Singaporeans are self-centred and money-face

There was an online article written by a foreigner who described her experiences living in Singapore. Not too long ago, she came here with high expectations of Singapore and our culture. After some time, she was indeed happy with her life here, until she became pregnant recently.

She complained that nobody gave up the reserved seats in the train. Once, when she almost fainted at the train platform, nobody came forward to help her. She felt disappointed by Singaporeans’ lack of empathy and compassion.Being a local and having lived in Singapore for 34 years, I can concur with her that Singaporeans are basically self-centered and very money-face.


When her article was published, a lot of Singaporeans came forward to dispute her views and threw brick bats at her. Many claimed that what she wrote was based on an isolated incident and argued that it was unfair to judge us based on that single incident. Many also threw up lame excuses to justify our lack of compassion. There are very few locals who supported her views and many just dismissed her accusation as baseless.

When we come across such an article, instead of doing self-reflections, we are always quick to go into defensive and denial mode. In fact, this is not the first time that such an article was published online. What do we really need in order to make our citizens realize our bad culture? Instead of admitting our flaws, we are always quick to put down other negative opinions of us. We don’t admit our character flaws and shrugged off criticisms as “noises”. Personally, I am quite ashamed that even though our country managed to become one of the wealthiest nations on earth, our values are gradually degenerating.

Nowadays, we no longer look out or reach out for our

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Right on the Money

There are many online articles on how one should invest physical gold and silver, but very few people actually revealed their experiences on the precious metals. So it is refreshing to read Doug Casey’s experience on bullion investments in his book, “Right on the money:  Doug Casey on Economics, Investing, and the Ways of the Real world with Louis James”. The book contains forty interviews Doug had with Louis, touching on topics such as investments, assets, gold, real estate and ethics.

My favorite chapters are from Chapter 9 to 14 under the segment “The Art of Investing”. In these chapters, Doug shared his candid thoughts on physical gold and silver. Interestingly, even though he made his fortune through speculation, he actually advocated investors to avoid trading physical gold. In fact, he urged investors to accumulate it as an asset on a consistent basis. Even though the interviews were held in 2011, I believe his views remained valid today because he was convinced that gold would go higher and that he saw any form of correction as opportunity to buy. He viewed the US government as the greatest danger to Americans today and labelled Bernake “as zero experience in the real world”.

Doug invests only in gold coins and prefers mainly America Eagle. He also collects numismatic coins but he cautioned novice investors not to purchase such coins because coin dealers often charged high premiums if they sensed that the buyers are easy targets.

Perhaps the most disturbing piece of advice from Doug, when probed on how he kept his gold coins, was not to use bank safe deposit boxes. He warned that they are typically not insured and that “the last time the U.S government stole private citizens’ gold. the first thing they did was seal all the

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Creating a high traffic blog

If you are looking at starting a personal or professional blog, having a high traffic is vital to the success of your project. This may seem like common sense to many readers but many bloggers consistently overlook the importance of online traffic because they don’t realise that unlike brick and mortar business, or traditional mainstream media (e.g. newspapers and radio), unique visitors to your blog do not happen by chance.

In today’s context, given the billions of websites in the online galaxy, you cannot expect to achieve overnight success by advertising through newspapers or radio. You must have a sustainable strategy to capture traffic and make your online project a success. This is because the more unique visits your blog gets, the more established it becomes. More unique visitors would mean that a large group of people have visited your blog and read the content. This means that your marketing technique is successful.

Singapore finance blog

Once you succeed in creating a high traffic blog, you can easily devise ways to monetize your blog and create a form of passive income for yourself. It is thus important to know the technique that drives traffic to your blog because it can determine whether you can make money out of it.

Now, I know there are many serious bloggers out there who blog as a form of hobby and for the sake of passion. Some of them find that making money out of blogging conflict with their personal philosophy and deem it as sinful. If you belong to this category of bloggers, then you should stop reading. This is because in the next few blog entries, I am going to share the techniques on how to develop a high traffic blog. I am also going to reveal the various ways to monetize your blog and

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Building your wealth in Singapore

Hi SG Wealth Builder,
Let me first introduce myself. I’m currently an undergraduate and I would like to seek some advice from you because I’m quite lost. How can I increase my wealth to the next level? I’ve been making thousands every month month through trading for the last 2 years but I want to earn more. Is there any way to achieve this?
PS: In case you think I’m kidding around, I’ve attached my profit for March.
Thanks. 🙂
Yours sincerely,
Many Singaporeans want to make money and become rich quick but very few bother to acquire the investment knowledge needed to build wealth.

I received the above letter from one of my readers a couple of weeks ago but could not find the time to reply due to my work commitment. As usual, I was reluctant to provide specific advice or guidance on investments that would mislead my readers into thinking that I am a financial guru. I just want to emphasize again that I am not. As a matter of fact, I don’t even work in the finance sector. But after much thoughts, I decided to share some of my insights pertaining to the reader’s question.

It is important that young Singaporeans have the right mentality before they embark on their wealth building journey, especially those who are about to enter the workforce. The decisions made in the early stage of our lives will shape our financial destiny and future but young folks can become lost in their pursuit of money. So I want to impart some knowledge and life experiences to Jacky (not his real name) and guide him along. Hope this article will make a positive impact to his life.

First of all, congratulation to Jacky for making so much money through trading
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Property Investors’ Alert: HDB COV Falls to Zero in Feb 2014

SG Wealth Builder is pleased to form a partnership with SRX Singapore Property to bring you the latest information on property trend in Singapore. Below article is based on information provided by SRX Research and readers must not interpret it as a form of financial advice. HDB median COV dropped to ZERO. Overall HDB Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) dropped from $3,000 in January 2014 to zero in Feb 2014. This is the first time COV hit zero since 2006 when SRX began collecting COV records. 

 COV Trend

(2). Twelve out of 28 HDB Towns saw zero or negative median COV. This is an increase from seven HDB towns in January that saw zero or negative COV. Bukit Panjang, Punggol, Sembawang, Sengkang and Woodlands led the drop with negative overall median COVs recorded in Feb. Bedok, Bukit Batok, Chao Chu Kang, Geylang, Jurong West, Tampines and Yishun recorded zero overall median COV.

 HDB Median COV by Town and Property Type

(3). Almost four in ten HDB deals closed below valuation. According to transaction records from agencies, 37.3% of HDB resale deals were closed below valuation in February. This represents a 7.9 percentage point increase from 29.4% of negative COVs in Jan.
(4). HDB resale prices fell 1.8%. Overall, HDB resale prices fell 1.8% in February. This is the sharpest month-on-month fall since prices started declining in April 2013. With the latest decline, HDB prices now are at the same levels as 20 months ago in Jun 2012.
(5). Resale volume dropped 6.3% y-o-y. According to flash estimates, 734 HDB flats were sold in February’s resale market, a 20.0% month-on-month drop from Jan 2014’s 918 units. On a year-on-year basis, January’s resale volume posted a smaller 6.3% drop from 783 flats sold over the same month of last year.
(6). Rental volume dropped 13.7% y-o-y. An estimated 1,118 HDB flats were
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Money Wisdom from Li Ka Shing

Many Singaporeans want to be rich and retire early in Singapore. But not many of them are keen to invest the time and energy to gain the knowledge required to be a millionaire. I came across a recent article by well-known Hong Kong billionaire, Li Ka Shing who shared some tips on how to become rich. Li Ka Shing’s story is one of rag-to-riches, so his success is particularly inspiring.

Like many of you, I share the same aspiration to achieve financial freedom. While I have not achieved Li Ka Shing’s wealth status, his strategy resonates with my philosophy of having a growth mindset. This means that one should put in the extra effort to develop new skills and knowledge. Take note that none of his pointers below encourages you to hoard money like a scrooge.

In that article, he outlined a unique plan that can help to improve one’s financial destiny. His approach is refreshing to me because so far I have not come across anyone with a similar approach. Basically, the gist is to split your income into five portions.

Li Ka Shing

1st portion (Expenditure)
The first set of fund is to cover your living expenses. He elaborated that one should take hardship when young and eat simple. But of course, being able to pay your bills and fill your stomach on a daily basis will not make you rich. You need to enhance your income because mindlessly cutting and tracking your expenses will be not be sustainable.

The key is having the discipline to define what are the “needs” and “wants” in your life. In doing so, you are less likely to over-spend or spend carelessly. If one cannot manage his personal finances, what make you think that he can handle bigger tasks in his job? Learn to manage

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Profit taking on K1 Ventures

Recently I liquidated my remaining K1 Ventures shares in my CPF Ordinary Account. Total profits, including dividends and capital gains, amounted to $1,400. This represented a total return of 13%  in 3 years. It could have been more if I had not pared down the investments since last year. As of now, I am not vested in any stocks.

The intent of investing my CPF monies was really to divert a portion of my CPF monies from the Ordinary Account before HDB wiped out the monies for settlement of my HDB purchase in 2010. I wanted this investment to be a buffer in case I got retrenched from my job and still need to service my housing loan. With no income, this investment could then be liquidated and used to pay the HDB monthly installments for at least one year. This buffer was important for me as I am the sole breadwinner.


Three years later, I am glad that the nightmare scenario of losing my job did not happen. But nevertheless, I decided to sell off all my K1 Ventures. Firstly, my financial situation has improved substantially due to higher income and advancement in my job. These developments contributed to significant cash savings for me. So this buffer from my OA account is not needed. Secondly, on a macro level, I think Asian economy is flooded with too much “hot money” right now and the danger of a bubble in the stock market is too real to ignore. I will rather not take the risk of having my CPF monies stuck in this counter, so I decided to sell off the stock.

The company itself has a track record of paying good dividends and this was one of the key factors that made me invested in this counter. Nonetheless, the

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