Monday, 26 December 2016

Time to contribute $$ to CPF for tax relief again

It's the time of the year again - time to contribute money to your CPF or your parents' CPF accounts if you are looking for some income tax rebate. Better do it soon too, because there are less than 5 working days to new year (and to qualify)!
Another way of getting the tax rebate is to do some good by donating back to society. :)

Here is the IRAS link to check out the top-up relief limits: CPF-Cash-Top-up-Relief

(For self is $7000 and for family members is $7000 too. So the maximum rebate amount is $14000.)

And not forgetting, there is also the elusive Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) which you could contribute to...
What is SRS?
More on SRS contributions

If you are lazy to analyse for yourself on whether you should put your money into the SA or SRS, here is a good article that can help to shed some light.

It might be a good alternative to annuity or perhaps even life insurance (if you are already quite aged and need to pay very high premiums).

Note that SRS member can withdraw up to $40,000 per year from his SRS account tax-free from age 62 onwards. Early withdrawal would result in penalty. (If you make a withdrawal before the retirement age of 62, 100% of the sum withdrawn will be subject to income tax. You will also face a 5% penalty for premature withdrawal. - source POSB website)

IMO, if you have no idea on how to invest your SRS money for better returns (than your cpf money) then there is no point in putting the money in the bank's SRS account. The only good thing you can reap out of it is the tax benefit, which would appeal more to the higher earners with spare cash to park somewhere.

For me, I prefer liquidity (and I am terrified of penalty!). So I chose to put the money in my parent's RA since the money can be activated as monthly payout anytime.

Happy New Year! (I think my next post would be in 2017.)

Friday, 16 December 2016

Past tense, Present tense, Future tense of stock market

Past tense = dividends, P/E
Present tense = current share price, NAV, news
Future tense = prospect / business analysis, projected earning, speculation

Some people like to make decision looking at the rearview mirror, some people like to make decision based on trend and gut feel, some people like to analyse and try to foresee things.

Which describes you?


My stocks portfolio adventure in 2016:

- Earned an ok dividend of 4.3% by year end
- My worst paper loss this year was -29% in January
- Rode through the boring market period and terrible paper loss by not capitulating and just taking dividends as panadol
- Did some diversification of portfolio as it was over-concentrated in certain equities
- Paper loss (current) is about double the amount of absolute $ of my dividends gained

Looking to do some rebalancing of my portfolio to welcome 2017.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Stay-at-home long weekend... to shop

Who says 宅女 don't go shopping? From the rise of ebay, blog shops to Alibaba, we could practically find anything we want online and have it delivered to our house - at times at a better price.

Qoo10 is having some cool deals of cart coupon offer here. $3 off $20 min purchase, $10 off $50 and $30 off $200.

I usually shop for clothings, PC and handphone accessories. Because of these great deals, I decided to get something more adventurous - a robot vacuum cleaner. For only $82 after the coupon discount! :)

My mom doesn't like to clean the floor, neither do I. So we can't wait to try out this cute machine. I shall write a review when I get hold of it next week.

Review 9/10/16:

Just slightly bigger than the size of my dinner plate, this little gadget is relatively quiet and simple to use. So far it has functioned quite well as a robot dust sucker, average 3 sessions before 1 charge. Good for people who are lazy to use the broom or lug a bulky vacuum cleaner around the house. 
The flip side is it tends to be 'trapped' if it goes under a table or to area less than a meter square so I have got to manually bring it out. There is no mopping function and has no path memory unlike some high-end robot vacuum cleaners. Bin is easy to clean out. Instruction manual is in both English and Chinese. :)


Maybank credit card is now having $10 rebate off first purchase on Shopback for new sign-ups till 31 December. I accidentally went to sign up on the regular page instead of on, and realised there's no way to delete that Shopback (email) account anymore. I shall just let that first account stay inactive till auto-termination. Ugh... gotta sign up using another email address.

Oh no, my online accounts for shopping are getting more than my fingers could count.

Are you a online shopaholic too?

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Luck or Hard work to Catch 'Em All?

I can't believe I am now back to my old-school-days-craze of Pokemon catching. Those were the times when I was glued to the TV catching every weekly episode and watching my cousins play Nintendo gameboy roleplay version of catching Pokemon on pixelated screen. Almost 20 years later, people on the street of Singapore, from kids to uncles aunties, are glued to their handphone playing Pokemon Go - the evolved and more 'powderful' version.

What I have learnt for everyday life by being part of this craze (besides not to dash around dangerously):

1) Do your research

There are certain tricks and background information to everything. Why I ended up with Squirtle instead of Pikachu? Because I didn't do my research lor... =.=
Same for investing - if you didn't do your research properly and just go with the norm, chances are you would not be getting the good 'hidden' stuff.

2) Increasing your chance of luck also need technique

You don't expect sitting around your house to catch some rare Pokemon. You can only catch them by moving your ass out to places where they are touted to inhabitat. Just as the saying goes "Opportunity is for the prepared", so go to venue XXX, put up some lure and sit for X hours to greatly increase your chance.

Evolving the Pokemon also has tactic. Choose those with CP score towards the end of the scale. Better still if it is high in numerical, but the scale is more important. Because when it evolved, the CP will also be at the higher end.

So get the tactic right and plan your moves, that's very important in winning any game.

3) When all else fail, hard work prevails

What happens if you just can't get enough luck in catching a Gyarados, despite going all the way to Chinese Garden? Go and catch 101 Magikarp lah!
If you catch an average of 3-4 a day, you would get enough candies in a month's time for a magnificent evolution.

Not all shortcuts work out in life. So if you think investing is going to be a shortcut to all your financial woes, first you must make sure that it does not add to your woes. Also make sure you have a backup plan.

Quoting Uncle8888:  Wealth = Financial Asset + Human Asset

So when your investments did not work out, you know what to do huh?

Yeah, we can all be like Ash in our own ways and marking our own journeys. Happy catching!
(Why do I feel that as the seasons progress, the Pokemons just got uglier?) :P

Seen Pokemon 47 out of 147 (counting). Highest CP 482.
"So you wanna be a Master. Do you have the skill to be number 1?"

If there's pay-per-charge mobile phone charging stations (like vending machines) near Pokestops, I think it would earn pretty decently from this craze.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Savings account promotions

POSB is currently running a 'Get 1.55% p.a. interest for 6 months!' promotion. Check it out here.

How to get the deal?

  • Deposit fresh funds* into your POSB Fresh Funds Account by 4 August 2016.
  • Fresh funds deposit via cheque(s), cashier's order(s) and demand draft(s) must be done by 4 August 2016, 3.30pm.
  • During the POSB Fresh Funds Account opening process, you will be prompted to select an existing POSB/DBS Current or Savings Account to be used for signature reference. This same account will be used for the crediting of the Cash Gift Interest.
  • This account has no applicable fees or charges.
  • Capped at S$50,000, with no minimum amount required.
  • Maintain the fresh funds deposited in the account for 6 months until 4 February 2017.
What happens at the end of 6 months?
  • The Cash Gift Interest will be credited into your reference account by 15 March 2017. Your POSB Fresh Funds Account will thereafter be auto-closed and the funds will be credited into your reference account.

Standard Chartered Bank is running a similar promotion under its e$aver account, also offering 1.55% for <$50,000 and up to 1.7% for higher amount of deposits. However, the deal is only good till 30th Sep. Note that it is a bonus interest scheme which applies only to Fresh Funds brought in and calculated based on incremental balance in the account versus July's.

What is the bank's trending key word?

- FRESH FUND. Ah duh.

Now you know sometimes it pays to have at least 2 accounts with different banks, very literally.
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