The ebook can also be ordered online at http://aktive.com.sg/store/no-
The ebook can also be ordered online at http://aktive.com.sg/store/no-
Hi SG Wealth Builder,
Below is an article from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore where you can buy and store gold and silver at competitive prices. BullionStar was established in 2012 after Singapore government exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the goals of SG Wealth Builder is to educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation.
Premium for Precious Metals
There are two components in the price premium for physical gold and silver. The first and most natural part is accounted for in the melt and minting cost. This part of the premium is called the natural premium. The second component is a market premium that arises when the supply and demand in the paper market for certificates and futures doesn’t correspond with the physical market.
First, take a look at the production cost for gold and silver in bullion form. BullionStar explained that gold and silver in bullion form is often minted into 1 oz coins or small bars ranging from 1 oz to
Basically, 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 trading hub
Singapore government is determined to make Singapore a precious metal trading hub. There is no licensing requirement for the importing and exporting of precious metals, thus ensuring free flow of gold and silver. It has also developed infrastructure to support the growth of the ecosystem.
The Singapore Freeport has been set up in 2010, with cutting edge security and conveniently located near to the Changi Airport. There are also a suite of secure logistic providers
Since last year, there were lingering rumors that HR was hatching some plans to adjust our variable specialist allowances but we thought that the most drastic move that they would resort would be to incorporate the variable component into our basic pay. We never expect in our wildest dream that they would remove all our allowances. For many of us, the amount is a huge amount and make up at least 30% of our pay. So obviously we were very unhappy. The only consolation news was that the organization would remove the allowances in three years phases, so that affected staff would have time to adjust their personal finances.
This variable adjustable component was indicated in our salary contracts but the HR director insisted that the term “variable” means that the amount can be zero as well, subjected to individual performance and market condition. When he made that kind of statement, all my trust in the organization immediately flushed down the drain. I guess he missed the point on the contractual agreement. Employee is the most important asset of every organization and having trust is important. So even if you don’t wish to honor your agreement, the minimum you should do is to engage your staff and explain clearly the rationale before you made such drastic move. If you can communicate effectively, then the staff would accept the pay cuts even if the quantum is substantial, like in this case. Otherwise, there would be mistrusts, anger, frustration and anxiety
I am a person whom is very keen on being financially free in time to come and hope I can do it via investment. (one of the ways if i choose not to leave this current employment).
However, being an engineering student from polytechnic, I find it hard to kick-start my investment journey and often feel lost. Are you able to recommend me some books or what kind of topic I can look for before I can understand how this whole investment thing come about and how can I start doing it as time is definitely not on my side as I am approaching 40?
I received the above email a couple of weeks ago and had made the necessary editorial changes before publishing the content. Personally, I can empathize with the writer as I am a young father as well and is able to relate to his anxiety to achieve financial freedom in Singapore. After all, everything is so expensive here and if you don’t invest your monies or develop passive income streams as early as possible, your current
Secret formula revealed
From Property Soul’s book, I gain new insights on how to make money
According to Moneysense, if you applied for HDB Concessionary Loan to repay the loan for your properties in Singapore, there will be a cap to the amount of CPF savings you can use. This limit is called the CPF Valuation Limit and the amount is the lower of the purchase price or valuation at the time of purchase. For example: if you bought the property for $300,000 and its valuation is $330,000, the Valuation Limit will be $300,000. Now, things a little bit complicated if your housing loan is still outstanding when your total CPF used has reached the Valuation Limit and,
$250.That was the total amount of savings in my bank accounts when I just started working in 2005. On looking back, it was really a “touch and go” financial situation for me. I had depleted all my life savings because I had stopped receiving allowances from my parents when I was studying for a full time degree at NUS.
I did not want to burden my parents because my late father’s business was not doing well and my mom was a full time housewife. Our household income wasn’t that ideal back then partially also due to my father’s stroke condition.
So I had to supplement my savings with part-time jobs like giving tuition during the school holidays.So if you ask me what is it like to be poor, I can fully empathize. After all, I have went through this dark journey before and I am thankful that I had emerged from that challenging period to become a stronger person.
For those who are born rich, social mobility may be a strange word to them, however I do not blame them because they do not know what is it like to worry for money. For the rich and wealthy, Singapore is like a playground where they can indulge in expensive toys like fast cars, yachts and lavish landed properties. But for people who are born into low income families like myself, the need to improve the quality of life and move upward in the society is not an option.
In Singapore, those who are poor, ill and disabled are mostly left to fend on their own and their family members are expected to step in and help out. People who belong to this social group are practically on survival modes because the government make it so tough to qualify for the
1) Hold duration
Do you hold your long positions for a few days or are you comfortable with intraday trades? How long you hold a trade can reveal your appetite for risk. Short-term traders will exit at the first sign of a dip while traders who keep their position for more than a day jump in with a fairly good idea of what to expect from a pair. Then, there are position traders who may hold on to a currency for months or even years.
Once you have information about your trading style, it is time to take the analysis one step further. Now, you need to analyse your trades in terms winners vs. losers.
This article was written by Willie Keng and was first published in Value Invest Asia on 17 July 2014.
In a previous article, Stanley explained the Return on Equity (ROE). While the ROE focuses on the equity component of a company’s capital investments, the Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) measures return earned on investments funded by equity and debt.
It shows how much profit a company generates for every dollar of investments it makes in the business. ROIC is expressed as a percentage and shown in the formula below:
We can calculate the ROIC using an example from Banyan Tree Holdings’ (SGX: B58) financial statement:
|Annual Report (SGD ’000)||Fiscal Year 2012|
|Property, Plant and Equipment||729,558|
|Fiscal Year 2013|
|After-Tax Operating Income||29,951|
|Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)||4.1%|
*The high tax rate was due to the different geographic segments the company operates in
Based on the calculations above, we note that Banyan Tree generated an ROIC of 4.1% for FY2013. Do note that either an average of the past 2 years or the prior year’s book value of invested capital should be used.
Analyzing a firm’s ROIC is complementary to the ROE because it gives investors an idea whether a company has efficiently utilized both equity and debt financing. A company that generates excess returns over its cost of capital is earning is expected to trade at a premium over a firm which does not earn similar excess returns. An investor can measure how the company has fared over the past
As a financial blogger, I received a lot of media invitations from various financial institutes, banks and companies. Most of the times, I declined the invitations because of work commitments. Recently, I was invited to attend the official launch of REIT Association of Singapore (REITAS) on 17 November 2014. I would like to attend this event to find out more about the role of this association but as usual, I am unable to attend because of work schedule conflicts.
It seems to me that the association consists of big players from Keppel, Mapletree, Capitaland, Frasers and ARA Asset Management and their key thrusts are to engage Monetary Authority of Singapore on regulatory issues and to promote the understanding of REITs.
This is a good development because as the industry matures, the association can help to look into areas that can be improved, especially on the structure of REITs. For example, in my previous article on REITs, I don’t understand why is there a need for external manager for REITs. Such requirement only incur more costs which would be eventually passed down to investors.
Most retail investors claim they know about the REIT they invested in but I suspected they are none the wiser than me on the business model. I hope the newly-formed association can conduct courses and seminars to promote the understanding of REIT and the risks involved investing in them. This would help to address a lot of myths on REIT and enhance investor’s knowledge.
SG Wealth Builder
In October 2014, when SPH announced a decline of 6.8% in advertising revenues from newspaper and magazine, it was a sign of things to come. After all, the media giant derived the bulk of its income from advertisements and with the proliferation of cheaper and more effective online marketing platforms, they are beginning to feel the heat. In fact, social media and online blogs like SG Wealth Builder are giving SPH a run for their money. This is because with online blogs and websites, clients can market their products and services to the international market. In today’s context, the motivation for companies to advertise in Singapore newspapers and magazines is becoming less appealing due to the limited market reach.
Indeed, SPH might have seen this coming many years ago when it invested $18 million in ShareInvestor Holding Pte Ltd. Given the high internet penetration rate in Singapore, it made sense for SPH to make its foray into the digital media and establish revenue from its online media arm. Other notable online investments by SPH included Sgcarmart (bought for $60 million in 2013) and Hardwarezone ($7.1 million in 2006). Apart from these mega acquisitions, SPH had been relatively slow in acquiring new online start-ups. The reason for the inertia could be because of the risk in e-commerce and digital start ups. That is probably why SPH only invested in tried and tested online business models with established track records. But then again, if these companies are already successful, why would they want to be sold off cheaply? To invest in these companies, SPH has to make large amount of investments which could take many years to break even.
Therefore SPH has no choice but to continue its online acquisition project. SPH latest acquisition is Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX)’s parent company,
I received the above queries from one of my readers and it coincides with an article I read in Yahoo Singapore recently about underemployment rate of local graduates. To me, this is a timely topic for me to dwell on because in a few more years, I will hit the forties bracket. Sooner or later, I may face the predicament or prospect of being retrenched from my job, so I think it is worthwhile to reflect and examine this issue now before it really impact me big time later on in my life.
To put things into perspective, the Singapore employment landscape has changed over the years. In the 80s and 90s, if you had tertiary qualifications, you would unlikely be fearful of the word “downsize” in your company because back then, there were not so many graduates with 10 – 15 years of working experiences in the job market. But times had changed. Nowadays, the market is glutted with graduates from local and overseas, private and public universities. To make matter worse, foreigners are competing with local Singaporeans for white collar jobs as well. So given the stiff competition, it is not surprising that people in their 40s encounter difficulty in re-employment.
It is stupid to advise those who are retrenched from their jobs to chin up and remain optimistic. Obviously you would feel a little bit of depress initially and start to doubt your capabilities when you are laid off, especially during the mid-career stage. But it is important to remind yourself to
It can be accessed through SGX’s corporate website at www.sgx.com/stockfacts. The url for the press release is http://www.sgx.com/wps/wcm/connect/sgx_en/home/higlights/news_releases/sgx-launches-stock-and-company-information-portal-stockfacts-for-investors.
My view on StockFacts
To build wealth and make money through stock investment, you must first and foremost have access to objective data. The good thing about this platform is that it provides research database free-of-charge to investors. The fundamentals for all SGX companies are mostly covered, like ROE, debt, cash flow and dividend yields. But beyond these, I think the best feature for novice investors should be the S&P Capital IQ Alpha Factor Composites, which are metrics showing the company’s ranking in eight categories that are likely to affect its price. The platform is quite
He recounted that when he was young, his family was poor. On his seventh birthday, he and his mother went to a cake shop but had no money to buy a birthday cake. He was disappointed and refused to leave the shop. Then, a middle-age man who was standing behind them, saw the awkward situation and bought a birthday cake. He then offered the cake to him and wished him a happy birthday.
The mother was so grateful to the man and requested him to note down his address so that one day she could return the money to him. However, instead of noting down his address, the middle-age man wrote something else. He then promptly left the shop. The gentleman never get to know the man’s name but he never forget this incident, which created a change in him. Upon hearing his story, the grandmother thanked the gentleman profusely and requested him to note down his home address on a piece of paper. She hoped to return him the money one day.
I do not have the answers to the above issues but I believe that to make money from property investments, there are nuances you have to look out for. To this end, I am glad that fellow blogger, Property Soul, is kind enough to invite me to her upcoming property education seminar, Smart Landlords vs Smart Tenants. She had invited me to her seminars previously but due to work exigencies,
Indeed, my blog has not achieved the kind of success enjoyed by Mr Tan, but I like to view this as a project still very much “work-in-progress”. For the past four years, my blog has attracted more than 30 vendors from local and various countries like USA, UK, Australia, South Africa, Russia and Hong Kong. But I did not take up some of the advertising opportunities, like those promoting online gambling or casinos because there are certain code that I have set for myself. As a matter of personal policy, I do not promote gambling, violence or sexual contents. In addition, this is a non-political and non-religious blog, even
Have a dedicated email account for the job hunt, this way you can channel all your information, interview details, contacts, job portal alerts here.
On a more psychological sense, it can help to channel your energy and motivation the moment you open this email account, tell yourself to focus on the job search, not distracted by emails from Facebook, Twitter and other social media alerts.
Of course, please have a professional email address, enough said.
Open an Excel Spreadsheet.The point is database management. Create a couple of grids on the vertical axis with a couple of suggestions: ‘Date’: ‘Company’: ‘Job title’: ‘Contact Person’: ‘Email’: ‘Contact Number’: ‘Remarks’
Well, this is to help you collect your efforts in an expeditious manner and track your job search progress. So when you get a job alert from your email, say from XWY company for a Technical Specialist, you can drop these details in and also include the source and URL if you want to.
Then input into the remarks part your actions e.g. ’email sent’ or ‘
On 03 Sep 2014, the government announced four enhancements to the HDB Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) as follows:1) The scheme will be extended to 4-room HDB flats and to sweeten the deal, there will be a $10,000 cash bonus per household when the elderly participate in the scheme.
2) The income ceiling will be raised to $10,000 from $3,000 per month to allow elderly who are still working or still living with their family members to qualify for this scheme.
3) The requirements to top up their CPF Retirement Accounts with the LBS proceeds will be relaxed as reflected in Table 1 below.
Table 1: Change in CPF Top-Up Requirement* for Households with Two or More Owners
(0.5 x Age-Adjusted MS)
CPF Draw-Down Age
(now 63) to 69
70 to 79
80 or older
By and large, the LBS is a good scheme that allows the elderly the additional option to monetize their property asset to fund their retirement needs. But then again, I would not encourage my mother to participate in it. This is because I know my mother too well. She lacks the financial discipline and will to handle the large amount of money. Within months, I am quite sure she would use up the proceeds from the LBS. So I prefer her to rent out the spare room in her flat. In this way, she can still monetize her flat and in addition, we also give her monthly allowances to
Below is an article published with permission from the CPF Board. Singaporeans should note the point that a Will does not cover the distribution of CPF savings after death. So please make your CPF nominations as soon as possible. You don’t want your loved ones to encounter complications over the distribution of your wealth after you are gone. What is the point of being rich but not able to transfer your wealth to your loved ones when you are not around?
A CPF nomination allows CPF members to specify who will receive their CPF savings, and how much each nominee should receive when they pass away. Here’s a list of FAQs to help you better understand it. Information on CPF nomination is also available at the CPF website.
Q1: What happens to my CPF monies if I pass away without making a CPF nomination?
Your entire savings in all your CPF accounts will be distributed by the Public Trustee to your family members according to the intestacy law or the Certificate of Inheritance (for Muslims). So, you need not worry about your CPF monies landing in the wrong hands even if you do not make a CPF nomination.
Q2: Do I need to make a CPF nomination?
No, it is not a requirement for you to do so. If you do not have a CPF nomination, your CPF savings will be distributed by the Public Trustee to your family members according to the intestacy law or the Certificate of Inheritance (for Muslims).
But you should make a CPF nomination if you wish to distribute your CPF savings according to your wishes (eg. you wish to nominate four persons; and you wish for three nominees to get 30% each, while one nominee gets 10%).
Q3: If …Read more
This is simply a flawed analysis and a one-size-fits-all kind of advice. Many successful corporate leaders and entrepreneurs have taken career breaks and became even more successful after those breaks.
I have a junior associate who quit last year to tour around the world (using her savings not parents money in case you are wondering) and now ready to return to work. 3-4 firms are competing for her. Some MNCs like people who are well exposed.
Also, getting out without a job and getting in again, it’s all about how one articulates his/her decision to quit. Another perspective is what the person has done during the out-of-job period. Be it charity, helping out family, traveling, or learning a new skills. If there’s something that helped build the person’s strengths, it will only make him/her even more attractive in searching for a new job – Anonymous Reader
The above comment was made by one of my readers in response to my previous article “Why You Should Not Quit Without a Job In Singapore”. His perspective was that taking a career break is good because it helps one to recharge and make a better comeback in their job journey.
While I don’t dispute that taking career breaks are good for us, but I think what he didn’t realize is that most Singaporeans quit without a job because of “escapism mentality” and not because they wanted to pursue other interests or higher priorities in life.
They either hated their jobs or could not handle the stresses at their work places, so they quit without a job. The reality is that most of them did not make any grand plans to do volunteering work or learn a new skill. An example would be one of the local finance bloggers, who proclaimed that he
The elevated official imports coincide with a relatively low premium on gold in India compared to London prices. In June the premium on gold came down to just 2 % (on top of the 10 % import duty). In the next chart I combined official import with the premium. On the left axis we can see the percentages of the premium; the black line is the import duty, the greenish line is the total premium of gold in India over the
As children, happiness was all about getting our desired toys or playing our favorite games. If we did not get what we want, we threw tantrums or cried. When we became working adults, being happy meant achieving our goals and dreams. If we did not meet our self expectations, we became unhappy, frustrated and indulged in the blame game.
As we matured and entered into our twilight years, happiness was about attaining a balanced state of mind. If we were unhealthy or sick-ridden, we could not have a peace of mind.
The above philosophy perhaps summed up what happiness represents in different phases of our lives. In recent years, there were a lot of articles on this topic and there were also much debate on how Singaporeans view the quality of their lives in the lion city.
This is a natural progression of our civic society and many Singaporeans have began to think beyond the pursuit of money.
Obviously, money is important and we should always respect money. But many of us begin to realize that life is not all about making more and more money. There are many things in life that money cannot buy – respect, love, kinship and friendship. So at certain stage, having more money would not buy you happiness and make you a happier person.
I reckon most Singaporeans cannot figure out the above and thus many of us end up being unhappy and frustrated. Some are even angry at our Singapore system. Indeed, many of us choose to blame our government when things did not pan out the way we want in our lives but actually when things go wrong, pointing fingers would not improve yourself.
With a negative mindset, you will probably end up even more negative and unhappy. Sometimes, you might even
Many members use CPF savings when buying a property. Before you decide on buying your dream home, we highly recommend reading “Things to look out for when buying a property using CPF” and watching “Buying a House” videos. Here’re 8 essentials you should be aware of. Please note that the information may be different if you are using CPF for multiple properties.
Q1. What CPF savings can I use to buy a property?
Only Ordinary Account (OA) savings can be used for property. You can use it to:
(i) Pay lumpsum/downpayment to HDB for the purchase of an HDB flat, or to a property developer or a seller for the purchase of a private property.
(ii) Repay the housing loan taken for the purchase of HDB flat or private property.
(iii) Pay legal fees, stamp duty, transfer fees and other related costs incurred in relation to the housing purchase.
(iv) Repay a housing loan taken for the purchase of land and/or for construction of a house on that land (for private property).
If you use your CPF savings to service a housing loan on a HDB flat, you are required to be covered under the Home Protection Scheme. This is a mortgage-reducing scheme to protect you and your family from losing your home in the event of death or permanent incapacity before the housing loan is paid up. The annual premiums for this can be paid using your OA savings.
Q2. Do I need to refund the CPF used for housing
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