Thursday, July 21, 2016

Interest rates and you – how to make your money work harder

Most Singaporeans earn a measly 0.05% on their savings, while the inflation rate and cost of living continues to climb. If you’re not satisfied with your bank’s low interest rates, you’re not alone. Here are some other alternatives that can provide you with much higher returns.

Fixed Deposits (FDs)
FDs are quite popular among Singaporeans due to the attractive rates offered by the banks over a short holding period. For instance, if you commit $20,000 for a lock-up period of 2 years on a FD, a bank will likely pay you a much higher return. For example, some banks may pay promotional interest rates of above 1% p.a., which is at least 20 times higher than the current 0.05% p.a. bank interest rate.

Endowment Funds
Offered by many insurance companies, endowment funds have traditionally been used by parents to save for their child’s university education. The average rate of return is about 2-4% p.a. among the different plans, with some insurers providing a certain guaranteed amount regardless of the market’s performance. The catch is that your money is typically locked up over an extended period (like 15 years or longer) and there will be a penalty if you wish to terminate the plan before its maturity.

The Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB)
If you have a low appetite for risk, government bonds offer a secure alternative for you to park your cash in, while earning interest higher than your bank rate. For instance, if you had put aside $20,000 in the February 2016 SSB placement and did nothing for 10 years, you’ll be rewarded with a generous $5,124 of interest by the end of that decade. Simply put, that’s a whopping 25% return!

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
For those wanting to get in on the stock market action, there’s a no-brainer method of putting your money into a stock market index, usually known as ETFs. These are broad, diversified indexes that track market returns, typically comprising the largest companies on the market, or a series of companies within a certain industry. In Singapore, the STI ETF is a popular option, which can give you between somewhere 5% to 8% in returns over the long haul. 

If you're willing to work a little harder by doing some research, investing in equities or stocks can be quite rewarding when you invest in companies that grow and flourish over time. For instance, if you had bought shares of Google during its IPO in 2004, you would have made a total of 1,081% in returns today (as of June 2016)! Of course there are also other stocks that can crash and you don’t get anything back. Finding the right stocks and diversifying into different stocks will help to reduce the risk to your stock portfolio.

As you can see, there are plenty of other financial instruments available in the market, which can offer you more bang for your buck (or in this case, more returns on your money). The only question is, which tool will be more suitable for your needs and risk appetite?

About the Author:

Budget Babe is Singapore’s top female financial blogger, who enjoys sharing what she knows on personal finance, savings, insurance, investments, and other issues close to the Singaporean core. Having been featured on various media interviews including The Straits Times, Her World and 938 Live, her blog continues to inspire both men and women alike. 


If you wish to request for an non-obligation and free financial assessment, do contact me (Jacky Goh) at +65 9151 9924 for an appointment. I will be glad to provide you with my services as AXA financial planner. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Just an update for May and June 2016

Been busy for past one month and getting ready to embark my journey with one established insurance agency in Singapore soon. But before that, not forgetting I have to continue spreading kindness around whenever I can, as this is something very meaningful to share. Do support my awareness group Happy People (HERE) and also volunteer at Project Awareness (HERE). 

I think I fall in love with my home cook curry chicken by my mother! The smell is so appetising that it just makes me want to eat as much as possible! Thank to my lovely mother for the wonderful curry chicken. 

Oh, forget to mention that I was featured in June 2016 issue GOLF newspaper with my brother Elson Soh. Thank you to Sister Charlene for writing this wonderful article and Sister Lisa for the great photography and make-up styling. Thank you Flipside Productions and Marketing (HERE) for this branding exercise. 

I also involved in a interview session with the emerging artiste from my company Royal Entertainment. Her name is Yuna Chew and do follow her blog (HERE) and Facebook (周慧玲 Yuna Chew) too! Remember to give her your support by watching and sharing the video around.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Why do people talk about others

Why do people talk about others in their absence?
Why would a person talk about his close friend in a bad way as soon as he leaves?
Why would a person talk about the bad way his friend is treating him in front of everyone but his friend?

We can never make conclusions about someone's intentions before we get to know more about his personality for it will be the reference we are going to use to interpret his behaviour. In this article I will tell you about the reasons people talk about others and tell you how to understand those people even more.

Don't make the mistake of judging a person without knowing more about his beliefs, values and past experiences. If you know the person well then most likely you will be able to pick up the correct reason that is motivating him to talk about others from the ones below:

1) Jealousy: People talk about others when they feel jealous. A person who feels jealous will try to put the one he is talking about down so that he feels good about himself. If the person has really bad intentions then he will talk about the person he is jealous of in a bad way that makes others hate him

2) Inferiority: People talk about others in a bad way in their absence in order to appear better than them. If a person feels inferior to someone then he might talk about him in a bad way in order to appear superior to him in front of others

3) Lack of courage: Some people hate to confront others directly and as a result they prefer to talk about them in their absence after they do something bad to them rather then face them directly. If a person talks in a bad way about someone all the time because he did something bad to him then know that he lacks courage (see How to be brave in life)

4) He Likes the person he is talking about: One of the signs that shows that a person is interested in someone else is talking about him a lot. In such a case the talk will be positive or at least his mood will be positive while talking about that person even if he was saying negative things (see Signs that shows that someone likes you).

5) Weakness: People talk about others in a bad way in their absence when they believe that they can't get their rights back from them. If a large muscular person punched you in the face then you kept talking about him in his absence then know that you are doing so because you believe that you can't knock him down and that you are trying to release this energy of revenge by talking about him

Talking about others is a sign of weakness

As you can see in most cases people who talk about others are the ones who are in the weak position.

Gossiping or talking about others in a bad way in their absence is most cases a sign that shows that you have a certain personal flaw.

If you found yourself gossiping then you must find out the reason behind it and then work on fixing the personal flaw that resulted in this bad habit.

On the other hand if you knew that someone was talking about you in your absence then just send him this article :)