Singaporeans really stupid?

If you think that Singapore is a good place to become rich, think again. In my previous post, I wrote that although Singaporeans are considered highly educated, generally most of us are not financially savvy and not as street smart compared to many of our South East Asia counterparts. Inevitably, many critics will dish out statistics showing that over the decades, Singapore has consistently been ranked among the top in terms of ‘O’ and ‘A’ level results and argue that our kids are among the brightest in the world. However, there is a need to know the difference between academic successes and intelligence quotient (IQ).


IQ, EQ and AQ
You might be exam smart and scored high marks for examinations when you were a student. But having achieving academic successes doesn’t automatically guarantee you a good life and is generally not a good indicator of future success.

To succeed in life, you need Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Adversity Quotient (AQ). You can see that academic achievements doesn’t feature in any of the three categories. This is because these are not something which you can learn from the text books or in schools. Generally, they are usually innate or hereditary.

Read more

Pay yourself first

In recent years, there were various articles on increasing trend of Singaporeans defaulting on their credit card payments. This is a worrying sign in Singapore. In fact, one of my readers commented that he belongs to the group of credit card payment defaulters and is struggling to settle his mounting bills. I hope he managed to dig his way out of the hole he created for himself, but I suspect it is going to be a long and tough road for him. I believe this is also the case for many young Singaporean adults who just entered the workforce and spend lavishly. In this article, I will share my thoughts on how to pay yourself first.

Financial Discipline
When I just started out working, I always thought that credit card gives consumers a false sense of purchasing power. It was only until when my brother, who works in the credit department of an international bank, pointed out that the key to managing credit card spending is financial discipline. It was then that I corrected my thinking. Having many credit lines or credit cards is not a bad thing in itself. After all, we can make use of the various point rewards, rebates or discounts that credit cards offer.

Read more

Money Talks with Spouse

Recently, my wife and myself reviewed our financial health and done some financial planning. We reviewed our household incomes, savings, monthly expenses, insurances and our child’s endowment plan.

I always enjoy these money talks with my spouse because during these sessions, we would set realistic goals and aligned our monetary values. This process also forced us to think through areas we did not do well and motivated us to improve further.

Who said money is not important in a relationship?
Many couples tend to underestimate the role of money in a relationship. Some even claimed that a relationship based solely on love is sustainable and that money should never stand in the way of two people who love each other deeply.

In Singapore’s context, I would say this sort of thinking can land a couple in deep trouble, at least financially. The high cost of living in Singaporea means that any relationship without a good financial foundation would likely end in disaster. Personally, I have seen many couples broke up because of money issues.

Many times, the couples were clueless about each other financial health and habits. They fail to realize the powerful impact on a relationship that can be brought about by financial struggles.

Read more

Singapore Stock Market Highlights

Below is an article from guest blogger, Richard who works as a stock market 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, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments.

stock market

Singapore stock market came in limelight on 1st December, 1999. This provides different services related to securities and derivative trading facilities. SGX is a member of the WFE (World Federation of Exchanges) and Asian and Ocean stock exchanges federation.
Measure the stock value
In Singapore several renowned companies are listed on the SGX stock market. These companies are good for the economy and wealth of the city. Times to time market values of these listed companies are changed therefore to track changes of the market values Singapore stock market provides market indices such as:
§ SGX Indices
§  BT Singapore Regional Index
§  Straits Times Index
§  FTSE/ASEAN Indices
§  FTSE ST Catalist Index
§  UOB Catalist Index
§  Prime Partners China Index
§  Asia Shariah 100 Index
§  SiMSCI, MSCI India
§  A50
§  FTSE Xinhua China.
Read more

OSIM FY12 results

OSIM announced a set of good results for FY12. I am not vested in this counter but has been keeping a close watch on it. OSIM’s share price has rocketed since three years ago after management cut losses on its US investment losses. Since then, it has never looked back and the latest results showed that they have achieved their third consecutive years of record profit despite tough economic environment.

Record PBT S$115 million +17% , Q4 PBT of S$31 million +28%
Record PAT S$87 million +26% , Q4 PAT S$23million +32%
Record EBITDA S$126 million +13% , Q4 EBITDA S$34 million +20%
Final Dividend of 1 cent per share + Special Dividend of 1 cent per share
Cash & Cash Equivalents and Fixed Income Investments as at 31 December 2012 were S$235 million
Besides the above results, one aspect that I liked about OSIM is that it offers significant opportunities for growth. It has managed to re-invent itself and brand itself as “Asia’s Number 1 brand in well being and healthy lifestyle products”. This means that the OSIM has a lot of leg-room for future growth and business expansion. In fact, its venture into GNC health products and subsequent penetration into China market has helped to boost the company’s coffers.
Read more

Singaporeans – Stupid or Smart?

There are many ways to become rich in Singapore and investing in gold is one of the way to build your wealth. In Singapore, there is generally low awareness on how to invest in gold. Because of this, there is increasing trend of Singaporeans fallen prey to gold scams.

Recently, the Straits Times published an article stating that 180 investors had inked a petition urging government to take action against Gold Guarantee (TGG). Apparently these investors turned up at Hong Lim Park and signed the petition urging the authorities to expedite investigations into the gold buyback firm. One of the victims even claimed his family lost almost close to one million dollars on TGG. It seems that a lot of Singaporeans had lost huge amount of money after investing in gold buy-back schemes offered by TGG.

Gold bullion

Greed or Stupidity?
Readers may remember that last year, I wrote an article “The wrong way to invest” on The Genneva Gold Trading, which also offered similar gold buyback scheme to investors at ridiculous yield rates. Many investors also lost huge sum of money in that fiasco. Prior to that, there was the Minibond case which also involved multi-million dollars investment losses. Sometimes I wondered why some Singaporeans are so stupid to fall for such silly schemes.

Read more

Financial Overview of Singapore Stocks

Below is an article from guest blogger, Richard, from Dividend Investor. Richard 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, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments.
Make Money through stock dividends
A dividend is a premium which a company gives to its shareholders. Generally, a dividend stock pays quarter dividends (4 times in a year) in order for investors participate in the company’s success. In company’s earning the amount of dividend is called payout ratio. This figure measures the part of the earned money which is paid to the shareholders. A fifty percent value which is half of it earns is a good figure. Sometimes the companies could pay 90 percent of its net income due to its business model. These types of businesses do not need much money for increasing. In Singapore there are many investment companies. The investment plans are designed according to investment requirement of the clients. 
Buy dividend stocks without Pay Commission
Investors gradually want to buy dividends directly from the companies through dividend reinvestment plans, which are known as DRIPs.
Read more

Filing of Personal Income Tax

It is that time of the year for Singapore taxpayers to file income tax again!

Recently, the government announced several Budget inititatives that aim to improve the lives of Singapore citizens. Most of the Budget goodies are targeted at the lower income group and I suppose most of the less well-off households in Singapore will benefit from the 2013 Budget. As I fell into the middle-income bracket, the only Budget goodies that I may be entitled would be the GST Vouchers and the 30% personal tax rebate.personal finance

Difference between Income Tax Relief and Income Tax Rebate
In Singapore, citizens are eligible for various applicable tax relief and rebate. It is important that tax payers understand the difference between tax relief and rebate because it can help tax payers to save thousand of dollars. Essentially, reliefs are deductibles which you can claim on your total income taxable while rebates are offsets on your tax payable.

Obviously given the tier system for Singapore’s personal income tax, the latter would have larger effect on your income tax payable. For example, if a tax payer is claiming the $4500 relief for taking care of his/her parents in 2012, he can only offset $4500 from his total taxable income.
Read more