How to read an annual report in 10 minutes

The annual report is the only published document that provides investors an annual snapshot of the company’s progress, so it is essential that investors spend some time and effort to read the content. Very often, important information can be gleaned from the annual report. So you should make the effort to read the annual report of the companies you invested in.
While you must be a qualified accountant to compile the report, you certainly do not need to be an accountant to read and understand the annual report. Below is a few pointers extracted from Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) on how to read an annual report in 10 minutes.

stock market

1) Read the first two and last two paragraphs of the CEO/Chairman’s statements. This will give you an idea of the company’s performances. Do the same for management’s discussions and operational analysis.

2) Check if independent auditors gave a clean bill of health.

3) Look at the financial statements in the annual report and check for the following:
i) Check if the net profits for the last 5 years are rising or falling. In general, avoid investing in businesses with new direction or in the midst of a turnaround because the risk of losing your investment is very high.

ii) Check if the sales or revenues for the last 5 years are rising or falling. A company with strong investment moats will witness strong performance in the long-term. Revenue is a good indicator on the strength of the business growth.
iii) Look out for the cash flow after working capital adjustments and assess if it is positive or negative. A healthy company should have sufficient cash flow not only for capital expenditure but also for acquisitions that can help to build the investment moats.
iv) Look out for net debt is
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A Unique Guide to Wealth and Financial Independence Using Value Investing Strategies Singapore

Many people spend their life working for active income. They are either ignorant or skeptical about stock investments. Even those who have invested their money, more often, entered into less effective methodology of making money in the stock market. They go for quick money gains and end up losing their net worth by speculating in the market. However, according to authors Victor Chng and Rusmin Ang, the odds can have a better likelihood if one knows what sustainable methodology to use.

In their newly revised book, Value Investing in Growth Companies: How to Spot High Growth Businesses and Generate 40% to 400% Investment Returns, Chng and Ang explore a unique way of analyzing companies using value investing strategies. This unique and simple methodology, called the “Jigsaw Puzzle model,” is broken down into four segments, namely Business, Management, Numbers and Valuation. The authors introduce this concept for building an accurate picture of a company before deciding whether or not to invest. It also forms the basis for investors and traders who want to generate multiple returns in the area of small and fast growing companies to achieve the wealth and financial independence they want and deserve.

The strategies discussed in this book are designed to create a relatively stress-free method of creating a secondary source of income. It uses sensible and conservative investment strategies, not get-rich quick strategies, which even allow traders and investors to spare some time for their family and friends. Although the book is written for people with some investing knowledge, it uses jargon-free language that new investors and traders will be able to understand and produce a long-term sustainable result. It also offers them with ten common investing mistakes they can learn while adding value to their investment strategies. While many companies and case studies discussed in

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Working and living in a foreign country

How is it like working and living in a foreign country? I just watched a Japanese documentary show detailing the life of a Japanese lady who married a Peruvian guy in Peru. It was a heart-warming show which narrated how a Japanese lady lived her life in a foreign country for 20 years.

We all know that the Japanese is a closely knitted community, so initially it was not easy for a young Japanese lady like her to be working and living in a foreign country like Peru. But she managed to overcome the language and cultural barrier. Along the way, she fell in love and married a Peruvian guy. Of course, her Japanese parents initially objected to their marriage, but they accepted him after he lived with them for a short while in Japan.


What struck me was that despite working and living abroad in another foreign country for two decades, her love for her native country remains strong. She still misses Japan very much and what I found admirable was that she has been contributing articles to a Japanese publication all these years because she mentioned that nowadays people go for online news. So she hope to do her part and revives newspaper readership. She is paid 300,000 yen for her efforts, and so has to supplement her income as a local tour guide in Peru. I supposed she is not doing this for the sake of money, but rather out of passion and love for Japan. I have utmost respect for this honorable lady, because although she is not highly educated and does not have a high-flying career, she leads a fulfilling life full of warmth and love.

I think “Limpeh is Foreign Trash” has a lot to learn from her. The fellow bragged that he received

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Value Investing

Last night, I read the investment book, “The Value Investors: Lessons from the World’s Top Fund Managers” for the second time. The Value Investors contains a lot of useful investment insights from successful fund managers and value investors, so I strongly recommend the book to investors, especially newbies.
Indeed, hands-on experience is important when it comes to stock investments. But then again, having the right knowledge on security analysis will certainly reduce the learning curve needed for picking the winning stocks.

Investment wisdom
Nobody can claim to beat the stock market consistently but it is important that you learned from your investment mistakes. Three investment wisdom gained from Irving Kahn, one of Benjamin Graham’s disciples, is that in order to succeed in picking the winning stocks, you need to have patience, discipline and skepticism.

To many, these three traits seemed straightforward, logical and common sense. But when it comes to real life application, many investors (including myself) were guilty of not following these rules. Very often, we would be tempted to invest in certain hot stocks after reading good reviews from analysts. We fear that if we waited on the sideline for too long, the opportunity to buy cheap and make profits would be gone.
Therefore, for many investors, greed and fear prevailed over patience, discipline and skepticism. In the end, they bought the wrong stocks and suffered losses because of the lack of research and patience.

The art of investing
“The Value Investor” is an investment-biography book which features interviews of twelve value-investing legends from around the world, learning how their personal background, culture, and life experiences have shaped their investment mindset and strategy.

These men, who became strong advocates of the approach despite considerable age and cultural differences, include: Mark Mobius, Irving Kahn, William Browne, Teng Ngiek Lian,
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Beware of Ponzi-like gold scams in Singapore

Published by BullionStar Singapore 

Beware of Ponzi-like gold scamsAlways remember, caveat emptor (buyer beware)

It is important for each one of us to do due diligence, in whatever endeavors we undertake. When it comes to precious metals investing, for example, you could not afford to think that just because the investment is sound, it follows that you can’t go wrong.

Look at all the gold exchange-traded funds and mutual funds whose values are derived from gold futures, the physical gold of which does not even exist. If you try to have such paper gold delivered, you’ll be left with nothing. This is why we advocate buying physical gold, the type that is stored in finite supply in your residence, or in our vault.
But even within the physical gold market, we can expect scammers to spring up, finding a way to defraud investors. Here’s a tip: whenever you hear about a certain company, just search on the Web, ‘Company X scam.’ If the search results show a lot of complaining customers or court cases, stay away!
Note, however, that these companies are aware of their Google-savvy potential clientele. The company may have ‘planted’ their own positive reviews that have the search word ‘scam’ in them. But if something is fishy, this will likely be reflected in the volume of negative results. Bottom line: if anything is too good to be true, it probably is.
Interest payments on gold?
At BullionStar, we claim nothing more than that precious metals, which we offer at the lowest prices anywhere, are better to have than any other currency. And because of the inflation-based global monetary system, it is often better to hold stable money like gold and silver rather than most stocks especially during economic downturns. Whatever returns you get from precious metals are derived from the metal
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Civil Service Mid-year Payments

It is that time of the year in which civil servant collect mid-year bonus. For this year, it is heartening to note that the government accepted NWC’s recommendation to raise the wages of low-wage workers by at least $60. Not much though, but definitely a step in the right direction to help the low income group who struggle with rising living expenses. As the economy matures, there should be more schemes in placed to ensure that this group of Singaporeans are not left behind.

The Singapore economy grew by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 3.3% in the previous quarter. The Ministry of Trade and Industry forecasts GDP growth of 1% to 3% for 2013. The global economy is expected to improve gradually this year with modest growth in the US and moderate growth in Asia supported by healthy domestic demand, although the Eurozone is expected to remain in recession. Risks to the global growth outlook remain, such as a potential flare-up of the Eurozone debt crisis and fiscal uncertainties in the US. The overall unemployment rate in Singapore remained low at 1.9% in Mar 2013.

Civil service

Against this backdrop, the Government has decided to pay a mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 0.4-month.

The Government also supports the National Wages Council’s (NWC) recommendation to grant a built-in wage increase of at least $60 to raise the wages of low-wage workers earning up to $1,000 per month. The Government will give a built-in wage increase to Division IV and III civil servants. This will be in addition to their annual increment in 2013.

Division IV civil servants will receive an additional wage increase of $70 per month. This will benefit around 3,600 Division IV civil servants. Division III civil servants will receive an additional wage increase of $40

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Investing in Singapore Government Securities (SGS)

As a form of risk diversification, it is important for every investor to maintain a portfolio investment consisting of different asset classes such as equities, currency, precious metals, property and bonds. Typically, these asset classes move in opposite directions and therefore smooth out the volatility in your portfolio in different economic scenarios.

In the current low interest rate environment, it may be prudent to invest bonds. Below is some of my research on Singapore government bonds – SGS, extracted from the The information below is for sharing and not to be misconstrued as financial advice or recommendation.

What Are Singapore Government Securities (SGS)
Singapore Government Securities (SGS) are marketable debt instruments of the Government of Singapore. These debt instruments take the form of either Treasury bills (T-bills) or bonds, and are considered safe investments, as they are backed by the full faith and credit of the Singapore Government. The terms of issuance for T-bills and bonds are governed by the Local Treasury Bills Act and the Government Securities Act respectively.The Singapore Government is obliged to pay the holders of SGS a fixed sum of money on the maturity date of the securities. SGS cannot be cashed in before their maturity dates, but investors can always sell them in the SGS market. SGS Primary Dealers are prepared to buy and sell SGS at any time during normal market trading hours.As the fiscal agent of the Government, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) acts to undertake the issue and management of SGS on its behalf.
What Are The Types Of SGS
T-bills are short-term debt securities that mature in one year or less from their issue date. They are bought and sold at a discount, i.e. at a price less than their face (par) value, and when they mature,
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BullionStar’s My Vault

For international and domestic investors seeking a safe haven for their precious metals, BullionStar’s “My Vault Storage” offers a convenient, end-to-end solution for the purchase, sale, storage, and delivery of an assortment of bullion products.

Bullion investors assume a considerable amount of risk keeping even a moderate amount of bullion in uninsured storage solutions. Also, the fact that there is more “paper” Gold or Silver in circulation than there are backing of physical precious metals increases the risk of defaults on the commodity exchanges.

Even though Singapore is a safe country with low crime rates, gold investors should not take chances with their precious metals. If you have a substantial holding of bullion, it makes sense to store them at a secure facility run by a reputable company. In this regard, only a bullion vault should provide gold investors a form of assurance that their gold or silver bars are in safe hand.

BullionStar CEO

By engaging the services of some of the top secure storage facilities in Singapore, one of the safest countries in the world, and with easy to use online system, Bullion Star is able to address these concerns with “My Vault Storage”. BullionStar provides the maximum level of security for your wealth by minimizing physical, economic and political risks to your precious metal holdings.

In short, “My Vault” offers you:
– Allocated bullion – no paper promises
– Insured bullion – no risk for you
– Easy-to-use trading interface online
– Buy, sell, or withdraw at any time
– Ownership certificate of physical bullion
– No reporting requirements or ties to foreign governments

BullionStar and My Vault Storage present you stable solutions in uncertain times.

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Is Haw Par Corporation a dividend stock?

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.

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.

Haw Par stock

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, Haw Par’s healthcare products are manufactured and marketed under its established Tiger Balm and Kwan Loong brands. Its renowned ointment Tiger Balm and product extensions are used throughout the world to invigorate the body as well as to soothe away aches and pains.

The Group owns and operates 2 oceanariums – the popular Underwater World oceanarium attraction at Sentosa, Singapore and Underwater World Pattaya in Thailand. A third oceanarium in Chengdu, China, is under construction.

Besides healthcare and leisure products, the Group has interests in

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Financial Independence (Getting to Point X)

Below is a press release on Financial Independence (Getting to Point X), a personal finance book. Readers can pick up valuable tips on how to manage personal wealth. 

Written by John J. Vento, an expert with decades of experience helping people of all walks of life realize their dreams of financial independence, Financial Independence (Getting to Point X): An Advisor’s Guide to Comprehensive Wealth Management (Wiley; March 2013; 978-1-118-46021-4) arms you with the knowledge and tools you need to get to your Point X—the point at which you no longer have to work for your money but where your money works for you.

Throughout our lives, we will encounter many questions and problems relating to money, but every one of them will fall, in some way, under one or more of the 10 Key Wealth Management issues addressed in this book.

No matter how you define your particular path to financial independence or “Point X,” whether it is an annual income of $25,000 or an estate of $250 million, you need to not only understand but effectively deal with 10 fundamental wealth management issues. They are:

  1. Committing to living within your means and conscientiously saving for the future;
  2. Understanding taxes and how to effectively minimize your tax obligation;
  3. Realistically defining your standard of living, including your net worth and your current cash flow;
  4. Managing debt;
  5. Insuring yourself and your family in case of extreme illness or death;
  6. Protecting your property;
  7. Planning for the education of yourself and your children;
  8. Investing intelligently and productively;
  9. Planning for retirement; and
  10. Preserving your estate.
These issues are interrelated, and how you deal with one very often will have an effect on how you treat the others. For example, if you fail to manage debt properly, you will find it difficult to save for a
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Father’s Day

Father’s Day is approaching soon. In the past, this date has always held not much significance for me. My family would usually have a dinner celebration for Mother’s Day. But not for Father’s Day. It is not that my family don’t love my Dad or whatever. Just that it’s not my family’s style to express our appreciation for my Dad in such manner.

But this year is different because it will be the my first Father’s day without my Dad, who passed away at home a few months ago. I think I haven’t really gotten over his death because when he passed away, I was not at his bedside. I was on a business trip in India and could not make it back in time to see him for the last time.

financial destiny


For the past few days, I missed my Dad a lot. I reminisce my childhood times spent with my Dad. He was a hardworking man who spent a lot of time at work, so my siblings and myself don’t often get to see him at home. Once in a blue moon, when he was free, he would bring us to amusement parks. I loved those trips because I would get to ride in his 6 wheels Nissan lorry. He would often show me the direction and told me name of this road and that road. He also liked to tell me, with much pride, that he was involved in most of the developmental projects in Singapore during the 90s.

I could not remember many of my Dad’s teachings, but the key ones he always espoused were to lead an honest life and to save up for rainy days. My Dad was a thrifty man who unfortunately suffered from stroke at the age of 38 years old. He

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Biosensors declares dividend payout of USD$0.02

Biosensors announced a set of good results. Below is a short write-up on this SGX-listed company.
Quick Glance 
1) Net Profit: US$115milliom
2) Cash and cash equivalent: US$614million
3) Net current asset: US$688million
4) Long term borrowing: US$277million
5) Net cash from operation: US$123million
6) Net asset value per share: US$0.72


Performance Summary for FY13  
For the full year FY13, total revenue was US$336.2 million, a 15% increase from the fiscal year ended 31 March 2012 (FY12). Total product revenue was US$278.5 million, a 32% year-on-year increase while IVP revenue rose 35% year-on-year to US$264.9 million, primarily driven by growth in the Company’s DES sales and the consolidation of JWMS’ financial results starting from the third quarter of FY12 (Q3 FY12). CCP revenue was US$13.6 million, a 7% decrease from US$14.6 million in FY12. Licensing and royalties revenue was US$57.7 million, down US$23.1 million or 29% from US$80.8 million in FY12.

Gross margin on total product sales was 81% for FY13, a significant improvement from 73% in FY12 attributable to more favorable geographical and product mix as well as greater economies of scale.
Total operating expenses accounted for 57% of product revenue in FY13, compared to 61% for FY12. In detail, S&M expense was US$90.0 million, G&A expense was US$40.6 million, while R&D expense was US$27.5 million.

 For FY13, despite a US$23.1 million or 29% year-on-year decrease in royalty revenue, Biosensor’s operating profit still achieved US$123.6 million, a 16% year-on-year increase from the same period last year.

Excluding exceptional items, which comprise a provision for restructuring expenses, fair value adjustment for warrants, realization of translation difference on liquidation of a subsidiary and impairment of goodwill, net profit for FY13 would have been US$111.6 million or basic EPS of 6.48 US cents and diluted EPS of 6.39

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Gold as part of your investment portfolio

After posting several articles on BullionStar Singapore, a number of readers had emailed me to query my views on the gold market developments. Generally, I am still confident in the long term prospect of gold due to the emerging middle classes from India and China accelerating gold demand.
But more importantly, to be successful wealth builders, I believe investors should hold bullion in their investment portfolio. This is because gold prices often move in opposite direction to stocks and currency. So allocating gold in your portfolio can help to serve as a form of hedge against inflation and preserve your portfolio’s value.

Holistic view on gold investments
How do you become rich through investing in gold? The matter of fact is, investors should hold a long term view on gold and not expect quick returns from the precious metal. They should consider it as a form of diversification to lower risk for their investment portfolio.

gold bullion

Very often, I read articles from many bloggers in The sharing their own stock investments. 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.

Believing in physical gold
Like many gold investors, I only believe in physical gold. In fact, according to London Bullion Market Association, on most trading days, 90% of transactions happened in physical gold and only 10% are in derivative market.

Actually this is what is happening in Singapore now.
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Super Group Q1 Net Profit Grew 24%

Super Group Ltd is a stock which I like very much and has been tracking for several years now.  The company is a leading instant F&B with market dominance in SE Asia. It manufactures and distributes branded consumer products, primarily instant coffee, instant cereals and instant tea mixes products, for which it maintains top market positions in key markets throughout SE Asia.

1Q13  Results
Net profit increased 24% YoY to S$22.9m from S$18.5m
Sales up 9% YoY to S$132.4m from S$121.6m
Earnings per share up 25% to 3.97 cents

In line with the strategy of focusing on the Group’s core business, the Company entered into a
conditional sale and purchase agreement in May 2013 to dispose its 35.3% interest in Sun Resources Holdings Pte Ltd, an associated company engaging in property development. The total consideration amounted to $26m and will result in a gain of approximately S$16m upon completion. I viewed this as a good development because the group would then be able to focus on it core business and continue to enhance its brand.

The company has strong financial strength and coupled with its strong branding in SE Asia, I believe it can scale new heights within the next decade. Not vested at the moment.
Magically yours,
SG Wealth Builder
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GST exemption for Gold and Silver

The following information is extracted from Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s e-Tax Guide.

With effect from 1 Oct 2012, the importation and supply of IPM in Singapore are exempt from GST. The supply of IPM which is exported continues to be zero-rated. However, only precious metals in the form of a bar, ingot, wafer and coin which meet certain criteria can qualify as IPM. To provide certainty, precious metal coins that qualify as IPM are prescribed in the GST Act. Precious metals which do not meet the criteria cannot qualify as IPM and the supply of non-IPM continues to be taxable. Examples of non-IPM are jewellery, scrap precious metals, numismatic coins and precious metals which are refined by refiners who are not on the “Good Delivery” list of the London Bullion Market Association or the London Platinum and Palladium Market.

Gold bullion

Criteria for IPM bar, ingot and wafer
To qualify for GST exemption, the precious metal
must meet all
of the following criteria:

(a) It is gold of at least 99.5% purity, silver of at least 99.9% purity or platinum of at least 99% purity.
(b) It is capable of being traded on the international bullion market.
A precious metal bar, ingot or wafer refined by a refiner with the following accreditation/ endorsement is regarded as meeting this criterion:

(i) For gold and silver, a refiner in the current or former “Good Delivery” list of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)

(ii) For platinum, a refiner in the current or former “Good Delivery” list of the London Platinum & Palladium Market (LPPM)

(iii) A refiner who intends to be in the “Good Delivery” list of the LBMA (for gold and silver) or LPPM (for platinum) and is endorsed by the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore. Refiners with such endorsement will

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Buying insurance

Attached below is a comment from one of my readers in response to my post “Why I don’t believe in financial adviser”. I feel that there is a need to clarify my position and let my readers know more about my background.

I work in the aviation industry and has never worked in the financial sector before. The articles in this blog are a collection of my thoughts and personal experiences. Readers must not misconstrue the articles in this blog as financial advice.

My thinking is that you don’t have to be a qualified financial analyst in order to point out the inherent flaws in our financial industry. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can do so.

For many years, job titles like “financial advisers” or “financial consultants” have been too loosely used in Singapore by many insurance agents who are only interested in selling expensive whole-life insurance policies. Instead of educating the public on buying term and investing the rest, these FA often hard-sell unit trusts, investment-linked and whole-life insurances to customers. They often target customers’ desire to become rich and retire early.
Very often, the customers’ interest and needs are not met or aligned at all. To make matter worse, many FA are also not upfront with the commission or fees they are collecting from customers.
My vision is that Singaporeans can buy insurance policies directly from insurers without any middlemen at all. We all know that being a middleman is a lucrative trade because you are just providing a service and earn a commission through the process.
But having a middleman often created a trade-off and the end result is that customers ended up paying more. So do away with insurance agents and any third part independent financial advisers. Today, with online technology so advanced, everyone should
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Stock Update: Biosensors Receives CE Mark Approval for BioMatrix NeoFlex™

Below is a press release from Biosensors. SG Wealth Builder has been monitoring the company for quite sometimes and is of the opinion that Biosensor has a lot of potential to grow. Just like Apple, Biosensors has the ability to cannabalise its older products, which is a hallmark of a forward-looking innovative companies. Not vested in this counter.

Biosensors International Group, Ltd. (“Biosensors” or the “Company”, Bloomberg: BIG SP; Reuters: BIOS.SI; SGX: B20), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative medical devices, has announced CE Mark approval for BioMatrix NeoFlex™, the latest addition to the BioMatrix family of drug-eluting stents (DES). BioMatrix NeoFlex features a new advanced stent delivery system, improving pushability, trackability and crossability. It also has a lower lesion entry profile than its predecessor.

BioMatrix NeoFlex retains the same unique combination of abluminal biodegradable polymer coating, proprietary limus drug Biolimus A9™ (BA9™) and flexible platform which has made the BioMatrix stent family an increasingly popular choice of DES in the global markets where it is available.

The landmark LEADERS trial demonstrated the ‘Gold Standard’ performance of BioMatrix Flex™, and the baton has now been passed to the next generation in the form of BioMatrix NeoFlex, equipped with all the attributes of its successful predecessor, together with improved deliverability.

Results from the final five-year LEADERS data, presented at TCT 2012, demonstrated that BioMatrix Flex significantly reduced the risk of clinical events in the very late phase, and showed a significant reduction in very late stent thrombosis (VLST), compared with Cypher® Select™.

“CE Mark approval for BioMatrix NeoFlex represents another important step forward for the BioMatrix brand, improving our flagship product yet further with enhanced deliverability “, commented Jeffrey B. Jump, President of Biosensors’ Cardiovascular Division. “Since the launch of the original BioMatrix in 2008, we have been the

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Preparing for the worst through CPF nominations

Life is fragile and unpredictable. Many Singaporeans are so focused in making more money but they often fail to realize the importance of planning for the worst. If you think that preparing for the worst is all about buying expensive life insurance policies from your financial advisers, then you are wrong.

My dad passed away earlier this year. It was unexpected and my family was totally unprepared for his demise. Like many Singaporeans, my father did not plan his estate distribution and left without a Will. So we had some problems trying to close his bank saving accounts.

Personal finance
We were also initially unsure how to claim his CPF monies. Thankfully CPF Board wrote to us and informed that he had made a CPF nomination many years ago, so we were able to withdraw his CPF monies within weeks. The lesson learned out of this episode is to have a proper planning for financial matters while you are still around. It is important that you set clear directions on how you want the money which you worked hard for in your life to be distributed according to your wishes after you passed on.

Intestate Succession Act
In the absence of a will, your assets will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession law. The rules are rather inflexible and sometimes, your estate might not be allocated according to your wish. That is, your money might not go to the people whom you feel need it most. For example, if your wife and children are financially independent, you might want to provide for your elderly parents instead.

Under the Act, in the absence of a will, your estate will be distributed according to the below:
1) Spouse only: 100%
2) Spouse and child: 50% Spouse and child
3) Spouse and parents: 50%

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Boustead’s 10 Consecutive Years of Dividend

Not many listed companies in Singapore can claim to have more than 100 years of history. Boustead belongs to this handful group of companies.
Boustead is a progressive global Engineering Services & Geo-Spatial Technology Group offering an extensive range of specialized engineering services and geo-spatial solutions. Its suite of engineering services is geared to fulfil the demands of specialized engineering fields such as energy-related engineering (for oil & gas / petrochemicals and solid waste energy recovery), water & wastewater engineering and industrial real estate solutions.
Under its geo-spatial technology arm, the Group provides consulting services and distribute ESRI geo-spatial technology to major markets across Australia, South East Asia and South Asia.
Stock Market
SG Wealth Builder

Dividend History
Although Boustead has no formal dividend policy, it has a tradition of paying dividends linked to long-term net profit growth.  Boustead has achieved respectable growth in dividends over the past ten years, with a compounded annual growth rate of 21% over that period.

Their history of annual dividend payments includes:
1)Ten consecutive years of dividend payments;
2) Growth in the ordinary dividend to 5 cents per share in FY2012 after maintaining the ordinary dividend at 4 cents per share for four consecutive years; and
3) Paying a total of 33.75 cents in cash dividends over ten consecutive years, equivalent to almost 200% of the purchase price of the Boustead share at 17 cents at the beginning of FY2003.

Financial Strength
As a wealth builder, I like Boustead because it is financially strong with net current assets of $150million and has consistently paid out dividends to shareholders for the last ten years. The business is well diversified to withstand potential economic recession. It is well managed with sound corporate strategies. However, given the current high valuation climax in Singapore market, I would only purchase this

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BullionStar Singapore’s Gold & Silver Products

BullionStar offers brand new gold bars from well-renowned LBMA certified producers. The manufacturers BullionStar works with include Heraeus and PAMP Suisse.
Renowned for 160 + years, BullionStar’s partner mint Heraeus produces gold bars from 1 gram to 1 kilogramBullionStar is also proud to offer bullion products from PAMP Suisse, one of the world’s leading bullion brands well known for its attractively designed products.

Silver Bars are available in sizes from 31,1 gram (1 troy oz) to 31,1 kg (1000 troy oz). BullionStar offers different LBMA certified brands including Heraeus, PAMP Suisse, Royal Canadian Mint & Johnson Matthey bars.
For a larger investment in silver, BullionStar offers very attractive silver bars in the sizes of 1 kg, 100 oz and 1000 oz.

Even for the astute investor, it might be worthwhile to also consider gold coins rather than only gold bars. Some of the following advantages can be attributed to gold coins compared to gold bars.
– Coins are more suitable in a scenario where precious metals return as money or means of payment.
– Small units carry higher premiums when shortages appear.
– Coins can be sold or consumed individually.

BullionStar carries a wide assortment of different gold coins in different sizes.
Silver coins is the most popular investment in silver. A lot of people choose to buy e.g. a monster box of 500 silver coins rather than a few large bars thus making coins a good alternative also for larger investors. Silver Coins are also a popular gift and due to the cheap cost of silver compared to gold, it is possible to hold a substantial amount of silver for a low cost.

BullionStar offers all the popular brands of silver coins such as Silver Eagles and Silver Maples.

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The Silver Bull Market: Investing in the Other Gold

In The Silver Bull Market: Investing in the Other Gold, Shayne McGuire examines the vital investment considerations about silver alongside the significant drivers of the metal’s bull market. Although silver moves closely with gold in financial markets, it differs from its sister metal in that more than half of demand is derived from multiple industrial processes.

While its significant reliance on film photography has ended, today silver’s industrial demand is driven by technological progress (brazing alloys and solders, smart phones, tablets, plasma panels and new applications like silk-screened circuit paths and radio frequency ID tags); photovoltaics (solar panels); and new medical applications (silver is both biocidal and highly conductive).

Though Warren Buffett disdains gold for its lack of utility, he regards silver differently: in the late 1990s, he purchased 130 million ounces, one-fifth of global production at the time. After outperforming virtually all other investment classes for more than a decade, gold is being reincorporated into the financial system as an asset deserving a position, large or small, in mainstream diversified portfolios. Leaving aside the metal’s rediscovered diversification benefits (it tends to go in the opposite direction when stocks go down sharply), gold has risen as a viable investment alternative in today’s environment of unhinged global government spending and monetary expansion.

While silver has risen as well—even more than its sister metal over the last decade—it has remained gold’s shadow investment for important reasons. For one, its smaller market and higher volatility have kept most financial professionals away, as the metal is often regarded as a highly erratic investment best left to speculators. There is also the memory of the 1980s and ’90s bear market, precipitated, in part, by the illegal attempt by two wealthy families to corner the silver market, which led to the metal’s darkest day, March 27,

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CPF adjustments

Below is a government press release announcing the changes in the CPF Minimum Sum and Medisave Minimum Sum. The increase in the CPF MS represented a 6.5% increase and the Medisave MS represented a 5.1% increase from 2012. Note that both rates are much higher than the core inflation rates in Singapore 2012.

Whilst I understand that the adjustments are necessary to help Singaporeans meet their retirement and healthcare needs, I question the need to peg the adjustments at a rate higher than the inflation rate.

Why is there a need to set aside so much money in our CPF Retirement and Medisave accounts? Does it really help and benefit Singaporeans? If so, why set so many restrictions for medical claims from our Medisave accounts?

The money in our Medisave Account belongs to us, so why restrict us from using it for medical costs? Obviously I am concerned as I am in my early thirties and at the rate it is going, the Minimum Sums could be half a million by the time I retire. I really hate to think that after slogging for decades, I cannot even touch or smell my hard-earned CPF monies.


CPF Minimum Sum
CPF members who turn 55 between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014 will need to set aside a Minimum Sum (MS) of $148,000 in their Retirement Account (RA). The MS for 2012 was $139,000. The MS has been adjusted over the years to account for inflation, longer life expectancies and Singaporeans’ rising expectations of their quality of life post-retirement. The MS is targeted to reach $120,000 (2003$1) in 2015.

Medisave Minimum Sum and Medisave Contribution Ceiling

The Medisave Minimum Sum (MMS) is the amount that a person turning 55 needs to set aside in his old age for his

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Good time to buy physical gold?

SG Wealth Builder is pleased to conduct another interview with BullionStar Singapore on gold investments.

Recently, gold prices has dipped quite a lot. In your view, do you think its only a correction or the start of a bear trend for bullion?

Many relate the slump in prices due to the recovering US economy and news that the Feds are easing on their QE programs. Other factors include China, being a net importer of gold, not performing as well economically as expected and Cyprus selling its gold reserves to clear its debts.


However, as investors are dumping “paper” gold in the market, we are experiencing a completely opposite environment here in the physical precious metals market. People are rushing in to buy physical precious metals to take advantage of the low prices right now to the extent that the mints/refineries are not producing enough to meet demands.
We are looking at a 6-8 weeks lead time upon ordering and premiums are increasing because of the rise in demand.  With such heavy buying in the physical market, it will only be a matter of time when the investors and traders become bullish again and start to push the price of gold up.

BullionStar CEO

A good time to buy the yellow metal?
It’s always hard to pin point a good time to buy gold. Gold prices were USD 300-500 per troy ounce in the 80s. So does that mean to say we have missed the boat? One thing for sure is that gold has stood the test of time for over 6000 years, no fiat currency has ever manage to do that.

Gold has always retained, if not increased, its purchasing power. Having said that, given the recent drop in prices, yes this is definitely a good window to purchase precious metals.


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The Value Investors: Lessons from the World’s Top Fund Managers

When I was approached to do a book review on “The Value Investors: Lessons from the World’s Top Fund Managers” last year, I was quite hesitant because I don’t believe in fund managements. As a self-style investor, I prefer a more hands on approach to investing. Even if I lose my monies, at least I learnt some lessons out of my investment mistakes. However, when I chanced upon a review by another fellow blogger, I changed my mind.

Apparently this book is an investment-biography book which features interviews of twelve value-investing legends from around the world, learning how their personal background, culture, and life experiences have shaped their investment mindset and strategy. These men, who became strong advocates of the approach despite considerable age and cultural differences, include: Mark Mobius, Irving Kahn, William Browne, Teng Ngiek Lian, V-Nee Yeh, Shuhei Abe and many more.

The book’s focus is on the investment techniques and approach of value investing. The content is engaging and unravels how these investors, each of whom has a unique value perspective, have consistently beaten the stock market over the years. The book attempts to answer some pressing questions such as “Do these value-investing legends share a trait that allows this to happen?”, “Is there a winning temperament that turns the ordinary investor into an extraordinary one?” and much more.

‘The Value Investors’ is for individual investors who wish to diversify their portfolio across different asset classes or geographically or wish to understand how they can master the balance between art and science in investing.

For more information, visit:,descCd-buy.html

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Singapore Dividend Stocks: Making Passive Income

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, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments.

One of the best ways to diversify a dividend growth portfolio is investing internationally. Singapore is an excellent country in which investors can look for the companies that have a stable earnings and long history of dividend growth. There are several reasons behind it such as: Singapore’s companies have benefits of easy access to the world’s second largest economy, China, as well as many other growing economies in Southeast Asia, region, such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

DBS Group Holding Ltd (SGX: D05) –

DBS Group Holding Limited is an investment holding company in Singapore. The company operates through its main subsidiary DBS Bank Ltd. This bank is engages in the provision of retail, small and medium-sized enterprise, corporate and investment banking services. The company’s institutional banking provides to its institutional clients the financial services and products. The company’s subsidiary, DBS Bank Ltd had established a wholly owned subsidiary in December 2012.
The company has a market capitalization of 38.26 Billion, EPS is 1.56, P/E ratio is 10.07 and dividend yield is 3.57 percent at the annual dividend payout of $0.28.
Keppel Corporation Limited (SGX: BN4) –
Keppel Corporation Limited is an investment holding and management company that is based in Singapore. The company is engaged in the marine, property and infrastructure business. It operates in four segments: Offshore and marine, Infrastructure, Property and Investments. Keppel Corporation Limited was founded in
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Why I don’t believe in financial advisors

My impression of financial advisors has never been good. Generally, if you managed to pass a few MAS exam papers after graduating from the university, you can work in the banks or financial institutes as financial consultants, advisors or planners.
Most of these so-called financial advisors are nothing more than salesperson interested in selling you only unit trusts and expensive insurance policies. Typically, they would first calculate your retirement needs and then systematically work on your fear of having insufficient monies in your twilight years. Once they managed to convince you that you are under insured or inadequately invested, they will then hard sell you expensive financial products.
All these years, I have witnessed too many of such sales tactics. Although I will not say these tactics are unethical, what I want to point out is that too often, these financial advisors don’t add value to consumers. Instead of addressing the needs of customers, many financial advisors sold financial products in order to earn higher commissions.

Focus on value-add, not sales
Most of the financial advisors in Singapore don’t receive fixed salaries and draw their incomes based purely on commission fees. This means that they have to sell expensive financial products to clients in order to survive. Obviously given such situation, the financial advisor will be more interested in earning your money, rather than help you earn money!

Sure, there are many 3rd party financial advisors who claimed to be independent and charge clients fixed fees not linked to product sales. However, I see no point in paying them good money just to advise me on what type of insurance or unit trusts to buy. Given that all the information is now available on the internet and that Singaporeans are becoming more discerning, the financial industry has to mature and
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Property investments in Singapore

Today, The Straits Times published that a record 18,400 new homes is expected to be completed in Singapore this year. This figure surpassed the previous high of 14,600 units built in 1997, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data. Will the avalanche of new homes cool property investment in Singapore?

Coupled with the slew of policy measures implemented by Singapore government in recent years, the red hot property market seems to cool down a bit. Although the number of transactions for resale and sub-sale transactions dropped in the last few months, private home prices still remain high. Analysts expected private home prices to post a moderate rise of about 3 – 4 per cent this year.

Property investment

Investing in Singapore properties
Every market has its cycles. Gold, silver and equities have their rises and falls throughout history. Property is no exception. The current property market has been on an incredible bull run since the United States banking crisis in 2008. Hot money resulting from the Quantitative Easings had entered Asia countries and caused housing bubbles to be formed.

In HDB Singapore, prices for landed and non-landed homes have rocketed to unprecedented levels. Medium cash-over-valuation (COV) for resale HDB is now $30,000 and there were reported cases of Bishan flats being sold for a million dollars. The investment demands are not fuelled by normal market supply and demand. To counter this, the government has rolled out a series of cooling measures to tame the investment demand from buyers but to no avail.

To buy or not?
Obviously no asset can go up forever. Nobody can predict accurately when the bubble will burst for Singapore’s properties but when that day comes, it is going to be a very devastating event.

The current property market in Singapore is nearing its peak and its downfall

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Press release: The End of Ethics and A Way Back

How to Fix a Fundamentally Broken Global Financial System
by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch and Jordan D. Mamorsky
SINGAPORE, April 26, 2013 – In this new book by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, Research Professor for the Spiritual Capital Initiative at Yale University and Jordan Mamorsky, attorney and Yale University postdoctoral fellow, The End of Ethics and a Way Back makes an impassioned call for an end to corrupt and irresponsible practices and the restoration of a more virtuous, ethics-based version of capitalism. It delivers a penetrating, at times controversial analysis of the demise of virtuous capitalism, and a road map for achieving a return to ethics, virtue, and sustainable economic growth. The End of Ethics and a Way Back is a must-read for lawmakers, financial regulators, financial advisors and auditors, journalists and media commentators, and all thoughtful observers of current affairs.
The authors explore some of the most outrageous recent examples of financial vice, including the London Interbank Borrowing Rate (LIBOR) scandal, the demise of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, ratings agency corruption, John Corzine’s MF Global, Tyco, and Bernie Madoff’s two-decade Ponzi scheme, among others. In a series of compelling case studies, Malloch and Mamorsky chronicle how those organizations and their leaders lost their way and the havoc their reckless, often criminal activities wreaked globally, before offering a set of structural and holistic solutions for our current ethical crisis in global governance.
They propound well-reasoned solutions to problems deeply embedded in global markets and corporate cultures, including:
  • Restructure the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and staff it with better qualified, better compensated investigators
  • Institute new rules of the financial game, beginning with reinstitution of Glass-Steagall
  • Take the exotic derivatives market in hand, including the aggressive regulation of Credit Default Swaps
  • Devise aggressive new accounting rules to curtail accounting gimmickry and “shadow banking” leading
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The most important skill you must possess

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the importance of sales and emphasized the need to master the art of selling. Most of us would dismiss that the ability to sell is only for salesmen and marketing executives. But I beg to differ and I think that there is no difference between working for money or making money.
In order to excel in your trade, you must be able to sell your ideas and thoughts. If you cannot articulate well and make your colleagues buy-in your thoughts and proposals, it is difficult to progress in your career, no matter how technically competent you are. This is because if you do not know how to sell yourself, your colleagues will have no idea how good you are and very likely, you will be passed by for promotions.
Grow money

Sales is King
Last week, my wife and myself went to buy groceries at Sheng Siong hypermart and saw a big crowd outside the store. We went forward and saw a man demonstrating the usefulness of a micro-fiber cloth. It was actually a simple cloth used to wipe table and kitchen top. But he managed to illustrate how stain-free it can be from dark substances like soy sauce and even showed that it can also be used to wipe mirror and sofa seats.

It was a very hot morning but he managed to grab the attention of many people and convinced many people to buy from him. My wife, who is usually not an impulsive spender, bought two packets from him. I thought that within an hour, he managed to make more than a few hundreds of profits! Several lessons can be learned from this episode:
1) To sell effectively, your product must meet a need. The micro-fiber cloth is a simple product,
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Gold Investment:BullionStar at a Glance

The following article is an advertorial from BullionStar. It is for information only and readers must not miscontrue it as an offer or inducement to buy. SG Web Reviews will not be responsible for any losses made by readers as a result of any investments made by readers based on this article.
Physical Metal
The bullion you buy from BullionStar is just that – your bullion. BullionStar only offers fully allocated bullion. No paper promises, no unallocated accounts, no risky Ponzi schemes. The bullion you buy from BullionStar is YOUR bullion.

Your Metals – Your choice
BullionStar offers you a wide range of quality bullion from renowned mints and refineries. You are always in full control of your assets with BullionStar.

Buy or sell various bars and coins at competitive rates and spreads.
– Have your bullion shipped, picked up or stored in “My Vault”.
– Trade fully allocated Vault Grams in Gold, Silver and Platinum for a low spread online.
– Control your stored bullion in My Vault online where you can buy, sell or request delivery of your physically stored bullion at all times.
We are proud of our versatile, easy-to-use online trading platform. You can place orders 24/7 to trade the bullion you need when the price and conditions are right for you. 
Choose whether to have your bullion:
– Shipped to your delivery address;
– Picked up by yourself; or 
– Stored securely in “My Vault”

Competitive Prices
BullionStar is building on the experience of its renowned trading system for precious metals. The BullionStar platform is shared by several successful bullion dealers around the world. You benefit from the volume-based premiums we can offer as a result of our worldwide presence. As a result, BullionStar provides some of the lowest premiums and storage fees available anywhere, without

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