Ponzi schemes are when funds from new investors are used to pay off existing investors in an expanding “pyramid-type” structure. They are named after Charles Ponzi, who promised a 50% return on $150 in 90 days ($225). These schemes have been around for nearly one hundred years. Today, with current deposit accounts earning very low interest rates, many Singaporeans are looking for “alternative investments” that guarantee huge returns. Thus in the past few years, ponzi schemes, many of which promise no-risk double digit returns, have been on the rise.
The start of the New Lunar Year (4714) will soon be upon us, and many are eagerly seeking forecasts and predictions from “Grand Masters” to find out what the year of the Red Fire Monkey will bring. This is also one of the busiest times for Singapore Pools, as ticket sales dramatically increase with the annual $12 million TOTO Hong Bao Draw. These are entertaining ways that sort of give us a sense of how lucky we are or will be in the coming year. And it’s fun and easy to daydream and fantasize about what you would do with the winnings. But what are your odds of winning? (more…)
Insurance is an asset-protection instrument. And with all the uncertainties in life, it’s good to have some protection against the inevitable tragedies one will face such as disability, critical illness, dependent care needs, and death. Despite its importance, most Singaporeans don’t have a life insurance coverage of any kind.
Out of all the reasons cited for this, two of the top reasons were “the intimidating process” and “apprehension toward agents”. I definitely can relate to these two concerns, as I have been personally lied to by multiple insurance agents. They were unaware that I had Certified Financial Planning (CFP) education and experience. Well now there’s a way to circumvent the agent, to compare multiple insurance products (and not just the ones your agent suggests) and purchase insurance directly (commission-free). (more…)
We’re nearing the end of the year. And in addition to holiday celebrations and get-togethers, many of us also look forward to the AWS (a.k.a. 13th month bonus). As an American, the AWS still surprises me, as it is a business practice that is specific only to this region. Though it is not required that a company pay AWS, many people count on it and will even earmark the spending of it, instead of treating it as a discretionary bonus that varies depending on company earnings and economic conditions. If you don’t depend on the AWS to make ends meet, and you already have a sufficient emergency fund and are debt-free (with the exception of a mortgage), here are some suggestions on how to invest your AWS: (more…)
Although I own properties overseas, I am a renter here in Singapore. People keep telling me that “renting is just like flushing your money down a toilet”. When I ask these people whether they rent or own, they proudly proclaim “own, of course!” But do they really own their home? Most people who purchase a home, do so with a mortgage. This is the same as renting, but instead of renting from a landlord, you are renting from a bank. And do you know what the word “mortgage” means? (more…)
In a few hours, it will be Chinese New Year. And many people hope this new year will bring to them luck and wealth. That’s why I want to share with you the biggest investment that I am banking on. No, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme, new trading algorithm, or forex formula. This is a safe investment, and one with high yields that hardly anyone talks about. And it is rarely mentioned in seminar or books. (more…)