William Shakespeare bequeathed his second best bed to his wife, Alexander McQueen left £50,000 of his £16M fortune to his pet dogs, while inventor of the iconic Pringles can Frederic Baur requested to be cremated and buried in – no guesses – a Pringles can. Do you know what will actually happen to your assets should you pass on without a will? Let’s find out.
Words by Timothy Ho
A discussion about death is not something anyone enjoys. However, as the saying goes, nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Not making a will or having a candid discussion beforehand on how your assets should be distributed after your death may actually cause more trouble in future for your family and loved ones.
But before going to a company that does estate planning (i.e., a company that helps you with will writing and its execution), it is important for you to first know that Singapore has her own default Intestate Succession Act.
[Ed’s note: When a person dies without a will, he/she is said to die “intestate”, in contrast to a person who dies “testate” with a valid will.]
This means that in the absence …read more
First. wet hair thoroughly.
Squeese some H&S onto the palm of your hand.
Rub it gently onto your hair.
Using the tip of your fingers from both hands, massage your scalp until lather forms.
Now rinse hair under running water.
Fling your head to the left, and then right, as you lift up your head.
Grab a towel.
No. Don’t do the jiggle, jiggle towel over hair thing like a mad woman.
Put your head to the side and let your hair down.
Envelop hair with towel using both hands. Dab, dab.
Video and audio screech into sudden halt…
You a man?
You don’t say I don’t tell OK?
A passport from a country in good global standing is a powerful tool. We already know that Singapore’s passport is one of the most widely accepted in the world, but how does it fare compared to other countries’? We find out.
[Top Image Credit: Sunrise Odyssey]
Over the weekend, The Straits Times published an article on the Singapore passport being one of the most widely accepted in the world, with unrestricted access to 170 countries out of 219. Some notable countries where Singaporeans still need a visa include: Australia, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
That got us thinking, just how valuable is our passport compared to other countries? We decided to do some investigating for fun, and here’s what we found out.
Singapore is ranked 4th by Passport Power Rank.
According to Passport Index, backed by financial firm Arton Capital, Singapore’s passport is ranked 4th – alongside Japan, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg – in terms of freedom of travel, or the number of countries one can visit without an advance visa or by purchasing a visa on arrival.
Passports ranked above ours are: UK and USA (tied for first place); Germany, South Korea and France (jointly ranked …read more
By Lionel Yeo
How likely are you to eat a Hershey’s Kiss?
Back in 2006, Cornell University researcher Brian Wansink and his colleagues James Painter and Yeon-Kyung Lee conducted an experiment to find out.
For Secretaries Week, they gave all the secretaries in an office building some nice, covered containers with 30 Hershey’s Kisses each. The secretaries were told that the gifts were not to be shared.
There was just one difference: Half of the containers were clear, while the other half were opaque.
Every night after the secretaries had gone home, the researchers counted how many Hershey’s Kisses they had eaten and refilled the containers (If this happened to me, I sure wouldn’t tell anyone that I had magic chocolate refills every night). This continued for two weeks.
Here’s what the researchers found:
Secretaries who had been given the opaque containers ate an average of 4.6 Kisses per day, while those who had been given the clear containers ate an average of 7.7 Kisses per day, or 71 percent more chocolate.
Just the mere sight of the chocolates through the clear containers was enough to get the secretaries to munch through way more chocolate than their counterparts.
That’s an additional 77 calories per day, and over a year, …read more
My wife made a trip to the bank recently to open a Child Development Account (CDA) for my little kid. It was a trip we have been putting off for many months, but the baby will be turning one soon and we should delay it no longer.
For parents and parents to be, the government matches every dollar on your deposits up to a certain amount. The money can be spent on education and health related expenses. It is free money and the account is a no-brainer.
The customer service officer was capable and friendly. He answered my wife’s questions professionally and rendered good help. While discharging his duties he also made small talk, chatting about kids (ours, he just finished school) and work.
Inevitable the conversation drifted to investing and growing our money. Mr Friendly then asked about the financial planning we have done for our kids.
To guard against inflation and to prepare for the kid’s tertiary education, he suggested that we commit a small portion of our income to an endowment plan. The endowment plan will provide a minimum return of approximately 3% per annum, higher than fixed deposits. Higher returns are possible but not guaranteed and are dependent …read more
By Singapore Man of Leisure
Right Tool for Right Strategy
If you are a Growth and Income investor like John Neff, it makes sense to measure your portfolio in Total Returns basis – with breakdown in dividends received and capital gain/loss marked to market.
But when you see a Income investor measures his portfolio using the same Total Returns method, you go hmm…
The “right” measurement vehicle should ideally match the corresponding strategy.
When reality deviates from plan
Measurement or tracking is not as important as what WHAT we intend to DO with the information.
Let’s say an income investor noticed his dividend income has been declining in the last few quarters – and he has not made any divestments – should he take any corrective actions?
Even trickier is when your dividend income has steadily increased over the last 5 years – and you have not made any new investments – but you noticed your income has stagnated and stopped growing for the past 12 months, should you do anything? Now this is next level stuff!
Track for what?
If you no clue what you should do in the above 2 scenarios, pray tell why are you tracking your portfolio income in the first place?
Land owners, shepherds, and sheep use KPIs for …read more
By Alvin Chow
Benjamin Graham witnessed how capitalism was hit by the Great Depression. The experience shaped his investment philosophy and thus his investment strategies were ever so gloomy and pessimistic.
Strategies like Net-Net are assuming the companies would go bankrupt and yet, there could be some value to be extracted if the current assets are sizeable.
Fast forward to today, the rate of companies going bankrupt is not as high as it is going to be. Hence, Graham’s Net-Net strategy is not often used as it is harder to find stocks that passes his stringent criteria. However, this does not mean there are no stocks that will pass.
Since Noble Group has been undergoing a lot of fire from Iceberg Research, and her stock price has tumbled, we can apply the Net-Net and see if there is value in the company.
Is Noble Group Undervalued?
Noble Group could be considered a good buy if the current stock price is below two-thirds of the Net Current Assets (Current Assets – Total Liabilities).
From Noble Group’s latest annual report dated 31 Dec 2014,
- Current Assets = US$15,874,125,000
- Total Liabilities = US$11,930,676,000 + US$3,007,719,000 = US$14,938,395,000
- Non-controlling Interests = US$6,864,000
- Perpetual Capital Securities = US$397,547,000
- Number of shares = 6,739,366,962
Net Current Assets per share = $0.10
The …read more
A busy schedule spells bad news not just on the social front. Believe it or not, being a workaholic might be turning you into a ‘spendaholic’. Here’s why.
Words by Budget Babe
I learnt a very important lesson last month — being busy is going to cost me my wealth in the long run.
You might be thinking, why do I say that? Isn’t being busy one of the best ways to save money? After all, when we’re busy, we have less time to spend money on entertainment, frivolous shopping, etc.
While that is true, let us also consider the other side of the coin. When we’re overscheduled, we’re also more likely to pay for convenience (and other things we barely notice).
Last month was an incredibly busy period for me, due to an increase in my workload resulting in multiple days of OT, extra dance rehearsals, and several one-off social activities that came up (baby showers, birthday parties and so on). But it wasn’t until I did my monthly reflections on Expense Manager that I realised how much being busy was costing me.
My monthly expenditure had escalated from $600+ to $1,000! A big part of this increase was …read more
By Singapore Man of Leisure
Casual readers may want to skip this post.
This is more a “poking” post for the male community members as I’ll be making references that you won’t know unless you are a regular reader of male financial bloggers.
Last night, a new lady colleague from another store came to help us out for a month due to a recent resignation at our store.
She noticed I am left-handed and asked if its true that lefties are smarter?
I wished it were true!
I told her we lefties are like “women” – we see the world through feelings, emotions, and intuitions. You know, fuzzy, fuzzy, dreamlike, and definitely not in precision terms!
OK, that should set the context and perspective. And now the gloves are off!
A lady reader made a wonderful insightful guest post at the bleeding heart’s blog some weeks back.
It’s about her creative way to DIY her own “Eldershield” like insurance plan for her parents by monetising the property she is staying in, if and when needed. This is so cool!
Guess what? Yup, male hammers start commenting her math is “wrong”… Why they don’t think property can appreciate like in the past few years going forward…
Lousy listeners right?
Girl talking about one thing, …read more