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.

Gold and Silver Bullion
Gold and Silver Bullion

Notwithstanding the above, it should be noted that there is a dichotomy between gold price and demand for bullion. This is because besides the demand for physical metal, another factor that influences the price is the paper market. According to local bullion dealer, BullionStar, “for the week ending 7 July 2015, the notional amount of Silver that was traded on COMEX was 1,160,760,000 troy ounces according to the CFTC COT report, …

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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. Investors who were leveraged to the tilt had to close their margin positions. Furthermore, those who paid in cash panicked and started to sell as well.

What did the government do?

Understandably, the Chinese government is alarmed at the rate at which the index fallen and have introduced several measures to try and turn the index around. Since the investors are mostly retail investors, there are fears of social unrest if the situation is not turned around quickly enough. The government is working to buy shares from small and medium sized companies, who are

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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. Under such a scenario, it is likely that gold would be valued at a substantially higher price than it is today.

We recommend people to put at least a part of their savings in gold and silver as precious metals always retain value in the long run, whereas fiat currencies, although they may function well as a medium of exchange in the short run, always depreciate in the …

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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. If the demand continues, there’s a risk for delivery delays ahead.”

The Greek debacle shows the advantage of holding gold bullion when capital controls are introduced.

Gold is keeping its value over time, gold is liquid and gold is a great asset to preserve wealth and savings in over time.

Greeks saving in gold would have had their savings accessible with no risk of losing their deposits from a potential bail-in.

Mr. Persson on the gold price development: “The price of gold has been fluctuating in a narrow range this year, up 0.6 % since the …

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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. The relentless product innovation, coupled with aggressive outlet openings in China, cement OSIM’s position in the market.

OSIM has always been a Singapore market darling and its recent drop in share price should not be seen as an indication that there is a fundamental flaw in the company’s business model. In fact, such correction is healthy and is an opportunity for investors to accumulate more shares at reasonable level. In fact, there were numerous highs and lows for OSIM’s share price and at one point, it was even trading at $0.04 during the financial …

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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.

Peatix_Infographic

New survey reveals a 25% increase in demand for startup and entrepreneurial events in
Singapore.
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. Specifically, 23% of participants would choose to attend startup and entrepreneurial events, with a quarter wanting 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.

“Although gaining skills online and being on online …

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7 tips to start stacking Silver coins or bars

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

If you are new to stacking and don’t have a clear concept on how to start, here are some tips here. I am no expert, there are many more experts out there preaching their advice. Be cautious though, as many advice can be confusing and not suitable for newbies. I learnt this the hardway. I started some years ago and learnt through the school of trials and errors:-

start stacking silver
The joy of seeing your wealth grow
  1. Start stacking silver with a clear budget. Know what amount of your disposable income you can afford to start stacking. Only use spare cash that you can afford, for example, how about reducing your entertainment expenses like that weekly drinking session? Or cut down on that expensive daily starbucks? Those small bills can pile up to be a good silver stack.
  2. Do not get carried away and over-stack. Start small, and do it regularly, along the principles of dollar cost averaging. Do NOT throw all your cash into silver. Keep some cash for unpredictable emergency needs. This is to avoid selling your silver at inappropriate timing when you badly need the cash.
  3. Diversify your investments for the future. Do not invest in silver. It is healthy to hold a good portion in precious metals, such as gold. Invest in stock index funds, some healthy insurance plans or pay off your mortgages and debts. Plan for the future.
  4. Especially for newbies, do not
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How to be successful in your career

Throughout my career, I have always heard people claiming that they should have certain level of salaries or pay increments to justify the cost of living in Singapore. My stance is that to we should first and foremost prove our values or worth to the organization in order to make that sort of demand to your employers. Simply telling your bosses that the inflation rate is much higher than your pay increment is not a valid reason for a higher pay check. Today, during lunchtime, my boss shared with me his insights on how to achieve career success.

Why do some people succeed in life?

Have you ever wondered why do some people able to achieve career success despite them having mediocre academic qualifications? Apparently, there are unique traits that make them stand out from the rest of the crowd and that is the ability to see challenges differently. Successful  people would strive to prove their merits to  their bosses before demanding his desired pay package. Most importantly, they view challenges as opportunities, rather than obstacles. This trait spurs them to achieve goals and drive them to career success. When faced with challenges or setbacks, instead of whining, they remain resilient and bounce back from failures.

Success

Winners Vs Whiners

Successful people are considered “winners” in every organization because they are viewed as problem solvers, rainmakers or go-to guys. They make things happen and embrace failures as an inevitable process to improve themselves.

Conversely, mediocre workers whine and complain whole day about their bosses and feel victimized over work issues. They also feel underpaid all the time and would only perform tasks which they feel they are employed to do.

If you assigned tasks beyond their so-called designated work-scope, they would reject them or show zero commitments to accomplish them. Instead …

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Release of second half 2015 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme

On 11 June 2015, the Singapore Government announced the second half 2015 (2H2015) Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme, which comprises 4 Confirmed List sites and 13 Reserve List sites. These sites can yield up to 7,825 private residential units, including 1,340 Executive Condominium (EC) units, and 277,580 sqm gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space.

Among the Confirmed List sites, Alexandra, Clementi and Siglap are expected to generate the most interest since they are located in matured estates. The Siglap site alone will generates about 750 units. Overall, the Confirmed List comprises 4 private residential sites (including 1 EC site) which can yield about 2,130 private residential units (including 520 EC units).

For the Reserve List, the Stirling site is bound to attract competitive bids from developers as it is located at the popular Queenstown area. The site can accomodate more than 1110 units. The Bedok South Avenue 3 site is also expected to generate interests among buyers as it is located near the Tanah Merah MRT and Bedok Town Centre. The Reserve List comprises 8 private residential sites (including 1 EC site), 2 commercial & residential sites, 2 commercial sites and 1 White site. These sites can yield about 5,695 private residential units as well as 275,580 sqm GFA of commercial space, mostly for office use.

The supply of private housing and commercial space from the GLS Programme, together with supply from projects in the pipeline, will be adequate to meet the demand for private housing and commercial space over the next few years.

There is an existing pipeline supply of about 84,000 private residential units (including ECs). So this release of land sales for private residential units might be a litmus test for developers. Given that buying interests among have cooled down under the current investment climate, developers …

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Texas building gold depository

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.

I found this article about Texas building a state owned gold vault making the gold in it “non-confiscatable” very interesting.

To summarize, the US state of Texas signed a bill into law 12 June that will allow Texas to build a gold and silver bullion depository. Texas is furthermore planning to repatriate USD 1 billion worth of bullion from the Federal Reserve in New York upon completion of the depository.

It thus looks like the state government in Texas are losing faith in the ability of the Federal government and central bank to safekeep bullion.

Gold and Silver Bullion
Gold and Silver Bullion

The law specifically includes a provision stating that a purported confiscation, requisition, seizure or other attempt to control the ownership is void and of no force or effect!

It’s perhaps not strange that Texas politicians are concerned about the financial health of the federal government. What is surprising though is the brazen way of posturing and displaying it with this law basically stating that they will not allow the federal government to confiscate their gold.

If the vault materializes, this is a major step by a western state government to legitimize the importance of holding fully allocated, segregated metal in one own’s possession and may serve as a precedence for other states and to go the same way. This is of particular interest in a time when federal and supranational unions are trying to exert more power and can be viewed as

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SG Wealth Builder Email Interview with Co-Founder of FirstPropInvest.com

SG Wealth Builder is pleased to conduct an email interview with Myles Clement,  co-founder of FirstPropInvest.com, a property platform that connects Singapore investors to the UK property developers.

1) Congratulations on the launch of FirstPropInvest.com! Can you share with the readers what gap or problem is the platform addressing?

Thank you! Firstpropinvest.com was created to give Singaporean investors CHOICE when looking to invest in the UK. We saw there is a gap in the market to create a clear, simple, impartial, platform that brings investors the latest UK properties directly, with no heavy sales tactics as we are not agents. Currently only the medium to large developers can afford to market their developments out here at great cost. Why not allow everyone to be able to market to the Far East market, bringing greater transparency, more choice, and hopefully better value to the investor, as opposed to being sold what is launched on any given weekend. We feel investors aren’t being given the best options available to them within their budgets. You have worked hard to buy that investment property in the UK why not have a choice.

Logo with web address 2 (2)

2) Who is the target customers?
FirstPropInvest.com targets anyone who is interested in investing in property based in SE Asia, from the first time investor, to the professional investor with large portfolios already. We aim to create a service that is useful to all, and not just one specific type of investor. We want the platform to grow, so if investors want to buy in say Scotland, we will look to list developments in Scotland. FirstPropInvest.com is an investor and developer platform so we want to work with both to help grow the site.

3) How does the platform works?
It is simple. You simply go to Firstpropinvest.com for free, no login …

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Mortgage Interest Rates– Key Factors That Impacts it

Interest Rate
Interest rate charged is the reward for taking the risk on the capital. Interest rate is often referred to as the “cost of funds” or hurdle rate.

Risk to Capital
If the lender perceives a higher default risk on capital lent out, the higher the interest demanded. The causes to credit risks can come from shocks to the financial system from within the country or beyond. As the world’s financial systems are increasingly interlinked, any credit event far away can increase potential default risk.

Demand for funds
The increased demand for funds when it outstrips the supply will also cause interest rates to rise. Genuine demand of funds comes from the industry’s need for investment. Industry will borrow money for investments if they think their investments returns can better the interest rate. This type of capital demand can help a country increase its productive capacity. The other types of demand are for household consumption such as housing mortgages, car loans, renovation loans or personal consumption.

Supply of funds
The supply of funds varies in each country. The supply of funds can come in local currency or
foreign currency. The supply of funds generally comes from the banks. The banks in turn receive
their funds from equity and depositor’s funds. These funds are then lent out to borrowers, less
offcapital reserves requirement such as BASEL III to maintain the stability of the banks via a capital
adequacy ratio.

Financial institution having excess capital may then lend these funds to other financial institution other on an over-night basis, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and so on. This is referred to as the interbank rate or benchmark interest rate. In Singapore it is referred to as the Sibor rate, in London, it is referred to as the Libor rate, in …

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BullionStar: Storage of Coins

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.

A common question that our customers ask us is, “How do I keep my precious metals such that its’ condition will be immaculate forever?” The short answer is that for silver, it is not possible since silver tarnishing is a natural process, as discussed in another editorial by my colleague Gustav. However, there are ways in which we can delay the process for as long as possible so that your precious metals are still beautiful to look at.

1.Keeping your precious metals in a cool and dry place

For collectors who are beginning their collection, it would be good to invest in a good storage solution in order to protect the coins. One could consider large air-tite boxes or even camera cabinets that allows for the adjustment of humidity. Do take care to keep the boxes in a place where it would not be exposed to high temperatures or light. (Not only is this safe for your coins but you keep your precious metals away from prying eyes as well.) Silica gels can also be placed together with the coins to ensure a dry environment.

2.Case them in protective capsules

Bullionstar offers the Intercept Quadrum Coin capsules, an innovative product that promises to protect your coin for up to 15 years.  The special foam developed interacts with the air and neutralizes any harmful chemicals that may cause the coins to tarnish. The following sizes are available : 20mm, 30mm

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How to be a successful investor

Last year, during a meet up with the man behind BeMoneySavvyToday.com, Brendan Yong shared with me his insights on how to succeed in investing. Brendan works in the financial industry for 11 years and is a veteran when it comes to insurance matters.

First and foremost, most Singaporeans tend to rely on tips from friends and investment bloggers on when is the best time to invest and which are the best stocks to invest in. Most of them either are not financially savvy or have no time to do research. But to succeed in investing, there is no shortcut and you need to put in a lot of hard work. Half the game is won if you make the effort to analyse and take care of the downside risks.

Secondly, you must understand your character and priorities. Your personality and behavior determine the outcome of your investment decision, not the market. Over time, you would realize that your greatest enemy is yourself because managing your emotions is key to winning the investment game. On priorities, many of us have family commitments or hectic careers, so not many people can have the luxury of time to do stock research. For this group of people, choosing a reliable financial planner would make sense.

A third point he made was that to be successful, you must experience at least one cycle of market boom and market crash. Such experience would enable an investor to validate his investment thesis. Otherwise, no amount of reading can level up your investment competency.

When touched on the topic that there was an initiative by MAS to promote online direct purchase for insurance products, Brendan commented “Of course I knew as I work in the industry and as a matter of fact, MAS had a round of …

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Authentic gold in Singapore

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. This article will discuss where to buy authentic gold in Singapore.

We often get questions on the authenticity of different products.

How can I know it’s really gold?

How can I test?

Is there a certificate of authenticity included?

Let’s address the last question first. Most bullion bars and bullion coins don’t come with any certificate of authenticity. The refinery’s stamp on the coin or bar is the refinery’s guarantee of the authenticity.

gold bullion Singapore

It’s after all much easier to fake a piece of paper certificate than it is to fake the metal. As a matter of fact, a metal can’t be faked, it can only be imitated in regards to some characteristics but never all.

One of the most important characteristics for gold is its high density. The density for gold is 19.3 g/cm3 which is almost the highest density of all elements on earth. This means that if you use another metal, let’s say e.g. copper which has a density of 8.96 g/cm3, to try to replicate the visuals of a gold bar, the bar will become much larger assuming the same weight.

The only metal close to gold in density is Tungsten. Tungsten has a density of 19.6 g/cm3. This means that a tungsten bar is very close in volume to a gold bar which is what you might have seen on Youtube.

Fortunately though, it’s easy to differentiate Tungsten from Gold.

The speed

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Singapore is among top 40 countries with reported official gold holdings

In the latest gold demand trends reported by World Gold Council, it was stated that Singapore central bank amassed more than 120 tonnes of gold as reserves. The amount constitutes only 2% of our reserves and the report also ranked Singapore as number 27. The top country with the most gold holding is USA, with more than 8100 tonnes of gold, followed by Germany with 3400 tonnes. Not surprisingly, North America and Europe dominated the list.

Determining the official gold holdings and demand trends are challenging, given the lack of transparency and sheer complexity of the gold market. The report by World Gold Council is based on a complex methodology of data collected from domestic sources and international trade.

The important thing that can be gleaned from the report is that there was a 17th consecutive net purchase by various governments, reflecting a sign that central banks continue to rely on bullion as a form of hedge against volatile currency movements.

gold

Given that Singapore is neither a country known for gold consumption nor a gold exporter, our strong gold holding reflects the government’s belief in the precious metal’s status as a form of holding value. This is probably because the value of Sing dollar is pegged against a basket of currencies of our major trading partners and competitors. What this means is that any swing in this basket of currencies would affect our economy growth. Thus, the reserve would provide a form of hedge protection against currency uncertainties.

In Singapore, you can buy gold and silver bullion online from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). You can choose to self collect your bullion at BullionStar’s store, or opt for home delivery. Alternatively, you can choose

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BullionStar launches new silver products and bullion competition

Below is a newsletter 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.

Nadir Silver Bar Promotion 

Nadir Silver Bars are produced by the LBMA certified Nadir Refinery. The Nadir Silver Bars known for their attractive price premium offering investors more silver for their money.

Nadir is one of very few LBMA certified companies to produce 250 gram and 500 gram silver bars. As the price per gram for these bars is lower than for coins, they may serve as a good alternative to silver coins.

We currently run an exceptional time-limited offer for these silver bars reducing the price premium as much as 40 % compared to the normal price! The offer is valid until 24 May or while stocks last.


Nadir Silver Bar 250 gram

Current time-limited price: Spot price of silver + 9.9 % regardless of quantity bought!

Nadir Refinery Silver Bar – 500 gram

Current time-limited price: Spot price of silver + 8.4 % regardless of quantity bought!

Nadir Refinery Silver Bar – 1 kg 

Current time-limited price: Spot price of silver + 7.9 % regardless of quantity bought!

 

Video Competition 

Let your creativity loose and shoot a video of your bullion bought from BullionStar to Win Big!

Record a video with bullion bought from BullionStar. We’ll leave the ideas up to you. Perhaps you want to shoot your bullion together with Singaporean landmarks or talk about how you stack bullion from BullionStar.

The length of your video must be between 15 seconds and 3 minutes. E-mail your video or a …

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Frightening Truth about Investment-Linked Insurance Policies

Last month, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched compareFIRST with Consumers Association of Singapore, Life Insurance Association of Singapore and MoneySENSE. compareFIRST is a portal that contains information on life insurance products offered by all the life insurers in Singapore. However, way before the website was launched, last year, SG Wealth Builder had an opportunity to meet up with Brendan Yong, of BeMoneySavvyToday.com.

Unlike me, Brendan has worked in the financial industry for 11 years and is a veteran when it comes to insurance matters. Nevertheless, both of us shared the same belief that insurance is a form of protection, and never meant for investment purposes. In that meeting, he revealed a frightening industry secret on investment-linked insurance policies.

When touched on the topic that there was an initiative by MAS to promote online direct purchase for insurance products, Brendan chuckled and commented “Of course I knew that as I work in the industry. As a matter of fact, MAS had a round of consultation with the industry players on the proposed move”. However, Brendan dismissed that such a move reflected that consumers are ready to purchase insurance products directly from the insurers.

He shared that financial planners and insurance agents still has a role in helping consumers in making the most informed choice when it comes to buying the most suitable insurance products.

BeMoneySavvyToday
Brendan Yong

“Look Gerald, basically you still need insurance agents and financial planners to advise you on how the insurance product works and whether they are suitable for you or not. There is no way to know all the nuances and details from the website without someone explaining in details what does each feature entails. Furthermore, the way an applicant declared his health status is also important and can affect his insurance application or even …

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Buying My First Private Property 1-Day Workshop

In today’s article, SG Wealth Builder is pleased to catch up with Property Soul on her upcoming property workshop. Property Soul is one of the most well known property bloggers in Singapore  and is the author of the best selling book “No B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets to Building Wealth Through Properties”.

Can you share with the readers what are the key takeaways they can expect from your upcoming Buying My First Private Property 1-Day Workshop?

They will learn how to save faster to buy their first property, and what is the highest property price that they can afford. They will know where the hidden traps are, and what properties to buy or avoid for first time buyers. They will also pick up tips on negotiation skills, housing loans and dealing with lawyers and property agents.

This workshop is basically designed for first time private property buyers to help them avoid all the costly mistakes that would have cost them thousands times more than the small fee of the workshop.

What are the general profile of those who attended your seminars and workshops? Property investors, upgraders or first time property buyers?

It depends on the topic of the talk or workshop. For Buying My First Private Property 1-Day Workshop, the participants are mostly first-time buyers, HDB upgraders or aspiring investors. For talks like “Everything You Want to Know About Property Auctions and Mortgagee Sales” and “Buy, Fix and Profit from Old Houses/Apartments”, there are more savvy investors or investors who own multiple properties.

20150321_094140s 20150321_094150_s

You have built your wealth through properties at a time when Singapore has not implemented the cooling measures. Against the current backdrop, would you agree that the bar has been raised for property investors? Do you think that the measures could

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How to buy gold and silver bullion online in Singapore

One of the best things about e-commerce is that it allows retail investors to make orders online and have the purchases deliver to home, thus saving a lot of hassle for investors. In Singapore, you can buy gold and silver bullion online from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). You can choose to self collect your bullion at BullionStar’s store, or opt for home delivery. Alternatively, you can choose to store your bullion at BullionStar’s vault storage.

There are 4 easy steps to buy your precious metals through BullionStar as described below. A more detailed step by step guide is available here.

Step 1: Place the desired products in your shopping cart. There is no minimum or maximum amount when purchasing from BullionStar.

Step 2: Click “Checkout” in the Shopping Cart to go to the checkout. Select delivery and payment method in the checkout.

Step 3: Confirm and pay for your order.

Step 4: Depending on the delivery method you have chosen, your products will be:

– Available for pick-up at 45 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059398. No appointment for pick-up is necessary.

– Shipped to your delivery address; or

– Stored for you in My Vault Storage® in our vault at 45 New Bridge Road for you to inspect, sell or physically withdraw anytime.

You can follow the order process from purchase to delivery. We will update you by sending e-mail order status updates. You will receive e-mails for order confirmation; payment confirmation; and confirmation of delivery, availability for pickup, or storage.…

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Capital Match on making money from Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending

In this article, SG Wealth Builder is pleased to catch up with Pawel Kuznicki, co-founder of Capital Match, a homegrown Singapore-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that helps Singapore SMEs obtain loans financed by individual investors.

1) Peer-to-Peer lending is something new in Singapore. In your opinion, what are the potential pitfalls that investors should look out for when choosing the right platform to invest?

The key risk of this type of investment is a default risk of the borrowers. The investors should carefully assess if the information provided to them about the potential borrower is sufficient to make an informed decision on the risk involved and if the proposed interest rate is sufficient to compensate for the risk.

2) How does Capital Match deal with default loans and what mitigating measures can investors expect from Capital Match?

If the default were to happen, we would employ a debt collection agency to attempt to collect the debt from the borrower. The directors of the borrower have to provide personal guarantees so the debt can be collected both from the company and its directors. If the debt collection is unsuccessful, we would then advise lenders if they should start the legal action against the borrower. The cost of debt collection is on us, the cost of subsequent (if any) legal action has to be borne by lenders. In the future we will also introduce secured loans to provide better security to lenders?

3) How does Capital Match differentiates itself from other P2P lending platforms and how much market share do you foresee Capital Match will gain in the next five years?

There are currently only two peer-to-peer lending platforms in Singapore. We believe our key competitive advantage is a credit risk capability allowing more borrowers to get approved (despite potentially unfavourable credit …

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BullionStar offers Gold Buffalos for only spot price of gold +3.99%!

Below is a newsletter 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. 

We are currently offering 1 oz Gold Buffalos (2013, 2014 and various years) for only the spot price of gold + 3.99 %. The offer is valid until 4 May or as long as stocks last.

The Gold Buffalo was first minted in 2006 and is the only 1 oz .9999 gold coin produced by the United States Mint. Encapsulating a monumental time in history, this beautiful coin is a modern rendition of the James Earle Fraser’s 1913 Buffalo Nickel, produced in pure .9999 fine Gold.

New Sales and Operations Manager

We would like to introduce our new Sales and Operations Manager, Mr. Luke Chua.

Luke brings with him the skills and experience required to propel us forward in the areas of customer experience, operational efficiency and effectiveness.

If you have any development ideas or would like to give us any feedback, please feel free to contact Luke.

Luke is a precious metals enthusiast who has decided to make his passion his work!

 …

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Why Singapore investors always lose money in shares

For the past few years, there has been a proliferation of young investment bloggers in Singapore. While I am not sure if this is a good phenomenon, it certainly reflects a growing interest in the stock market among young Singaporeans. However, have you paused to wonder why Singapore investors always lose money in shares?

Many years ago, a veteran in the stock market told me that when taxi-drivers, housewives and students start to dabble in shares, it’s a warning sign that the market has peaked. In fact, for the past few years, the stock market in U.S. has rallied and surged to multiple highs. Entering the market during this boom period can be dangerous because many stocks have risen beyond their fair values. In such case, the return of your money is far more critical than the return on your money.

You must have heard of Warren Buffett’s famous quote “be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful”. To be frank I am not sure whether Warren Buffett practice what he preached because in reality, nobody knows how he invests behind the scene. In reality, telling this to someone who try to find value stocks in the current market is akin to telling a horny male to remain celibate, and thus, I often find this quote unhelpful.

SGX

For me, it is almost impossible to tame greed and overcome fear if we lack of self awareness. Most people fail to realize that their greatest enemy is not Mr Market, but actually themselves. Your emotions, behavior and decision-making determine the outcome of your investments.

How often were you tempted to buy a stock when a friend boosted that he made a killing from it? When was the last time you bought a stock at the top and …

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Gold and the currency market

For the past few weeks, the rising Singapore dollar has caused substantial market swing in the currency market. Notably, Malaysia ringgit reached a low on April 17 when one Singapore dollar could buy RM2.7234. This inevitably created worries for many Malaysians who travel to Singapore or send their children here to study on a daily basis. The unfavorable exchange rate has reduced their purchasing power substantially.

If you think that the currency movements affect only forex traders, then you are wrong. In fact, it affects our daily lives because a stronger Singapore dollar can make imports cheaper and hence, help to curb inflation.

Indeed, the exchange rate is merely a tool used by many central banks, such as the Monetary of Singapore, to manage the country’s economy. From an investor’s standpoint, volatility in the currency market may not be a good news if the majority of their wealth is in cash holdings. Just imagine, a Malaysian millionaire who stash most of his bank savings in Malaysia ringgit must be very worried now. This is because the ringgit may depreciate further due to the strengthening of US dollars and potential analysts’ downgrades.

On the other hand, Singapore investors should not be complacent and think that Singapore dollar would always remain strong. To avoid wealth destruction, it may be a good idea to buy gold bullion as a means to preserve wealth.

Gold and Silver Bullion
Gold and Silver Bullion

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.

As a result of this policy shift, many gold dealers, such as BullionStar, …

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Crowdfunding will be a game-changer for retail investors

For many years, investors in Singapore have been lamenting the lack of fixed income investment opportunities. This is because most of the corporate bonds in the market are accessible only to the institutional investors. Further to this, the dream of owning a second property to generate rental incomes for retirement purposes has also become unattainable for many retail investors after the implementation of the slew of property cooling measures. The emergence of crowdfunding is set to change all this. In fact, crowdfunding could well be a game-changer for the financial sector in Singapore.

In a consultation paper issued by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in February 2015, the MAS recognizes the enormous growth potential of crowdfunding and defines crowdfunding into four forms, namely: donations, reward-based, lending-based and equity-based. MAS deems that the latter two involves exchange of “debentures or shares”, and hence, they would be subjected to securities regulation.

Currently, there are a few companies in the market that offer lending-based crowdfunding services in the form of “peer-to-peer lending”. One of them is Capital Match, co-founded by Pawel Kuznicki. According to Pawel, Capital Match aims to provide business borrowers with the next best interest rates after banks and at the same time, offers investors access to attractive yield with a low investment entry amount.

Contrary to what most people thought, peer-to-peer lending companies like Capital Match compliment, and not compete, with the banks. This is because they address the capital needs of small enterprises which do not qualify for bank lending. In this regard, peer-to-peer lending companies offer an alternative source of lending for start-ups and small enterprises.

On the hand, peer-to-peer lending opens the door to retail investors who hunger for fixed income investment opportunities, at very accessible level, usually minimum of $1000, and at lucrative returns, at …

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Importance of managing cash flow

When investors have some monies in hand, one of the most difficult decisions to make is how to use the fund efficiently and effectively. Should you use the money to pay off your outstanding housing loan or car loan? Or should you top up your CPF accounts? Is it a better option to use the money to invest in shares than generate better returns than saving deposits? Or should you invest in a second property to produce a fixed income for your retirement?

cash flow

In any case, there is no right or wrong answer. But my personal strategy is to maintain a healthy cash flow and I don’t like to pay off all my loans and be debt-free. Having some amount of money in hand allows me to invest in appropriate instruments when the opportunity arises and also cover needs during emergency times. But I always make it a point to clear all my credit card bills on time to avoid incurring late payment charges and interest fees.

But just what is cash flow and why is it important to manage it? From an equity investor’s point of view, free cash flow within a company is the balance of money remaining after the operating expenses are deducted.

Most investors, when reviewing the financial statement of a company, tend to look at the Profit and Losses segment or the Balance Sheet first. For me, it is a given that the financial health of a company should be positive and that the company should be making at least five years of increasing profits.

However, beyond the above, the more important metric I look out for is the net cash from operating activities in the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flow.

Take for example CWT Limited, one of the SGX listed companies that primarily provides …

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Homegrown start-up Capital Match launches peer-to-peer platform to lend to Singapore businesses

SINGAPORE – 14th April 2015 – We are pleased to announce the launch of Capital Match, a homegrown Singapore-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that helps Singapore SMEs obtain loans financed by individual investors.

The objectives of the company are two-fold:

–          provide business borrowers with the next best interest rates after banks, and

–          give investors access to an attractive yield with a low investment entry amount.

Capital Match (CM) has an in-house credit function that carefully evaluates the circumstances and purpose of each borrower to determine an appropriate loan amount, tenure and interest rate.

This in turn allows CM to provide investors with a curated selection of loans to build their investment portfolio.

Helping SMEs with financing

According to figures released by Singapore SME consultancy Loyal Reliance, only about 13% of loan applications made by its SME clients in 2012 were approved.

“The SMEs we speak to tell us it is increasingly difficult for them to get loans from banks”, says Pawel Kuznicki, an ex-management consultant formerly from Rocket Internet, who co-founded the company with Kevin Lim, an ex-investment banker and Dr. Arnaud Bailly, a software engineer.

“P2P lending will provide a much needed source of alternative financing for our local SMEs. We chose to start our operations in Singapore because of the robust regulatory and legal framework, but we have ambitions to grow regionally”, states Kuznicki.

The P2P lending model is already very successful in the United Kingdom, the United States and China, but is still in its infancy in Southeast Asia. Last year alone, P2P lending platforms in the United States arranged almost US$ 9bn of loans.

Working with banks to fill gap

Local banks have also been focusing their efforts on innovative technologies to improve their offering.

“The banks do not see P2P lending platforms

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SG Wealth Builder Email Interview with BullionStar

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) Mr Torgny, in your opinion, what is the outlook for gold in 2015? Given that the economy recovery is gaining traction in United States, would there be any negative or positive impact for gold prices moving forward?

The so called recovery is a phony recovery in my opinion. The economies in the West are facing a lot of underlying problems with unprecedented debt levels, trade imbalances, high unemployment and misallocated investments. The current monetary system based on fiat credit and fractional reserve banking is going to implode under the debt burden. The price of gold thus hasn’t got so much to do with gold but everything to do with how worthless our currencies get.

Gold will revalue significantly in terms of purchasing power in the monetary reset we are soon to embark on. When exactly? I don’t know, we are still in the run up with hyperdeflationary pressure which may turn to hyperinflation quickly when savers revert back to the “buy now” mentality and all the savings are undone. Paper trading works well up until the moment it doesn’t and then there’s a total loss.

For the short term, I don’t have any prediction for the price of gold. In the long term, my prediction is that gold will revalue significantly as paper money depreciate closer to its intrinsic value of zero.

Bullion
2) BullionStar was set up only in 2012 but delivered

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Property: Foreign Investment Opportunities

Below is a guest article contributed by Lamudi, a German properties listing company. Given the current cooling measures, many Singapore investors are turning their eyes on property market in South East Asia countries. Investors should be aware of the risks involved and the regulations in these countries to avoid losing monies in such investments.

2015 is predicted to be the year when many emerging markets in Asia such open up their property ownership to include foreigners. As it stands in many countries, non-citizens are prohibited from buying properties. For example, in Philippines the country’s constitution bans non-Filipinos from owning land and in Sri Lanka non-citizens pay more tax when they own any property.

However, there are signs that this may be about to change. 2015 will see countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) merge to form a single market. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community is expected to boost foreign direct investment in the Philippines and also in untapped markets across the region, putting pressure on lawmakers to amend these ownership restrictions. This year, foreign ownership laws will also come into focus elsewhere in Asia, with debate set to continue in Indonesia and Myanmar about opening up the countries’ property sectors to international investors.

This is a sign of relief for real estate agents in some countries like Myanmar, who perceive lack of foreign investments to be one of the top 3 major constraints on the property market. A recent study conducted by leading property website House.com.mm, revealed that 24% of house hunters and real estate agents identified lack of external investments as a factor that prevents the property market from skyrocketing.

As a country, Myanmar has become increasingly attractive to foreign investors. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) grew from $US 1.9 billion in the 2011-12 financial …

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The most financially challenging period of my life

On 8th of April, I became a father for the second time! My little bundle of joy came slightly earlier than expected and my wife and I were a bit unprepared because incidentally, my elder daughter happened to fall sick during this period. But thank goodness, my mother-in-law and mum were around to help out. I really appreciate for what they did.

Everyone has the right to procreate and pass on his legacy. Nobody can take this right away from him. But I think most Singaporeans have the wrong mindset about raising kids in Singapore. They always associate money and the high cost of living as two key factors that deter them from having babies. Most Singaporeans want to establish their careers first before having children. Of course money is important, and we need good incomes to support family needs. But then again, how much is considered enough and when is the right age to be considered financially stable to have babies? Before they knew it, many Singaporeans could be well past their child-bearing age in no time and would regret not conceiving when young and healthy.

For the past three years, my daughter had brought us so much love, joy, tears, laughter, anger and frustrations. Everyday, she never fail to amaze me. All these memories are priceless and I wouldn’t trade any amount of money for them. I hope I would have the same experiences with my son.

Of course, there had been trade-offs and sacrifices made. My wife and I had agreed that she would be a stay-at-home mum. This was because if I were to concentrate in my career, then I would have less opportunity to spend time and bond with our children. So its better that at least she is at home to bond with them. …

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