Saturday, March 26, 2011

Financial Savvy Test #7

Take a test of your financial knowledge by answering the questions below. You can find the answer from - type in the keyword to search for the relevant FAQ

1. How can you turn risk to your advantage? Keyword: advantage
2. How to avoid being cheated by an insurance agent? Keyword: cheat

Take risk and get a better yield

It is better to take risk and invest in an investment fund, rather than to take the guaranteed, low yield of a single premium endowment. See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Battle of the elite looming

Read this article by Seah Chiang Nee in SGEP.

Homeowner's insurance

This article explains the 10 things that are not covered by home insurance in the USA. The practice in other countries may be different. It is good for consumers to explore if they are covered in their policies in Singapore.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Financial Savvy Test #6

Take a test of your financial knowledge by answering the questions below. You can find the answer from - type in the keyword to search for the relevant FAQ

1. Should a family spend $100,000 to treat an elderly parent for cancer? Keyword: elderly

2. Should you sign a consent form before being treated by a specialist? Keyword: consent

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Future for Singapore

An open letter for Singaporeans.

Financial Savvy Test #5

Take a test of your financial knowledge by answering the questions below. You can find the answer from - type in the keyword to search for the relevant FAQ

1. Does Vivolife provide a good yield? Keyword: Vivolife

2. How can a disabled person buy insurance? Keyword: disabled

Sugar coating

Dear Mr Tan
I had contributed this new posting in my Blog about the new PAP election candidates to the SGEP.
Sugar Coating of New PAP Candidates Part I - What questions would you like to ask them most?
Link :-
I hope readers will also send in their own questions for these new candidates?
Link to SGEP :

Another land banking project

Hi Mr Tan,
Can I have your advise regarding the land banking company - X. Should I trust this company to invest land in US - Texas? When I visit their website, it shows nothing, just simple background information. The investor consultant, talking about the advantage, made it look attractive. I I have paid 10% deposit for the investment, now I worry about being cheated. Can you give me some advise about this company?

Go to my website, and type "land banking". You can see my views there. You can also click here
You should consider taking legal action against the consultant for giving incomplete or misleading information about the company.

A Tale of Two Seas

The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea receive their water from the Jordan River. But they are quite different in their hosting of marine life. A lesson in life. See TKL Website or click here.

Take risk to your advantage

Someone commented that the stock market is risky and that a single premium endowment can give an attractive yield for the risk averse investor.

Here are some facts to consider:
  • The guaranteed yield for a single premium endowment is around 2% for 10 years or longer. The non-guaranteed yield may be higher, but is still less than 4% per annum.
  • The yield on a low cost investment fund, such as the STI ETF, is likely to be around 5% over the long term. By accepting a higher risk, you can get a higher return.
  • If the market is weak and your actual yield is lower than 5%, you have the choice (as a long term investor) to wait for a few years for the market to recover. Time is on your side. Wait for an appropriate time to achieve your long term yield.
When you buy a single premium endowment, the insurance company also invest your money in shares and other investments that are subject to the same risks that you have in a low cost investment fund. After deducting the expenses and profit margin, you get a lower yield on the single premium endowment. If the reduction in yield on the single premium endowment is less than 1% per annum, it is all right to invest in it. If the reduction is more than 1%, you should avoid it.

Tan Kin Lian

Climate of Fear

A citizen gives his perspective about the climate of fear in Singapore. See SGEP or click here.

SGX-ASX merger

A concerned investor asks some questions on the SGX-ASX merger. Read SGEP or click here.

The public sector

The public sector plays an important role in providing basic services at affordable cost to the general public and to set the benchmark for employment terms and practices. Read TKL Website or click here.

New tech not always the best medicine

Read this excellent commentary by Craig Turner, who is a surgeon.

The decision to opt for medical care that relies on the most costly technology is often based on blind faith that newer, elaborate and expensive must be better.

We seem to be promoting new technology even in the absence of data. Exciting cutting-edge treatments are marketed with the singular effect of peddling hope to patients when they are at their most vulnerable.

If a surgeon recommends an older, less expensive technology, many patients will shop for a surgeon willing to use the newest and costliest devices - even if the added benefits are unproven and the risks may be greater.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

World Blogger's Day 2 May 2011

Financial Savvy Test #4

Take a test of your financial knowledge by answering the questions below. You can find the answer from - type in the keyword to search for the relevant FAQ

1. How can I invest in a low cost investment fund? Keyword: low cost

2. Should I buy term insurance up to 99 years? Keyword 99 years

Wine investors website

Some people have invested in wine products under representations that the investments will achieve a significant capital gain at the end of the investment period.  These investors have also been pressured to make additional investments to protect their earlier investments. Many investors are now holding several wine products and have not been realise the gains that were earlier projected.
 This website allows these investors to get together to discuss how their can protect their investments. If you have invested in wine products and wish to meet with other investors, you can register in this website (membership is free). After registration and confirmation of membership, you will be allowed to view the information pages that are reserved only for members. You can also register to attend events and meetings to meet other investors.

Movie Club

I carried out a survey recently. There was strong interest in the formation of a Movie Club. There were also many people who go to the movies many times in a year.

I wish to invite you to register for the Movie Club. This is just to register your interest. If there are more than 500 people who are interested, I will arrange for a protem committee to be formed to register the club.

Movie club:

Don't look left or right

Here is an article by Dr. Wong Wee Nam

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have enough. It is whether we provide enough for those who have little."

Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945)
United States, 32nd president

"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK

Elderly patient with cancer

Here is a story about the dilemma faced by a family in treating an elderly mother for cancer. See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Easy Ads Flyer

Financial Savvy Test #3

Take a test of your financial knowledge by answering the questions below. You can find the answer from - type in the keyword to search for the relevant FAQ

1. Should you make a claim and lose the no claim discount? Keyword: no claim discount

2. Should an elderly person buy Medishield or private Shield? Keyword: elderly

GST - troublesome and ridiculous

My friend runs an insurance agency. He has received incentive payments from insurance companies for the past years. Recently, he was told that the incentive payments attract GST. He has to collect GST from the insurance companies, and pay the GST to IRAS. Because of the unclarity of GST for such payments, he did not collect the GST in the past. To comply with the a recent circular, he has to collect the GST for the past years from the insurance companies. y. He was also levied a fine for failing to obey the GST law.

It will take him some time to collect the GST from the insurance companies - but he paid the GST first to IRAS.  After making the pyment, the insurance company can recover the GST back from IRAS. the government. Yes - it is an exercise of futility. It is troublesome and unnecessary work that add to the cost of doing business in Singapore. Many businesses have experienced high operating cost and can only survive by over-charging consumers. It has became a vicious circle.

My friend has approached a senior IRAS officer on this matter to explain that this is an exercise in futility. But the senior officer refuse to make an exception and insisted on following the book. This is quite common in Singapore.

Tan Kin Lian

Sharing and collaboration in the public service

Read SGEP or click here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scams that target college kids

FISCA - Consumer Guide to Insurance

This talk on insurance is organised by FISCA for members and the public. It shows how to select the right insurance policies and make big savings on the insurance premiums. My new book "Get Value on your Life Insurance" will be available for sale to the participants at a special price of $6 (usual $12).

Register for the talk now. It is scheduled for 26 March from 2 to 5 pm at SMU. Register at under the title "Insuring your Financial Future" or "Consumer Guide to Insurance".

Financial Savvy Test #2

Take a test of your financial knowledge by answering the questions below. You can find the answer from - type in the keyword to search for the relevant FAQ

1. If you have to find a lawyer and wish to keep the cost low, what is a way to achieve this? Keyword: lawyer

2.  what is the approach towards “self insurance” as an alternative to paying premium for insurance protections? Keyword: self insurance

Risk management and insurance

Here are some tips on when to self-insure (i.e. retain) and when to insure a risk.
See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Sale of books by LKY

Dear Mr. Tan,
When we work for a company, whatever we create on company time is property of company.
LKY was speaking as MM and doing the interview with the reporters in his office / government premises. so the content should property of government and therefore public property.
Now, LKY is selling his book and making profit from it?
Is this ethical?

I recall that, in the past, the proceeds from the sale of books by LKY are donated to charity.

SMS donation for Japan Earthquake and Disaster Aid

Dear Mr. Tan,
I note your blog article regarding the difficulty of donating via DBS internet banking. I agree and encountered the same kind difficulty as well, and was not successful in donating through this channel.
If you wish, you may want to inform your readers that the easiest way to donate $50 to Singapore Red Cross for the Japan earthquake and tsunami aid is through SMS.
To donate $50 by SMS, send the text message "REDCROSS" to 75772. Each SMS carries a charge of 30 cents. This donation is not tax-deductible.

Easy Ads

Do you wish to look for a part time job near your home? Or to provide tuition to a student near your home? Or to rent a room near your workplace? You can post your ads (for free) or search for an ad in Easy Ads,

How to invest a lump sum

Mr Tan,
I seek your advise on how best to maximise returns on my SGD250,000 cash savings. My daughter also has SGD 50,000 placed in a SGD-Fixed Deposit with Maybank with an 0.8% return.

Read this

Be educated on financial matters

Hi Mr Tan,
Is it alright to just buy a term insurance for protection and purely STI ETF for my investment?

Read this FAQ

Emerging Asia can teach the West a lot about government

A special report on Singapore from the Economist magazine - giving the positive aspects.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Financial Savvy Test #1

Are you financially savvy? Here is a simple test. You can find the answer from TKL Website -Information tab and type the keyword to search for the FAQ that contains the answer.

1. Does travel insurance cover nuclear risks? (keyword: nuclear)
Answer: __________

2. Who can you approach to review your existing insurance policy? (keyword: review) 
Answer: ________

Financial Plan - DIY

Read this document and prepare your personal financial plan. After that, pass the document to your friends and family members. Show them how to do their financial plans. It will help them to prepare for a better financial future.

Risk management and internet banking transfers

Banks should adopt a more sensible approach towards risk management of internet banking transfer and make it more convenient for their customers to make small payments without going through so much hassle. See TKL website- latest or click here.

Opposition Newbies

Dear Mr. Tan,
The Sunday Times introduced the opposition candidates as "newbies". I wonder if they will use the same term to describe the new PAP candidates? If not, there is a subtle attempt to disparage the opposition candidates - which is sad for a mainstream media - even one that is closely linked to the ruling party.

Travel insurance and nuclear risks

Should an insurer reject claims under its travel insurance policies for flight delays or cancellations due to the leakage of radiation from the Fukushima power plant? Read Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

For FISCA members only - F&N Bonds

Here is an analysis of the F&N bonds - for information of FISCA members only. FISCA members will be provided with the login to the new website (tentatively, to be launched on 2 April 2011). There is a section containing the evaluation of many financial products.

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