Saturday, April 13, 2013

Be cautious about unregulated investment schemes

When someone markets an investment to you, and tell you about the attractive return that you can get, you have to be very careful. Quite likely, they are exaggerating return to attract you. If you are greedy, and not careful, you will part with your money and may not get it back.

If the marketeer knows that the statements are false, he or she is dishonest. Quite often, the marketeer may be a young person who has just started work, and is taught about the sales pitch. This person (who may be a relative or friend) is not aware that the statement is false. The marketeer is not dishonest, but is gullible and naive, and so is the customer who buys the product.

The marketing of investments without registering a prospectus is illegal, under the law. The marketing of "pay back schemes" is also illegal, as it is tantamount to deposit taking, and a license is required.

In recent years, the people in charge in the regulatory agency did not  know how to deal with these illegal operations, so they have not taken steps.

One day, and I hope in the near future, they will realize that it is their duty to act, and many people will then be arrested. Do not fall in the trap, thinking that the lack of action by the regulator means that the investment scheme has been approved, or is legitimate.

Understand the Benefit Illustration for a ILP

Test your knowledge of how well you can read and understand the Benefit Illustration for an investment-linked policy.
Even if you don't know what to look for, you will get to know it, after reading this article.
You will be shocked to know that so much of your accumulated premium is taken away by the "effect of deduction".

So many people have invested in an investment-linked policy (ILP) without knowing that they are getting a poor yield.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fake degree submitted by foreigners

7 April 2013 (not published by St Times)

Forum Page
Straits Times

Fake degree submitted by Foreigners

I wish to suggest how to deal with the fake degrees submitted by foreigners who wish to work in Singapore.

Under the current system administered by the Ministry of Manpower, the education and other details of the foreigner are provided by the employer  who makes the application for the work pass.

I suggest that these details should be submitted by the foreigner, who are told that 
any false information, such as using a fake degree from a degree mill or using a 
forced certificate will result in the cancellation of the work pass, repatriation or 
imprisonment. This should deter many foreigners from submitting the fake qualifications.

I do not expect the Ministry to carry out a detailed check on each applicant, unless
a whistle has been blown. Alternatively, a random check can be carried out after the work pass has been issued. It is more important to have the deterrent impact by following the new practice. 

Tan Kin Lian

Singapore blue chips and REITS

The data on Singapore blue chips and REITS have been updated to 11 April 2013 in available only to members.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review of Benefit Illustration - Life Insurance

Many young adults, after starting to work, are approached by a lief insurance agent and advised to buy a life insurance policy to get protection against premature death and critical illness and to save for the future.
They are not aware of the negative aspects of the policy and will usually regret their purchase decision a few years later. When they terminate the policy, they will lose several thousand dollars in their savings.
To avoid this loss, they should get an independent review of the policy, before they buy it. Read this article.

Review of benefit illustration - Retirement plan

In the past years, several retirement plans have been introduced by life insurance companies targeting at cash rich consumers to invest their retirement savings.   If you have been approached to take up such a plan, you must be careful to know its good and bad points. If you wish to have an independent review of and explanation of this plan, and more importantly, to learn a better way to invest your savings, read this paper. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday, April 08, 2013

Appeal on IMF Loan

Hi Kin LIan,
Our appeal against the HIgh Court decision in the IMF loan suit will be heard in the Supreme Court on 9 April at 2.30pm. I hope that you will be able to attend.
Would you be kind enough to put up a notice about the appeal on your blog?
Kenneth Jeyaretnam
Secretary General
Reform Party

The teaching environment in Singapore

Teaching is a good job. I like teaching and have spent the past six years as an adjunct professor. This is not a relief teaching job. I teach one full course. The full time professor usually takes two or three courses. 

I know that teaching has its challenges, whether it is at primary, secondary or tertiary levels. There is a need to manage the expectations of the school, the parents and the teachers. The teacher has to prepare the lesson, present it in a lively manner, mark the student's work and handle admin and extra-curricular activities.

The problem is the heavy work load and "meeting expectations". This is where the teacher can play a part in helping to set the expectations.

Teachers find the appraisal system to be another source of stress. Most of them want to be at the top of the appraisal, and work hard to be at the top. Many get disappointed when they do not achieve the goal, especially if the appraisal system is "not transparent".

I have a different attitude towards the appraisal system. I know that many people have to be average, in order for some to be outstanding. We can do our best to be outstanding, but do not need to over-do it and engaged in politics and other negative behavior. We only need to do our best.

The appraisal of my teaching is average in most terms. I accept this appraisal, although I wished that it was better. I try to change the teaching method and see if I can get a better score the next time round.

I hope that these few points will help our highly stressed teachers to look at the current teaching environment in a different angle, and make teaching to be more enjoyable for them.

Someone said, "We cannot change the environment, but we can change our attitude towards it".

Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Government has a duty

There are many scams happening in Singapore and some had been allowed to continue for years. These potential scams include the gold bar schemes, land banking, time sharing, forex training courses, investment schemes and the like.

Apologists for the Government said, "People should take care of themselves. They cannot expect the Government to be a nanny to take care of them all the time."

This statement is quite ridiculous. It comes from people who do not think but just feel comfortable about echoing the Government propaganda.

I do not expect the "authority" to stop all scams. But if someone had reported a potential scam, and the evidence is quite obvious, and the scam is affecting many people, the "authority" should pay attention and see what can be done. It is easy for the "authority" to send someone to attend these events and collect evidence. They can invite the organizers for a chat and advice them about the law on cheating or selling securities without a licence.  The existing laws are sufficient to stop these scams.

It is a breach of duty of the Government to sit idly by and watch more people being caught by the scams.

The excuse, "we do not want to be a nanny state" allows the law enforcement officers to neglect their primary duty.

Kopitiam card

I received an invitation by Kopitiam to visit their new outlet near my home. They sent a Kopitiam card with $2 pre-loaded and waiver of $2 card fee.

I visited the outlet and topped up $10. Their machine accept only notes and do not provide any change. It is easy to use - the best that I have encountered.

The Kopitiam card offered a 10% discount for purchases at their outlet.

This is the best loyalty card that I have experienced. I congratulate Kopitiam for their excellent card and loyalty program. I intend to use the Kopitiam card often.

Note: I do not use the credit card or telephone loyalty points as it is too troublesome for me.

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