Thursday 30 August 2018

Paying Back a Student Loan of $62 000

I am lucky to have my mum who is able to provide for my education and not needing me to borrow from the bank for my education. When I first entered university, I realised that many of my peers had an education loan where they would need to start paying back a small amount each month followed by a larger sum when they graduate. Recently, I came across this video about student loans in the United States.

Seeing how the woman has to pay back her debt with a crazy high interest rate is sad because what she pays back as seen in the video is actually mostly just the interest rate and late fees that have been incurred meaning that only a small proportion goes to paying back the principal.

In the video, she mentions about entering college and seeing everyone sign up for student loans and she thought that was the way for every student so she did just that. However, after she graduated in 2009 which was the financial crisis. she received a call about the loan that she had taken. The amount was astronomical and she had to pay it back.

Of course, she would definitely need to pay it back but in the video she mentioned about not having any knowledge about loans and no one was there to explain to her about loans. I think at that time because her family was unable to support her for her education hence she just went ahead with taking the student loans without thinking much. I find this really depressing because it is tough having debts where you know you cannot have as much freedom to spend due to this load on yourself. I think in life, a choice made can change the direction of your life and many of the comments wrote that because her degree was a drama and communications hence she was not able to get a good job to pay off her debts.

I do feel affected because the degree that I am taking is not reputable in terms of it's course and school but I am a little glad that I do not have any loans to pay back unlike some of my peers. With that, I can only make myself work harder and hopefully smarter to secure a better job when I graduate this year.

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Sunday 26 August 2018

My Financial Goals - Is $100 000 in 7 years possible?

I have been delaying this post for awhile and it is a rather important post to be honest.  Just as this quote, "Begin with the end in mind. - Stephen Covey", goals are the first steps to every journey we take and are also our last. It is important to set goals and work towards it in your life.

I have listed out a rough guide for myself of the amount to save and how much I hope to save at the end of that year, I did not include investment gains or bonuses for now. Right now, I am currently 23 years old with about $8000 invested in the stock market, $2000 in Singapore Savings Bond and about $3000 in my bank accounts. Of course, the value right now would fluctuate due to income from part-time tutoring, deductions from my savings plans and daily necessities.

Read more: Savings plan - Yes or No

Current Situation:
  • Total asset at $12 000
Read more: Total Current Assets - Breaking $10 000
    Here is my rough plan, after listing it all out, I have realized that to reach $100 000 in 7 years time will really not be so easy. Total includes current asset of $12 000.

    In 7 years time, where I would be 30 years old (It will be a great gift as I enter my thirties, if I am able to achieve it), I hope to:

    • Reach $100 000 in total assets (cash savings and stock holdings)

    Of course, the goals I have set for myself could be easily attainable by some or might seem ridiculous to others but I think it serves as a guideline for me to work about it every month. I haven't started work yet as my semester ends on October. I am currently in the process of trying to clinch one and once I do, an estimation of how I can achieve the $100 000 and how long it will take me would be much clearer.

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    Wednesday 22 August 2018

    Portfolio updates - adding on STI ETF

    I have added 3 lots of STI ETF at $3.28 to my portfolio. So my current holdings of STI ETF (ES3) is at 5 lots. Right now, the average price is down to $3.302 per one share.

    Current portfolio as of Aug 2018:

    Sunday 19 August 2018

    Road to $1000 000 - Financial Consultants

    Recently, a few of my polytechnic friends have become insurance agents, they have decided on being an insurance agent after learning about the prospects of it. Being from a science course in polytechnic, I was surprised that my course mates have decided to choose to become insurance agents.

    In Singapore, there are many bad impressions of being a financial consultant. Mostly is that some of your friends or family might begin to keep a distance from you because they are afraid that you would want them to purchase your products or that you will keep pestering them. But I do believe that if you are able to come across one who is committed to give you the best and thoughtful,  it is a bonus.



    This is why most people are skeptical of when they are being approached by a young financial consultant especially so when they have just graduated or are just starting out. Of course, every financial consultants have to take an exam which test their knowledge before they can start promoting and selling products. Having experience in seeing many different cases can mean a difference because the assessment done can be more in-depth and also more scenarios can be assessed. Even though, an experienced FC is a good choice, the young and not so experienced one do have their seniors to count back on. So be on the lookout and make sure your FC know what they are selling.

    Understanding of not just products but YOU!

    Even though the product is important but FCs need to be clear about your status in terms of how much you can afford each month and whether it really is necessary. I have heard of people who have have signed up for plans that is so huge a burden for them monthly and over a long period of time. This can be extremely stressful for the person as no extra cash can be saved up. If the FC do know your monthly cash flow and how much you are able to contribute then it would have been a better relationship. Because by burdening the client with such a plan that takes up a huge portion of the client's cash, it is difficult to further introduce further plans for them in the future.


    Talks down to you

    Not everyone who goes to a FC knows what products will be best for them and also might not have much financial literacy. However, this doesn't mean that the client has to accept whatever the FC suggest. Instead, they should be explaining it in simpler terms for clients to understand. Of course, questions should definitely be asked when in doubt as well.

    Doesn't speak their mind

    Clients might have ideas on what they want to put their money into. It could a high risk product that might not be suitable for the client right now. It is the FC duty to then suggest if it is okay and give reasons why it is or is not the best way or to let the client know about the risks. Communication between both parties are really important even though ultimately the decision lies with the client but the FC should give adequate information and not just say yes to earn commissions.

    Overall, a good FC can help you reach your goal or be nearer to it, it could be to $1000 000 or whatever it is. The crucial thing is that both parties are comfortable with each other.

    Thursday 16 August 2018

    Art of Rejection

    Have you ever been rejected when you asked for something? I am definitely sure that it has happen before. I used to be a really really shy girl when I was young. I would avoid all eye contact or conversations needed. Even going up to a cashier to buy stuff would make me worried that I screw up what I was about to say.

    Things started getting a bit better when I went to polytechnic. It was when I was exposed to a whole new environment. I learned that to get what I needed, I need to say it out. With presentations and events building up, I had to open up more. However, I was still shy, shy to ask for things and to ask for help. I remember coming from a no chemistry background and my first year in polytechnic was tough because most of the modules were chemistry.

    I remembered asking my care person for help telling her that I had difficulties coping with the modules and I actually broke down in front of her. I think at that time I was just so scared of failing. Eventually she helped me with my studies and I managed to get through all my chemistry modules with a decent mark.

    What would have happened if I didn’t ask my careperson for help? Asking has its benefits and you really just never know what you can get if you just ask. Even though I know that, I’m still trying to adjust myself to become someone who ask and of course, to think before you ask. Below is a short video that I really think is very helpful in showing how asking can get you things.


    You never know till you try, I think most people (including me) are afraid to ask because we are too scared of how people would judge us or view us and whether are we even competent to be asking. So we just sit back and face our own doubts. Breaking out of your comfort zone and taking the first step is always tough! 

    Thursday 9 August 2018

    An Extra $660 After 3 Years

    1st August 2018 is when GREAT220, a savings plan from Great Eastern is being released. My mum has been wanting to sign up for it since it's previous editions like GREAT205 which was released in March 2018. However, the demand was so high that my mum had no chance to sign up for it.

    Read more: Savings Plan Yes or No

    GREAT205 which was released on Mar 2018 had an interest rate of 2.05%. GREAT220 has a higher interest of 2.20%. My mum got to know about this because her friends were all talking about it. Most of her friends have allocated funds to the previous plans.

    My mum has a SRS account and some money in there. So when she came across this promotion that her friend told her about, she decided to put her money inside. The minimum investment sum for GREAT220 is $10 000. So let's say she place $10 000 inside, with an interest rate of 2.20% per annum for 3 years, she would get $220 interest per year and for 3 years, $660.

    The amount might seem low for investors who invest in other products but because my mum throughout her life have been exposed to fixed deposits by banks and savings plans so this promotion for her is rather great. I do encourage her to use her SRS funds because if they were just lying there, they would only earn her a meagre interest of 0.05% per annum. Meaning if she had the $10 000 in her SRS account for the next 3 years she would earn a total of $15. Comparing $660 to $15, definitely my mum would be happier with an extra $645 since the funds in SRS are also 'locked'.

    Happy National Day, it was great walking along the streets today and seeing so many people wearing red and white. Wishing Singapore a prosperous future and great years ahead!

    To read more about GREAT220

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