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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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