Saturday, January 27, 2007

Easy Ads

Many people want to sell or lease their property or sell their cars. They depend on the property and car agents. The charges are high, and the results are uncertain.

The current alternative, of putting an advertisement in the newspaper, is costly and troublesome.

I wish to develop an alternative for the owners. There will be no charge for the advertisement. The owner only pays on a successful transaction. (Yes, I trust them).

The key feature of this website is that the main mode of communication is by mobile phone. This is convenient and relatively secure.

Agents can also use this service. By acting more efficiently and reducing their time, they can reduce their charges and pass the savings to the owners.

This will be ready in April. More details will be announce soon. The website (not ready yet) is

How to pick the right stocks

Many people, on their retirement, have time to manage their personal investments.

If they know how to pick the right stocks, they can get a better return than the market average.

I plan to write a simulation game that trains people to pick the right stocks. They hae to study a few financial figures and read the recommendation of the analysts to make their decision.

They can run over several virtual years (each year will take 10 to 30 minutes) and learn from their experience.

Practice makes perfect.

This simulation game will be ready by April. It will be offered for FREE.

Website (not ready yet):

Can I stop paying premium on my Living policy?

Dear Mr Tan

One of my living policies has been in force for 18 years. The total premium paid is $22,356. But the cash value is only $21,221.1, less than the total premium paid and cannot even breakeven. I am rather disappointed. Due to my age, I may not be able to continue paying for the premium, Mr Tan, what is your advice??

Mr Tan, I understand that you are leaving INCOME on 1 Apr 2007. You have done a lot and lot for the policy holders. especially the extra bonus every 5 years.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you well, healthy and every successful in your future endeavours.



Dear EN

The Living policy has a large coverage (ie death and 30 dread disease). This explains the reason for taking a long period to break even.

At any time, you have the option to stop paying the premiums, and keep it as a "paid up" policy with a reduced sum assured, or to cancel the policy and get the cash value (in which case the insurance coverage ceases).

My advice is to keep the Living policy up to age 70 and terminate it at that time. You can pay the premium out of your past savings. However, if it runs out, then you can consider the "paid up" or "surrender" options.

The good news is that the bonus rate for the Living policy will be increased this year.

Tan Kin Lian

Enjoy lower charges on the Ideal plan

Hi Mr Tan,

I have recently encountered a case on Greatlink (ILP Plan). It seems the insurance charges of $100K is very high. At $100K S/A, the premium on just the insurance charges can go up to $1,819/yr at age 60 based on $250/mth premium.

I recalled one of your reply on Straits Times Forum on "Insurance Time Bomb Sets to Explode".

My client would like to seek your views and opinion on this.

JY (insurance adviser from NTUC Income)


Dear JY

You can send this message to your client.

Dear Client

I advise you to take the Ideal plan from NTUC Income. It is similar to the GreatLink plan that has been recommended to you, but it has much lower charges.

If you read the FAQ on our Ideal plan, you will get a better understanding of the difference (ie much more than $30,000).


I advise you not to be locked into the high mortality charges imposed by many insurance companies on their ILP plan. The charges are too high. It is better to buy your term insurance separately.

For the term assurance, I suggest that you buy the decreasing term assurance, under our i-Term. It provides a large coverage at a very low cost. Details at:


Tan Kin Lian

Which university course should my son take?

Dear Mr Tan,

Appreciate your kind advice on which course should my son takes.

He will be in University next year, and has secured a place for a Double Degree in Engineering and BA. He is still confused and does not really know which course he should take. Can you give some lights and guidance?



Dear T

Frankly, I am not good at providing this type of guidance.

I have three children and they have strong opinions about what they wanted to do (which is diffferent from my opinion). I listened to them, and help them to make up their mind. It seems to work quite well.

Maybe, you can ask your son to send an e-mail to me. I can ask him a few questions and then help him to make his decision. I can also talk to him over the telephone. Will this be helpful?

Tan Kin Lian

Policyholder is happy with settlement of Flight Delay claim

Dear Mr Tan

After due investigation by your Claims Dept, I received the payment for my flight delay this month.

I am very grateful and impressed by your readiness to do what is right and fair. Your impartiality in addressing even a trivial claim amount like my case has left me lost for words to describe my admiration and respect for you.

Thank you for allowing me to resubmit my claim and also to your colleagues in the Claims Dept for their prompt attention. I will definitely share this experience with anyone that I may come across in future who has doubts about your service standards.

I enjoyed reading your personal blogspot and believe your invaluable advices have saved many people from losing their hard earned monies in misinformed investment products.

I sincerely hope you would continue to be there for us even after you leave INCOME.

Honestly, I do not think it is easy to find someone like you to fill the gap when you leave INCOME but really hope your successor will continue your good works.

May I wish you good health and success in your future endeavours.

Thank you once again and take care.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Explanation on Cash Value of Bonus

Here is an e-mail from a policyholder who asked for an explanation about the computation of the cash value of the bonus. After a few exchanges, he is satisifed with the explanation.


Dear All

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I am very grateful that you have readily responded and come forward personally to help clarifying the matter. I am delighted with such a high level of customer service which has surpassed anyone's expectation.

I feel better now that you have assured me that the computation of the cash value is in order, and that there will be a jump in the cash value in April 2007 when the 2006 bonus is declared.

I hope that you could understand my really concern on the cash value generated from the monthly premium which I have faithfully saved for the past 17 years. The cash value is particularly important to me in view of my age and future ability to continue with the payment.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Advice on investments

Each day, I receive a few requests from the public for my advice on how to invest their savings.

As I will be leaving NTUC Income shortly, I wish to suggest the following channels to obtain relevant information:

* FAQ on our products, at
* Call the business center at 63INCOME (63462663)

It has been my pleasure to respond to the requests during the past few months. I hope that you find the new channels to be just as useful.

Tan Kin Lian

Change of focus of my Blog

I will be on leave from 20 Febuary 2007, prior to my retirement as CEO of NTUC Income. If you have any issue on the customer service of NTUC Income, please write to

I will continue to write in this blog about insurance, finance and current affairs in Singapore, but in my personal capacity. I also invite you to visit my website, about my future plans.

A new chapter for an older employee

Dear Mr Tan,

I will always remember YOU for your magnanimous and will always be grateful to YOU for giving me hope and a new lease towards another chapter of of my life.

When other organisations were busily discarding their older employees you have the vision to employ them as CROs (Customer Relations Officers). Words cannot describe that wonderful feeling of being wanted in the society again.

I wish YOU Good Health, Good Luck and Many Good Years Ahead.

Warmest Regards



Dear P

I wish you all the best in your career in NTUC Income. Thank you for your heart warming words.

Tan Kin Lian

How to invest the CPF OA for 5 years

Hi Mr Tan,

How do I go about investing $100K from my CPF-OA for 5 yrs & getting a good return + insurance + maturity bonus etc ?

This year, I am 50 yrs and intend to withdraw $50K in 5 yrs when I turn 55 yrs old.



Dear JK

If you are willing to invest for 10 years, you can consider our Growth plan.

If you wish to invest for 5 years and you do not wish to take any risk, you can consider the FlexiCash.

You can buy a low cost term insurance to provide the protection:

You can read the FAQ in our website,

Tan Kin Lian

Financial Planning Talk on 10 Feb

I have been invited to give a talk on financial planning on 10 Febuary. More details can be found at

This talk is organised by a group of people who aims to educate consumers about financial planning and to promote greater transparency and accountability in the financial services industry.

This is a tea-cum-talk session, and will include as another speaker, a well-known financial columnist "Dr Money" - Mr Larry Haverkamp.

3G phone work in Japan

I was surprised that my Nokia phone can work in Japan.It is able to recognise my 3G card. I can make telephone calls and access the internet. The telco is Softbank.

Hot spring resort in Japan

I spent two days at the Noboribetsu hot spring resort in Hokkaido, Japan. It is winter and snowing in Hokkaido.

Most of the guests at the hotel are Japanese. My wife and I are among the very few foreign guests. Although the staff are not familiar with English, they make a special effort to communicate with us. We were given clear written instructions in English on the arrangements for our meals and how to use the public bath.

The public bath, which is the key attraction of the resort, uses the mineral water from the hot spring.

The hotel is a Japanese style "ryokan". The room is furnished with tatami straw mats. A 13 course dinner is served in the room. Breakfast is served as a buffet in the breakfast room.

Most guests use a yukata and a happy coat to go to tbe breakfast room or to visit the public bath.

This is my first experience of a Japanese hot spring resort. I found it to be very relaxing and enjoyable.

Low birth rate in Japan

My Japanese friend told me that it cost an average of 20 million yen (SGD 250,000) to raise a child, taking into account education and other expenses. Many Japanese find it to be too expensive. They prefer to have 1 child or none at all.

Many females to have a good education and a working career before they get married. Many are marrying qute late, in their 30s, or remaining singles.

The birth rate is quite low.

Clean air in Tokyo

I visited Tokyo last week. I observe that the air was quite clean.My host said that this is due to the strict measures taken by the auhority in controlling pollution.

This was a big improvement from the situation 30 years ago. At that time, many people had to wear face masks to avoid breathing the polluted air.

Perhaps most of the manufacturing had moved to China. In many cities in China, the pollution is quite bad. I hope that the authority will take the appropriate measures to control the pollution and improve the quality of life. This will add to the cost of manufacturing, but will still make China quite competitive.

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