4 Things to Invest in that will Make You (Not Your Financial Planner/Broker) Wealthy

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You’ll never hear these tips in a financial seminar (because these tips won’t generate a commission).

It seems that everywhere you look, there’s some guy hosting a free seminar who’s going to tell you secrets on how to pick winning stocks. Sometimes these talks are hosted by financial services companies like RHBInvest and Phillip Capital. Or, they are given by notable “experts” in the field, like Mark Lin and Nicholas Tan. Other seminars are held by financial education companies, like Wealth Mentors, where much of what they teach could be found in a good book (free, from the library).

As a former financial educator who was not tied to an investment company or to selling certain products (and therefore, I had absolutely no conflicts of interest), I can honestly say that for the vast majority of people, these seminars won’t benefit them. They will mainly benefit the organiser(s). So what should these people invest in? (more…)

Where to Buy Vitamins and Supplements

Two online supplement shops that provide cheap and fast shipping to Singapore.

Although vitamins and supplements are not regulated by any government agency or organization in terms of their efficacy or even their authenticity and purity, just about everyone I know takes them. And many people even swear by them. The HSA states on their website that “unlike medicines which contain potent medicinal ingredients, health supplements are currently not subject to approvals, licensing or registration before being sold in the local market.”

Many people are unaware of this warning, and believe that as long as they buy from local stores, they are buying a product that has been tested and found to be safe and effective. Online sources, for many, are considered unsafe. However, there really is little difference since all supplements, no matter their source, are not regulated. But if you buy from local “brick and mortar” stores, such as Guardian, Unity, GNC, or Holland & Barrett, you may be spending 10-50% more than if you buy online. The selection online is also more vast. (more…)

Why Banks are the Tallest Buildings and Lamborghini Drivers are Poor

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Note to MAS: don’t just put a limit on unsecured debt, put a limit on credit card & loan solicitors!

In every city, usually the largest and tallest buildings are bank buildings. This should give you a sense of how much influence and profits they have. They are often much bigger and more prominent than government buildings. Many of them make the majority of their money through personal banking services, such as through loans and credit cards. Although just about every religion forbids usury rates (i.e., excessive or abusive interest rates that unfairly enrich the lender), banks somehow are able to issue credit cards with 26% annual interest and nobody seems to object.

I recently attended a talk in which a Singaporean economist said that about one-third of credit card balances in Singapore are revolving/outstanding. This means these debts are subject to the outrageously high interest rates. The sad thing is that once your balance is subject to these high rates, paying off the principal becomes extremely difficult because the interest just keeps growing exponentially. (more…)

Is the NTUC Membership Worth It?

Here are 7 reasons why NTUC membership is well worth the price.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is the sole national trade union centre in Singapore that is affiliated with 60 trade unions and 1 taxi association. The membership is open to anyone age 16 and older, except personnel from Singapore Police Force, Singapore Prisons, Auxiliary Police bodies, foreign domestic workers and full-time students. For my family, the membership is definitely worth it; in fact, it pays for itself. Here’s what you get by paying their annual membership fee of $117: (more…)

Why Now is the Best Time to Visit Hotpot Culture

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The least expensive buffet in Singapore.

It’s been a couple months since the rat incident at Hotpot Culture, and despite NEA lifting its suspension last month and the restaurant lowering its daily lunch porridge buffet to just $6.80++ ($8 nett), the crowds have not yet returned…. But I think this is the best time to visit the restaurant. Here are 5 reasons why: (more…)