Monday, 22 December 2014

What Does Investors Have To Say About This?

Today, I received a short email. Upon reading, I was again struck with the realisation that I am not always the best person to come to for advice. Therefore, I'm putting this out there so that financial bloggers and readers of my blog may give their advice based on their own experience.

We shall refer to him as FR to protect his identity.

Hi there teenage investor. I guess we are on about the same age. I currently doing my final year and currently met with an accident. I really don't know where to start can you help me out cause I'm like having no savings except that I also put aside money through insurance whereby at the age 45 then I can take out the money, which mean for 25 years each month I have to pay a sum. Right now I really want to know what I can do to start investing. Thank you.

Dear FR, I'm very sorry to hear about your accident. Is there any reason why you have no savings yet? For your insurance, I have no idea of the benefits/cons of having that insurance plan for now. But you should start saving a regular portion of your allowance/pay, e.g. maybe 10-20% / month?

You can't invest without any capital after all. Maybe this will help:

Additionally, some posts on my blog as well as fellow bloggers will help you a lot. But all these can't be done without any capital.

All the best FR.

Till next time,
Teenage Investor

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Main Reason Why Things Are So Expensive in Singapore?

Recently, I came across a post on The Real Singapore. This post is written by a local writer/blogger named Low Kay Hwa. Read on.

In Singapore, I do stop my car at the road, leave the car and engine running, walk out and buy my food. If anyone wants to steal it, it takes just one step and one second: get in and drive off.

In Singapore, when I’m tired in school, I do leave my handphone and wallet around me and drop my head on the table for a nap. You just need to walk past me and you’ll own my handphone and wallet.

Think about it: Why am I so daring? Well, not really.

When I’m in Malaysia, I lock my car even when I’m driving. I don’t even bring my main wallet in. 99% of the time, my handphone is in my pocket.

See the difference?

I’ve a friend who told me that in the Philippines, he won’t take out his handphone and message on the go. “People would just snatch it,” he explained. I thought he was referring to the sub-urban area. “No,” he said. He was referring to the city, Manila—a developed city much like Singapore.

While we can complain about the high living expenses and the lack of opportunities, we cannot dismiss the fact that we’re in one of the safest countries in the world with the least corruption. Do I dare to eat anything being sold in Singapore? Yes, because I know AVA and HSA have them covered. Do I dare to do that in other countries? No, I don’t.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of the high living expenses are justified because of this efficiency. You pay for what you get. But have we taken things for granted? Despite such a safe environment and a system to prevent corruption, people still want more. Car prices increase and people want COE to drop (though not all). ERP is built and people complain. MRT breaks down and for some reason, we bring it to the top.

As we complain, have we even thought of why we do that—is it because Singapore has become too good that we’re not used to a little mistake like flooding? Have we become so complacent that we can’t tolerate small mistakes and expect drastic improvement?

Have we become so used to such a quiet environment that a wind gushing is considered noise?

I don’t speak for anyone, so I don’t know. But what I know is that when I lock my car, I’ve just appreciated Singapore a little bit more.

Low Kay Hwa

After reading through, I would like to know what does readers think? Do you agree?

Let's take a look at some of the commenters of this post on Facebook.

The writer justifies the high expenses in Singapore and feels it is reasonable for the high efficiency. Then I would like to ask this writer, has he seen for himself how the less fortunate in Singapore are doing? Is it fair for them to pay higher costs in return for the security and efficiency in Singapore?

"I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of the high living expenses are justified because of this efficiency. You pay for what you get. But have we taken things for granted? Despite such a safe environment and a system to prevent corruption, people still want more. Car prices increase and people want COE to drop (though not all). ERP is built and people complain. MRT breaks down and for some reason, we bring it to the top.

As we complain, have we even thought of why we do that—is it because Singapore has become too good that we’re not used to a little mistake like flooding? Have we become so complacent that we can’t tolerate small mistakes and expect drastic improvement?

Have we become so used to such a quiet environment that a wind gushing is considered noise?"

I ask readers, are we truly complacent that we can't tolerate small mistakes? Are the things that have been happening in Singapore all small mistakes? I don't know, it may be a marketing ploy for readers to find out more about him. But, personally I just lost whatever respect I used to have for this writer and his books.

Till next time,
Teenage Investor

How to Invest in the Stock Market with just $100 every Month?

As passive investors, many of us including myself invest regularly on a monthly basis. Additionally, some of us are investing for long term goals that includes retirement.

However, how much can most of us afford to invest every month? The numbers may differ when it comes to different financial backgrounds. Some of us can afford to invest thousands of dollars every month.

But what about us teenagers? Some of us are still schooling, some of us are serving the nation. $100 could be the bare minimum we can scrounge up every month for investing.

But what can $100 buy? If you're looking for ETFs that track the Straits Times Index, even the cheapest would be $300++ to purchase 1 lot.

Some may turn to Regular Savings Plan or use POSB/OCBC to invest. How they work is every month, your $100 buys shares with Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). When shares are cheaper, your $100 buys more. When shares are more expensive, your $100 buys lesser.

Do I use a Regular Savings Plan? I used to, but not anymore. I opted out for a DIY strategy.

An RSP is ideal for beginner investors without much knowledge and doesn't have time to monitor on a regular basis. A RSP works in the background, every month a set amount is deducted from your bank account.

What if you're purchasing stocks 1 lot at a time individually? How could $100/month purchase anything? Well, I'd suggest perhaps consider purchasing US Shares? Their share prices are significantly more affordable because of the board lot size.

Alternatively, you could save every month until you have enough to purchase 1 lot.

Every person will have his/her preferred strategy and it is not up to any of us to judge or comment.

What are YOUR ways of investing? Do you use any Regular Savings Plan? Do comment below, and share with everyone!

Till next time,
Teenage Investor

Friday, 19 December 2014

Taking the E-motions out of Investments

Taking the (E)motions out of Investments?

Easier said than done. When you invest your money, I'm assuming you're investing after a thorough thought process. One does not simply invest his/her money based on the "TOP 20 SHARES TO INVEST IN 2015" or "BEST STOCK TO INVEST 2014" that you see on Google or financial magazines.

So when the market is going through a rough patch, should you sell to minimise your loss, or hold onto your investments hoping for the best?

The emotions that guide you through every decision has been there since Day 1. But if you're in this for the long term, is the best decision to sell now and wait for the price to increase before buying again really the "best" decision?

There will always be emotions attached to money making decisions.

Fourteen Emotional Stages An Investor Goes Through

Much like the boom-slump cycle that is common to all markets, investors’ emotions play out with a similar rise to a peak before declining to a trough, followed by a recovery, where they typically go through 14 emotional stages.

  • Optimism normally characterises the start of the cycle as investors buy their stocks, naturally with a positive outlook for the future and anticipation of potential gains.
  • Excitement is quick to follow after some initial success, as we begin looking for new ways to accomplish more based on what we already achieved.
  • Thrill comes after yet more success, as investors begin to delight in their wins and congratulate themselves for their smart decisions.
  • Euphoria sets in as wins come quick and fast, bringing in a stream of easy profits and pushing investor sentiment to dizzying heights.
  • Anxiety inevitably interrupts the climb, as the market surprises us by moving downwards. Faced with their first potential loss, investors reassure themselves that their well-calculated strategy will deliver in the long term.
  • Denial takes this to the next level, when markets still show no signs of a rebound. At this stage, the investor begins to deny that he made a poor choice, clinging on to the belief that things are set to improve.
  • Fear finally takes hold when the market realities set in. Amidst the confusion of getting things wrong, it is easy for sentiment to drop drastically, and for doubt to set in as fears that the market will never move in our favour escalate.
  • Desperation sees a frantic attempt to salvage the situation with any idea that might have a chance of helping us break even.
  • Panic follows when all options are exhausted and the road downhill is imminent.
  • Capitulation sees the tormented investor admitting defeat and giving up hope of things turning around, shifting his focus from recovery to damage control, and exiting in order to avoid making further losses.
  • Despondency is the lowest point of the emotional roller coaster. Investors cash out whatever remaining stocks they have, having given up hope of the markets ever recovering. With the wounds still raw and stinging, they vow never to buy stocks again to avoid getting burnt a second time.
  • Depression sinks in as the fallen investors ruminate on their failure and the regrettable decisions that contributed to their predicament.
  • Hope returns slowly after investors notice that the markets are picking up, realizing that movements are cyclical. This is when they cautiously begin to look out for the next opportunity.
  • Relief is when faith is renewed after their next buy has turned profitable, setting the stage for sentiment to turn optimistic once more.
Assuming that you don't have the time, hiring someone to manage your funds for you doesn't take the responsibility of doing research away. 

When in stocks, losing money will always have a bigger impact than earning the same amount.

What are some popular tips?

1. Don't try to Time the Market.
2. Dollar Cost Averaging- Investing through all kinds of weather conditions.

Till next time!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Posts you might be interested in:

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Someone to Accompany you on your Investment Journey

Today, I was texting a friend of mine. Turns out he has been investing with POSB Invest Saver for 8 months already. Seems like we were on the same journey of figuring out the confusing world of Stocks, Bonds and Shares but we didn't know it then.

It's always better to have someone that you can discuss with on the pros and cons on various matters. It feels good to have someone to talk to personally and have someone that you can share all these new experiences and exchange knowledge.

I myself, prefer a more DIY approach. POSB Invest Saver may be beneficial in some ways and automated but it's just me.

I like to feel more in control of each transaction I make.

That said, what does everyone else feel?

A DIY Approach VS Automated Approach to Investing?

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Investing without your Parent's knowledge?

I received another email from a reader named Peishi. It goes as follows.

Hey there! :)
I am turning 17 in 2015.
Would you advise starters like me to save up for 1 lot of Nikko AM, or STI ETF for passive investment?
Also, I read off from your blog that you invested without your parent's knowledge, how did you do it?

Hi Peishi! 17 is a very young age, but I'm happy that you are already ahead of your peers in terms of mental maturity.

Nikko AM and STI ETF both track the Straits Times Index and aim to track it with minimal error.


While both may be similar in many ways, what makes them different is the total purchase price you would pay to purchase 1 lot. As of today, 1 board lot of SPDR contains 1000 shares while 1 board lot of Nikko AM contains 100 shares. This would mean a vast price difference.

Assuming 1 share of each ETF costs $3,

1 lot of SPDR would cost $3,000 while 1 lot Nikko AM would cost $300.

SPDR has a lower tracking error and expense ratio and has been around longer than Nikko AM has. But because of the price, you may want to consider purchasing Nikko AM first.

Since you're 17, you're not yet of legal age to open a brokerage account which I believe requires at least 21 years of age.

So since you have 3-4 years to start saving, when you reach 21 you may already have enough money to purchase 1 lot :)

Moving onto investing without my Parent's knowledge, I simply didn't mention it. When you're of legal age, opening a brokerage account does not require parental consent.

Of course, if your parents approve and some parents do of course. Many experienced financial bloggers are parents who are knowledgeable about the subject and will probably impart their knowledge to their children in the future.

If not, some may choose simply not to mention it now but do so in the future.

Let me know how it goes. :)

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Monday, 15 December 2014

Life goes on in the World's Most Expensive Country

Hello everyone, it's been quite some time since my last post.

Have been catching up with my studies, going for army check-ups and everything else that goes on in a life of a polytechnic student.

I recently received an email from Hady, who found my blog via a search on Google.

And the email went like this,


I came across your blog after googling about investing in blue chips and I've gotta say, it has helped me begin to save up/invest or at the least, be motivated to. 

 I had one of 'those days' last week or so and just began to think about life and my future, and how I'd want to live it. 

Hence the sudden realization that something has to be done. I'm currently serving NS right now (enlisted back in June) and I just wanted your advice on some things. Given that my monthly pay is around ~600. I've decided to allocate 100 to my emergency fund, 100 to investments and another 100 to my insurances, with the remainder for expenditure. 

 As for the investments, am I right to say that it's more feasible for me to go for POSB's Invest Saver as it has a lower fee compared to OCBC's BCIP? I'm leaning closer towards POSB at the moment but something else pops to mind. 

 I understand that these 2 options are non-diy and for someone like me who only has his precious weekends to look forward to, it's a godsend. However, is it truly a better option? POSB doesn't allow transfers to our cdp account (not that I have one.. yet) but OCBC does. Is this significant for someone in my position? And how about the diy method? Opening an account through scb and buying stocks through there seems like an idea though I have no clue how to do that. 

 Let me just put across that I have no experience whatsoever in investments but I am willing to learn and make changes to my life haha. 

Need your 2cents!

Hope you can help, thanks! 


I will attempt with my limited knowledge to answer your questions to the best of my ability. I have posted this online, so that other senior bloggers can help in answering any questions with their experience.

I'm happy that my blog has motivated you in some ways to begin saving and investing your money for the future, especially with the increasing political uncertainty in Singapore and our "Under-Happy" population. 

Everyone has their 'one of those days' when they are struct by a certain awakening and realisation of the uncertainty of his/her future and begins to find ways to begin planning.

Since I have not yet enlisted, I do not yet possess the knowledge of insurance that are obtainable in the army. $100 each to your Emergency Fund and Investment Fund sounds good. That leaves you with approximately $300 or so to fund your other expenses. Might I suggest, that you also put aside some money for your Savings? Emergency Funds and Savings should be kept in separate savings account.

For example, I use Maybank for my Emergency Savings, OCBC for my Savings, StanChart for my investments and POSB as my main expenses account.

Personally, I feel that POSB Invest Saver is decent, with a lower fee that OCBC BCIP. It's ideal if you are only planning to invest small sum of money each month. OCBC BCIP may be ideal for higher monthly sums.

Not allowing you to transfer to CDP account isn't really a big deal for me as Custodian accounts work fine. When you're older, you can always use CDP to store shares that you can purchase with CPF money. 

CDP Account is very easy to open. I myself have opened an account but I currently don't use it. Buona Vista :)

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Sunday, 16 November 2014

How to become a Millionaire by 30

Getting rich and becoming a millionaire is a taboo topic. Saying it can be done by the age of 30 seems like a fantasy.
It shouldn't be taboo and it is possible. At the age of 21, I got out of college, broke and in debt, and by the time I was 30, I was a millionaire.
Here are the 10 steps that will guarantee you will become a millionaire by 30.
1. Follow the money. In today's economic environment you cannot save your way to millionaire status. The first step is to focus on increasing your income in increments and repeating that.
My income was $3,000 a month and nine years later it was $20,000 a month. Start following the money and it will force you to control revenue and see opportunities.
2. Don't show off — show up! I didn't buy my first luxury watch or car until my businesses and investments were producing multiple secure flows of income. I was still driving a Toyota Camry when I had become a millionaire. Be known for your work ethic, not the trinkets that you buy.
3. Save to invest, don't save to save. The only reason to save money is to invest it.  Put your saved money into secured, sacred (untouchable) accounts. Never use these accounts for anything, not even an emergency. This will force you to continue to follow step one (increase income). To this day, at least twice a year, I am broke because I always invest my surpluses into ventures I cannot access.
4. Avoid debt that doesn't pay you. Make it a rule that you never use debt that won't make you money. I borrowed money for a car only because I knew it could increase my income. Rich people use debt to leverage investments and grow cash flows. Poor people use debt to buy things that make rich people richer.
5. Treat money like a jealous lover. Millions wish for financial freedom, but only those that make it a priority have millions. To get rich and stay rich you will have to make it a priority. Money is like a jealous lover. Ignore it and it will ignore you, or worse, it will leave you for someone who makes it a priority.
6. Money doesn't sleep. Money doesn't know about clocks, schedules, or holidays, and you shouldn't either. Money loves people that have a great work ethic. When I was 26 years old, I was in retail and the store I worked at closed at 7 p.m. Most times you could find me there at 11 p.m. making an extra sale. Never try to be the smartest or luckiest person — just make sure you outwork everyone.
wealthy woman sea viewFlickr / Porto Bay Hotels And Resorts"If you're born poor, it's not your mistake. But if you die poor, it is your mistake."
7. Poor makes no sense. I have been poor, and it sucks. I have had just enough and that sucks almost as bad. Eliminate any and all ideas that being poor is somehow OK. Bill Gates has said, "If you're born poor, it's not your mistake. But if you die poor, it is your mistake."
8. Get a millionaire mentor. Most of us were brought up middle class or poor and then hold ourselves to the limits and ideas of that group. I have been studying millionaires to duplicate what they did. Get your own personal millionaire mentor and study them. Most rich people are extremely generous with their knowledge and their resources.
9. Get your money to do the heavy lifting. Investing is the Holy Grail in becoming a millionaire and you should make more money off your investments than your work. If you don't have surplus money you won't make investments. The second company I started required a $50,000 investment. That company has paid me back that $50,000 every month for the last 10 years.
My third investment was in real estate, where I started with $350,000, a large part of my net worth at the time. I still own that property today and it continues to provide me with income. Investing is the only reason to do the other steps, and your money must work for you and do your heavy lifting.
10. Shoot for $10 million, not $1 million. The single biggest financial mistake I've made was not thinking big enough. I encourage you to go for more than a million. There is no shortage of money on this planet, only a shortage of people thinking big enough.
Apply these 10 steps and they will make you rich. Steer clear of people that suggest your financial dreams are born of greed. Avoid get-rich-quick schemes, be ethical, never give up, and once you make it, be willing to help others get there too.
This article originally appeared at Entrepreneur. Copyright 2014. Follow Entrepreneur on Twitter.

Thought i'd share this. It is a very interesting read.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Edge Market?

Been really busy, as is expected from school life.

I watched a video advertisement about The Edge Market.

Apparently it's supposed to provide insider trading tips.


How real is that?

Any opinions?

Teenage Investor.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Building The Ideal Portfolio

If you're reading this article, chances are that you are interested in building your own investment portfolio but you have no idea how to begin.

Well I'm attempting to assist you in that direction as far as I possibly can.

When people are trying to build their own portfolio, Asset Allocation is probably the number one thing in mind.

You read many financial blogs, books etc. You could have heard the age old maxim,

"Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket."

Why? Investments, any kind of investments carries risk. So it's better to spread your money around in various assets. So, if one investment fails or performs poorly, you don't damage your overall returns / investments. When you spread your money around, it's a form of diversification. 

So we come to the second essential part of an ideal portfolio.


Assets like ETFs, Bonds, Domestic and International Equities and cash should be a part of your portfolio. Higher returns ; Taking more risks. Being cautious? Having more bonds/cash etc would be a good idea.

The way you allocate your assets will change over time as your needs changes. When you're young, your portfolio may have more stocks and equities. During retirement, your portfolio may have more bonds.

There are usually 3 different types of strategies.

1. High Risk.
You're willing to take on more risks for growth potential.

2. Balanced.
You're a mix of bold and cautious. You can't afford a huge setback.

3. Cautious
You like it safe. You're not willing to take high risks.

Limit your exposure to certain industries. Maybe you have too many shares in the oil industry. Or technology. One major change in the industry may leave you badly wounded.

It also depends on your goals. Dividend Stocks are a boost for investors who wish for good dividend yield.

Rebalancing is also important to achieve maximal returns.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Is It Better To Invest Alone or as a Couple?

It got me thinking for quite some time, if you are a budding investor but your significant other isn't interested or knowledgeable about it, what should you do?

Maybe your boyfriend is not aware that you have an existing portfolio. Or your wife is focused on her day-to-day life and not willing to take the risks.

Or let us even assume that both you and your partner have seen the benefits and risks of being invested and chosen to invest together.

What then? Should you invest together? Or have your own separate portfolios?

Let us first talk about the various benefits of investing as a couple.

1. Having more capital / dividends

This is the first benefit. When you invest together as a couple, you are able to invest in more shares from the beginning as your purchasing power is doubled. For example maybe you have $2,000 and your partner has $2,000. I'm sure you'll agree that $4,000 can buy more than what $2,000 can. Therefore a higher amount of shares owned will result in a increased amount of dividends as well.

2. Incurring less Commissions/Expenses

Depending on your broker, buying from one account would result in lower expenses overall compared to two separate accounts.

3. Closer Relationship (?)

Notice the (?). This depends on your relationship status. For example, it could work out if both of you have the same strategy, mindset and goals. In this case, it would potentially bring you closer as you plan strategies together. It may give off the impression and satisfaction that you're working as a "team".

There are some of the various benefits that I can think off. But unfortunately, I can think of more negative consequences when deciding to invest together as a couple.


Maybe you're more aggressive, willing to take higher risks for higher returns. But your partner is more conservative. Therefore this may result in conflict along the way.

 Or maybe you're happy with your portfolio. Even in bear markets you're okay with seeing your investments decrease in value knowing you're in this for the long term. But your partner freaks and wants to sell off everything to minimise losses. Conflict.

Investing styles are mostly dependent on your personality as a whole. Therefore expecting your partner to adapt to your style may not be the best way. Nor should your partner expect you to comply with his/her styles no matter what. Conflict.

You're a person focused with saving and investing. She's more obsessed with buying the latest handbag. Arguments about how much each person should contribute to your investment fund may result in negative consequences. Or you're a person that believes in saving regularly. Your husband prefers to spend his cash on booze and socialising. Again, conflict.

Notice that most of these problems stems from incompatibility as a couple. Your thinking may be different from one another and this would not help. A couple should understand each other's fears and work towards a common goal. Taking the lead is not wrong, completely deciding the direction of the portfolio and investments is not wrong either.

I guess what I'm trying to say there's no right or wrong answer here. It all lies in your common understanding as a couple.

It's all about whether they have agreed on a common goal and both are equally aware of what direction they are heading towards to.

So would it better to invest alone or as a couple? The answer is up to you to decide. Only you and your partner will know what's best for the both of you.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Get a Free Taxi Ride- On Me.

Hello Readers, How often do you get to have a free taxi ride in Singapore? Doubtless, not a lot of times. Uber is the newest taxi app on the blog, in the ever increasing successful attempts to get a cab any time you need one. Instead of calling 6 different Taxi Companies only to fail to secure a cab.

HOW Frustrating Is That?

So How do you secure yourself a free ride worth up to $10?

Step 1: Sign up for an account on Uber / Download the app on App Store/ Google Play

Step 2: Key in your personal details.

Debit/Credit Cards are used for payment, absolutely complete cashless transactions. No longer necessary to pay cash. So much more convenient for us.

Step 3: Book a Taxi Ride using the app.

Step 4: Enter Promo Code


That's it! Your Ride is free! However, the ride is up to $10!

Have fun!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Personal Financial Investment Seminar - SOLD OUT

Hello readers, this is just to update that the event has been sold out. As of now, sales have been closed. I haven't been blogging as actively because school have reopened for me and just like any teenage kid, I'm faced with the new prospects of upcoming projects, tutorials, lectures and the numerous deadlines to meet. Therefore I can look forward to months of not sleeping on time, and in some cases not sleeping at all to meet deadlines. Hopefully that forecast won't come true.

My Investing journey will continue, as I pour in fresh funds each month. With increased expenses in school, I will have to find a part time job soon.

Hope everyone's doing fine and chasing their dream. My last few months in Poly, I aim to leave with as little regrets as possible.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Why a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) Company isn't a source of Passive Income

Recently, I met up with an old friend from high school for dinner. Over dinner we chatted about our school life, our plans for army and the future. He told me he recently joined a MLM Company called WorldVentures. I was quite shocked, but I refrained from commenting about anything as he was pretty excited about the whole thing.

It's shocking to be approached twice to join this company in the time span of 2 months. I refuse to be a downline however.

Read post on WorldVentures here. WorldVentures

Anyway, he tried to get me to join, but I politely declined of course. Of course, he kept talking about the passive income he would earn. His exact words were "Bro, it's so easy to get rich. I'm earning money while I'm talking to you."

But when I asked him about the full compensation structure, he was unable to answer me. Apparently, his friend only told him he would be getting passive income and that's all he knew.

So essentially, he paid SGD$400+ on a single sentence. That got me wondering. How many joined MLM companies and then realised the compensation structure only after that? Or are they even clear about it at all?

As their distributors, their plan determines how you get paid. So it's extremely worrying that my friend joined based on trusting his friend and not understanding and approving of the structure.

Usually MLMs distributors get their "passive income" by sourcing for new members. Or essentially, their "Downlines".

The problem I have with is this. The concept of "Passive Income" is all wrong.

Tip: If people tell you that you can get passive income from a business opportunity or selling a product or whatever... Run. Run and don't ever look back.

Passive Income - Passive income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it. It is closely related to the concept of "unearned income". (Wikipedia)

Little effort is required to maintain it. There's a difference between passive income and earned income.

When you source for downlines, you're making an effort. Not everyone you meet is willing to join. It requires much time and effort just to get 1 downline. Some MLM distributors are doing this full - time.

To make passive income usually requires having assets that generate income for you. So technically the products/memberships you're selling on behalf of the company isn't your asset. 

If you stop selling, chances are your income would decrease. Maybe you would continue to receive a commission depending on your downlines. If you stop working, eventually your passive income would decrease day by day. The turnover rate of downlines in MLM companies are tremendous. I should know, having worked in a MLM company before. People are quitting everyday and new downlines are joining.

Think of it this way, can you leave your job for a extended period of time and expect to receive the same income everyday?

Truth is what you get from MLM companies is Earned Income.

You earn this with your own hard work and effort. There's nothing passive about it.

To build a sustainable business based on selling, you would have to sell memberships constantly. And there's only so many people that are willing to join, aren't they?

In fact, do read this post wrote by Lionel Yeo, the Admin of Cheerful

I really like and agree with this quote: "I’m sorry, but there’s no such thing as a magical switch you can flip and instantly watch ten thousand dollars roll in every month."

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Friday, 17 October 2014

Does Having A Perfect Wedding means spending Thousands?

Recently, my blogpost was shared on The Real Singapore.

Read post here: How Much Do You Need to Save For A Decent Wedding

I took a peek at the comments, very very interesting comments too. They provided necessary insight into how our generation is indeed changing. Many people don't see the need to have a big fancy wedding. They want a marriage. Weddings are merely a choice of celebration.

They view their marriage as the most important thing.

Take a look at some of the comments below.

Times have changed. Marriage is about 2 people in love, coming together to forge an ever-lasting connection with each other.

Singaporeans are increasingly looking for better ways to spend their hard-earned money. Not everyone is looking to spend hundreds of thousands on the "Perfect Wedding".

Sure, there are probably a percentage of people still envisioning their "Perfect Wedding". But having that Perfect Wedding is subject to your own expectations.

Some people can have a small intimate wedding celebration with only close relatives and friends attending and feel that is their perfect wedding.

Some spend thousands and thousands on their wedding and wonder why it's not perfect. Why? Because their expectations are too high.

It's all about expectations isn't it?

What about those who are under pressure by their parents or parents in law to spend thousands on the wedding? Are they happy?

At the end of the day, it's all about personal preference. People may feel the need to spend, but some don't.

They'd rather spend the money on their BTO flats. Their future. Their honeymoon.

My estimation of SGD$78,000 for a wedding can be used to renovate their flat and get new furnishings.

In the comments on The Real Singapore, many people were indignant. Many felt the article was highly inaccurate.

I was truly happy to read such comments. It confirms my belief that a wedding doesn't have to be flashy. To quote one of the comments "Ego will make it expensive."

What do you think?

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Personal Financial Investment Seminar Singapore - By Investors, For Investors 17 January 2015

Hi everyone, this post is really quite late considering many financial bloggers have already did a write-up on this seminar. But hey, the good thing is if you didn't already know about this event, well now you know! :D

Some financial bloggers include:
Uncle CreateWealth8888
Lady You Can be Free
Dr Wealth
My 15 HR Work Week
Singapore Man of Leisure

With regards to this event, what should you know?

Event Information:

When:  17 January 2015, Saturday
Time: 12.30pm to 5.30pm
Where: NTUC Auditorium, NTUC Centre

No.1 Marina Boulevard
#11-01, One Marina Boulevard
Singapore (018989)

Price: SGD$16.00 per person.
Discount Code: WDFRIEND (50% off, valid until end Nov 2014)

You can also use various discount codes provided by other bloggers. All are valid for 50% discount until the stipulated time.

What: View Programme Here
How: Sign Me Up!

Now that you have all the details, why should you or anyone else attend this seminar for that matter? Putting beside the fact that it's at an extremely affordable price of $8/person?

Read on!

Event Highlights:

This event is organised by Wealth Directions with their slogan, "By Investors, For Investors". This is an event that is open to the general public who wish to gain more information and knowledge for their Investment Journey. And since I'm a Teen myself, all the more I'm encouraging fellow readers my age to attend this event.

Am I earning anything from this event? No. Am I getting special privileges? No. I am promoting this event, because in the two months that I have begun blogging, I have read at least some, if not all the blogs owned by fellow financial bloggers/influencers who will be speaking at this event.

Do you feel that $8 or $16 is very expensive? Assuming you're the average teenager, some of you may spend more than twice or thrice this amount on a single meal / club / pub etc. Even a simple lunch buffet at Seoul Garden sets you back by at least $30.00. And most importantly, if this event meets my expectations, it's going to pay back much more than what you invested.

Many of my readers have emailed me asking for advice. Personally, a limited amount of information can be shared through my blog posts/ emails. Wouldn't you rather spend $8 to come down and listen and hopefully, leave with more insight and knowledge of what you plan to do?

There may be some light refreshments or so, but hey you're attending the event for the potential knowledge that you can gain.

These speakers put their name, faces and reputation on the line for a good reason. They are talking about what they believe in and what has worked for them.

Teenagers and young adults will benefit the most from these. Why? They say Youth is wasted on the Young. When you're old and have more experience and knowledge, you wish you knew this when you were younger. Well, since you're young now, gain the experience!

Here is a quick run down on who is talking about what:

Financially free at age of 40. He will be talking about why one need to invest and more importantly how choose the correct investment for yourself.
As a certified CFA, he will be running through the finer points of creating your very own financial plan the correct way.
Are your investment yield better than 8% a year? If not, you should listen to this guy.
He is not a stranger to Wealth Directions’ Graduate. He was one of Dennis’s student and have came forward many time to help out in Wealth Directions program and activities.
In this event, he will be revealing one of the most interesting method of picking under valued stocks. Who don’t want to learn that?
Dr Tee is also no stranger to Wealth Directions’ Graduate. He is the Master trainer in one of our stock investment course.
By this time in the event, you would know why you need to invest, how to do proper financial plan, check if what you are doing is correct and how to pick under valued stocks. Next, Dr Tee will share with you when to buy and sell your stocks. Talk about complete education!
  • Speaker Discussion Panel
This is the best part. All the speakers will come back to the stage again and talk about 2015 investment plans PLUS they will show you where they are parking their own money for the new year ! This has never been done before so definitely the highlight of the event.

(Information credits to Wealth Directions)

For more information, visit

Will I be attending? It really depends on my schedule. Hopefully, time can be allocated to attend. Personally, some of my friends have already signed up. I share what I feel is beneficial! :)

I don't share what I personally feel is not.

Have fun! Invest in knowledge today!

Signing Off,
Teenage Investor

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

How Much Do You Need to Buy Your First Home in Singapore?

This is a post in continuation with Buying Your First HDB Flat in Singapore

What are the costs involved? Planning your Finances is important.

As of Sep 2014, a regular 4 room BTO flat would cost without grant:

Bukit Batok $269,000+++
Buangkok $268,000+++

Therefore, I will round off the amount to $300,000. This price is inclusive of miscellaneous fees including agent fees, option fees etc.

As seen on my previous post,

This is a sample calculation. Assuming the total selling price is $253,400,  the downpayment would be around $30,000 give or take.

Now this is close to 12% of the total amount.

Assuming the flat costs $300,000, the minimum downpayment would be $36,000! The balance would be paid off with CPF/Cash when you get the keys. This payment could also be done in instalments.

Please note that downpayment based on 10% would be at $30,000.
The $6,000 is an estimate on stamp duty fee, conveyancing fee and caveat registration fee.

Here, I'm assuming it's a 25 year loan payable monthly. That's a total of 300 months, bringing a monthly payment of $900 not including interest.
With interest, the monthly payable amount be around $1500 or lesser.

Do note, that there are two types of insurance you have to take out:

HDB Fire Insurance Policy
If you are taking a loan from HDB, you will have to take out a fire insurance policy from the Insurance Agent appointed by HDB.

Home Protection Scheme (HPS)
HPS is a mortgage-reducing insurance scheme administered by CPF Board. It insures CPF members and their families against losing their homes should members become permanently incapacitated or pass away before their housing loans are paid up.

If you are using your CPF savings to pay your monthly housing loan instalments, you have to apply for HPS.

For more information on HPS, you can obtain an HPS booklet at HDB Hub or call CPF Board or visit the CPF Board's website.

What can you use to pay for your home?

1. Cash Savings

$10 Adminstration fee.
$2000 Option Fee.

2. CPF Money

You can use the savings in your CPF Ordinary Account to pay for your flat purchase. However, under the CPF Board's requirements, you are allowed to withdraw only up to a certain limit. Once the CPF withdrawal limit is reached, you will not be allowed to use your CPF money to pay for your flat.

To find out the maximum amount of CPF that can be used for the property, you may log on to the CPF Board'sCPF Housing Withdrawal Limits Calculator (for flats with remaining lease of 60 years or more) (e-Service) or theProperty with less than 60 Years Lease Calculator (for flats with remaining lease of less than 60 years, but at least 30 years) (e-Service).

If you are buying a flat with remaining lease less than 30 years, CPF monies cannot be used. This is applicable to flat applications received on or after 1 July 2013.

For a new HDB flat bought with a concessionary HDB loan,

Use of All CPF Savings

Subject to limits for properties with less than 60 years of remaining lease, buyers must use all the available savings in their CPF Ordinary Accounts for the purchase of or taking over the flat before any housing loan is granted by HDB. You may set aside the amount required for payment of stamp, registration and conveyancing fees and CPF Home Protection Insurance Premium (if applicable).

You can use all the CPF savings in your Ordinary Account to pay up to 100 % Valuation Limit (VL) of the flat. The VL refers to the purchase price or the value of the flat at the time of purchase, whichever is lower. If your HDB loan is still outstanding when the total CPF withdrawals towards payment of the flat reach the VL, you may use additional CPF savings from your Ordinary Account if you have set aside the prevailing Minimum Sum cash component.

For any other options, readers would have to key in the values themselves as it requires information that would be known to the buyers only. Eg: (market value/ CPF money paid)

3. Housing Loan

What is the maximum amount loan you're entitled to?

I'm basing this on the assumption that you and your partner are drawing a salary of $2000/month. Because this is the average salary, most diploma holders get. May be more or less, this is just an estimate.

You would be entitled to a maximum loan of $264,500 payable over 25 years.

That would bring your monthly instalment at $1200/month.

Still, assuming your home costs $300,000 and you pay $50,000 upfront, with the balance of $250,000 to be paid in instalments over 25 years.

If so, your new monthly instalment is calculated at $1,135/month.

So, if my salary is around $2,000/month it may be prudent for me to opt for a smaller home. 

Assuming you and your partner pay half, you would have $2865/month to settle other payments and costs of living.

4. Bank Loan

I would not go into too much details here, as different banks offer different loan packages. Do keep in mind however, that bank interest rates tend to increase over the years.

So to sum up, to purchase your first home at costs of $300,000 you would need:

1. $10 Admin Fee
2. $2000 Option Fee.
3. $36,000 Downpayment
4. $5.50 (5 years) HDB Fire Insurance
5. $143/year (Home Protection Scheme)

Average amount needed upfront: $38,158.50 rounded off to $40,000.

Hope the above information have helped you in any way. Would appreciate constructive comments if I have made a mistake anywhere!

Signing Off,