Saturday, August 24, 2013

Onyx Website - a truly mobile website

I want to introduce you to the Onyx website, a website that is truly developed for viewing on a mobile phone. It is not a traditional website that is made mobile friendly. This Onyx website is developed to be mobile from the first page.

Just think. Two thirds of users now read e-mails and social media content on a mobile phone. An Onyx website make it easy for them to go to your website and view its contents, to make transactions and

Buy TKL books and participate in contest

Monday, August 19, 2013

FISCA talk - Investing in REITS

I sent out this message in the morning and another 3 people signed up within a few hours.

This is a new talk on investing in REITS. It is conducted by a FISCA committee member who has a few years of practical experience in analyzing stocks. As this talk will only be held once this year, you should register now. Do not miss it.

Register at

Members pay a fee of $10. Non-members can join on the spot to be a member and enjoy the reduced fee, together with a subscription of $36.


Date: 24 August 2013
Time: 2 to 4pm
Venue: Seminar Room 4.1 @ School of Economics & Social Sciences
Singapore Management University
Speaker: Mr. Victor Lee

Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs)

1.When to buy and sell REITs?
2.What are the factors to consider?
3.What are the risks?

This will be the only REITs' talk for this year.

Different focus of financial talks

Many people attend talks on financial planning and insurance conducted by the financial advisers or insurance companies.

In this talk, the speaker will explain the importance of life insurance for risk management and for accumulating savings for the future. These concepts are correct.

However, the speaker will not mention one very important figure - one that can cost a few hundred thousand dollars to the consumer. This figure is shown in the benefit illustration. What is this figure?

Always remember. When you listen to a speaker, you should ask - is this speaker giving me the honest truth that benefit me, as a consumer, or are they hiding the essential facts?

If you want to know the essential facts, you should attend the talks given by a consumer-based organization -

If you fail to act on this advice, be ready to lose a lot of money that should be accumulated for your own future!

Medishield Life

t is a good idea to extend Medishield to a lifetime, to cover pre-existing illness and to offer it to those who are not covered now. 

I have made this suggestion a few times over the past years. It takes the Government a long, long time, to understand it and to implement it. And, as usual ..... no acknowledgement of the contribution of the public.

And if there is worry that the cost will shoot out of the roof, it is exaggerated. All the treatment will be in subsidized wards in public hospital, where there is a cost cap. The public wards do not carry out expensive, experimental treatment - so the cost will be kept under control.

For elderly people above 90, most serious illnesses cannot be treated, so there is nothing that needs to be done in public wards. In fact, by attempting to treat, the patient may die faster.

The premium increase for young people should be quite modest, so there is no need to worry about it. For older people, a large part of the increase in cost is likely to be covered by the Government. Wait and see.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Attend the right course on financial planning

Many people are told that it is a good idea to have compulsory saving for the future, so they put in $500 a month in a life insurance policy. They did not realize that the policy yield 2%, while investing in blue chip shares can earn 5% per annum, after deducting expenses and paying for life insurance cover separately.

The difference in maturity amount after 35 years is a staggering $240,000. Yes, it is a large sum of money - because you did not make the right decision!

To learn more about it, attend the FISCA talk on financial planning, and buy this book also,

Invest $6 and learn how to make the right decision for your future. Even if you have already been committed, you can still terminate the policy and invest your savings differently. It may be a better choice.

Opal Recruiting Software

I wish to share my experience on using the Opal Recruiting software to recruit two software developers. 

I created two pages for the two positions of Software Developer and Trainer Developer. These pages are advertised in my Facebook Page and in classified advertisements.

I received a total of about 50 applications for the two positions. These applications are scored based on the answers given by the applicants to the questionnaire.

I selected four applicants and sent an e-mail (from Opal) to ask them to select a time slot for a telephone conversation. These time slots are selected in Opal.

All four candidates responded to select their time slots. I viewed their replies in Opal and called them at the appointed time by telephone and discussed their applications. One candidate was found suitable, and is visiting the office for an evaluation test.

Another candidate for the Trainee Developer position is under processing.

This is the first time that I am using the Opal recruiting software, I experienced some teething issues. These have been rectified, so the next recruitment should be smoother.

The Opal Recruting software is available for use by other companies or recuriting agencies. Enquiries to

Taxes and GST

Some people have the thinking that higher taxes will drive businesses away from Singapore, leading to lower employment. This is the argument put forward by the Government when they reduce income tax and introduce GST.

I disagree with this view. There are many businesses that serve the domestic market and have to remain in Singapore, in spite of the level of tax. These include professional, financial, retail and other services catering to the local market.

The export-oriented manufacturers may be affected by higher taxes, but their decisions are more likely to be affected by other factors, such as rental, availability and quality of labor. The Government grants and tax holidays given to them will be more important than the rate of corporate tax.

When higher taxes are collected from the higher income earners, there is no need to collect GST. The higher tax revenue will enable the Government to provide basic public services, such as health care, education, law enforcement, and transport, free or at subsidized rates.

The chance of abuse of these basic public services is low. Nobody wants to go to hospital or take public transport or take the time of police officers for fun. They will only use it when necessary.

The older people will recognize that I am describing the environment found in Singapore in the 60s and 70s. After 1985, Singapore made many changes towards the market based economy that have led to high cost of housing, high cost of living and the wide disparity of income.

If we are to move back to a better economic or social environment, we need to understand the root cause of our problems and take the correct remedial actions.

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