BullionStar: The Chinese Gold Rush continues

Below is an article published with permission from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices. SG Wealth Builder always believe that every wealth builder should have bullion in their portfolio. Over the long run, the outlook for gold is still bright, especially in Asia context.
 While 2013 was an exceptional year for gold demand in Asia, with shortages of minted physical gold bullion products and gold itself, according to some, 2014 continues to show robust gold demand according to the World Gold Council’s Q1 report.At BullionStar, we can testify about the growth in gold demand that we have seen in the last year. Whereas investors in the Western economies have shunned gold because it carries no yield or return on investment, regional physical demand in South East Asia has been very strong and is spurred by other factors.

Asian Gold Mindset
The Asian mindset to gold is different from in West says Managing Director of the World Gold Council, Mr. Albert Cheng, at the presentation of the World Gold Council’s publication “Q1 Gold Demand Trends” to which BullionStar was grateful to be invited. Many Asians view gold as a conservative way of saving. With the economic growth in China, the increased gold demand is a result of the wealth effect continues Mr. Cheng.

Gold demand in the first quarter of 2014 was 1,074 tonnes, almost unchanged compared to Q1 2013. On the shortages which appeared during 2013, Mr. Cheng comments that it was the minting capacity that was limited rather than the supply of gold itself. The reason for the shortages last year was that it takes time for the delivery of 400 oz gold bars from the London vaults, through Swiss refineries minting 1 kg bars, before delivery can

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Important skill

In my previous posting, I highlighted that the most important skill that every employee must acquire is the ability to sell. You can be a sales manager, engineer or accountant in your organization but no matter what your job scope is, it is important to know how to profile yourself and be seen as able to sell your ideas effectively to your colleagues.
But then again, to be successful in our careers, what other skill-sets are needed? Recently, BBC wrote to me and asked me to write an article on what is considered to be the most important skill. I thought hard about it and decided to blog down some of my thoughts with regard to the skill indispensable for people just entering into the workforce.
Singapore economy
Many people claim that they understand the importance of prioritizing their work but not many know how to practice it effectively. For fresh graduates just entering the workforce, mastering the art of work prioritization is of utmost importance. This is especially so in Singapore context, where employees are expected to multi-task and take on additional assignments not related to their core duties. Those with positive mindset may treat such challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
But then again, even the most energetic and positive employees will grow weary and fatigue if they are continuously expected to take on time-consuming tasks or projects. So to be efficient, there is a need to focus on the task priority and accomplish them in the order of importance.
Mediocre workers would often complain shortage of time to complete their tasks but actually, it is a matter of sorting out work priorities. Many of us don’t have discipline when it comes to managing time effectively at work. We often overlook the fact that the ability to manage time
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Jobstreet.com: Singaporeans not ready for retirement

The following article is published with permission from Jobstreet.com, a leading online job site presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam. The survey done by Jobstreet.com revealed that Singaporeans are financially not ready for retirement. I am not surprised by the results of the survey at all because in general, I find that Singaporeans tend to procrastinate or avoid planning for their retirement. Many Singaporeans don’t appreciate the importance of building wealth early on in their career journey and the worst thing is that many of them are lazy or cannot even be bothered to study the art of making money. Singaporeans have to wake up to their idea that if they chose to work for others, which is nothing inherently wrong, then they must learn how to invest to ensure that they can enjoy their retirement.

With the increase in life expectancy in Singapore, senior workers are considering to postpone their retirement beyond the country’s statutory minimum retirement age of 62 years old. JobStreet.com recently conducted a survey to find out if employers in Singapore are willing to accommodate them. Responses were gathered from 150 employers and 1,400 Singaporean workers aged 40 years and above . The survey was conducted in March.
 

Key Findings:
        Singaporeans want to keep working even after reaching retirement age

58% of workers indicated they plan to continue working after they reached retirement. 12% said they preferred to continue working with their current employers and would ask for an employment extension.

87% of employers responded that they are open to postponing the retirement of existing workers. 69% of the employers even mentioned that they were willing to offer the same remuneration and benefits upon re-employment of the retired staff.
Employability for seniors

88% of employers said that

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Property Cooling Measures Freeze District 9

SG Wealth Builder is pleased to form a partnership with SRX Singapore Property to bring you the latest information on how to build your wealth through property in Singapore. Below article is based on information provided by SRX Research and readers must not interpret it as a form of financial advice. Check out how to be a successful wealth builder in Singapore.The below data vindicated the principles that Property Soul has been trying to highlight in her book “No B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets to Building Wealth through Properties”. Before you decide to buy a second property, ask yourself whether you want to live in it or rent it out for investment purposes. It is important that you are clear of the purpose because the consideration factors for buying a house for living and for investment purposes are very different. No B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets To Building Wealth Through Properties is available now in major bookstores such as Popular, Kinokuniya and Times.

If you want to see out how impactful the government’s cooling measures, look no further than District 9.

According to the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX), the median Transactions-over-X Value (T-O-X) for District 9, which consists of Orchard, Cairnhill, and River Valley, was NEGATIVE $130,000.
Each month, SRX computers compare the actual transacted value for each unit in a district with its X-Value.  The X-Value is a computer-generated estimate of the market value for a home.  The difference between the median transacted price and the district’s X-Value is the T-O-X.
In District 9, more than half of the buyers paid below market value. In fact, 50% paid at least $130,000 below market value.
In contrast, the T-O-X in District 10, which covers
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The risks of Silver

In many of my previous articles, I have always encouraged Singaporeans to buy precious metals such as gold and silver bullion as a means to build up wealth in Singapore. This is because I have always believed that wealth is more secure in the long run when invested in physical bullion than in the current stock market, which I think is long overdue for a massive correction. But the perennial question is: is it worthwhile to buy silver or gold bullion? How do you build wealth with silver and gold bullion? To answer this question, it is important that Singaporeans understand the risks involved in silver investments.

Many novice investors thought that prices of silver tend to go in tandem with gold. This is not true and history has validated this point. During the Great Depression in the early 1930s, many people were buying gold to preserve their wealth, resulting in surging gold prices. But surprisingly, silver demand declined sharply during that period. Also, during the Civil War in America during 1860s, silver fell while other commodities like steel and rice soared. So the gist is that unlike gold, silver should not be mistaken as a form of wealth preservation during turbulent times. Unlike gold, it is not a sure thing that the price of silver will go higher during crisis times. History has proven that in terms of investment track record, gold fared much better than silver.

One of the key reasons why silver bullion is not featured in many professional investors’ portfolios is because silver is a very volatile investment. It can surge more than 5 percent in one day and therefore, not many people can stomach this kind of volatility. In fact, silver reached its peak during 1980, valuing about $50 per ounce. 34 years later, it

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Property Investment: Location. Location. Location.

SG Wealth Builder is pleased to form a partnership with SRX Singapore Property to bring you the latest information on how to build your wealth through property in Singapore. Below article is based on information provided by SRX Research and readers must not interpret it as a form of financial advice. Check out how to be a wealth builder in Singapore!What are the three most important factors in determining the value of a home?  Location.  Location.  Location.
This is a very old real estate joke that has survived the years because there is so much truth in it.

Another piece of advice that has persisted through time is buy the worst house in the best neighbourhood you can afford.
Both of these ideas point to the fact that location is by far the most important of all the factors that determine the value of a home.  While the quality of a building and its interior impact price, it is the location that ultimately drives the value of a home.

For example, savvy buyers and investors are combing through Geylang in search of bargains that will rise in value as the area upgrades.  They see opportunities to buy at a dip in the price.

Geylang is situated in an excellent location, surrounded by expressways with quick access to downtown, Marina Bay, East Coast Park and other points of interest.  All Geylang needs is some rezoning and a facelift, and it will be competing with the more fashionable neighbourhoods of Singapore.

Other areas, like Novena and Balestier, are making their play for under-appreciated neighbourhoods that are up and coming.
These neighbourhoods have several things in common.  First, they are located next to expressways and MRTs with quick access to places of work and shopping.  From a transportation standpoint, they are

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Cooling Measures Property Sale? Yes!

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.

Many Singaporeans want to make money and become rich quick but very few bother to acquire the investment knowledge needed to build wealth. Check out how to be a wealth builder in Singapore!
In the world of shopping, it’s easy to spot a sale.  Big, bold red-lettered signs plastered all over stores’ windows, proclaiming huge discounts and savings!
But it’s not so simple in real estate.   To find a good deal, one needs to put in hard work and analysis.  To make matters worse, you must be brave enough to act before the herd mentality kicks in and recognizes the good deals, bidding the prices up.  It takes courage to buck the trend.
In February 2009 when the SRX Price Index (private, non-landed) was down 26% from the pre-financial crisis peak, there were some buyers who went into the market.
While the rest of the market was in a state of panic, these buyers did their homework.  They analyzed the situation and concluded that they could take the risk to invest in a down market.  My guess is that most of them were careful not to overextend themselves in the event the market continued to decline.  When the market eventually recovered, they saw huge gains.
The general mood of today’s market, like 2009, is one of pessimism.  Everyone seems to be griping about the market.  That is everyone but the shrewd bargain-hunters.  A quick perusal of project data in SRX Analyzer revealed that some buyers are purchasing homes in fundamentally-sound projects that are experiencing
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The New Retirementality

http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118705122.htmlHave you ever wondered how to build your wealth effectively in Singapore? One of the latest additions to my blogroll was “Growing your tree of prosperity”. The author of that blog, Christopher Ng had apparently made enough money to quit from his engineering job and retired at the young age of 39. However, money is only one side of the equation. He is currently busy studying for a law degree to prepare himself for a second career in life. His story inspired me and resonate the teachings in Mitch Anthony’s The New Retirementality (ISBN: 978-1-118-70512-4)Originally written to get the attention of baby boomers, who were approaching 55, author Mitch Anthony started a revolution by showing people why they need to have a new attitude about retirement – a “new retirementality”. More than a decade later, many people are facing a very different retirement reality than previous generations – failing pensions, an endangered social security system, and inadequate savings. They have been forced to face the reality of a retirement that may never happen, or one that will take place much later in life than ever expected.

While most books focus on a “number”, this reliable resource shows readers that attitude is also an essential part of the equation. Including new research and studies on the latest retirement realities, The New Retirementality discusses what it means to retire on purpose; the expanding role of work in retirement; and how one can orchestrate their own future by recognizing their benefit needs. Mitch introduces readers with his latest concept, investing toward a greater Return on Life, to help people rethink the meaning of retirement and put them in a better position to enjoy the new “retirementality” they deserve.

Even though the book is written in the context of western countries with

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Why some Singaporeans are destined to be poor

Whenever I flip through The Strait Times, there are so many get-rich quick seminars advertisements on forex trading. It seems that the advertisers are targeting the growing aspirations of middle-class Singaporeans seeking to build their wealth quickly through forex trading. These seminars are often marketed as “enrichment classes” with catchy tag lines such as “Mr X makes 2,000% profit in one month, so can you!” or “Mrs Y turned $2,000 into $50,000 in three weeks, so can you! Also, during the seminars, the modus operandi is to highlight the opportunity to retire young and the chance to earn extra income. The organisers would use hard-selling tactics and misled people into the false impression that the trading techniques can produce good money. In return, consumers had to pay thousands for these seminars or buy their in-house trading software.

I do not have the figures on the profile nor the number of Singaporeans who attended these forex trading seminars, but I suspect that many Singaporeans had already lost a lot of money from forex trading. This is a worrying trend which I think Singaporeans need to be aware of. Firstly, forex trading is a form of high risk activity as you are betting the future movement of currency exchange rates. Sure, you can make a lot of money through leveraging your bets, but you can also lose a lot of money from it too. Secondly, to succeed in forex trading requires a lot of discipline, real-time market information, experience and capital. Beside these, you have to devote 100% of your time monitoring the market. Therefore not everyone is cut out to be a successful forex trader. Thirdly, always remember that if something is too good to be true, then it is. There is no such thing as low risk and high profits.

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Property Soul: Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets to Building Wealth Through Properties

 

Many Singaporeans are obsessed with property investments but not many have been successful. Some have made a windfall, while many have lost a lot of money. Those who have become rich through property investments are reluctant to share their experiences and prefer to keep a low profile. This is understandable as who would want to reveal their secrets to building wealth? Therefore, I was a bit skeptical initially when Property Soul asked me to do a book review on her newly launched book No B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets to Building Wealth through Properties”. I thought that she must be a property agent trying to market her services through publishing a book on real estate investments. But after a phone chat with her, I realized that I was wrong.

Property Soul was a Hong Konger who relocated to Singapore in 1998 (she subsequently converted to Singapore citizenship). She bought her first private property for rent in 2002 and within 4.5 years, managed to build up a portfolio of 5 properties. By 2008, her total investment value doubled. She sold 4 of her properties in 2010 and 2011 and made a handsome profit of 80 to 120 percent. She decided to share her experiences in property investments with Singaporeans and set up a personal blog called PropertySoul.com. Interestingly, that was the same year that I set up my personal finance blog, SG Wealth Builder (my blog’s predecessor’s name is SG Web Reviews) too. Our blog goals are pretty similar: basically to share our investment experiences and to exchange ideas with fellow investors.

It took me a few weeks to do this book review because I have been pretty busy in my day job recently and there were several vendors who were interested to advertise

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