Saturday, July 03, 2010

Low income people and Medishield

A Shin Min journalist asked me to comment on a survey finding that many low income and elderly people do not have adequate health insurance, and that they distrust insurance agents.

My comments are:
1. The low income and elderly persons should be insured under Medishield, which is low cost and can be paid from Medisave.
2. They should be treated in subsidised B2 or C wards to avoid large medical bills.
3. They do not need to buy additional medical insurance or to have unnecessary, duplicate cover
4. The government should open a window period for the uninsured persons to be accepted into Medishield now, without the need for health declaration.

For those who distrust insurance agents due to bad personal experience, they should read my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning to be educated about health and life insurance, or should attend the educational talk organised by FISCA.

I suggested to the Shin Ming journalist to translate topics from my book into Chinese and print it in a series in their newspaper.

Tan Kin Lian

Large medical bill

My friend's wife suffered from last stage cancer. The private specialist recommended a treatment with an estimated cost of $50,000. Eventually, the total cost increased to $200,000 and the wife passed away. Apart from losing his wife, who was in the mid 50s, he also spent a large sum of money.

I asked him if the doctor had given him an assessment of the chance of recovery after spending such a large sum. He was not well advised. He trusted the doctor to do his best, but it failed.

My observation
It is better to get a second opinion from another doctor, who is not earning the large fee from the treatment. The second specialist does not have any vested interested to recommend a costly treatment that has a low chance of success. The second opinion may cost some money, but is worth spending, to get a better decision.

Tan Kin Lian

Wisdom on how to live life (book 2) - Review

By A. J. Bray "Adrian Bray" (lowestoft, suffolk)

This book is a follow on from the author's first book 'Wisdom on How to live life: Transforming Earth into Heaven. I gave that a 5 star rating and I have done also for this Bk2 with the same title.

Over several years I have bought and read 10's of self help and psychology books in the hope that I could get to understand about how life and human interactions work; I was also interested in reading about our afterlife when we die. To be fair, several have been excellant, for example Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, even though it took much concentration to fully understand his message. However, I consider Author Wong's books to be much easier to comprehend and I am a changed person for having read them, such is the impact they have had on me.

I have come to the conclusion that most humans start from the wrong place because 'the world' values happiness through materialism which, in turn, demands economic growth. The first is short term, whilst the latter is not sustainable through finite resources. As this author points out we are spiritual beings and part of the divine; we manifest through the divine and shall return to the divine when we complete each incarnation. He explains reincarnation in a way that makes so much sense. All the points are made in a great conversational style between Guru Harry and Tom. Several overlap from BK1, but that only serves to reinforce the message that we are eternal beings who are interconnected with each other which means the end of competition to be replaced with co-operation, making for a fairer, more satisfying life during our time here on earth.

I consider that everthing written in these books has brought me to the end of my search for the meaning of life and death in a way that no other book(s) has and if I put its teachings into practice it will inevitably lead me to a more peaceful existence. It is my hope that after reading these two books they will do likewise for you too!

Available here.

Poor service from agent

Hi Mr Tan,
My sister-in-law recently wrote in to X to feedback and complain about one of their agents. However, the response from the company was not quite what we expected. Is there anything that you could advise us to do? Or would you be able to post our letter on your website?

1. It took X 2 weeks to give me a written reply
2. The reply has not sufficiently given us the assurance that the next agent will be any different from the one that gave us an appalling experience.
3. It still does not answer the questions posed with regard to how your agents are trained, and what kind of action you will be taking.
4. X did not take this feedback seriously and did not call to verify what happened
5. The agent did not bother to call the policyholder to apologize.
6. It seems that this sort of behaviour by the agent is encouraged by X.

Flood in Singapore

The problem

Invest in water management to avoid flooding

Public has role in preventing floods

MRT service

Frequency of trains
Removal of seats

Promotion on sale of books

Please check the books that are on promotion here. The promotions are for a short period and may be withdrawn without notice.

Book a taxi by SMS

Do you wish to pay a lower booking fee to book a taxi? Take part in this survey.

Here is the revised report based on 44 replies.

Public Transport

Read this article by Lucky Tan.

New migrants

Read this article by Seah Cheang Nee.


Printed in Straits Times Forum page on 3 July (with some editing)

I wrote my first cheque 40 years ago. The rules were to write the amount in figures and words, to write the date and spell the name of the payee correctly. Any alteration to the cheque has to be signed. This was at a time when computers were not widely used.

This archaic rules remain the practice today. It has always been tedious to write a cheque and to avoid making any spelling or other mistake mistake. If the payor makes any small mistake, regardless of how minor or inconsequential, the bank will return the cheque for correction. The bank staff is not prepared to exercise any discretion and common sense.

Recently, I was asked my my lawyer to write a cheque in favor of "The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank account No 1234567 in the name of XYZ development company". There was insufficient space on the cheque to write the payee’s name.

Many countries have done away with cheques. My friend told me that cheques are hardly used in China.

In many countries, the payor can make a payment by a direct transfer through the internet or a bank counter. The payor only needs to write down the account number of the payee and the amount in figures (i.e. no need to be in words).

Singapore continues the archaic practice of making most payments by using cheques, instead of a simpler mode of payment. While payment can now be made through internet banking, it requires a troublesome process of registering and authenticating the recipient’s bank account and is not suitable for once-off payments.

I hope that the Monetary Authority of Singapore to take the lead in this change to introduce a simple system of direct banking transfer. It will save the tedious process of processing cheques through the banking system. The private sector cannot take the lead in making this change, as they do not have the regulatory powers.

Tan Kin Lian

Friday, July 02, 2010

Survey: Flood in Singapore

Dear Mr. Tan,
Please put this link in your blog:


Alex gave me the results of the survey (100 respondents) as folows:

What is the reason for the flooding in Singapore
a) vegetation in culvert 11%
b) global warming 18%
c) unbridled urbanisation 63%
d) litter in drain 35%

According to the creator of this survey (not Alex), the correct answer is (d) as this is the only reason that you can blame the Singaporeans. Apparently the survey is to determine if you have the quality to be a government leader!

Relevance of Tommy Wong’s books “Wisdom on How to Live Life”

Tommy Wong uses an  amusing dialogue format, in the first part of Book 1. He shares his insights on why there are so many negative events happening in the world today leading to a life of struggle and sufferng for many.

In the second part of Book 1 and in Book 2, Tommy shares concepts which can change the world for the better leading to a life of peace, love, joy and harmony. I like his writing style as it is easy to read and clear.

For those who are interested in living a better life and in a better world, Tommy Wong’s books can be ordered here.

Tan Kin Lian

Promotion - Intelligence Quiz and Shape Quiz

Enjoy a reduced price of $6.90 (usual $7.90) when you buy Intelligence Quiz Vol 1, 2 OR 3. Get the tips on how to solve the puzzle and win the weekly Quiz prize. Available here.

Shape Quiz mini-pak -10 paks for $15.00 (UP $20). Suitable for children party and ice-breaker at workshops.

Display panels on MRT trains (2)

On 22 June, I posted a blog on the display panel in MRT trains which has not been working for more than a month. During the past few days, I saw that the display panels and the lights are working correctly. SMRT has corrected the faults. I wonder if they are monitoring my blog? Perhaps someone gave them the feedback.

Letter from the Prime Minister

Read this letter.

Speed Control

Here is an innovative way to implement speed control in Canada.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Key political risks

Read this article.

Wisdom on How to Live Life - Book Review

Book Review of "Wisdom on How to Live Life" on Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars Best spiritual book I have ever read, June 26, 2010
By A. J. Bray "Adrian Bray" (lowestoft, suffolk)

It has been several years since I came across the concept of 'living in the now'; it appealed to me because I wanted to live a contented life and not continually worry about the future. So when I read of the book 'Wisdom on how to live life - transforming Earth into heaven' by Dr. Tommy Wong, I was hooked!

In my early days I used to attend church upto three times on a Sunday where it was drummed into me that heaven was something you went to after dying and everything would be alright once you got there. Somehow, this translated into my mind that living on the earth was, at best, extremely difficult or at worst, horrible. God was something 'out there', cut off from us. This author proposes the concept that God is really a 'Great Spirit' that is in everything in and beyond our universe, yet smaller than an atom, in fact, everything that is. He goes on to say about divine, physical and man-made laws and gives great examples of each. 'Success' in life is defined through conversations Tom has with Guru's Dick and Harry. One reflects the way things are today in modern life, whilst the other suggests a better, fairer, more satisfying way. This book is easy to read, will challenge you to think about how you are living your life. It is a life changer and one to keep. Meanwhile, I can not wait to read Bk2. In my opinion, 5 stars are not enough to rate Bk1.
"Wisdom on how to live life" can be purchased here.

Good value meals

Jonathan Chee contributed this writeup on good value meals available in Singapore.

Sale of my books

My books are available for sale at the following major bookstores:

1. Harris
2. MPH
3. Kinokuniya
4. Times bookstores
5. Popular

You can also buy them online at Click here to see the various titles.

Yield on life insurance

Some people wondered why I write about the bad points of life insurance, when I had headed a life insurance coperative for 30 years.

Life insurance can be a good financial product, if it provides protection and allows the policyholder to get a fair yield on the savings. It becomes bad only when the insurance company give a poor yield to the policyholder through high charges for commission, expenses and profit.

In my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning, I gave a benchmark on the "effect of deduction" for various durations of the policy. If you find an insurance product with an effect of deduction that is lower than the benchmark, it is a good product. If it exceeds the benchmark, the products should be avoided.

So, what is good or bad, depends on the pricing of the product and the net yield to the policyholder. When I headed the cooperative, I made sure that the policyholder gets a good yield on their savings.

Tan Kin Lian

Success on the second attempt

Many people are afraid to try something new. They are afraid of failure. They worry too much about what could go wrong and the consequence of failure. They are not willing to try. They prefer to have someone else to take the decision and the responsibility.

Sometimes, we have to fail before we can succeed. I wish to share this story. During the early 1980s, the insurance cooperative that I headed wanted to launch a new product, life annuity. We made detailed plans, trained the managers, employees and agents and set aside an advertising budget. They was a well publicised media launch for this product. A lot of effort was put in for two months. The sale of life annuity was NIL. It was a total failure.

There were many reasons for the failure. One key reason was the unwillingness of the public to buy a product where they can lose their capital on early death.

Three years later, we relaunched the life annuity product and modified it to provide a guaranteed period of payment. The payout was lower, compared to a life annuity that does not have any guarantee. On the relaunch, it was a big success and created a dominant market share of life annuity for the cooperative for two decades.

I am convinced that if we had not tried and failed on the first attempt, we would not have got the big sucess on the relaunch. I hope that this story will encourage you to be willing to take the plunge and try something new!

Tan Kin Lian

School work and holidays

RECENT revelations by parents on how their children are being deprived by schools of their term breaks to complete projects or study for exams, or both, suggest the following:
- poor time management;
- over-zealous or too much teaching;
- not recognising the need for children to rest; and
- the belief that more is better.

The allotted curriculum time and term time should be adequate in imparting whatever knowledge students need without having to encroach on the students' holidays.
It's generally accepted that term time is sacrosanct and should not be siphoned off for non-educational purposes.

Why shouldn't the school vacation be likewise left alone for the benefit of the students?
There's much that the students can do during school holidays: reading outside school texts, travelling, playing sports, or just enjoying the respite, all of which can contribute to their learning and development.

Learning is supposed to be an enjoyable experience.To make it any less so by needless overloading and depriving our students of rest and recreation would be counter-productive.

Lee Seck Kay

Holiday homework blues

'School holidays are the best time for students to learn.'

School breaks important for catch-ups

Tuition factor

Holiday homework

Adopt a balanced approach

Sustainable Cities and Transport

Singapore has just hosted the World Cities Summit. It would have been a wonderful opportunity to showcase our previously lauded world class transport system, except that it had lost is lustre in recent years due to inadequate new infrastructure to meet the large increase in population.

Like many other large cities, Singapore roads are congested with private cars and other types of traffic. We also face inadequate parking space for the private cars at the homes and workplaces. Instead of building more roads, commuter lines and parking lots, we have to find innovative ways to deal with the universal challenge of moving people to work and back home.

I suggest that new towns be developed as a large car free zone. Commuting within the town should be by public transport in the form of feeder buses, taxis, shared cars and shared bicycles. The local transport will move the people to the train station, bus interchange, town center or the fringe car parks. Private cars can be used from the fringe car parks to travel on the highways to other parts of the city that are still dependent on private transport.

The new towns should be planned with the aim of encouraging people to live, work and study in the same town and avoid the need to commute long distances. The cost of buying and selling properties should be reduced, e.g. by removing the stamp duty, to encourage people to move to a new home that is close to their place of work.

This will lead to sustainable cities and a better quality of life. Perhaps when Singapore hosts the World Cities Summit again in the future, we will have a good showcase.
Tan Kin Lian

Exchange traded products

An important reform under the reforms being considered in America is for certain types of derivatives to be traded on an exchange. This ensures that the contracts and prices are transparent and that the financial risks are properly accounted for.

I encourage invesrors to invest in exchange traded products, for transparency and fair pricing, and to avoid all types of structured products that are issued by financial institutions (to achieve their sales and profit targets) that are not traded on an exchange.

Read Practical Guide on Financial Planning.

Tan Kin Lian

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FIFA World Cup - Quarter Finals

Of the 8 countries that qualified for the quarter finals, 4 are in South America (i.e Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay), 3 are from Europe (i.e. Germany, Spain and Nederlands) and 1 from Africa (Ghana). The South American teams have done quite well. So sad, that the 3 Asian teams (i.e Japan, North Korea and South Korea) were eliminated.

Crowded MRT trains

Read this letter.

Passing the buck

This expatriate wants to set up a representative office in Singapore. He has to go from one agency to another. No agency wish to take the responsibility to assist him. It is a common behavior in Singapore. Read this letter.

Video - Wisdom on how to live life

Dr. Tommy Wong introduces his book, "wisdom on how to live life" in this video (now replaced by a new video).

Burj Khalifa Dubai Mall

During the global financial crisis in 2008, Dubai was in a liquidity crisis. It could not repay back the loans that were due, and the lenders refused to roll over the loan. Dubai had to seek assistance from Abu Dhabi. One consequence was the renaming of the world tallest building from Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa. This removed the Dubai name from the most important landmark in Dubai.

Dubai found a way to retain the name. It renamed the Metro station that served this locality to Burj Khalifa Dubai Mall. So, the name of Dubai is retained in this landmark building and the Metro station. How ingenuous!

Video of my visit

Video of Dubai Musical Fountain

Video taken from the top of Burj Khalifa

Tan Kin Lian

Investing in SGX

FISCA will be organising monthly talks on investing in the ETF, REITS and blue chip shares of SGX. The talk will be for 3 hours and will be conducted by a knowledgeable person, based on the principles set out in my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning. Tentatively, the fee for the talk will be $30 (public) and $10 (members).

I encourage the public to attend the talk and be educated about these types of investments. I encourage investing in SGX as the prices and information are transparent and the investor has the opportunity to buy or sell these products at a low cost. This ensures that the consumers are not taken advantage by the issuer, in the case of structured products that are created by them.

Tan Kin Lian

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Australia's population

The new Prime Minister of Australia is against a large population growth. Read this article.

My observation
If Australia with its large size and a population of only 22 million complains about over-crowding, what is the situation in Singapore?

Low birth rate

An edited version of this letter was published in Straits Times Online on 29 June 2010

A Straits Times editorial entitled "A case of try and try again" (28 June 2010) reported on the many failed attempts to arrest the declining birth rate in Singapore. The current average of 1.22 children per woman of child bearing age is far below the replacement level of 2.07, and must place our birth rate as among the lowest in the world.

This worrying fact was noted by the Government almost 25 years ago and several rounds of incentives have been introduced, with great publicity and fanfare, but all of them have failed miserably. We refused to recognise the real reasons for the failure and instead said that this is a trend faced by other countries. If this is the case, why should Singapore fare worst than others?

Singapore's low birth rate is the outcome of our social and economic policies of the past decades, which has resulted in high cost of living, low security of employment, low wages, wide disparity of income, high cost of housing, a stressed education system and so on.

The measures to increase the population through immigration will have their negative impacts. Worse, it will not solve the underlying problems, as the immigrants will face the same difficulties as the local born citizens, and they have more opportunity (and less deterrence) to move to other countries at a convenient time in the future.

I hope that we will be prepared to face reality, address the underlying issues, and be prepared to try new measures that were not tried before in Singapore (but have proven successful in other countries).

Tan Kin Lian

Structured deposit

My friend brought back a brochure of a structured deposit offered by a big local bank. It contains about 10 pages of explanation. It offered an interst rate of around 1.5% per annum and require the investment to be locked up for a few years.,

I advised her not to invest in this type of structured deposit. Why should a consumer have to read some many pages of conditions that are written by the bank through their lawyer? Surely, there must be some catch somewhere?

It is better for the consumer to take the risk and invest in a low cost investment fund. The risk can be reduced by following the principles set out in Practical Guide on Financial Planning.

If the consumer finds the market to tbe too high now, or that the economic situation is uncertain, it is better to keep the money in a savigns account (earn 0.125% per annum) and wait for a better time to invest in the fund. There is no point to lock up the monty for a few years and earn just 1% per annum (and still be subject to conditions that is not so transparent to the consumer).

Tan Kin Lian

Monday, June 28, 2010

Survey - Ministers

On popular request, I am carrying out this survey (now closed) for you to rate how well our ministers are doing their jobs.

Here are the survey results based on 100 replies.

Soft infrastructure

Dubai leads the way.

My observation.
When I visit Dubai, I do not have to fill in any immigration or customs form. They checked my passport and let me through. Dubai is the only country that have done away with the unnecessary forms asking for information (for tourist statistics and other reasons) that they do not really need. In many countries, they make you fill up a few detailed forms, but nobody bother to pay any attention.

Even Singapore require tourist to complete a form to keep statistics that are not really necessary.

Slur on our reputation

Singapore is getting a bad reputation at international circles.

I watch a CNBC program where a financial expert was being interviewed on the new financial regulation measures that are being introduced in the US Congress. He has a vested interested to continue the old practice as it allows his firm to get more business and make more money. He reply was that, if the new bill is passed, the US banks will move their operations overseas, for example, "Singapore". He mentioned only Singapore and did not mention Hong Kong or other financial centers.

This gives the impression that Singapore is ready to attract the international banks to continue their risky and shady business, that has caused the collapse of the global financial system.

The financial business that is being attracted to Singapore may create jobs for the bank employees and wealth managers. But it came at a heavy price for the local people. With the liberal environment, the banks have been selling risky structured products to many consumers, who have lost large sums of money.

I wish to ask our leaders. Is it worthwhile to develop the financial center in this way, i.e. the slur on our reputation and the loss suffered by ordinary folks?

Tan Kin Lian

Low cost insurance

This is an invitation to the insurance agents who read my blog.

If you know of any insurance company that offers individual term, critical illness or personal accident cover that is close to the benchmark for the SAF group insurance scheme (and I allow a margin of 30% higher), you can send details to me for posting in my blog. I will also include your contact e-mail and mobile phone, and recommend the consumers to approach you.

Two persons have responded to my request. I need a table to be produced showing the premium rate for certain ages (every 5 years) and durations (every 5 years up to 25 years). If I find the rate to be within 30% of the SAF group rates, I will post the rates and the contact of the financial adviser, and recommend the consumders to approach them.

Please quote a sum assured of $300,000 for term insurance and $100,000 for critical illness cover and the insurance company that offers these rates.

Quiz 6-2

Try this Quiz. A prize will be given to the winner, selected by a draw. Closing date 3 July 2010.

High cost of medical care

Some insurance agents will tell you stories about people they know, who have to incur high cost of medical care for critical illness. They did not tell you about the frequency of these expensive cases, and they tend to exaggerate the amount that is involved. I know of many people who are treated for early stage cancer and have recovered, and they do not have to spend too much on medical bills.

If you look at the number of these high bill cases, you will find that they are much less frequent than deaths through traffic and other accidents.

It is more important to have adequate life insurance, for 5 to 10 years of earnings, that can be purchased through affordable term insurance. You can insure under the group insurance offered to SAF, SAFRA, public officers and trade union members. The cost of insurance is low, as shown in this benchmark.

For insurance against cost of medical care, you are already covered by your employer. You only need to take up Basic Medishield (as you may need it if you are no longer working).

If you wish to buy critical illness cover, you can opt for the SAF critical illness cover for $100,000 at a premium of only $10 a month (available through SAF). This insurance is valid up to age 45. You can discontinue it after 45 (to avoid paying 4 times of the premium). By that time, you should have sufficient savings.

If you are not able to get this cover, it is all right to go without it, as the bill is covered by your employer or the Basic Medishield.

Do not waste your money on expensive medical insurance or private Shield plan or critical illness cover, especially the plan that is recommended by most insurance agents. The money can be invested to earn an accumulated sum for your retirement or other future needs.

For your savings, it is best to invest in a low cost investment fund. This is explained in Practical Guide on Financial Planning.  Youc an also attend the monthly talk by FISCA on financial planning.

Tan Kin Lian

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Investing in SGX

I am looking for a person who is experienced in investing in the stocks, REITS and ETF of SGX. I like to arrange a 3 hour course for members of FISCA. If you are interested to give this talk, please send an e-mail to

The topics should include:
1. How to open an account.
2. How are the shares kept in CDP
3. What are REITS
4. What are ETFs
5. How to identify and select the blue chip stocks
6. Difference between long term investing and short term trading.
7. What are the charges for transacting and keeping shares
8. What to do with rights and bonus issues

Yield on life policies

Here are some examples of the poor yield on life assurance policies:

Economic stimulus or austerity

The US implemented economic stimulus to deal with the economic crisis. UK and Germany decided to implement austerity measures to cut down their deficits. These countries have top economic advisers. Why does one country decided to adopt stimulus while two others decided to take the opposite measures?

Economics is an imperfect science. Expert economists have two views. They said, "one the one hand, we have to do this. On the other hand, we have to do that". Some government leaders are so tired of this type of talk that they are now looking for economic experts with one hand (just a joke!).

What is the correct action? Nobody knows. Each person, economic expert or non-expert, can have his view. I prefer the US approach. I do not see how the economy can get better if more people are unemployed due to austerity measures.

SAF group insurance (term and critical illness)

Many consumers have difficulty in getting an attractive rate for term insurance and critical illness cover. Some insurance agents quote a high premium rate for term insurance (more than 5 times of the actual cost) and then try to convince the customer to buy a high cost policy which pays an attractive commission to the agent. The high cost policy includes the investment-linked plan (ILP) and the limited payment policy (i.e. covers whole of life with premium payable for 20 years).

Consumers can refer to the SAF group insurance policy (term insruance and critical illness cover) to get a benchmark for the premium rate for these covers. You can refer to the documents uploaded here:

If you are eligible, you can join the SAF group insurance scheme. For example, you pay a monthly premium of $38.40 to get term insurance up to age 65 of $300,000. You pay $10 a month to get critical illness cover for $100,000 up to age 45. (You do not need to insure more than $100,000 or beyond age 45).

If you are not eligible, you can use the premium rate as the benchmark for what you need to pay for your individual cover. You may have to pay a higher rate, but it should be within 30% of the SAF rate. If it is higher, the policy is too expensive and should be avoided.

Tan Kin Lian

Read Practical Guide on Financial Planning

Locked into a poor policy

 A consumer showed me the benefit illustration of a 21 year anticipated endowment policy taken 18 years ago for a large life insurance company. She paid $2,000 a year, comprising of $1,500 for the basic policy and $500 for the critial illness rider.

The projected maturity value in 3 years time is $25,000. The premiums paid for 21 years is $42,000, comprising of $31,500 for the basic policy and $10,500 for the rider.

I found the premium for the critcal illness rider (which does not provide any return) to be too expensive for the small amount of cover. The return on the main policy is negative, and is lower than the total premiums that was paid.

The consumer asked if she should stop the policy now, as the return is negative. The cash value for 18 years of premium is so poor, that she had no choice but to continue the policy.

This large insurance company must have sold more than 100,000 policies of this plan (just my guess). The policyholders had no choice but to accept the negative return for 20 years of savings.

It is very sad that the consumers in Singapore have to suffer this type of treatment. They were financially unsavvy and trusted the insurance agents. However, these agents sold them a bad product, which was made worse by the cut in bonus rates and the reduction in the interest that is credited on the installment payments.

Consumers should avoid most types of life insurance products that give a poor yield on their savings. They should buy term insurance and save in a low cost investment fund, such as the STI ETF available on the Singapore Exchange.

Read my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning.

Winner of Quiz 6-1

10 correct entries (i.e. Henry) were received. The winner, selected by a draw conducted by the computer software, was Kuan Say Yong (Sxxxx3771). Congratulations.

Please send an e-mail to giving your mobile number Ifor verification) and address. The prize (Intelligence Quiz Vol 3) will be sent to you.

This intelligence quiz requires some skill. You can get the tips from the book. Quiz 6-2 is now open for you to try your skill and luck.

Wisdom on How to Live Life (Book 2)

Humans being the most intelligent species and having lived on Earth for thousands of years, we are yet nowhere near to a life of peace, love, joy and harmony. This book contains a story of a young man, Tom, who had a second and a third conversation with Guru Harry. These are continuations of their first conversation which is contained in the book "Wisdom on How to Live Life". Guru Harry epitomizes someone from a spiritual society who offers a way of living which can lead to peace, love, joy and harmony.

Through these conversations, Tom learnt that (1) how to find out our interest and mission in life, (2) why meditation is important, (3) what we have left after losing everything, (4) why it is better to believe that people die at a time of their own choosing, (5) what we should do after becoming enlightened, (6) what life is like without a body, (7) which concept of God is more empowering, (8) what is the real power of believing we are divine, (9) why it is important to believe that God and I are one, and (10) why we should transform Earth into heaven.

Tommy Wong

Tommy Wong's books (Vol 1 and 2) can be bought here.

Caught off-guard

Read this article entitled being cuaght off-guard

Wisdom on How to Live Life

Here are some comments on Amazon website on the book by Dr. Tommy Wong.

Discussion of "Wisdom on How to Live Life" on Amazon

I came across Tommy Wong's books whist carrying out a search on 'spirituality' and am pleased I did. His whole way of writing and explanations are simple and make so much sense. I have read and reviewed books by Eckhart Tolle which I thought were good, but these books by Tommy are much better in my opinion and deserve to be read widely. I hate to use cliche's by these books are definitely lifechangers. I cannot recommend them highly enough. So impressed am I that I will buy any future book if he decides to write more. Are there other people who have read his books and feel the same way?

A. J. Bray

Financial awareness

Hi Mr Tan,
I am running  a small business. I have heard from friends that I should buy unit trust but do not know how to do it and which company to look for. I also heard that foreign currency deposit is butter than insurance as I do not need to commit so long.

A couple of years ago, I had placed some hard earned savings with Sunshine Empire and was very disappointed that I could not get back anything. I was actually angry why the firm could run in Singapore and had so many investors, but I have lost hope in getting back my money.

Can you advise me as to which company can advise me on unit trust and has lower distribution cost? Is placing my savings with Income a wise move? Which investment firm would accept investment under my corporate sole proprietorship account? Is it secure or should I only be satisfied with returns from fixed deposit under corporate account?

Please attend the talk on financial planning organised by FISCA ( You will be given a copy of the book, Practucal Guide on Financial Planning. It will answer most of your questions. You can also buy the book here,

Corporate E-mails

Here are some tips on the use of corporate e-mails for small and large companies. They allow a company to operate smoothly in spite of changes in staff and to have several staff work together in handling replies to third parties. It can improve the company's productivity significantly and reduce the scope for confusion.

Tan Kin Lian

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