Singapore-based financial blog that aims to educate people on personal finance, investments, retirement and their Central Provident Fund (CPF) matters.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

4 Things to Do at CPF Retirement Planning Roadshow

CPF is holding their 'CPF Retirement Planning Roadshow' this weekend (Sat & Sun) at Suntec West Atrium!

There are interesting booths, this time, around at the event.

Recommended Post: 6 Singapore Public Transport Tips

1) Virtual Reality Booth
Find out your retirement personality at this station but more importantly: enjoy the VR experience! Play with the machine.

2) Retirement Savings
How much do you need to achieve your retirement lifestyle/income?
Get your figures calculated out over here and that you can start planning early how much you need to save every month.

3) Family Fun
There will be activities there for families (parents + children) to participate in.
Claw machines, paint a coin bank, etc are just some of the games there.
Freebies are available too!

4) Talks
Yes, of course, there must be talks for this event.
Talks about planning for your retirement, buying your first house or preparing yourself for your healthcare needs!

Recommended Post: Singapore University Graduate Salary

Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

Have feedback? Tell us now!
Subscribe to us or
Follow us: Investment Stab on Facebook

Friday, 19 August 2016

New Movie Streaming App in Town!

There is a new movie streaming app in town!
Its name is Catchplay!

1) It is a movie streaming service! (No, you do not get dramas or TV series)
2) There are 2 options - unlimited streaming or 1-time rental, more on it below.
3) Don't want to pay for movies? You can sign up with CatchPlay as a non-paying member (Movie Fan Plan). You get 1 free movie every month!  Isn't that great!
4) As you watch, CatchPlay will continue to improve their algorithm to give you the best recommendations, movies that you would love to watch.
5) Comes with a preview feature! You can watch the first 5 minutes of the movie for free before deciding if you wish to rent it or not!

Recommended Post: 6 Singapore Public Transport Tips

Unlimited Stream (Movie Lovers Plan: $12.90)
Similar to how other streaming services work
You sign up for a monthly subscription with CatchPlay (Movie Lover plan), and you get to watch an unlimited amount of movies available in their 'Movie Lovers Unlimited' library (they update their movie library every week).
While the vast majority of its movies are available under this plan, some movies (the new or hot ones usually) might not be available for streaming and only available under 1-time rental.
As such, this plan comes with a feature that allows you to watch 1 rental movie for free every month!
What movies are under rental? Check them out under the "Hot Picks" section!

1-Time Rental (Movie Fan Plan: Free)
Don't watch movies very often on these services to make it worth your money?
CatchPlay also comes with a 1-time rental of movies.
Just browse their website, and if you see any movies you like, just rent it!
Yes - it is just that simple!
Rental of 1 movie is either $3.50 or $6.00.
Also, part of this 'plan' is, you get to watch 1 free movie every month from their selected list of movies! Ain't that great!
To check out what is available for free for that month, browse their "On The House" section!

Recommended Post: You Will Never Be Able to Retire

Promotions currently:
Free 2 months of viewing if you
     i) like their Facebook page!
     ii) sign up with your Facebook or mobile number over at their website!
     iii) join their 'Movie Lover' plan
     iv) enter the promo code found on their Facebook page
     v) Remember to do all this before 21st August 2016

Wondering what is available in their library?
Just head over to their website to find out today!

Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

Have a feedback? Tell us now!
Subscribe to us or
Follow us: Investment Stab on Facebook

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

6 Singapore Public Transport Tips

We have some tips for people taking Singapore's public transport every day!
These tips (or hacks) are what we know of and use, but I am sure it is not all available.
Do share with us if you have more tips so that we can help one another travel more efficiently.

1) Keep your Travel Transfer within 45 Mins
Keep your transfer between travel to within 45 minutes.
If you keep each transfer within 45 minutes, it will be considered as 1 trip.
However, if you exceed the 45 minutes, it will be considered as 2 trips.

I take bus 222 from location A to location B, it will cost $0.78 (the boarding fee or minimum fare).
I took another bus, bus 333 immediately from location B to location C, my fare is built up from the previous $0.78. You do not need to pay the boarding fee again.

However, if you waited for 50 minutes, then board bus 333 from location B to location C, you will need to repay the $0.78 boarding fee.

Recommended Post: Singapore University Graduate Salary

2) You can take up to 5 transfers with one MRT ride in between
Of course, this does not mean you must take 5 transfers in 1 ride.
The max possible combination is below:

*B = Bus
*T = Train
However, don't take 2 train trips in a 2 hours slots as it will be considered as 2 trips.
So if you must, take a train from your location to your destination then bus back to your location

3) Taking 2 same bus = 2 trips
Do not take 2 of the same bus in a single trip as it will be counted as 2 trips instead of 1.
If it is considered as 1 trip, fares are built upon the minimum fare ($0.78).
However, if it is considered as 2 trips, you end up paying the minimum fare twice!

I take bus 222 from location A to location B, it cost me $0.78 (the boarding fee or minimum fare).
Within the next 45 minutes, if I take bus 222 from location B back to location A, I will be charged the boarding fee ($0.78) again.
However, if I take bus 444 from location B to location A, I do not need to pay the boarding fee. My bus fare will be built up on top of my previous trip.

4) Travel within a 2-Hour Time Frame
In addition to keeping your transfer between rides within 45 minutes, you also have to keep all these tappings within a 2-hour time frame.
If you tap in your card 2 hours after your first tap, it will be considered as a new trip.

You board bus 222 at 2.00pm. Assuming you did 2 transfers between 2.00pm to 4.00pm. At 4.01pm, when you tap bus 444, it will be considered as a new trip.

Another Eg;
You board bus 222 at 2.00pm to location A. You completed your tasking and board bus 444 to location B at 2.35pm. This trip will be considered as a transfer trip and no boarding fee is incurred.
Then you finished the second tasking and boarded bus 333 at 3.05pm at location C. You reached location D at 3.45pm.
After which, you boarded bus 555 at location E at 4.05pm. This 4th trip is considered a new trip as it has passed the 2-hour mark at which you started travelling at 2.00pm. Hence, you will need to pay a boarding fee at this point again.

If you tap out your card 2 hours after your first tap, it is still considered as 1 trip.
I board bus 222 at 2.00pm to location B, I then took bus 333 to location C. I alighted at my destination at 4.01pm. My whole trip will still be considered as 1 single trip.

Recommended Post: New NSF POSB Savings Plan a Good Deal?

5) Buy Travel Pass (aka Concession Card)
Buy Concession Card if you travel excessively via public transport
Yes! There are adult concession cards available and you can actually apply for one HERE.
There are actually 2 different type of concession cards:
So if you are traveling frequently at off-peak timings, I recommend buying the OPP to cut down on your travel expenses.
For more information on the Concession Cards, click HERE.
So if you spend around $4 every day on public transport for 5 days a week, you might want to consider getting a Travel Pass

6) Sign up for Travel Smart Rewards
This is icing on the cake.
In addition to reducing your transport costs via concession pass, you can also sign up for Travel Smart Rewards to win money while traveling!
The only sad thing is you only gain rewards if you travel via trains (bus rides don't qualify).
We will be writing a post on Travel Smart Rewards soon, so stay tuned!

Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

Have a feedback? Tell us now!

Subscribe to us or

Follow us: Investment Stab on Facebook

Monday, 8 August 2016

You Will Never Be Able To Retire

You won't be able to retire. There I've said it. If the word “retirement” conjure up visions of white sandy beaches, lots of travel, long sips of Pina Coladas and reading all the novels you’ve never had the time to because you’re so busy working to (ironically) save for retirement - it’s not going to happen. At least not the way you think it would. Here’s why:

10. Retirement adequacy figures are tremendous
The figures differ from country to country, but generally if you live in a developed city, a decent retirement figure is generally agreed to start at a million dollars. A million dollars sounds like a lot of money, but if you do the math, all it does is to provide you a source of income to continue living your current lifestyle comfortably until the day you die. The more expensive your lifestyle is, the more you’re going to need. You need to set aside enough money to last you at least 25 years (maybe more) and have an account strong enough to withstand unexpected impact.

9. Wants are getting more expensive
Our modern lives are full of wants. And we find that these wants have slowly become needs. Take for example computers, internet, mobile phones and flat screen tvs. These are not exactly things that you need, but neither are they things that you can do away with easily. They also become outdated very fast. At the rate they’re being replaced they’re almost a perishable product. Then there are the expensive enrichment classes, club memberships, special diets and supplements…all in the name of making for fulfilling way to spend your silver years.

8. Your money will be spent in property
Chances are, you would probably have spent a good portion of your working years slogging to fund big ticket items such as houses and consequently, neglected to fund your retirement account. Although you may be able to capitalise on the profit your house has made - would you really? A dipstick survey shows that people become attached to their homes and would rather keep it for their children rather than monetising it for their retirement.

7. You may not be able to be employed in your later years
The discrimination of age; ageism, is a disease the corporate world had not been able to rid itself of yet. Around the world, there are equality laws in place to protect mature workers. However the harsh reality is that these laws are difficult to enforce and there will be employers that do not view mature workers (those in their 50s and beyond) with favour. Many companies take advantage of statutory retirement ages to give their workers “the golden handshake”. If your source of income is cut short, you’ll be left in employment limbo. This unexpected turn may take a negative impact on your retirement funding.

6. Avoid holding a large portion of cash in a savings account
Everyone likes to see cash in hand. But if you hold it all in a savings account, you might as well be setting your money alight. Although it looks like your money is safely locked away, inflation rates will erode the value of your money. An exaggerated way of telling you this is that $100 you have today, will only be worth $1 in 20 years. You’re doing yourself a great injustice if you do not invest your money. Expert opinions suggest that even if you save 50% of your income, you’ll still need about 12 times of this in retirement. 

5. Don't allow expensive emergencies attack your savings
Emergencies are going to happen in the many years between now till retirement. A bad car accident, expensive motor vehicle repairs, a fire in the house, a spouse or children may become retrenched and you need to help them out. A failed business endeavour. Taxes you didn’t prepare for. Theft. Normally these would be protected by insurance but if for some reason you didn’t buy and pay regularly for an insurance package, then you will have to be paying for these emergencies in cash - and it would be more than likely payment would come out of your retirement savings.

4. Avoid poor investment decisions
It isn’t easy looking for a suitable outlet to put your money to work. How would you chose? Conservative investment options usually offer poor interest rates. The more lucrative ones expose you to greater risk, but more exciting returns. And then there are also scams disguised as legitimate investment tools. To prevent yourself from poor investment decisions you’ll need lots of research and knowledge. It is almost necessary to track the investments on your own. There are many good tools to track prices of funds, equities, forex and commodities. Use them to keep ahead of your fund manager and your fingers on the pulse of the markets.

3. Understand that lifespans are increasing
Medical science has made great advancements and it is a fact that life spans are getting longer. However, we may not be as prepared for longer lifespans and it is normal human behaviour to spend and enjoy just in case you don’t get to do so. However, the real danger though is that you live longer than your retirement savings does and that would be true misery.

2. You don't realise how expensive healthcare is until it is too late
Generally, we don’t spend as much on healthcare in our younger years. However as we age, we are going to spend more and more frequently on healthcare. When in health, we generally do not think about falling ill and hence many of us underestimate how much time and money needs to be spent on healthcare in our silver years. There are checkups and tests, small medical conditions can be quite serious. There is medication, procedures and a variety of consultations. All these can be very expensive and can happen very unexpectedly. If we were penny wise and pound foolish, opting to save and not purchase adequate insurance and healthcare plans, the only pool available to dip into would be retirement savings.

1. You let instant gratification get the better of you
We’re living in a very commercial world that is hyper stimulated with all manner of marketing material. You’re told you want/need/must have every little thing that is flogged in malls and magazines. Building a healthy retirement portfolio also means having to give up on expenses today. A little tradeoff goes a long way, but can you commit to that?

How does one really prepare for retirement then?
Have a look at this graph, you want to be at position 1 when the time comes. Position 2 is risky and position 3 will see you in a miserable situation.
Clearly you need to invest your money in an asset of choice. To help you preserve your money, we’ll run through the necessary (but uncomfortable) facts once again:

  • You may outlive your money
  • You will get sick and spend more on healthcare in your later years
  • You may not be as employable as the years go by
  • Purchase insurance when you're young and when it is cheap
  • Live a lifestyle that is sustainable. One rule of thumb holds that you need to save 25 times your annual budget by retirement, suggests Sheyna Steiner, a senior investment analyst at Bankrate.
With all the money put away, choose your favourite investment tool and put your money to work as soon as you can. Track these actively and don’t spend a dime of it on anything else.

The corporate world is becoming increasingly vulnerable to disruptions, careers are becoming uncertain. There is overall complexity and ambiguity fogging our futures. Retirement planning now requires taking an active role. One needs to be realistic, living sustainably and always to be prepared for the uncertain.

If otherwise, it may be well true that you will never be able to retire.

Content sourceCall Levels
This article originally appeared on here:
Its unique selling point is their ability to reliably deliver immediate price alerts on a wide range of assets, and users can set, track and share alerts with their peers. Call Levels is available on iOS and Android.
Call Levels is one of the leading FinTech players in the region, focused on monitoring the financial markets for its users. Built on and optimised for the mobile cloud, they provide the one primary service that every financial market participant needs: alerting users when their specific assets reach pre-selected price levels.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Singapore University Graduates Salary Statistics 2016

This year, Computing graduates are among those with the biggest increase in starting salaries. 
NUS and NTU computing degrees are new entrants to the top 10 rankings, as can be seen in the infographic
With Singapore rolling out the initiative of Smart Nation, we expect an even steeper increase in the salaries of these IT professionals in the years to come. 
It is definitely a sunrise industry and the one to be in if you are looking at making a comfortable living.  
As compared to the previous year, computing prospects has definitely gotten brighter.

Something to note is that these figures have not taken into account CPF deduction which is at 20% of the salary. 
CPF comes in very handy when making the first major purchase of any working adult, which is property. 
Assuming that one receives a salary of 4.5k, the monthly CPF deposit will be around 1.5k (you contribute 20% while your employer contributes another 17). 
When combined with spouse's salary, it is more than enough to cover the monthly mortgage in most cases.  The couple will just have to save up for the down payment.
Saving may be important but it is not the best method for accumulating wealth. 
It is advisable that graduates also pick up essential money management and investment skills to let their money work hard for them.

Guest post from Digital Senior