Saturday, April 21, 2007

Change in occupation

Some personal accident policy requires you to declare a change in occupation. If you do not declare, the policy may be void.

Check your policy to see if there is such a requirement. Better still, choose a policy that does not have this requirement.

Feeder services

I suggest that feeder services should be introduced to ply certain districts and bring the commutters to the MRT trains or bus terminals.

The feeder services can be operated using light buses, like in Hong Kong.

They can serve a useful purpose of providing transport to the neighbourhood malls, schools or community facilities.

These services should be farmed out to small operators, and not placed under the large transport operators.

It is easier for the public to learn how to use the local feeder services. Many people find the current bus services to be too complicated to use.

If you agree with this suggestion, please vote in LTA portal

Selling your life insurance policy

If you are not able to continue with your life insurance policy, the insurer will pay its cash value to you. This cash value is calculated by the insurer to give them a profit when you surrender.

You may be able to find a buyer who is willing to pay a higher amount to buy the life insurance policy from you. The buyer will continue to pay the premium and collect the maturity or death benefit.

This breaks the monopoly of the insurer who issue the policy. This competition may force the insurer to pay a higher cash value to their policyholder.

There is a moral risk that the buyer of the policy may benefit substantially on the premature death of the policyholder. Apparently, this is allowed by law.

Someone has set up an operation in Singapore to buy over the life insurance policy from the policyholder. If you look for "sell endowment" in Google search, you may be able to find some links to this service.

Life insurance with regular paybacks

Some life insurers market a whole life or endowment policy with regular pay-backs every one, two or three years. They sell large numbers of these policies.

This type of plan give poor value to the customers. Here is the reason:

* the insurer charges the normal premium for the basic policy
* they add an additional premium for the regular payback
* the additional premium has to loaded to cover the commission and expenses

For example, if the regular pay-back is $3,000 every 3 years, the insurer has to add $1,000 plus $100 (to cover commisison and expenses). It does not make sense for the customer to pay an additional $1,100 a year to get $3,000 every 3 years.

This is not transparent to the customer. The customer is not aware that he is paying an incurring additional expenses for this benefit. He is worse off.

Somehow the insurance agent is able to make this plan look more attractive than its reality. This is the power of false marketing.

Critical illness

I use Google search to find out about "critical illness" policies available in other countries.

The websites are mainly from the United Kingdom. They offer critical illness on a level or decreasing cover, similar to term insurance.

I wanted to compare the premium rates in the UK with those in Singapore.So far, I am not able to get the comparable premium rates, as the websites are managed by brokers who insist on "talking" to me. I shall continue to try.

Some of the websites are quite educational and informative.

Decreasing term with living benefit

Hi Mr Tan.

I am 24 years old. I like to know whether there is term insurance longer than 20 years. Does a 20 year term insurance auto-renews itself when it ends? Do you recommend buying decreasing term (e.g.$100k) and living benefit (e.g.$50k) together?



You can buy a term longer than 20 years. It is available for 30 years or to cease at a specified age, say 65 years.

The term policy does not auto-renew itself. It will cease at the end of the term. You should buy term insurance for the entire period that you need the insurance.

It is a good idea to buy a decreasing term assurance and a living benefit (to cover critical illness). The living benefit can also be for a specified term.

How to invest in index funds

According to John Bogle, it is better to invest in the entire market through an index fund.

If you wish to invest in an index fund in Singapore, the closest that you can invest is the STI tracker fund, that is traded on the Singapore Exchange.

If you go outside of Singapore, there are many hundreds of choices. You can find out more using Google search to look for "index funds". Some of the websites provide educational materials.

Planning for a retirement income

Hi Mr Tan.

I am 37 years old. If I save $20,000 a year for next 18 years at 5% return, I would accummulate about $500,000 when I reach 55 years old.

With this amount being place in an annuity for next 25 years at 3%, I would only be getting about $2,000 a month from 55 to 80 years old.

With inflation, the real value of the annuity will be less than $2,000 and may not be sufficient for life beyond 55 years old.

How realistic is the return of 5%? Many funds have mentioned returns of higher than 5%, but there are possibilities that the funds may not generate such a return, as there are always up's and down's.


My reply:

You can read the FAQ in my website, You can get some useful information that will answer your questions.

I suggest that you re-calculate the figures on the following assumptions:

* the retirement age should be 65 (instead of 55)
* the investment return can be increased to 6% per annum

With the revised assumptions, you will be able to get a higher annuity payment on your retirement. Even after deducting for the effect of inflation (say at 2% per annum), your annuity income should be quite adequate.

You can visit the business center of NTUC Income and talk to an insurance consultant.

Feedback on Public Transport

Visit the Land Transport Authority;s portal to give your feedback on how to improve the public transport system in Singapore.


Friday, April 20, 2007

More trains needed during off-peak hours

I took the SMRT train from Dhoby Ghaut to Yio Chu Kang at 10.45 pm. I had to wait a long time for the train to come. When it arrived, the station was packed with commuters.

The train was fully loaded all the way to Yio Chu Kang station. Most of the commuters crowded near the door of the train. It is difficult for other commuters to leave or enter the train.

This is late in the evening, during off-peak hours.

I hope that SMRT will operate more trains during off peak hours, so that the commuters do not have to wait a long time and stand in a crowded train for most of the journey. I hope that they can offer a more comfortable ride for commuters during the off-peak hours.

If you agree with my suggestion, go to this portal and vote on it.

Term insurance in USA - risk factors

Here are the risk factors used to price term insurance rates in the USA

* if you are overweight by 20%, you pay a 15% to 35% more in premium
* if you are a smoker, you pay 100% more in premium
* if you quit smoking for more than 5 years, you enjoy the non-smoker rate
* if you quit smoking for 1 year, you pay 15% to 50% more in premium
* if a family member had cancer or depression, you pay 30% to 50% more in premium
* if a family member had heart disease or stroke, you pay 100% more in premium

You enjoy the lowest premium if:

* you are within the standard weight
* you are a non-smoker or quit more than 5 yers ago
* a family member did not die from cancer, depression or heart disease

If you have the risk factors, your premium can go up by 100%. The actual increase differ from one company to another. You can get a lower loading, if you shop around.

Book early to enjoy lower hotel rates

I few weeks ago, I visited the website of a specific hotel in Philadephia and found the room rate to be USD 160. I was not able to confirm the booking at that time. I made the booking today. The rate for the same room increased to USD 240.

Lesson: book early to enjoy a lower rate.

Term insurance rates in USA

I visited a portal to get the term insurance rates in New York state for the following:

male, non-smoker, no medical condition, standard weight

monthly premium for $100,000 for 20 year term

Entry New York state Singapore
age from top 5 insurers

30 $10.32 to $12.77 $13.40
35 $10.32 to $13.56 $18.90

To qualify for the low rates shown above, you must be in very good health. If your health is not in the top group, you may have to pay a higher rate (say up to 50% or 100% more).

The top 5 insurers are those that offered the most competitive rates.

The premium rates charged in Singapore is about 30% to 50% higher, but they apply to a broader group of people in reasonably good health.

If you wish to get a quote for our own comparsion, you can search for a Google Ad on the right panel". If you cannot find this ad, you can use the Google search and ask for "term insurance.

How to get low term insurance rates

Hi Mr Tan,

I clicked on a website on your right side of your blog, that advertise term insurance. They ask me to enter the Zip code. How do I provide it?


My reply:

The website must be from America. The insurance charge charge different rates for different states in the country. So, you need to have a Zip code to get the actual rates. I am not familiar with the Zip codes in USA.

Try to look for a website that allows you to enter the state. Maybe, you can choose New York or California.

Anyway, you are not able to buy term insurance from the USA. You can only find out what their rates are, to compare with the term insurance offered in Singapore.

Some of the websites (that appear in the right panel of my blog under Google Ads) offer rates in Singapore. It allows you to compare the rates and make the best choice.

I hope that more insurers in Singapore will offer their term insurance rates on-line. You can get the rates from NTUC Income under its i-term contract. And compare with the rates from USA.

Common Sense Investing

John Bogle is the founder and former CEO of Vanguard Mutual Fund Group. It is among the largest fund managers in the world.

Here is the foreward to his book on Common Sense Investing:

Investing is all about common sense. Owning a diversified portfolio of stocks and holding it for the long term is a winner's game. Try to beat the stock market is theretically a zero-sum game (for every winner, there must be a loser) and after the substantial costs of investing all deducted, it becomes a loser's game.

Common sense tell us - and history confirms - that the simplest and most efficient investment strategy is to buy and hold all of the nation's publicly held businesses at very low cost. The classic index fund that owns this market portfolio is the only investment that guarantees you with your fair shre of stock market returns.


In my words: invest in a large, well diversified, low cost fund.

Call your insurer first

If you are covered for medical insurance, and you need to go for medical treatment, what should you do first?

Call the insurance company.

Give your particulars. Ask them to explain what is covered under the medical insurance. Ask about the limits for each category of coverage and the exclusions.

Tell the insurer about the estimate cost of treatment given by your doctor. They may be able to advice if the estimate is reasonable, and if there are better, more cost effective alternatives.

Be better informed. Do not be shy to ask.

Claim on several accident policies

Dear Mr Tan

If I have several personal accident policy, and something happens to me, can my family make a claim on all the policies?


My reply:

If you are insured under several personal accident or life insurance policies, you can make a claim on all of them. There is no limit to the total amount that can be claimed under these policies that cover a human life.

The situation is different for insurance policies that are intended to reimburse you for the actual loss, such as a fire insurance policy or a medical expense policy. Under these policies, you will only be paid for the amount that you have incurred.

For example, if your house is burned down by a fire, and the cost of rebuilding the house is $500,000, you can claim up to this amount only, even though you may have insured for a much larger sum.

Similarly, if you have several medical expense policy, you can only claim for the amount of your medical bills, even though the insured sum under all the policies may be higher.

The principle is: you cannot make any gain under a "reimbursement" policy.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Write a Will

Hi Mr Tan,

Do you advice people to write a will? What happens if there is no will? Will the assets be distributed unfairly?


My reply:

Here is my view as a non-lawyer.

You should write a will if you have fairly large estate, say more than $1 million, and you have specific ideas about how the assets are to be distributed on your death.

If there is no will, the legal position is that the estate will be distributed according to the intestate law. In most cases, the surviving spouse will get 50 percent and the remainder will be distributed equally among the children.

In practice, the family members will decide how best to distribute the assets among themselves. They may wish to give a larger share to a poorer member of the family. This can be decided by agreement among the members.

If there is a dispute, and the matter is brought to court, the distribution will be made according to the intestate law.

It is usually better to have a will. If you change your mind later, you can write a new will. The cost of a standard will is quite modest.

Insurance payout are tax-free

Hello Mr Tan

I had brought the NTUC Income FlexiCash policy last year. Is the payout subject to tax? In general, will payout of life insurance be subjected to tax?


My reply:

All payout from life insurance policies, including flexi-cash, are NOT subject to tax.

Advantages of taking a bus

I am now a regular commuter of the public bus.

Here are the advantages of taking a bus to your destination:

* I relax and let someone do the driving
* I am usually able to get a seat, eg during offpeak period
* It is economical, ie one fifth of the taxi fare
* I have the chance to exercise, i.e walk to the bus stop and to the destination
* I can think while waiting for the bus or on the journey

The only disadvantage is that it take more time. But, it is all right if I leave early and allow more time for the journey.

More insurers offer term insurance policies

NTUC Income offered attractive term insurance rates under its i-Term policy.

Recently, I read that Prudential has also advertised its term insurance rates. I do not know if their rates are as attractive as NTUC Income.

I am glad that more life insurers are promoting term insurance. It will allow more people to have adequate life insurance coverage at a low cost.

They can invest their savings in an investment fund to get a better return. Read more in this FAQ

Where to find part time work?

Dear Mr Tan

I like your suggestion for seniors to find part time work near the home. But where can we find the work? Please advice.


My reply:

The Center for Seniors will launch its call center soon. You can call the hotline and give the following information:

* your name
* your postal district
* types of work that you are interested in
* your expected pay per hour of work

I have approached three several large organisations. They are willing to support this initiative and provide part time work for seniors. The initial number is about 300 part time jobs, but this can increase, if the pilot exercise is successful. The rate of pay is between $6 to $8 per hour.

More details will be announced within the next few weeks.

See the big picture

I observe this characteristic among many Singaporeans.

They work very hard and seek a perfect solution to the task that they are responsible for. They define clear boundaries between what each person is responsible for, instead of working as a team to achieve the bigger goal.

Even among government ministries and departments, there is a tendency for each officer to be responsible only for his own area. The public has to run around many departments to get things done.

Let us work more towards the common goal. Let us see the big picture.

Part time work for seniors

I gave a talk to 22 participants at a training program organised by the Center for Seniors.

I encourage them to consider the following option, after their retirement from their current jobs:

* take a part time job
* close to the home, to avoid travelling cost and time
* accept the market rate
* contribute well to the employer
* the employer will value their contribution and pay them more or give them a full time job.

The participants agreed on this approach.

They find a rate of $6.50 to be adequate, and that a rate of $10 to be attractive.

Money market rates are softening

In previous months, I was able to get a return of slightly more than 3% on my savings in the money market.

I read that the interbank rates have dropped by 0.5% during the past month. This means that the return on the money market will also fall. Fixed deposit rates have also dropped by about 1% during the past month.

I will still keep my savings in the money market fund, as I do not wish to invest in the stock and property market at the current high level.

Walk down Orchard Road at night

I hosted a dinner at Orchard Hotel. After the dinner, I walked down Orchard Road to the MRT station. It took about 10 minutes.

I saw some interesting sights of that stretch of Orchard Road, as I passed by some bars and karaoke lounges. These are experiences of a tourist, which is usually missed by Singaporeans who drive.

If you have the chance, do walk down Orchard Road.

Tribute To Our Pioneers and Unsung Heroes

The services of volunteers are often taken for granted.

It is refreshing to have people like Dr. Lee Kum Tatt to acknowledge and show appreciation to those who had worked with him, honorary and voluntarily, and contributed to make Singapore what it is today. The satisfaction and joy derived from such activities is something that money cannot buy.

The message is to have more people to continue to serve others as one of the important missions of our lives for the good of our future generations if not for Singapore.


Tan Kin Lian

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Expensive taxi ride

I took a taxi from Stamford Road to Orchard Hotel. It cost me $7.70, inclusive of the CBD surcharge. I find it to be too expensive for such a short journey.

I wanted to take a bus, but I could not find a bus that takes me close to the destination.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Better to take public transport

I drove to Cricket Club for a lunch and to Changi Road for a meeting.

My experience?

* the traffic is congested at the Central Expressway and in town
* I could not find a parking space at or near the building in Changi Road

My conclusion: better to use public transport or taxis. It has less hassle.

Time line planning

Thomas Phua plans for his retirement early. He has over 80 insurance and investment policies bought for himself and his family.

He adopts a technique called "time line planning". You can read more about it in his


Travel insurance for more than 90 days

Dear Kin Lian,

After realising that most annual travel insurance policies currently sold in the market have a limitation of 90 days (stay outside the country), what sort of travel policy should I carry, if I expect to travel on several occasions for more than 90 days?

The simple answer may be just buy individual travel policy each time I travel, but this is complicated by the fact that: at the point of departing Singapore I do not really know how long I will stay outside the country (overseas) before i return to base country (Singapore).


My reply:

It may be better and cheaper for you to buy a personal accident policy to cover one year. See if there are able to cover evacuation (in case of emergency) at a modest additional cost.

This policy does not cover the events, such as flight delay and loss of baggage, but the amount of compensation is small.

Continue with your existing policy

Hi Mr Tan,

I am 30 years old. I bought a Living Policy from another company in 1995 ($500/yr) for $25k. I bought another Living Policy from NTUC in 2006 ($1800/yr) for $100k. I also have a growth policy with NTUC for $30k (1996).

But from your advise in your blogs, it seem that getting a Term is a better choice than Living.

Should I give up my Living and change to terms before the next payment is due this May? I heard that term does not cover critical illness? Does it have any effect if i discontinued my living?


My reply:

Please read my "Financial tips, April 2007" posted in my blog. It contains relevant information for your decision.


Generally, if you have already bought a whole life policy (such as the living policy), it is probably better for you to continue with the policy, as you have already incurred the upfront cost.

If you wish to terminate the policy and move to a new arrangement, you have to get the actual figures of the available options to make an informed decision. I will ask (name) to help you to get the relevant figures.

If you are taking up a new additional policy, you can follow my advise to buy term and invest separately in a fund. You can buy term with extension to cover critical illness.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Switch from Living Endowment?

Dear Mr Tan

I'm thinking of giving up the living endowment and switch to a decreasing term insurance and invest the extra money in the combined fund.

I'm paying $x for this policy. You think is advisable to do? How much do I have to pay for a decreasing term insurance?

Which is a better to invest in the combined fund?

* Pay a single premium, say $20,000 or
* Monthly premium of $100

Give me your very frank answer.


My reply:

I will ask X to give you the figures for you to make an informed decision - on whether to continue with the living endowment or to switch to a new plan.

As the global stockmarket is now quite high, it is better to wait for the market to correct before you make a large investment. It is all right to start investing a monthly sum now.

You can read my investment tips (april 2007) which have just been posted in my website.


Save for your future needs

Dear Mr Tan

I am 26 years old and getting a take home pay of $2,200.

I have bought a NTUC Pioneer Policy and two limited payment life policies from two other companies. The total sum assured is $120k from the above three policies. They also cover critical illnesses. The total premiums from the 3 policies are about $260 monthly. I already bought the NTUC IncomeShield enhanced advantage with rider.

I am considering to increase my protection by taking two additional plans:

* Term insurance which covers critical illness for a sum assured of $100k at premiums of $40/mth and

* Personal accident plan with sum assured of $100k at $10/mth.

Hope you can advice on my views.


My reply:

You already have adequate life insurance coverage.

I suggest that you should make additional savings for your future needs. Perhaps you can put aside $100 a month on a regular premium investment linked policy or a unit trust.

Select a plan with the lowest upfront load. It can be from NTUC Income or from a unit trust.

You can read my investment tips at FAQ

Cactus flower in bloom

I live in Cactus Crescent but I have not seen a cactus flower before. My friend Thomas Phua sent this cactus flower to me.

You can see more flowers in his blog.

Expensive taxi ride

I took a taxi from Wisma Atria (Orchard Road) to the Cricket Club (Padang). I was surprised that the fare was $5. It probably included the ERP surcharge. A MRT journey probably cost $1.

Travel Insurance

Many people perceive that they face a higher risk of accidents when they travel overseas. They engage in an unfamiliar routine, travel to unfamiliar places and meet unfamiliar people. They buy travel insurance to cover them for the period that they travel.

The most important coverages for a travel policy are for death, permanent injury and medical expenses due to an accident, and for the cost of evacuation, in the event of a emergency.

The other coverages are:

* loss of baggage
* flight delay and cancellation
* theft or loss of personal belongings

The policy exclude medical expenses due to illness (unless it is directly caused by an accident), or after returning home.

Some policyholders suffered an injury overseas and return home for treatment. Technically, the policy excludes payment for the expenses (as they are incurred in Singapore). Some insurance companies are willing to give an ex gratia payment.

The exact coverages may be different for the various insurance companies. It is important to select an insurer that is fair in handling claims, and does not hide under the fine print.

The premium is charged at a rate (according to the level of benefits) and the period that you are covered, ie while overseas.

Where to buy term insurance?

NTUC Income offers the best deal in term insurance.

You can buy term insurance by visiting the business center at Bras Basah Road, or by calling 6510 2860.

You can also call your insurance adviser. They can offer the term insurance to you as well at the same low cost.

You can buy the following types of term insurance:

* level term
* decreasing term
* extended to cover critical illness
* mortgage protection

Mortgage Protection Policy

What is a mortgage protection policy?

It is a term insurance policy with the sum assured decreasing over the term to match the outstanding housing loan.

If death or permanent disability occurs during the term, the sum insured will usually be sufficient to pay off the outstanding loan. The actual payout is a sum that is stated in the policy.

There may be a small difference with the outstanding loan at the time of claim, e.g. due to change in interest rate or repayment. Any shortfall can be met by other source. Any excess can be retained kept by the claimant.

The premium for this policy can be a single premium or payable over the term, but excluding the last few years.

Some policies are extended to cover critical illness, but the cost is much higher.

Cover for critical illness


I am already sufficiently covered for life and term insurance. But in medical insurance wise, I am only covered with NTUC medishield plan B.

Do you think it is necessary to get a critical illness insurance? And for how long? I am 31 years old. What is the most affordable option?


My reply:

Here is my frank advice. Many insurance advisers want you to buy a critical illness policy. It is really a whole life policy. The premium is high and the return is generally poor.

I prefer to put the savings in an large, well diversified, low cost fund, invested mainly in equities. It gives an attractive return. The accumulated savings may be more than the critical illness cover in 20 years time.

If you have a Medisheld plan, it should take care of the medical expenses, even for critical illness.

You can read more from my "Investment Tips, April 2007" which has just been posted in my blog.

"All Risk" insurance of valuables

There was a new report that an insurance company refused to pay for the theft of a valuable watch under an "all risk" policy. Their policy condition stated that the theft must occur while the insured item is being worn. It does not cover theft in the house, even if the item was locked.

Here is the reason for the "fine print" in the insurance policy:

* the owner may be careless and did not lock the insured item
* the owner may make a false report that the item was stolen, when it was given or sold away

My view?

If the insurance company does not trust the honesty of the owner, it is better to decline providing the insurance.

As the owner, it is better to avoid an "all risk" insurance, if there are fine prints that limit the cover.

Cactus in bloom

Thomas Phua updates his blog regularly. His latest posting is on "cactus in bloom". He has some nice photos.

I live in Cactus Crescent. So, I am associated with his flower.


Visit to the Turf Club

I went to the Turf Club yesterday, with my wife.

It was a social event. I met many friends there. We were invited for a delicious lunch and high tea. The main race was for the Queen Elizabeth Cup.

I placed a few small bets on some of the races. It was fun.

The amounts involved are very small, compared with betting on the stockmarket.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Return from endowment policy

Mr Tan,

You mentioned that the return on an endowment policy is about 4% per annum. In the advertisement by NTUC Income, it should an actual return of 6%. What is the difference in yield?


My reply:

The return shown in the advertisement is for the past 20 years. During this period, the interest rate earned on money has been quite high and the stock market investments have shown a high appreciation, due to the rapid growth of the Singapore economy. This produced a high yield of 6% on the endowment policies.

The investment yield for the future is likely to be more moderate for the following reasons:

* interest rate has been at a low level for the past few years
* this affects the yield on interest bearing assets (which takes about 70% of the portfolio
* the growth in stock prices is likely to be more moderate, as the economy has matured.

Return from an annuity is more than 2% p.a.

Dear Kin Lian,

In your blog today on investment tips, you mentioned about investment of an annuity for a person 60 years and over. I looked up the NTUC web site. It shows a monthly payment of about $468.60 per month for $100,000.

I did a quick calculation and found that the return is not about 4 - 5% as stated by you, but closer to 2% per annum. In that case, why buy an annuity? The rate is about bank's rate.


My reply:

If you invest $100,000 to earn 2% per annum, you will receive $2,000 a year or $167 per month.

If you buy the annuity, you will get $469 a month, or $5,628 a year. This represents a nominal return of 5.6%. The monthly payment will increase each year with bonus, which is expected to vary from 0% to 3% a year.

The higher payout under the life annuity is possible because of the consumption of the capital during the lifetime of the annuitant.

Is my savings adequate?

Hi Mr Tan,

I read your blog faithfully for financial tips because I really trust and value opinions from a veteran like you. Most younger financial planners (not all) that I've met seemed too eager to sell despite their claims to want to help. Sometimes, one can tell.

I have a question for you. I am a 30-year old married female with cash savings of almost $30K. I don't have other assets apart from co-owning a HDB flat with my husband.

Can I find out if this is an "acceptable" amount of savings at my age? I only have one life insurance policy. How much cash assets do most Singaporeans have when they are in their 20s, 30s and 40s?


Ny reply:

I suggest that you read the FAQ in my website,

You and your husband should save about 10% to 20% of your monthly earnings and invest in a large, well diversified, low cost fund.

Assuming that you have worked for the past 5 years and your combined annual income is $50,000, a 10% saving rate require you to save $5,000 a month. Your total saving of $30,000 seems to be just about right.

This looks like a financially prudent approach. You can call me at (nuamber), if you wish to talk to me.

Enjoy a higher interest rate with the money market fund

Hi Mr Tan

I've enjoyed reading your blog site and those valuable advices your have given to the people.

Recently, my life savings of S$50K in fixed deposit is maturing soon. The interest rate is not as attractive as 6 months ago, if I renew with the current bank or transfer to another bank. Could you kindly advice me how can I make my $$$ work


My reply:

I am in the same situation as you. I have some money to invest, but find the interest rate on fixed deposit to be unsatisfactory. The stockmarket is too high at this time.

I decided to invest in the money market fund with NTUC Income, through the flexi-cash product. It earned a money market rate, which is about 3% to 3.5% per annum.

You can withdraw your money from the money market fund at any time, without any penalty. This allows you to invest in the stockmarket to earn a higher return, when it corrects down to a lower level.

You can find more details in You can telephone or visit the business center of NTUC Income to talk to a consultant.

Present views of commuters

Mr Tan,

I read your postings where you encourage people to use public transport and make suggestions to improve the system. You even use public transport regularly.

Why don't you volunteer to serve in the Land Transport Authority or the Public Transport Council? You may be able to present the views of commuters.


My reply:

Perhaps you can pass your suggestion to the Minister for Transport? Or you can make this suggestion in the website of the Land Transport Authority?

Our aim should should be to improve the public transport system in the following ways:

* improve service for commuters
* make public transport affordable
* allow transport operators to make a reasonable level of profit

This can be achieved through:

* greater efficiency
* avoid wastage
* achieve balance between interest of commuters and transport operators

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