nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa
to have a clear conscience and not pale at any charge

Nov
25

My Christmas TreeAt long last. 
My Christmas Tree is finally up and “blinking”.
1 more month to Christmas Day. 

From Guillemard Road:
Tree (7 feet): $75
3 X Lightings (140 bulbs): $10 each box 

From CK Tangs @ Vivo City:
2 boxes of Acrylic Drops:  $23 per box of 6
1 box of Twisted Icicles:  $18
1 X Tree Top:  $11.90
16 X Gold Baubles:  $18 for 4 tubes of 4
1 box of 16 small Red Baubles: $8.90

Nov
25

I have joined Acclaim Financial Advisory.

Now to start calling and scheduling appointments.

Oct
18

LION CAPITAL INDIA FUND

Invested $30,000 in Lion Capital India in late July 2006.
$ TreeAs at 16 October 2006, made a 20% gain (net of cost of investing) =p

       Date              NAV Price             My Profit
13/11/2006          $1.0290                 23.72%
16/11/2006          $1.0370                 24.68%
24/11/2006          $1.0480                 26.00%
04/12/2006          $1.0590                 27.33%

ABERDEEN GLOBAL EMERGING MARKETS
Invested in mid-Sept 06.

       Date                NAV Price       My Profit
13/11/2006           $1.2523           7.89%             =D
16/11/2006           $1.2750           9.85%             =D
24/11/2006           $1.2782         10.12%             =D
04/12/2006          $1.27850       10.15%

Sep
28

Aaaaahhhhhhh … this is so sweet & cute. Elmo singing with Andrea…

I like Elmo…

Sep
19

I was SHOCKED to read this question posted by someone on another site:

my wife and i have been investing $100 each month in the ….. Balanced Fund. Do you think itis enough? say to retire in another 15 years time?

Even if this person meant $100 each, he would only be saving/investing $2,400 per year.  That would be $36,000 for the 15-year term.  At 9% pa (pure returns w/o any cost of investment – which is not possible), the retirement nest would grow to $76,000.

This amount would NOT even be enough for 1 person to retire, needless to say 2.  You know what, we have yet to include inflation.  How much do you think $76,000 is worth in 15 years time.  Can you buy more things or less compared to today?

My advice:  Save more or retire later, say 40 years instead of 15.  You would have a more comfortable nest of $883,000.

Sep
12

This phrase in Latin summarises the situation in our office.  Translated, it means “the madness of 1 person drives many mad“.

Have not been back to the office for a while as I have just came back from an overseas trip and am now on reservist (thanks to IMF / Word Bank). So, I had lunch with 1 of my colleagues yesterday to find out how things are.

Seems like things are not very good and boss is giving pressure to us (targets, KPIs, weekly progress, updating, etc…).  Many of us are very unhappy with the situation in office.  Seems like I will be dragging my feets to the office.

Sep
10

Pronounced as: EH-tee-ahm  kah-PIL-luus  OON-uus  HAH-bet  UUM-brahm  SOO-ahm

Meaning:  Don’t take anyone or anything for granted

Sep
10

StarfishOnce upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.  He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.  As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Sep
09

I have come across many people who asked, are Term Policies better, compared to Traditional Life Insurance Policies and Investment Linked Policies (”ILPs”). 

My answer:

elephantem ex musca facis which means be sure to use an appropriate tool to achieve the purpose you have in mind

Sep
09

Save $10 a month & you may have just lost $123,474 or more

I read with disgust a person’s claim that they are “… educating consumers about making the right choice about their financial planning…”.  However, all they ever talk about is how cheap they are compared to their competitors, blah, blah, blah…

Is premium the most important thing when you are buying insurance?
You will be shocked only to find out that it’s too late.
Shouldn’t the coverage, terms and conditions (a.k.a. the fine prints) be more important?

2 Questions You NEED TO ASK!

1) What is the Definition of Total and Permanent Disability (“TPD”)?
While there is no difference in the definition of Death and Critical Illnesses (since the standardization) from 1 company to another, the definition of TPD surely differs. Generally, to be considered for TPD claim, the insurance companies have a set of TPD definition. One occurance (to be considered for TPD) is that the insured suffered the lost of 2 limbs. Physically? Read on.

While some companies need the limbs to be physically severed, others only require that 2 limbs losses their effective use. Below are just some examples:

NTUC Income defines it as “…the loss by complete severance at of both limbs at or above the wrist or ankle” (Read Details)

AIA defines it as “… loss by severance of two limbs at or above wrist or ankle”.

Great Eastern‘s definition is “…loss by complete severance of two limbs at or above the wrist or ankle”. (Read Details)

Prudential: “… loss of the effective use of any two limbs at or above the wrist or ankle…”.

I leave it to you to decide which definition would admit the claim more easily.

2) How am I PAID if I submit my claim for TPD?
Some companies would payout by instalment basis (eg 10% of the sum assured in the first 4 years and the remaning 60% in the 5th year) while some other companies pay the full amount (up to a certain limit like $650,000) on admission of the claim.

Do you know how much you stand to loose? If you take out a $500k policy, you claim only $50k for Company XYZ (which pays via instalment) in year 1, while $500k from the companies which pay a lump sum. Invest $300k (from the lump sum of $500k) which earns a 9% pa returns and at the end of the 4th year, you’ll be getting $423,474. That’s $123,474 more.

Now do you know why certain company can claim that they charge the lowest premium?
Well, it’s my bet that they keep the payout and reinvest them.

The following companies, as far as I know, pays TPD claims via instalment basis:
NTUC (see details)

The following companies, as far as I know, pays TPD claims via lump sum (up to a certain limit like $650,000 and the remaining on the 2nd year):
Prudential

I will add on to the list when I know which company uses what payment method.