Friday, 22 January 2016

My Dysfunctional Family Background: How It Shaped My Early Financial Thinking

My mother was a diagnosed schizophrenic and my father an alcoholic.  I only knew the term "dysfunctional" when I reached adulthood and realized that my family situation could probably be termed as such.  Starting from when I was only a one-month old baby, I was raised by a nanny whom I affectionately called "Grandma", up to the age of 16.  Details were fuzzy but the reason given was that my parents couldn't handle 5 children when I was born.  (In fact, they probably couldn't even take care of themselves.)

Monday, 18 January 2016

If you’re thinking of sending your kid to tuition, read this!

On returning to Singapore a few years ago, I realized that if any business is growing and thriving better than any other, it’s tuition centers! There is practically one or more in every shopping mall, at void decks and even within the schools. They are everywhere: it almost sounds weird if your child is not in some tuition programme. 

If you are indeed considering sending your child for tuition, enrichment or whatever name it’s called nowadays, please take a few steps back and think through a few things before committing yourself: 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Making CPF Work for Us!

Picture source:
I did not have a positive view of CPF when I first started work 20 years ago and received my first CPF account statement. Like many Singaporeans, I saw it as “forced” savings, taking away part of our pay before we even had a chance to use it. Years later, after reading up more on personal finance, my perspective changed.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

5-Step Process to Build Up Your "Goose" Account (which lays the Golden Egg!)

Image result for goose that laid the golden eggIn one of my earlier posts, I talked about the importance of building up a reserve to handle emergencies, as well as excess which we can place in our “Goose” Account for investment.    But pressure to spend exists everyday.  How do we manage it? 

Friday, 8 January 2016

14 year-old Son to Me: "Stocks Move In Cycles, Mama!"

I was sharing with my 14-year-old son just yesterday how stocks are all going downhill and it seems that everything was "doom and gloom".  He then reminded me, "Stocks move in cycles, Mama!"

Monday, 14 December 2015

What Yoga Taught Me About Personal Finance

It has been exactly a year since I became a certified yoga teacher.  It is such a joy to be able to confidently share I have learnt with my students.

What was even more gratifying was I also now see parallels between yoga and another very important aspect of my life: money management. A disciplined practice, self-observation and the pursuit of balance – these are common yogic tenets that can be applied to money management too.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful

"Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."  These were words spoken by Warren Buffett at the height of the 2008 Financial Crisis.  I mentioned this phrase a lot when I blogged about the emotion-less and contrarian "Investor Mindset" a few years back.  Nowadays, I seem to have to remind myself about it a lot more.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Our Worst Investment Mistakes

Every quarter, we will receive a statement from one of our brokers showing a lone stock under their custodian holding. The name of the stock is Rekapac, a delisted stock from the over-the-counter Malaysian stock sold on the Singapore exchange.  It serves regularly as a stark reminder of one of the worst investments my husband and I have made in our financial journey.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Global economy heading where?

I attended a CIMB seminar today, exclusive to preferred customers, and one of the key speakers was Song Seng Wun.  I remembered interviewing Song when I was a reporter a very long time ago.  He is still the same tongue-in-check economist who has a very unique sense of fashion (aka suspender pants guy).

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Planning for Aging Parents - What Do You Do?

After attending 3 wakes in the past month involving the passing on of friends' aged parents or parent-in-law, I am beginning to feel a little uneasy that my husband and I haven't really started planning for his aging parents.  For two of our friends, their parents passed away after a long struggle with illness.  For the third, the mom died suddenly after being admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with acute lung infection.