Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Should you Invest in Lakeside & Jurong Lake District?

I'm sure many of us, including me have watched the news and have already been aware of the Government's plans to begin their Master Plan to develop Jurong Lake District area, especially during the National Day Rally 2014.

The plans include a revamp of the Science Centre and will be situated at its new premises at Jurong
Lake Gardens.

The Jurong Lake District consists of Jurong Gateway and Lakeside and URA has plans of developing it into a business and leisure destination.

Attractive business address

The 70 ha Jurong Gateway around Jurong MRT station will be the biggest commercial hub with a unique lakeside setting outside the city, providing 500,000 sqm of office space. It will have a good mix of office, retail, hotel, entertainment, food & beverage (F&B) and other complementary uses. To add vitality and enable people to live and work in the area, 1,000 or more homes will be introduced around Jurong East MRT station.

With its close proximity to the International Business Park, industrial estates and research and educational institutions, Jurong Gateway offers a highly attractive location outside the Central Business District for company headquarters, business services as well as companies in the science and technology sectors.

Seamless connections

For a seamless commuter experience, all buildings and public transport facilities in Jurong Gateway will be accessible via a network of walkways at ground level and at the second storey where the MRT concourse is located. These will enable one to walk from place to place in comfort regardless of the weather.

Jurong Gateway will also be connected to Lakeside by a continuous, elevated landscaped deck. This begins at the concourse of Jurong East MRT station and runs all the way to the proposed lakeside village at Jurong Lake.

New thrills by the lake
Spread over 220 ha of land and 70 ha of water, Lakeside is envisaged to be developed into a major leisure destination for Singaporeans and tourists. Families can look forward to a new waterfront park and promenade, more water activities and a loop of attractions with the scenic lakeside setting.

The first anchor attraction is the new world class Science Centre which will be moved next to Chinese Garden MRT station. There are also plans to accommodate four to five new edutainment attractions targeted at families with young children.

A new waterway will be introduced to bring the lake closer to Jurong Gateway and create a new Lakeside Village which offers an alternative shopping and dining experience, with F&B, retail and entertainment uses and boutique hotels by the lake.

Furthermore, The Singapore- Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail may come to Jurong, as Mr Lee has already offered Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak to site the Singapore terminus in Jurong.

Seeing as so many developments are taking place as we speak, and more developments are on the horizon, would it be an ideal investment choice to purchase a few condominium units?

I personally believe the value of the land will increase with time. Lakeside, was relatively unknown to me before this, being situated near to end of the West area in Singapore with large numbers of Singaporeans still unaware of it's existence.

I took a extremely long train ride to Lakeside to take a closer look at what it has to offer.

Picture Courtesy of Lakefront Residences

The nearby schools include: Yuan Ching Secondary, Fuhua Secondary School, Canadian International School, Shuqun Primary, Hua Yi, Hong Kah & Jurongville Secondary.

Polytechnics include Singapore Polytechnic(SP) at Dover MRT , Republic Polytechnic (RP) and Ngee Ann Poly (NP) which are both easily accessible by public transport compared to Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and Temasek Polytechnic (TP).

There isn't an immediate shopping centre or supermarket near Lakeside area which must be quite a drag for the residents in that area.

The closest supermarket would be at Jurong Point Shopping Centre, one MRT station away which was located at Boon Lay MRT.

Location wise, it seems to be an area with one long row of condominiums and a row of HDBs on the opposite.

Various condominiums include Parc Vista, Lakefront Residences, Caspian Condominium and Lakeholmz.

No immediate banks nearby, but branches can be found at Jurong Point and JEM which was 1 and 2 MRT stations away respectively.

Nearest Public Gym & Swimming Pool would be at Jurong East Swimming Complex which was located near Chinese Gardens.

In my opinion, Lakeside is a relatively nice area to stay in albeit the distance. However it can be further enhanced by the upcoming developments which include a new Lakeside Village.

If I have the money, I would consider investing in at least one apartment in this area. The condominiums seem mostly occupied.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Monday, 29 September 2014

Every Singaporean Son- Your Pre-Enlistment Medical Screening at CMPB

Hello everyone! Been quite a while since my last post!

Today I would be talking about what every Singaporean male has to undergo, the


Seems, many people are unsure of what to expect! I tried to browse various forums prior to my medical screening, information was vague and confusing at best!

Therefore, hopefully many young males out there will benefit from my experience!

Firstly, before you can proceed for the medical screening, you must first register online at the NS Portal! Have your Singpass ready, if you don't have your Singpass, sign up for it ASAP.

Here are some links to speed up the process :)

NS PORTAL - Registering for NS

Apply for Singpass

Pre-enlistment documentation and booking of medical appointment dates
If you are not studying a full-time course or about to complete your course or not eligible for deferment, you will have to complete the pre-enlistment documentation online, as well as book an appointment for pre-enlistment medical screening and aptitude assessment test.

Pre-enlistment documentation require you to update the following 9 panels:

1. Personal Particulars
2. Family Particulars
3. Education Details
4. Records of Co-Curricular Activities (CCA)
5. Award & Proficiencies
6. Bank Account Details
7. Medical Questionnaire
8. eFitting (Measurement of your size for uniform)
9. Book Medical Exam Date

Source: NS Official Website

Once your Medical Exam date is confirmed, proceed to Central Manpower Board (CMPB)

Central Manpower Base (CMPB)
3 Depot Road
Singapore 109680

You can take the train to Redhill (EW18) and take bus 145.

Alternatively, you can also take the train to Queenstown (EW19) and take bus 195.

What I did however, was take the MRT to Queenstown and took a taxi from there, as I was already running late. My appointment time was at 8.30am.

Friendly advice? Go with a friend. The medical screening can take anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours. It'll be extremely awkward to go alone.

However, I would strongly recommend you go alone rather than bring your parents with you. No, just no. You're 18/20/21. You can come by yourself. It's time to be independent.

Avoid wearing contact lenses if you're bespectacled! Wear loose and comfortable clothing as you will need to remove them at least three times. Bring along any medical letter from specialist if you have existing medical conditions, (Ligament injury, Ezcema etc) and your Health Booklet.

Let's move on shall we! At the entrance, you will be required to exchange your EZ-Link Card for a Visitor Pass.

You will then proceed to the CMPB Medical Centre, where you will receive a queue number and a card for your Photo Taking. Have your Identity Card (IC) on hand for verification at all times.

Join the queue, have your completed Medical Questionnaire on hand as well. Submit it to the officer on duty. Receive your medical screening list and proceed inside to the Medical Screening Area.

Your Medical Screening is split into 6 different stations.

1. Clinical Laboratory Station

At the Clinical Laboratory Station blood samples are drawn for G6PD, haemoglobin and blood group typing tests. Simple urine tests to detect the presence of blood, protein and glucose (sugar) will also be carried out for you at the Station.

Basically, you will pee into a cup and show the coloured stick. You will also undergo a blood test. This is the scariest part for many people I assume, because of getting a needle jabbed into your vein. 

Don't worry, it's over in a flash. If you're scared, don't look at the needle.

2. Dental Station

At the Dental Station, the Dental Officer will carry out an oral examination and Dental Charting. A Dental X-ray or Orthopantomography (OPG) will also be conducted if necessary.

3. X- ray Station

A Chest X-ray (CXR) screening will also be conducted for you at the X-ray Station for the radiological assessment of your heart and lungs. In my opinion, THIS is the most awkward stage. You're half naked, in a room with other half naked guys and everyone's quiet and not really knowing what to expect. It's over in less than 2 minutes, so don't worry.

4. Eye Station

At the Eye Station routine eye tests are carried out to detect eye abnormalities and test your visual and refractive error. Straightforward, won't take very long.

5. ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) Station

At ENT Station an audio test or audiogram will be conducted to detect hearing abnormalities. They put you inside a room, where they play different audio music at different frequencies and you raise your hand when you hear it. Straightforward too.

6. (Clinical Examination Station)

Station 6 is the Clinical Examination Station, you will undergo height, weight and blood pressure measurements. An electrocardiogram (ECG) will also be done for you in the ECG Room. 

Slight discomfort may happen because the machine will be trying to squeeze your fats to take the ECG. Nothing painful or anything, so don't worry.

After completion of all the clinical investigations and measurements, you will then be examined and evaluated by a Medical officer.

Station 6 Counter (Post Clinical Screening)

Once you have completed the above series of medical screening, you will be medically classified with a PES grading.

Station 6 Counter will also issue instructions for the pre-enlistee if the pre-enlistee is to return to MCC for any further medical investigations. That's it! You're almost done!

- PES A - Fit for all combat vocations (Full BMT)
- PES B1 - Fit for most combat vocations (Full BMT)
- PES B2 - Fit for some combat vocations. Required to take IPPT but can be excused up to 2 static stations in IPPT.
- PES BP - Fit for Obese BMT
- PES C - Fit for some support vocations (Modified BMT)
- PES D - Temporarily unfit for grading and pending further review
- PES E - Fit for administrative duties only
- PES F - Medically unfit for any form of service

It is very important that you highlight your past and current medical problems to our Medical Officers and support your claims by bringing along your past medical records, if any. This will facilitate our assessment of your medical fitness to better assign your PES. The information submitted will be kept confidential.
You will then proceed to do a detailed Vocational Assessment to assess your medical abilities. It can take up to two hours. Most people simply skim through and give rubbish answers. 

Questions include Algebra, Number Sequence and mostly 'O' Level Standard Questions...

Which I must admit, I believe I failed badly. It's been 3 years since I did any of that..

After that, proceed for your photo taking, once done you're free to leave!

That's it! Your screening is over! Hope I helped!

Any questions? I'll answer to the best of my abilities!

Next phase of life is coming, stay safe everyone!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Friday, 26 September 2014

Next Step in Life

YAY! Passed my FTT! Not bad for someone who studied one day before the test.... OOPS.

Was too lazy to print the result slip, so borrowed this image :/

Anyway, things on my "To-Do" list....

1. Begin reading "The Intelligent Investor"
2. Go for my Pre-Enlistment Check up.
3. Begin preparations to continue my practical driving license and hopefully get my license ASAP.
4. Continue my monthly investments and read more books.

What are your "To-Do" List? :)

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The World's First Financial Social Media Platform - Continued

Readers might remember, previously I mentioned receiving an email regarding meetinvest.

The World's First Financial Platform?


What if everyone could have free access to proven stock selection tools and investment strategies of Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, John Templeton and Geraldine Weiss, while being in a social environment where financial experts and the common people could interact? Wouldn’t that be exciting?
I am writing to you with the hope that you’ll agree to be one of an exclusive group of people who are amongst the first across the globe (65 to be exact), that would evaluate and provide feedback to the world’s first financial social media platform called meetinvest.
What is meetinvest?
meetinvest is a Swiss-made financial social media platform that provides stock selection and back-testing tools that investors pay big money for, at no cost, for everyone.
On this platform, users gain free access to knowledge on 18 proven stock selection strategies, along with back testing of past hypothetical performance that non-experts will also be able to understand.
With 68,000 worth of stocks data provided by Bloomberg Professional Terminals, our team of financial analysts painstakingly programmed the algorithms that form the core engine for the stock selection tool, for each individual strategy, from the bottom up.
All algorithms programmed, are based on the original published works of various featured investment professionals and experts such as William O’Neil, Josef Lakonishok, James O’Shaughnessy, and David Dreman amongst others.
Launching worldwide on the 6th of October, Our aim is to help various publics gain better control of their financial future by being able to invest in the same way as trained experts; while at the same time network, share and exchange their knowledge and experiences with like-minded individuals – regardless of their profession, education or social background.
meetinvest is founded by Michel Jacquemai and Maria Labrador, who between them, share a combined 36 years of experience within the financial and communication industries. They are supported by a team of 18 individuals from different parts of the world, in which I am the only Singaporean!
Will you take up this exclusive invite to evaluate meetinvest?
If your answer is yes, I would like to give you a call in a day or two, to provide further information on the platform access keys specially prepared for you.
After which, when you have finished experiencing and evaluating the platform, I will give you a follow up call to hear more about your thoughts on meetinvest.com and answer further questions that you might have.
Thank You!
Dear Teenage Investor, it is by no chance that I have personally and specifically selected you to be part of a exclusive few who will be amongst the first in the world to experience our platform. 

As demonstrated in your blog posts, your passion and enthusiasm in financial planning and security regardless of age, is not only well regarded within individual investors in Singapore, but also by all of us at meet invest.

I received a phone call today from an overseas number, and it was none other than Mr Soong himself,  he informed me that in the next few days / week he would provide me with more details in an email to access the platform and give my feedback. Seems that he is also interested in SG Young Investment, a fellow and senior investment blogger as he asked if I knew him / was the same person haha!

Check out SG Young Investment here, http://sgyounginvestment.blogspot.sg

Will update more when I have a chance to review this platform!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Missing Teenager

This is a post unrelated with finance.

I don't view my blog as a blog with "many readerships" but hopefully this post can go out to helping this teenager be found.

The details are not clear, however it seems that the male in the photo is named Philip. This teen is apparently suicidal and left a message saying he's going to end his life. So if anyone is reading this, knows where he is please do a favour and help contact the above person on social media app, Twitter.

Twitter: @lilprincessjay @kaleidoscovin @blueskynaufal

As far as I know, the police have already been contacted. No teenager should ever have to go through a suicidal phase. God bless.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Intelligent Investor

The next book I'll be reading is......this!

It's a widely acclaimed book, even earning the praise of Warren Buffet! I can predict it's going to take me a few days to finish reading and absorbing!

As usual, anyone interested in obtaining a copy of this e-book simply email me :)

But before that sadly....the only book I'll be reading till Friday is...

This.... Final Theory of Driving........

My test will be this Friday...good luck to me!

See you all then :)

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Rich Dad, Poor Dad ; Book Review

A humble review of this book by me! :)

Throughout my time that I read this book, I was also testing his theories in my head wondering if I could apply them to real life situations.

Some of his theories remain unclear to me, others however gave me a better understanding of his perspective.

I would advise all potential readers to have a certain level of knowledge about investments and how they work so as to better understand the second half of this book.

This book gave me a clear view of 2 very different men and what they were doing with their lives. On one hand, you have the highly educated man who surprisingly turned out to be the "Poor Dad" and the less educated but adamant on taking a different path from the rest a.k.a the "Rich Dad".

What do I find interesting about this book?
Robert Kiyosaki talks about the education system which is largely focused on creating "Employees" rather than "Employers".

The long-surviving mantra of Go to school, get good grades, get a good job is something that has been passed on from generations to generations as everyone listens and complies with as little as 1% of the people out there actually asking"Why?"

In addition, he also shoots down many beliefs by the mass community out there including
"Your House is NOT your Asset"

This book got me to think outside the box, but I wouldn't recommend taking the book word for word. However, that being said I felt that there were several notable quotes in his book worth sharing. Call them life lessons if you will.

"Life is the best teacher of all. Most of the time, life does not talk to you. It just sort of pushes you around. Each push is life saying, 'Wake up, There's something I want you to learn.' If you learn life's lessons you will do well. If not life will just continue to push you around.  Some just let life push them around. Others get angry and push back. But they push back against their boss, their job, husband.wife. They don't know that it's life that's pushing.

"Most spend the best years of their lives working for money, not really understanding what it is they are working for."

"Each human being had a weak and needy part of their soul that can be bought, but he also knew that each human being had a part of their soul that was strong and filled with a resolve that could never be bought. It was only a question of which one was stronger."

"Most people have a price. And they have a price because of human emotions named fear and greed.

"A job is really a "short term solution to a long term problem"

I was quite inspired as I read this book, but it was only at the last few pages that got me wondering... How can I apply this to my current situation? His advice of keeping your day job, work hard and build your assets.

Essentially, I believe he's talking about building a portfolio that gives a steady stream of dividends which would one day match your expenses therefore giving"Financial Freedom". Something like that.

But readers should understand this takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. I don't know if it's just me but reading it initially gave me the sense of inspiration to go out there and start doing something, anything.

The early part of the book was very captivating, but as it proceeded it became more focused with investment issues that I feel were not suitable for people my age.

Lastly, what this book lacks is perhaps it's suggestions for actions. It gives the reader a instinct to act, but no knowledge / plan of action.

Some things I took away from this book, and you can too includes:

  • Try to have "assets" that pours money into your pockets instead of taking away.
  • Don't be a wage slave.
  • Financial knowledge is very important and cannot be emphasised enough. 
  • Don't let fear and greed be an opportunity cost.
  • Keep a healthy balance between your Assets and Liabilities.
  • Keeping expenses low
  • Invest in learning about investing (Agreed, haha)

One thing about the book is that it did not state the risk involved when accumulating your "assets" therefore do invest with caution.

That's it! Of course there are much more that I feel / learnt from this book that cannot be expressed by a blogpost itself, you would have to read to understand!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Posts you might be interested in:
1. Truth of World Ventures & Passive Income
2. 80% of Young Singaporeans have little to no savings at all
3. Dividends from Investing

Rich Dad ; Poor Dad

I've began to amass more electronic books to improve my knowledge on Financial knowledge.

I aim to read the more "popular books" before slowly moving onto other books and see what I can learn from them.

Are you interested in obtaining a copy? Email me to find out!

Knowledge is Power, haha!

1/4 of my way through and I'm amazed at how captivating this book is. Investing in books is definitely worth it for me!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Journey of a Budding Investor; When Actions Speak Louder Than Words

As some readers may recall, I previously received an email from "Reader A" who wanted to begin investing. When I asked how did he find me, he replied and I quote word by word:

"Currently, i am 18. Just last Saturday, i went to a wedding of my relative. So i started thinking about my future and if i can actually cover my wedding needs financially. Just nice i came across your post, "How much do you need to save for a decent wedding in Singapore?" shared by my friend on Facebook, That is what led me to your blog and it is enriching."

I found it very interesting that there are many things in life that leads to you "Thinking about your future".

Things like marriage, or you see your cousin/friend/sibling give birth, start a family. Things like that.

I'm guessing that thoughts about our future happens to everyone, some time or the other.

I also wondered though, how many actually acted after having that thought?

Everyone has their individual way of coping with their thoughts. Some shrug it off, thinking that they'll cross their bridges when they come to them. Others, however think deeper and begin getting worried. However, being worried is not necessarily a bad thing. It just might be what you need to spur  you on to begin your journey to financial freedom.

Many financial blogs I have read all have a common objective. To get rich; to obtain financial freedom/security and so on. 

What about myself? Well, I wouldn't dare to say I'm halfway there. In fact, I've only just begun less than one month ago. And I always wished I had started earlier. But at least, I started.

I don't claim to be the most knowledgeable, far from it in fact. It's comments by senior investors on my blog that gives me the motivation to continue, because I view them as my role models. It's their posts that help me learn more, every single day.

Seeing them all achieve so much makes me wonder why did they begin in the first place and what motivated them to begin?

For me, it's because of my mother. Seeing her work so hard to provide for us made my heart ache. I wanted to achieve financial freedom to provide for her in the later years as well as have enough money to start a family and afford a comfortable house. Most importantly, I also wanted my money to work harder for me, to beat inflation.

What worries me is also the amount of foreigners coming into our country and competing with locals for jobs. I see posts on Facebook every day that some local has been kicked aside replaced by a foreigner and so on. Job security is increasingly unstable.

But I digress. The main post of this article was to congratulate this young reader who actually took the first step and was already mentally mature compared to his peers of his age who might be more concerned about schoolwork, girls and popularity/clubbing/smoking and things like that which I was when I was his age. Guilty as charged.

It was only nearing the end of my school years and the stage of enlisting next year which woke me up. Two years of my life would be gone and I wanted to make sure that two years was worth my time. I intend to use part of the NS allowance to continue my small monthly investments.

I hope to look back some day and not regret the path I have chosen.

Would my future self thank me? I can only hope so.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Posts you might be interested in:

Friday, 19 September 2014

The World's First Financial Social Media Platform?

Recently, I've received an email from a Mr Hendry Soong who wanted me to try this platform called MeetInvest.

Has any fellow investors received this email? I'm thinking of giving it a try, and see what it's like. However, curiosity killed the cat HAHAHA. Oops.

Nevertheless, this has piqued my interest, in a visual concept of a platform where fellow investors can come together to share their knowledge. That would be nice.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Post for All Investors; Both Seniors and Juniors

Recently, it came to my attention when a fellow investment blogger commented on one of my recent  posts to inform that a senior blogger blogged about me. Yes I was aware, I just chose not to say much. However, I am honoured that my posts reach out to many investors out there.

You can find it here: http://teenageinvesting.blogspot.sg/2014/09/how-much-do-you-need-to-save-for-decent.html

Apparently, a senior blogger has blogged regarding my post on planning for the future.
Link: http://teenageinvesting.blogspot.sg/2014/09/is-having-no-money-really-reason-not-to.html

This is his post :)

Interestingly enough, I commented on this exact post but he never published it though he published a comment by someone else which was posted at a later timing. :)

Now, I don't mean to start a war. In fact, I have avoided all forms of direct confrontation as I believe my blog posts is about me and the journey I'm going through.

Thank you for those who have supported me whether directly or indirectly.

I do know that this particular blogger is a senior in terms of investments and experience. However I found some parts of his blog post very weird. In that sense, I would like to have a debate.

Let's begin.

Senior Blogger: In his article on 12 September, the blogger felt indignant that one of his readers commented that his advice was a piece of joke and that he would rather not waste time planning for his future. The blogger went on to sign off his article and encouraged his readers to plan for his future. After reading his blog post, I must categorically state that his article was a piece of junk and provide no value to young Singaporeans at all. Now look, everyone can say "plan for your future", even my mother can say that. But it sound damn hollow, so much so that even my parents didn't ever said that to me because they knew it would only make them looked real stupid in front of their children. So did I ever plan for my future? Hell no! But in fact, I have a good career, a stay-at-home wife, a lovely daughter and a nice little home. Did I achieve all these through meticulous planning years ago? Of course not! But did all these happen by chance? Of course not!

Firstly, the fact that your parents never ever told you to plan for your future is a tad unbelievable. If true, that's sad in more ways than one. That being said, I'm happy for you that you have a good career, a happy family and a home all without "planning".

Senior Blogger: If there are two things that I want to impart to my young daughter, they would be: character resilience and the ability to learn transferable skills. In today's context, there are just too many obstacles that life would throw at you and having a plan would not help you to navigate through these challenges. I have seen people crumbled after failing to meet their targets and lost their self confidence to carry on with their lives. So I would not advise my daughter to plan for her future. What is the point of telling her that when I don't even practice it?

Life is meant to be explored and we should have fun when we are young. But of course, there will be low points in our lives and it is important that we pick ourselves up and don't give up easily. It is having the will to succeed that differentiate the winners from the losers. In fact, if my daughter tell me that she met a guy who is able to plan everything in his life, I would tell her to get away from him immediately. Because this fellow would be a real boring person. Plan your life? You must be kidding.

With regards to the above statement, I agree entirely. Character Resilience and Learning New Skills is very valuable in life. However, not advising your daughter to plan for her future is your choice and entirely yours. I have no right to comment :) However, I'm not kidding about planning for my own life.

Not one of my posts, did I ever mention planning everything in my life.You seem to have a serious misunderstanding. I merely stated, planning for the future.

Let's say your daughter did meet a guy that has plans for his future, you would assume that he was boring without getting to know him. Planning for your future doesn't means that someone is boring. Don't judge. Don't stereotype. What if your daughter loves that guy, would you still tell her to get away? If so, you must be a really harsh father. Take my advice, being too controlling isn't necessarily a good thing if you are.

Senior Blogger: The blogger went on to claim that he would not want a grand affair wedding and don't care a hoot about his relatives' opinions. Well, I don't know which planet he come from but this is definitely not the Singapore way of doing things. Does he know what is he talking about? Obviously, he has no experience and probably don't even have a girlfriend right now. In Singapore, parents and parents-in-law have the final say on the customary wedding ceremony. Yeah, you wanted a simple wedding affair because you have planned or budgeted for the whole process. But it is only your wishful thinking. What if your parents-in-law wanted a grand wedding and expensive dowry from you? Are you going to cancel the wedding just because your budget was over-blown? Money is important but communication is even more important. You can save like hell right now but you never know the demands of your future parents-in-law. So instead of managing the wedding cost from a one-sided perspective, a better approach would be to have honest heart-to-heart talks with your partner on the kind of wedding you are able to afford. You should also moderate and manage your future parents-in-law expectations through your spouse if you think you have no money for the kind of wedding they expected.

Hi! I am from Earth, if you did not know.... The whole point of my post was to state that we did not always have to follow the "Singapore way of doing things". It's 2014. During your time, people may have more emphasis on culture, but people are slowly changing and more accepting.

To contradict, yes I do have a girlfriend. And not all parents want to have the final say in a wedding ceremony. Most parents respect their children's decision and do not give them the burden of a "Visualized Wedding". Like I said, it's 2014, and no it's not my wishful thinking.

To be honest with you, I feel that your thinking is very flawed. As children, we want our family to have a say in the marriage plans. However, having a say and deciding the whole process is 2 very different concepts which I hope that you'll understand.

Many parents give their child the freedom because of something called trust. If you would want to have the final say in your daughter's marriage then I question who's really getting married. You or your daughter ?

Senior blogger: I am glad that the blogger, who is a student, has not blog on career advice (yet) because I think it would sound fake as well. You really need life experiences and wisdom to be able to write stuff that can touch people. Probably the blogger cannot figure out what on earth is "transferable skill" all about and how it can shape his life. Singapore's education system don't teach this and I reckon most students don't learn it in school as well. Getting a bachelor degree is important in Singapore but it doesn't define success, it merely open a few doors for you to make the first steps. To get ahead in life, you must acquire transferable skills, no matter which industry you work in. Having a plan will not help you succeed in life. In fact, it will only impede your progress, because if you did not meet your targets, you would likely roll down the slippery slope and could even fall over the cliff.

My blog posts are not intended to "touch people". I'm blogging about my thoughts, and my experiences as I go through them. One step at a time. I don't intend to blog about career advices, simply because I'm not at that stage yet.

You seem to think of me as some stupid kid and that seriously angers me. However, I'm glad my mother has taught me well, never to take what others say seriously. Especially if their intentions were to insult you.

Your concept of "transferable skill" is indeed a gem of advice. And contrary to your thinking, I do understand the importance of having that in your career path. I would have appreciated a more "fatherly comment" coming from a senior investment blogger.

For your information, I did not grow up in a complete home. Things my father should have taught me, he didn't. Mainly because he was never in my life as I was growing up. I figured out everything for myself and I don't appreciate being regarded as someone who has no idea of what he's saying.

You may be more experienced and wiser, but your mentality and your actions are no different from "Cyber Bullying." Some day, I hope that you'll understand that your words do have an impact. Just that it's a negative one.

I end my post with a message to all the investors out there.

Each and everyone of you I've met so far, has taught me a lot in terms of your daily posts. And I'm thankful for that. My posts are meant to keep a log of my experiences (I said that a lot of times didn't I hahaha) that's all. And if I can help anyone begin their journey, I'm more than happy to.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

What Does Being Rich Truly Means?

Today, I was shopping for new clothes with my friends for the upcoming school semester after a long holiday.

Yes, I'm a normal human being too! Well, as normal as can be anyway..

So, I was at H&M when I overheard this chinese lady telling her son who was browsing the various apparels on display.

Roughly translated in chinese, she was saying:
*It's okay son, don't need look at the price we are rich just buy whatever you like.*

Now, I fully understand that the mother may mean well, by being a doting mom that gives her son whatever he wants in life.

However, I feel that she's teaching a wrong lesson to her son. I feel that being rich, doesn't necessarily means buying anything that you/he/she wants.

That's a very flawed mentality to live by. No matter how rich you are, if you spend everyday sooner or later your expenditures are going to overtake your income and you'll end up in debt again.

Her son may grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth, but how will he behave as an adult? Spending on anything that his friends/girlfriend/wife wants? It isn't necessarily a bad thing but there must be a certain level of self control.

Will you be a pampered child?

What do you think? Do you agree with the mother? How would you behave? And how will that mentality shape your life?

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The First Step is Always The Hardest

Today, I received an email from a reader of my blog. His questions were very good, and so I'd thought I share it, but however keeping his identity secret of course!

Let's refer to him as Reader A. Now, he shared with me that his monthly allowance was $400 which I believe is the average allowance of most Singaporean teens (correct me if I'm wrong)

He is also clear on his needs/wants/savings and allocates $200 for his needs, $120 for his wants and $80 for his emergency fund.

However, he had a question on emergency funds. Therefore, to clarify, emergency funds should never be used for investing. However, there are a few extreme cases that you can do so. Maybe the share price fell, or you see a good stock but do not yet have enough cash. Therefore you use your emergency fund with the mindset that you'll pay it back. (This scenario has happened before to a fellow blogger)

I'm quite happy that Reader A has taken the first step on his journey. The information I provided him however, is strictly personal and therefore I will not share it on the blog!

However, I realized that there were several things that he can tweak in his allocations to increase his savings. For example $120/month for wants might be too much. 

Here, I'm assuming that the average needs already includes lunch/dinner/transportation. Therefore wants could include movies, clothes, bags etc etc. My advice would be to spend less on wants, and save it instead! Maybe $120 on savings and $80 for wants. But that's just me :)

The first step is always the hardest. But it's the only way to reach the second. I'm glad that my blog has managed to help at least one person. And I wish him all the best in his journey.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Saturday, 13 September 2014

How much do you need to save for a decent wedding in Singapore?

In my previous blogpost I talked about having a plan in mind as you begin planning and saving for the future. For my future, marriage is definitely one of the main points in my life.


Do check out the post here as well!

Firstly, whether you're single or attached, you first need to ask yourself this. What does marriage means to you? What does marriage means to your significant other?

For most of us, it's about building a life and a family together with that special someone. For others, it's about romance.

"It's about waking up and going to bed with that special someone every day, every night. It's a commitment and pledging yourself, to remain faithful, loyal and go through all sorts of ups and down with him/her. It's about learning how to compromise, trust and love."

Now, I'm about to address something which I feel that many Singaporeans forget. After reading till here so far, you would begin to understand that Marriage is between you and your partner. No one else. Not your parents, your relatives or even your friends.

It's the same for the Wedding you will now begin planning for. The main point about having a wedding is to share the joy of this special day with your family and loved ones yes. But never forget, the wedding is and will always be, about you both. Therefore, you don't have to succumb to social pressure to have the biggest and grandest wedding because your pride is at stake and end up regretting and getting saddled up with huge debts after what could have been the happiest moment of your lives. Don't throw that all away by regretting and blaming each other (which is very possible) after that.

Okay now that you're clear about that, let's move on to the planning!

I'll give it to you straight, the costs of a wedding can, and will cost between
SGD$30,000 - SGD$100,000

That's a lot of money.. isn't it? And for most of us, we have nowhere near that amount of money. I'm talking about teenagers here, who already have a planned future in mind.

Let's break it down.

1. Your Wedding Package

Wedding Packages typically include the Bridal Gown, Evening Gown, ROM Dress, Groom Suit, Flower Bouquets, Bridal Car Decoration as well as Make-up and Hair-Do.

Don't forget that ROM Packages and Actual Day Wedding Packages are two different things.
ROM Packages price start from $400++
Actual Wedding Package price start from $500++ for Half Day and $900++ for Full Day.

Total packages cost can range from $1000++ - $10,000.

Tips on saving: If your package doesn't include Wedding Car for Rental, try and rent a more affordable one or borrow a car. Car rental prices can range from $200++ for a Volkswagen to $600+ for a Mercedes Benz and that's a promotional price!

I would say budget at least $5000 in total. If it's not that expensive, use the extra money to splurge on your honeymoon!

Total Range: $5000

2. Photoshoots, Photographer, Video Coverage

It's recommended to budget another $5000 for all of these if you want quality shots and videos that last a lifetime. Pre-Wedding Photoshoots can range from $1000 and above.

Actual day photos can range from $900++ for 5 hours to $2000++ for 15 hours depending on the hours that you booked them for.

Tips on saving: Rather than getting 1 Photographer and 1 Videographer, consider getting 1 excellent photographer to save cost.

Remember: People change, but the people in photos don't. They capture memories for you. Don't allow room for regret when the photos are out and the quality is horrible. It's not worth the money saved. You can have a smaller banquet, smaller car, cheaper gown whatever, but photos usually last a lifetime doesn't it?

Total Range: $5000

3. Your Wedding Rings & Solemnization

Wedding rings can cost from $500++ each for an affordable ring to $10,000 for a really expensive rings from well known jewellery stores like Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Harry Winston etc.

I'd recommend spending within your budget. $2000-4000 is an ideal range to budget for. It's a buffer, so if you spend lesser than that, again use the money to spend on other things!

Solemnization can set you back by at least a few thousand if you plan on holding it at scenic locations etc etc. Budget between $3000-4000 if so. Eg: Singapore Flyer Solemnization Package cost around there!

Total Range: $8000.

4. Your Wedding Banquet

Let's be brutally honest. This will be where the majority of your wedding expenses will be.
Reason: It's price / table. Prices range from $600++ per table at Bayview Hotel to $1200++ per table at Marina Bay Sands for a minimum of 20 tables at least.

Tips on saving: Lunch Banquets are usually slightly cheaper. There are places where prices range from $200++ to $500+ / table but don't expect restaurant quality food.

Since we're on that subject, a wedding banquet is all about the food right? Or not? Why not hold it at a good restaurant then? Since the food is guaranteed to better than hotel banquets. After all, a restaurant's food IS the main reason why it's established in the first place.

Anyway, I'd say budget between $30,000 - $50,000 considering the price of $1000/table for a total number of 30-50 tables.

Trust me, prices of all these will rise in the years to come due to our good friend, "INFLATION".

Wedding Banquet Packages in a hotel would usually include free flow of drinks, wedding cakes, invitation cards, guestbooks, complimentary champagne, champagne pyramid, projector screen and possibly one night stay at the hotel itself.

Total Range: $50,000


Now, this is only a rough estimate. There may be other costs involved. Prices stated here does not yet include a Honeymoon which can cost anywhere from $5000-$10,000.


Now, people may tell you to splurge as much as you want because you would be receiving red packets that will offset the total price.

My opinion? No. Don't take that advice. Save the amount you need without relying on red packets.

The money you receive can be used to offset the costs or go towards your joint savings/ investments whatever. But don't put too much hope on red packets.

And if you don't have enough money to get married, then you're not ready to get married.

Like I keep emphasising, don't splurge on this dream day only to deal with huge debts in the months and years to come.

All the prices stated, are a buffer. The real costs of a wedding can be significantly lower than $78,000 and I have no doubt it can be. Spend within your means.


And one last thing. Your Wedding is a major part of your lives. But it's not the only thing that should matter. When all of it is over, your family, friends will go back to their lives. You and your partner will now have to cope with your daily expenses and new life together. So make sure you have enough savings to begin preparations for the next phase in life.

All of the information provided above was found by my own research. What you may find, or what you have spent previously may differ from the costs stated above.

Did you spend more or less? Do share with me if possible! I'd like to know the average cost of a wedding by fellow Singaporeans!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Posts you might be interested in:

Friday, 12 September 2014

Is Having No Money Really A Reason Not To Plan For Your Future?

So, I received this comment today. I understand where "Anonymous" is coming from, but at the same time this comment is worrying because I feel that many other teenagers and young adults are feeling the same way.

Firstly, having no money is never an excuse. For most teenagers, we get a daily/weekly/monthly allowance. Or we might even be working part time or full time to support ourselves. Yes, Singapore is an incredibly expensive country to live in, but there are many job opportunities out there.
(Just not managerial or high positions in the company, sadly...)

Those that are highly motivated, will find a way to balance school work and work life properly.

Opportunity cost. One of the biggest and major reason why most people prefer to plan later on in life. What I don't get is this. Why are you choosing to go on with life without a plan in mind? Ask the people around you what they plan to do with life and most of them will answer, Marriage, House, Family. That by itself is already a plan isn't it? I'm sure a little time can be set aside during the weekends to plan for your future.

Wedding? Sure. How much are you planning to save up for that? Is your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancee willing to save together with you as a common goal?

Let's say you know that you want to save for your wedding. But prices are constantly boosted by inflation. Which means the amount you plan now, isn't going to be enough in the future...

Go with the flow then, do what I do. Plan as you go. Save as hard as you possibly can, invest a portion wisely and watch that money grow over time. When you're young, time is on your side. That is your BIGGEST opportunity cost of not planning. When you're older and wiser and begin planning, valuable time has already been wasted.

Time and tide waits for no man. Not even Obama. I am considering doing a post soon on the average cost of a decent wedding. Of course, I am not planning to have a large -scale wedding especially in these uncertain times. Frankly, I couldn't give two hoots about what my relatives would think. A marriage is always and forever will be, about you and your partner alone. No one else. A small scale wedding, and a romantic honeymoon is what I aspire for. I'd much rather spend the money on my future wife than on entertaining people all night long. But that's just me.

Before I go, I leave you with this sentence.
"Can you afford NOT to plan for your future?"

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Why 90% of Young Singaporeans Are Worried About Their Financial Future ; Singapore is the Most Expensive Country to Live In

It's pretty simple. I refer to a post from
The Real Singapore (TRS) http://therealsingapore.com/content/survey-90-young-singaporeans-are-worried-about-their-future-finances

90% of 1000+ youths is an alarming number of over 900+ teenagers and young adults that are not confident about their financial future.

What's worrying is that 80% of youths do not have their basic emergency fund. For queries on how and why you should build your own emergency fund refer to my post in August here: http://teenageinvesting.blogspot.sg/2014/08/why-every-singaporean-should-have.html

Emergency Expenses are highly unpredictable, hence the word Emergency. If you fail to plan, you most definitely plan to fail.

And these are not just students from polytechnics or universities. Even many of those that are in the workforce consider their savings as emergency funds. Please understand that emergency funds and savings should and must, be kept as 2 different pools of money.

80% of the people surveyed already have low confidence in their future. Why? Because they have not began planning. Planning doesn't come naturally as you grow up. It comes only when you have decided to take charge of your life and not leave it to fate.

Additionally, most respondents feel that $1 million would be necessary to retire comfortably. But how many actually even come close to saving that amount?

Don't forget Singapore has now come close to being the most expensive country to live in, if it isn't already is.

iPhone 6 and 6Plus cost about US $100-200++? In Singapore it's $1000++...

Start planning early. The choices you make early in life will affect your life many years down the road. Will your future self thank you or hate you for the choices you make now? That's something only you can decide. No one else can.

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Steps to Opening Your Own Joint Account!

So, my previous post was about whether or not you were ready to open a joint account with your special someone.

Let's say you are ready. How then shall you proceed?

Let's find out :) I'll take you through the basic steps, and let you know what you need to have with you. It's really quite straightforward!

Firstly, you do not need to bring a set amount of cash with you to open an account. Here I'm assuming you prefer to open an account with POSB as their minimum amount is $500 and DBS is $1000.

A fall below fee of $2 per month is imposed on you if your average daily balance < S$500 / S$1000!

The fall below fee is waived for customers up to 21 years old or 62 years old and above :)

So you have to make your way down to any POSB Branch with your Identity Card (IC) and your partner! Note that you both need to be of legal age!

For me, I opened a Joint-Alternate account under POSB eSavings which comes with a debit card each for yourself and your partner, complete with internet banking services.

The POSB staff gave us one VISA and one MASTERCARD so that we would have a mix haha.

You will of course, have the option of opening a Joint Alternate (Means that both you and your partner can make any transaction /withdrawal etc) or Joint All (Means both you and your partner need to make a trip down to make any transaction) which would be a safer choice if you don't entirely believe in the need for either one of you to make any transaction etc etc.

Once you decided, it's pretty little work on your part. Key in your preferred PIN number for your debit cards, you can have different PIN numbers, no problem!

 Details of the 1st Applicant
Details of the 2nd Applicant

After that, verify your details for one last time, both of you need to sign a form and that's it!
Your Joint Account and Debit Cards are now activated. You can proceed to transfer funds into your new account :)

You can use your individual Banking device no problem :) You'll see your new account in your iBanking account.

Aaaaaand that's it! Congratulations! Let me know if any of you have any questions!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Are You Ready To Open A Joint Account With Your Partner?

Opening a Joint Account with your partner is a huge step towards a more serious commitment into your relationship.

Are you ready for that level of commitment?

Don't get me wrong, there's a HUGE difference between being ready to commit and committing to be ready.

Simply put, being ready to open a joint account as a commitment and opening a joint account to BE committed is very very different.

Never ever open a joint account simply because you believe that this is the next step in a committed relationship. Trust me, you'll know when that time is here.

Now, why open one?

Maybe you want to commit to share your financial issues together, or combine your finances for simplicity and convenience. There's nothing wrong with that. But you don't necessarily have to combine them together and let it be. You should both keep a separate individual account and open a joint account together. It should serve as an addition not a replacement. :)

Contribute equal amounts each month and let the funds pay for your groceries, or bills etc. Heck it can even pay for your dates, movies. It'll give you an idea of what to expect and a feel of how to use it :)

Or maybe you're on a more serious level. You decided you want to save up for your wedding, house, honeymoon etc. You contribute an equal amount every month and watch it grow from there. Maybe you wanna take those funds and invest it (both you and your partner should discuss this beforehand)

The thing is, before you open a joint account, BOTH parties, not just you OR your partner should be ready and have a common understanding of the matter at hand.

They should not be opening with you just because they are afraid of offending you etc etc.

And needless to say, there should be an existing level of trust between you and your partner. You don't want to risk them drawing all your money and then disappearing into the sunset..

You can now view your partner's spending habits and decide if he/she is the one for you. Maybe you're both hardcore savers (which is a good thing) or you both are hardcore spenders (in that case a joint savings account is absolutely pointless) but most commonly one would be a spendthrift and one would be the saver.

Opening a joint account is not supposed to be fun, or lovey dovey. It's about bringing maturity into a relationship. If you're not financially ready or mature enough, don't open one. You'll only complicate things. Arguing about money definitely isn't romantic now is it? :)

Question: What if we break up? What if this relationship doesn't go as expected? Won't it complicate things even more?

Answer: Well love, life isn't always a bed of roses. Things don't always go as expected. Therefore, you should contribute an equal amounts each month. If anything unexpected happens, just divide the money by half. Simple.

Key points to take away:
1. Being Financially Mature
2. Strong level of trust and commitment
3. Mutual understanding.
4. Have a common view, one saving and one spending isn't going to workout.
5. Have a separate bank account, a joint account should be an addition.

What does everyone think? I'd love to hear from you :)

Posts you might be interested in:

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

Investing In Actively Managed Funds

I've been reading a couple of Finance blogs mostly by Singaporeans, and I noticed that one of them (name shall not be mentioned) has chosen to invest with OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan (BCIP)

I did also talk about OCBC BCIP on a previous blogpost, http://teenageinvesting.blogspot.sg/2014/08/the-beginning-of-your-investment.html

Feel free to check it out!

Anyway, the point of this blog post today is to talk about Actively Managed Mutual Funds.

Now, what are they? Simply put they are funds that are managed by a Fund Manager or a team of Managers. You invest your money into this fund, and pay the manager a fee to invest on your behalf using the combined funds of multiple investors like yourself.

This works out fine if you're not into passive investing, and do not want to adopt a DIY style.

The thing is, not all mutual funds may be beneficial to you. Some fund managers simply hug the index and then charge you exorbitant funds that eat into your otherwise decent profits.

Here, I will talk about various tips in choosing the best fund that you want to invest in.

1. Search for funds with relatively low cost / operating expenses.

Reason: If you are paying high operating expenses each month, and these are eating into your profits you're effectively throwing your money down into the drain. It's just not worth it.

2. Research into your fund and the manager's performance before making a decision. Never invest on a moment's impulsiveness.

Reason: Like I said, there is no point in paying a fund manager to follow the index and then charge you high prices for something you could have done yourself.

3. Does the fund have diversification?

Reason: If the fund invests in mostly stocks and high risk at that, one crash in the market may effectively wipe out your investments and others as well.

Of course, I still adopt the DIY strategy because I have the time. But when I don't in the future I may consider moving on to Actively Managed Funds. Some Investing is still better than none. And for those that took the first step, hurrah for you! You had the courage, now persevere!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor