Monday, December 31, 2007

I lost a Prospect to Prudential (2)

I am angry not because I lost a business. Its due to the way I lost it. It was the unfair comparisons, unethical selling and unfound allegations which I believe is rampant in this industry. Such acts are damaging the professionalism of Financial Planners and image of true planners will remain as a Salesman image to the public. Let me show you what I meant by Unfair Comparison, Unethical Selling and Unfound Allegations

1. Unfair Comparison
The Riders in the Prulink assurance is not free. The premium is taken away from the premium and the eventual amount invested is reduced.

Eg of charges as below:
Female non-smoker, age 31 ($100k Death/PTD/CI)
Death / PTD - $6.17/mth
Critical Illnesses - $8.01/mth
Total - $14.18/mth

When reached 55 yrs old ($100k Death/PTD/CI)
Death / PTD - $40.28/mth
Critical Illnesses - $72.98/mth
Total - $113.26/mth

My Level Term of $100k till age 59 is
$39.10/mth same coverage as above
My $100k Accidental Term plan only cost her $70/yr


2) Unethical Selling
Too many to write about. To point out a few.
a) I conducted a Risk analysis and found client to be of Medium Risk. The agent probably infuse greed into client and make her a high risk profiler to buy everything into China.
b) Past performance does not indicate future returns. The idea of using China Fund profits to pay for a regular premium plan is a bad one.
c) The low allocation rate is not explained properly
Year 1 - 15%
Year 2 to 3 - 50%
Year 4 to 9- 100%
Year 10 onwards - 105%
*My client put in $2,000/yr. Advisory Charges = $3,700 out of $6,000 put in during first 3 yrs
d) My client are advised to put premium payment on yearly basis
* It reduces the effect of Dollar-cost averaging and risk is increased.
* Client can't do anything after the 14 free-look period. She guaranteed lost $1,700 overnight.
e) Client can easily invest her $18,000 and top-up $2,000 a year if her main objective is to save and get a separate Term insurance. The $2,000/yr shouldn't go into another policy.


3) Unfound Allegations
* MAS control the insurance industry strictly. There is no such thing as an Insurance Company not paying claims.
* As long as the person is able to provide the required information and the policy stated it is allowable, then surely this is claimable.
* For the part of NTUC Income, such allegations are rampant because
a) Previous Motor Insurance claims experiences spread to the Life Insurances. Other insurers no such problem.
b) Average Education and Income Level of many Income Policyholders are probably lower than other companies. Hence lack of understand causes misunderstandings.
c) Income agents used to be largely formed by part-timers, lack of proper explanation in the past may be one of the factor.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I lost a prospect to Prudential (1)

I lost a case to Prudential because of an ignorant consumer and a typical unethical adviser last week. Something which I cannot believe that it could happen.

Customer have $20,000
Prudential agent recommend
1) $18,000 to be invested into China
2) $2,000 yearly into China via a regular premium Prulink Assurance Plan.
3) Many funny riders added into the Prulink plan consisting of C.I, Death, accident, Hospital Benefit, etc.
4) Prudential Shield Plan

I recommended
1) $10,000 into a global diversified fund, $5,000 into a Asian Equity Fund, $5,000 into a money market fund
2) A regular investment plan into a 70%/30% Equity/Bonds Global portfolio at $150 monthly after conducting a risk profile analysis
3) Term plan specifically targeting Death/PTD/Critical Illnesses
4) Another separate Shield Plan + Personal Accident Plan on standalone basis

I met up with her and she told me about the Prudential proposal. I spent nearly 2 hours explaining to her the charges of Prulink which her agent did not even tell her and nearly 2 hours explaining my proposal.

She recently told me that she had taken up the Prudential proposal after consideration because
1) My investment recommendation get lower returns than her China Fund
2) The agent says that the returns from her China fund will pay off her $2,000 Prulink Premium
3) My Investment plan no insurance cover and I make her buy a separate Term policy
4) My total premium payable is higher than the Prulink because of my term policy
5) The agent told her that NTUC Income insurance cannot buy because hard to claim
6) I proposed 5 policies whereas the Prudential only recommend 3

I really bang the wall when I realised that I lost to the Prudential Agent despite the high charges charged by them and they not disclosing it. I spent one hour over the phone convincing her that she will hold on a big lemon for many years to come and that the agent is not honest with her. I did not stop her on the $18,000 investment into China but I told her that if she trust me, she better stop the $2,000 Prulink plan within the free-look period. (btw, the agent is smart enough to make her pay $2,000 on yearly basis and not monthly basis)
She feel that I'm bad-mouthing the agent and say that her returns from the $18k China fund will help pay off the $2k anyway.

In my next article, I will write why I'm so angry...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

White Christmas - Silent night, Holy night

Origin of Christmas

Christmas is a Christian holiday on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus borned to the Virgin Mary. The date of the celebration is traditional, and is not considered to be his actual date of birth.

Christmas literally means the Mass (celebration) of Christ. "Christ" is a Greek word and title, meaning "anointed" or one set apart by God for a special purpose. "Christ" is equivalent to the Hebrew word "Messiah." Based on the words of ancient prophets, the first century Jewish people expected the arrival of the Messiah promised by God as a great deliver of the people.

While we most often think about Christmas as a single day, it is actually a season of the year. In its popular sense, it extends four weeks before Christmas Day and for 12 days after. The time before Christmas is called Advent, comprising four Sundays before Christmas Day. The term "Advent" means "coming" and is a season of expectation and hope as well as the time of waiting for the coming of the Messiah that is celebrated at Christmas.

The 12 days after Christmas, 6th Jan, is called Epiphany. It is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the "shining forth" or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus. The feast is also called Twelfth Day, or Three Kings Day.

Hence the entire season of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany can be seen together because they each have distinctly different roles in the Church year.

Meaning of Christmas?

Christmas is a fulfilment of an anticipation and prophecy about the arrival of a saviour. Its about renewed hope and confidences for the people. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. The people had waited for hundred of years for this to happen.
They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Revised Minimum Bid Sizes

You would have noticed that the minimum bid size was revised if you had traded a security above $3.00 in STI today. This was announced on 19th Sep 07 and commenced on 24th Dec 07.

Security Below $1.00 - Minimum bid size = $0.005 (No Change)
Security between $1 to $2.99 - Minimum bid size = $0.01 (No Change)
Security between $3 to $9.99 - Minimum bid size = $0.01 (Reduced from upto $0.05)
Security Above $10 - Minimum bid size = $0.02 (Reduced from $0.10)

In my view,

1) This can improved liquidity. If you have DBS shares at $20, you can sell at $20.04 instead of waiting for a buyer at $20.10.
2) No good for speculators. If you have 10 lots of Cosco at $6.00 ($60,000), the next bid to sell is $6.05 ($60,500), just one bid change, you can make a profit of $500. Now, one bid change is only $0.01 ($60,100)
3) Such change is good for brokers and SGX as more trades are expected to be done. May not necessary be good for retail investors. Share price movement is smaller, hence profitability from trading may be reduced.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hari Raya Haji / Hari Raya Aidil Adha

Before posting this article, I have no idea what Haji is about. I like to share this new knowledge with you.


Hari Raya Haji (Aidil Adha) falls on the 10th day, 12th month under the Muslim calendar.

On this day, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, Muslims worldwide sacrifice sheep, cows or camels for the sake of religion and community. It is done in remembrance of the sacrifice undertaken by Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ismail, where, at the last moment, a ram appeared in his place.

Hari Raya Haji also marks the end of the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslims gather in Mecca to perform the pilgrimage, which is the fifth pillar of Islam.

Male volunteers at mosques or Muslim institutions usually perform the sacrificial slaughtering after the Hari Raya Haji congregational prayers. This sacrificial slaughtering, also known as korban, is a voluntary act.

Sheep, goats and cows are ritually slaughtered as sacrifice. The meat is then distributed to the community, neighbours, and relatives with special attention to the needy and poor, as a reminder to share one's wealth with others.

During the sacrifice, prayers are uttered and the sheep's throat is slit with razor sharp knives. This act must be done with confidence and quickly, so as to minimise hurt and mishandling to the animal.

This is in accordance with the Islamic law where halal does not literally mean that the food neither contains pork nor lard, but it has to be slaughtered according to proper Islamic rights.

Do not be confused between Hari Raya Haji with Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya Puasa, which falls on the 1st Day, 10th Month of the Muslim calendar, marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. It is a day of victory for Muslims, having successfully completed the fast.

Data extracted from

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dining Experience at Lawry's

I went Lawry's The Prime Ribs Singapore at Paragon for lunch today. Heard about the Victorian Style ambience and the famous steak served from Cart. Decided to try it out today.

It was 1:30pm, we were guided to a waiting area as the lunch crowd is still there. Not bad? Still full house for a Tuesday afternoon. After a 10 minutes wait, we were guided into the dining hall. The uniform of the waitress is interesting. Looks like a French maid's uniform. I particularly like the big ribbon behind them. I looked around the hall as I was guided to my seat. The ambience was fantastic, I thought I had travelled back in time to the late 1800s

We ordered 2 set lunches. The California Cut and the Range Trio Combo. Let me have my food review.

1) First come the bread.
* Not bad, the bread are warm and soft enough
* The butter was not well presented. 2 very small piece of butter in such a big plate.

2) Next came the Spinning Bowl Salad.
The Waitress mumbled something and then spin the salad bowl on ice as she pour the salad dressing into the bowl and stir.
* Quite interesting. Something different. But the salad was very normal. Looks like Thousand Island Dressing and Lettuces I bought from NTUC Fairprice.
* I strongly believe I can make better salad than them.

3) Next come main course - The Range Trio Combo.
* The presentation is ok

* I feel that the chicken was a bit too dry and hard to swallow.
* The lamb was fried beyond taste to know that it is lamb.
* The Tenderloin saved the dish. It was real juicy to my standard.
* I pretty like the mango orange sauce for my chicken. The Cheese Risoni goes quite well with it.

4) The California Cut
* The chef pushes a giant cart to our table and ask how we want the steak to be.
* He slides a piece of steak onto the plate and serve it with Mashed potatoes
* Quite boring presentation on the plate.

* Asked for Medium but turn out to be more Medium rare
* California cut is quite small to me but just nice for a lady.
* I tried the steak. It is tender and very juicy.

5) The Yorkshire Pudding
* Taste a bit like the centre part of the egg-tart with croissant. I pretty love it.

6) Desserts - Wild Berry Cheesecake with Vanilla Ice-cream
* You know I'm a cheesecake lover. I simply love this cheesecake. It came with 4 layers. The base crumbs, the cheese, the cake and the thick berry cream. It goes very well with the ice-cream too.

* If I'm going to open a cheesecake shop, I must make it to this standard.

Ok... Ok... Come to the Bill. Its $157 dollars for 2 set lunches with beverage. Wow!!! Heartache!!! We left at 3:30pm after our tea. Don't think will want to come back myself for a meal here. To bring a client to impress them. Still okay.

Ambience - 8
Food - 7
Service - 7
Value - 5

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The 7 "No" after a meal

1) Eat Fruits immediately after a meal
* It will bloat your stomach. Have them 1 or 2 hours before your meal.
2) Drink Tea after a meal
* Tea leaves contain acid which will make digestion difficult
3) Loosen Belt after eating
* May cause Intestinal problem
4) Bath after eating
* Increase blood flow to other parts of the stomach and affect digestive system around stomach
5) Walk after a meal
* Disrupt the nutrients to be absorbed into our body
6) Smoke after a meal
* The effect will be more distructive compared to smoking before you eat
7) Sleep immediately after a meal
* Cannot digest properly and will cause gastro-intestinal problems

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Immediate Gain from SRS Investment

From my previous posting about SRS, I mentioned that you can get an immediate profit from your SRS investment. Why do I say that?

First let me show you the tax savings if you put $11,475 into SRS:

If you are in the
a) 20% tax bracket - $2,295.00
b) 17% tax bracket - $1,950.75
c) 14% tax bracket - $1,606.50
d) 8.5% tax bracket - $975.38
e) 5.5% tax bracket - $631.13
f) 3.5% tax bracket - $401.63

Presuming a average tax payor is at 8.5% tax bracket, the tax savings will be ~$975 next year. If this person contribute to SRS and invest $11,475, he will pay $975 lesser in tax next year. Effectively, he only uses $10,500($11,475 - $975) for investment.

In another word, he had only used $10,500 in exchange for a asset of $11,475 in SRS investments.

Hence, his immediate gain from SRS investment = $975 / 10,500 = 9.3%
Your Immediate Investment gain for the following tax brackets are:
a) 20% tax bracket - 25% gain
b) 17% tax bracket - 20.5% gain
c) 14% tax bracket - 16.3% gain
d) 8.5% tax bracket - 9.3% gain
e) 5.5% tax bracket - 5.8% gain
f) 3.5% tax bracket - 3.6% gain

Guys! What are you waiting for!!! If you are currently savings for retirement, why not do it through the SRS way? You have until end of the year to open and contribute to SRS.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Yearly Mailing Exercise

This is my yearly mailing exercise. Just completed this morning.

This year, I'm mailing out 750 year end greeting cards, 110 Table Calendars and 10 dairies
My purpose is to thank all my policyholders and friends who had supported and trusted me in this business over the past 5 years.

I had spent one full week, day and night, writing the letter, printing names and addresses and the manual work of slotting the cards one by one with the stamp.

I put them into boxes, transported them to the nearest post-box. Passerbys looked at me curiously as I fill up the post box.

My naughty rabbit, seeing something new jumped onto the box and walked around the cards. Don't worry. The cards are not contaminated...

Last but not least, I like to thank all my friends and policyholders again. You are all very important to me. Without you, I'll not have survive this industry. I sincerely wish all of you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2008.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

SRS - Supplementary Retirement Scheme

What is it?
The Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) was established on 1st April 2001 to encourage individuals to save for their retirement by offering tax incentives.

Who is eligible?
* Singaporeans, Singapore PRs and foreigners 21 years and above
* Not a bankrupt or of unsound mind
* Has an earned income in the preceding year
* Passive incomes such as interest, dividend or rental are not eligible

What are the Benefits?
* Your contribution to the SRS will be granted Tax Relief against your Income for that year of assessment.
* Only 50% of your SRS savings taxable when withdrawn on retirement.
* Withdrawals may be staggered over 10 years to avoid the minimum ceiling for tax.

What are the minus points?
* Full amount taxed if withdrawn before the statutory retirement age.
* Further penalty at 5% will be imposed.

How much can you contribute in 2007?
$11,475 for Singaporeans and SPRs
$26,775 for Foreigners

Where can I start my SRS account?
* Open up an account with our 3 local banks. DBS, UOB and OCBC
* Internal Transfer your funds or write a cheque to your own name and SRS account

Is there any charges for opening or maintaining an account?
* Currently "No"

What can I do with the SRS monies?
* You can keep in the account, invest it or get an endowment plan from a Local Insurance Company.
In my next posting, I'll write about how you will get a guaranteed profit from your SRS in your investments.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Insurance Agent = A dying job???

I had heard the above comment since I joined the industry 5 years ago. Is it true that Insurance Agent is a dying job? Over the past years,

1) I had seen many of my peers
* left the industry for good.
* part-timing on MLM and housing agent.
* struggling with their sales and family life due to unstable income

2) Agents image are getting from bad to worse
* The public view us like pest, shoo-ing us away like cockroaches
* Thet get rid of us by saying "I have all the policies already"

3) The Customers are getting demanding
* They wants 100% of our time, no matter how small a policy they bought from us.
* They ask for discount and gifts when they get a policy

4) Commisssion are getting lower due to competition. Recruitment are even harder.

* Lower Commission due to competition and diminishing Image are the 2 factors that make recruitment difficult
Sounds like its true that Insurance Agent is a dying job. Isn't it? Why is Adrian Khiat still in this industry waiting for the death sentence? A graduate with 2 distinctions and prize winner for excellent academic results. Can't he get a better job and start paying tax to the government?

I agree that Insurance Agent is a dying job, but a Financial Planner is not!

Insurance Agent sell an insurance policy without a system in place
Financial Planner adopts the 6 steps Financial Planning Process unlike an agent
1) Establishing and defining the client-planner relationship
2) Gathering client data, including goals
3) Analyzing and evaluating your financial status
4) Developing and presenting financial planning recommendations and/or alternatives
5) Implementing the financial planning recommendations
6) Monitoring the financial planning recommendations

The tarnished Insurance Agent image are spoiling the whole industry, people are not willing to understand what they have and give more respect to a Financial Planner.

A true Financial Planner is like a social worker who sit long hours listening, crack their head to come out with a solution for a problem that a client have. However, the trend is that many Insurance agent is rewarded better than a Financial Planner as a sales is still the end result needed for a Financial Planner to be paid.

The compensation system should be changed. A financial planner should be paid for the time taken to monitor a client's financial plan to ensure that it is on track.

Yes. There are paid financial planners in Singapore. But it forms a very small percentage because Singaporeans generally only wants to get free advice.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Investment or Inflation???

Just checked that the interest rate for Singapore Fixed Deposit to be 0.825% and 0.500% for Savings account. How pathetic. Didn't we read that the inflation to be 5% next year? You'll lose 4.5% if you continue to keep all your money in your savings account.

So what can you do? Let me share with you the types of investments

From Lowest Risk to Highest Risk

1) Savings account with highest interest rate.
There are always promotions but my favourite is still the Standard Chartered esavers account.
Interest Rate = 1.2%-1.9% daily rated.

2) Singapore SGS Bonds.
Check out with SGS. Can buy via Fundsupermart.
Yield around = 1.2-3.1% depending on years to Maturity.

3) Money Market or Cash Fund
Check out with NTUC Income, Lion Capital or Fundsupermart. They are basically short-term bonds with duration as short as 2 years. Very low risk investment.
Expected Returns = 2-3%.

4) Bonds Unit Trust
Diversify between local and Global Bonds
High Yield Bonds from Emerging Countries gives higher returns with higher risk
If US interest Rate is to go down, Bond yield may goes up and may affect the bond prices too
Projected Returns = 3-4% p.a

5) Endowment Policies
Give the money to Insurance companies. They invest for you and you get some amount of guaranteed returns. There are insurance component also.
Projected Returns = 4-4.5% p.a locked in over 5 to 10 yrs.

6) Foreign Currency Fixed Deposit
For as low as $10,000, you can convert your money into Foreign Currencies and earn a higher interest. Some currencies such as AZ Dollars is able to fetch 6.75% p.a interest. However, currency risk applies. If AZ weakens against S$, then you may lose some. Some transaction fees applies.
Projected Returns = Negative to even 10% p.a depending on currency movement

7) Equties Unit Trust
75% Global Diversified; 25% Theme, country Specific is recommended
Projected returns - volatility expected but can expect around 6-8%p.a over a period of 10 yrs.

8) Shares
Some people had made a fortune with Shares. Recent volatility had indeed scare many away.
Projected Returns - Can lose all your money in extreme events but can gain several hundred percent if you pick the right penny stocks over long term.

9) Warrants and Deviratives
You enjoy the gearing and leveraging effect from these investment instruments for higher returns than shares. However, it is more volatile than shares.
Projected Returns - Can lose everything, but can gain upto 50% in a few days

10) Property
You got money, can try punting the property market. Some people are already laughing their way to the bank. But if you cannot finance, then you'll be in trouble.

11) Ponzi Investments
Argue with one of my clients recently as he invested into Sunshine empire which he claims guarantees 100% returns in around 14 months. Some of my friends tell me to put money into Swiss Cash. Anyway, these are likely ponzi investment scheme. Better avoid.

12) 4D, Toto and Casino
Either you win big time or lose everything. Returns within minutes!!!

The list is not exhausive. These are simply some investment plans for simple man like you and me.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Whats in the INFLATION figure?

INFLATION could hit 5 per cent in the first quarter of next year. This would be a 25-year historic high. Inflation is defined as the general price increase in the economy.

In Singapore, the measure of inflation is the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It is based on a fixed basket of goods and services consumed by majority of household in Singapore.

There are seven broad categories of Goods and Services in the CPI Basket. Following are their weightages:

1. Food - 23%
2. Housing - 21%
3. Transport and Communication - 22%
4. Clothing and footwear - 4%
5. Healthcare - 5%
6. Education - 8%
7. Miscellaneous - 17%

Inflation this time round are caused mainly by the higher food prices such as eggs and dairy, live animals and vegetables. Food forms the largest chunk of the CPI. The higher cost of transportation due to higher oil prices and higher housing rental due to strong demand also pushes the CPI upwards.

Guys. If you still think that putting your money in the bank is the safest way to keep you money? Think carefully. I shall share some investment ideas with you in my next posting.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Everything rose except my Salary!!!

Let me recap what had increased in price in 2007. This list is only a handful that I can remember.
1) Milk powder and bread prices rose nearly 20%.
2) Govt raise ERP ranging from $1.50 to $5.00 in worst hit area.
3) Medical Cost increased ranging from 10% to 30%.
4) Electricity Tariff rose 9% in 2nd quarter and 4% in 3rd Quarter
5) Cigarette price rose 40cents for a 20 stick pack, translating to 3.6%
6) Bus and MRT rose by another 1 to 3cents.
7) University fees rose by up to 10%
8) Postage increased from 23 cents to 25 cents, translating to 8%
9) Property prices rose to an extent that genuine buyers cannot buy anymore
10) Cable TV prices increased, etc etc...
11) Worst of all, I have not even add the extra 2% GST increase and GST may be increased to 10% in the near future.

Why everything is rising? AND MY SALARY NOT INCREASED??? The lower and middle income group are badly affected. This group will feel the pinch more than the higher income people who gained big time in property and enbloc sales. Somemore, prices of LCDs, high end Digital Cameras, Laptops prices, etc dropped.

Inflation is expected to hit 5% next year. It should be more if not for our strong Singapore Dollar. How can inflation be just 5%??? Anyway, I'll write about inflation in my next article.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My First Personal Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of my favourite tea-time snack. I decided to have a try making my own cheesecake last Sunday. I researched from internet on the recipe and I finally come out one modified version that seems to suit my taste. Let me share this recipe.

2 pkt Philadelphia Cheese
3 Eggs
2 tablespoon butter
6 pieces of Digestive Biscuit
1 teaspoon Vanilla
120 gm sugar
2 tablespoon flour
Blueberry jam
Fresh Blue Berries
9 inches Diameter aluminium plate

Preheat Oven to 180 Degree Celsius

The Cheesecake Base
Crush the biscuits till very fine
Mix the biscuit crumbs with the butter till the crumbs stick together
Press the crumbs to the aluminium plate till firm on the plate.
Put the aluminium plate in oven for 10 minutes.

The Blueberry Layer
Put a thick layer of blue-berry jam on top of the base
Lay the fresh blue-berries onto the jam about 1.5cm apart

The Cheesecake Body
Melt cheese in big bowl. Put in Microwave 15sec on high.
Beat the melted cheese till smooth. Then mix sugar and flour slowly
Slowly add the eggs, one at a time till well mixed. Then add vanilla.
Keep beating until very smooth.

The Final Part
Pour the mixed cheese into the aluminium plate
Level the cheese and put into oven
Bake the cheesecake for 40 minutes at 180 Degree Celsius
After baking, allow to cool and put in fridge for at least 4 hours

Cheesecake is now ready to be served.

I was too excited to eat my first cheesecake, so ate part of it then remember to take picture. It taste real good. Anybody want to try my cheesecake? I wanna make a avocado cheesecake next.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Be sure of your Investment Horizon

When we invest without an adviser, we normally do our own Risk profiling
During this profiling, we identify our
a) Ability to Invest
b) Willingness to take Risk
c) Time Horizon in the investment

Many may have the ability to invest and willing to take excessive risk, but they forget their Time Horizon. What they look out for is quick profit and overtook by greed. I had seen many Aunties and Uncles punking their luck in the stock market. They forgot that they may need the money in the shorter term.

My advice is
1) Make sure your investment is for long term. Look out for
a) Good valued stocks or
b) 75%-Large Diversified; 25%-Regional/Theme Specific UTs.
Long term means money that you can live without for more than 10 years.
2) Go Super Short term for Contras and Day Trades in the Stock Market
3) Look out for "Put" Warrants or CFD to hedge your risk
4) If you have no time for such short term tradings, unfamiliar with Risk Hedging and don't have money for long term investments, you can consider putting into Cash Accounts or Money Market in this Turbulent times.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Volatile Stock Markets

STI dropped from 3,850 in Mid Oct to 3,312 today
Hang Seng dropped from nearly 32,000 late Oct to 26,000 today
Dow Jones dropped from 14,300 to 12,800
Nasdaq from 2,860 to 2,580

My investment portfolio falls from 10% profit to a loss of 3% in less than 1 month which translate to 13% fall. The economy is getting volatile and seemingly crazy...
The market sentiment is weak. The housing slump is there, Oil prices keep going up, US dollar keep dropping, Negative Economic news still pouring from US. Are we heading for a recession soon?
Probably yes but brave investors are still looking for good bargains as the stocks seem to bottom. I am still optimistic, especially those in Asia that bourses will shake off these bad news and start rising again in the near future.
I remained invested but cautiously. Using dollar cost averaging, I invest a fixed amount every month into few Unit Trusts with different geography and themes. The extra cash, I look out for good stock which seems oversold.
Good luck in your investments, Guys.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Do you have hearing problem?

I recently attended a talk about Hearing Loss. I get to know that as much as 6% of our population are having hearing problem but did not detect early. Treatment was delayed and eventually got serious.

Below are 15 questions to help check if you have a hearing problem.

1) I have a problem hearing over the telephone
2) I have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time
3) I have trouble understanding things on TV
4) I have to strain to understand conversations
5) I have to worry about missing a telephone ring or doorbell
6) I have trouble hearing conversations in a noisy background such as a crowded room or restaurant
7) I get confused about where sounds come from
8) I misunderstand some words in a sentence and need to ask people to repeat themselves
9) I especially have trouble understanding the speech of women and children
10) I have trouble understanding the speaker in a large room such as at a meeting or place of worship
11) Many people I talk to seem to mumble (or don’t speak clearly)
12) People get annoyed because I misunderstand what they say
13) I misunderstand what others are saying and make inappropriate responses
14) I avoid social activities because I cannot hear well and fear I will reply improperly
15) Family members and friends have told me they think I may have a hearing loss

If there are many "Yes" in your answers, you may consider going for a hearing test.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Do you need a Financial Planner???

A Financial Planner is someone who uses a proper financial planning process to help you figure out how to meet your life goals. He/She will look at all your needs including Cashflow Planning, Estate and Taxes, Investments, Insurance and Retirement Planning.

Do you really need him?

You need him if:
* You know that you need to improve your current financial situation but don't know where to start
* you don't have spare time to do your own financial planning
* you want a professional opinion about the financial plan you developed for yourself.
* you need expertise you don't possess in certain areas of your finances. For example, evaluate the level of risk in your investment portfolio or advise in rebalancing your investment plan, etc
* you have an immediate need or unexpected life event such as a birth, inheritance or major illness.

You don't need him if:
* You feel that all planners advices are useless
* You don't need another opinion from anyone

Some people feel that we are useless people who just want to sell an insurance plan or make money from the commission of an investment plan. Though I strongly differs, I cannot force them to think likewise.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Regular Premium ILPs

In a Regular Premium Investment Linked Policy offered by some Insurance Companies, there are two charges that frequently confuses the buyer.

They are "Advisory Fee" and "Insurance Charges"

Take an example from Company "P"
In the middle of the 20 over pages of the Benefit Illustration. There is one paragraph that states

Premium Allocation
Year 1 => 15%
Year 2-3 => 50%
Year 4-9 => 100%
Year 10 onwards => 105%

This allocation means that 185% are allocated to the Insurance company as advisory charges in the 1st 3 years. If $2,000 are invested yearly, $3,700 are taken away.

Insurance Charges
* This is the portion that the investor pay for the insurance on a yearly renewable basis. The premium rate increased from around 40 yrs old and significantly increased from 50 yrs old.
* This charge is illustrated in its appendix showing 2 sets of dense table.
* Investor frequently did not know the amount that he or she is paying for insurance at various age. Sometimes to an extent that the insurance premium is more than the premium that he pays monthly.

So what confused the investor?
a) The advisor may rush thru explaining on the allocation rate. They will not let them know that the charges are actually quite excessive.
b) The insurance charges at varying age should be illustrated. Buyers sometimes thought that the coverage is free.
I am not against insurance people selling ILPs and earn some advisory fee but the charges should be modest and reasonable. In my opinion, 185% of 1 year premium is excessive. Hope regulators will put a cap to this advisory fees and more transparency in the Insurance Charges.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Medisave wiped out by one medical condition

The report by Sunday Times last week about how a Father's money are wiped out by his daughter's Ovanian cancer aroused some interest among the public. It had shown how a medical condition can wipe out ones Medisave and monies and how important Insurance can be.

It will arouse some interest but such things will continue to happen. Why? Let me share

1) Humans memory are short, they will remember seeing such report, but will continue to procrastinate
2) Many Singaporeans still regards Financial Planning as their last priorities and will do all other things before seeing through their own plan
3) General reputation of Financial Advisers in Singapore are equivalent to Salesman. Humans are natuarally resistent to Salesman and avoid them
4) Medical Insurance may not be specially recommended by many advisers because of its low premium and low commission.

Our Government had done great to ensure that every Singaporean will have an insurance from newborn. Medical cost will continue to escalate and insurance premium will not come down.

For anyone reading my blog, I like to post a piece of advice

"Pls go through your financial plan with your trusted adviser"
"Stop Procrastinating!"

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ali Baba found treasure with Open Sesame

* Shares in surged 165 percent in their first day of trading in Hong Kong yesterday.
* The IPO was over-subscribed 150-fold
* Investor bullishness in Chinese IPOs despite warnings of a stock market bubble is a business to business (B2B) platform and they provide a website for companies directory, product catalogs, buying trade leads for exporters, importers, manufacturers, etc

My observation:
* The investors are gambling and speculating. There are no longer investment guidelines. Everything is about emotion buying for quick profit and over-optimism about the future.
* Fund managers knows the investment psychology of the Chinese Investors well, they know the chinese investors will push the price up.
* The HK Through Train Scheme, a scheme which allows individual Chinese investors to trade HK stocks directly, looks like a certainty to the HK speculators and fund managers. They want to take profit before the Mainland Chinese investors pump their money in.
* Its okay to invest into China, but with prudence. There are factors that investors ignored in the country. Factors such as High Inflation, Social Problem due to income inequality, slowing US economy, rising oil prices, fuel shortage, etc

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Car accident!!! What to do???

1) Stay calm. Move car to the side

2) If anyone is injured, call the police straight away

3) If no injury, take the "Singapore Accident Statement" form and fill it with the other party

4) If don't have the form, note down:
* The number plates of all other vehicles involved
* The names and contact details of the other driver(s)
* Any witnesses and their contact details
* The names of insurers for the other driver(s)

5) Take photo of the damages if you have camera

6) Make a police report within 24 hours of an accident if it involves:
* Damage to a government vehicle or property
* A foreign-registered vehicle
* A hit-and-run vehicle

7) Bring your car to Idac or your authorised workshop, depending on your insurance policy requirements

8) Use the towing service if cannot be driven. Usually can be arranged with Idac or your workship
* Idac Hotline ==> 1800-887-5151

9) Submit claims at Idac or at your authorised workshop

10) If you want to settle claims on the spot with the other party, make sure you write an agreement and he sign it. Else don't admit liability and let your insurers settle for you.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Female Sexual Dysfunction

Sex drive of a woman are normally lower in their early 20s which increases with age till their early 40s. Sex drive of man are normally higher in their early 20s which decreases with age. Don't understand why man and woman are made to be this way.

Like man, woman also have their Sexual Dysfunctions. Let me share a few with you.

1) Sexual Desire Disorder
* Lack of Fantasies or thoughts and hence no libido for sex
* Fear or Probia for sex which results in no interest for it
2) Sexual Arousal Disorder
* Cannot remain excited and aroused during sex
* Result in decreased sensitivity in genitals, lower lubrication and reduced blood flow to virgina or clitoris
3) Orgasmic Disorder
* Difficult or simply cannot get orgasm
4) Sexual Pain Disorder
* Due to physical problem, pain is experienced and hence no sex

How to overcome them?
The problems are often psychological, esp for (1) and (2). A sex counseller is able to address these problems and help you.
* The lack of fantasies, thought or libido can be due to a new lifestyle like a newborn or a stressful worklife, etc.
* Couples need to remove the excuse of "No Time" and and spend more time intimately to rediscover the sexual relations that both of you used to enjoy
* Ladies should not have the pressure of being inadequate for your husband or feeling guilty of having sex
* Learning to focus on fantasies helps in the arousal process
* More effort and time in foreplays. Foreplay can start with a simple phone during the day. Don’t talk about work or your child. You can start with a simple “I miss you”, a romantic dinner, aromatherapic air-con room, etc.
* Have a change in locations, eg Living room, or even hotels, etc
* Experimenting different positions and sensation points may help with the problem of achieving orgasm

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction(ED) is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis. It can occur at any age but is more common in men older than 65. Around 1 in 10 men will experience recurring impotence problems at some point in their lives

Effects of ED?
Erections may take longer to develop, may not be as rigid or may require more direct stimulation to be achieved. Men may also notice that orgasms are less intense, the volume of ejaculate is reduced and recovery time increases between erections.

ED can affect a man self esteem and the woman sex life. ED can be a physical or emotional problem that requires treatment.

Signs and symptoms
Occasional inability to obtain a full erection
Inability to maintain an erection throughout intercourse
Complete inability to achieve an erection

When to seek medical advice
It's normal to experience erectile dysfunction on occasion. But if erectile dysfunction lasts longer than two months or is a recurring problem. Although you might view erectile dysfunction as a personal or embarrassing problem, it's important to seek treatment.

Although most men experience episodes of erectile dysfunction from time to time, you can take these steps to decrease the likelihood of occurrences:
* Limit or avoid the use of alcohol and other similar drugs.
* Stop smoking.
* Exercise regularly.
* Reduce stress.
* Get enough sleep.
* Deal with anxiety or depression.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sexual Wellbeing Survey

Durex, a condom maker, conducted a Sexual Wellbeing Survey in 26 countries on 26,000 people from Aug-Sep06 and publish the report in April 07.

Some some parts of the report with you
* 42 per cent of all Singaporean lovers find their sex lives exciting.
* Nearly half (48%) of those aged over 55 practise oral sex and more than a third act out sexual fantasies.
* Singapore men have had average eight partners, Singapore women 3 partners.
* Globally men have 13 partners while women have 7 partners on average.
* Asians spend less time in intercourse and rarely get orgasm and work is more important for Asians than sex.
* Greeks are most sexually active people while Japanese are least sexually active people. Greeks have sexual intercourse 164 times a year while Japanese have only 46 times. Global average is 106 times a year.
* Nigerians have most fruitful sex life (78%) while Japanese are least enjoying their sex life with just 10% are leading joyful sexual life.
* Indians are quick in ending their sex session (13 minutes) while Nigerians are averaging 24 minutes per session.

How to lead good sex life?
1. One should have good physical and emotional health.
2. Control chronic diseases like Diabetes and Hypertension.
3. Control stress by practicing meditation and yoga.
4. Good body chemistry with partner.
5. Consult with physician about your sexual health problems.
6. Experiment with your sex life by practicing new ideas, positions.
7. Emotional attachment with your partner is crucial.
8. Don’t forget your sex life is in your hands.
Active and enjoyable sexual life is crucial for good wellbeing.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Inappropriate Advice (2)

The 2nd Inappropriate Advice that I heard is from NTUC Income with their revosave plan.

Step 1:
Ask "What is your fixed yearly expenses?" Eg, Road-tax, Car Insurances, Life Insurances, etc
Eg: $2,500
Step 2:
Based on your yearly expenses, we have a savings plan that can pay off your yearly fixed cost, let you have a free insurance and at the same time, savings. For $2,500 cash-back, your insurance cover will be $50,000 and your yearly premium is only $3,600
Step 3:
Not bad, I pay $3,600, get back $2,500 yearly, free $50,000 insurance cover and yet able to save. I'll get it!!!

Why Inappropriate Advice?
1) If ones have intention to save $3,600 and get back $2,500 yearly, the person might as well save $1,100 a year. Why lock yourself up with a $3,600 plan and the adviser make a big commission.
2) If one withdraw his cashback yearly, the eventual yield on maturity is less than 2%. With such rate, might as well save in bank.
3) Best returns for such plan is to invest and withdrawal option should be chosen only in years of hardship or real needs to the money.
4) Not sure if the customer knows that he will get significantly lesser money than he put on maturity if he chose withdrawal option yearly.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Inappropriate Advice (1)

I learnt 2 sales tips from experienced and so called "MDRT" advisers. I'm sorry to say that these are inappropriate advices. I hope consumers will wake up their ideas!!! I'm disappointed when I learnt that such advices were given out by them.

1st one from Prudential

Step 1:
Convince them how good our China-India Fund is. Average returns 20%. Its rising, don't miss the boat. China is booming with 1 billion people.
Step 2:
Invest $50k into the fund. Presuming average returns only 5% p.a, you will make $2,500/yr. If 10%, your returns will be $5,000/yr. If 20% repeats this year, it will be $10,000.
Step 3:
Your profit is more than enough to buy into our Regular Premium Prulink Assurance plan with premium of $2,500/yr with a high coverage. If your returns is $10,000, you would already pay off 4 yrs of your premium.
Step 4:
Convince your customer that they will have a free policy(Prulink) when they invest their lumpsum of money in our funds.

Why Inappropriate advice?
1) China-India fund, being emerging markets are highly volatile. It returns 20%, it can drop 20% also. Many advisers avoid telling about risk but focus on returns only.
2) We advice people to invest, not "Speculate" or "Gamble" all our money like this. We should diversify properly after understanding investors profile and rebalance regularly.
3) Yes. The profit can be withdrawn for personal use. But why go and sign up that Prulink assurance and give that adviser another policy to make big commission.
4) The high cover in the Prulink assurance comes with a cost, esp when they reach 50 yrs and above. It is not a 2-in-1 policy. Go and buy a term policy instead if you wants cover.

I'll write about the 2nd inappropriate advice few days later.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World's Five Healthiest Food

Leading Health Magazine "Health Periodic" had listed 5 most healthiest food in the world in their recent report. 3 out of the 5 are from Asia. Not bad. Which 5 are listed in it? Let me share...

1. Kimchi (Korea)
Kimchi (or kimchee) is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections even prevent the growth of cancer.

2. Olive Oil (Spain)
Antioxidant-rich olive oil protects against heart disease by controlling LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels while raising HDL, or good, cholesterol. In fact, it’s such a health boon that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lets olive oil producers put a heart-health claim on their labels.

3. Soy (Japan)
Protein-packed soy is high in isoflavones, estrogen-like substances linked to the prevention of cancer and osteoporosis. But its biggest draw may be the dozens of studies showing soy is good for your heart

4. Yogurt (Greece)
Yogurt promotes intestinal and vaginal health, improves lactose intolerance, builds stronger bones, enhances immunity, lowers blood pressure, and may even have anticancer and weight-loss effects.

5. Lentils - India
This “superfood” gives you protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, as well as about twice as much iron as other legumes. And lentils are higher in most B vitamins and folate, which is especially important for women of childbearing age because folate reduces the risk of birth defects. Plus, U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers discovered that the pigment in Beluga black lentils acts like an antioxidant and helps protect against heart disease, cancer, and the aging process in general.

Monday, October 22, 2007

10 jokes abt man and woman

Stress Reliever # 1
Wife : You always carry my photo in your handbag to the office. Why?
Hubby : When there is a problem, no matter how impossible, I look at your picture and the problem disappears.
Wife : You see, how miraculous and powerful I am for you?
Hubby : Yes, I see your picture and say to myself, "What other problem can there be greater than this one?"

Stress Reliever # 2
Girl: When we get married, I want to share all your worries, troubles and lighten your burden.
Boy: It's very kind of you, darling, But I don't have any worries or troubles.
Girl: Well that's because we aren't married yet.

Stress Reliever # 3
Son: Mom, when I was on the bus with Dad this morning, he told me to give up my seat to a lady.
Mom: Well, you have done the right thing.
Son: But mum, I was sitting on daddy's lap.

Stress Reliever # 4
Wife to husband: "What's your excuse for coming home at this time of the night?"
Husband to wife: "Golfing with friends, my dear."
Wife to husband: "What? At 2 am?!"
Husband to wife: "Yes, We used night clubs."

Stress Reliever # 5
Interviewer to Millionaire: "To whom do you owe your success as a millionaire to?"
Millionaire: "I owe everything to my wife."
Interviewer: "Wow, she must be some woman. What were you before you married her?"
Millionaire: "A Billionaire"

Stress Reliever # 6
Girl to her boyfriend: One kiss and I'll be yours forever.
The guy replies: Thanks for the warning.

Stress Reliever # 7
A husband was asked: Do you talk to your wife after sex?He replied: Depends, if I can find a phone.

Stress Reliever # 8
Man to wife on wedding night: Are you sure I'm the first man you are
sleeping with?
Wife replied: Of course honey, I stayed awake with all the others!

Stress Reliever # 9
A wife asked her husband: What do you like most in me - my pretty face or my sexy body?
He looked at her from head to toe and replied: I like your sense of humour.

Stress Reliever # 10
Father to son after exam: "let me see your report card."
Son: "My friend just borrowed it. He wants to scare his parents."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Stock Indexes from 1st Jan 08

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Singapore Exchange (SGX) and FTSE Group have jointly developed a new Straits Times Index (STI) as the Singapore stock market's main benchmark and created a family of new FTSE ST indices that will complement the STI.

What are these Indexes. I can share.


The revamped STI will comprise 30 blue-chip companies on the SGX Mainboard ranked by market capitalisation as at 31 August 2007




The STI will be complemented by a new family of FTSE ST indices that will consist of 5 benchmark and 13 industry indices, including a new theme index to represent China stocks listed in Singapore. The new indices, by tracking the different sectors of the Singapore market, will help investors make better-informed investment decisions.

FTSE ST Index Series
1. FTSE ST Mid Cap Index

2. FTSE ST Small Cap Index
3. FTSE ST All Share Index
4. FTSE ST Fledgling Index

Sector Indices
1. FTSE ST Oil and Gas Sector Index
2. FTSE ST Basic Materials Sector Index
3. FTSE ST Industrials Sector Index
4. FTSE ST Consumer Goods Sector Index
5. FTSE ST Healthcare Sector Index
6. FTSE ST Consumer Services Sector Index
7. FTSE ST Telecommunications Sector Index
8. FTSE ST Utilities Index
9. FTSE ST Financials Sector Index
10. FTSE ST Technology Sector index
11. FTSE ST Real Estate Index
12. FTSE ST Real Estate Holding and Development
13. FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts

Theme Index
1. FTSE ST China Index

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Common Types of Structured Deposits

Structured Deposits are Banks Consultants' Favourite when it comes to investment for Aunties and Uncles. The catch for these Uncle, Aunties is the word "Guaranteed". This investment instrument either guarantee some interest, usually as low as 1-2%p.a over a period of 5-7yrs or guarantee the principle on maturity.

What is a Structured Deposit?
A structured deposit combines deposit and an investment product, where the return is dependent on the performance of some underlying financial instrument such as market indices, equities, interest rates, fixed-income instruments, foreign exchange or a combination of these.

Common Types of Structured Deposits
1) Equity Linked Deposit
* Equity-linked deposits are linked to stocks, or a basket of stocks, as determined by the issuer or to an index such as S&P 500

2) Bond Linked Deposit
* Bond-linked deposits are linked to bonds (for example, Singapore Government Securities).

3) Interest Rate Linked Deposit
* Returns for such deposits are usually linked to a formula that makes reference to a specific floating interest rate
* The payouts on such deposits may also rise or "step up" at pre-determined points in time if the deposit is not redeemed by the issuer

4) Credit Linked Deposit
* Returns on this type of deposit is not linked to the performance of a financial instrument, but rather the occurrence of what is known as a "credit event" (for example, if a specified company becomes insolvent or defaults on its loans)

* Part of info extracted from MoneySense Website:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hari Raya Puasa

Our Muslim friends celebrated Hari Raya Puasa yesterday. Just like to share with you the meaning behind this festival.
Often mistaken as the New Year for the Muslim, it is actually the 10th month of the Muslim Calendar known as Shawal. Hari Raya Puasa is an occasion for celebration following a month of fasting(Ramadhan).

Prayers followed by a thanks-giving feasts are held in mosques on the morning of the occasion. It is a time of forgiveness within the Muslim community and a time for strengthening of bonds amongst relatives and friends. New clothes, decorated houses and exchange of invitations between friends and relatives commemorate Hari Raya Puasa. Children salam (greet) their parents on the morning of Hari Raya Puasa and ask for forgiveness and blessings.

The celebration of the festival extends to a month where importance is placed on the first three days. During the three days Muslim homes have an "open house" policy where friends and relatives visit. It is also customary during this period that graves of departed souls are visited and they are remembered in prayers.

The Malays would greet each other with Selamat Hari Raya, which means "happy day of joy" and the Indian Muslims would say Eid Mubarak, meaning "blessings of the holy day".
The Muslims follow the lunar calendar as opposed to the solar calendar and therefore the dates on which Hari Raya Puasa falls varies each year.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Visit to Changi Airport Terminal 3

Terminal 3 will be opened for Airlines in Jan-08.

I am one of the lucky ones who are able to go through a guided tour by the Airport Staffs, 2 months before opening.

A nice experience, having to walk through the Terminal all the way to the Aircraft belts. Just like to share some pictures with you.

The overall feel as you enters the Departure Gallery. Look at the open concept roof that gives in natural lightings.

This is the Sky-train waiting area. There is another sky train in the transit area that goes to T1 and T2.

This is the immigration area in the Arrival Hall. Spacious and green with many plants around.

Checking in your luggages here

The gents where I can see the planes landing even when I'm doing my business

End of the day, I got my free T-shirt, Towel, lunch and a detailed guided Tour.
Its a great morning.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coffeeshop Talk - $$ fm e Citizens

We had a family gathering yesterday and part of our Conversation below:
Mum: IRAS recently crack down very hard on hawkers who misreport earnings. Some of them are hauled to court.

Adrian: Ya. Poor them. Some of them indeed under-report their earnings but many of them are simply ignorant on how to report. Some are family businsses and they don't have any accounting system.

Sis: These people sure kana fined one. You think IRAS will care about their problem how they run the biz?

Dad: Lately, I noticed that LTA are tightening up traffic and parking fines. I can see traffic polices at overhead bridges and wardens at every corner.

Mum: I also noticed that there are officers catching people smoking at Coffeeshops and Hawker Centres. Heard that each of them will be fined $200.

Sis: I think the govt need money already. They are trying to get more money from small Citizens like you and me.


I feel what my sis says knock some senses into me. When the Govt reduces tax for big companies and the Ultra Rich, they will dig into the smaller citizens for more fines, penalties to breakeven. And when they give money, they only give to the lowest income people.

We, in the middle income range are the people who suffers. Only when it comes to election, they will give us something to buy our votes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Husband Store

A store that sells new husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband.
Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates: You may visit this store ONLY ONCE!

There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs.
She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.
"That's nice", she thinks, "but I want more."So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.
"Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.
"Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.
The second floor has wives that love sex and have money.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Future of Financial Advisers in Singapore

Following is an extraction from Former NTUC Income CEO, Mr Tan Kin Lian's blog and my comment in his posting. Its my view of the Financial Advisory Industry in the next 5 to 8 yrs

++ Qte ++

There is a useful role for financial advisers in giving impartial advice to customers. They should be paid a fee for the time spent. Many people told me that they are willing to pay a fee of $200 for financial advice.

The fee of $500 or more that is currently charged by some advisers is too high for most customers.It is possible for the adviser to reduce the fee to $200, if they are not required to spend too much time with the client.

The client can be asked to read a FAQ (frequently asked question) on financial matters before they see the adviser. It will be possible for the adviser to do a good job within 2 hours.

++ Unqte ++

My Comment...

* The above idea is a novel. Most people are unlikely to pay for financial services under current standards.
* Over short term, things will remain as it is. Commissioned agents and Independent Financial Advisors will be here to stay.
* Over mid term, commission structure will be reduced due to competitive forces. Agents will be reduced significantly and a transition in the industry sets in.
* Over long term, 2 types of financial adviser co-exist.
1) Fixed salaried staffs from banks and insurance companies that gives insurance and investment advices
2) Pure Financial Advisory firms with proper investment analysis tools and a very systematic approach in financial planning.

I personally feel that our cohort of Independent Financial Advisors are not really independent and unbias with their views.