Committing suicide due to stock market crash

In perhaps one of the most disturbing scenes ever shown on TV, Adam Cheng’s character in TVB’s block-buster drama threw his four sons from the top of the stock exchange building after losing his fortunes in the stock market. That was in 1992 and the controversial scene was aired during the first episode of the epic drama. If the Hong Kong producers wanted to deliver a devastating impact on viewers, they succeeded because until today, this drama set the gold standard for a stock market drama series.

I was only 12 when The Greed of Man was shown and obviously I knew nothing about the stock market back then. Nonetheless, the drama has delivered a shocking message and that is to always respect the market. You can make a fortune from the stock market and conversely, you can also lose everything to the stock market if you cannot manage your emotions. At the end of the day, you must remember that nobody can beat the market.

In the real life, many Singapore investors and bloggers were taught a sobering lesson on how cruel the market can be. Within a year, the mighty Keppel Corporation’s stock price plummeted from $9.00 to $5.00.

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Raffles Medical Group’s stock price is worth only $0.10?

Benjamin Graham invented the Net Current Asset Value per Share – NCAVPS, which he used to determine the value of the company he invested in. Based on his formula, Raffles Medical Group (RMG)’s stock price is worth only $0.10, way below the $4.00+ currently traded at the Singapore stock exchange. Being one of my favourite stocks, let’s look into whether the company is undervalued or overpriced.

Market Trend

First of all, from a macro viewpoint, the healthcare sector is an evergreen industry because of Singapore rapidly ageing population. In the coming years, as Singaporeans grow older, the demand for quality healthcare will grow as well. In fact, in the past few years, the Singapore government has been implementing measures to address the bed crunch situation faced by many public and private hospitals. New hospitals will be built and collaborations between the public agencies and private hospital will be developed to alleviate the pressing issue.

An example is the Emergency Care Collaboration between Ministry of Health and Raffles Hospital. Under the collaboration, first announced in December 2014, SCDF ambulances will send patients assessed with non-life threatening conditions to Raffles Hospital’s Emergency Department for treatment if it is the nearest available and appropriate hospital.

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CPF: 3 ways to avoid spending your golden years in “survival mode”

In recent years, there have been many articles of old folks in Singapore living in poverty. This prompted Dr Alexandre Kalache, former head of ageing issues at the World Health Organization (WHO) to voice concerns that Singapore still has much room for improvement in terms of helping elderly to age with dignity.  Whilst I do not have the data to illustrate the profile and root causes leading to the plight of these people, at the back of my mind, I wonder to myself what it is like to spend my golden years in survival mode. Can CPF savings be your ticket to retirement?

Perhaps one of the most controversial topics among Singaporeans would be – Do you really need your CPF to retire? Is the CPF scheme still effective in addressing the retirement needs of Singaporeans? To tackle these questions, one needs to trace the history of CPF and its original intent.

Implemented in 1955, CPF is a compulsory savings scheme that requires all employers and employees to contribute a portion of the employee’s monthly gross salary to their CPF fund. In those days, most workers depend solely on their personal savings when they retire and most employers did not provide any form of retirement benefits to their employers.

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OCBC Bank stock price crashed to six year low

One of the largest local banks in Singapore, OCBC stock price closed at $7.77, a six-year low. The last time OCBC shares traded below $5.00 was during the Great Financial Recession, recording a low of $4.14 on 6 March 2009.

OCBC will be releasing its full year financial results on 17 February 2016. However, based on its 3Q results in October last year, the Net Asset Value for each OCBC stock price was $7.78, slightly above today’s closing price. It is still premature to assess whether OCBC stock price is undervalued because the latest data has not been released. But given the current weak market sentiments, OCBC stock price is expected to slide further.

Stock Market
SG Wealth Builder

The non-performing assets (NPAs) were S$1.93 billion as at 30 September 2015, up 41% from S$1.37 billion a year ago. The year-on-year increase in NPAs was largely attributed to [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only. To read the full content, please sign up as member.]

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SGX plunged from $15.90 in 2007 to $6.82 in 2016

Many investment bloggers can quote Warren Buffett’s famous saying “Price is what you pay, value is what you get”. But how many of them can actually truly understand what he means?

One of the greatest cardinal sins made by investors is to fall in love with the stocks they have invested in. In doing so, they suffer from investment blind spots and subsequently sustain heavy losses when market turns sour. It is as though they go to sit in for an examination without studying for the subject and then expecting to obtain an ace for it.

Many investors don’t determine the value of the stocks and don’t set entry/exit levels. Most of them buy stocks based on prices. The key reason for this folly is because most investors cannot differentiate between price and value.


A classic example would be Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX), Singapore’s stock market operator. The counter surged to a high of $15.90 in 2007 and then dropped to today’s $6.82. Die-hard fans who bought the counter in 2007 at such price would be staring at massive losses now.

Even though the company has been consistently paying good dividends, the amount of losses would have wiped off the dividend gains accumulated throughout the years.

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How to make money from stock market crashes

There are many financial analysts or economists out there who like to brag their abilities in predicting bear market trends or stock market crashes. If you know any of them, avoid them at all cost because the matter of fact is that nobody can predict the future accurately. Timing the market is like trying to predict the winning lottery numbers, which is not possible. Notwithstanding this, it is still possible to make money from stock market crashes.

Many years ago, when I started investing in stocks, one of my ex-colleagues shared with me an invaluable wisdom on the stock market dynamics. Whether you like it or not, the big boys, so called “the whales” dominate the market. You have to avoid or ride with them at all cost because the whales are typically players with deep pockets or institutional investors who can influence the market direction. If retail investors are not careful, they can be swallowed up by the whales easily and lose monies.

As a wealth builder, I always believe that everyone deserves a second chance in building wealth during stock market crashes. It does not matter whether you are a newbie or experienced trader. To be a successful investor, you must have the commitment to learn and not to give up on yourself.

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My family’s wealth journey

After blogging for more than 5 years, I suddenly realized that I have written very few articles on my experiences as a young Daddy. On looking back, one of the motivations of starting this blog was to document my thoughts and insights so that my children can benefit from my wealth journey.

I guess 20 years down the road, it will be interesting for my children to know what I have been through and how they have played a part in shaping the person I am. So starting from today, I will make it a point to blog about my parenting experiences.

2015 has been an incredible year for me as my boy, Jovan, was born. We were very excited about his arrival because my wife and I had always wanted another child so that my daughter, Jovita, will have a playmate at home. Our plan was also to stop at two kids, so having a boy is perfect!

My wife, daughter and son
My wife, daughter and son

We did not, however, take the decision to have the second kid lightly. Prior to his arrival, my wife and I were worried whether we can cope without domestic helper’s aid. In the end, we chose to give it a go and decided not to hire a maid given the recent spate of maid abuse cases and horror stories of maid mistreating babies.

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Three fatal mistakes commonly made by investors during bear market

For many young investors, the current market corrections may seem like a fascinating experience. Some of them may view the volatile swings in the market as opportunities to make money from the stock market. This is not a flawed thinking but to mitigate the possibility of incurring heavy losses, it is important to avoid making three fatal mistakes commonly made by investors during bear market. Below are three lessons that I learned from the 1997’s Asia Financial Crisis and the 2008’s Great Financial Crisis.

Adopting the wrong strategy

Whilst it is true that when stock markets plunge, fear prevail and depress stock prices, thus presenting opportunities for bargain buys. But under such circumstances, I have learned that adopting a buy-and-hold strategy can be dangerous because you never know whether the stock counter can survive the storm. Instead, investors should be flexible and change strategy to momentum investing to exploit the fear sentiment in the market. This is where “contra” (buying and selling of stocks without forking out cash).

For example, during the crisis in 2008, I bought 100 lots of Mercator Lines and subsequently sold off my investments within two days, making about S$3500 of profits. It was not exactly a spectacular profit but then again, I made this amount of money within two days of trading and it was more than my monthly salary (back then I just started working for only a few years).

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The Peril of Marrying the Wrong Husband

There is an old Chinese saying that goes “A man’s greatest fear is establishing a career in the wrong industry while a woman’s greatest fear is choosing the wrong husband to entrust her life with”. This age old saying certainly still holds true in today’s modern society. In a recent UFM 100.3 radio programme, one of the interesting topics was the proliferation of dating agencies in Singapore due to the rising singles above 40 years old.

Inevitably, we will all grow old and die one day, but nobody will relish the prospect of dying alone. It is terrible to imagine that in your final days, you have no one to take care of you and provide the emotional support. Your friends, siblings and parents will not be together with you for the rest of your life journey. Only your partner and children will. So the important goal in our lives should be to find the right partner to grow old with. Given that life is a long journey, wouldn’t it be better to share the joy. bitter and sad moments with someone?

SG Wealth Builder

In the radio programme, one of the female Singapore listeners claimed that she would give herself until 50 year old to find a mate and set up a family.

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BullionStar versus UOB

Many years ago, I wrote several articles on UOB’s Gold Savings Account (GSA) and Silver Savings Account (SSA) in this blog. I had made some monies from GSA and had shared with readers my first experience with gold. But that was the time before BullionStar was established in Singapore and since then, my understanding of gold and silver has improved. The regulatory landscape for bullion trading has also changed as Singapore aims to be a precious metal hub by first removing GST for investment grade bullion. Subsequently, Singapore FreePort was established to cater to gold storage facilities.


UOB is one of the largest local banks and is the only Singapore bank that sells physical bullion. It is also the only bank that has Gold Savings Account (GSA) and Silver Savings Account (SSA). The biggest advantage of opening a precious metal savings account with UOB is the convenience of transacting online via UOB Personal Internet Banking or UOB Mobile. You can also use your CPF funds to buy gold or silver through GSA or SSA.

However, investors should take note that UOB’s GSA and SSA are not backed by physical bullion, and thus you cannot convert your account balances and take physical delivery of gold and silver or certificates.

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Riding the storm with Osim

The current stock market mayhem may represent a perfect opportunity for investors to enter the market but then again, it is important to refrain from timing the market. You never know whether the correction is the start of a long term bear trend or just a short term flip. In this regard, Osim is riding the storm finely.

Regardless the situation, it is important to set an entry or exit point in your stock investments. Apart from this, wealth builders must understand the importance of allocating wealth across different asset classes like gold bullion.

Gold and Silver Bullion
Gold and Silver Bullion

One of my favourite stocks that I have been monitoring is Osim, a Singapore-based company with substantial overseas market reach, especially in China. The current China’s slowdown is expected to have significant impact on Osim but under the leadership of its founder, the company is likely to ride the storm.

Osim was founded by local entrepreneur, Ron Sim Chye Hock. The company is well known for its luxury massage armchair and over the years, Ron Sim has transformed Osim to a powerhouse lifestyle company with more than 1,100 outlets in over 360 cities across 28 countries. What is more impressive is that Ron has single-handedly established a strong Singapore brand name, similar to successes enjoyed by global companies like Starbucks and Apple.

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Insurance: Blood in urine

It was supposed to be one of his daily routine toilet trips in the night but to his utmost horror, there was a lot of blood in his urine. With much fear and worry, he could not sleep that night and the next morning, he went to see his family doctor. To his shock, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had to remove one of his kidneys.

That was 30 years ago and my insurance agent lived to tell the tale. I bought my first insurance from him when I was an eighteen year old army boy. Throughout the years, whenever I bought new life insurance policies from him, he often relate this incident to me. I guess he tried to reinforce in me that life can be very unpredictable. Using himself as an example, he don’t smoke or drink and live a perfectly healthy lifestyle. So until this day, he also don’t know why he suffered from kidney cancer. However, I was in my twenties and in the prime time of my life. So like many people, the possibility of death and critical illnesses seem so remote to me.

Now that I am in my mid-thirties, things are very different.

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The deadliest mistake made by most investors

The recent stock market routs must have caught many small time investors by surprise. The Dow Jones had the worst five day trading performance in history, wiping off trillion of dollars from the market. Both the oil decline and China’s stock market 7 percent drop combined to send Wall Street plunging down the cliff. In the midst of the chaos, many investors must be pondering whether to enter or exit the market.

Taking control 

Most people know that investing is all about emotions – greed and fear. These two emotions often over rule our rational thinking and affect our decision making in investments. To be a successful investor, it certainly take more than knowledge to make money from stocks. You need to take positive action. To take the emotions out of investing, you must set stop-gain or stop-loss level for every stock that you invested in. In doing so, there will be less chances of you looking back in regrets for selling a surging stock too early or live in fear for not selling away your stock investments during market sell-off. You will also have clarity when to enter the market and buy a certain stock.

Truly dividend or long term investors?

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Safe haven in the midst of stock market chaos

U.S stock market plunged 252 points on 6 January 2016 as falling oil prices and North Korea nuclear tests combined to send the Dow Jones to below the support level of 17,000. This marked a terrible start to the year 2016 as investors are spooked by global issues affecting economic growth and looking for safe haven in the midst of stock market chaos.

Stock Market
SG Wealth Builder

U.S stock market

The bright spot is that U.S data continue to support the notion that U.S job market is improving and that the U.S economy should be able to withstand these headwinds. However, investors should be cautious and heed the warning from the stock market. Dow Jones had reached an incredible record level of 18,200 in 2015 and is showing signs of peaking. As there will always be cycles of ups and downs in the stock market, existing investors with substantial stock holdings may want to take profits or cut losses on their stock investments now. After all, if the major correction did arrive this year, the opportunity to offload shares will be a premium given the widespread panic selling.

Chinese stock market

Over at the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the China stock market presents a scarier situation.

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How to avoid making losses in SGX stocks

According to a report, the Strait Times Index (STI) fared the worst in South East Asia last year, declining 14.3% of its value. As a result, many Singapore investors and investment bloggers suffered heavy losses in their stock investments. Although not technically a bear market, investors should be aware of the risks in stock investing and equip themselves the knowledge on how to value a stock before surrendering their hard-earned money to the market. Fundamentally at the point of buying the stock, the investor must not be making losses. Easier said than done, but it can be achieved. In this article, lets delve into how to avoid making losses in SGX stocks.

Generally there are two ways to measure the value of a stock. The first is using the Price/Earning (P/E) method, which actually divides the price per stock by the earning of the company in that year. Essentially, this simple metric uses the earning performance of a stock to determine if a stock is over or under value. So if the earning, which is a denominator, decreases, the P/E will increase. Personally I find this method highly inaccurate as past performances would not guarantee future performances and furthermore, prices can be very subjective to everyone.

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4 Myths To Debunk About Singapore F&B Stocks

One of the largest Warren Buffett’s investments to date is Coca-Cola, which is one of the world’s largest F&B companies. Buffett’s affinity to Coca-Cola dated way back to his childhood when he started his entrepreneurship journey selling cokes. Years later, he would become a major shareholder of Coca-Cola. It is a well-known fact that what attracted Warren Buffett to Coca-Cola was its simple and understandable business model – selling soft drinks to consumers, supermarkets and restaurants. This trait of Coca-Cola turned out to be one of its investment moats.

Even though Warren Buffett has built his fortune from his investments in Coca-Cola, does it means that the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry should be in your investment menu? Let’s delve into some of the common myths and check out whether it’s worthwhile to invest in Singapore F&B stocks.

Stock Market
SG Wealth Builder

Myth 1: F&B stocks are simple and easy to understand

While Warren Buffett may have struck gold with Coca-Cola, it would be a sweeping statement to say that investing in an F&B stock is straightforward and simple. This is because no two F&B companies are created alike.

For example, an F&B brand that does well in Singapore may not be palatable at the global stage.

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