and financial literacy. One thing about this book is that it was written in very layman term and contains virtually no complex financial jargon.

When you read the book, you can actually …

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A new milestone for SG Wealth Builder

SG Wealth Builder stormed past 51,000 page views today. This is a new milestone for my blog and to be honest, I am very pleased that my blog’s readership has been rocketing over the last six months. Although I started this blog three years ago, I stopped blogging for quite a while in 2011 because of work commitments. At the end of 2011, page views for my blog was 8500 only.

The increasing popularity of SG Wealth Builder is a compliment and serves to reinforce in me that this blog is going in the right direction. I hope that by the end of this year, my blog can reach 100,000 page views. I believe this is achievable if I continue to blog frequently and share with my readers my investment thoughts.

SG Wealth Builder
Maybe its a form of job hazard but I have a habit of reviewing my blog’s performance. If you noticed, I have changed my blog’s template recently. This is to give my blog a refreshed look. Even with this fresh look, my focus will still be bringing quality content for my readers. In this regard, readers can look forward to more of my stock analysis and outlook on the stock market.

Some readers emailed me and commented that they prefer the previous template as the sidebars can be seen. I appreciate their constructive feedback and will consider switching back to the old template.

Some readers have also blasted me for not replying their comments in SG Wealth Builder. I would like to apologise that due to my busy schedule, I am unable to reply all the messages in my blog. So I hope my readers would not be offended and take it too personal.

In any case, my blog is meant to share ideas and thoughts, so if I …

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My views on Ascendas Hospitality Trust

I am no stock analyst but yesterday one of my readers emailed and asked about my views on the Ascendas Hospitality Trust impending IPO.

First of all, investors need to know that Ascendas Hospitality Trust is a business trust and not a typical real estate investment trust (Reit). In this case, about 80 percent of the assets will be in the business trust and 20 percent in the Reit.

To be honest, I am not sure how business trust works and normally if I don’t understand a business model, I would not invest in the company. This is not to say that Ascendas Hospitality Trust is not a good stock.

Ascendas

On the contrary, it can be a potentially good stock that delivers consistent yield for long term investors. However, I would not invest in such business trust because I will only invest in stocks with business models that I can understand. To me, investing should be kept simple and as a rule of thumb, you must be able to describe the business in one sentence.

Secondly, I usually do not invest in IPO. Most speculators or novice investors like to dabble in IPO. They might have made some money but I observed that many times, after the euphoria died down, investor’s interest in these IPO would also disappear, causing the prices to drop.

I also try to steer clear of IPO because sometimes the institutional investors will unload their shares investment after the lock-in period is over so as to realise their investment gains. When this happened, the prices normally will drop.

So if you invest in IPO, make sure you monitor the stock closely. In today’s market, conventional “buy and hold” strategy no longer works. Investors need to set a target price to sell. You don’t want to catch …

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How the rich make their money

It is often said that the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer. Globally, the issue of social gap is entrenching in many cosmopolitan cities. Even Singapore, which is home to one of the largest concentration of millionaires in the world, is no exception. One of the key questions is how did the rich make their money and preserve their wealth in times of crisis? In one of the financial workshops I attended recently, the consultant briefly shed some light on how the rich made their fortune.

Every now and then, you would have heard about investment themes like renewable energy, technology, currency, property, ETF, gold/silver, investment-linked insurances and what not. These are actually hypes made by the movers and shakers to create bubbles so that small time investors like you and me will buy-in.

rich

What happened was that years before the bubbles occurred, the ultra rich gathered their analysts and made them formulate new investment themes. After determining areas where they can reap in big monies, the rich dudes then pump in their funds.

They would hold press conferences and churned out quantitative data and charts to convince retail investors that their investment themes are the next big things. Journalists and investment researchers would then write extensive reports and provided the maximum publicity. Interviews would be held one-to-one with the key players.

Again, when these gurus were interviewed, they would reinforce and sell their investment themes to the public. When these influential people speak, people usually listen to them because in this world, track record and reputation give you credibility. These are the people who can influence the market direction. They can help you make money, but also lose money as well. At the height of the bubble, they would “show-hand” and pull out their funds, making …

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Setbacks for this financial blog

Recently, I have been doing a lot of reflections on how to deal with setbacks. Something nasty happened to me and set me thinking whether I should continue this financial blog.

When I started this financial blog three years ago, my intention was to chronicle my investment journey and captured the important setbacks and lessons learned. I hope to document down these lessons, not only to serve as reminders not to commit the same mistakes again, but also to share with my readers my investment journey. It was never my intention to offer any form of investment advice nor to induce anyone to buy financial products.

Sebacks

I feel that it is important to make this clear to all my readers that I am not a financial adviser offering investment advice nor am I a full-time blogger who blog for a living. I have a day-time job and I started this financial blog as a hobby.

Apparently, someone misconstrued my intention and claimed in a forum that I had been dishing out rubbish investment advice. He also claimed that I had a knack of writing load of stuff out of nothing and that my blog offers absolute zero value to readers.

Well I suppose he is entitled to his views and I leave it to my readers to judge. My blog may not be relevant to you and if that is the case, you can always unsubscribe from my email list or don’t visit my blog at all. It is your choice and there’s always a choice.

I write to express my thoughts, feelings and investment philosophy. If you have a problem with that, that is your business. If you think you can do better than me, by all means, go ahead and start to blog for all I care. I …

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The Bad Mood Fund

Recently I attended one financial planning courses sponsored by my company. It was a short two days course that touched on personal financial planning. In this article, I will share my views on bad mood fund.

One thing I like about the course is that the instructors focused on educating the participants rather than pushing financial products. That was why I enjoyed the course because I did not have to second guess whether the instructors was biased in his recommendations or whether he was trying to hard sell his company’s financial products.

At the end of the course, I learned quite a few things and thought that I just have to blog it down and share with my readers. One key takeaway was the “The Bad Mood Fund”.

fund

In life, there are always ups and downs. Most of us faced challenges and obstacles in our daily lives. As a result, we can sometimes ended up feeling bitter, frustrated and angry. One of the best ways to “cure” your negative feelings, whether you are a man or woman, would be retail therapy.

Nothing beats buying something to pamper yourself at the end of a miserable lousy day isn’t it? I mean we all live only once and I think it is important that we pamper ourselves every now and then. Otherwise, how to maintain our life motivation and jest? But we all know retail therapy can sometimes be fatal to our wallet. So how can we ensure that our retail therapy does not cripple our savings. One strategy is to set aside a Bad Mood Fund.

So how does a Bad Mood Fund works? Basically it means setting aside a portion of money from your monthly disposable income to support your retail therapy. It can be $200 or $300. The amount …

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So you want to become rich in Singapore?

In my previous blog, I mentioned about how to become rich in Singapore. One of my readers, Eric, replied that most Singaporeans faced the “need” to be “rich” now rather than in their fifties. While I agreed that most youth nowadays want instant gratification and quick results, I cannot agree that being rich is a “need”. Rather, the desire to be rich is a “want”, rather than a “need”. It is important that readers differentiate the difference between needs and wants. I shall proceed to elaborate.

In life, we can have many “wants”. We can desire for new and bigger cars. We can for desire designer-style apartments. We can desire to have a European honeymoon. Nothing wrong with these desires. But it is important to note that these are not essentials to our life. They are merely “wants” rather than “needs”.

rich

For example, in Singapore, if you need a car for certain valid reasons, you can buy a pre-owned car rather than paying through the nose for a brand new car. If you don’t have the sufficient fund to go for a European honeymoon after your wedding, then probably the best option is to plan for a short trip instead.  Therefore, before we purchase big-ticket items, spend some time to think through whether they are actually “wants” or “needs”. You may be surprised that many times, they are actually “wants” that you may not actually need.

Coming back to the topic on the “need” to be “rich”. My opinion is that we need not be materially “rich” in order to live a fulfilling life. Even in Singapore, where the cost of living is so high, we can be happy even without being rich.

Eric mentioned in his reply that he is in his late twenties and preparing to get married, …

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How to be rich in Singapore

 How to be rich? How to be rich quick in Singapore?

A few months ago, I wrote an article on how to become rich in Singapore. The articles has since garnered more than 2500 page views and remained one of my most popular postings. The article has also received several feedbacks from my readers. I suppose at the back of most Singaporeans’ mind, most of us wish to know what is the shortest route to being rich in Singapore. I shall attempt to discuss more about this topic.

I always pondered aloud, what is the defintion of being rich in Singapore? Does it mean setting a monetary target of $10 million in the bank or does it refers to the state of the mind? Just yesterday, I read an article from a local Chinese newspaper about the plight of a senior engineer who was addicted to gambling. The article stated that the engineer earned more than $10,000 every month but owed gambling debts of more than half a million. Unable to withstand the constant harassment from loan sharks, the engineer committed suicide. For most Singaporeans, a monthly salary of more than $10,000 would probably make us among the top earners in Singapore. Yet apparently for this engineer, his monthly salary was not even enough for him to satisfy his gambling addictions. So I suppose the moral of the story is that it is not how much you owned or earned that make you feel rich. Rather, being rich is a state of the mind. You can have a super-scale salary of $10,000 but still struggle financially if you don’t manage your personal finance wisely. You can have $10 million in the bank but ultimately this money would evaporate if you were addicted to gambling.

SG Wealth Builder

So what is the …

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