Month: July 2015

Career management

When Should You Resign?

Last year, during my reservist in-camp training, I had a chat with one of my platoon mates on when is the right time to resign from a job. He was much older than me and was in his early forties. So obviously, given his wealth of experience, I thought what he said would probably be true.

In our conversation, he shared with me that when your boss starts to load you with many assignments or meaningless tasks, its a sure sign that he is trying to force you out of the company. Clearly, my friend wasn’t happy with his job but I didn’t urge him to be positive because at that point of time, I couldn’t really fathom what he was driving at.

Fast forward to a year later, his point really hit me. On thinking back, I am able to empathize him now as I am now going through the same situation as him then. For the past 6 months, I was loaded with many key projects with pressing deadlines, and also many small trivial tasks that don’t add value to the organization or myself.

On a daily basis, I was chased by colleagues from other divisions for trivial issues that could really be solved if they had bothered to put in some efforts.

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Property investment; Singapore market;

Making a Smart Move for Your Mortgage

An Information and Networking Luncheon by Property Club Singapore

In the coming months, my mortgage loan will be due for refinancing. Under the loan agreement, I am supposed to be paying interest fees at board rates set by the bank and the interest fees payable are scheduled annually accordingly. The fees payable is of course much lower than the HDB concessionary rate.

However, last month, I received a surprise upward revision in the interest fees, probably due to the soaring SIBOR rates in the market. This triggered me to check the term and conditions in the loan agreement, which stated that the bank actual reserves the rights to revise the fees according to market conditions. In my opinion, this is a fair clause and I am not complaining about the bank practice. But I thought that as an engineer by profession, I should have factored in safety margins in my mortgage loan to cater for such unexpected circumstances.

While the additional amount to be forked out is small because my mortgage loan is not much, many others in Singapore may be starting to feel the heat from the rising SIBOR rates. Aspiring homeowners, upgraders and investors are starting to feel the pain as banks start to adjust the refinancing and repricing packages.

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Gold Spot Price at Five Year Low

At USD1098 per ounce, gold price has fallen to a five year low. At the rate it is going, gold price seems on course to drop below the critical support level of USD1000. Many analysts also predict that the correction will last till the year end.

But then again, when it comes to gold, nobody can accurately predict the direction of its price. After all, the world has regarded the precious metal as safe haven and expected its price to escalate in view of the current Greece debt crisis and the recent China stock market rout. But it recent performance has confounded even the ardent gold bugs.

To put things into perspective, the gold rally has lasted for more than ten years already. From 2001, gold’s price rocketed from USD300 per ounce to USD1800 per ounce in 2011, making many gold investors rich. Invariably, an asset bubble is clearly forming. And whether investors like it or not, a massive correction for gold price is looming. So it is unsurprising that gold price is 40% lower than the 2011 peak.

The meltdown in gold price was initiated in 2011 when US economy began to revive following the financial crisis. For the last two years, with the recovery gaining pace and the improving job market, gold price seems destined to decline and had in fact, gradually dropped.

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BullionStar: China’s Stock Market : A short summary of the rout and what lies ahead

Below is an article from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the 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. 

The almighty Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index has been one of the best performing financial asset, hitting a 7 year peak in the middle of July and having risen by more than 150% in the past 12 months. Shocking then, when it starting plunging and plunging with 30% of it’s market value lost in the following 3 weeks. The sell-off is incredible considering that 80% of the index consist of retail investors and not the traditional huge institutional investors. The high retail investor percentage in the index has been due to the availability of cheap credit made available and the availability of margin lending by brokers.

What happened after the plunge?

In the wake of the plunge, the Chinese government intervened and allowed almost half of the companies trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index to suspend trading of their shares to prevent a further loss in value.

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Gold; portfolio management

BullionStar on gold developments in Singapore

SG Wealth Builder is pleased to conduct an email interview with Torgny Persson, CEO of BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the 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. 

1) In view of the emergence of China as the leading producer and importer of gold bullion, what do you think would be the implications for the global markets and how should investors in Singapore position themselves?

The Chinese public are buying vast amounts of gold. Our precious metals analyst Koos Jansen is writing regular updates on the withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Total Chinese gold demand can be measured by the amount of physical gold that is withdrawn from the vaults of the SGE.

The Chinese government hasn’t updated its official gold holdings figure of 1054 tons for several years, but many have speculated that the actual figure is much higher (probably by several thousand tonnes) than the official one.

In addition to increasing their reserves, the Chinese government is actively encouraging the public to invest their savings in physical gold as they believe that gold will, in one form or another, be a part of a new financial and monetary landscape.

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Increased demand for physical gold

Below is a piece of editorial from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the 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.

Singapore: Demand for physical gold has increased significantly in the last week leading up to the Greek referendum and is expected to continue to increase following Sunday’s outcome of the referendum with 61 % voting No.

Mr. Torgny Persson, CEO of BullionStar Pte Ltd says: ”Demand for gold has more than doubled in the last week compared to previous weeks and is at much higher levels than what is normal for the season. We’ve seen a large influx of new customers not only concerned about the Greek situation but also concerned about the state of the global economy with its unprecedented debt levels.”

Gold refineries and wholesalers around the world are likewise reporting higher sales and people are concerned about the risk of looming gold shortages.

Mr. Persson continues “We are still well stocked on most products but replenishing is starting to become more challenging.

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OSIM’s Share Price in Free Fall Mode

It had been a year since I wrote an article on the performance of OSIM, Singapore leading massage chair maker cum lifestyle company. Last weekend, as part of my stock review, I was shocked to find that there was a massive meltdown in OSIM’s share price. Granted that I have not been monitoring the local stock market trend for quite some time, OSIM’s free fall merits some attention.

Firstly, in my previous post, I predicted that OSIM’s share prices would reach $3.30 in end December 2014 based on the historical EPS and PE ratios. Instead, the company missed market expectations and profits fell more than 50% to $14 million in the first quarter ended March 31. The market took the cue and reacted immediately. The share price subsequently dropped to $1.61 as of 3rd July 2015, way off the $3.30 target price I had predicted.

OSIM-3The disappointing 1st Quarter performance could be attributed to the lack of new OSIM product launches. OSIM’s new massage chair, uMagic, was launched in April, so the 2nd Quarter would probably see an improvement in sales. The company also reiterated its strategy to pursue growth through new product developments, such as uInfinity Luxe, uDiva, uHip, uSqueez Air, uTrek and uShape Music.

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Young and Entrepreneurial: Singaporeans seek more opportunities to learn, grow and network

SG Wealth Builder is pleased to share the results of a recent survey conducted by Peatix, an event ticketing platform in Singapore that is passionate about building strong communities through events.

Singaporeans are increasingly keen on entrepreneurial and startup events. Specifically, 23% of participants would choose to attend startup and entrepreneurial events, and 25% want to see more of such events here. Notably, interest in these events was equally high for those aged between 25-30 and those above 40.

“This display of interest in seminars, talks, workshops and networking events to increase one’s knowledge and professional growth even amongst youths today is a wonderful testament to Singapore’s growing entrepreneurial spirit,” says Emi Takemura, Co-founder and Head of Asia at Peatix.

The Peatix Survey has also found that 88% of Singaporeans consider themselves happy, and that attending events regularly contributes to this.

These results run contrary to previous reports of Singaporeans being unhappy – in fact, less than 1% of the 600 survey participants considered themselves to be very unhappy.


New survey reveals a 25% increase in demand for startup and entrepreneurial events in
SINGAPORE, Tuesday June 30th – An independent survey by global online ticketing platform Peatix has discovered that Singaporeans are increasingly keen on entrepreneurial and startup events.

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