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Serene Toh

Amateur investor, trying to help others make a better choices by sharing personal experiences

Serene Toh

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Amateur investor, trying to help others make a better choices by sharing personal experiences

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Serene Toh

  • Answers (88)
  • Questions (10)
  • Reviews (2)

Investments

Stocks Discussion

Online Brokerages

I do not have 6 months of earnings but I want to invest in shares/stocks like Starbucks for instance. Any advice?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Answered 4w ago
To help us give better opinion, you might also want to gave us a bit of background, Do you have a portfolio currently? are you a beginner fresh grad? if still young, are still able to live off your parents. How is your job security? Also what is the main question about; emergency cash, stocks, or how to buy stock without extra cash. I'm going to reply based on my current situation, as I'm also squeezing out funds to buy some stocks. 1) This is technical. You don't need 6 months "earnings". You need 6 months "basic living expense", so exclude the costs of luxuries. 2) The amount for emergency cash actually varies from 3 months to 12 months, depending on the volitility of your situation (for example, a student still living off parent, might not need this emergency cash, or if you are a civil servant, maybe 3 months emergency would suffice, agents that depend on comissions might need 12 months) 3) Low risk sources other than cash. Do you have at least 3 months in liquid cash and another 3 months worth else where with low risk, say in SSB? 3) Do you have a portfolio, during this period, I'm rebalancing my portfolio by identifying the stocks I own that haven't been doing too well or are rather dormant before COVID-19 and selling them to buy good stocks at a discount. But note, I'm selling them before buying. Above are the method to squeeze out cash. For purchase methods; 1) Regular savers - Someone already mention so I won't go into detail, but you can buy some overseas stock and SG stocks with this method. 2) CPFIS - you can invest with your CPF if you are getting certain SG stocks.
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Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB)

Investments

Bonds

Online Brokerages

COVID-19

I am starting to build my portfolio but given the low rates of bonds these few months, would it be advisable to include it in my portfolio now?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Updated 4w ago
From your question, 1. I'm not sure which bonds you are thinking off. 2. I'm assuming you are thinking long term 3. Not sure about your age, risk adversion If this question was posted during circuit breaker, I've given you the opinion that you'll be better off buying banks share or REITS. Now, personally I'll still buy into stocks or UT or REITS, as there is still potential growth oppotunities. However, you'll need to do more homework, as the more solid companies have already started making their recovery, so you'll need to check if they are still worth buying. Please also note that there is some speculation there may be another drop. So aware and don't get a heart attack if it does. If the company you buy is good, it will make a recovery sooner or later. P/s Keyword here is "opinion". this i just my personal opinion, not advise (not qualitfied to do that)
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General

Do you think getting a degree in Singapore is a waste of money? Or would you rather use the money to invest?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Updated on 25 Feb 2020
Whether it is wastefull is dependant on the person getting the degree. For e.g. I got a friend (not in SG) that got a degree in installation arts, the degree has no use at all, so to me it's a waste. But she did enjoy her time in the course and don't regret her choice, so is it a waste then? You live, just but once. So maybe going to be uni might just be your last chance to enjoy life before you get started on the dog-race to earning more money. Getting the degree is secondary here. However back to SG context. If we ignore the "living life" thing above and just think about Degree =Pay, which I think this post is about, then I think it depends on the degree. If the degree is useful then no, if you're just getting the degree for the sake of getting a degree than yes it is a waste. ———— Updated As some of them say, education is an investment. Then we need to review uni courses like stocks, to see if it’s a good addition to your portfolio or a loss making deal. ;D
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Savings

Expenses

Fresh Graduates

DBS Multiplier Account

Standard Chartered JumpStart Account

Savings Accounts

I am graduating this year and ready to adult (I hope). However, can someone help me to sort out my accounts please?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Updated on 30 Jan 2020
With just $4k it might not be worth your effort to split into so many accounts. Do note that there are min amounts to keep in most of these accounts. If you go below there will be a fee charged to you. The disadvantages of having many accounts are; 1. lessen the free cash you have to use, without incurring charges, if you go below min amount. 2. Less interest received. With multiplier accounts, likely you can only fulfil the requirements of 1 account and not all accounts to get the best interest rates. I will suggest you find 1 account that can have you the best interest rates, and use it to accumulate wealth to a meaningful amount before splitting into different accounts. In mean time, you’ll have to monitor your expense, old fashion way, on excel sheet. If you are really afraid of overspending, then either use the envelope method by withdrawal cash for you expenses or find an account with no or really low min amount. For me, I’ll try to accumulate to say $50-70K before getting another account. I used to like OCBC because you can allocate saving goals and ‘“lock” in an amount so it won’t be available to withdraw at the ATM. So that 1 account can effectively function as several accounts. Left because the interest isn’t that good compared to others.
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Shopping

Lifestyle

What should I get as a gift for the baby?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Answered on 13 Nov 2019
I prefer giving Ang Pow. My friends said it’s the most practical, and appreciated. The parents can use it to buy what the baby needs, formula milk, diapers, etc. Supermarket vouchers will also do. Presents, unless you really put in an effort, have chances of getting duplicated which gave the parent more problem to deal with. Unless you are really close, you would know if the baby has allergy issues, etc.
👍 1

Giveaways

Property

Condominium

HDB BTO

Resale HDB

Family

Do you view your home as an Investment, somewhere to stay or both? Share your reasons and experiences!?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Updated on 02 Nov 2019
When I bought my home, I bought it purely for retirement. So when I was selecting a place, I chose somewhere that I can tahan staying till I go. I didn't consider investment value, as in appreciation, but I did consider rental value, in case I need to get extra cash. I was really glad to find my forever home after 1 year of searching. P/s: I feel that a home is a place you can settle down in forever unless circumstances change. A home should be a place that you can invest emotions into, slow down, take a breather and just enjoy the environment. It should give you a sense of belonging. See a lot of people that sell and move into something bigger nearby, because they can't bear to leave the neighbourhood. A property bought purely for appreciation before you move on to the next one, is just an investment property, not really a home cause its just a temporary place before you move onto the next one. It is more difficult to invest emotions into the place and get a sense of belonging, once you have it in your mind that you are moving after 5 years. So it might be a stressful place to stay in later on if you are not able to sell it and move on as planned.
👍 0

Property

Investments

What kind of clauses/terms should I have to protect myself if my buyer wants to take early possession of my property for their renovation?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Answered on 02 Nov 2019
Your question sounds like you have sold your house and your buyer has asked you to leave the house asap. I doubt that its this situation. So I think we need all more details. - Are you still at the negotiation stage? or has everything been agreed, signed and sealed? - If signed and payment received. What was the agreement you had? - Did you request for an extended period after the sale? Did they suddenly decide that they want to come in early instead? Or are you asking what type of clauses to add in to prevent early possession? In this case, you should be safe if you add in a handover date. But usually, this would be settled during the negotiation stage, before the deposit is given. To be honest, wouldn't all this issue be settled by the housing agent?
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Healthcare

Lifestyle

What office snack would you recommend? Looking for healthy and affordable snacks to munch in office?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Answered on 16 Oct 2019
I personally love a good crunchy apple (might irritate people with the crunching though, sorry neighbour) 1. It's healthy, 2. stops hungry pangs for those on diet, 3. better at keeping you awake & alert than coffee (read this somewhere) 4. cheap & easy to get (giant sells gala apples for $2.25 for 5)
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Shopping

Lifestyle

Technical Analysis

Any recommendation for an affordable yet powerful laptop for work?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Updated on 16 Oct 2019
IT Show is coming 14 Nov -17 Nov. You can try there to get better deals? I'm not sure you can find something powerful & brand new with $600 though unless you are looking for something 2nd hand. Less than $1000 might still be possible for brand new. Edit: My notion of powerful might be different from yours. Bought a brand new asus laptop last dec for around $1100. Do keep note of your requirements and also consider if the budget is more important or if flexibility is more important, so that you are firm during your purchase. For reference, I tried to think like you and budget $1000 for a brand new laptop / tablet. I've bought a laptop last year with a firm notion of what I need it for, home use only, rejecting a tablet as more of a "want" than a "need". However, 7-8 months down the road, I realised that I should have bought a tablet with keyboard instead, as it more useful for work. I work in the design industry, so a tablet would be more convenient than stacks of paper. It'll also conveys a more professional hi-tech feel. Still Ok for me not to buy the tablet this 1-2 years but based on the digitalisation in my industry, looks like I have to get a tablet soon. So do think carefully about your needs. And make your your 'needs' are really 'needs' and your 'wants' are really 'wants' (or at least won't turn into 'needs' within 1-2 years)
👍 1

Property

Resale HDB

Condominium

How much would it affect the price of an HDB/Condo unit if someone dies in the flat or the couple of the flat divorced?
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Answered on 03 Oct 2019
If the couple divorce, it will depend on if they are in a hurry to sell the flat. If they want to get rid of it fast, you can negotiate with them or their agents for a slightly lower price. I’m pretty sure divorce is considered personal and not required to be informed to potential buyers. If you are thinking of Feng Shui, ie unluckiness, doubt it’ll make much of a difference. P/s if it’s every couple that stays there, will break in 1-2 years then maybe there’s an impact after some time? Only can find out if you speak to nosy... I mean friendly neighbours. For death. Seriously no idea. It might turn some people off. But I doubt it will drop to the level like Hong Kong. But this brings up an interesting question. Are the owners or agent obliged by Singapore law to tell potential buyers if a death (whether natural or not) has occurred in the house? I’ve only read of this requirement for the US and HK.
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