Rising HDB Prices In Singapore

Many Singaporeans are lamenting that the property prices, especially that of government-subsidised Housing Development Board (HDB) properties, have gone up exorbitantly. Looking at iProperty’s HDB Singapore website, a 5-room flat in Kim Tian area goes for $780,000. Just 10 years ago, in 2003, the same property can be bought for around $360,000. For a couple to buy a property of $360,000 now, one has to look at non-mature estates like Punggol and Sengkang. These areas are really far away from city and if one doesn’t drive, it will take around an hour or more to commute into the city area. Couple that with rising car prices, getting a car for easier commuting is out of the question. This is a worrying trend for young people who are about to start a family.

Will rising flat prices and car prices be the new norm for Singapore? Only time will tell. Till then, I guess we can only invest in ourselves instead of doing what most Singaporeans love to do, complain. What do I mean by investing in ourselves? It means amassing the knowledge needed to protect ourselves from rising prices. Someone can take away your physical possessions but no one can take away your knowledge. One way to protect ourselves is investing itself. Investing in stocks has proven to be the long-term hedge to rising prices. The Straits Times Index (STI) has returned around 13.62% per annum from 2003 to 2013. To put things into perspective, during the same period, the Kim Tian flat mentioned above has risen only 8% per annum. By investing and not just relying on our salary, we can counter the rising prices of goods in Singapore.

Therefore, instead of undertaking our favourite pastime of complaining, we should take things into our own hands and invest for our future. We cannot control the rising flat and car prices but we can control one thing – the amount of knowledge we want to amass to protect ourselves.

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Happy 47th Birthday, Singapore!

Here’s wishing all Singaporeans a Happy National Day!

My only wish for this National Day and all the other years to come is to have a cohesive society where all Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans alike live, play and work together hand-in-hand. I’m sure all Singaporeans do not want many years of nation building to go to waste all of a sudden.

Happy Birthday once again, my beloved Singapore!

Here’s a video dedication to all Singaporeans:

Win tickets to the Singapore Airshow 2012!

Do you want to see the Lockheed Martin’s F-35 JSF up-close? How about being enthralled by the flying displays from F-16 and F-15SG? If these don’t entice you, what if you can get to see the latest darling of commercial aviation, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner right in front of you? I’m giving away one trade show ticket each to the Singapore Airshow 2012 to two lucky winners . This ticket can be used on the trade days from 14th February to 17th February 2012. You can choose to go on just one of the days or if u can’t get enough of the giant machines, you can choose to go on all of the four days. All you have to do to win the ticket is to answer the following:

  • Name me one thing that you like about my blog?
  • Give me one suggestion on how to make my blog better?

You can take part in this contest by clicking on the “Leave a comment” button just below the title of this post and leaving your answers in the form of a comment. The best two answers to the above questions will win the tickets. Please ensure that your email address given is accurate as I will be contacting the winners through the email address. The closing date for this contest is 28th Jan 2012 at 2359H. Good luck!

FFN Wishes You a Happy CNY!

We have officially entered the Year of the Water Dragon…

May this Dragon year in 2012 bring to you more prosperity, abundance, peace, gratification, wealth, warmth, happiness, progress and abundant health, just like an abundant flowing river! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Goodies for 2012

I have planned for some goodies, just for you readers, for 2012…

1) The blog is going to sparkle with a new theme. It’s like putting on new clothes for the brand new year. The current theme has been ongoing ever since this blog started in May 2010 and I thought it’s time a new look. The new theme will be an iPhone notepad inspired theme. Below is an exclusive preview of the new theme come 1st Jan 2012:

2) I’m thinking of purchasing my own domain. This is still in the process of being finalized and nothing is concrete now. What does this mean for you readers? A shorter URL address to type in instead of the long and “wordy” https://financiallyfreenow.wordpress.com. (I know it can be tiring to type such a long URL address especially after a day of hard work in the office!). I’m also planning to incorporate more stuff after purchasing my own domain. All these are still in the planning process but it will look likely take place.

3) Last but surely not the least, I’m working on a huge project just for you readers in 2012. It involves well-established investing bloggers, businessmen, authors, trainers or just anyone established in the investing and personal finance arena. If this really takes off, it will spin-off into something larger. That’s all I can reveal for now. Do look out for for revelations in my future blog posts…

I’m just as excited as you are for things to roll out in the new year! Happy 2012, hunks and babes!

Cheers,
FFN

DBS Vickers Online Cash Upfront

Purchasing a stock in the Singapore market costs at least around $27 (depending on the lots bought and price bought at) as commission. Many brokers charge this fee. However, brokers like DBS Vickers, have another service on top of their normal trading service. It’s called the “Cash Upfront” service. When you buy through the normal trading service, DBS charges the around $27 at the least which is the norm. But, when you trade through the cash upfront service, you only have to pay around $19 at the least.

Why the lower commission? By using the cash upfront service, there is lesser risk for DBS as clients pay immediately (deducted from the cash upfront balance) once they purchase their stock (when prices are filled). So, the T+3 days settlement period is not needed, thus lessening the risk for DBS. You can choose to transfer a lump sum into this cash upfront account or transfer the money only when needed to pay for a particular purchase. Cash upfront account opening and cash transfer can be done through DBS Internet Banking service, provided you are a DBS Vickers client.

P.S. I’m not an employee in DBS and this is not a promotion for their services. I just felt that this would be beneficial to readers who want to enjoy lower commissions from their stock purchases as not many know about this service.

Benefits of blogging

It has been almost 2 months since I started this blog and I have been getting good reviews from my readers and friends. Thank you to all for reading my posts and keeping up-to-date with my blog. My utmost priority is to create value to my readers.

My blog has also benefited me so far. These are the benefits that I have received out of blogging so far:

  • Makes me accountable to myself and my investments
  • Promotes critical thinking
  • Enables me to learn from the questions my readers ask me through the comments section. This shortens my learning curve as well. So, do keep the questions coming!
  • Ability to keep track of my investing journey and progress to find out what mistakes I have made to learn from them and what correct things I’ve done that can continue
  • Enables me to post on the knowledge that I’ve amassed throughout the years through books, etc and to share my experiences and knowledge with you. It will enable me to refresh my memory when I read them maybe a year from now.
  • Forces me to read up more books to improve my investing knowledge and to provide quality blog updates. Knowledge is something no one can take away from you. Knowledge is empowering.
  • Helps me to keep in touch with my English and to improve it further. It has been almost 4 years since I last sat for an English exam. And 2 years of NS didn’t help to improve my English at all (I felt my England got worst after entering NS actually due to massive use of Singlish and broken English. Haha!)

Do look forward for more enriching and refreshing posts!