Friday, December 29, 2006

Lost & Found

The Land Transport Authority not operate a "lost and found" service for items that are lost in public transport vehicles.

According to a newspaper report, the Authority has recently decided to ask the major bus and taxi companies to operate their own "lost and found" service. The Authority will continue to provide this service for the small independent operators.

In my opinion, there is advantage for a centralised service. It can be operated more efficiently and achieve a more consistent standard of customer service. It is more convenient for the public.

If the Authority does not wish to handle this matter, they can call a tender for it to be operated by a private operator.

Long German word

Note: Edited with assistance from Peer Mitze.

The German language has a way of joining many words together to form a long word. Here is an example of how long it can be. There is no actual word that appears in this way, but it is theoretically possible



Translation: Donau steamship company shareholder general meeting



Translation: Railway track gap cleaning officer



Communication Technology Center


Join a car pool

NTUC Income is operating a service to help people to car pool. It is found in the Big Trumpet website, Big Trumpet

This will benefit two groups of people:

* the commuters can enjoy a more comfortable ride in a car
* the car owner can receive a contribution towards the cost of maintaining the car

It will also benefit the public transport system. When more people car pool, there is less rush in the MRT and bus.

Article in Lianhe Wanbao

Translated from Lianhe Wanbao, December 2007

NTUC Income's CEO Mr Tan Kin Lian
Had Secondary 4 education, did self-study for Actuarial qualification

40 years ago, when NTUC Income's CEO Mr Tan Kin Lian was fresh out of school, he had only a secondary four certification. While he worked, he did some self-study. After 9 years, at the age of 27, he received his Actuarial professional qualification.

During that time only 2 people who self-studied received the actuarial certification, and Mr Tan is one of them. After that, those who want to get this professional certificate had to go to the university as no one was allowed to do self-study.

During those 9 years, Mr Tan worked in an insurance company and did various positions for instance as a programmer, an actuarial consultant and worked in management level. “Because of my work experience, I’m a more practical actuarial compare to a fresh graduate,” he said.

As an Actuary, his duty is based on economics theory and had to analyse, evaluate and manage future unknown risk. “I’m good in mathematics, statistics and finance. I need to about 2 months to prepare for an exam. This is enough. I don't have much time for a social life but I don't mind,” mentioned Mr Tan.

Mr Tan is stepping down from NTUC Income on 1st April 2007, after 30 years of service. He is the third local CEO to step down since June this year, after SingTel's and NOL’s CEOs.

Mr Tan, aged 58, said that he would continue working up to 70 years old. He plans to set up an insurance company that offers high quality and low-cost insurance, using high technology and commercial strategy, to increase an organisation's performance.

Mr Tan Kin Lian writes daily in his blog. The information in his blog is transparent and has an open approach.

On one occasion he was approached by an union official who addressed him as “smiling tiger”. He said this may sound embarrassing but he can felt that the party did not mean anything negative.

Mr Tan also shared a light moment he had. On the day the newspapers published the news of his resignation along with his photos, Mr Tan was flying. The steward asked," Excuse me, sir. Are you the person on the front page of the papers?"

After the announcement was made about him stepping down, his personal blog had hits up to 1,100. This is a four-fold increase. His personal blog is

His most satisfied investment is a $300,000 investment in a computer system

For the past 30 years, Mr Tan had to make a lot of decisions. His decision to invest $300,000 for a computer system proof that he makes the right decision. The computer system's efficiency reduced operating expenses, improved the service quality and helped insurance agents to sell new products. “Because I was a programmer, it helped me to follow through this strategy. For the next 10 years, NTUC Income will enjoy speedy growth because of this system.”

What types of insurance does Mr Tan invests in?

As a CEO of an insurance cooperative, what are the types of insurance does he invests in?

Mr Tan mentioned that, when his children were young he took up term and life insurance. The sum assured is 5 times his annual salary. He took up a living policy for his wife, and also for his 3 children. He has comprehensive coverage for accident, medical and education.

Mr Tan also invests in ILP products for his retirement. His investments are all large, well-diversified and in low-cost plans. His returns for the past few years, is more than 10 per cent.

“For the next 10 to 20 years, I projected the returns to be around 5 to 6 per cent. I think it is a suitable investment for everyone,” said Mr Tan.

Mr Tan has two daughters and one son. His elder daughter is married to a Russian.

Advice on Land Banking?

Dear Mr Tan,

I noted that you have diversify your investments and wonder if you have the opportunity to look at "Land Banking" offerings from overseas institutions (registered in Singapore) like Walton International Group ?

My understanding is that the returns will double in five years time.

Can you advise ?



Dear PL

I tend to be sceptical of these types of schemes. Do you have any positive experience with this product?

Tan Kin Lian


Mr Tan,

So far, I have started on this investment for about a year and have not realised
any returns as yet. Only assurance is that the title deed for the land purchased registered with the local government.

Am I buying the right financial product?

Mr. Tan,

Although I've working in the public sector for the past 13 years, is still a lay person who knows very little when it comes to investment.

Recently was introduced to a wealth consultant from X by a very close friend and have invested our (wife & I) OA & SA from CPF in equities, bonds & trusts. We are still quite blur on their performance since then.

I would like to seek your expert advise on:

a) Are we investing in the right products?
b) How can we monitor the performances of these products?

On top of these, we have been both holding whole life policies from NTUC & ManuLife and also a term rider (NTUC) to cover my housing plan and our only child has yet to have any plan at her age of 8.

a) How much coverage is sufficient at my age of 36 & my wife (33)?
b) After hearing from my adviser from X that there isn't any priority to purchase any educational plan for our daughter, what's your advise? &
c) Last but not least, how to improve my level of understanding with regards to the funds, equities, bonds and otyher instruments of investment in our local context?

Your blog is definitely one of them....!



Dear TYG

You should ask the wealth consultant from X to give you an update of your investment. It is his or her responsibility.

You can ask the following questions:

- what is the returned earned by the fund that you have invested in, compared to benchmark
- how much does the fund charge as initial and annual fees?

You can read the FAQ in our website on our Flexi-link plan and Combined Fund an our Ideal plan for a child. It can be easily accessed from

You can also call my salaried consultant at our business center, 6788 1111. They do not earn any commission.

You can switch your investment to our combined fund. My consultant will advise you on whether it is better for you stay with your current investment or make a switch, considering charges and other relevant matters.

I usually recommend a person to have life insurance for 5 to 10 years of the earnings. You can buy an i-Term to provide the cover. The premium is quite low.

You can learn more about insurance and financial matters from this website:

Best wishes for 2007.

Tan Kin Lian

Thursday, December 28, 2006

How should CEO's pay be determined?



Mr Tan,

Sometimes, directors' fee/ management compensation stir up debates /draw criticisms from investing public. Some may hold the view that, CEO / senior management's compensation package should be calculated based on the success/ failure of the strategy implemented by the management . However, most of the time, company strategy has long term implications and thus it is hard to measure the success of such strategy in the short term.

In your view, how should a CEO's pay be determined? "



My reply:

The leader of any organisation, whether it is a business, social organisation or the government, should be prepared to place the interest of other people, including the customers and colleagues, above their personal interest. This gives them the moral authority to lead the organisation.

Any great organisation will take many years to build up. It is not a short term effort The success of the organisation is not the work of the leader alone. He or she needs the whole-hearted support of other people who share the same visision, including the colleagues, customers and external partners.

The leader should be adequately compensated, but it should not be done in a disportionate way. It is wrong to emphasise on short term rewards, based on stock options and shareholder value as determined by the stock market. This has led to many corporate scandals, including the use of accounting tricks to boost up short term profits.

I wish to see a return back to fundamental business ethics. Business leaders should make the effort to build a strong business that creates value to all stakehhlders over the long run. Everybody should be fairly and adequately rewarded.

Consider issuing one security device for online banking


I refer to the letters "Bank on safety and convenience" (Dec 27).

I use Internet banking. My bank recently sent me a security device. I had a lot of trouble registering it.

Those troubles are over, but now I have another problem: As I do not use it often, the device tends to be misplaced.

I imagine that, later, other banks and financial firms will also send me their security devices. It must be very inconvenient to carry them around, or to keep so many of them in my home or office.

I suggest that the Monetary Authority of Singapore encourage the financial firms to use a common security device, so that each customer need only keep one. This device should be registered with an independent party, and can be used by all financial firms.

If the customer is required to keep only one device, which can be used for multiple purposes, it is likely to be more convenient and practical.

Tan Kin Lian

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Financial planning for a young person

Dear Mr Tan

I wish to seek your advice as to how to help my son with his financial planning. He has just started work.

At the moment, he has 2 NTUC policies (endowment and Living). One of them is paid by him and an IL Insurance Policy with Prudential he bought a few months ago (from his classmate) before I stumbled on your website .

What other areas can he put his money to create wealth. He does not know anything about stocks and shares.



Dear LC

I suggest that your son should invest in our Ideal plan (instead of the Prudential IL policy). I think that their charges amount to 16 months of premium, compared to 7 months under our Ideal plan.

You can read about our Ideal plan here:

And the comparison of charges can be found at:

If your son wish to make a switch, I will ask my business center manager to offer a reduced front end charge, to compensate what what he has already incurred with the Prudential plan.

.NET Programming

I wish to look for free lance programmers who are able to do developing on .NET. If you are interested, send a reply to me at

Monday, December 25, 2006

Use Skype Out

I registered for a Skype Out account. It allows me to call anyone (on their mobilephone or fixed line) from my PC.

I only pay the local call charges to Skype.

The quality of the call is good. As I am making the call, it is quite easy for me to go to the PC to do it. The other party receives the call on their mobilephone or telephone, in the usual way.

I encourage people to learn how to use Skype Out. It can save a lot of money on overseas calls.

Know Your Insurance

If you know about the insurance products, you can make the right choice and save a lot of money.

You can learn about the product in a fun way at this website: Know Your Insurance

You can do a simple test to check your understanding. It is interesting and fun.

The most popular products viewed by more than 1,500 visitors are:

Investment Linked Plan
Medical Insurance
Motor Insurance
Manage Your Money
Life Annuity
Saving for Education
Invest Your CPF

Sunday, December 24, 2006

STI Tracker Fund

I just read the report of the STI Tracker Fund, managed by StateStreets. I am quite impressed with their results.

The fund started in April 2002. During the past 50 months, it earned an average annual return of 11.6%, compared to a benchmark return of 7.9%.

During the latest 12 months to 30 June 2006, it earned 13.4%, compared to the benchmark of 10.1%. I have since checked with StateStreet. They confirmed that the ST Index does not include dividend.

So, the better performance of the fund is largely due to the dividend, which is close to 3% per annum. After taking this into account, the return from the ST Tracker Fund is almost the same as the market. The annual cost of this fund is only 0.3%.

I had invested in the STI Tracker Fund previously. It earned a magnificent return. I realised my investment, as the market is too high. I shall wait for another time to re-invest in this fund.

Is it time to move out of the stock market?

Dear Mr Tan,

My family and I have invested $130,000 in Growth and Balanced fund managed by Income for the past two years. The average returns is about 20%. In view of the record high of stock market achieved in the world, there is potential correction in the near future.

To preserve our investment, we intend to continue the investment with Income instead of surrender the policy. Please advice me should I switch to conservative fund or any recommendation from you.



Dear EE

In my case, I have decided to stay largely invested in the Growth Fund. It has 30% invested in bonds, so it is not so risky.

In the case of the Balanced Fund, it is 50% invested in bonds, which is less risky.

If you feel uncomfortable about the level of the stockmarket, you can switch to the Conservative Fund (which has 70% invested in bonds). You can switch back to the Growth Fund at a later date.

Two months ago, I sold by ST Tracker Fund and re-invested in the Money Money Fund. This fund earns an interest rate of between 3% to 3.5% per annum. Since then, the ST Tracker has moved up further. So, one can never find the right time.

Tan Kin Lian

Secure Banking

I used internet banking. My bank recently sent a security device to me. I had a lot of trouble with the registration of the device. This is now over.

Now, I have problem in keeping this device. As I do not use it often, it tends to be misplaced.

Later, I imagine that other banks and financial firms will send their security device to me. It must be very troublesome to keep so many devices in my home, and my office.

I suggest that the Monetary Authority of Singapore encourage the financial firms to use a common device, so that each customer need only to keep one security device (like one NRIC). This device should be registered with an independent party, and can be used by all financial firms.

If the customer is required to keep only one device, which can be used for multiple purpose, it is likely to be more convenient and practical.

Customer is convinced with Enhanced Incomeshield

Dear Mr Tan,

What is your view on the following comments on one of H&S plan, which seems likely to be NTUC product.

One particular famous hospital & surgical plan requires the insured to call the insurer 4 days prior to admission for non-emergency cases.

Reason? To seek the insurer permission in admission. This means the insurer can dispute the reason for admission. In the policy contract itself, it is clearly stated that any dispute will be referred to a 3rd party for mediation. Come on, a sick person cannot go for mediation and family members main priority is to get the person's condition treated. I feel that this is a joke.

Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter. Can anyone imagine the implication of a potential dispute? What happens if the insured's health deteriorates as the result of the dispute? What happens if he dies? Will the insurer be held liable? Will the adviser be liable because he was the party who had help transacted the purchase of the policy? To me this is a useless insurance. A good insurance is one that gives you the peace of mind.

On the day when you need it, it helps you. A useless insurance is one that give you no peace of mind. On the day when you need it, it can bite you and tell you to go for mediation to settle the dispute.



Dear AP

The plan that you described is our Enhanced Incomeshield plan. You can find the details of this plan, including the 4 day advanced notice, covered in this FAQ. This requirement will be exercised fairly and in the interest of the policyholder. The main aim is to prevent over charging by the doctor, with the collaboration of the policyholder.

More details are in:


Hi Mr Tan,

Thanks for the info and your patience. Just signed up Preferred Incomeshield plan and riders for my wife and myself. Also bought a i-gift plan for my SRS.

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mental exercise is useful for seniors

Extracted from

Mental exercises help keep seniors agile: study

CHICAGO - Scientists have been preaching the benefits of mental exercise to seniors for years, but a new study may be the clincher that people in their golden years have been waiting for.

The study found that a little mental workout goes a long way, and that a sharper mind can make it easier to cope with everyday tasks such as driving, bookkeeping, shopping and cooking that get more challenging with age.

"Our findings clearly suggest that people who engage in an active program of mental training in late life can experience long-lasting gains from that training," said Michael Marsiske of the University of Florida.

The volunteers in the study did a modest amount of problem-solving and memory enhancing training, no more than 18 hours in any given case. But the pay-off was dramatic in the short-term.

Follow-up testing showed that the mental improvements were sufficient to counteract the cognitive declines seen over a seven-to-14-year period in older adults without dementia.


Suggestion: Practice Logic9 (Sudoku) for mental exercise. Keep your mind alert.

What is the cost of term assurance?

Customer: Mr Tan, I read your posting about low cost term insurance. How much does it cost to insure $100,000?

For Male, Non-smoker

Monthly Premium to insure $100,000 over 20 years

Entry Level Decreasing
25 $10.70 $4.40
30 $13.40 $5.50
35 $18.90 $7.80

If you are aged 25, you can insure for $100,000 on a decreasing term assureance for 20 years for only $4.40 per month. It is quite painless to provide a sum sum for the security of your dependents.

For a female, the cost is much lower. Maybe, up to 50% lower!

Under a decreasing term, the coverage reduces by $5,000 a year. Under the level term, the coverage remains at $100,000 throughout the period.

New product: No load saving plan?

As a consultant, I will be advising new clients (insurance companies) to introduce a "no load" insurance savings plan.

What are the features of this plan?

- can be an endowment or investment-linked plan
- 100% of the premium will be invested
- customers can buy this product directly
- advisers will be paid a salary plus a modest incentive
- a policy fee will be levied to cover the expenses

This product can offers a better return compared to bank deposits or unit trusts. Over a 20 year period, it should provide 10% to 30% more than similar products in the market.

How is this possible? The savings come from:

- higher productivity
- lower expenses
- less effort taken to market the product
- most customers will want to buy the product for their future financial planning
- existing customers will introduce their friends
- insurance advisers will be happy to earn a fixed salary plus incentives, i.e. the income is more predictable.

Consider an alternative to terminating your life insurance policy

If you terminate your life insurance policy, you get a cash value. This is usually quite low, and is less than the premiums that you have paid during the first 10 years.
The insurance company makes a profit on your terminated policy.

If you keep the policy for another 5 or 10 years, you may find that the cash value at the later date represents a good investment. In this case, it is better for you to take a loan and continue the policy (if the interest rate on the loan is low).

You have another option. You can sell your life insurance policy to a third party, who can offer you a higher value. The third party owns the policy and keeps it for another 5 or 10 years (or until the maturity date). They may find the return to be quite attractive.

You can study this arrangement, by asking your insurance company to quote:

- the cash value now
- the cash value in 5 or 10 years time
- the premium that you now pay
- you can calculate the yield for the next 5 to 10 years on this approach.

If the yield is 4% or better, it may be better to sell your insurance policy, rather than surrender it.

Video recordings of the family

Over the past 20 years, I have kept video recordings of some family and events, e.g. visits to places of interest or overseas visits.

Recently, I transferred these video recordings into DVD. My adult children appreciated the recordings which showed what they were like when they were young. My mother, who is now in her early 80s also liked the recordings. There were also recordings of my father (who passed away about 10 years ago).

Invitations to Wedding

I have a friend who used to keep the invitations to wedding in a separate box. Many years later, he can recall, from the invitation cards, the weddings that he attended, the venues, the couples, dates, etc. It is also a good record of the parents.

I wanted to follow this good practice, but I never got round to do it. 25 years have since passed.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Do not pay more than 6% on your loan

Are you paying too much interest on the loan taken under your life insurance policy? Some insurance companies charge as much as 8 percent per annum. More details at:
Policy loan

There is a bank willing to refinance your loan and to charge you only 6% per annum. If you are paying 8%, you can save 2% a year through this refinancing. If your loan is $10,000, you save $200 a year.

New way to buy insurance

In 2007, I will be helping two insurance companies (in Algeria and Indonesia) to allow their customers to buy insurance through new channels.

The customer can get information on low cost, good value products from the FAQ posted in the website. These products will also be actively promoted through the traditional channels, i.e. advertisements, point of sale promotions, promoters.

The potential customer can buy the products as follows:

- directly through the internet
- call the call center
- through an insurance adviser

The insurance adviser and call center will transact through the internet on behalf of the customer.

These products will be available at 5% to 15% lower than similar products in the market. The lower cost is possible, due to greater efficiency.

The customer service will also be greatly improved, i.e. convenient, transparent, prompt. Most transactions will be confirmed by SMS.

Find out more from:

Should employer pay more CPF?

There is some discussion in the newspaper on the need for the employer to increase the contribution rate to the Central Provident Fund.

The final outcome is not significant in financial planning. It is clear that the CPF is no longer the sole source of funds for retirement.

Each person must have personal savings to ensure an adequate retirement. The CPF contribution can make an important portion of the total savings, but it has to be supplemented by personal savings.

I recommend that each person should have personal savings in a flexible investment account, such as the Flexi-Link that is offered by NTUC Income. We will make it easy for our policyholders to top up their savings in the Flexi-Link and enjoy bonus units of 2% (to reduce the upfront cost).

We will also make it easy for topping up. Just call our hotline, and make your payment within 14 days. If you invest with CPF, we will arrange for deduction from CPF.

Monday, December 18, 2006

167,000 tax payers claim tax relief on life insurance premiums

167,000 tax-payers claimed relief on their life insurance premiums. If their CPF contribution is less than $5,000, they can claim life insurance premium for the difference up to $5,000.

The total amount of relief claimed is $313 million. The average is $1,900.

Groups who might be claiming this relief are:

1) Foreigners working in Singapore. They don't have CPF contributions so they can claim up to $5,000 in insurance premiums paid (subject to a cap of 7% of sum assured).

2) Self-employed persons.

3) Older (retired or semi-retired) persons who have low or no CPF contributions.

4) Permanent residents in their 1st and 2nd year, when they pay less than the normal rate of contribution.

Faster settlement of Incomeshield claims

In July, the Ministry of Health published statistics about the speed of settlement of our Incomeshield claims. Only 1% was settled within 7 days. It took an average of 28 days to settle the claims.

This was at a difficult time. We were overwhelmed with the large volume. We were in the midst of migrating a system.

The situation has improved considerably. For the latest month, i.e. November, we settle 73% of the claims within 1 week. The average time taken to settle all claims is 4 days. This makes us better than the industry average.

We were able to settle the claims promptly, as most of them are processed automatically. We only need to examine the large claims in more detail.

Sales of i-Gift trebled during the latest week

i-Gift is our annuity plan that offers a fixed income for a specific term (10 to 15 years). The yield is about 3.5% or higher, and is guaranteed.

During the previous weeks, the average sales is 100 policies for $6 million. For the latest week, ending 16 December, the sales increased by 3 times. A total of 350 policies were sold for $18 million.

Why? The current tranche of i-Gift will be withdrawn soon. The next tranche will have a slightly lower return, due to the recent decline in interest rate.

Our astute policyholders are rushing to catch this great offer before its withdrawal.

Special incentive for family members

Some policyholders have asked me to give special incentives for their family members to take insurance from NTUC Income.

In principle, this is possible. The special incentive depends on the type of insurance plan that is being purchased.

If you are a policyholder for many years, and now wish to introduce your adult children to insure with NTUC Income, send an e-mail to me. I shall ask my insurance adviser or consultant to follow up with you.

Income Tax Relief

A tax payer is allowed to deduct up to $5,000 of life insurance premium (less CPF contribution) from taxable income in a year.

For foreigners and self employed who do not contribute to CPF, they can enjoy this tax relief. I understand that 150,000 people take advantage of it each year.

If you are in this category, you should invest in a plan to enjoy the relief, before 31 December.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Advice on reducing risk

Hello Mr Tan

I am only 45 but am not a risk taker. I wish to invest lump sum $30K from CPF-OA to accumulate till age 62 to draw out monthly in future. Should I take a guaranteed annuity now?



Dear J,

I suggest that you invest in our Growth plan, which offers a guaranteed return of about 2%. With bonus, it should earn slightly more than 4%. You this FAQ: Growth

You should also consider investing in our combined fund. Although it has higher risk, the risk can be minimised by investing in a large, well diversified fund and invested for the long term (ie 10 years or longer). You can turn risk to your advantage. Read this FAQ: Ideal

You can convert your investments into a life annuity at age 62 or later. I will get an insurance consultant to advise you.

Tan Kin Lian

Logic9 books as Christmas gifts

A friend approached me to buy 30 pieces of the Logic9 pocketbooks. She finds Logic9 to be interesting and wanted to give the pocketbooks to her grandchildren as a Christmas gift.

Another friend, who runs a nursing home, bought 30 pieces of Logic9 pocketbooks to give to her employees, also as a Christmas gift.

If you are interested, you can buy them at any of the NTUC Income branches. If you buy 10 pieces of more, you enjoy a discount (i.e. $4 per pocketbook).

500 people attended the Logic9 Day

About 500 people attended the Logic9 Day held at HDB Hub, Toa Payoh. This was a good turnout for a weekend. The conference room was full for the first 3 sessions.

The attendees enjoyed the 3 tips given by me on how to solve the Logic9 (Sudoku) puzzles. Most of them were aware about the 1st tip (i.e. "find the missing number"). They were surprised to learn the next two tips (based on patterns).

I intended to hold another Logic9 Day at Income Center, Bras Basah Road. We will charge an admission fee of $5 and provide 2 pocketbooks (worth $10). And the free tips.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feedback from a customer on our website

Mr Tan,

I am a 29-year-old working professional. However, in terms of financial investments, I am only a layperson.

As a hardworking and thrifty person, I am very concerned about investing my hard-earned money in cash and from my CPF Account.

In a bid to improve my own knowledge so as to understand investments better in future, I trawled the Internet & learnt from various websites.

I am very impressed by the NTUC Income website which provides very clear advice. I am now thinking of investing my very hard-earned money with NTUC Income (I am already a client with an NTUC Living Policy but now am thinking of making further investments by investing in the Combined Funds with cash and CPF monies).

From a layperson in this area, the website has helped greatly in my education in financial management. The details of the various funds are also provided in the pdf documents online, including the yields over various periods and the top holdings of each fund.

I am also deeply impressed that there was a link to your Blog. Seldom does a CEO find time to actually be at the ground level to connect with so many clients. It must be very busy for you. This is helpful and humble of you.

I wonder how you find the time to actually attend to the many queries that must have reached you since you provided your email address on the web, including the queries that you published on your blog.

The queries and the suggestions that you have published on your blog provide insights for laypersons like myself.

The reassurance that you have personally given to others like myself and the other interesting anecdotes that you provide, such as on customer service in other industries and the level of service in Dubai, provide insights in other areas to many Singaporeans as well.

Merry Christmas.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Visit the Business Center

I met a few senior civil servants over lunch. They asked for my advice on the insurance and savings plans for their children. They are reluctant to talk to an insurance agent.

They felt that the insurance agent is more interested to recommend products that are attractive to the agent, and not to the customer.

I suggested that they visit the business center and talk to my salaried consultants. They welcomed this suggestion warmly.

I explained that the insurance advisers from NTUC Income are not pushy, and will recommend products that give good value to the customers. They will explain on our FAQs. They felt more assured and welcomed the approach taken by us.

Customer is stuck with structured deposit

Mr Tan,

I enjoy reading your blog it is very informative. Hopefully we can still read your blog after you left NTUC.

I have bought structured deposit from a bank in 2004. It was terminated in 2005 and my funds was transferred to purchase another structured deposit on the advise of the bank representative. He explained that the bank is revising the rate for the benefits of customer.

I was told to pay a replacement cost of 15% as I had terminated early. I was not getting the interest rate of 3.18% because the interest rate has gone up. I was also told it is a different kind of structured deposit.

I felt so cheated. How can I seek redress or highlight my experience to others so that they will not be trapped into a similar situation.

The product with the word "deposit" is misleading fom a layman's view. We always think that a structured deposit is like a fixed deposit.

Structured Deposit has some form of risk like unit trust, and is also tied to some interest rate which is too complicated for public to understand. Where is the transparancy of the product?



Dear CS

I suggest that you seek the advice of the MAS, Consumer Association (CASE) or of the Association of Banks regarding the unsatisfactory advice given to you by the bank representatives.

Tan Kin Lian

MENA region

What is the MENA region? It is the Middle East and North Africa. This region comprise mainly of people from the Arabic culture.

The Middle East includes the countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria and Jordan. North Africa includes the countries of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

After leaving NTUC Income, I expect to be active in the MENA region, to develop insurance based on the concept of the "Insurance Company for the 21st Century".

Find our more from: IC21

Monday, December 11, 2006

Best Low Cost Funds

Who offers the best low cost funds? Find out more from:

Ask Dr Money

If you invest in a low cost fund, you will get a higher return, after deducting the charges.

Best Life Annuity Rates

Who provide the best life annuity rates? Find out from:

Ask Dr Money

Invest in a unit trust or investment fund?

I was asked, "Is it better to invest regular savings in a unit trust (which does not have an upfront sales charge) compared to an investment-linked plan (where up to 18 months of premium are deducted to pay commission to the agent?"

Here is my reply: "The upfront charge from NTUC Income is about 6 months. This is less than half of the sales charge from similar plans provided by other insurance companies."

The unit trusts have higher annual fee. The fee, including trailer fee to the adviser, can take away between 2% to 3% from your investment yield in each year. This additional charge can be quite costly to you. If you are investing for 10 years or longer, it is better to buy a ILP plan from NTUC Income.

Why invest in a large well diversified fund?

Someone asked me why I recommend investing in a large well diversified fund. It can only provide an average return earned by the market. He feels that it is better to select a good fund manager that can perform better than the market.

I replied: "It is difficult to select a good fund manager. There are a few thousand managers to choose from. If you choose a manager with a good track record in the past, you are not sure that they can perform better than average in the future. You pay a higher fee, and may not get a better return (after deducting the fee).

By investing in a large, well diversified fund, you enjoy the following:

- low fees, due to economic of scale
- diversification (so that you are not affected by a few poor performing stocks)

If you can get an average market return on global equity, you are likely to do well over the long term. By investing for many years, you enjoy some good years and some bad years. The average has always earned more than bonds or cash over a 10 year period."

Lesson: Invest for the long term in a large, well diversified fund.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Enjoy your holiday at Snow City

There is a new, interesting activity at Snow City. Kids will enjoy it. They can experience the cold, and snowfall. They can take photographs with the mascots.

Snow City is in Jurong, next to the Science Center. You can also make a visit to the Science Center and see the interesting exhibits. Look for the photograph of President Nathan. Watch for a while, and he will turn his head and smile at you.

Logic9 (Sudoku) Day at HDB Hub

Sudoku is a popular game, which is a craze around the world.

Many Singaporeans are still not familiar with this game. Even if they have seen it before, they find it difficult to solve the puzzle.

I will be giving a demonstration and tips on how to solve the Sudoku puzzle. It will be held on 14 December at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh. Each demonstration takes about 30 mins. Several sessions will be held in the afternoon. You can come at any time.

I will present three tips, which helps you to solve the difficult puzzle.

This puzzle is good for children (to learn mathematics and be familiar with numbers), senior citizens (keep the brain alert, a good alternative to mahjong) and for adults (to challenge your friends or to occupy your time on the bus, train or plane).

All attendee will be presented with a Logic9 pocketbook (usual price $5). You can buy additional pocket books at a big discount.

Attend this demonstration. Impress your friends.

Policyholder Enquiry (POLE)

I access my insurance policies with NTUC Income using the Policyholder Online Enquire (POLE) service. It shows all my policies and transactions.

It is useful to check my records monthly. I make sure that my transactions are recorded properly and that the premiums are up to date.

My Folder in Big Trumpet

I have an account in Big Trumpet. I used the Folder to store my account numbers, passwords and other information. The information is encripted and protected by a second level password.

The information include:

- Google
- Skype
- Paypal
- Big Trumpet
- and others

If I forget any of these information, I access the Folder and get them quite easily.

I also store my medical records.

Try it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Be positive in our approach

I wish to encourage Singaporeans to be positive in our approach. Here is a recent example.

Last week, I checked in at Changi Airport for my flight to Dubai. I was travelling economy class. I carry a "elite card" that allowed me to use the lounge and to bring a guest.

I asked the counter staff about this privilege. He said, "Sorry, you cannot bring a guest. SIA had issued an instruction last week that disallowed the guest privilege."

I checked in at Dubai airport a week later to return to Singapore. I asked the counter staff at Dubai, "Can I use the lounge"? She said, "Yes, you can. And you can bring in a guest as well".

I suspect that the counter staff in Singapore probably made a mistake. What is worrisome is that he seemed to so ready to say "no", instead of finding a "yes".

Risk is to your advantage!

Hi Mr Tan,

I am a 27-years-old trainee teacher. I am very new to investing. I attended 2 talks organised by NTUC Income early this year:

At the first dialogue, I asked you whether it would be advantageous, given the past performance, to invest purely in equity funds, as they have been outperforming the bond funds. The key message that I took home were your words of wisdom: "Risk is to your advantage!"

I decided to take a leap of faith. I invested $10,000 of my savings in May this year with NTUC Income. I chose the Flexi-Link Plan with a distribution of my single premium in 70% Global Equity and 30% Singapore Equity. The prices then were:

GE: $2.495
SE: $2.121

In July, I received your letter offering the 1% promotion if I topped up my
Flexi-Link Plan. As such, I decided to top up another $10,000. The prices then were:

GE: 2.336
SE: 1.984

Initially, I was concerned as to when I can see the returns to my investment. Now, the surrender value is $20,837.34. The prices are:

GE: $2.441
SE: $2.244

So if you take the profit of $837.34 in relation to my combined premiums of
$20,000 - I earned 4.2% in half a year! I am definitely impressed with the
performance of the equity funds.

Thank you and your colleague for your honest and convincing advice. I now am a believer and supporter of NTUC Income!


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Does your adviser take care of your interest?

I met a senior manager of a life insurance company in Malaysia. They sell their products through their advisers (agents) and through the bank.

They offer a better return on their product sold through the bank, as the regulator sets a maximum commission that can be paid through this channel.

For the same product sold through their advisers, they give higher commission to the agents and charge higher premium to their customers. They leave it to their advisers to convince the customers on the "value of the product".

I am disturbed that the adviser is willing to offer the same product at a higher premium to the customer. After all, they are supposed to take care of their customer.

Does this situation apply in Singapore? I think that our situation may be worse for customers. The commission rates paid in Singapore for advisers and through the bank channels are higher than in Malaysia for similar products.

NTUC Income operates differently. We keep our commission rates at a modest level, to give a modest income to the advisers. We give a higher return to our customers, on their savings.

My future investments

When I leave NTUC Income in early 2007, I intend to keep most of my personal investments with NTUC Income.

Why? They offer the lowest charges. I will be able to get a better return, compared to other forms of investments.

I may re-invest into the ST Tracker Fund in the future, if the market corrects.

I shall be looking out for indexed funds that have low charges, e.g. 0.5% or less a year. So far, I have not found any suitable fund in Singapore. If they are available, I may invest in these funds.

If I do make any re-investment, I shall share my experience in this blog.

Provide for welfare of parents


I need some advice from you. The thoughts of buying an insurance plan had been on my mind for quite a while.

I am the only child and my parents are at their 50s. While working now, I am concurrently studying a part time university honors degree.

I am earning a gross wage of $1,500. 40% of it is used to pay for my school fees. Minus other expendure, I still manage to save 30%.

My mother had advised me to buy an insurance plan only after I graduate. However, because I am the only child, I want to buy some minimal plan to least protect the
welfare for my parents. The plan needs not benefit me but it must cover some of my parents' welfare when things happen to me i.e. accidents.

Is there any insurance plan which is suitable for me right now and when I graduate in 8 months time I will be able to increase the premium.



Dear SL,

I suggest the following:

i-Young to provide the protection. It cost only $100 a year.
Save and invest in a flexible saving plan, ie the Ideal plan.

Here are the FAQ

Tan Kin Lian

Monday, December 04, 2006

Educational Planning Game

Here is an interesting game to guide parents on planning for their child's education. It is interesting and educational. It is worth a lot of money by investing in the right product.


Heavy rain in Dubai

It rained heavily in Dubai yesterday. Many places were flooded.

Dubai is at the margin of a desert. It is a dry land with only 4 days of rain each year. So, it occurred while I was in Dubai.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pleasant climate in Dubai

We think of the Middle East as a extremely hot place.

This occurs for only 2 months in a year. The temperature could go as high as 45 degrees. Most people stay indoors, in air conditioned homes, cars or shopping malls.

The other months of the year can be quite pleasant. I am now in Dubai, enjoying the cool weather of 20 degrees. It is nice to walk outside in the evenings.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Telephone charges are high in Dubai

Telephone charges are high in Dubai.

It cost about S$6 per minute to make an international call. It cost S$1 per minute to make a local call to a mobilephone (minimum of S$3).

These charges are 10 to 20 times of similar charges in Singapore.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Experience the Arabian nights

I visited a restaurant outside of Dubai, near the desert. The experience was stimulating, beyond my imagination.

There was good food, music, belly dancing, and local art and culture, riders on horse backs. I learned to smoke from a water pipe. The atmosphere was like a story out of the Arabian nights.


Traffic Congestion in Dubai

Last night, I visited a restaurant outside of Dubai, near the desert. The journey was supposed to take 1 hour. It took nearly 2 hours, due to the congested traffic during the rush hour (5 pm to 9 pm).

My friend in Dubai said that the traffic situation will improve in 2010, when a new set of roads are ready. In the meantime, they have got used to the congestion.

Capital Protected Fund gives poor return

Dear Mr Tan,

I am a NTUC policy holder. I also have investments in some unit trusts.

I recently stumbled on your blog and have been reading your articles. I am very interested in the combined funds. May be it is a bit too late for investment at this age (I have retired).

I need your help on the closed funds. I have the intention to sell as the unit trust (closed fund) is now in the positive and with this money go into combined fund. Presently, the return is about 1% p.a. for the past 4 years and maturing sometime next year. It is a capital protected fund and there is a payout if it crosses certain price. Other than that, there is no mention whether subscriber of the fund will get anything else if the fund is doing well. It is moving very, very slowly. Should I sell now?

For the combined fund, should I start small with $1,000 and every month buys $100 of units or with a lump sum, say $10,000 noting that the funds are not cheap now.



Dear LC

I am not familiar with the structure of your protected fund. I suggest that you should ask your fund manager to give you an estimate of the likely payout on the maturity date, assuming that the market stays at the current level, and assuming that the investments increase by 5% per annum.

For your investment into the combined fund, I suggest that you invest $1,000 a month over 10 months, to make a total investment of $10,000. This will help to spread out the investments and get an average price for your investments. In the meantime, you can invest the money in the money market fund and transfer it gradually over the next 10 months.

Alternatively, you can put the entire investment in the money markt fund and wait for a market correction to move into the combined fund. I am adopting this approach for my personal investments.

Tan Kin Lian

Higher bonuses from 1 January 2007

NTUC Income will be increasing its bonus rates for policyholders from 1 January 2007.

The revised bonus rates will increase the cost of bonus for 2006 by 26%, or an additional $70 million. The key changes are:

- the bonus rates for Whole life plans will incease by $3 per $1000
- the bonus rates for Harvest plans (incepted before Sept 2005) will increase by $1 per 1000 sum assured
- the compounding rate of the accumulated bonus for these policies will increase by 0.3% and0.1% respectively
- the bonus rates for participating annuity plans will increase by 0.25%

The revised bonus rates for these plans will increase the return on these plans. A total of 405,000 policies, representing 54% of the total portfolio, will benefit from this increase.

The bonus rates for endowment plans will remain the same, as they are already enjoying a fairly high rate of return.

The special bonus on surrenders will also be increased to 15% (for durations of 10 to 19 years) and 25% (for durations of 20 years or longer). This will benefit all plans, including the endowment plans. It will give a higher return to policyholders who decide to terminate their policies earlier, usually for financial reasons. We wish to give a better return to these policyholders as well.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Over 100 i-Gifts sold each week

The i-Gift sells very well. The results are much better than expected. Over 100 policies are sold each week.

i-Gift is a product that offers a guaranteed income for a fixed term. It is actually an annuity certain.

The average investment is about $50,000. 80% of the investors choose 5 year term, while the other 20% choose 10 and 15 year term.


It is popular as it offers a guaranteed return of more than 3%.

The current tranche will be withdrawn soon. The next tranche will offer a lower return, as interest rates have declined recently.

Our policyholders get $3,000 more on maturity

A total of 31,000 endowment policies matured during 2005 and 2006. The total payout was $740 million, or an average of $23,800 per policy.

We give about 15% to 20% more to our policyholder, compared to a similar policy taken with another insurer. This works out to an average of $3,000 more.

We are able to give a better return to our policyholder due to our lower commision to agent and lower profit distributed to shareholders. We are a cooperative society.

Each month, more than 1,000 policyholders enjoy this benefit, without realising it. We will be more active in communicating this fact to our policyholders.

Re-invest into the Combined Fund

Dear Mr Tan

I bought this policy from Co X in year 2000 through an Insurance broker.

a) Enhanced living assurance, S$1924 per year
b) Premium payable for 52 years from age 33
c) Sum assured: $100,000 with annual reversionary bonus of $10/$1000 sum assured plus 1% of accumulated bonus.
d) From the sale quotation, at age 65 total premium paid-up S$61,568, surrender value : guaranteed 57400 non guaranteed S$33,190
e) Current policy status: total premium S$11,544, surrender value : guaranteed S$8,000 non guaranteed S$2,251

I have seriously considered surrendering this policy and go into term policy. What is your advice.



Dear PL

If you surrender the current policy and invest the cash value in our Ideal Combined Fund, you are likely to get the following:

a) Single premium: $10,251
b) Regular premium of $1,924 per year, $250 is used for decreasing term assurance, $1,674 is invested in the Combined Fund

Projected benefit at age 65 (not guaranteed)

- $125,900 based on return of 5% a year
- $181,600 based on return of 7% a year

The accumulated savings at age 65 is higher than that projected value ($90,000) under your current policy at age 65.

Tan Kin Lian

Set aside money for your grandchild

A friend wanted to set aside some money to be given to a grandchild when he reaches the age of 25 years.

Here is a suggestion. Take the Flexi-Link policy in the name of the grandparent, and nominate the child as the beneficiary.

The grandparent will have control over the policy during her lifetime.

On the death of the policyholder, we will transfer the policy in the name of the beneficiary and continue it for the remaining term. If the beneficiary is still a minor, the parent can act as the guardian.

Increase in bonus rates from 1 January 2007

NTUC Income is making an increase in its bonus rates for our living, protection and certain harvest plans from 1 January 2007. The revised bonus will represent an increase of 26% in the cost of bonus for 2006, or an additional $60 million (estimated) a year.

The revised bonus rates will also apply to all existing policies under these plans and new policies taken from this year.

Currently, NTUC Income offers the best return in the market for our popular plans. With the revised bonus rates, our plans will become more attractive.

The special bonus on policies surrendered after 10 years will also be increased.

More details will be announced soon.

Advice on Home Financing

Dear Mr Tan,

I have read the numerous financial advice you gave on your blog, a very generous act of you to provide such valuable insight to the various investment and insurance schemes in the market.

I think NTUC Income, under your leadership, is one of the very few that really take good cares of the money invested by its customers.

I have a condo apartment which is fully paid up, and currently rented out to earn a modest rental. The condo has about 75 years lease remaining.

I am living in a landed property which I have bought 10 years ago. It has an outstanding mortgage loan, currently at 4% interest rate. The outstanding loan is about half of the market value of the property. The rental income from my condo is sufficient to cover the interest charge on this property.

I need to raise cash to finance my children's university education abroad. I am thinking of 2 options:

1. Refinance the condo and use part of the money to pay off the mortgage loan on my house. I can use the rental income to offset against the interest charge. If I sell the condo later, I have to return all the proceeds from sales to CPF (i.e. cannot be used to redeem the loan on my landed property).

2. Sell the condo, return the proceed to CPF (as it was used to pay for the condo), apply to withdraw my CPF to replay the loan on my landed property.

As the property market is slowly moving up, selling the condo now will not fetch me the best price. However, the value of the condo will also drop as it approaches 70 years. It is unlikely that the project has any enbloc potential.

I would appreciate it if you can enlighten me on your views on the options available for me, and whether NTUC has any suitable financing scheme that I can consider in refinancing my properties.



Dear WF

Apart from selling your condo now (which you are reluctant to do so, as the property market is now on the uptrend), you have the following options:

a) refinance the loan on your landed property and have an additional sum that is sufficient to provide financing for your children's education

b) take a new loan on your condo

You can take a normal loan (which requires monthly repayment) or a reverse mortgage loan (which does not require any payment). The reverse mortgage is available only to people beyond a certain age.

I will get my loan officer to contact and advise you.

Reverse Mortgage

Tan Kin Lian

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dubai does not require any entry card

I arrived in Dubai early this morning. I was surprised that there is no need to fill in any entry card.

In all the countries that I visited, I am always required to fill in a card for immigration and for customs. Even Singapore require tourists to fill in a card for "statistics" purpose.

Dubai is the only place that does not require this unnecessary hassle. Well done to Dubai!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Is high property prices good or bad?

High property prices is good for property owners. But it is bad for the future generation, as they have to pay more for their property.

A property bubble may burst and cause losses to many people who bought their property at the peak.

The best situation is a situation where the supply and demand for property is properly managed, so that the property prices will appreciate gradually with the economic growth, and excessive speculation is avoided.

I hope that the current enthusiasm in our property market do not get out of control.

Avoid driving to work

For the past 30 years, I have a driver who drives me to work and back home. This allows me to think and plan business strategy. When I am in the office, my driver helps in handling the mail in the office services department.

I figure that it is less expensive to have a driver, than to have an expensive CEO to be driving around and to spend time in parking the car.

When I leave NTUC Income, I will continue to use a different type of driver, ie the bus or train driver. This allows me to continue to think and plan, instead of watching the road.

How to overtime the Time Bomb

Two years ago, a journalist wrote about the "time bomb" in several investment-linked products. The key feature of these products is the higher cost of the life insurance cover as each year passes by. At some stage, the cost of the cover is more than the monthly premiums.

The products sold by NTUC Income do NOT have this feature. If you have invested in the products of some other insurance companies that have the "time bomb", this is what you can do.

- Ask your insurance company to confirm that you are allowed to cancel the life insurance cover at any time. In most cases, this is allowed.

- Check the premium rates for the life insurance cover for the future years, until you reach age 65.

- Compare the total premium with the low-cost term insurance cover offered by NTUC Income for the same sum assured and number of years. You will probably find our premium rates to be (perhaps) 30% lower.

If your insurance company insists that the life insurance cover cannot be terminated separately, you can consider to terminate the policy entirely and re-invest your money in our Flexi-Link plan.

You can buy the term insurance separately.

Low cost Term Assurance

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Middle East Fever

A few days ago, the newspapers reported the recent visit by Mr Lee Kuan Yew to the Middle East.

Over the next few weeks, there will be several delegations from Singapore led by our government leaders to the Middle East.

I am in close contact with two organisations in the Middle East to introduce the concept of the "Insurance Company for the 21st Century" to several countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

I expect to be quite busy in this region, after leaving NTUC Income.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Better to buy annuity certain (ie i-Gift)

Dear Mr. Tan,

I am interested in the annuity, with no capital protection. When it will be ready for roll-out? I am age 37.

Two years back I bought a life annuity policy from UOB, because UOB doesn't have age limit. I intend to buy another annuity policy in near future. I hope that Income will lower the age limit with this new product.



Dear C

I suggest that you buy our 20 year annuity certain (i-Gift). It is extremely popular and is available now.

Details at: i-Gift

I will ask our product specialist to contact you.

Tan Kin Lian
Hi Mr Tan Kin Lian,

Sad to hear that you will be leaving NTUC Income. Your years of contribution have made NTUC Income not only a household name but a well established organisation. While you are still in NTUC Income, I would like to seek some valuable advice for my wife retirement.

She will be reaching 55 years of age next month. She has very little saving in her CPF, about 10K, as she had stopped working after getting married. I have a saver plan of 50K in a local insurance company (not NTUC Income) which will be maturing next month. The matured value is about 61K.

I am not sure whether to use it to top up her retirement account or to buy an
annuity. Is there any other better option? Incidentally I have already retired and have bought an annuity from NTUC Income.

Grateful if you could advise me on a practicable approach.



Dear CJM

My colleague will arrange for our product specialist to advise you. He will give you two options (i.e. i-Gift and life annuity) and compare with the retirement account.

If you are allowed to top up the CPF retirement account and earn 4% per annum, I think that this is probably the best deal.

Tan Kin Lian

Is this a good plan?

Dear Mr Tan,

I wish to seek your opinion on my following whole life plan.

Quick summary:
I bought this policy in year 2000 through an Insurance broker.

- Plan: Enhanced living assurance
- Premium: S$1924 per year
- Start date: 23/5/2000 age 33
- Premium cessation date 22/3/2052 (ie age 85)
- Sum assured: S$100000
- Annual reversionary bonus: $10/$1000 sum assured plus 1% of accumulated bonus.

Projection at time of purchase:
- At age 65: total premium S$61,568
- Death benefit: guaranteed S$100,000 non guaranteed S$84,361
- Surrender value : guaranteed 57400 non guaranteed S$33,190

Current policy status as at year 2006:
- Total premium paid-up S$11,544
- Total bonus declared S$6,152 (meet expectation at in quotation)
- Death benefit :guaranteed S$100,000 non guaranteed S$6,152
- Surrender value : guaranteed S$8,000 non guaranteed S$2,251

I have seriously considered surrendering this policy and go into term policy.
Appreciate your kind advise if this is a wise choice for me.



Dear LYF

Let me get my colleague to take a look at it. We will reply to you within a few days.

The living assurance covers 30 critical illness. What does the "enhanced" cover?

My initial response is that it is better for you to continue with the current policy as it provides covers "enhanced" critical illness for the whole of life. If you buy a decreasing term assurance, including cover for critical illness, it will expire at a certain age, e.g. 65 years.

Let me see if the accumulated savings at that time is more than sufficient to offset the loss of coverage

Tan Kin Lian

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Consistency in service standard

Mr Peh,

Just a brief note to thank you once again for your assistance in resolving the matter.

I thought I would give you some feedback on my dealings with your colleagues during this matter.

Although I still have my concerns regarding the issues, and did not always agree with the position adopted or the responses, which sometimes came across as inflexible or did not directly address the issues raised, at all times your colleagues conducted themselves very professionally and politely.

I came away with a very positive impression of the consistency in service standards, and would like to compliment your team on what appears to be a very good customer service culture.



Dear LBC

Thank you for your positive feedback on service rendered by my colleagues. I am glad that our colleagues from Service Quality Unit and Life Insurance Department delivered consistent service standard in dealing with the matter.

As for your compliment of good customer service culture, the credit should go to our CEO Mr Tan. He leads by example in dealing with customers and we try to follow the standard set by him.

We appreciate your time and effort in giving us your feedback. Thank you.

Peh Chee Keong

Are you getting a good deal on your insurance policy?

I get a few enquiries each day from the public. They ask for my views about the insurance plan that that they have taken from another company.

I will do my best to give an impartial analysis. If you are interested in a second opinion, you can send the following facts to me:

- how much is the premium
- how long do you have to pay
- what is the sum assured
- what is the amount that you can get on maturity

I will try to see if you got a good deal.

If your policy has recently matured, you can send the details to me. I shall tell you about what is the return, if you had invested the same sum in a similar policy from NTUC Income.

Send to

I invested $500,000 in Flexi Cash

I have decided to withdraw my savings from the CPF, as I am now passed 55 years. I just invested $500,000 in Flexi Cash.

During the past 3 months, Flexi Cash earned 3.5% annualised. This is an attractive rate of return.

I will wait for the right time to transfer from Flexi Cash to other funds, such as the Global Equity or Combined fund.

Poor return from competitor's policy

A consumer asked for my view about this "cash" policy taken with another insurance company:

- monthly premium $225
- term of policy: 21 years
- annual payout (from 2nd anniversary) $1,500
- sum assured $30,000

On subsequent enquiry, it seems that this is a participating plan, and the projected maturity benefit (not guaranteed), is $38,000.

Based on the projected benefit and annual payment, this plan offers a return of only 1.3% per annum for 21 years, which is rather low.

I advised the consumer to check with his insurance adviser on the guaranteed return, and on the likelihood of getting better than guaranteed.

The consumer is now considering to buy a term insurance from NTUC Income and to invest the remainder of the monthly premium in our Combined Fund. It should give a much better return.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Flexi Cash earned 3.5% annualised

Our Flexi Cash (invested in money market fund) earned 3.5% annualised during the latest 3 months.

The bid prices are:

2/5/06 -- $1.028
1/8/06 -- $1.035 (0.68% over 3 mths)
1/11/06 -- $1.044 (0.87% over 3 mths)

Interest rate is creeping up. The money market fund is now earning higher. Wow!

Beware of insurance advisers "churning" your policies

Some insurance advisers have an unethical practice of "churning" the life insurance policies of their clients.

They advise their clients to stop their current policy and buy a "better" product. Being more knowledgeable, they are usually able to present a "convincing" case. Usually, the presentation is misleading.

The unsuspecting client take the advice of the adviser, who has the chance to earn a large commission on the sale of the new policy. The client is worse off, as they have to incur a large upfront cost, which may amount to two years of premium.

NTUC Income has measures to prevent the "churning" of life insurance policies. Our policies stay with us for many years.

Some other companies have policies that are churned every few years. The duration of their policies are usually much shorter.

Beware about churning. If your insurance adviser shows you how you can be better off by terminating an existing policy to buy a new policy, he is churning.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

This structured product is bad for consumers

Here is another example of a structured product that is bad for consumers.

- guarantees a full return of your principal at the end of 6 years
- gives a potential large gain (through a complicated investment strategy)

To give the full refund of principal, the manager invests 80% of the fund in safe bonds (which now earns about 3.5% p.a) . To give the potential large gain, they invest 10% to 15% of the fund in speculative investments, such as options or derivatives.

The chance of making a big gain from the speculative investments is small. It is like gambling.

This structured product imposes an additional cost of 5% to 10% to pay fees for the fund arranger and the distributors (usually banks). These fees have to be paid by the investors (i.e you).

With this type of structure, most investors find that their return on maturity is usually lower than the return on bonds (due to the high fees).

If the investor had invested directly in an equity fund, they would have received spectacular returns over the past three years. The investors in structured products have come out quite badly.


There is now a new variation of structured products, which now give an attractive payout, say 5% per annum. Many investors do not realise that this return is actually taken out of your principal. They were misled into thinking that the structured product was able to earn this return.

Many investors are now stuck with these types of bad products. If they wish to withdraw from the investments, they have to suffer a loss now (due to the high fees).

My wife is very happy with her investments

For many years, my wife invested her savings in fixed deposits to earn interest rate at around 4%. When interest rate dropped, she was asked by the bank to invest in various types of special investment products and funds. Like countless other people, she had a bad experience with most of these investments.

During the past two years, she has been investing her savings into the combined fund from NTUC Income.

Recently, she found to her delight and surprise, that the investments had gained $40,000. She had never enjoyed this type of gain (must be more than 15%) on her other types of investments over the years.

1. Do not invest in structured or guaranteed products
2. Take the investment risk, but invest for many years (to average out the good and bad years)
3. Invest in a large, well diversified fund
4. Invest in a fund with low fees (and keep most of the gains for yourself)
5. Invest with NTUC Income

FAQ: Is it safe to invest, when the stock market is high?

1. Is it safe to invest when the stock market is high?

At present (November 2007), the stockmarket is at an all time high. If you look forward, the projected price earning ratio (PER) is 15 times. This is an acceptable level. It is not low, but it is not high.

You have the following option to invest your savings:

- life annuity
- growth policy
- flexi-link policy

2. What is most suitable for people above 60 years?

It is a good time to buy a life annuity. You can get an attractive payback (5% or more) with a bonus that can
add another 2% to 3% to the return (not guaranteed). The bonus will be compounded. If you have invested in a fund previously and made a good gain, it is a good time to make the switch.

3. What is most suitable for people for investing a lump sum?

If you do not wish to take market risk now, you can invest in our growth plan. It is for a lump sum investment (using your CPF, SRS or FD). It has a guaranteed return of at least 2% per annum. With bonus, it is likely to earn about 4% to 5% p.a. It is quite safe.

If you wish to take some risk and invest for 10 years or longer, you can take up a flexi-link policy and invest your lump sum in the combined fund or global equity fund. It is likely to earn an attractive return (say, 6% or more, but ths is not guaranteed). If you invest for many years, you will average out the return from the good years and the bad years.

If you feel that the stock market is too high, you can invest your savings temporarily in a money market fund or keep it in the CPF for the time being. You can take a flexi-link policy with a small investment. You can top-up the investments in the flexi-link policy in installments over the next 6 to 12 months.

The money market fund earns a market interest rate, which is currently about 2.5% to 3% per annum. There is no lock-in period. You can transfer the money from this fund into the flexi-link policy at any time, without any penalty.

4. What is most suitable for investing monthly savings?

If you are investing your monthly savings for many years, you should take up the ideal plan and invest the savings in the combined fund or global equity fund.

As you are making small investments over many years, you do not need to worry about the level of the market now. You will be averaging out the cost of your investments over the years.

You will also get a good return, by averaging out the return form the good years and the bad years.

5. Can I get a better return from NTUC Income, compared to similar funds elsewhere?

You should choose a large, well diversified fund. Choose a global equity fund or a combined fund with a mix of equities and bonds.

All well managed and diversified funds should produce about similar returns over many years. Some funds may perform better in some years, and worse in other years. It is difficult to identify the funds that will perform consistently better than other funds over the long term, unless they are actively managed in a speculative manner.

It is better to choose a fund that have low fees. This allows most of the return to be given to the investor. For an actively managed fund, you should choose a fund with an annual fee of 1% or lower.

NTUC Income has several large, well diversified funds with an annual fee of 1% or lower. Most of the other funds in the same asset category have an annual fee of 1.5% to 2.5% or even higher.

A difference of 1% in the annual fee will amount to a lot of money after 10 to 20 years. If your investment grows to $200,000 with another fund with high charges, the same investment in a similar fund from NTUC Income can, for example, give you $30,000 more, due to our lower charges (based on a difference of 1% for 15 years).

End of FAQ

Friday, November 17, 2006

FAQ: Ideal Policy (revised)

FAQ: Ideal Policy
Earn up to $30,000 more, compared to similar plans in the market

1. What is Ideal Policy?

It is an investment linked plan for investing your regular savings, e.g. from your monthly earnings. You can earn an attractive return (not guaranteed) from an investment fund.

2. What are the key features of the Ideal Policy?

The attractive features are:

- The regular savings are invested in a large, well diversified fund
- 85% of the savings are invested during the first 3 years, 100% thereafter
- The charges are among the lowest in the market
- You are insured for 60 months of your savings, at no additional charge

3. What is the projected return?

The future return on your investment is not guaranteed. It will depend on the actual return from the investments of the fund over the period that you have invested.

Over the past ten years, the average return from investing in global equities is about 8% per annum.

The following tables shows the projected amount (not guaranteed) at the end of 30 years for a regular investment of $200 per month:

Assumed net return 2.5% p.a. 5% p.a. 7% p.a. 9% p.a.
Total savings $72,000 $72,000 $72,000 $72,000
Gain (estimated) $27,700 $81,600 $149,200 $251,300
Projected amount $99,700 $153,600 $221,200 $323,300

Assumed net return - after deducting fund management fee
Gain (estimated) - after deducting upfront and other fees

If you earn a net return of 7% per annum from your fund, you will get more than 3 times of your original investment and more than 2 times compared to a safe investment that earns 2.5% per annum.

4. Is it risky to invest in a fund?

By investing in an equity or balanced fund, you can earn a higher return.

You can minimise your risk by investing in a large, well diversified fund that is benchmarked against the market. The large fund is well diversified in many investments. If a few investments turn bad, they are likely to be offset by the good performance of other investments. .

If you invest for 10 years or longer, you will be able to average out the performance in good and bad years and earn an average long term return. This return should be much higher than safe investments, such as bank deposits or the Central Provident Fund.

5. Will NTUC Income give a better return, compared to similar funds in the market?

All large, well diversified funds should earn a similar return over the long term, provided that they are well managed and are invested in the same risk category.

The advantage of investing in a fund managed by NTUC Income is our low upfront and annual fee. We have among the lowest charges in the market.

Our upfront fee (i.e. spread) is only 3.5%, compared to 5% charged by most other funds. Our annual fee is about 1%, compared to 1.5% to 2% charged by other funds.

We invest a larger proportion of your savings, compared to similar plans in the market. The difference is nearly 1 year of your savings. This is due to the lower commission rate that is paid to our adviser.

The difference in fees can amount to 20% over an investment period of 30 years. If you invest $200 over 30 years to get a return of (say) $150,000 on maturity, the difference in fees can amount to $30,000. You can get $30,000 more from NTUC Income, due to our low charges.

The other funds will take an additional $1,000 a year from you to pay higher commission to their agent or to give higher profit to their shareholders. The total in 30 years could amount to $30,000.

6. What funds are available from NTUC Income?

NTUC Income offers several funds.

A popular fund is the Combined Growth Fund. It has a fund size of $3,800 million and is invested in 900 equity and bond instruments. They are managed by 9 top fund managers globally. The benchmark return during the past ten years was 6.5% per annum. The actual return during the first three years (2003 to 2005) was an average of 16% per annum.


-The future return is not guaranteed.
-Past performance is not indicative of future return.

7. Is there any life insurance cover?

In the event of death of before age 60, the policy pays a sum assured of 60 months of your regular savings, or the value of your investments, whichever is higher. This insurance cover is provided as part of the upfront fee. There is no additional charge.

If you wish to have additional insurance, you can purchase our low cost term assurance. Our premium rates are about 30% lower than the market. For example, a male aged 30 can insure for $150,000 on a 30 year decreasing term assurance, at an additional monthly premium of only $13.05.

8. What are the other important features?

This plan allows you to:

- make a monthly savings of $50 or more
- change your monthly savings at any time
- stop your savings temporarily (i.e. no penalty)
- make partial withdrawal at any time

9. Interested?

Call 62 INCOME (6246 2663)
Visit our Insurance Business Centre at Bras Basah Road or Tampines Point.
See your insurance adviser.


Is the market too high?

Someone asked me, "Is the market too high for investing my money now?"

Here is my advice:

1. For people who are 60 years or older

It is a good time to buy a life annuity. You can get an attractive payback (5% or more) with a bonus that can add another 2% to 3% to the return (not guaranteed). The bonus will be compounded.

If you have invested in a fund previously and made a good gain, make the switch now.

2. For those who are 45 to 60 years

I suggest that you invest in our growth plan. It is for a lump sum investment (using your CPF, SRS or FD). It has a guaranteed return of at least 2% per annum. With bonus, it is likely to earn about 4% to 4% p.a. It is quite safe.

3. If you are younger than 45 years

It is still a good time to invest in our combined fund or global equity fund. As you are investing for 20 years or longer, you will average out the good and bad years.

If you feel that the market is too high now, you can invest your savings in 3 installments over the next 6 to 12 months. You can invest one-third now.

You can keep the remaining savings in the CPF or in our money market fund (which earns 2.5% to 3% and has no lock-in period).

These investments are also available from other insurance companies. But, NTUC Income offers a better return compared to the market, as our charges are lower and most of the investment gain are given back to our customers.

FAQ: Flexi-Link Policy (revised)

FAQ: Flexi-Link
Earn up to $30,000 more, compared to similar plans in the market

1. What is Flexi-Link Policy?

It is an investment linked plan for investing a lump sum. You can invest your saving in the Central Provident Fund, Supplementary Retirement Scheme or fixed deposits, to earn a higher return (not guaranteed from an investment fund.

2. What are the key features of the Flexi-Link Policy?

The attractive features are:

-100% of the lump sum is invested in a large, well diversified fund
-The charges are among the lowest in the market
-You are insured for 125% of the savings or value of investments (if higher)
- You can invest as long as you wish (i.e. no lock-in period)

3. What is the projected return?

The future return on your investment is not guaranteed. It will depend on the actual return from the investments of the fund over the period that you have invested.

Over the past ten years, the average return from invesing in global equities is about 8% per annum.

The following tables shows the projected amount (not guaranteed) at the end of 20 years for a lump sum investment of $50,000:

Assumed net return 2.5% p.a 5% p.a. 7% p.a. 9% p.a.
Initial investment $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000
Gain (estimated) $31,900 $78,000 $136,000 $220,000
Projected amount $81,900 $128,000 $186,000 $270,000

Assumed net return - after deducting management fee
Gain (estimated) - after deducting spread and policy fee

If you earn a net return of 7% per annum from your fund, you will get more than 3 times of your original investment and more than 2 times compared to a safe investment that earns 2.5% per annum.

4. Is it risky to invest in a fund?

By investing in an equity or balanced fund, you can earn a higher return.

You can minimise your risk by investing in a large, well diversified fund that is benchmarked against the market. The large fund is well diversified in many investments. If a few investment turn bad, they are likely to be offset by the good performance of other investments. .

If you invest for 10 years or longer, you will be able to average out the performance in good and bad years and earn an average long term return. This return should be much higher than safe investments, such as bank deposits or the Central Provident Fund.

5. Will NTUC Income give a better return, compared to similar funds in the market?

All large, well diversified funds should earn a similar return over the long term, provided that they are well managed and are invested in the same risk category.

The advantage of investing in a fund managed by NTUC Income is our low upfront and annual fee. We have among the lowest charges in the market.

Our upfront fee (i.e. spread) is only 3.5%, compared to 5% charged by most other funds. Our annual fee is about 1%, compared to 1.5% to 2% charged by other funds.

The difference in fees can amount to 20% over an investment period of 20 years. If you invest $50,000 over 20 years to get a return of (say) $150,000 on maturity, the difference in fees can amount to $30,000. You can get $30,000 more from NTUC Income, due to our low charges.

The other funds will take an additional $1,500 a year from you to pay higher commisison to their agent or to give higher profit to their shareholders. The total in 20 years could amount to $30,000.

6. What funds are available from NTUC Income?

NTUC Income offers several funds.

A popular fund is the Combined Growth Fund. It has a fund size of $3,800 million and are invested in 900 equity and bond instruments. They are managed by 9 top fund managers globally. The benchmark return during the past ten years was 6.5% per annum. The actual return during the first three years (2003 to 2005) was an average of 16% per annum.


-The future return is not guaranteed.
-Past performance is not indicative of future return.

7. Is there any life insurance cover?

In the event of death of before age 60, the policy pays a sum assured of 125% of the invested sum (less withdrawals) or the value of the investments, whichever is higher. This insurance cover is provided as part of the upfront fee of 3.5%. There is no additional charge.

If you wish to have additional insurance, you can purchase our low cost term assurance. Our premium rates are about 30% lower than the market. For example, a male age 30 can insure for 20 years at a monthly premium of only $13.40.

8. What are the other important features?

This plan allows you to:

- make an initial investment of $5,000 or more.
- top up at any time, $1,000 or more.
- make partial withdrawal at any time, of $500 or more (without any charge).
- arrange for a fixed monthly withdrawal to be credited to your bank account

9. Interested?

Call 62 INCOME (6246 2663)
Visit our Insurance Business Centre at Bras Basah Road or Tampines Point.
See your insurance adviser.


Tan Kin Lian (Gmail)

What is the financial stability of NTUC Income?

Dear Mr Tan,

I am a policy holder with NTUC. Although my policy is just a small amount, I like to find out about the stability of NTUC in view of further business with NTUC.

I understant that NTUC is a cooperative. What do you mean by that, compared to the other insurers and investments companies? Does it also mean the government is linked to NTUC and they will bill NTUC out in the event of financial crisis?



Dear AN

Please read about our corporate profile at:

Corporate Profile

NTUC Income is rated AA by Standard & Poors. This is the strongest financial rating among all insurance companies in Asia. There must be a few thousand companies in this category.

We are NOT owned by the government. We do not need the government to bail us out in the event of a financial crisis.

With our strong financial rating, we will be able to face any financial crisis better than most other insurance companies, including those that are owned by multi-national companies.

Do you need me to introduce an adviser or consultant to talk to you?

Tan Kin Lian

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Earn $30,000 more by investing through NTUC Income

I gave our FAQ on the Ideal plan to many young people. I explained the following:

- you can save $200 a month for the next 30 years

- you should invest the savings in a large, well diversified fund to get an attractive return, expected to be 6% per annum (not guaranteed)

- you can invest with NTUC Income or with any other insurance company.

- if you invest with NTUC Income, you can earn $30,000 more.

The reason? The other company take away about $1,000 more from your yield yearly to pay higher commission to their agents, and to make profit for the company. NTUC Income keeps this money for you. Over 30 years, you can get $30,000 more.

Many people were surprised that there is such a big difference. They decided to save and invest with NTUC Income.

Ideal plan

Logic9 (Sudoku): 3 tips to solve difficult puzzles

I have 3 tips to solve the difficult puzzles.

- find the missing number
- 3 box rule
- eliminate the blanks

I have taught about 100 people. They all enjoyed it. About 2% of the population know how to solve this puzzle. Join this exclusive group of genius.

I shall be giving a public talk in December on how to solve these puzzles. Watch out for details. Attend the talk, and get a free copy of the Logic0 pocketbook (worth $5).

Many motorists switch after first year

Each month, about 1,200 motorists switched their insurance to NTUC Income after the first year. 60% switched to us directly; the remaining 40% switched through our agents.

They enjoy a saving of up to 30% on their premium, by switching to us. The premium charged by their previous insurer, who had a tied arrengement with the motor distributor for the first year, is about 30% higher.

We encourage motorists to switch to NTUC Income after the first year, to enjoy this big saving.

Do not wait until your insurance expires. You can call us now and register with us, to enjoy the saving. We will contact you to remind you about the renewal of the insurance, and to remind you about the saving in premium.

Call 6788 1111

Motor Insurance

Happy with review of claim

Our policyholder met with an accident. A claim was paid by us to the third party. He lost his No Claim Discount.

Upon a review of the claim, we decided to waive the penalty and retain the No Claim Discount. The policyholder sent this e-mail to me.

Dear Mr. Tan

I received the revised renewal letter. Since then I have also renewed my insurance, very conveniently over the phone. Thanks once again for promptly resolving my concern. Much appreciated!

So far among all insurance companies, my dealings with NTUC Income have generally been the most efficient. I am sure having accessible and electronic communication email, blog..) savvy management is helping.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Performance of Investment Funds

Standard & Poors assess the performance of funds (during the past 36 months) relative to other funds in its category. It awards 5 stars for the best funds, down to 1 star for the worst funds.

Here are the results as at end September 2006.

Stars Inc Pru AIA GE JH Manu Axa Av
5 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0
4 5 4 2 2 1 1 0 1
3 1 2 2 3 6 4 1 1
2 2 1 3 7 5 1 3 3
1 0 0 2 3 1 0 2 1
Total 9 7 9 16 14 7 6 6

NTUC Income has the highest proportion of its funds in the top two ranks (i.e. 6 out of 9 funds). This is followed by Prudential with 4 out of 7 funds.

Most of the other insurers have more funds in the bottom two ranks than the top two ranks. They have more funds that perform below average.

The better performance of NTUC Income's funds is probably due mainly to our low charges.

Here is another observation. Each insurer has some funds that perform better than average and others that perform worse than average. It is difficult to choose the right fund by looking at the "manager".

If you track the performance of each fund, you are likely to see that the same fund may perform better in some years and worse in other years.

Lesson: Choose a large, well diversifed, low charge fund and invest for the long term. You will get a better than average return.

Get a better deal from NTUC Income on your HDB loan

Dear Mr Tan

I took a loan of $225,000 on my HDB flat and pay a fixed rate of interest of $9,500 a year for the first three years. I have to deposit $100,000 in a current linked account with the bank to earn a total interest of $10,500 for the first three years.

Can you recommend a better package for me from NTUC Income?



Dear EG

It seems that you are paying interest at 4.2% on your HDB loan and you get interest at 3.5% on your current linked account.

Your net borrowing is $125,000 (i.e $225,000 less $100,000) and you pay an interest of $6,000 (ie $9,500 less $3,500) on it. Your effective interest rate appears to be 4.8%, fixed for 3 years.

NTUC Income charges a fixed interest rate of 4.15% for 5 years. See:

HDB Loan

Tan Kin Lian

Structured product withdrawn in the UK

Dear Mr Tan,

My father nearly bought a structured product a few years ago in the UK. It offered a "guaranteed 10%", which sounded good as risk-free interest rates were about 6%.

In the small print, it was stated that the amount paid on maturity after 10 years was far from "guaranteed". It emphasised in big print that you might get more, but my father missed the small print which said that you might get less.

The money (less charges) was to be invested in some sort of balanced fund - including both bonds & equities - with a 10% draw-down facility each year.

In the (unlikely) event of the company achieving a 12% return, the policyholder would get money back after 10 years - or even more if returns were higher - but if returns were less, a lower amount would be returned at the end - with a minimum of zero.

All that was guaranteed was a return of the Principal without interest over 10 years, or on death within the 10 year period.

This product was marketed by some "reputable" UK insurance companies. They dropped the product after the press and consumer groups criticised the misleading sales literature. It was a very simple product - made to look like something it was not.

The lesson is that nothing comes free. If a product looks "too good to be true" - you have been misled by the marketing literature or by the salesperson.


Is it risky to invest in structured products?

Some structured products have high risk. Find out more from:

Risk of Structured Products

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Logic9 (Sudoku) trains the mind

Sudoku is a number game that is popular around the world. You enter each row, column or box (3X3) with the numbers 1 to 9 (each number appear only once). It appears in Today paper and in MyPaper.

NTUC Income has created puzzles under the name of Logic9. You can view the game at

The game is good for young and old. It trains children to be familiar with numbers and strengthens their mathematics. It trains the elderly to keep their mind alert, and prevents dementia (so it is claimed).

If you play the CD version of Logic9, you have the following option:

- use numbers, train the left brain
- use symbols (eg flowers, animals), train the right brain
- try level 5 to 8, train your mind to be flexible and adapt to the uncertain.

You can buy the CD and pocketbooks at NTUC Income branches, and bookstores for only $5.

The pocketbook is suitable for use in the bus, train or plan. It contains 128 puzzles at 4 levels. 2,000 copies are sold each month.

My financial advice is free, but worth a lot of money

My financial advice is free. But is worth a lot of money to you.

Buy term insurance for your life insurance needs and invest the rest of your savings in a large, well diversified fund, with low charges.

This advice is worth many ten of thousand of dollars to any ordinary consumer. You do not need to pay any money to me for this advice.

Some advisers tell you to buy a product that give a high commission to them, and a large profit to the financial institution. These charges come out from your investments.

Do not fall for complex products that give uncertain guarantees. Watch out for the warnings, such as "you may lose part or all of your principal".

Do not ask a financial adviser to help you to select the best funds. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. You will pay a large "trailer fee" for an advice that is probably worthless.

The term insurance product from NTUC Income saves you 20% or more, compared to similar products in the market.

Low cost Term Insruance

The combined fund is a large, well diversified fund with low charges. You can invest a lump sum or monthly savings.

Invest a lump sum
Invest your monthly savings

And, here are my financial planning tips:

Financial Planning Tips

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