Much Ado about Wealth-Building

Dear Gerald,
I must first of all confess to you that even as I write, I’m filled with scepticism on how this correspondence will go. So am seeking advanced forgiveness for any sort of offence I may unwittingly create, and I also seek your patience in reading this email.
 
I am a 9-to-5 desk bound office worker. Through years of being with the same company, I’ve managed to earn my seniority and experience in dealing with international environmental agreements. I am happy with my wage – After all, I’m duly employed and these days in this unpredictable climate, it is a situation that I’m very grateful for, being gainfully employed, that is. 
 
But everyday there is something nagging at me to do something to increase my resilience to the changing world where everything seems to get more costly and so quickly, and where, quite frankly, money helps to take the discomfort out of our lives where necessary. I’m not trained in any sort of financial discipline, nor have I ever had any mentor whom I could approach, but I see the need for me to start thinking seriously about embarking on building up my savings and eventually being able to call it wealth. 
 
I know next to nothing about investment and I’ve just ordered a book to start off my awareness of it. But as with most books, I think it all but gives very little details about doing the right homework and research. To my naive mind, I hold an instinctive belief that as with all things in life, we need preparation and this requires doing tons of homework just to make one right move – or at least one that mitigates the most risks. The point is – I don’t know how to do such homework. I try
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BullionStar calls for a clear regulatory framework regarding Bitcoin

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 believes that no matter what assets you invested in, the only way to make money and become rich is to adopt a contrarian approach. Gold witnessed a major correction since last year and the price has become stagnant ever since. Investors should seize the opportunity to accumulate now before gold becomes expensive again.
BullionStar was set up in the fall of 2012 in the light of a GST exemption coming in to place in Singapore. Offering a wide range of precious metal products, and the ability to store the purchased products in one of the safest jurisdictions in the world, we have seen substantial growth in a very short period of time.We believe in making it as easy as possible for our customers to buy and store almost any amount of gold and silver whether your a small saver or large investor. We have achieved this by offering a one-stop end-to-end solution for purchasing and storing gold, silver and platinum at very competitive prices. We offer a wide assortment of physical bullion products including our unique Vault Gram® solution which offers a low threshold for anyone that wishes to start saving in physical precious metals.
All of this has been made possible because of the business friendly environment offered by the government of Singapore.

Bitcoin as a payment option and currency
We already before had four different payment options as we offered our customers to settle via bank transfer, NETS, check or by paying cash. Based on pent up demand from existing customers, we have now also enabled Bitcoin as a payment option for purchasing and storing precious metals with us in Singapore.

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Why Singaporeans should invest in gold bullion

This week, an article by Reuters reported that gold jewellery exports by India is expected to grow by 25% in the year to March 2015. This is an impressive figure given that last year, the Indian government raised the import duty to a record 10 percent and also make it mandatory for merchants to export 20 per cent of the imported gold. In Asia, various data released by gold analysts indicated that China and India will continue to be the leading consumers for gold. The key reason for Asian’s fascination for gold is because the Chinese and Indians understand the value of gold as a means to preserve wealth.

Over in Singapore, the government is beginning to appreciate the role of gold bullion in the investment fraternity and has been implementing policies to develop Singapore as a metal trading hub for gold. In 2012, the government removed 7 percent GST from investment-grade precious metals, hoping to spur Singaporean’s demand for gold.

BullionStar CEO

As a result of this policy shift, many gold dealers, such as BullionStar, has set up shop in Singapore. For many international and domestic investors seeking safe haven for their precious metals, Singapore is considered one of the best choices because of its reputation for being a safe country with low crime rate. BullionStar stands out from the rest of its competitors as it offers convenient, end-to-end solutions for the purchase, sale, storage and delivery of an assortment of bullion products through its BullionStar’s “My Vault Storage”.

Three ways to build your wealth with gold. You may buy “paper gold” such as gold mining stocks or gold Electronic Traded Funds (ETFs) through the stock exchange.  However, it is important to note that investing in these investment products carry substantial risks for average investors because of the potential risk

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How to become rich through property auctions in Singapore

Many Singaporeans want to make money and become rich quick but very few bother to acquire the investment knowledge needed to build wealth. Recently, there was an online article in Yahoo Singapore which illustrated how a Singaporean managed to afford a HDB flat despite having little investment knowledge and drawing an average salary. Apparently, he shared that the landed property was bought for a low price because it was a bank fire sale. He further shared that bank sales can be a good source of deals and revealed that he made a profit of $850,000 after selling it in 2011.

After reading the article, I was really impressed by how he built his wealth and was also heartened that he unselfishly shared his money secrets to Singaporeans . Unfortunately, there were many cynical and negative remarks given by readers in the Yahoo website. Many of them were jealous of his achievement and took the chance to throw brick bats at government policies that restricted them from becoming rich through property investments. Usually these naysayers are those people that would never ever become rich because they don’t appreciate good advices given to them for free.

Singaporeans must realize that to become rich, you must adopt the habits of rich people and arm yourself with knowledge. To learn how to make money through properties, you must first build up your investment knowledge. The key to successful investments is never about timing, nor through sheer luck. It is all about educating yourself on the nuances, tricks and avoiding the usual traps. To this end, one of the local finance bloggers, Property Soul is organizing an education seminar on Everything You Want to Know About Property Auctions and Mortgagee Sales.

Synopsis
Do you know why some seasoned investors like to buy and sell

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Civil Service Mid Year Bonuses

 Mid-Year Annual Variable Component of 0.5-month for all civil servantsIn addition:

Division IV officers to receive a wage increase of $70 in monthly salary, and
Division III officers to receive a wage increase of $30 in monthly salary, over and above their annual increment in 2014.

The Singapore economy grew by 4.9% on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2014, unchanged from the growth recorded in the preceding quarter. Global economic growth is expected to improve in 2014, supported by continued recovery in the US and the Eurozone. The overall unemployment rate in Singapore remained low at 2.1% in March 2014.

Against this backdrop, the Government has decided to pay a mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 0.5-month.
The Government also supports the National Wages Council’s (NWC) recommendation to grant a built-in wage increase to raise the wages of low-wage workers. 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 2014.

Division IV civil servants will receive a built-in wage increase of $70 in their monthly salaries. This will benefit around 3,500 Division IV civil servants. Division III civil servants will receive a built-in wage increase of $30 in their monthly salaries. This will benefit around 5,500 Division III civil servants.

In all, the Civil Service’s NWC adjustments will benefit about 9,000 Division IV and III civil servants. This signals the Government’s continued commitment to help raise the salaries of lower-wage civil servants, in line with productivity growth and private sector salary benchmarks.

The mid-year AVC and the built-in wage increase for Division IV and III civil servants will be paid in July 2014.

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Why you should not quit without a job in Singapore

Recently I read that one of the fellow bloggers has resigned without a job. When I saw his article, I immediately commented to him that doing so was a terrible career move. Obviously people resigned for various reasons. The push factors could be because of bad bosses, poor company culture, lack of motivation to work or being overlooked for promotion. Whatever the reason it might be, you should never quit without a job, unless you are cocksure that you are going to be your own boss. Ten years ago, I made this career mistake, so now, I am going to share my experiences to young folks who feel like quitting from their jobs. Read on before you take the plunge.

Ten years ago
I resigned from my first job almost ten years ago, after deciding that I had enough of the stressful manufacturing environment I was in. As a young engineer, I could not imagine spending the rest of my career doing the mundane stuff I was doing. The pay was not bad, but not good enough for me to do over-time every week. So after quitting, I was very relieved and ready to venture out to another new job. I went for a few job interviews and the first question that the hiring bosses asked would be why I resigned from my previous company without a job. I had a hard time answering them because on one hand, I did not wish to bad-mouth my previous employer, but on the other hand, I felt like telling them how bad the environment really was.

career

I got my second job two months later, but it was actually though my ex-colleague’s recommendation. The hiring manager was a good man, and the first wisdom he shared with me was that: never quit without

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Singaporeans’ misconceptions on the CPF System

Last Saturday, there was a protest against the Central Provident Fund (CPF) system, drawing almost 3,000 people at Hong Lim Park. During the protest, the speakers demanded amongst many things, a better CPF interest payout, the allowance to draw out their CPF savings at 55 years old and to be able to opt out of CPF Life. The protest highlighted certain misconceptions on the CPF System which I find worrying for fellow Singaporeans. Obviously most Singaporeans don’t understand how to manage their monies.

Higher returns, higher risks

According to the CPF website, an additional 1% interest will continue to be paid on the first $60,000 of a member’s combined balances, with up to $20,000 from the Ordinary Account (OA). The additional interest received on the OA will go into the member’s Special Account or Retirement Account to enhance his retirement savings.
Personal finance
If a member is above 55 years old and participates in the CPF LIFE scheme, the additional 1% interest will still be earned on his combined balances, which includes the savings used for CPF LIFE. Savings in the Special and Medisave Account (SMA) currently earn either 4% or the 12-month average yield of 10-year Singapore Government Securities (10YSGS) plus 1%, whichever is the higher.
The interest rate on SMA savings is adjusted quarterly, based on interest rates on 10YSGS over a preceding 12-month period. The average yield of the 10YSGS plus 1% from 1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014, works out to be 3.19%. Accordingly, the SMA interest rate payable to CPF members from 1 April 2014 to 30 June 2014 will be maintained at the current floor of 4%.
Detractors of the CPF Scheme failed to realize that the golden rule in the world of investment is that to expect higher returns from your investments, you must
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The Little Book of Market Wizards: Lesson from the Greatest Traders

Being a value investor, I buy shares of growth stocks at a price below or near it’s intrinsic value. Even though I am not a trader, I believe it is important to keep an open mind and understand the insights and strategies of traders. This is because  whether you like it or not, there will always be speculators and traders in the markets. Their behaviors and actions will invariably affect market performances and impact the way you make money in the markets.

In The Little Book of Market Wizards: Lesson from the Greatest Traders by Jack Schwager, I realized that there are many relevant investment principles that are useful for investors and wealth builders. For example, to be a successful trader, you need to manage your ego and develop a set of trading methodology that best suits your character. The important thing to note is that losing money is part of process and you can never win all the times. This principle is applicable to investing as well. Most traders and investors lose money in the stock market because they try to avoid losing money. On the other hand, professional traders who become rich from stock market understand that they have to take losses in order to win the game.

Another reason why average trader lose money in stock market is because they don’t have the patience to wait for the right opportunities to arise. Far too often, I have seen many financial bloggers unable to resist their temptations to trade frequently. In the book, money guru, Jim Rogers highlighted the importance of trading only when you have strong convictions to do so. I reckon many Singaporeans tend to have herd mentality when it comes to investing in shares. Many Singaporeans claimed to be “long term investors” but whenever

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How much are you saving on property by riding the North-South MRT?

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.

Yesterday, you moved into a 1,000 square foot condo in Novena.

Today, you board the North-South line for your office at Raffles Place.  For every minute you are on the MRT, you have saved $81,479 on the purchase of your home compared to someone who has purchased a comparable unit within a kilometer of Raffles Place.

$81,479 a minute.

For the first time in your life, you wish you had a longer commute.  In your case, Novena is 11 minutes from Raffles Place.  You saved a total quantum of $896,269 by living within a kilometer of Novena MRT.

$896,269.  Not bad for an 11 minute commute.  And, think of how productive you were in those 11 minutes.  You probably read the Today paper and answered your emails.

Or, perhaps, you listened to some music while you dreamed of how you’re going to spend the $896,269.  You could buy another home or put 3.7 kids through four years at Harvard or drink 746,891 cups of coffee from your favorite hawker stand.
In life we make choices.  When it comes to property, location’s the primary determinant of how much we pay.  In the case of the North-South line, the general rule is that the longer your commute, the more you save.

So, after a long day at the office, instead of dreading your 38 minute commute to Woodlands, plug in your earphones, sit back, and dream about

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How to get your CPF monies before you turn 55

Recently, there are a lot of debates on the merits of CPF Minimum Sum (MS) Scheme. Many Singaporeans are upset that the CPF MS has increased yet again and there are certainly anxiety among Singaporeans who are concerned whether they are able to retire comfortably. This has prompted Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin to come out and defend the CPF system.Well, let us be clear what CPF MS is all about. According to the CPF website, “The CPF Minimum Sum (MS) Scheme provides members with a monthly income to support a basic standard of living during retirement. For members who are unable to set aside the full MS in cash, their property bought with their CPF savings will be automatically pledged, for up to half of their MS. Members may also join CPF LIFE with their MS so that they may have a stream of income for life. Alternatively, they may continue to keep their MS with the CPF Board to earn 4% interest per annum currently. The interest rate is revised yearly.”
The reason why many Singaporeans are disgruntled over the rising CPF MS is because they thought that their savings would be locked in their CPF account forever and their money could not be extracted early or prematurely. But is this really true? Apparently this is not so. Generally, there are two ways the money could be disbursed from your CPF account before you hit 55 years old. Firstly, you can withdraw your CPF if:

1) You are a Malaysia citizen and have left Singapore permanently to reside in West Malaysia;
2) You chose to migrate out of Singapore

Alternatively, your CPF monies would be released if you pass away. In this case, your CPF savings will be transferred to the Public Trustee for distribution to your family

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