Friday 28 September 2018

Should parents hold on to a child’s savings?

I was talking to my classmate recently about saving and investing. She knew that i actually do invest a portion of my money and she was really curious on what made me started on investing.
Image result for piggybank

Read more: About me and why I started investing

After telling about it, she told me that she was pretty interested in it as well even though she has zero knowledge. I told her that she can start by reading up online first and also to find out more. She then told me that actually, she has no money on hand that she can invest in because her bank account is a joint account with her Dad.

She doesn't have access to that account as her Dad holds the ATM card. Her parents instead, gives her allowances. So I asked her what about her part-time jobs because I was aware that she works during holidays.

She told me that the part-time job pay directly to the bank account and she cannot access them. This was particularly troublesome for her because recently, she wanted to get a ticket for a concert but was short of money and when she asked her parents they told her not to waste the money on the concert.

She told me that her parents have the bank account kept from her as they want to help her save and not let her spend it all. She understood why her parents do not provide her with access to her bank account but when she wanted to get stuff, she had to always them for it and she didn't like doing that.

I think it really is a case of the parents not really trusting her to have the capabilities to control her spending. Maybe if she were to explain to her parents that she would manage her money well, they would maybe allow her some access to it.

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Friday 21 September 2018

Climate change and how Singapore is affected?

Every year, I always hear from the news that a new high temperature has been reached for this year and that the average temperature has increased by 1 degree. Every year, we experience hotter temperature and so....what and when's the limit? I read an article recently about how vulnerable Singapore is to climate change and found it very informative.
One of the most crucial and main way Singapore will be affected by the rise of temperatures would be 

  • The rising sea levels!
Our geographical location and size makes us surrounded by seawater and even though we can reclaim land, it is an expensive and time-consuming task. 

Global warming is not affecting a small proportion of people in the world, it affects all of us and to be honest, Singapore is not an environmental friendly countries as compared to others.

  • Recycling efforts in Singapore
When I went to Taiwan to visit my friend who was having an exchange there. I was surprised by how they had to purchase plastic bags for their rubbish and every night, a rubbish truck would come and collect from them so they would need to bring their rubbish down. Of course, their rubbish would be segregated into food waste, plastic waste and other categories.

Singapore on the other hand, we do have a blue recycling bin that is put below every block and recyclables can be placed inside where a designated recycling would come pick them up.

However, there are many people who would throw their food waste into that and this makes the recyclables 'contaminated' and they are unable to be recycled.

I find that individually, we still have a long way to go in our recycling efforts and it definitely would not be an easy journey. But for the sake of the future generation, we do need to start something that can reduce the effect of global warming. 

Friday 14 September 2018

FIRE in your 30s?

Many of my friends who have not entered the working world or have just started work always talk about retiring and how they hope to be able to retire at a certain age. I am very surprised by the proportion of people around my age who think about retiring because for my parent's generation, retirement wasn't an option until we (kids!) became adults. The environment that surrounds us and the environment that we, millennials grow up in really changes our mindset of working.

Read more: Retiring Early and comfortably?- What is FIRE?

I came across an article recently about FIRE which I have written about before. I found certain snippets of the article very interesting.
"Millennials have embraced this so-called FIRE movement — the acronym stands for financial independence, retire early — seeing it as a way out of soul-sucking, time-stealing work and an economy fueled by consumerism."

 This is really interesting in that a huge number of millenials have embraced FIRE and I think it is partly due to the expansion of technology and accessibility of the world. Travelling was never a frequent thing in my mum's generation but to millenials, travelling is a way of gaining knowledge and relaxing.

I remember when I was young, I was lucky enough to be able to travel to the US, Korea and at least one country each year. My first trip without my parents was when I was in Primary School where a exchange was given to students to travel to China, Shanghai.

After which, graduating from polytechnic made me travel much more with my friends. This I think is one point that makes millennials want to retire early, to be able to explore.

But even though millenials have embraced FIRE, not all of us are aware or are striving for it. A particular group of people especially are aiming towards this and they are mostly engineers and guys who work in the technology sector. I have seen a few engineer who have been able to achieve FIRE.

One example would be BeatTheBush who post videos on Youtube about his life after retirement and how he managed to retire.
"Followers of FIRE tend to be male and work in the tech industry, left-brained engineer-types who geek out on calculating compound interest over 40 years, or the return on investment on low-fee index funds versus real estate rentals."
Of course, many people of the older generation or even of the same age would some times not be able to understand why you would quit a job when you are so young.
"Mr Jason Long, a pharmacist in rural Tennessee who retired last year at the ripe old age of 38, said his father had a hard time understanding why Mr Long couldn’t continue to work and collect his US$150,000 salary. But Mr Long said he was deeply unhappy in his job."

I guess being stress up and having that burden taken off your shoulders is a great feeling and every so often, many people do not enjoy the work that they are doing or that their bosses are not treating them well. Being able to retire and quit is a liberation and even more so, having control over your life and time.

My mum buys TOTO often and she tells me that one day if she ever strikes the big prize, she would resign straight away. For my mum, I know she wants to enjoy the time she has left and that weekdays for her are all burned out at work. So, I guess FIRE is attractive to all but how many can actually achieve it at a young age?

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Sunday 9 September 2018

Effect of Price Increase in Transport ($5.30 more per month?)

Public transport is very important in most Singaporean's life, we rely a lot on the public transport because cars and motorcycles are expensive in Singapore. So it was recently reported that there could be a 4.3% increase in our fares. So recently, water and gas prices have also increased and I think generally everything has increased in price.

My family was having a discussion recently and I of course, feel that the price increase is not so good given the recent earlier ending times and upgrading going on. On the other hand, my brother mentioned that Singapore's transport fares are actually one of the most affordable within all the developed countries so he finds that the increase is reasonable.

He also mentioned that there are reasons why the fare would be increased and they did explain. In the article from ChannelNewsAsia, "Last year's energy prices, which will be factored in this year's fare formula, rebounded by 26.2 per cent over the previous year. The wage index, which is a proxy for the wage growth of public transport workers including bus captains and rail staff, went up by 3 per cent. The core consumer price index also rose by 1.5 per cent - the highest increase in three years. The fare increase is also to supplement the new buses and trains added to our transport system. "

So the increase in fares will be used for various purposes and we can hopefully look forward to new and improved transport services being rolled out. So let's take for example if there is an increase of 4.3%, just how much would the increase be?
  • So I take public transport almost everyday and I take it over a long distance because my school is pretty far from my home. I spend on average about $4 each day. So, let's take $4 x 31days = $124 for one month.
  • Next, 4.3/100 x $124 = $5.332, this could mean that my monthly transport expenses could increase by at least $5.30 if the fare adjustment is 4.3%. 
We will have to see how much it will increase and it will be announced in the last quarter of 2018. Some thing interesting I found online was that one of the cheapest metro is Pyongyang Metro which charges 5 KP₩, which is just about US$0.01 per ride. Interesting!

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Thursday 6 September 2018

STI breaking it's 52-weeks low. Time to buy in?

Today (6th Sep 2018), STI ETF (ES3) have recently reached a new 52 week low of $3.17. With this new 52 -week low, I have a FOMO feeling because my average price for ES3 is $3.302 and I can really bring the average price down. However, with the market being so unpredictable right now, I hope to be able to wait awhile and see. Of course, for now, I am not planning to have any buy transactions as I am building my war chest.

With the 150 MA crossing 50 MA, there might be a further drop in the price. But I will be waiting at the sidelines for now even though I am rather tempted. Many other stock also fell in their prices yesterday as I saw a sea of red with DBS having a big drop of $0.50.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Can PSLE change your life?

Taken from
I currently give tuition to two primary 6 students and I have got to say that the amount of stress on a kid who takes PSLE is pretty overwhelming especially if the parents expects good results from them. One of my tutee performs pretty well for her mathematics, averaging an A most of the time and to me, she faces quite a lot of pressure from her parents to perform well. She also expects much from herself and hence places a lot of emphasis on scoring well for PSLE. She has also broken down a few times during lessons due to not performing well enough.

My other tutee although not performing as well as the others but he definitely doesnt face as much stress as his parents doesn't really emphasize so much on results but only that he needs to get into express in secondary school. He is definitely a happy go lucky guy every time I see him for lessons but he does panic at times and ask me if I think he is able to get into express. I have heard of many stories nowadays of how parents prepare their kids for PSLE.

From taking leave of up to a year for the children or even quitting to be a stay home parent, we can see the impacts of PSLE and all other major examinations in families with children taking the examinations. I do admit that PSLE to a certain extent can determine how your future pans out but it really also depends on the individual. For me, I am someone who is easily influenced especially when I was at age 13 so when it came to my school choices, my mum helped me out and made the choices that she felt fit me best.

I remembered that we both had conflicting choices for my first choice, I wanted to go to a school that was near our place which was a mixed school but she wanted me to go to a girl school that was affiliated with my primary school which was also a girl school. In the end, I lost out to my mum and went to the affiliated school. After a few years, I am grateful and glad to my mum for helping me in my choices. Not because I would have turned out worse if I went to the the other school but because I went to an affiliated school, most my classmates remained the same and I was a really shy girl so being in a environment I was comfortable in helped especially at such a young age.

Primary to secondary school can be a huge hurdle for some esecially if you require a lot of time adjusting to new environment. Secondary school is also when puberty happens and emotions can fluctuate. Overall, it's important to evaluate what the individuals really wants and can he/she handle the stress if they were to go to the 'elite' schools where tuition and good grades are a must. I believe a happy childhood is also essential in the process of growing up. 

Here's a short video that I found online that is pretty interesting for me.

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