Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bought Ascott REIT

Bought another 3 lots of Ascott REITs (@$1.065) after I realised that I have not been investing in the stock market a lot.  Thought that it will be good to add to my current portfolio considering the amount of spare cash sitting in the bank that is not earning much interest anyway.  That brings my total exposure to Ascott REITs to 15 lots.  Have been enjoying the dividends over the past few years and hopefully, the dividends that come in will not fail to disappoint me.

August was good in terms of dividends received but September has been pretty quiet.  Other than a Adsense cheque that I received, have not received much passive income.  Can definitely do better for the future.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Retirement Plans

Have been thinking what I intend to do when I get older - like at age 65.  I really cannot see myself not working and just sitting around at home doing nothing.  As Singapore ages, I guess there will be more and more elderly folks around.  When I am 65 (if I live that long), I will be surrounded by lots of old people.

Well, I don't really plan to retire.  And I hope that I can stay employed for as long as possible.  At least that will keep me active.  But the matter of fact is that it will probably be difficult to work at the same pace that I am working now.  So I will probably be doing WORK, but it might not necessarily be PAID WORK.  It could be volunteer work or something else.  I don't know.

Recently, the thought of opening a postage stamp shop just keeps creeping into my mind.  Maybe I should just pursue my hobby and try to make a living out of it.  That will be some cool retirement plan indeed.  But it is difficult as the capital involved seems to be quite huge.  And I will probably want to hoard all the stamps rather than sell them.  Something for me to think about and work towards over the next 30 years perhaps.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Singapore Millionaires - Lots More by 2016

According to Credit Suisse's Global Wealth Report, Singapore is ranked no.5 in the top 10 countries with the highest average wealth per adult in 2011. The figure amounts to USD$284,692 per adult. Australia is in 2nd place with USD$396,745. Switzerland is ranked 1st with average wealth of USD$540,010.

Based on the data, it also seems that by 2016, around 408,000 Singaporeans will be millionaires. That is quite a significant number of millionaires in tiny Singapore.

Most Singaporeans who read this are probably thinking: "How is possible that it is so easy for so many Singaporeans to be millionaires?" Well, the exact same thoughts are actually running through my head. Just doing a basic calculation of my annual pay package (inclusive of bonuses) and I figure that I need a minimum of 14-15 years just to make a million dollars. This is of course based on the assumption that my pay stagnates and does not increase at all. Another assumption made is that I also save all my salary and do not spend a single cent.

With such a simplistic calculation, it will take me till I am almost close to 50 years old to actually earn a grand total of one million dollars. And this is in Singapore dollars not US dollars.

Looks like I won't be making it in the 2016 list. Perhaps 2025?






Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend is Ending, Great Things to Do, and Back to Office

The weekend is ending. Another restful 2 days is over and I am off to a brand new start to the week. It is almost the end of the year and I am still amazed at how little I have accomplished over the year 2011. It has not been a great year in terms of accomplishments but it has been fantastic nonetheless. After watching Steve Jobs 2005 Speech at Stanford Commencement, I try to look myself in the mirror each day and ask myself the same question: "If this is the last day of my life, will I want to be doing what I am going to do today?".

I have been doing that the past couple of days and I realised that the answer is a vague NO. It isn't a strong NO-NO. But neither is it a resolute YES.

On another totally unrelated topic, I have been thinking of great things to do in Singapore. This is whether be it in terms of killing time, new places to eat, etc. I know there are lots of things to do in Singapore but I just find my weekends kind of dull.

So the weekend ends. And I will be back to work tomorrow. But an exciting idea has just popped into my head and I can feel the adrenaline rushing back into my blood. It was just a simple thought on what I should be doing with my life, and how I ought to really follow my passion and my dreams. And something just struck me that I know I ought to be doing but haven't really been doing much. I am so excited about this new idea and hopefully it will bear some "fruit" in due time.

Have a great week ahead!

Chris Rene X Factor Audition - Young Homie

This was Chris Rene's audition on X Factor. The title of this song is Young Homie and was written by Chris himself. Truly different from the other singers and worth watching if you like the rap, R&B, hip-hop kind of music. I love his other song from his album Sould Out that is titled "Forever".

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Things to do in Singapore - Free Entry into Asian Civilisation Museum (15 and 16 Oct 2011)

There are not many things to do in Singapore except eating, shopping and really just walking around. This weekend (15 to 16 Oct 2011), the Asian Civilisation Museum is having an open house - meaning its free entry for all. So it is a pretty good deal as the exhibition on the Terracota Warriors are on. It is a good chance to visit the museum if you have not done so.

The Asian Civilisation Museum is located just opposite Fullerton Hotel right beside Victoria Concert Hall (which is now undergoing renovation). Not too sure whether parking is currently available there but I parked my car at UOB Plaza which was basically $3.50 per entry. Took a short walk across the bridge and I was inside the museum.

The exhibits are all located at the 2nd floor and it was quite crowded. Not surprising really since it was free admission to all. I have always found ancient antiques/artefacts pretty cool so it is worth the visit if you like to see such stuff too. Of course, took a short stroll down the Singapore River too

Friday, October 14, 2011

Best Breakfast Places in Singapore (Part 2)

I wrote about the best breakfast places in Singapore some time back in Oct 2010. And I always promised myself and some readers that I would expand on the list as it was really an extremely brief post with little details.

Now that it is Oct 2011, I decided that it was time to stop procrastinating and to deliver on my promise to share some of the best breakfast places (at least in my opinion) in Singapore. Well, I am sure everyone has their little corner or own quiet space in Singapore where they truly enjoy eating their breakfasts. But here I go to share my list:

Jones the Grocer @ Dempsey ($$$)

Well, this definitely had to come up in my list. I am really a local food kind of guy so it shows how much I actually like to eat breakfast here. I don't really fancy the food much. The scrambled eggs are good. The best thing I guess is the ambience of this place. Wonderful if you are sitting inside on a hot Saturday morning with its high ceilings. Of course, it is also fun to people watch. Their coffee and mocha is oh so good.....

Ghim Moh Market Thosai ($)

There are lots to eat at Ghim Moh Market which is tuck away in Ghim Moh (of course). Plenty of choices but the Thosai there is good. If I am really hungry, I will go for the chee kui there too which isn't that bad.

Clementi Mall Crystal Jade ($$$)

Clementi Mall is new. But the dim sum served at the Crystal Jade is quite amazing. I like their chee cheong fun which has like sesame sauce and the usual sweet sauce. Really yummy!

Coronation Plaza, My Cosy Corner, Laksa ($)

A totally non-pretentious place that is tucked away in a little corner at Coronation Plaza which is like a really old shopping centre. Their laksa is rich and tasty (not too sure that is how you would describe it). I quite like they kueh pie ti and popiah too. There are limited seats though but usually we don't get any problems with finding the seats.

Holland Village Provence Cafe ($$)

Nice little cafe with fresh bread and coffee. Not much on the breakfast menu except bread, bread and more bread. So if you are not a bread person, you won't enjoy this place much. But it is nice once in a while to sit here, drink coffee and do some people watching. Also count the number of luxury cars that illegal park along the road. If you want something more local, can always go to the market there for their economic beehoon or the Ya Kun that is located near the Bee Cheng Hiang.

Toast Box @ Great World City ($)

I love my coffee. But when it comes to Toast Box, I don't mind their Iced Teh C (which is basically like iced milk tea for those of you who don't originate from Singapore). I love their nasi lemak even though I know it is nothing special. Their half boiled eggs also see larger than the ones that are served in normal coffee shops. Slurp!!

Tiong Bahru Market ($)

This market is famous by itself. After the renovations, I sort of lost track on where all the good stalls went to. But just follow the queues and you will never go wrong.

Casuarina Curry Restaurant Prata ($)

Air-conditioned coffeshop serving prata that doesn't taste too bad. Service is prompt and fast. Place is pretty clean too which is rare for a roti-prata shop. They did a total makeover a couple of years back and business is always good on the weekends.

Olio Dome @ Dempsey ($$)

Another nice place to hang out. If Jones the Grocer is too crowded, just cross the road and head over to this place. Coffee isn't too far off and their breakfast menu is also quite decent. Of course, it isn't as good as Jones the Grocer but if you want a reasonably good breakfast and there is a long queue at Jones, then this place is for you. Of course, you can hop over to PS Cafe which is much more expensive but which I thought wasn't really worth the money.

Hong Kah Market (near Hong Kah West CC) Carrot Cake ($)

Remember the Bukit Timah Market carrot cake that was cooked like in square shape pieces? Heard that this stall was opened by the son of the original owner. I have tasted the original Bukit Timah carrot cake and I dare say that this one isn't that far off. In fact, there are days when I think this one tastes even better!

Casa Verde @ Botanical Gardens ($$)

They sell a mix of western food as well as local dishes. These are usually better with the sets which comes with juice and coffee. A bit expensive though. One also must not mind the crowd unless you go early. There are many pet dogs around too so if you don't like dogs, this is not the place for you.

Okay, I have shared quite a few places already. But I still have a few secret places stored in my pocket that I will perhaps share during the next installment of Best Breakfast Places in Singapore. Hopefully, that posting will come out before Oct 2013. Do share with me your favorite breakfast places too! I would love to hear of new places to go too!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chris Rene Forever Lyrics

I heard this song from Chris Rene titled Forever which I feel is absolutely wonderful and amazing. Chris Rene is a contestant in the current US X Factor TV show. This song Forever is from his album Sould Out.



Lyrics

(Synthesizer and bass plays)
I said it’s all about you and you reply with the vice-versa
In the beginning I was, like this might hurt you
Love is a strong thing, it can make you wanna die or make your heart sing
Nothing compares to the joy you bring in me (bring in me)
You could make a, a cripple man walk and a blind man see
It’s all about you and me
I was blind to see that you were in love with me
Girls flirtin’ with me but you still stuck with me
And didn’t give a f*** with me,
If I needed it, you would give your blood to me
And this means you’ll be mine till the end of time
We gonna ride, gonna shine, in this life of mine
Took me awhile to figure it out
But you’re the reason why I live my life no doubt

Chorus
And you’re the only one who makes me feel this way
I ain’t got no time to waste
Where I need to be is beside you
I spent so many years trying to find you, baby
(Woo, you baby, hey yea, hey yea, hey yea yea)

How you feel baby now that we’re having one
Yeah they telling me our life’s just begun
I look forward to this new life as a daddy that can handle his son
We ‘bout to have all kinds of fun
You’re a mother now (uh)
Who would’ve thought you would ever be a mother wow
It’s kinda crazy how things turned around
We went from living on the streets and being homeless downtown
And now we’re standing on our own too feet (yeah)
Hail Mary, come with me
My father’s up in heaven watching over me
Thanks for staying close to me
And in my heart I know that’s where we’re supposed to be
With a third heartbeat and live so complete (eh)
And we can start a family yeah
And we can start our family yeah, we can start our family yeah

And you’re the only one who makes me feel this way
I ain’t got no time to waste
Where I need to be is beside you
I spent so many years trying to find you, baby
(Woo, you baby, hey yea, hey yea, hey yea yea)

First Steps to Success as a Property Investor


Successful property investment requires a good knowledge base. It’s important to get a good basic grounding in all the practices of property investment, from selecting properties to management and financing. These are the real bread and butter elements of property investment. It’s extremely important to learn each aspect and understand the issues in each part of the process. This is a type of business where learning by experience can be very costly.

You will need some professional assistance with property investment, including legal support and professional investment advice, particularly if you’re buying high value properties. There’s a large range of issues involved in any purchase or sale of property, and this advice can both save and make you a fortune, quite literally.

The property investment market has a nasty habit of boom and bust cycles which need to be well managed to ensure profitability and good returns on investment. Losses can hit hard, particularly if you’re borrowing to invest, or you have an investment that needs capital commitment to be profitable in a falling or stagnant market. A good working knowledge of the right market strategies and tactics will give you an advantage in any sort of property market or investment situation.

Stage 1- Basic elements of property investment education

Before you make any investment moves, it’s well worth attending some of the professional property investment seminars. These seminars are particularly useful for investors in need of fundamental information regarding markets, risk management and investment strategies. Property markets can be quite volatile, and some local markets may be flat while others are booming. These are primary principles in property investment, and it’s critically important to develop a clear vision of the issues in your own property market.

Stage 2- Finding the right property investment advisory services

The best property investment companies offer a range of services which include:

·        Resources for property research- These include market reports, news and other up to date information which can provide valuable insights into your property investment options.

·        Property investment strategy advice and programs- The most successful property investors have a clear market strategy which sees them through boom and bust markets. Defensive and aggressive investment strategies have their benefits, and learning these strategies is a  

·        Consultation services- These services can be absolutely invaluable, providing full spectrum support for investors, whatever their needs. (Please note that in the early stages of investment, this consultative process is also very valuable as “advanced training”, because your advisors will be able to walk you through the issues and explain them for you and provide good options for each investment.)

Stage 3- Your own investment team, on standby

At the end of your education phase, you’ll find that you have excellent knowledge of your investment options, as well as a team of professional experts on hand whenever you need them. The most successful property investors in the world have professional teams to support their every move, and the best property investments are never accidental.

Talk to a professional property investment advisor, and check out their services. You’ll never look back.

 [The above is a guest post]

Monday, October 3, 2011

Poll Results: Starting Pay When You First Started Work

I polled my readers on this blog on what was their starting pay when they first started work. This poll was really started after I wrote the article on Starting Pay for Graduates. Anyway, here are the results of the poll:

57% of respondents reported a starting salary of less than S$2000 when they first started work. 27% of respondents reported a starting salary of between S$2000 and S$3000. The remaining 16% reported a starting salary of more than S$3000 when they first started work.

So how do you measure up?

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