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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own, not those of my employer and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

Top 3 Savings Account In Singapore

>> Saturday, April 19, 2014

As the competition for deposits heats up among the banks, it seems the consumer is the one benefiting from it. Based solely on the criteria of advertised interest rates and not taking into consideration banking hours, availability of ATMs, service level, etc.
 
Number 1: OCBC recently launched the 360 Account that pays up to 3.05% interest on up to $50,000 deposited provided the required criteria are met. Firstly, crediting a salary of more than $2,000 into the account. Secondly, paying any 3 separate bills. Thirdly, spending at least $400 on any OCBC credit card. All of which seems reasonable to achieve. I am sold on it and April will be my first month to see if it indeed lives up to the hype as promised.
 
Number 2: A similar account is the BonusSaver from SCB. However, the criterion for that account was more challenging and less attractive. It pays 1.88% interest on up to $25,000 deposited, provided at least $500 is spent on the credit card. Personally, I closed it after 6 months as it was not suitable for me.

Number 3: Lastly, the best savings account that pays 0.8% interest with minimal conditions is still CIMB StarSaver Which is even higher than some banks’ fixed deposit rates.

There are a couple of others that advertise rates like 2.014% from POSB and 2.5% from Citibank, but the terms and conditions are very different. Like it only applies on the incremental amount and for a limited period only.

Do note, of course, that interest rates are all quoted per annum basis. In case some are dreaming it is too good to be true.
 
Anyone has any better to share?

Cheers! 

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What Do You Do With Your Children Ang Bao Money?

>> Thursday, March 6, 2014

It is the Lunar New Year and it is Chinese custom to give red packets (or Ang Bao) with money to children during this festival.

What do parents usually do with this money collected? Most usually squirrel it away with no particular objective in mind. This often results in it being spent on rewards for the children when doing well academically in future.

A pleasant goal proposed was to use it to fund their future university education fees. This gives parents’ a focus and also Children to take some ownership of their own future. But is it even possible for the Ang Bao money to be sufficient?

Making some assumptions and working out the figures:

NUS annual fees according to their website are $7,650 for the average course of study.
Assuming an average course is 3 years = $22,950 total fees.
Assuming education inflation of 3% for 20 years = about $40,000.
Assuming a rate of return at 8% over 20 years = about $800 monthly required.
Based on my own market research, the average Ang Bao received discounting parents’ contribution is about $300.

Hence, if each parent makes up the reminder $500 by forking out $250 each, that makes the goal of achieving the education funding, provided all the assumptions pan out.

Gong Xi Fa Cai! And may everyone Ma Shang You Qian!

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A Healthy & Wealthy 2014

>> Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Earth has made one round around the Sun and it is time for a calendar year change. It provides a marker and serves as a reminder to take stock, reflect and plan. As the saying goes, to know where you are going, you need to first know where you came from.


Time heals all wounds, some may disagree but human memory is not perfect. If we were to base solely on personal ability to recall the events of 2013, what were perhaps three most significant ones? At the national level, the news that took over the country from my perspective was in chronological order, the sensationalized case where Ng Boon Gay and Cecilia Sue became infamous, followed by dengue and the haze where PSI and N95 were all everyone could talk about, and lastly the Little India riot is still recent enough to be mentioned occasionally.

Now, do you recall the stock picks by analyst in January 2013? What were their predictions of the STI level? Had the crystal ball gazers been accurate to see that STI was going to be unchanged? Maybe its time to review your broker or financial adviser’s past advice or your personal performance - Did it beat the benchmark, is it worth the fees paid, was the performance attributed to skill or luck.

Those that were right will make sure to remind you about it and those that were wrong will bring focus to what lies ahead instead.

In the mood of the festive season of giving, it seems it is also the season for FREE financial advice. Lists of stock picks for 2014 are being thrown around freely, predictions on technical analysis – support and resistance levels are dished out freely, advice on value investing to be the next Warren Buffett are also recommended freely.

I recall the words of the Father of Value Investing, Benjamin Grahman - learn to ignore the noise. Everyone’s situation is different and it calls for different approaches. He advises that there are only 2 types of investors – the aggressive and passive.

Taking a leaf from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers: The Story Of Success”, the magic number is 10,000 hours for the key of success. To be a successful aggressive investor, one should put in at least 10,000 hours of practice before embarking on this role.

In the meantime - 2014, I shall be a passive investor with real money while carrying on to clock the 10,000 hours of simulated money to grow in my investment journey.

For a Healthy & Wealthy 2014, CHEERS!

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To promote the education of individuals for the need to have a healthy lifestyle and wealth management through proper financial planning, particularly in investments.




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