SG Wealth Builder Special Offer

Lifetime Membership Special Offer! Since 2010, I have been blogging about money and stocks in SG Wealth Builder. My spouse often asked why am I doing this through the years. After all, I am not compensated for the sharing and my blogging had led to a lot of sacrifice of my family time. Indeed, if I am doing this merely for fame or money, this blog would not have sustained till now. I am talking about 11 years of blogging, not 11 months.

Many bloggers would tell you that building a blog from scratches requires a tremendous amount of effort and time. Sometimes, after years of blogging, there is no guarantee that a blogger can find success in the readership. Along the way, I have seen so many promising bloggers giving up and turned to commenting in other investment forums instead.

The sole reason for the sustainability of SG Wealth Builder is passion. I love doing stock research and sharing my ideas with others. And I love writing because I always thought that to be able to inspire or create a change in others is a form of calling.

At certain stages in my life, I did consider giving up blogging because of my family and career commitments. Sometimes after a long day at work, the energy just wasn’t there to blog. But as I look back at the journey, the thought of deserting my followers was too unbearable. Through the comments, emails and feedback, there were many memories to be cherished.

I still remember the time when a reader dropped me a message to request for an article regarding accredited investor in SG Wealth Builder. She was attending an investment talk that was selling funds meant for accredited investors. That was when I realized how much value this …

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Scary truth about accredited investor rule

As an investment blogger, my commitment is to deliver quality content so that readers can benefit from reading my blog. Beyond this, I also hope to build a community by engaging my readers. Thus, if you find this article useful, please email subscribe to my blog for free or share your thoughts in the comment block. Today, I will share the scary truth about accredited investor rule in Singapore.

I learned about the accredited investor rule a few years ago from a local entrepreneur who worked in the financial sector for many years. He candidly shared with me his experience as a wealth manager and touched on how the industry made money from investors based on this rule.

I have previously written about this rule in this blog but apparently many readers still have many doubts about it. You may check it out here.

Make your money work hard

Like many people, I share the same aspiration to enjoy the good life through building wealth. In this regard, my conviction is that investing offers the possibility of a ticket to financial freedom.

But have you ever wondered why so many Singaporean investors lost big sum of money in financial products like Minibond Notes, High Notes 5 and Pinnacle Series 9 and 10 Notes back in 2008?  Instead of making money work hard for them, ironically they lost substantial wealth. Last year, many investors also got burned after investing their hard-earned money in Swiber corporate bonds.

Singapore banks

Many of you would presume that you would not suffer the same fate but you may be wrong. This is because these investment products are not scams, but legitimate products sold by reputable banks and financial institutes to retail investors. This means that it could happen to any one of us.

Many of these …

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Miss the forest for the trees

Would you drive to Johor Bahru (JB) from Singapore on a monthly basis to stock up milk powder and diapers for your children? On a daily basis, we are confronted with choices to make regarding money. Ultimately, there are no right or wrong decisions but whatever choices you made, they always come with trade-offs. As a wealth builder, sometimes I feel that many Singaporeans miss the forest for the trees.

I saw an article by fellow finance blogger who pointed out he saved $50 by shopping in JB for his children’s milk powder and diaper. He then claimed that if he did so on a monthly basis, he can save a mighty $600 annually. With the magic of compounding, he would be able to pay for his children’s university fees in 20 years. As a parent of two young kids, I can certainly relate to his financial concerns of raising a kid. Nonetheless, I cannot agree with his way of thinking, which is basically warped.

Firstly, there is no way that you can pay off your children’s tertiary education with the above approach simply because most young kids start eating adult food and stop using diapers after 5 year-old. So it is unrealistic to make the 20 years extrapolation. Granted even if the assumption is true, there is no way you can make such explosive returns or saving interest rates enough to pay off your kids’ tertiary education fees in 20 years.

career

Secondly, as a wealth builder, I will not go through such hassle just to save $50 in a month, simply because the effort is not worth it. Imagine you waste hours on the traffic jam. Not to mention the possibility of being robbed or having your car stolen in JB. Is that $50 even worth it in this …

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Will you still love me tomorrow?

Lately, a few finance bloggers wrote about the cost of raising up a child in Singapore. Some estimated that the cost might be up to $1 million while there were some who felt that $200,000 to $300,000 should be a comfortable range. Whenever I come across such articles, I always have mixed feelings. Whilst it is important to be pragmatic in a high cost society like Singapore, I don’t like this money culture whereby we view things in monetary terms and measure relationships in dollars and cents.

As a father of two kids, I always tell myself that my love for them must be unconditional and I would not expect anything in return from them when I grow old. By the same measure, my wife and I do not see the point of calculating the cost of raising our children. This is because we do not want our children to grow up wondering how much it would cost to support us when we are old and jobless. We feel that it is our mission to take care of ourselves and be financially independent when old.

My girl and boy are our greatest gifts and we would not trade anything in the world in exchange for them. Because of the little ones, my wife and I have also sacrificed a lot of personal times as our parents are unable to take care of them. My wife has to give up her banking career and became a full-time stay-at-home-mom. On a daily basis, after work, I would rush home to help out with the household chores and spend time with my children. Sometimes, we felt really drained out and wished that there was someone to help us out.

Nevertheless, our children have brought us so much joy, fun and laughter. Of course, …

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Profit Mastery Seminar

To succeed in your personal finance journey, you need to acquire the right knowledge in the various form of wealth building strategies. One of the ways is to achieve this is through reading. However, reading is a very passive form of learning because you are merely downloading information. There is lack of interaction and exchange of ideas which would otherwise, result in a better decision-making outcome.

That is why I believe that attending seminars would help to broaden a wealth builder’s perspective. Make no mistake, I am not advocating you to sign up for those investment seminars that attempt to hard sell you their so-called secret money making formulas. Neither do I believe that you pay thousands of dollars to attend a wealth building or internet marketing seminar.

However, I do think that there are many affordable yet credible money seminars in the market that offer investors the opportunity to learn and at the same time, network with successful investors. One of them is the Profit Mastery Seminar conducted by Wealth Directions.

The local company is celebrating their 5th year anniversary the best way they know how. That is to share their knowledge about financial planning and investment. During this one day event, they have lined up a few speakers that will talk about:

1)      Getting the right investment mind set

2)      Key to good retirement planning

3)      Market outlook and many more

Similar to past event, Wealth Directions is keeping the cost low to encourage more participants to join. For only $20, you can get to hear what the money gurus’ views on the markets and their investment insights.

Here are the details that you might want to take note:

1)      Name: Profit Mastery Seminar

2)      Date: 27th Sep 2015 (Sunday)

3)      Time: 1 pm to 6 pm …

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CPF Special Account

For the longest time, there were several investment bloggers who had been talking up the merits of topping up CPF Special Account (CPF-SA) with cash or CPF Ordinary Account (CPF-OA). They gushed and purred about how parking those extra $7000 into CPF-SA can earn risk-free 4-6% of return. Apparently, many readers were so impressed that they were pretty sure that these two fellows had uncovered the sure-win secret formula to wealth building. One of the readers almost kissed the foot of one of the bloggers.

Finally, today SG Wealth Builder came across one fellow blogger who had the guts to stick out his neck and pointed out 6 Reasons not to Voluntary Top Up your CPF Special Account with cash or CPF Ordinary Account.

If you have not read the article, I would urge you to read it (at least once) because it is one of the most well-balanced investment article I have come across with regard to CPF matters. The author described the approach of topping up your CPF-SA as “dangerous” and cautioned Singaporeans to consider carefully before doing it. As a wealth builder, I fully agreed it!

SG Wealth Builder

I shall not list down all the 6 reasons written by the blogger but fundamentally, his points on cash-flow and business opportunity costs were exactly what I had in mind whenever I came across bloggers espousing the merits of voluntary topping up CPF-SA.

Look, in life, there are always trade-offs. You don’t expect free lunch and if things are too good, they probably are! Whilst I don’t deny the fact that CPF-SA interest rate is indeed hard to beat and can be considered risk-free, investors must realize that such an approach is a one way ticket. This mean you cannot take out the money as and when if you need it …

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Grow Your Best and Most Important Asset – Personal Financial Investment Seminar

Investors who are into shares investments would say that stocks are the best assets in the world. Bullion investors would claim that gold is man’s most valuable asset. Real estate investors would argue that property is the most important asset we should possess in our life time. In my opinion, they are all wrong. The best and most important asset is your knowledge. Your analytical power and decision making abilities would shape your financial destiny and dictate whether you would be a rich or poor man.To make money from your investments, you must first and foremost cultivate learning and reading habits. Knowledge is key to understanding how the market works and having a strong foundation would help you navigate through the fierce financial storms. This blog was started in 2010, primarily to share entrepreneur, investment and money making ideas. I was inspired by ex-NTUC Income CEO, Mr Tan Kin Lian’s blog and hope I can make a difference to the society like what Mr Tan did in his blog, which focused mainly on issues related to insurance. Many Singaporeans had written to him to consult him on issues related to insurance.

Indeed, my blog has not achieved the kind of success enjoyed by Mr Tan, but I like to view this as a project still very much “work-in-progress”. For the past four years, my blog has attracted more than 30 vendors from local and various countries like USA, UK, Australia, South Africa, Russia and Hong Kong. But I did not take up some of the advertising opportunities, like those promoting online gambling or casinos because there are certain code that I have set for myself. As a matter of personal policy, I do not promote gambling, violence or sexual contents. In addition, this is a non-political and non-religious blog, even

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Singaporeans lost money in another bogus investment opportunity

According to the Channel News Asia, up to 1,500 investors in Singapore could lose a staggering $70 million after Brazil Embassy denied that property firm EcoHouse Group has any links with the Brazilian government. Apparently, EcoHouse had claimed to be working with the Brazilian government on a social programme and even promised fixed return of 20 per cent for a one-year investment contract. However, EcoHouse abruptly shut down its Suntec offices and many investors complained that they have not gotten their returns despite maturity of their contracts. In addition, some investors have begun legal actions against the company and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had placed the company on the Investor Alert List.Whenever I come across such articles, I feel sad for fellow Singaporeans. This is not the first time that Singaporeans fell prey to a money scam. A few years ago, many Singaporeans also lost millions of dollars in several elaborated gold buy-back scams. Indeed, many Singaporeans hope to make their money work hard for them but ironically ended up losing all their hard-earned money in bogus investment projects. Their greed and ignorance prevail whenever they were told that there are better ways to make money than putting their savings in the banks. In their heads, it never cross their minds the kind of risks involved in such projects. 20 per cent return is an incredible yield and investors should already be on their guard whenever they were offered such investment products. Yet, they chose to ignore the warning signs and now they tried to claw back their monies through legal help and enforcement actions from the authorities.

My opinion is that these investors are not going to get back a single cent of their money and this fiasco is going to be another sobering investment lesson

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What does progressive income tax means to Singaporeans

In one of her recent posts, fellow finance blogger, “Lady, You Can be Free” posted an article on her income tax payable. She was shocked that her tax payable was more than $10,000 for this year and so she tried to figure out how to save on her tax through Supplementary Retirement Scheme. $10,000! When I saw the amount, I was impressed by her income because compared to her, my annual income is much lower, so my tax payable is only a fraction of hers. Unless you are a rich man in Singapore, this is not a small sum to be sniffed at, so it is understandable that she felt the pinch.Now, if you faced the same predicament as the lady blogger, congratulation! This is because you belong to the higher income earner. Of course this would come across as cold comfort to you, but going forward, the government has declared that the income tax system is going to be “progressive”. Under this new income tax system, the rich will have to pay more income tax compared to the less well-off.  In fact, from last year, the tax rates were adjusted for YA2012. If you look carefully at the rates below, taxpayers earning below $100,000 pay lesser tax in 2013 compared to 2011 and 2012. However, those earning above $100,000 has to pay more tax. Most Singaporeans, especially those who earned more in 2013, didn’t realize the changes probably because of the tax rebates dished out by the government in recent years.
The rationale for such a tax system was because data collected by Inland Revenue Authority revealed that resident taxpayers with annual income less than $100,000 accounted for only 11 per cent of all personal income tax collected in 2011. The remaining 89 percent comes from those who earned
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Building your wealth in Singapore

Hi SG Wealth Builder,
 
Let me first introduce myself. I’m currently an undergraduate and I would like to seek some advice from you because I’m quite lost. How can I increase my wealth to the next level? I’ve been making thousands every month month through trading for the last 2 years but I want to earn more. Is there any way to achieve this?
 
PS: In case you think I’m kidding around, I’ve attached my profit for March.
Thanks. 🙂
 
Yours sincerely,
Jacky
Many Singaporeans want to make money and become rich quick but very few bother to acquire the investment knowledge needed to build wealth.

I received the above letter from one of my readers a couple of weeks ago but could not find the time to reply due to my work commitment. As usual, I was reluctant to provide specific advice or guidance on investments that would mislead my readers into thinking that I am a financial guru. I just want to emphasize again that I am not. As a matter of fact, I don’t even work in the finance sector. But after much thoughts, I decided to share some of my insights pertaining to the reader’s question.

It is important that young Singaporeans have the right mentality before they embark on their wealth building journey, especially those who are about to enter the workforce. The decisions made in the early stage of our lives will shape our financial destiny and future but young folks can become lost in their pursuit of money. So I want to impart some knowledge and life experiences to Jacky (not his real name) and guide him along. Hope this article will make a positive impact to his life.

First of all, congratulation to Jacky for making so much money through trading
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How to invest and be rich in Singapore

Hi sgwealthbuilder,

I read your blog post on how to start building wealth from young and I enjoyed it thoroughly it helped me to understand more about investing and how I should go about developing myself as an investor.

However, I realize you tackled the situation for young investors who have yet to start or are interested to start. Hence, I was hoping if you could share with me your experience or some wisdom on what a young investor who has some knowledge, capital and owns a few shares already. I really would like to know whats the next step of vision and many blogs do not really touch on this category of ‘very young investors who accidentally started before reading financial blogs’.

I’m sorry I have yet to introduce myself, I’m a young army boy just turned 19 and saved up just about 12k and invested about 8k into Suntec Reit and FCT a couple of months ago. I do plan on purchasing gold because I like the feeling of holding my assets and I am aware of the benefits of having gold (cheap during economic booms and recovery, which are happening soon I think?). 

I noticed you mentioned you do not normally give advice to people since you are not a financial adviser and such but I hope you could guide me somehow as my parents and close relatives do not invest and I’m the first to venture into this ‘taboo’ world. 

Warmest Regards

A young army boy

After pondering for some time, I decided to write a reply to the above email written by a “young army boy”. This is because I noticed that there is a growing trend of Singaporeans investing at a young age nowadays.  As market novices, if you do not receive the correct

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How to become rich in Singapore

Many of us must be thinking hard on how to become rich in Singapore. Recently, there was an article in the local Chinese newspaper stating that an elderly man and his daughter illegally sublet their rental flat for $700. Apparently, they paid the government only $26 of rental fees every month since 1987 and had made a few hundred thousand of rental profits through the decades.
Even more amazing is that they were let off lightly by our government – barred from applying for HDB flats for the next 10 years and fined $5000. My wife and myself thought that the fine was peanuts considering the fact that father and daughter made a huge pile from the rental incomes. It seems that nowadays, Singaporeans are becoming more and more innovative to become rich, albeit through immoral methods.
Singapore finance blog
Gold buy-back schemes
Every now and then, when gold prices hit record highs and made the local headline news, there would be investors rushing to buy gold. To exploit clueless investors, a group of smart Singaporeans devised complex gold buy-back schemes, which operates like Ponzi scams. In such cases, gold is offered at a small ‘discount’ from their exorbitant prices. There is an option of buying back the gold at the full exorbitant price but the money used to buy back the gold must be derived from new recruits. Meanwhile, these new recruits buy the ‘discounted’ gold in the expectation of returns from selling it back to the company at a later date.
gold

In the news, a lawyer was interviewed and he pointed out that the contract agreement between buyer and seller clearly indicated that such schemes are high risk investments and that the returns are not guaranteed. So to be fair, people who chose to invest in such dubious schemes should play

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Gold scams

A few days ago, I saw a Channel 8 news bulletin on Genneva Gold Trading Firm, which is a company that offers gold buyback scheme to investors. Apparently, it is being sued by its customers for not meeting its financial obligations. Quite a number of Singaporeans had actually invested with the company.
In the news, one customer even [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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SG Wealth Builder Membership

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What does it mean to achieve financial freedom

In my previous post, one of my readers, CreateWealth8888, commented that my ex-colleague might have achieved financial freedom and therefore resigned from my company without a job.

Well, I am not going to dwell on the issue of his resignation reason but I think CreateWealth8888 brought up an interesting topic and that is being financially free in Singapore.

Everyone has his own definition of financial freedom. For me, being financially free in Singapore means you need not work but can still live comfortably without having to worry about the bills. And I think this is an important fact.

Most Singaporeans derive their incomes from their jobs or businesses. It is crucial that after we retired, retrenched or resigned from our jobs or businesses, there are financial mechanisms or means in placed to ensure that our quality of lives do not suffer as a result of the lack of mainstream income.

salaries
There are a few who became rich overnight after striking lotteries or inheriting assets, but normally this sort of wealth do not last. So essentially, being financially free does not mean you have to be rich. But what you need is to equip yourself with the know-how on how to kick-start your life journey to financial freedom.

The reason why I used “journey” is because achieving financial freedom is a continuous learning process that requires you to learn and earn. It is hard-work and requires you to remain curious on different aspects of life. In return, you gain a life-skill that can potentially bring you much intellectual and financial fulfillment.

So what are the key aspects of financial freedom? Well I am still learning the process but perhaps would like to share my thoughts with the readers. The first key element of financial freedom should be having safety nets in …

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