For some reason, human beings are more likely to believe that the sky has a billion stars than the fact that ten years from now, the stock market will be doing significantly better. Maybe it has something to do with the economic crunch we experienced just a few years ago.
However, the world’s economy is growing, some parts faster than others but on the overall the world economy is expanding at an average of 3% every year. As far as your financial goals go, now is the time to invest towards their achievement, and below are four easy ways to bring you much closer:
Identify the opportunities of the season
The progress of individual companies providing various goods and services, which collectively contribute to the sustenance of the overall economy, facilitates its growth. In turn, investors wishing to capitalize on that growth, seize opportunities provided to invest in these companies.
By way of example, mining companies have enjoyed a booming season, and contributed a great deal to the growth of infrastructure in many countries. China for instance is the perfect example of a country that has capitalized on the infrastructural growth of many nations, having built roads, railways, airports, seaports and hospitals.
As an investor, you should have a keen eye for the season, so that you can maximize your first mover advantage.
Optimism is the key
Many countries in the Western parts of the world are also slowly recovering from the crunch at the end of last decade, and are slowly registering growth. Overall, an optimistic look at the future would not be naive. Growth will certainly not be instantaneous, but it will occur nonetheless.
However, how does this affect you in Singapore? Not directly for sure, but certainly having more money to pump into the global economy is something that eventually pays off for every player in the field, just like economic crunches drag everyone to the ground.
Confidence in the investment you are making
You know that when teaching your child to swim, there comes a time when you have to remove the inflatable armbands or else the child will become too dependent on them. In a similar gradual process, you will eventually have to swim the financial waters by yourself, and for this, you must be confident.
In all likelihood, you will make a few mistakes, but having a confident outlook and recovering from setbacks will be key determinants in the achievement of your financial goals.
Celebrate the victories with your family and friends
Lastly, when you do make a killing on the stock market, celebrate your victories. Find out what you got wrong when you lose so that you can make better decisions for the future. You don’t have to rely on your scanty knowledge if you’re not a professional. Seek guidance from a certified financial planner before making major investment decisions.
You know that theory that private is always better than public in every area? Well, it may not always apply.
Singapore ranks among the countries with the best healthcare in the world, both at the public and private hospitals. Some things, however, set the government hospitals ahead.
Public hospitals are cheaper because the costs are subsidized. You could get anything from 30% to 80% subsidy off your medical costs. If you have no income, then you get maximum subsidy i.e. free medical care, if you have some income, the subsidy depends on the amount. Children’s fees will depend on their guardian’s income. Note that this applies for Class C and B2 wards only. It gets better, if your condition is serious and you lose your income while in hospital, the subsidy takes that into consideration. None of this is available in private hospitals.
It is often an assumption that because more people go to public hospitals, the queues will be longer and it will take you more time to be attended to. Well, that is not entirely true. Hospitals, both public and private, deal with clients based on priority so you will get passed over if someone in a worse condition comes through regardless of which hospital you went to. Further, if you need admission, you will have to wait for a while in both types of hospitals so why pay more because you might get a bed faster? Doesn’t make financial sense, right?
The fact that Singapore is ranked 6th in the world in terms of healthcare can never be overemphasized. This ranking includes both private and public healthcare facilities. So if the quality of care is the same, what’s the point of paying more when you can pay less? Now, private hospitals try to keep their costs manageable but they are trying to run a business so they are still a little more expensive than public hospitals. And every dollar counts, right?
Ultimately, the quality and efficiency of public and private hospitals are comparable and the only real difference is in the cost of treatment. So if you are looking to just get care and you don’t care about where then you can go anywhere (see what I did right there?) but if you are trying to save those extra dollars, then you will have to go to the public hospitals near you.
Insurance is a wonderful thing all round. It provides you with the financial buffer that you need and can be a great means of investment as well. While it is critical to your financial existence in our day, it is most certainly a double-edged sword. There is a lot of good it does but still carries a lot of potential hurt due to misrepresentation of information from customers. However, because there are no viable alternatives to a good Singapore insurance policy, it is one of those necessary evils.
So here is what you need to do to protect yourself from any kind of issues that may arise with getting any kind of insurance policy:
Get insurance while you are young
Youth is a good thing when you are getting insurance because you generally have lower liability risks and so your premiums will be much more comfortable for your budget. So make sure you get an insurance policy while you are still young, like as soon as you get your first stable job.
Verify your Insurance Agents
You need to check out your insurance agent’s qualifications against the caliber of advice he/she is giving you. An insurance agent with great credentials is able to find you a wide range of products that you could choose from.
So, do a check on your insurance agent; check the license, investigate his company, check work history and verify his credentials before you continue with the presentation of the product range.
Check your policy documents
You have a fortnight to look through the insurance policy document so that you can look through the documents carefully and see if it is what you require. Within this period, you can send a cancellation notice to terminate the policy and your money refunded to you.
Get a renewable insurance plan
A renewable insurance plan is excellent because it allows you to change the premium rates and benefits along with any other terms and conditions you would like to change when the policy is up for renewals. Make sure you have paid your premiums to date so that you can enjoy this benefit and you can get better returns on this wonderful investment.
By considering these, you will not fall for the proverbial double-edged sword of insurance, but get the best value for your money with your insurance policy.
The thing about our times (and every other era, really) is that there is never enough money. I mean, we try to live within our means but we all know just how hard that is, especially when you are living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
As such, we have all kinds of loans to cover all kinds of expenses; reasonable and unreasonable, the most popular form being credit cards. They are handy, convenient and easy to access. Credit cards are offered by various lending institutions with a variety of options and offers so it can be a little confusing when it comes to choosing the best one for you. So, as with a budget, the best way to go about making this choice is by looking at your key expenditures as follows:
You need to choose a card that is reliable with regard to grocery shopping. You do need to eat, right? Credit card schemes function by charging you a fixed fee and then for every purchase made, you are refunded a fixed amount of money. These refunds are what make grocery shopping a lot more affordable. Just remember to pay your monthly bills on time to avoid penalty charges.
While you can try to aim for sales and offers, you will still need a credit card if you want to keep your hands out of your savings. This choice will depend on the kind of shopping you are looking to do; online shopping or retail shopping. You should look for a card that can reward you with points for every transaction or discounts off the final amount.
There are various cards that cater to your fancy dining needs and you can get one of them for those special nights out, or even just when you would rather not make a home-cooked meal or heat the TV dinner pack. Qualification here is a little harder than for other cards so when you are finally getting them, make sure to pick a card that provides offers and discounts that are applicable to you.
Whether for business or pleasure, you cannot afford to travel out of pocket all the time; you need an airline credit card to rescue your savings account. These cards provide discounts on future airline tickets; fantastic cash back offers and rebates.
Read the Fine Print
The thing about selecting any credit card is to make sure that you read between the lines regarding the penalties and monthly charges along with the benefits to make sure you are getting the best from your cards.
Whether you are religious or not, it is a fact that the way you bring up a child is quite certainly the way that he or she will turn out. This basically applies to their character and this will influence how they treat people and how they live their lives and for the purposes of this article, how they manage their money.
And as with anything important, you need to start teaching them early; as soon as they have a simple understanding of things. That way, it will become like second nature to have good financial sense.
The first thing you need to teach them is to have a healthy appreciation for what money is worth in Singapore. You should not be stingy in giving them money or gifts but you should not be excessive either because they might grow up thinking money grows on trees.
Set a reasonable amount for their allowance and do not add any more if they run out, especially without a good reason. You could also have them do small tasks that you could pay them for so they can appreciate the cost of getting the money they want and the value of work, like working at a coffee shop nearby your HDB flat.
The next thing you should teach them is how to manage whatever money they receive. Particular emphasis should be laid on saving so you could get them a piggy bank or open an account for them to save up towards something they would like. You could make saving like a challenge when they get older with rewards for having reached their intended target. This will give them a sense of responsibility while inculcating a culture of saving in them early on in life.
You can also get them financial role models that are rather young that they can look up to. Kids are impressionable and they tend to follow people they can identify with. So if they have their favorite movie stars and singers that they want to be like, why not expose them to some young people that are making big bucks on their own. That should certainly get their attention and inspire them to know that they can also achieve what these young people have managed to achieve.
While you are doing all this, be consistent. Don’t spoil them with a lot of money and gifts one day and then withhold them the next day. Children thrive in structure and character is built through discipline. Stick with this and your children will thank you-eventually.