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"Is early retirement the right financial choice?" Jim Ellis discusses long-term financial growth strategies. I have blogged ab...

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"E-book" by AK

Second "e-book".

Recent Comments

Downsizing flat and upsizing parents' retirement adequacy!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Reader:
Thank you for sharing your financial journey and thoughts on your readers’ queries with us.

My husband and I bought a BTO 4 room HDB flat 4 years ago.

We are thinking of changing our HDB from a 4-room to a 3-room flat some time after the MOP (5 years).

We are thinking of transferring the monthly CPF-OA contributions, excess of our monthly repayments, to SA for the 4% interest.

My father is 63 years old and my mother is 57 years old. If I am not wrong, topping up $60K to my father’s RA means he can apply for CPF LIFE. The monthly CPF LIFE payouts will be about $360.

AK:
If you have no other use for your CPF-OA savings after the move, transferring the money to the SA is always a good idea if you are thinking about a more secure retirement. Let the magic of compounding do its work. Your savings will amount to much more 20 years later.

With more cash in hand, you are planning to top up your parents' CPF accounts? I like that too. If you have only $60K to spare, you might want to consider splitting it so that both parents get $30K in their RAs. This is because the first $30K will get 6% interest. The next $30K gets 5%. Of course, above $60K, it is 4%.

If you have $120K to spare instead of only $60K, of course, topping up both parents' CPF-RA with $60K each is a good idea. 

Make the government do some work in supporting your parents financially. ;)

Related post:
Mom is stunned by her CPF-RA.

This job is unpaid but offers exposure.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

From time to time, I would receive emails like the following:

Example 1:
I wrote to you some time ago and was essentially rejected by you. maybe you are more open to it now...please allow me to suggest two ways where we can collaborate...
--------------------------
Example 2:
...we do not pay panelist. However, we still hope that you would consider to be a panelist... talking about how each individual should build their portfolio at every stage of their life which also fits into our theme for this year.... looking forward to your favourable reply.
--------------------------
Watch this! ROFL!

"Oh, this job is unpaid but it does offer excellent exposure."

Yes, the word "exposure" is used pretty much all the time when people want me to work without pay.

Hey, see how I disguise myself? Do you think I want "exposure"?

I am just a hobbyist blogger. I don't have any product or services to sell. I won't make a ton of money if I have more "exposure".

When I am asked to do some work, I am giving up my time and putting in effort. I think it is fair that I get paid.


"When I am asked to give talks or make public appearances or do any kind of work, one way or another, I am always paid a fee because I am doing something on request.

"So, to be fair to others who have paid me for my time and effort in the past and to be consistent, I will have to decline your invitation."


If I am blogging for a living, then, I would probably want more "exposure".


However, the day I have to blog for a living is probably the day I will stop blogging. Very cham.


Related post:
Life is about many things and my time is in short supply.

My investment portfolio or my investment philosophy?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I am an investor but I am probably not a very good investor. Why? 

I also do a bit of speculation but when I do speculate, I know I am speculating and not investing.

When we speculate, we should know we are taking on more risk. There is less certainty. 

So, when I do speculate, I try to size my positions more conservatively. For me, speculation is to investment like spice is to food.

Those who like to ask me if prices are going up or down in future should take note.

For example, when I decide that I would like to have some Rosemary herb in my food, I don't fill the entire bowl with Rosemary leaves. That would be too much.

Reader:
Hahaha AK now I know why u don't show your portfolio numbers Liao ... ppl will start questioning about the integrity and performance but missed the whole point on the method to financial independence ... hahaha

AK:
Aiyoh. So cheem. You need to decode that for me please. I very stupid one.

Reader:
no la I shared my portfolio then share the mode I use to achieve financial independence just to motivate those just started and those that are planning to start.
Hahah kana question on performance lah but that's not the point.

AK:
I always say don't focus on my portfolio. Focus on my philosophy. 🙂

Reader:
yea so I think don't show numbers better else ppl will focus wrongly especially those with ill intention


It's much easier to buy companies that are already well-run. Warren Buffett shares his investment philosophy.
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Philosophy is the bedrock of all knowledge or so I was told. Our philosophy will guide all our actions in life, including those we make as an investor.

Related post:
Impressive passive income but are you lying?
Why? Why? Why?

What to do if we don't trust the CPF system?

Friday, June 23, 2017


I have been sharing quite a bit of stuff on Facebook regarding the CPF in recent days. Nothing new, really. They are mostly conversations with readers on stuff I have blogged about.

I shared how I grew my CPF savings and also why it is an important part of my overall retirement funding strategy. I have also shared my numbers to exemplify the magic of compound interest.

Of course, we know that there are people who do not believe in the CPF. This is nothing new.

I am constantly amused by the reasons put forth as to why we should not trust the CPF system.



People are free to trust or not to trust. Hey, I am not dogmatic. Don't believe me? OK, you happy can liao.



What do we do as investors when trust is lacking? Avoid investing any money.

For example, I no longer invest in S-chips although some of them might have fantastic looking numbers.

I used to. 


Remember China Minzhong?

I simply don't know if their numbers are bona fide.


Don't trust the CPF? 

Don't top up. 

Don't make voluntary contributions.

Simple.

Wait a minute.

How do I know if the companies which I do invest in have bona fide numbers? What if their books are cooked too?

Alamak. Stress!

Is our country financially sound? Is the government going to default on its obligations?

Alamak. Don't ask me lah. Stress!


Hey, do you believe in feng shui? The late Mr. Lee was asked why did he want his house demolished? 

AK is trying to change topic, right? Shhh...

What? You really want to know? 

These posts might interest you then:
1. Do better than the CPF?
2. Worried about retirement adequacy in the right way?

What should I do with my bonus?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Reader:
I received a bonus and I was wondering which of these should I do:

1) voluntary top up my CPF SA

2) contribute to SRS

3) help my parents to buy hospitalization insurance

4) keep it as warchest

I would be required to pay income taxes for this year of assessment. I would like to ask for your opinion.


AK:
You have to decide what is more important for you. No one can do this for you. 😉

For me, having insurance is important. Bad things happen and could wipe us out.

Having said this, your parents should be covered under Medishield Life. Check to be sure. If they are OK with staying in class C or B2 wards, there is no need to buy private shield plans.

You might be interested in this:
http://singaporeanstocksinvestor.blogspot.sg/2015/03/should-i-top-up-my-cpf-sa-cpf-ma-or-srs.html

Related post:
Enough H&S coverage for parents?

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