Christopher Tan
CEO at Providend Ltd
Level 4. Prodigy
‧ 48 upvotes received
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Christopher Tan is the CEO of Providend and Executive Director of MoneyOwl. He sat on the CPF Advisory Panel from 2014-2016.
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CEO at Providend Ltd
Accredited Certified Coach (ACC) at ICF
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  • Asked by Anonymous

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan, Executive Director at MoneyOwl Private limited
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 01 Mar 2019
    Dear anonymous, thank you for asking this. I am Chris, Executive Director of MoneyOwl as well as CEO of Providend. Guo Hao is right to say that the team at MoneyOwl is the same team as DIYInsurance in the past. We went into a JV with NTUC Enterprise to form MoneyOwl to provide more services beyond insurance planning. Over the next few months, we will be rolling out other services. Do keep a look out for them. Eddy Cheong, who is the Chief Advisory Officer of MoneyOwl looking after the advisory team has almost 20 years of experience in financial advsiory. So you can be assured that the advice that leaves MoneyOwl is good. You can also read our customers' review here. https://www.moneyowl.com.sg/#/about-us/customer-reviews If there are any reasons why we are not meeting your needs, let us know and we will make sure that we put it right. Thank you once again for your interest in MoneyOwl Chris
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan, Executive Director at MoneyOwl Private limited
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 12 Feb 2019
    Dear Anonymous, thank you for your question and so sorry for replying late. It is difficult to answer this question in full accuracy as I do not have the full context. So let me provide a general guide towards planning for retirement as well as make some assumptions. 1. You might want to decide how much money you need per month for retirement. And from the amount that you need, what portion of it is the "die die must have portion". This portion can be taken care of by CPF LIFE. The good thing about CPF LIFE is that it pays out a monthly amount regardless of market condition and it hedges against longevity risk as it is an annuity. Your funds in CPF LIFE is also currently guranteed at 4% p.a 2. So as a guide, if you need say $1400 per month in today's money at age 65, you will need to have about $176,000 (known as the Full Retirement Sum or "FRS) in your RA today at age 55. Currently, the FRS increases by 3% p.a. Assuming that remains the same, in 15 years time, your FRS requirement would be about $274,000. By then, with an FRS of $274,000, the monthly payout can be conservatively estimated to be about $1800 p.m. 3. So if your SA currently has not reach $176,000, you can consider topping up from OA to SA to build your FRS for the future. However, please be mindful that this transfer is irreversible and you need to be certain that you do not transfer so much that there is not enough money in your OA for other purposes such as your mortgage. 4. Nothing is stopping you from doing both the OA to SA transfer and investing in ETFs at the same time. However, I alway find that the STI ETF is too narrowly focused and as Singapore is a very small market, it might be better for you to consider investing in the S&P500. 5. Depending on your risk appetite, you might also want some bonds in your portfolio to moderate the volatility of your portfolio so that you can remain invested even during extreme market volatility. Hope this helps.
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 12 Feb 2019
    Dear Anonymous, thanks for the question and sorry for the late reply. As you might know, MoneyOwl is a bionic financial adviser. To be Bionic means to have the best of both worlds – humans and technology. Technology integrates complex financial models into your financial plan with ease and precision. But we understand that money is very personal and involves emotions, aspirations and life decisions. That’s why both our dedicated client advisers and our technology platforms come together to journey with clients throught their stages in life. One more thing about the importance of the human element in advice. While it is easy to design and recommend an investment portfolio using technology, what is tough is when the markets becomes very volatile, or when the markets tank, or even when the markets become exuberantly bullish, machines cannot help us stay invested or prevent us from making silly decisions. This is when human intervention is necessary, to do the risk/investment coaching to help us make sensible decisions. So I don't think that machines will replace humans. But it is really up to humans to work with machines. Hope this helps.
  • Asked by Casey Choo

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan, Executive Director at MoneyOwl Private limited
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 04 Feb 2019
    HI Casey, thank you for your question. When one is before 55 years old, there are 3 accounts in your CPF 1. Ordinary Account (2.5% p.a. - 3.5% p.a) - Primarily for paying off mortgage. Besides the first $20,000 that you cannot invest, you can invest what is above the $20,000. 2. Special Account (4% p.a. to 5% p.a) - Mainly for retirement. The monies in this account will be transferred to the Retirement Account (RA) when you turned 55. You can also invest your monies in the SA. Although I strongly discourage you to do so, given the very high, near risk-free interest rate of at least 4% p.a. currently. 3. Medisave Account (4% p.a - 5% p.a.) - Mainly to pay your medical expenses and approved insurance premiums Since contributing into CPF is compulsory and it is your money, I think it is important to know how to best make use of it in your overall financial planning. I think it is important for you to 1. Understand how to optimise your payment of your mortgage when you buy your first house, ie to decide between using cash or CPF to service your mortgage. And if you decide to use part of your OA monies for investing, it is important to know more about CPFIS before doing so. 2. Understand the benefits of our Special Account, its high interest rates and to decide if topping it up as early as possible is advantageous to you, balancing it with the loss of liquidity once you do so. 3. To understand all the appropriate medical insurances you can purchase using monies in your medisave account. The CPF is a useful "instrument" to make use of in your overall financial planning and that is why it is important to understand it, even before starting in the workforce. Hope this helps.
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan, Executive Director at MoneyOwl Private limited
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 04 Feb 2019
    Hi anonymous, so sorry for the late reply. I will be covering on insurance planning. Specifically i will talk about 1. How long do you need inusrance coverage 2. How much you need 3. What type of insurance is most suitable. You do not need to prepare for it, just come and enjoy the sessions! Hope to see you soon and thank you for coming!
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 04 Feb 2019
    Hi anaonymous, thanks for your question and sorry for the late reply. I think it really depends on what you want to do. If you intend to go into financial advisory, then the CFP will definitely be more suitable. However, if you want to be in investment management, then the CFA is more apt. Hope this helps!
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan, Executive Director at MoneyOwl Private limited
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 04 Feb 2019
    Hi anonymous, thank you so much for your question and so sorry for the late reply. I generally do not like to prerscribe a product before understanding the full context of your financial situation. It is like deciding what ingredients to buy before we know what we want to eat and the recipe. But I would generally say "yes" to your question. My firms' (Providend and MonwyOwl) investment philosopohy is that we do not believe in timing the market. There is no need to as well. We also believe in lowering the cost of investing. ETFs is one good way to access index investing and also it is low cost. However, as ETFs are listed on the stock markets and there are brokerage cost involved in buying them, please be mindful that you do not do many small transactions. And by the way, if I have only $10,000, my preference is to invest in a more broadly diversified ETF such as the SPDR S&P500 rather than STI. The Singapore market is just too small. Hope this helps.
  • Asked by Kkel Viin

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan, Executive Director at MoneyOwl Private limited
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 04 Feb 2019
    Hi Kkel Viin, thank you for your question and so sorry for the late reply. In every financial decision, there are different perspectives you can look from, so it is really not a straightforward answer. From the investment perspective, it is really simple. If your loan interest rate is lower than your OA interest of 2.5% p.a., then it make sense to drag the loan. If you have cash sitting in the bank account doing nothing and earning less than your mortgage rate, you might want to use your cash to pay off your loan. But things get more complicated when you start to also consider the financial planning aspect of the equation. How is your total debt servicing ratio (defined as your total monthly debt repayment/Grossincome)? Is it higher than 40% of your gross income? How is your debt to asset ratio (defined as your total liabilities/total asset)? Is it higher than 50%? These are some of the ratios you can use (there are of course more). What I mean is that if you are too much heavy laden with debt, you might want to pay down your debts even if it does not make investment sense because if you are financially unhealthy, your ability to invest drops. Things get even more complicated when you overlay your financial decisions with your relationship with money, your history with money. One way to look at this is, what is your feelings about debt? Do you feel comfortable? does having debt make you worried and cause you to lose sleep. Does it go against your values? Do you have a situation in your life or in your family life that debt was a major cause of a family breakdown? You get my drfit. Sometimes, there are things in life that cannot be explained away by investment and financial principles. My conviction is that money is not a goal, It is an enabler. As such, even though following solid investment/financial planning principles make sense logically, but if it does not make you comfotable, if it goes against your value system. If it causes you to lose your health, then perhaps you need to reconsider how to better balance your decisions. It is about managing the tension between investments, financial planning and your relationship with money. I hope this helps.
  • Asked by Sau Yee Fong

    Christopher Tan
    Christopher Tan
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 04 Feb 2019
    Hi Yee Fong, thank you so much for your question. So sorry it came so late as I had a busy 2 weeks. It is an interesting question that you have asked. There are possibly a few reasons why CPF Board first take our monies from CPF SA to form the FRS first. 1. First of all, we need to understand that the primary purpose of CPF is to help us retire. When deciding on CPF policies, CPF Board often focus on the lower income group and not the wealthier ones. Therefore, when one reaches age 55, because CPF is mainly for retirement, our monies from SA (which is meant for retirement and attracting a higher interest rate) is first transferred to the RA to form the FRS. If it is insufficient, then CPF Board will take from OA. 2. For a near risk-free "instrument" like CPF (risk-free in a sense that it is default-free, free from volatility risk and also guranteed interest rates), 4% p.a. is considered very high and it is not easy to fulfill this obligation. By allowing the transfer to happen first from OA and then SA, there is a possibility that you have now "more money" attracting a higher 4% p.a. This is just my opinion. 3. By allowing one to first use the OA to form the FRS, we are likely to benefit the higher income group. This is not the intent of our CPF Schemes. I have heard of advisers asking their clients to invest their SA just before age 55 so that the FRS is formed by taking monies from their OA first. After 55, thei sell away their investments and the monies are then transferred back to the SA. While this is a loophole and seemingly a viable option, depending on what one invest in, one must be preapred to lose capital after the divestment. Hope this helps!
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