Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sunday personal Finance Post: 20 May 2018

The Sunday Straits Times Section on Personal Finance is one of my favourite sections.

It's one of the must-rads as it throws light on how people manage their finances, their wins and losses which makes for a pretty educational read. It makes me a voyeur, gives me some purview and insights to how people mange their finances and gives inspiration for growing your money.

With May the dividend paying month for most stocks after they have reported their results for December and Q1 of 2018, I hope there will be more news reports of how people manage their returns from their stocks or dividends.

In particular, I love stories from blogs like

  • Singapore Stock Investing by AK
They are very inspirational people who have grown their small acorns to a huge Oak tree that is giving them dividends that can support their subsistence.

Of late, I find myself coming back to the question of how to save $100,000 in 7 years. With an income that has seen no raises for the past 8 years, it becomes even more important to grow whatever income I have. 

I really need to cut down on expenses especially Grab rides that are eating into my budget. Food at fancy restaurants that are eating into my budget too. And the great nemesis is my credit card expenses that are really eating into my expenses and budget. I must remind myself that less cab rides and more plane rides to motivate myself to save more and grow.

Next I need to consolidate my reits and stock purchase and seriously track my dividends.
I really hope I can also reach the stage of AK and LayYouCanBeFree

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Free Gift From SGX-Stock Screener

Hello Everyone,

I amd writing this from the Montigo Resort Batam.
A pretty nice report and will share the photos of the resort with you all later and why this place is such a great deal if you want a short getaway from work.

Anyway, here's a great free gift from SGX-A free stock screener

Where you can access the latest company data such as search for companies based on

  • Total Market Cap
  • Total Revenue
  • P/E Ratio
  • Dividend Yield
  • Industry.
This is a great initiative by SGX as this allows you to find the latest company information and the latest from the various stock counters in SGX. So if you are looking for information on particular industries, then you can use this screener to look for companies that you want to invest in. 
Previously, you have to subscribe to special subscription stock information before you can access this information. Now all these is available for no cost online.

You can access this at

Appreciate this free gift.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Importance of Insurance Coverage

Recently I have seen friends meet with rather serious medical conditions.
The first thought that comes to mind after enquiring about their well being is whether they have sufficient medical insurance coverage. The key question on my mind is
Is he covered with sufficient medical insurance?

In Singapore where medical cost is sky high, having sufficient medical coverage is important.
If you have sufficient medical coverage it may mean the difference between

  • Having a choice as to which doctor you can seek treatment from 
  • The kind of room and facilities for rehabilitation
  • Having a dedicated medial team instead of a rotating medical team
  • Long wait versus a shorter wait.
Insurance coverage can subsidize a bulk of the medical cost without the expenses blowing your budget or wiping out your entire savings.

I think the base coverage most Singaporean should have are

  • Enhanced hospitalization plan in addition to Medisave and Medishield.
  • Term life insurance or whole life insurance if you have dependents
  • Insurance that covers critical illnesses  
This is usually what happens if someone is admitted to the hospital
Base deposit that varies between $1,000 to $3,000 depending on whether you are staying in a government hospital, government restructured hospital or private hospital.
Then the cost of the medical procedure plus medical instruments and facilities during the period you are staying in. This amount can be offset against the deposit and the balance can be settled in cash/cheque or credit card when you are discharged.
Thereafter the amount you have paid will be reimbursed by the insurance company after adjusting firm has confirmed that your condition is insured by your medical insurance.

Having some cash on hand is important for situations like this besides it being a chest for your opportunity fund.

Well, after experiencing a few cases, it has made me more grateful for what I have and to treasure the people around me.
With Christmas just round the corner, I will be sharing my upcoming Christmas holiday in HongKong/Zhuhai & Macau with some budgeting done as well.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Review-The Millionaire fastlane-Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime

Book Review-The Millionaire fastlane-Crak the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by MJ DeMarco

This is a self-help book that aims to help you achieve financial freedom faster that the defined
retirement age of 60-65 years of age.

In this book, MJ talks about his inspiration of trying to achieve financial freedom when he encountered a young man who drove the latest Lamborghini to the refuel at the gas tank where he was working as a student.

This chance encountered changed his life and he began on his quest to achieve financial freedom.
fast forward 15 years later, he made his wealth in real estate and other online businesses to be able to live the life he desired.

He has a forum which he has created a community to help others along in his quest for financial freedom.

What is different about his teaching is that he teaches you to find opportunities to create great amounts of cash flow in your business. After you have amassed huge amounts of cash flow, you use that money to invest in fixed security instruments that give you a monthly yield, things like bonds, annuities, preference shares, fixed deposits and money market instruments that gives you guaranteed dividends every quarter or half yearly.

These instruments only work if you have massive amounts of cash to invest.
So for instance if you have $100,000 in an instrument that gives you an annual
return of 5%. So if you were to work out the math,

$100,000 at 5% gives you $5,000 annually that gives you $1250 per quarter if the distribution is quarterly. Since there is no capital gains tax in Singapore yet, the amount of money you received
is essentially tax-free.

Now imagine if you can  double ,triple or put in ten times the  the amount of initial investment, this is what will eventually enable you to be financially free living off just your investments.

So if you have $1M at 5% gives you $50,000or $12500 per quarter or $4100 per month.
This amount is sufficient if you are a frugal for a small family without a mortgage.

So this is a book I recommend to

  • People who aspire to start their own part-time/small business
  • People who want to earn an extra income online
  • Small business owners
  • Blog shop owners.

Another unBudgeted Trip to Malaysia

This year I seem to have travels on my cards.
There are some unbudgeted trips that tends to throw
my budgeting and personal finance off my planning.

This year, I find it difficult to save much due to
my constant travels and last minute trips.

This trip is a 3D/2N trip to Kuala Lumpur
to attend a cousin's wedding.

Here's the breakdown of the trip expenses

Air tickets
AirAsia: SG-MY: S$121.00 ( for 2 pax)
JetStar: MY-SG: S$89.04     (for 2 pax)
Shuttle bus to the city: MYR: MYR$56.
Ang Bao: MYR$320-400

For accommodation, I will be staying at my auntie's house
so that saves me about MYR$250 per nite for a hotel in the
city centre.

So for the rest of the trip, I expect to spend on

  • Jogoya Buffet Lunch which I have been wanting to try when I am in town.
  • 2 b'fast, 1 dinner.
  • Miscellaneous.
Will update you all once I am back. For this trip, I am budgeting S$500 including my air tickets
so that leaves me with S$300= MYR$766.00

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Of late, I have been thinking of retirement planning. Perhaps, in part being influence by the ads by Manulife on the MRT and in part, coming to the realization that I am getting older every year.

I am exploring two plans, one gives a fixed sum of $xxx amount once you reach 60 and another pays out $xxx per month when you reach 65 and when you are 75, it gives you a 25% increment to factor in for inflation. Once you reach the payout age of 65 years old, you can get a lump sum payout in addition to the monthly payout of $xxx per month.

So the plans are like

Company A
Company B
26 years
16 years
Lump sum payout of
$12,000 @ age 65.

Lump sum @$6000at age 55

Lump sum
Age 65 onwards $12000 + $500/mth
Age 70 :$625/mth
Age 75-80: $781/mth
Every 2 years payout of
Total premiums paid :$433.80 x 321 = $135345.56
Annual: $5054.10 x 26 = $131406.60
Additional maturity bonus at age 85.
Age 55 onwards
$6000+($500 x 12 x 15 years) = $96000
Maturity reward of $228,432 at age 70.
$433.80 x312 months.
$597.29 x  $192
Payout till 80
$126,360 + $3000 = $129,360


  I am wondering which should I choose. Should I choose one that pays out till age80 or one that pays out early. But what's going to happen after the insurance expires?

Friday, October 4, 2013

How to Travel in Japan for less than S$150 or US$115

This is a follow-up to my previous post on an  trip to Japan that has not been budgeted.
In this post, I will reveal my actual figures versus the estimates from my previous post.
If you are interested in reviewing the budget from the previous post, you can refer to this
(Budgeting for an unbudgeted trip).

I'm glad that the cost fall within the budget and some were actually lower than the cost I have budget for.

Here's a run-down of all the cost. The main cost that I factor in a travel budget are

  • Accommodation (Mix of hostels, home-stay, ryokans)
  • Transport(Trains, taxis, buses, coaches)
  • Meals(rice balls, instant noodles, restaurant meals, fast -food,snacks)
  • The figures quoted below are all in Singapore Dollars where I reside. So it will be lower if you convert the entire cost into U.S Dollars. Hence the USD 115.

Destination Days (Stay) Nights Lodging   J Yen S$
Tokyo 2 2 Kimi Ryokan
7875Y 103
Hokkaido-Biei-Furano 2 2 Cress Guesthouse-Biei
10000Y 131
Sounkyo Onsen+Daisetsusan 1 1 Resort Pension Yamanoue @ Sounkyo 8800Y 115
Hokkaido-Sapporo 2 1 Sapporo City S$68 68
Mt Fuji-Hakodate 2 1 Mt Fuji 3900Y 51
Tokyo 4 3 Shinjuku Washinton Hotel
3-2-9 Nichi Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Ph:81 33343-3111
  $252.20 252.2
          Total 720.2
From (Source Station) Mode Dep To (Destination)   Jyen S$
Haneda Airport to Kimi Limo Bus Haneda Ikebukuro West Station 2000 26
Ikebukuro to Kimi Taxi Ikebukuro  Kimi 1070 14
Kimi Limo Bus Haneda Haneda-Flight to Sapporo 1200 15
Kimi to Hotel Metropolitian
for Limo Bus
Taxi Haneda Haneda-Flight to Sapporo 710 9.1
Air Ticket to Sapporo(return) Place Haneda New Chitose Airport (CTS) 21600 283
New Chitose Airport to Sapporo Train New Chitose
Sapporo 1040 14
Sapporo to Asahikawa Train Sapporo Asahikawa RP
Asahikawsa to Biei Train Asahi Biei RP  
Biei Furano Round Pass Train Furano Furano 5400 71
Biei-Furano Train Biei Furano RP RP
Furano-Biei Train Furano Biei RP RP
Furano 1-Day Tour
Twinkle Bus Tour
Bus Furano Furano 1000 13
Sounkyo Train/Bus Biei Sounkyo Onsen/Daisetsusan 1920 25
Sounkyo Train/Bus Takikawa Sapporo 1920 25
Asahikawa  Train Sapporo Sapporo RP
Sapporo Train New Chitose
Tokyo 1040Y 14
Haneda Airport Kawaguchi 5th Station Haneda Mt Fuji 2400Y 31
Kawaguchi Sta. Bus/Monorail Gotemba Gotemba(Outlet Mall) 1470 19
Gotemba Bus/Train Gotemba Shinjuku 1630 21
Shinjuku Bus Haneda Flight back to SG 1200 15
Several Taxi Trips Taxi 5000 65
Subway Trips Subway 3000 38
Total 658.1

Date B'fast Lunch Dinner To (Destination) Snacks Jyen S$
20-Sep-13 N.A N.A Flight Ikebukuro West Station N.A 0
21-Sep-13 Rice balls+coffee Bento Dinner @Ootoya Kimi N.A 5440 70
22-Sep-13 N.A N.A Dinner provided@Biei Haneda-Flight to Sapporo Autumn Festival 2050 26
23-Sep-13 B'fast provided N.A Dinner provided@Biei Haneda-Flight to Sapporo Tour 585 11
24-Sep-13 B'fast provided N.A Dinner provided@Accomodation New Chitose Airport (CTS) N.A 0 0
25-Sep-13 B'fast provided N.A ramen@ramen Village Sapporo N.A 975 13
26-Sep-13 B'fast provided N.A Instant noodles Asahikawa 350 170 7
27-Sep-13 Instant Noodles N.A Tendon Biei 200 605 10
28-Sep-13 Instant Noodles Cake Dinner Treat Furano 495 105 8
29-Sep-13 Bread N.A Dinner @Yoshinoya Furano 750 1190 15
30-Sep-13 Instant Noodles N.A Katsu Don Biei 600 1605 21
Drinks from vending machines Furano 1200 15
Total 196

What I realized
  • Try your best to have at least breakfast included in the cost of the accommodation. This saves you both time and money. You do not have to do the morning roll call to get everyone to be on time, norning breakfast at the time of accommodation normally does the trick.
  • If you have both breakfast and dinner provided at your place of accommodation as is the case with our minshuku at Biei(Will post updates on accommodation at Biei soon. Best place to stay at Biei), you can often save much more and control your cost, leaving you with more Yen for shopping, snacks etc.
  • You can see from  the actual cost that the biggest bulk of our budgets were taken up by transport which includes an internal flight from Tokyo to Hokkaido. Within Hokkaido, I think it is better to drive as the fuel cost is less than individual coach/bus trips.
What is not included in the cost
  • Two Onsen trips. One was included in our accommodation at Sounkyo, the other at Mt Fuji which we paid 900 Yen.
  • Overweight baggage cost of $212. Yes, for our first trip, we were over weight by about 14 kg and over weight baggage at SQ is expensive.
  • Japan is a well  organized country and runs on clock-work efficiency. Belying that clock-work efficiency is a culture that is always prepared. I find that Japanese are always prepared when they meet you or when they need to be in front of people or guest. 
  • They seem to have a planning culture and it is relatively easy if you do your research before you depart to connect on trains and buses to your destination.
  • Japan need not have to be expensive if you can live in relatively inexpensive places, dine where the locals do and learn a bit of Japanese before you leave. Otherwise, it's useful to download a Japanese app.
  • I find this trip of great value for money and it is one of the best trips I have ever planned for and travelled to especially as I don't speak the language. But be careful who you choose as a travel companion as you can see that I skipped most lunches not out of choice but travelling with a shopaholic who constantly asks you if they should buy multiples of the same items when it is cheap and takes a 'hella' of a day.
  • I might have more time to sample the local food if I had travelled with another. But would have spent more on food.