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  • Property

    Asked by Anonymous

  • Loans

    Asked by Anonymous

    Yeap Ming Feng

    This is a very common question! :)

    While each has their pros and cons, here are a few insights:

    Interest rate:

    HDB Loan - Currently 2.6% ( 0.1% above the CPF Ordinary Account interest rate.)

    Bank Loan - Currently 1.3% - 2.4% (Depends on the bank and benchmark, interest rates fluctuates)


    HDB Loan - CPF/Cash

    Bank Loan - at least 5% in cash The rest using CPF OA savings

    Maximum Loan:

    _HDB Loan__ - _New flats: 90% of the purchase price. 

    Resale flats: 90% of the resale price or market valuation, whichever is lower.

    Bank Loan - 80% of the purchase price.** **

    Late Payment Penalty:

    HDB - Currently 7.5% per annum

    Bank Loan - Depends on individual banks. Usually less lenient than HDB.

    You can read the guide to your question here.

  • Insurance

    Asked by Anonymous

    Cherie Julianne Tan

    Hi there, I'm presuming that you are referring to an endowment plan, I have listed down some of the pros and cons to it.


    • Guaranteed returns

    • There are also non-guaranteed returns

    • It disciplines you to save regularly

    • Some insurance coverage (but if you are looking solely for saving purposes, this might be a disadvantage as it comes at some costs)


    • Long commitment period

    • The actual return on the participating fund is not what the policy holder receives.

    Some may prefer doing their own investment as it provides more flexibility and control at lower cost, some may prefer investing into Singapore Saving Bonds and some might prefer endowment plan as it of a more disciplined structure. There are many tools around that will help encourage savings, ulltimately, it is important to know what your goals are and what you want to achieve while doing so. Here we have laid out the basics on saving plans, but please do your own due diligence before making any commitments!

  • Property

    Asked by Anonymous

    Ken Tan

    For any form of Property Investment, we would recommend holding a longer term. As property investment is usually considered as a hedge against inflation. At the current market, property prices are on an uptrend and I agree that there is a very high chance that property prices will appreciate quite a fair bit 5 years from now. However, we cannot guarantee that it will not drop 5 years from now. Hence, longer holding periods will allow you to have more flexibility to ride out the volatility in property prices if any. And for you to gain real appreciation, you will have to factor in the stamp duties, monthly maintenance as well as commission fees for the sale of the property.

    On the other hand, if property prices do increase in your favor, you will be able to retain your money as well as make a handsome profit should the market situation allows.

    For your case, I will recommend that you draft out your finances for both situations and make he comparison. For example, what would your rental outlay be like for a period of 5 years vs the outlay for holding/owning a property for the next 5 years. Factor in the costs and estimate what the selling price of the property should be like in 5 years and how much should you sell your property for in order for the investment to make sense.

    With the numbers in hand, you can decide if you should rent or own a property base on what you value in life.

    Hope this helps.

  • Investments

    Asked by Anonymous

    Yeap Ming Feng

    Hey. Was trading professionally for a while. Here are some advice.

    Being profitable on a demo account has little correlation with trading live. Simply because your trading emotions and decision making process changes drastically when you switch over to real cash. This is human nature, and also the reason why only a small amount of traders are profitable.

    Next, trading live hurts you more than you know it. Trading with leverage on a live account can give you the "shiok feeling" when you make money. But take note. If it goes the opposite way, because of the leverage, it is going to hurt you a lot.

    If there are some best practise, it will be, to always remember your stop loss and take profit. Make sure you are very aware of how much you can afford to lose. Do not over expose that amount.

    Jia you ya!

  • Insurance

    Asked by Anonymous

    Cherie Julianne Tan

    One question, are you currently having an existing ISP? If you do have an existing ISP that covers gov class A ward, by upgrading the plan to cover yourself for private hospitals, you would be exposed to the ~5% co-payment feature (from 1st April 2019) that was recently rolled out.

    If you do not have an existing policy and inefficiency of the hospitals are your main concern, if I were you and since premiums are still affordable, I would choose the plan that covers private hospitals. In any case of non-emergency, if you were able to choose the public hospital ward A and below (a downgrade from your plan), some insurers would reward you with daily hospital incentives. Do check with your insurer on this one!

    It would be best if you have a financial advisor to discuss your needs with in greater detail. I hope this helps!

  • Insurance

    Asked by Anonymous

    Cherie Julianne Tan

    $41/month for $1M coverage, good deal right??

    From what I understand, because it is a Group term life, there are some limitations. In the event of terrorism/war, Aviva's maximum liability is 0.75% of the Aggregate Sum Insured per policy year. For example, if 10 people are insured for $1M each, the aggregate sum here is $10M. Aviva maximum liability is to pay out 0.75%, in this case, $75,000 to all 10 people. So the payout to your family would be about $7,500. Limitations are quite common for group insurances as the premiums are sometimes cheaper.

    Oh ya, the premium increases drastically after age 65, something you should take into consideration when doing your financial planning. I hope this helps!!

  • Property

    Asked by Anonymous

    Cherie Julianne Tan

    Hey! Thanks for sharing with us! I would not cash out the bonds. But before we get there, there are a few things we should look at first, your CPF balance, the downpayment, additional stamp duty (ADSD).

    Your CPF - I’m assuming it is your second property, therefore you will need to set aside the Basic Retirement Sum (presently that’s $85,500) in your OA and SA before you can use the excess savings in your OA.

    The downpayment - You are also required to pay about 20% of your property in fees and costs aka your downpayment (you can use your CPF for this). In your case, that would be 360,000 if you are looking at a 1.8M property.

    Additional Stamp Duty - Not forgetting ADSD for 2nd property and subsequent property. If you are a Singaporean citizen, that's 7% for your second house and 10% for your third and subsequent property. That’s ranging about 126K-180K.

    That amount up to approximately 540K minus your CPF balance. With your current cash at hand, you are able to set aside this amount without cashing out your midterm bond. Also if I were you, I would not rent because it would take up a substantial amount from your pay.

    Although not mandatory, hiring a property agent that you can trust will be helpful in guiding you through the whole process.

    I hope this helps and I wish you all the best :)

  • Career

    Asked by Anonymous

    Guo Hao Teo

    Yeah I think this is seen to be quite common practice in most companies in Singapore? i.e between locals and foreigners it looks something like this for a same level manager.

    For a Local:

    • Gross: $3k
    • Take home: $2.4k
    • CPF Employee + Employer: $600 + $510 = $1,110 Total = $3,510

    For a foreigner:

    • Gross: $3,510

    Because they factor in that amount with the (20% + 17%) of gross salary which is quite a huge sum actually.

  • Career

    Asked by Anonymous

    Jolie Goh


    It highly depends on the sector you are in. If you are considering postgraduate studies of a more general than technical nature, it is not uncommon employers will probably view you in the same way as other graduates. Having a Masters will then have little or no effect on your career options and starting salary. If you’re stuck in a situation where your existing qualification might be limiting you in your career, then getting a Masters could be a good idea. An example would be how Architecture students in local universities require at least a Masters in order to become a registered architect.

    It would be wise to evaluate getting a postgraduate degree in two aspects, mainly the costs of getting a Masters and potential benefits derived from it. (Assuming that the postgraduate studies are not sponsored.) The average costs of getting an M.Sc in Economics or Finance from NTU or SMU would range from around $34,500 to $39,400. If you decide to take a full-time Masters, you would also have to consider the loss of income which is averagely around $40,000 per annum for a BS/B.Sc for fresh graduates. To recoup the costs within the next 5 years, your starting salary would need to increase at least 30%, which as we mentioned earlier, may or may not happen depending on which sector you are in.

    Master ’s are helpful in making a drastic career change if it is difficult to do so on your own, without having to redo your bachelor’s degree. However, if you do not have any working experience in your chosen field, it would be highly recommended to work in the field for some time before deciding to take a Master’s in that selected field, just in case it may not be to your liking. Hope this helps!

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