New Year Resolutions

Happy new year to all readers! On this first day of 2014, I would like to pen down some thoughts with regard to how the previous year had panned out for me, as well as my new year resolutions for 2014.

2013 had been an incredibly good year for both my career and my blog as well. Readership for my blog, SG Wealth Builder, has soared from 50,000 page views in 2012 to 440,000 page views in 2013. The dramatic increase was due to my commitment to blog more often, surge in my blog’s email subscription and also due to the expansion of my blog network. These factors had contributed steady flow of readers to my blog and spiked up the traffic.

Interestingly, my blog has also attracted new Singapore vendors to form business partnerships with me. I was approached by BullionStar and Fitch Learning to be their affiliate partners. Although there were several lucrative offers from interested partners, my policy is to promote only businesses which I believe in. Thus, I had previously turned down a few opportunities. One of them was to promote Malaysian properties investment seminars for a company which I politely declined.
career
Invest in myself
Many people, myself included, tends to chase the money and invest in everything under the sun (stocks, ETF, property,gold, unit trust, etc). Everything, except themselves. We all failed to realize that our knowledge, ability and skills are the most important asset that help us to generate recurring income through jobs, sales, investment and business activities. Henceforth, most of us tend to neglect investments on acquiring new knowledge or skill.
In this year, my new year resolutions are improving my presentation skills and learn web designing. The former is meant to enhance my career prospect, while the latter is more for personal
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Career Management: The Power of Doing Less

2013 has been a hectic but rewarding year for my career. I got my coveted promotion in my job but in exchange for that was heavier workload, presentations, meetings and new projects. I found myself spending more time traveling and less quality time with my family. Sometimes I wonder if the promotion is worthwhile and question if life is all about work. So what if we can climb to the top but neglect our loved ones, families and things we really wanted to do with our lives? Is life really all about bringing home the bacon and paying the housing loan?

During this short holiday break, I am glad to have some spare time to do some reading on career management. Basically I want to start 2014 brand new and don’t want to go through the same motion as in 2013, so I checked with Wiley whether they have any books on career management. To this, I was given the chance to do a book review on Fergus O’Connell’s The Power of Doing Less, a refreshing 135 pages book which you can probably finish reading in half a day.

As each year goes by, we find ourselves working harder and harder.  We spend more time at work, thinking about work, bringing work home with us.  Work now invades our personal life in a way that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago.  Remember when the media used to talk about having to ‘educate people for leisure’?  The very notion raises a bitter or incredulous laugh these days.  

In the last twenty years there has been an unbelievable increase in the volume of things people are having to do and the stress that people are under.  High levels of overload have become the norm.  Especially since the collapse
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How to become rich in Singapore

Many of us must be thinking hard on how to become rich in Singapore. Recently, there was an article in the local Chinese newspaper stating that an elderly man and his daughter illegally sublet their rental flat for $700. Apparently, they paid the government only $26 of rental fees every month since 1987 and had made a few hundred thousand of rental profits through the decades.
Even more amazing is that they were let off lightly by our government – barred from applying for HDB flats for the next 10 years and fined $5000. My wife and myself thought that the fine was peanuts considering the fact that father and daughter made a huge pile from the rental incomes. It seems that nowadays, Singaporeans are becoming more and more innovative to become rich, albeit through immoral methods.
Singapore finance blog
Gold buy-back schemes
Every now and then, when gold prices hit record highs and made the local headline news, there would be investors rushing to buy gold. To exploit clueless investors, a group of smart Singaporeans devised complex gold buy-back schemes, which operates like Ponzi scams. In such cases, gold is offered at a small ‘discount’ from their exorbitant prices. There is an option of buying back the gold at the full exorbitant price but the money used to buy back the gold must be derived from new recruits. Meanwhile, these new recruits buy the ‘discounted’ gold in the expectation of returns from selling it back to the company at a later date.
gold

In the news, a lawyer was interviewed and he pointed out that the contract agreement between buyer and seller clearly indicated that such schemes are high risk investments and that the returns are not guaranteed. So to be fair, people who chose to invest in such dubious schemes should play

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The Aftermath Effects of US QE Tapering

Merry Christmas to all readers! Below is a guest article from Gideon, a hedge fund manager for Blyton Fund. He is a global macro investor using similar strategies as George Soros. He search the world for the best profits with the lowest risks. He cover equities, foreign exchange, commodities and bonds across global markers. He is based in Singapore and is open to managing funds for others. Below is his article on US QE Tapering.

Incidental with the announcement by the US Fed on the upcoming tapering of the Quantitative Easing program, there are positive signs to buy into several equity markets and to long the US dollar against selected currencies.

The major equity markets will advance higher

I postulate that the equity markets of the United States, most of Western Europe, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia will likely advance higher.

Some would argue that no, they will crash because interest rates will rise.

My argument will be that yes, interest rate will risem but at a controlled and slow enough pace that will not hurt the economies. The respective governments will see to that because interest is at stake.Yes, it is true that when interest rate was almost zero, asset (stock) prices were inflated. With the recovery of underlying economies, the reason to justify the prices of equities will move from low interest rate to improving company earnings.

Further coupled with falling US bond prices (due to rising interest rates), the great rotation from bonds to equities have began.

http://blytonfund.blogspot.sg/2013/12/the-aftermath-effects-of-us-qe-tapering.html

Afternote:
The above article does not represent the views of SG Wealth Builder. Personally, I feel that the stock market is in the midst of a massive bubble and have divested all my stock holdings since last year. Currently, Dow Jones is at a record 16,300. This means that the

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The best time to buy gold

The best time to buy gold is not always so straight-forward.. No matter what assets you invested in, the only way to make money and become rich is to adopt a contrarian approach. Most investors understand the investment principle of “buy low and sell high” but when it comes to practice, most people will refrain from taking a position that opposes the majority. This trend is similar for any form of investments – property, equities, currencies and precious metals.

Currently the Wall Street’s Dow Jones is at a historic high of 16,200 points, recording a stock market bull run that stretched from 2009’s 6500 points. This represented an incredible 250% jump within 4 years for the United States’ stock market. A sensible investor would have refrained from investing in the stock market, given the bubbly state. Conversely, gold’s performance has been dismal this year.

According to BullionStar, gold prices have plunged more than 30% since the start of 2013. This puts gold in its first bear market after 12 consecutive bull market years. In my opinion, gold prices could slide further, reaching USD900 per ounce. On the surface, this may seem like an ominous news to gold investors, especially for those who had invested in paper gold, such as ETF and mining stocks. But if you are those who believe in bullion (gold bars and coins), this correction represents a golden opportunity to enter the market. This is because every market has their bull and bear runs, and it is perfectly normal to have major corrections of up to 80%.
gold bullion Singapore
Nobody can predict the future, so it is a question as to when the gold market will bottom out. But it should be noted that no asset with good fundamental will remain oversold forever. Just like equities, we should
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$3000 income is the new benchmark in Singapore?

Recently, both my wife and myself visited the new Bedok Mall developed by CapitaMalls Asia. We were quite impressed because it is the first full-fledged shopping mall in Bedok. The mall houses over 200 shops across three floors and net lettable area of 220,000 square feet, offering everyday essentials, lifestyle and fashion. The only major disappointment is the lack of cinema.

Anyway, back to the topic on income. We walked past EC House Express Cut and saw the job advertisement for a hairdresser. The advertisement stated the salary of $3000. It was not stated that the position required experienced applicants nor did it state for the preference of Singaporeans or foreign applicants. But I was quite surprised that a hairdresser in Singapore can command such high salary nowadays. After all, when I graduated in 2005, my starting salary was only $2600. So it seems to me that the salary gap between a skilled labor and white collar graduate is closing up rapidly in Singapore. The question now is: are Singapore workforce overpaid or is it a case of high inflation? In today’s context, can a degree really provide good income or open the door to opportunities?

I recall not too long ago, Sakae Sushi offered $3000 for a dishwasher. I am not too sure whether this offer is still open but it caused a lot of debate back then. On one end, the boss lamented the difficulty in filling that position because of the manual work and long hours. On the other end, many people questioned the wisdom of paying so much for an unskilled position. Both camp of debaters have their merits but I just wonder what is the salary baseline for Singapore employees nowadays. A check with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on median gross median income revealed

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Tapering QE is a sideshow and the road ahead is inflationary

In my interaction with local finance bloggers, I was surprised that many of them confessed that they didn’t know anything about gold bullion. In recent years, there were also a lot of negative reports of Singaporeans fallen prey to gold scams and frauds, losing millions of dollars in the process. With this in mind, SG Wealth Builder partners with BullionStar to educate Singaporean about the precious metal and the fundamental behind it. This article is extracted with permission from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices.

The word ‘taper’ has never gotten so much attention than in 2013 when it was used to describe the gradual tightening of the money printing spigot of the Quantitative Easing (QE) program. It started in March when the Federal Reserve said that they will reduce the QE bond purchases if economic indicators improve.

In April, a number of top Federal Reserve officials fed the media with more taper talk. St Louis Fed Bank president James Bullard said that he favoured “trimming” the QE program in $10-$15 billion increments if the economy improves. Then John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said that if there was substantial improvement in the labour market, the Federal Reserve “could end the purchase program sometime late this year”. In May, it was the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s turn to spread taper chatter by admitting that tapering QE could happen in the coming FOMC meetings if economic data warranted it. In June, Bernanke announced to reporters in a post-FOMC meeting press conference that the central bank expected QE tapering later in the year and end it some point in mid-2014. He gave the analogy of driving and that the Fed was merely lifting its foot off

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More HDB flats sold below valuation

According to an article by Property Guru, 105 HDB flats were sold below valuation in October. Based on HDB data, this trend is significantly down from the average monthly 0.3% for H1 2013 and reflected the number of flats sold below valuation increased four times in October compared to the first half of 2013. This phenomenon indicated a weakening demand caused by the “twin attacks” of stricter home loan rules and massive new flats construction programme announced by HDB in recent years. So should property investors press the panic items and run for their lives?

As written in my previous article, the cooling measure will not change market sentiment. Throughout history, the best form of cooling measure had always been a recession.

SG Wealth Builder
During recession, there would be widespread retrenchment by companies and it is only when people lost their jobs and lost money in stock investments, then they would be forced to sell their investment properties at cut throat prices. When this occurred, the market will correct itself and bring down property prices.

So I foresee that property prices will stabilize for the next two to three years, baring any form of recession taking place in Singapore. However, I don’t think that premium over valuation, commonly known as “cash over valuation (COV)” will enjoy its heady days. The average COV used to be $30,000 to $50,000 for five-room HDB flats, but nowadays, sellers might find it difficult to command such COV. This is because of the government’s measure to restrict new permanent resident from buying resale HDB flats within three years.

The most affected group of people could be those who speculate in private developments and up-graders who purchased private housing at the peak of the property cycle. This group of people took out massive home loans to

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Insurance

Insurance should always feature in every investor’s financial planning. In fact, before you even attempt to make any form of investment in equities or gold, make sure you are adequately covered, in terms of unforeseen hefty medical expenses.
Because of my late father’s health condition, I started buying life insurances and protect my wealth with enhanced hospital shield plan. I see it as a form of responsibility to my family because I don’t want to be a financial burden to them when I am old and ill. I also urged my friends and blog readers to buy insurance policies when they are young and healthy. This is important because if you procrastinate, chances are, the insurers will likely to reject your application if you are not in the best of your health.
Insurance
Lately, I chanced upon a fellow blogger, Lee Chin Wai’s article on his health condition and medical insurance. His article set me thinking whether I had really plan for the unexpected. In his article, he related how he has encountered unforeseen risk in his medical insurance. He had bought a private “as-charged” Medishield Plan B but did not buy any riders for deductible or co-insurance potions. In recent years, because of his poor health, he went to seek consultant at a private specialist and unwittingly “exposed him to the risk of being warded in a private hospital”. As such, his current medical coverage can only cover about half of his insurable medical expenses. He was thus caught in a situation whereby he might not be able to upgrade to a private shield plan, because this is subjected to the review of insurers.

While I had a similar shield plan as Lee Chin Wai, the difference is that I had bought riders to cover deductible and co-insurance. But

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Budgeting

When it comes to personal finance, budgeting is an important element. Yet I observed that many young Singaporean working adults fail to understand the importance of budgeting and how to practice it in an effective manner.

This is not surprising as most students were not taught about how to manage money in schools and at home, most parents also seldom discuss household budgets with their children. As Asian, we also find it taboo to talk about money issues during social meetings. All these factors reinforce the notion that budgeting is not relevant to successful personal finance, which is totally untrue.

Many people thought that budgeting is all about counting beans and tracking your daily expenses. But I beg to differ. Sure, there are means and various mobile apps designed to track your daily expenses but I find that managing personal finance at such micro-level would take the kick out of living a meaningful life.

silver

Just imaging this: having to think twice about buying or treating your good pal that cuppa of Starbuck coffee. Or how about skipping a close colleague just to save that ang pow money? Money is important but we should not let it rules our lives and stresses us out. Conversely, we must manage it to make our life meaningful. So a good budget is about managing your personal monthly cash-flow to ensure that your living expenses, savings, investment plans and retirement needs are catered for.

Separate bank accounts for savings and expenses
I have a few bank accounts to manage my budget. The expense account is the one in which my salary is credited to. Every month, fixed expenses such as car loan installments, parking fees, insurance premiums, handphone bills and utilities bills, income tax (I pay by installments) would be deducted from this account.

Pay

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Herd investing

When it comes to stock investments, it is difficult to make money if you adopted a herd investing mentality. A few months ago, a friend of mine sent me a text to  recommend investing in one of the local stocks, Yongnam. In his texts, he kept praising how good the company was, citing the various exciting business prospects and developments.
I did not solicit for his views on any stock investments before, so I was quite surprised that he tried to induce me to invest in this counter. Furthermore, I am not the sort of person who is easily influenced by others when it comes to stock investment and normally I would do my own research before investing in any counters.
stock market

So I chided him for trying to induce me to invest in Yongnam. Of course he denied flatly and vehemently defended that he was just sharing good stuff. I gave him the benefit of my doubts since he is my good friend, nonetheless, I did not invest in Yongnam.

One of the most common mistakes made by new Singapore investors is the tendency to adopt a herd mentality. Tempted to make quick profits, many novice or inexperienced investors enter the stock market and rely solely on rumors and tips from friends or brokers. As they lack the knowledge to invest on their own, this group of young investors value opinions of friends, brokers or relatives when it comes to investing. I am quite concerned for this group of uneducated investors because many of them will confess their regrets after paying expensive “school fees”.

To a large extent, it is not entirely their fault. Our education system is not shaped to provide guidance on personal finance and investment to our students. Many young adults are suddenly thrust into working life

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Property market outlook for Singapore

The following article is a guest posting by iMoney (Intelligent Money), which was founded in Malaysia in April 2012 and started out with a team of three. It took 14 days to get from an idea to a fully functional website. The company’s vision was (and still is) to simplify financial matters for consumers, thus helping them make better decision.
Property prices in Singapore are among the highest globally. This market has always been a demand driven one. That is because Singapore is a commercial hub, connecting the whole of Asia with rest of the world. The country attracts business people, professionals and executives from across the world. As a result, demand for both office space and housing have persisted over time.  

Property

Apartment prices are on the raise
Apartment prices of Singapore’s core central region including Orchard Road district increased by 49% and prices in the suburbs that are popular with middle-class people increased by 70% since the end of the global financial crisis in 2009. According to a Channel NewsAsia research, household debt was 77.2% of the gross domestic product at the end of March 2013. It was just 64.4% in 2007. But the property prices grew by 120% in the same period. It clearly indicates that properties are overvalued at the moment.  But Shares of blue-chip property firms dropped in first half of 2013 after the government had introduced new cooling measures for the market including a curb on home loans and imposition of high stamp duties for home buyers. This suggests that the property market will go through a correction soon. It is actually good for the potential long term investors. Buying a property in 2014 will give more return as the market is likely to have a corrected price.
Supply will overcast the demand
According to
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Year-end bonuses

It is that time of the year when employees look forward to collecting their year-end bonuses. Last week, the government declared the 13th month and 1.1 month annual variable bonuses for all civil servants.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has forecast Singapore’s economic growth to be about 3.5% – 4% for 2013. Growth is expected to be supported by externally-oriented sectors such as manufacturing and wholesale trade, in line with the slight pickup in the global economy, as well as domestically-oriented sectors like construction and business services which are expected to remain resilient.
With the world economy still in unstable mode, I believe most Singapore workers’ year end bonuses would be modest, in view of the moderated growth for Singapore economy.
This will be the 8th time I am collecting year-end bonuses. In my previous blog entry last year, I made a resolution last year to purchase an endowment plan for my baby daughter. This is to plan for her future tertiary education expenses. Hence, we bought an endowment plan in July.
For this year, I am setting aside some of the bonuses for next January’s Chinese New Year. I budgeted about $2500 to 3000 for the overall Chinese New Year expenses, which include red packets monies, new year clothing for my family and other miscellaneous expenses.
Apart from Chinese New Year, another costly event next year would be the income tax bill in April onward (I pay by installments). Even though I entitled for the child subsidy, I am afraid that this might not be able to cover all the bill-able taxes, so I am making provision of $1000 for that.
personal finance

Last year, I also mentioned about settling my car loan by 2014. After the loan policy set by MAS this year and the sky-high COE prices, my

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Investing insights

Some people said that investing is all about timing, some said it boils down to luck. To me, investing is half science and half art. Sometimes you can analysis as much as possible on a particular stock but when the market suddenly crashes, all your profits and capital will be gone. That’s the hard reality.
Therefore, successful investing also requires the right skill to make critical judgement call and look at things from the big picture. To be a winner, you must remain calm in the face of market swings, and be prepared to go against the crowd. That will not be easy, and not many people, including myself, can achieve that. But if you are able to do so, the rewards can be substantial.
The difficulty of assessing a company lies in the qualitative analysis. This is because it is not easy for investors to come up with the intrinsic value of the business, especially for those novice ones. I have seen many Singaporean finance bloggers making investments in local stocks based solely on NAV or P/E. Some of them also invested in Reits or ETFs, with investment criteria based solely on potential dividend yields. These are very narrow measures to gauge a company and may not reflect accurately the value of a stock.
Most Singaporeans don’t even bother about the fundamentals of the business before making investments in stocks. Many of them buy shares of company whenever there are media reports of new contracts secured and panic sell when stock prices fell. Many Singaporeans don’t even understand the concept of asset allocation and thought that investing is all about stock investments. Many also don’t appreciate the importance of diversifying their portfolio in gold and bonds.
gold

To be a good investor, we must not only focus on the fundamentals

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When to Use a Credit Card and Not Cash

Many people still pay for goods and services with cash and this is perfectly fine. Cash transactions are quick especially when you’re only buying a few items at the grocery store or convenience store. Using cash also lets buyers and merchants avoid fees associated with using a credit card. However, credit card issuersoffer their customers many benefits that could make it wiser to swipe your card the next time you pay for something.

Rewards, Rewards, and More Rewards

Rewards and bonuses are one of the main features of credit cards. Retailers that offer their own credit cards have a lot of promos for their customers as a way to gain loyal customers. Retailers such as gas stations and specialty stores promise their customers rebates and special discounts when customers use the store’s special credit cards. Some petrol stations in Malaysia for example, give 8% rebate on gas purchases with store-branded credit cards. It’s best to study your expenses and see whether your favourite store offers their own credit card. You could be saving a lot by using their credit card or at least earn more reward points. This is especially true for frequent flyers who want to earn more air miles by swiping their credit cards.

Extended Warranties

Planning to buy a shiny new smartphone or digital camera? You might want to pay for that with your credit card because many electronic retailers provide 0% interest on credit card purchases. Aside from that, customers who pay for their electronics or appliances can enjoy extended warranties for their purchase. For example, Mastercard and Discover promises to double the warranty provided by the original manufacturer for eligible items bought with their cards for up to a year. American Express has a similar promise to their cardholders.

Purchase Protection

If that shiny
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BullionStar: China’s physical gold demand continues to be strong

This article is extracted from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices.

Numbers for China’s gold imports from Hong Kong for the month of September is out. Net gold imports from Hong Kong were 109.4 metric tons. This was slighly lower than the import figures in August.

Nevertheless, these are very strong numbers showing China’s high demand for physical gold. It marks the fifth consecutive month that gold import numbers are in excess of 100 metric tons. In the first 9 months of 2013, China has imported an estimated 832 metric tons of gold. The Chinese are already the No. 1 gold mining nation today and they are enroute to become the No. 1 buyer of gold this year.

Such strong gold import numbers continue to support the view that China is accumulating her gold reserves. This is in line with China’s intention to prepare for the on-going efforts to internationalise the renminbi and reduce potential currency exchange risks of using the US dollar.

In today’s fiat currency dominated world, it is easy to lose sight of the true value of gold when it is relegated to being a commodity traded with other commodities (such as corn, cattle or copper) on the futures market. China’s immense gold appetite and increased gold purchases by central banks show the true value of gold as the form of money that anchors confidence when currency risks abound.

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Gold or Equities?

Recent market swings for penny stocks would make investors pause and rethink their approach on equities. Quite a number of investors lost their savings investing in risky penny counters. Some retirees even lost a huge chunk of their retirement funds. So the question for most investors is gold or equities?

Whilst I certainly won’t dispute the pros on investing in equities, I do believe in having a portfolio consisting of several investment instruments. And I believe that every investors should hold bullion in their investment portfolio. This is because gold prices often move in opposite direction to equities and currencies. So allocating gold in your portfolio can help to serve as a form of hedge against inflation and enhance your portfolio’s performance.

Gold and Silver Bullion

Investors should hold a long-term view on gold investments and not expect quick returns. They should consider it as a form of diversification to lower risk for their investment portfolio. Very often, I read articles from many writers in The Finance.sg sharing their investment experiences. Many of them pumped in hundred of thousands of dollars on shares, REITs and ETF. Their investment performances were impressive indeed but if the stock market plunged suddenly, large portions of their investment values would be wiped off overnight.

How many of these investors can stomach such market swings? That I don’t know but all I know is that every portfolio must be balanced and focusing too much on stocks in your asset allocation is not healthy at all.

It is important to differentiate between paper gold and physical gold. The former refers to ETFs, shares in mining companies or options and futures. These financial instruments are more suitable for speculators who wish to have faster returns. There are of course risks involved for paper gold. Physical gold refers

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Most Singaporeans don’t know how to invest in stocks

For many Singaporean investors, the content of this article will come across as highly offensive. But recent happening in local stock market warrants a reality check for many Singaporeans. The hard truth is, most Singaporeans don’t know how to invest in stocks. In fact, many Singaporeans don’t even know exactly what is investment all about. Last Friday, I read an article from The Straits Times that an investor has lost $120,000 of his retirement funds trading in the Blumont shares. He was still in a shell shock state because the value of his shares is now worth only $5,850. He lamented that “I’m one of many saddened and disheartened investors who will have to live with this painful memory for a long time,”

Even though Singaporeans in general are highly educated, many still lack of “FQ”, commonly known as Financial Quotient. So what this means is that they can be very good in their careers or businesses and earn high incomes, but generally poor in personal financial management. Many are busy with various commitments, so they did not bother to spend time doing homework before investing away their hard-earned money in stocks. Many don’t even know the basic principles of financial planning and asset allocation. In the case of the investor who lost more than $110,000 in Blumont stocks, he should know better than to use his retirement funds for share trading.

stock market

Ask any male Singaporeans on cars and computers and very likely, they could easily rattle off the performance specifications, backgrounds and problems. But when it comes to stock investments, these people prefer to base their investment decisions on their brokers’ recommendations and media reports. Many don’t read the companies’ annual reports or do research on investment techniques.

In the case of Blumont, many investors don’t even realize that

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Lending money

Lending money is always a sensitive topic for all. Last month, I completed my two weeks of National Service reservist training. I met the bunk mate who tried to borrow money from me several times. Initially, it was a bit awkward for both of us as I had refused to lending money to him. But after a while, after realizing that he did not have any ill feeling towards me, I had a good chat with him.
I found out that he left his previous contract job and was jobless for almost half a year. He tried to look for office jobs but to no avail. He holds a N-Level certificate and his previous job skill was obsoleted. My advice to him was to take on part-time jobs, working either as shop assistant or cashier. At least that would bring food to the table and allowed him to sustain day-to-day activities.
Singapore Finance Blogger

But to my surprise, he declined my suggestion because he wanted to be focused in looking for a permanent office job. At the back of mind, I thought that since he already had money problems and had no income, it was financial suicide to carry on like this. The more he dragged, the harder it would be difficult for him to find a job. This was because prospective employer would question his “hunger” and queried why he was jobless for so long.

As a matter of fact, I was annoyed by my friend’s lack of hunger. His attitude towards life vindicated that many Singaporeans, especially the younger ones, are not “hungry” and lack the competitive spirit.  I have encountered newly minted graduates complaining their wages are low ($3500) and I have heard of stories of local SME employers who were unable to hire local talents despite offering good pays

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The Warren Buffett Way (New Third Edition)

Over one million copies sold in cloth and paper formats of the two previous editions, a New York Times bestselling book, The Warren Buffett Way, is now completely revised to cater for the new generation of investors. With additional chapters on the important distinctions between investment and trading; and the examination of Buffett’s most successful disciples, the third edition focuses on the timeless principles and strategies behind Buffett’s extraordinary investment success. 

The Warren Buffett Way, + Website, 3rd Edition is bundled with a companion website, www.thewarrenbuffettway.com, an interactive resource which offers an array of information to facilitate investors with putting Buffett’s approach in practice. It also comes with two supplemental materials which are a workbook, The Warren Buffett Way Workbook, and software, The Warren Buffett Video Course; each sold separately.

Author Robert G. Hagstrom’s authoritative and detailed interpretation of Buffett’s investment methods in The Warren Buffett Way, + Website, 3rd Edition provides essential insights into the psychological challenges of managing a Warren Buffett portfolio as well as the role of patience in long-term investing.

The suggested retail price of the The Warren Buffett Way, + Website, 3rd Edition (hardcover) is US$29.95; e-book (oBook, ePub, Adobe PDF and MobiPocket) is US$19.99; and The Warren Buffett Way Workbook and The Warren Buffett Video Course are priced at US$39.95 respectively.
The Warren Buffett Way, + Website, 3rd Edition will be available from the Wiley Online Store (www.Wiley.com), and through all key online book retailers and major bookstores.
 
About us:
Wiley is a global provider of content and content-enabled workflow solutions in areas of scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly research; professional development; and education. Established since 1807, Wiley has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping
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Gambling

Recently, I watched a video clip in YouTube featuring one of Singapore best known local celebrities, Lee Nanxing, who related his journey of conversion to Christianity after struggling with gambling problem. He recounted that when he reached his career pinnacle in the nineties, he unwittingly offended the Mediacorp top management and was being “frozen” by the media company for almost two years.

During that low period, Lee Nanxing was still paid his salary but he was constantly worried about his future as an artiste. As a result, he decided to venture into business and opened a pub with a few partners. Business suffered due to mismanagement and also because Lee Nanxing was too busy with a few projects in China. When he returned to Singapore, he was shocked to find the company in a financial mess. As he was the major shareholder, all the creditors pestered him for settlement.

silver

Saddled with huge debts, Lee Nanxing tried to salvage his company unsuccessfully. Eventually, he decided to try his luck at gambling but that turned out to be one of the most fatal mistakes that he made in his life. He thought that with his few tricks that he picked up in the popular drama “The Unbeatables”, he could make quick money and paid off the company debts.

However, he was proven wrong. He ended up losing away all his savings and even had to borrow from the illegal moneylenders. Lee couldn’t believe his bad luck and felt that he was victimized by fate. At one point, he was persuaded by his friends to buy Feng Shui items, costing him up to thousands of dollars. But it doesn’t help him at all and he was still heavily in debt. He was convinced that he was finished because all his close friends and
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Blumont Group

The recent trading halt of Blumont Group had raised a number of eyebrow among Singaporean investors. Many local investors thought that investing in the stock market is akin to gambling, which is untrue. When it comes to investment, many Singaporeans don’t even know the difference between risk and uncertainty. In salient, risk in stock investments can be managed through the proper technique.
However, when it comes to gambling, you will not be able to predict the outcome and win consistently. Because of the lack of knowledge and self-awareness, most wealth builders tend to speculate in the stock market, resulting in the tip based investment culture in Singapore. The recent case of SGX suspending the trading of Blumont Group vindicated my thoughts.
stock market
Blumont Group, which was previously involved in the packaging, property and investment sectors, started investing last year in a number of companies in sectors such as iron ore, coal, gold, uranium and copper. On 4 Oct, Blumont was one of three companies suspended by the Singapore Exchange after their share prices plummeted by 40 to 60%. A Singapore broking house had also recently declared its shares as “designated securities.” That means investors cannot short-sell them, and purchases via the broking house must be paid for upfront with cash. Local brokerages sometimes put a trading limit on a stock if they believe it has run up above what they believe is a fair valuation.An educated investor would know that investing in a company with new business direction is always risky and involves a lot of uncertainties due to the company’s lack of track record and experience. In the case of Blumont Group, investors need to pause and examine the fundamentals first before even thinking of buying the stock.
Remember, don’t be in a hurry to lose your money. The company
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Optimizing energy levels

Whether you are a full-time investor, entrepreneur or employee, there are bound to be times when you suffer from some off-days which inevitably affects your productivity. This is perfectly normal as we are human beings and not robots that are built with high level of performance reliability. However, successful people tend to have a knack of optimizing their energy levels for better performance.

In today’s context, being hardworking is not enough to be considered a high performer in the workplace. You need to work smart and not just work hard. To be successful, it is important to harness your energy levels, which can vary across different age groups, environments and personalities. In my opinion, it is possible to manage and optimize our energy levels to bring out the best for work performance. To achieve this, one needs to adopt good habits and internalize them into daily life routine.

Energy levels

For example a professional top currency trader based in Singapore would devise a strategy of monitoring closely the international currency movements he is vested in. To do so, he would have to be disciplined in his daily activities because he couldn’t afford to let slip any unexpected major market fluctuations which may destroy his wealth. He would have to be focused and manage his energy levels well in order to make money from currency trading.

Physical energy level

If you always suffer from Monday blues or encounter problems waking up on time for work on a daily basis, you may struggle to maintain an acceptable physical energy level during office hours. Hence, you need to practice good sleeping habit and make it a point to avoid late night activities. This may sound relatively straightforward but you may be surprised many people don’t seem to get it, especially for those who just join

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Re-inventing my blog, SG Wealth Builder

Yesterday, I made the critical decision to register my blog domain name and got rid of “blogspot.com” from the blog’s domain name. The name of this blog was also changed to SG Wealth Builder. The name change means that I have to re-establish my page ranking in various search engines. It is indeed painful to start all over again but I suppose the only constant in life is change!

As a blogger, I am always challenging myself to improve my blog’s quality and content. Over the years, my blog has evolved from sharing of investment and entrepreneurial ideas to a portal of wealth building opportunities, providing wealth building information to readers. Along the way, I felt that the former blog title does not reflect the current activities in this blog. Therefore, the re-branding of this blog.

SG Wealth Builder
There are many people who think that they can make a living from blogging full time. In reality, this is very difficult to achieve. Indeed, you probably can make a few hundreds or thousands here and there from affiliate marketing or sponsorships. But in most months, there might be little or even no income at all. Over the years, I have seen so many local bloggers fizzled out from the scene after only a few months. I supposed most of them gave up blogging after realizing that it cannot bring food to the table on a daily basis. So if you wanted to make a career in blogging, your first priority should not be in making money from your blog. Rather, you must first have the passion for sharing a niche in your blog. The money will come in after you have build up a high traffic blog with established reputation.

Now for some updates. We are approaching the final quarter of 2013

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SATS Ltd: Stable Dividend Stock from Singapore


Below is an article from guest blogger, Richard who works as a stock analyst and has 3 years of experience in the stock market. He likes to write articles and hope to share his experiences with investors in Singapore If you would like additional SGX Dividend Stocks data, information or screening tools, please visit website http://sg.dividendinvestor.com, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments.
 
SG Web Reviews does not accept any liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential losses or damages that may arise from the use of information or opinions in this article. The information and opinions in this publication are not to be considered as an offer to sell or buy any of the securities discussed. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice.The economy of Singapore has experienced rapid economic development since independence in 1965. Its strong economic performance reflects the success of its open and outward-oriented development strategy. The importance of services to the Singapore economy also grew, as evidenced by the increasing share of the financial and business sectors of the economy. In this article I am sharing about one of the best Singapore dividend stocks which will give you good returns.
SATS Ltd
Corporate Overview
SATS Ltd, is an investment holding company based in Singapore which formerly known as Singapore Airport Terminal Services Limited. It offers the most complete solutions, even for the most complex requirements. Its other activities include rental of premises and business of management services to related companies. The company controls about 80% of Changi airport’s ground handling and catering business. Its subsidiaries include SATS Airport Services, SATS Catering, SATS Security Services, Aero Laundry & Linen Services, Aerolog Express, Country Foods Pte Ltd and Singapore Food Industries.
Its Food Solutions business comprises airline catering, food
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Take advange of gold price’s correction!

Physical gold and silver buyers are once again treated with a surprise selloff in the gold and silver paper markets. Amidst high demand for physical bullion, especially in Asia, paper markets still set the price for real physical precious metals. At BullionStar, gold price and the price for physical precious metals are expected to decouple from each other eventually as physical demand continues to increase.

While western speculators are selling off paper gold, physical demand for gold is rising rapidly. In the World Gold Council’s Q2 report, demand for bullion and jewellery increased a whopping 53 % in the second quarter of 2013 compared to one year ago.

To put things into perspective, gold price has been on a bullish run for the past 10 years. The current correction should be seen as a healthy sign as the bull cycle for gold price comes to an end. Wealth builders should seize this opportunity to accumulate more physical gold as the gold price experience a soft landing.

Singapore is viewed by many international investors as the best place to buy and store gold because of its low crime rate and strong jurisdiction laws. However, low crime does not mean no crime. At the end of the day, you do not want to take the risk and should store your physical gold in secured facility. Most of the bullion dealers in Singapore sell popular gold and silver bullion but not many offer the services of storing bullion for their customers.

It is recommended that when choosing a secured facility for storing bullion, go for bullion dealers with strong reputation and you should also make a point to visit the place yourself.

Gold bullion


My Vault Storage®

Did you know that you can store your bullion in BullionStar’s vault? With “My Vault Storage®“,

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Family Wealth Management: Seven Imperatives for Successful Investing in the New World Order

Singapore, October 3, 2013 – Mr. Mark Haynes Daniell is the founder and chairman of the Raffles Family Wealth Trust, a Singapore-based strategic advisory boutique focused on strategies for wealthy families and their investments, transactions, and businesses. He is also the founder and chairman of his own family office in Singapore.

Mr. Daniell is a former senior partner at Bain & Company, director of Wasserstein Perella, and president of k1 Ventures, a strategic investment company publicly listed in Singapore. He created and chaired the Private Wealth Management Initiative as part of the Singapore government’s Economic Review Committee in 2002. He is a director of various listed and private companies, including Olam International, Tiryaki Agro, Aquarius Investment Advisors Pte Ltd. (vice chairman), Sacoven PLC (chairman), and a cofounder of Capital Partners of Georgia.

His new book, Family Wealth Management: Seven Imperatives for Successful Investing in the New World Order (coauthored with Tom McCullough; John Wiley & Sons, August 2013), is a comprehensive guide to family wealth management which integrates all aspects of family and financial wealth strategy, from family vision and philosophy of wealth through asset structuring to serve multiple purposes, addressing state of the art asset allocation models, traditional and alternative assets, specific approaches to management of wealth in turbulent times, the integration of a family business into wealth management plans, careful monitoring of performance against internal goals and external benchmarks, and ending with a long term plan to engage and educate the family to ensure a positive environment is created for the current–and future–management of family wealth.

Other books:
·        Family Legacy and Leadership: Preserving True Family Wealth in Challenging Times (coauthored with Sara Hamilton; John Wiley & Sons, 2010)
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Investing: Why you should start young

The following is an article on investing by guest blogger, Neo Pok Chow, a 21 year old Singaporean trader and is the creator of http://www.optionssingapore.com/. If you want to have a better financial future, you’re welcome to learn about investing for free on his site.
 
Young people are often unaware or even clueless about their finances or money matters. Their school doesn’t teach them how to invest. Their parents don’t teach it either. Their peers have no clue. So to be fair, how are they suppose to know about it? This is actually a worrying sign. Ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. Ignoring your finance is foolish.
Young people need to realize that their age and time they have is their biggest attribute. They’re young and they enjoy their life hanging out and playing all around while being shielded by their parents. They fund their expenses using their pocket money and the occasional part time job during holidays. Life is good! They’re having fun! Why should they care?
stock investing
I’m not saying that young people should not have fun. I’m just saying that it is good to start learning about finance and investing from a young age as it is beneficial down the road. How would a young person know about this field of knowledge then? Well, that’s why you’re reading this right now. We can’t blame our parents for their lack of knowledge. We can’t blame the school for not including it in their syllabus. We can’t blame our friends for being clueless. With the plethora of information available on the internet nowadays, granted access, we can only blame ourselves for our lack of knowledge. [ Click here to learn what a Call is! ]
So to all the young people, why is it important to start young
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Sheng Siong Group

One of my favorite stocks which I am tracking is Sheng Siong Group, a supermarket chain in Singapore. The supermarket industry in Singapore is very competitive, with several big players like NTUC Fairprice and Giant. But Sheng Siong manages to stay very profitable for the past few years and overcome the challenges in the business environment such as increasing inflationary pressures and foreign labour restrictions.
Supermarket is considered a recession proof industry, after all, whether its good or bad economies, retailers still need to buy household groceries. Management of Sheng Siong Group should remain prudent in its expansion plans and consider making more of its outlets 24 hours operations so as to increase revenue.
Stock investing
With effect from 1 Oct 2013, 10 more outlets will also serve customers 24 hours daily. These outlets are located at:1. Bedok Central 209: BLK 209 New Upper Changi Rd #01-631/#02-631
2. Bedok North 115: BLK 115 Bedok North Road #01-319 Singapore 460115
3. Bedok North 539A: BLK 539A Bedok North St 3 #01-477 Singapore 461539
4. Chin Swee 52: BLK 52 Chin Swee Rd #01-25 Singapore 160052
5. Clementi 352: BLK 352 Clementi Ave 2 #01-91/99 Singapore 120352
6. Clementi 720: BLK 720 Clementi West St 2 #01-144 Singapore 120720
7. Elias Mall Market Stalls: Stall nos. 14, 15, 16 BLK 623 Elias Road #B1-01 Elias Mall Singapore 510623
8. Jurong SuperBowl: 3 Yuan Ching Rd #01-01A/02 Singapore 618642
9. Teban Gardens: BLK 61 Teban Gardens Rd #01-21 Singapore 600061
10. Woodlands 6A: BLK 6A Woodlands Centre Rd #01-280 Singapore 731006This brings the total number of Sheng Siong outlets operating 24 hours to 25.

Singapore, 23 July 2013 – Sheng Siong Group Ltd. (“Sheng Siong”, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group” or “昇菘集团”), one of the largest supermarket chains in Singapore, registered a 20.8% year-on-year

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Haw Par Corp

I was reading one of the articles posted in Finance.sg on Haw Par Corp and decided that its timely to provide an update on the company’s performance in Q2 2013. As mentioned in my article in June, Haw Par Corp is a financially strong company. In terms of asset value, it is currently trading at estimate 31% discount. As of 1 Oct 2013, the net asset value is $10.73 but it share price is only $7.40! This is definitely a value stock with good business fundamentals.

Many Singaporeans can probably relate Haw Par Corp as the manufacturer of the famous Tiger Balm but how many investors know that it also owns the famous Underwater World at Sentosa? I like this company because it had been consistently giving out dividends for the past 20 years. The company is cash rich, is financially strong and is trading at below net asset value. However, this counter has risen in value so much for the past two years that it is beyond my entry price, which is $4.00. Looks like I have to wait until the next stock market crash to load up this overlooked stock in SGX.

Stock investing

The original business of manufacturing and distributing through Southeast Asia pharmaceuticals under the Tiger Brand names, the best known of which is ‘Tiger Balm’, was founded at the turn of the century. This was subsequently incorporated under the name, Haw Par Brothers (Pte) Ltd and in 1969, Haw Par Brothers Intl Ltd was formed to acquire the main part of that business. The Company took on its present name, Haw Par Corporation Ltd in December 1997.

In the seventies and eighties, it has grown into a conglomerate with diversified interests.
The Group’s core business in healthcare and leisure products promotes healthy lifestyles through its health products,

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