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Alan Seow

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Alan Seow

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Lifestyle

Savings

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Updated 2w ago
I remember I had a piggy bank when I was younger but shorter (and cuter but stupider). But since my daily stipend was 50 cents a day, it remained anorexic for as long as I know. These are some of the stories about saving for the things I wanted (which others remember and I gratefully forgot, because some were downright embarrassing !) ! The first thing I wanted was those retro sticker books; I think the trend was those badass Ninja Turtles and Voltron kind. These were like the coolest things on our small diminutive campus of kids and kiddos. And we would trade like 20 cents plus Raphael (we had no inkling they were names after Renaissance artists, Raphael just sounds cool to an Asian kid) for a Leonardo. Because those darned katanas were just so cool. Having no strength in maths other than remembering the multiplication tables, I had no idea how long I had to save to complete a single sticker book. So conveniently, I looked at the larger piggy bank. Which is my dad’s, it was like a piggy bank on steroids. So using the skills of a 6 year old and some engineering, I crafted a tweezer out of paperclips, and lo and behold, I could get the money out. Instant ATM. This led to the completion of my sticker book. But like every story with a moral value, therein lies the lesson (encoded in cane marks like some crazy kid typing in Braille). ! I got found out. And got caned and realized that if you really wanted something, it should come off the sweat of your brow (or whichever part sweats most). So Lesson 1: Rely on yourself and not on some hare brained scheme, there is no instant ATM. Dont steal, you get caned, applies to adults in Singapore but not in Malaysia, you get a yatch name Equanimity over there. So I started work, and I did a lot of stints as teaching stuff to others (legal stuff this time)in the fitness industry. I had quite a lot of money, because the per hour pay was good. But I spent it like it was water. Rollerblade $330, Rayban Glasses $500. So off I was in my teens , eating cup noodles while contemplating where in the blue blazes did my money go. Lesson 2: Track your expenses. Rollerblades and Raybans are not necessities, you can’t eat them when you are hungry and they are useless if you have no savings. ! Eventually as an adult, or someone who likes adulting but is in his late 20s, I became a better planner and got some savings which I conveniently plunged in stocks in 2007. That was before the subprime. The rest is history (as is my money, thanks Wall Street). Lesson 3: Know what you are putting your money into. Investing and gambling are like how you use razorblades, you can shave with them, or you can mess yourself up pretty badly with them as well. Finally after some lessons and thinking through , the piggy bank disappeared, and got digitized like ordering bak kwa online, just that its not bak kwa but its online. I no longer can feel my coins and the “tink” I get when I drop them in. But at the same time, I am learning everyday how to not make my previous mistakes. I am now looking at financial independence while doing something I love. And realize that financial independence is a series of good choices over a long period of time (and delayed gratification, no more loot boxes). My dream is now financial independence. Lesson 4: Financial Independence is a marathon and not a sprint. And to add a last point – just to make 5 lessons. My favorite quote from fight club. Lesson 5: We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. Don’t. (okay I added the Don’t). !
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Investments

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
The one with the lowest cost. But having said that. REITs ETFs are subject to withholding tax which reduces distributable income by 17 percent. I advise doing research if u plan to put in alot of money into a few good REITs

General

Investments

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Jun 2018
You might want to consider using a small portion of this amount to learn or buy books and i crease your competency in investing. But investing in a low cost fund if you have no idea what to invest in is a good idea. Once u build the competency you can do stock selection.

Investments

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Jun 2018
Fund supermart is a good place to consider. As Warren buffett recommends. You might want to try an online brokerage to get Vanguard funds with a very low cost basis.

Investments

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Jun 2018
Why not both. But best way is to determine your risk appetite first. As growth stocks are subject to volatility and high uncertainty. There is no better way and good bloggers like Kyith and AK74 have achieved a high level of income through dividend investing. Unless u know a business very well and its moat. Your proposition for growth stocks should vary proportionately.

Investments

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Jun 2018
You might want to buy ETFs or China stocks listed locally. Another way is to buy HK stocks. China stocks are not tradable due to restrictions in stock exchange and currency.

General

Savings

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Jun 2018
I aim to save 50 percent after deducting CPF. Most of the time it is possible especially if I reduce all burdens like gym membership fees and business newspaper subscriptions which I don't read (straits times and google news is enough)

General

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Jun 2018
I just put in the key data such as premium. Type of insurance and also surrender value and coverage on the excel. You might want to see what information is relevant from insurance policy aggregation sites. But more importantly is not if u track your insurance but whether you are cost effectively insured.

DBS

DBS Multiplier

Loans

Property

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Jun 2018
After doing some research. I decided with UOB one account as it doesn't even require you to bank in your salary. 3 GIRO accounts. But the extra effort doesn't warrant this. At max at 50k what u can get is 100 a month max including the blended deposits. Yes it's blended. Meaning the higher deposit rates are for 40k and above.

Loans

Property

Alan Seow
Alan Seow
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Jun 2018
If you feel interest rates would go up. I suggest a HDB loan. If you were to go for a bank loan. I suggest having a fixed interest rate loan for the first few years for certainty of cashflow.
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