Saturday, November 05, 2011

I vow to thee my country

Negative comments about Forex Schools

Dear Mr. Tan,
There are many negative comments about various Forex schools in Singapore. Some could be fake, some could be real. Whatever it is, government won't do anything base on rumours I suppose, unless many students lodge complaints like Clement Chiang's case.

But I believe something can be done:

1. Stop all the schools who claim themselves to be number 1, especially in their official website. Example of such schools are JF Lennon and Powerup Capital. How do they even gauge themselves to be number 1? It is dangerous for the public.

2. Warn Powerup Capital to remove their 100% accuracy claim in their website as there is no such thing as 100% in financial market isn't it?

3. Forex trainers to undergo exams and certify to teach. A person who prescribe medicine without being a certified doctor could be dangerous.

4. Forex trainers to produce their own live trading results for a period of time before getting the certificate as well.

5. Probably all the students who sign up for any course, are needed to send feedback to the MAS or whoever just after the course, being reminded by the trainers. 
One of the questionnaires could be "Did the trainer state all the possible risk". Probably the second feedback is needed after some time as well because students need to try out the things taught for a period of time.

6. If the trainer tells the audience that his student make $10,000 from $2000 after 3 months for example, then he should get a print screen of the real live statement. 
The name of the student should be there. The account number can be blackened. So as not to have empty talk and cheat the people. They must also claim that not all students could get this result.

I am sharing these because you may have the influence or power to help eliminate any possible bad practices.

Please read the comments posted here:

Bhutan teacher reply to Singapore Minister

This article is being circulated by e-mail and purported to be written by a Bhutan teacher in reply to remarks by Minister Khaw Boon Wan. 

Legal action on Pinnacle Notes

The US lawyer has crossed one major hurdle in getting the legal action on the Pinnacle Notes being heard in the court in New York. Here is an explanation about the legal action and the time expected for the case to be settled. 

Discrimination against Singaporeans

Dear Sir,
Kindly see the these links and read the content.

I think the MOM is not doing enough and I believe this time round many PMETs are waiting for someone to come out and help speak for us. Perhaps we need to bring out to the open those Foul Practises and FT HRs that are doing these bad things to Singaporean.

Please approach Gibert Goh who is organising this effort through his website:
More importantly, you should round up many people to support Gilbert Goh'S efforts, as he needs funding, resources and other kinds of help.

Bhutan and Singapore

Here is how Quitter (Wing Lee) view this matter:

My observation.
When the beloved King of Bhutan recently married, the whole country rejoiced. Singapore should learn from Bhutan, rather than pass negative comments about Bhutan. Read this article and see the 1,000 over comments.

Life insurance and financial planning for a young family

I wish to share this important tips for every young family, and for young people who will be started a family a few years later. It can make a lot of difference to your financial well being - more important than the time that you spend to learn the subjects to get a degree.

Online processes of Government ministries

The online processes of several Government ministries are terrible - they make life difficult for the public. I have bad experience with the Ministry of Manpower in respect of getting work passes and making CPF top-ups. My friend told me that he had a lot of trouble in submitting an application to work as a relief teacher in the Ministry of Education website.

I have submitted several feedback to the Ministry of Manpower giving details of the difficulty faced by me. They give me a polite reply each time, but do not really address the root of the problem - the online process make life very difficult for the public. Instead of improving national productivity, they make things worse. The ministry save 1 hour, but the public has to spend (say) 5 hours.

In many cases, the process are so complicated that the public has to call the helpline. After a while, many of these helplines (especially from the Ministry of Manpower) do not respond (i.e. cannot get through). I can understand the difficulty of these helpline operators. They are deluged with so many questions from the public seeking help.

The underlying problem is the complicated process. They are designed to save time for the government ministry, and they add to the overall waste of national resources. I hope that someone from the Ministry of Finance, who is supposed to drive national productivity, will respond to me ( My feedback to them in the past were also not attended with seriousness.

Investing in stock in a volatile environment

Should a young person invest hard earned savings in stocks in a volatile environment? The answer can be found here:

I agree with the advice that money for the long term, e.g. for retirement, should be invested in stocks and that money needed for the short term, e.g. to make down payment for a home or other specific purpose, should be invested in a secure asset, such as an insured bank account.

Upgrade Medishield for elderly?

Hi Mr Tan Kin Lian ,
I hope you can advise me on this Medishield upgrade . Presently my wife and i are both 59 years and on basic 
Medishield . I am wondering whether it is better to upgrade and even buy riders to cover the deductibles and co-insurance .  I am thinking not so much about a better bed in the hospital but whether the present basic Medishield is adequate enough to cover major illnesses . Another worry is the annual limit to medical claims for basic Medishield  and  also riders are paid in cash .

Please read my views on Medishield in these many articles. After that, you have to make your own decision.

NOTE: Consumers should attend the talks on Financial Planning and Life Insurance organised by FISCA. More details can be found at (The last talk on Life Insurance was cancelled due to lack of response.)  Consumers should attend these talks and be educated, rather than expect to get free advise to their specific questions - as they may end up being conned by dishonest advisers.

Friday, November 04, 2011

It is all right to get rich in an honest way, but it is now quite common for people to get rich by being dishonest and they get away with it.

Most Americans don't begrudge great riches to anybody who works hard, takes real risks, and creates things of value. As evidenced by the positive outpouring for Steve Jobs, great entrepreneurs are still celebrated. But there is an implicit social contract that links rewards to effort and accomplishment. If many people now believe that corporate America has violated that contract, is it surprising? At many big corporations, the senior managers have seemed more interested in stuffing their pockets than building for the long term. Gargantuan pay packages are only the start of it. Think boards of directors packed with patsies, books cooked to juice earnings, potential whistleblowers silenced, golden parachutes, and finally taxpayers obliged to save expensively tanned hides. The thing that is really surprising is that it has taken this long for public anger to well up.

Good experience with Forex Training Course

Many people had bad experience with forex training courses. They paid a high fee to get the training and lost money  in the trading activities (as the methods are not reliable). Here is an exception. This student still lost money, but he felt that the training provided was worth the money spent:
Dear Mr Tan,It would be my pleasure to share my experience with you.
Let me tell you upfront that I am not yet profitable trading forex.  Please allow me to explain why I was still happy with the course.
I took up the forex training course with X in December 2010.  At that time, I was retrenched for about 3 months and was unsuccessful in finding a new job.  With time on my hands and not knowing what else to do, I attended a few forex sales seminars and eventually signed up with X.  I paid about $3000 upfront for the course.
Before I signed up, I had already educated myself on forex trading.  I was aware that there were forex training providers who created the impression that forex was easy money.  X was honest about what forex trading was really about.  This convinced me to sign up.
The course started with 2 days of classroom training over the weekend.  This covered the theoretical knowledge needed to trade forex.  After the classroom sessions, students are entitled to attend regular tutorial sessions for 1 year.  The tutorial sessions were officially on the evenings of Mondays and Wednesdays.  During each session, the Chief Trainer Y would conduct an analysis of one or more currency pairs to demonstrate how he applied his techniques and then pointed out potential trades.  This would be followed by hands on session during which students learn to apply the techniques on their demo accounts while Y would go around answering questions. For those who have the time, X was open daily for students to go in and trade with other traders. Y would conduct two analysis for the students; once before London session opened and once before NY session.  As I did not have a job, I went in daily, from afternoon until night.  During these sessions, Y would analyse a currency pair and point out potential trades.  I found out over time that most of his trade calls were good and resulted in profitable trades.  However, it was a different matter when I did my own analysis and took my own trades.  Most of my trades turned out to be losers.  Faced with Y's successful trades and my own unsuccessful trades, it became obvious to me that it was not the technique but the trader that was the problem. I spent practically all my weekdays at X until I found a job in June.  When I was there, I found Y to be genuine about helping his students.  I was using air-con, Internet and electricity for free.   Although I could not go into X anymore because of work, I still joined the Wednesday sessions via webex meetings.  This was something additional that Y provided.  I didn't have to pay a single cent after that initial $3000 payment.  In fact, I wondered if he could be profitable like this. When I saw your online survey on forex and a comment that all forex courses are overpriced and useless, I knew where you were going with this.  You probably heard feedback from unhappy people who felt that they were cheated by forex schools.  Hence, I felt I should provide a balanced view.  There are indeed forex schools that use questionable tactics to sign up students but there are genuine ones too. Evaluating whether a forex course is good based on trading results can be tricky.  This is because forex trading techniques are easy to learn but it takes time and experience to learn how to apply them correctly.  It takes time, discipline and effort and is not a get rich quick scheme.  Like in any business, only a small percentage eventually master the skill to become successful. I personally found that it is quite safe to trade forex.  I am still working on my forex trading skills.  I have heard of people losing lots of money trading forex but it was usually because they could not follow simple trading rules that would keep them safe.  For example, students are taught not to trade large amounts until they are successful with paper trading or trading with mini accounts for a few months.  Another rule is that you are not supposed to risk more than a small percentage of your capital per trade.   However, there are many people who simply could not follow these simple rules. Mr Tan, if you have read up to this point, thank you for your patience!  And thank you for what you are doing to help ordinary Singaporeans!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

iPhone Apps

I have updated the apps in iPhone for Tangram and Shape Quiz to show a small image (on request) to guide the player in creating the shapes. This will make the app more interesting to the newbie. It is colorful, fun and trains the imagination. The apps can be downloaded from App Store by searching for "Tan Kin Lian".

High Notes and Pinnacle Notes

The Straits Times journalist asked for my views about the dismissal of the appeal by the High Notes investors against the earlier judgement. I replied that I am sad to learn about this outcome for the following reasons:

  • The investors already lost all of their investments. They now have to bear their legal expenses and, possibly, the expenses of the DBS lawyer.
  • This decision came around the same time as the good news received by the Pinnacle Notes investors that the New York court has agreed to hear their class action against Morgan Stanley. Furthermore, the New York case is being heard under a "success fee" arrangement where the investors do not have to bear any legal cost, if they do not succeed in the case.
  • The High Notes were created by DBS and sold to its own customers. This gives a higher responsibility to DBS, as they should be aware of the risk of this product and should have communicated it clearly to their customers The other credit notes were created and sold by different banks.
I hope that DBS Bank will at least undertake to bear the legal cost of both sides, so that their customers do not have to bear any further loss. It would have been nicer if DBS Bank had offered to give an ex-gratia payment to the investors, instead of having this case decided in court. I believe that DBS Bank might have sold a similar product in Hong Kong and they probably had agreed to compensate the investors in some way - but I do not really have the facts.

Tan Kin Lian

Investing in Options

I do not like to invest in options. My reasons are:

  • The price of the option is decided by an expert who takes the other side of the trade. This expert is likely to fix a price that will give him a profit (after allowing for the future possible outcomes). As the other party to this "bet", the retail investor is likely to make a loss.
  • It is possible for the option issuer to manipulate the price of the underlying shares to avoid making a loss. For example, if the option pays out a large sum of money when the underlying share hits a certain price, the option issuer will buy or sell the underlying share to avoid hitting the strike price. The cost of buying the manipulating the price of the underlying share will be lower than the  payout on the option strike.
If a retail investor wishes to speculate, it is better to buy or sell the underlying share, rather than buy an option. For long term investors, it is better to buy blue chip shares and keep for the long term to enjoy the dividends and the long term capital gain (and forget about short term fluctuation in the share price).

Lesson: Do not invest in options or other derivatives. Buy or sell the underlying share. Speculating in futures is all right, as the price is a direct reflection of the underlying share index.

Policing the Internet

I found this statement in Singapore Notes:
In the CNA Talking Point episode "Policing The Internet", MP (Tampines GRC) Baey Yam Keng claimed that the Ministry of Law sees the internet as another platform for real world criminals to operate from, and people need to be protected from fraud, cyber-bullying, etc. The timing of gazetting online blogs had nothing to do with policing the internet, he said with a poker face. While at it, he might as well add that the president's addendum had nothing to do with the online revelations about the circumstances of his son's 12 year deferment. The wording of the Ministry of Law statement on the subject goes like this:"The proliferation of new media has brought about new challenges to the rule of law and the ministry will review legislation to deal with harmful and unlawful online conduct". Smells like a good-cop-bad-cop routine is in play.
I am in favour of policing the Internet to make sure that it is useful for lawful purposes. This is to prevent people from doing harmful things while remaining anonymous. I know that it is difficult to police the Internet but it should not deter us from taking the challenge.

The first step is to lay down the law clearly and identify what are offences and crimes. Some examples are:

  • Defamation
  • Bullying
  • Telling lies
  • Cheating
These are offences in the real world, so it should not be different in the Internet world. The next step is to enforce the law and take action against the culprits. This is not different in the real world. Someone will report to the Police of an alleged crime. The Police will have to investigate and gather evidence to find out the culprit and charge the culprit in court. 

The next challenge is to have sufficient people to do the work. There is no short cut to enforcing the law - you need policemen and public prosecutors. These are good jobs - much better than having more people to be insurance and property agents!

I am also in favour of a requirement that people posting statements should be identified. They can use a pen name, but their real name should be registered somewhere and can be traced for accountability. I do not support people giving views and statements under anonymous cover, as the lack of accountability can lead to bad behaviour.

Some people feel that they have to be anonymous to avoid bullying by the people in power. This is not a good reason. If the people in power act badly, we should vote them out of office. But if they are elected, we have to live with the consequence, i.e. obey the rules and the law - including speaking with accountability.

Risk of Credit Default Swaps (CDS)

Suppose you bought Greek bonds and to protect yourself against default, you bought a CDS and paid a premium for this protection. The Greek government now offers repayment with a 50% "haircut" (i.e. you suffer a 50% loss) and you wish to make a claim on the CDS. Will you get paid for your loss?

According to this article, you will not be paid, as this is called a "voluntary settlement". On the other hand, there are many investors who were on the other side of the CDS during the Lehman crisis, and they lost all of their investments. It is "tail they win, head you lose".

Lesson: Avoid all types of complex instruments. Just invest in the STI Exchange Traded Fund or in blue chip share". Attend the FISCA Financial Planning talk -

DBS High Notes Investors Lose Appeal

It is sad that the retail investors lost the appeal with cost. This means that they lost their investment and also have to pay their lawyer's fees. So, their loss is compounded.

Singapore Investors Lose Bid to Recoup $14 Million Lehman-Related Losses

The Bloomberg article did not mean the words "with cost". I remember reading it in the newspapers.  I believe that this meant that the investors also have to pay the legal fees of DBS Bank (but I need someone to confirm this fact).

In contrast, read this Good News for Pinnacle Notes Investors

Collapse of MF Global - the lessons

Read Lucky Tan's article here.

The collapse of MF Global in the USA have a direct impact on retail investors in Singapore. They have money in their accounts with this brokerage firm and are worried that they may not be able to get their money back.

This brokerage firm lost a lot of money in the European bonds. It was reported that they might have transferred some of their client money to cover these loses.  It could be a big mess.

600 million missing in MF Global

This raises the issue about financial institutions, such as banks and brokerage firms, being involved in large scale speculation with their shareholder's money and, through illegally means, with their client's money. How can it be prevented?

I recall reading about the Glass Stegall Act in the USA which used to separate investment banking (where the speculation is carried out) from commercial banking (which has the fiduciary duty of looking after the money of their clients. This Act was passed during the Great Depression - after the lesson of the global financial collapse in 1928 - to address the same problem. With the passage of time, the lessons were forgotten and the key provisions of the Glass Steagall Act was repealled. This allowed the replay of the same drama.

Here is a description of the Act from Wikipedia:
The Banking Act of 1933, Pub.L. 73-66, 48 Stat. 162, enacted June 16, 1933, was a law that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States and introduced banking reforms, some of which were designed to control speculation.[1] It is most commonly known as the Glass–Steagall Act, after its legislative sponsors, Senator Carter Glass (D–Va.) and Congressman Henry B. Steagall (D–Ala.-3). Some provisions of the Act, such as Regulation Q, which allowed the Federal Reserve to regulate interest rates in savings accounts, were repealed by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980. Provisions that prohibit a bank holding company from owning other financial companies were repealed on November 12, 1999, by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, named after its co-sponsors Phil Gramm (R, Texas), Rep. Jim Leach (R, Iowa), and Rep. Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. (R, Virginia).[2][3]
The repeal of provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between investment banking which issued securities and commercial banks which accepted deposits. The deregulation also removed conflict of interest prohibitions between investment bankers serving as officers of commercial banks.
What are the lessons for today? Financial services and banking have to be more strongly regulated. Some specific measures include the following:

  • To separate investment banking from commercial banking

  • To require all trust account to be held by the banks, and not the brokerage firms. However, the law has to be updated to make it convenient to operate these trust accounts conveniently and through electronic means - and still retain the value of a third party oversight.
If these measures are not addressed, we will continue to see a repeat of other failures, similar to MF Global.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Singapore's crime rate

Lucky Tan asked:

Singapore has the highest prison population per capita after USA among developed countries. We have the 2nd highest rate of incarceration in South East Asia. Our rate of imprisonment is triple that of Malaysia. There is this poster that the SPF put up around housing estates that says "Low Crime Rate Does not mean no crime". If our crime rate is low, why are there so many people imprisoned? The USA has a large prison population because the crime rate is high.

Medicare in USA - complicated and expensive

USA provides Medicare to its elderly. It is a generous scheme, but it is too costly. And it has become very complicated. This kind of problem is felt by most countries in the world. And Singapore is no exception - except that in Singapore, the people have to bear a large part of the cost. And insurance is not a solution - as it can get out of control.

What is the solution? I will say frankly what I think - and it will not be popular. We have to manage expectation. We must realise that people will have to die one day, and that using expensive medicine to prolong life is not the answer - the person who is cured will suffer a lower quality of life and the treatment will bankrupt the family (or the state). The medical profession will be able to find new wonder treatments, but they will be too costly for the patients or the country to bear, and will make the medical specialists rich.

We must educate people to accept that there is a financial and practical limit to medicine, and to accept that life will have to end one day. If doctors think that they can cure the patient, they should only collect their fees on success, and not on failure. If this success fee is practised, many doctors will not undertake treatment that are not likely to succeed.

Mobile website for FISCA

If you have a mobile phone, you can access the mobile website of FISCA at

Regulation on Pay TV contracts

The MDA has now decided that they have to step in and regulate the Pay TV contracts as follows:

  • The contract should not exceed 2 years
  • There should be pro-rata refund on cancellation of contract.
This move, which is taken after a long time of free market practices, recognizes the weakness of the free market system. The businesses make things complicated and opaque and imposes unfair charges to boost their profits and take advantage of consumers.

There are many similar practices of this kind, for example, in life insurance contracts. In some countries, the regulators have decided to ban front end commission on these long term contracts, as they impose a heavy penalty on consumers, who were not aware about the front end costs.

There are so many bad practices that rip off consumers. The situation is especially bad in Singapore due to our legal system. At least, in USA, lawyers can take up class actions on behalf of consumers - but not in Singapore. 

I hope that our political leaders will learn about the reality of the free market and take the step to protect consumers - rather than leave things to be sorted out in the market. If the market can take care of these matters, there is no need to pay big salaries for ministers, political leaders and top civil servants.

Life in Denmark

One of my SMU students went for a few months of attachment in Denmark. Here is her observations about life there.

Hi Prof Tan, Life in Denmark is very different from Singapore. People here are very relaxed and know how to enjoy their life. In fact, they are one of the happiest people in the world. As you might now, Denmark is a welfare state with the highest income tax rate in the world. However, the welfare system is very well-run and efficient. Thus, the living standard over here is very high and most of the Danes receive good education. Compared to Denmark, Singapore is more bustling because we work way too hard. Here, the shops and supermarkets close at 6pm on average. There are many differences but I am really enjoying my time here so far.
I wish you have been well too. Hope to hear more about your experiences and thoughts about the presidential elections when we meet. 

Good news for Pinnacle Note Holders

I received this wonderful message from the US lawyer handling the class action. They have succeeded in getting the case heard in New York. There is still a lot of work that has to be done, but this is one major hurdle that has been crossed. As this is a class action, any compensation that may be won in the legal suit will be shared with all Pinnacle Note holders, regardless of whether they had been among the original complainants.

Dear Mr. Tan,
You may already have heard, but yesterday the NY Court denied Morgan’s motion to dismiss, which means that we can proceed in NY.  We still have a difficult road ahead of us, but this is a significant victory in the first battle.
Warm regards,

An endorsement of the FISCA Financial Planning Workshop

Dear Friends,

On the 29 October, I just attend a talk by Tan Kin Lian on the basics of financial planning & investment. I thought it is good and I just wanted to share. (It is the 2nd time I'm attending it since I wanted to make sure I understand some important concepts presented by TKL)

Just when we think we know enough to manage our own finances (especially for those with kids), please consider again. Especially your friendly insurance or property agents (who happens to be your relatives or good friends) offering you financial planning advice, it is when we lose the most money (unknowingly) . These agents are not liars, for most part, they are simply "honestly wrong". A simple question, what is the biggest risk for a young person from age 25 - 55 yrs old ? Please make time to attend TKL's talk and you will know the answer. The knowledge gained will save you loads of $$ in the long term.

This talk is not about some secret recipe to strike it rich overnight or coercing you to buy some software package to make big bucks in the stock market. Instead, it is to share with you the basics of financial planning (budgeting, debts, savings, what insurance policy to buy, how big of a property you can afford, retirement planning, etc..) which has NOT been properly taught to most people. I feel it is time to put it right.

About Tan Kin Lian and his FISCA club:

Tan Kin Lian is the former CEO of NTUC Income. Since stepping down as CEO in April 2007, his activities have included organising public rallies for people who lost their money due to investing in Lehman Brothers' Minibond products to seek redress, and setting up FISCA, an organisation to teach people about long-term financial security.

TKL is a sincere and knowledgeable gentleman who is well versed in insurance products and also overall financial planning due to his previous work. I have benefited much from his talk and reading his books.

His workshops (and books) are developed such that it is easily understood by the lay-person, I have both his books

(1) Practical guide on financial planning
(2) Get Value from your life insurance

Please also consider joining as a member for $36 per annum. FISCA is a non-profit org. and its objective is to improve financial literacy among Singaporeans. As a FISCA member, one get to attend useful talks at a discounted rate of $20/$15 compared to non-members $30.

This is taken from FISCA website:

"FiSCA is committed to being an unbiased, up-to-date financial site with quality articles and advice to help improve financial literacy among Singapore consumers. Being a non-profit driven organization, FiSCA does not solicit sponsorship from commercial companies such as banks, nor do we get revenue through online advertising. We aim to be considered an objective and knowledgeable third party in financial-related issues, in order to provide quality, un-biased information on financial education to the general public. "

TKL has a similar financial planning talk coming up on the 26th November (write up on the event is attached), if you are keen, I can sign you up at a discounted rate of $15 since I'm a FISCA member. (Note: I don't make any money by signing you up or writing all this, just wanted to share this useful talk with you)

Time and money spent on gaining financial literacy is properly the best investment you'll ever made in yourself.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

PruFlexi Cash policy taken by a student

A student bought a PruFlexi Cash policy and after paying the premiums for 8 months, he asked my views about terminating the policy.

I asked him to send the benefit illustration to me. The total premium for 3 years would have been $3,600 and the cash value would have been $800, giving a loss of $2,800. If he terminate the policy now, after 8 months, the loss would have been $800. It seemed to be better for him to terminate the policy. The sum insured under the policy was only $15,000.

What was the purpose of buying a policy that offered a miserably low sum insured and resulting in a loss of $2,800 in savings for 3 years? There is a complicated series of cash payments which can be accumulated with interest at 1.5% p.a. After taking all of these payments into account, the yield on the policy looks rather poor. It would have been difficult for a lay person to understand how to evaluate such a policy - as it is quite complicated.

I asked him to check out the facts with the agent, as I could have been missing some essential point.  (Note: I have changed some figures slightly, but the essential facts are shown above.)

It is a bad idea for a student to buy any life insurance policy - as it does not serve any useful purpose. Consumers should also avoid buying any complicated financial product that is difficult to understand.

Confusing bonus system for life insurance policy

Dear Mr Tan,
Recently I asked my friend to send me a quotation on income's vivolife policy.

Something that I don't really understand is the "terminal bonus" shown. On page 9, it showed the duration and the percentage of terminal bonuses for the years 2008 - 2010. What I don't understand is a percentage of what? A percentage of the reversionary bonus that had been declared thru'out the years or a percentage of the sum assured per $1,000?

Is the reversionary bonuses that is declared annually same amount for both death and surrendered portion? What I meant is that if for example, year 2010, the insurance company declared $7 per $1000 S.A for this particular policy. Regardless of if I were to surrender or make a claim, the bonus that is still payable in whichever situation is still $7 per $1,000 S.A.

If the above hold truths, then in the B.I of the attached, at year 40, at projected 5.25%, why is there a difference of about $40,000 in the total, when the difference in the guaranteed payout of death and surrender, respectively is about $20,000 difference?

Looking at the surrender terminal bonses and the death terminal bonuses for both 31 - 45 years, the terminal bonuses is shown at 186% - 212% .

Please direct your question to the agent who is selling the policy to you, or to the management of NTUC Income.

I do not wish to spend time explaining this type of complicated matters, when it is the duty of the people who create the product to make the explanation. I only advice people to avoid buying any product that they do not understand.

Contractors for household services

The list of contractors for household services has been updated to show more services:

The One Percenters

They are CEOs and money managers, doctors and lawyers, as might be expected. But they are also computer technicians, scientists and even farmers. Some are singers and movie stars (even though they may not like to admit it) and the rest of them are spread among various professions.

These days they are also the most vilified members of American society – also known as the 1 Percenters, who control about two-fifths of the country’s wealth and fuel nearly 100 percent of the protests around Wall Street, through the rest of the country and around the world.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hotels fees

Hotels are now charging fees for services that used to be free. This bad practice should be disallowed. This is the bad side of capitalism and the free market. Regulators should now step in to discharge their responsibility to the consumers.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Qantas grounds its flights

SYDNEY - Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is no stranger to clashing with unions. But his extraordinary move to ground the airline's global fleet over labor unrest is his biggest gamble yet and has angered unions, passengers and the Australian government.
The increasingly bitter dispute, which has dragged on since September, covers the sensitive issue of jobs in Australia being outsourced to Asia and even the very survival of the iconic 90-year-old national carrier nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo."

When the workers go on strike, they disrupt the operations and cause inconvenience to the public. In this interesting case, it is the management of Qantas that took the unusual decision to "go on strike" and ground its operations.

I respect the actions taken by the Australian unions in fighting for the rights and job security of their members. Many businesses find ways to increase their profits at the expense of their workers, and the profits can be absurdly large. I do not know if, in the case of Qantas, the airline has to reduce cost to survive, or just to increase its profits.

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