Sunday, January 05, 2020

Readers need to stop doing this in this new decade !

Image result for booger

With 2020 in full swing and anti-goals being in vogue, maybe it is time readers of this blog stop doing the following :

a) Gawk at the CPF interests earned by other bloggers.

Incidentally, Brian Halim was the first to call people out on this.

I think it is a great practice to check your CPF statement first thing in the new year. If we emerge from a bear market, your CPF will be the only account that will give you something to smile about.

But waving your CPF statement on the Internet like it is your big giant 12-inch penis is dumb. Some folks start out at higher salaries. Others had the benefit of compounding over many years and are old enough to remember Fitzpatrick supermarkets and the grisly Sunny Ang murder case.

Also, as much as I like a nice payout from my CPF as any other Singaporean, having $1 million in your CPF means money to spend only after age 55. Maybe you should find a way to have a million before you are 55...

b) Whine about the revision of T&Cs of the new-age bank deposit accounts

I think the bloggers who shared this news are doing a great public service, but I have been very leery of these deposit accounts for a while. In my opinion, signing up for these accounts is like buying a curry puff, and then finding out that it has no filling inside.

First of all, Interest rates on SSBs have been dropping throughout 2019, it is no accident that banks will tweak the T&Cs of these accounts. Secondly, banks clearly want control over your financial destiny so they can offer you a higher interest on deposits if you buy insurance or invest with them. Thirdly, these interest rates are de minimus compared bigger issues on your plate - the rest of your investment portfolio and your human capital that comes in the form of your day job.

So use your common sense - Higher interest rates are a rebate for paying hefty management fees.

Instead, buying a bank stocks can easily fetch you 4% in dividends. If dividends get slashed, you can even KPKB at the AGM or even get more food during the buffet.

c) Stop bothering about your miles or cash back schemes

While I do pop into some apps before I buy from Amazon to get discounts. I do not take a lot of pains to optimize my purchases. The financial equivalent of  improving your aim when flicking your Pi Sai is thinking about miles and cash back schemes.

When I discussed this issue with a friend, he said that a lot of Millenials actually think that finding out loopholes to optimize miles and cash back is a significant component of personal financial planning.

It is not.

Stop majoring in minor things.

You are better off not spending in the first place.

So what should we think about ?

Let's just start with one thing to think about this year for most blog readers who have yet to FIRE.I don't want to get into a discussion on investments because it largely depends on the size of your portfolio. Also, after a great year, I doubt defensive investments would repeat its performance this year.

So I googled "wage increase in Singapore" and the projection for 2020 is 3%.

If you draw $50,000 a year, that is $1,500 more money every year thereafter. What if you find a way to get an increment that is twice as high as someone else ? If you find a better job that pays an additional 15%, that's a $7,500 increase every year hence. This will significantly increase the the flow of money into your CPF.

Maybe in the grander scheme of things, you might want to take steps to make yourself more valuable to an employer. This can be farmed back into the markets to make even more for yourself.


  1. Nice localisation of food item from pies to curry puffs.

  2. Glad that you are a fan of Geralt !

  3. Well said Chris. I find those so call hacks quite shallow and sometimes penny wise, pound foolish. But can't say those kids cannot write sponsor articles to earn side income. I am a dinosaur already, an old one.
    Agreed with you, focus on the career is a wiser instead of draining human capital in other ways.

  4. Whatever that is blogged, need not be pearls of wisdom. They are merely personal opinions of their sentiments at that point of time. Let us be less pejorative. Even subjects as mundane as curry puffs are aired, let alone some abstracts like CPF where one can only use it at 55. These blogs are avenues of study of human behaviour and du jour topics for those who prefer light, local or even banal repose to while away boring times.


  5. I think my readership will halve if I am less pejorative !