Unless you have been living in a cave the past week, it would have been almost impossible not to have read or heard about Britain’s referendum on exiting the European Union.
A week ago, on the 23rd of June, 51.9 percent of eligible voters from the UK sent shockwaves around the world by opting to leave the EU. In doing so, they have kicked started a multi-year process to remove themselves from the Union they have belonged to for the past 43 years.
The implications of a British exit are many. Politically the vote has accentuated the divide between Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England, with the former especially pushing to remain. Leaving the EU might see population policies changing, with reducing the number of immigrants a foremost concern in many voters minds.
Economically, leaving the EU could require the UK to give up free trade benefits with member countries in the Union. The mechanism behind how this will work is still unclear, but the general consensus is that there will be a significant impact on the British economy. Credit agencies have fallen over themselves to downgrade the UK’s credit rating.
While it may be years or even decades before the entire impact of …read more
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are an investment fund that own assets and are traded on a stock exchange, similar to stocks. Investors who buy ETFs own a unit of the fund. Being a unit holder you indirectly own the fund’ assets.
ETFs are designed to produce a return of a specific index such as stocks (e.g. STI), bonds (e.g. ABF), currency, commodity (e.g. GLD) or even an investing style.
The first ETF was started in Aug. 31, 1976 by Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. It was a revolutionary and unorthodox investment concept at the time as the investment industry was dominated by the mutual funds which practiced active equity management (i.e portfolio managers make buy and sell investment decisions).
Jack Bogle believed that passive management (index investing) would outpace active management and in return provide higher returns to investors because of its efficient cost structure (i.e low advisory fee, operating expenses, sales charge and portfolio transaction).
Wall Street ridiculed the idea and referred to the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (it was called Bogle Fund back then) as “Bogle’s Folly.” Yet today, the Vanguard S&P500 ETF alone has reached a market cap of $52.2 billion. The ETFs industry is no doubt dominating today’s investment …read more
By Lionel Yeo
I’ve said it. You’ve said it. We’ve all said it. Ask any young person about their dream wedding, and 90% of them will say, “We just want a small, simple wedding.”
But guess what? This is a lie. Just like how we all declare on New Year’s Day that we’ll “start exercising regularly”, what we say is dramatically different from what we actually do.
As Ramit Sethi writes in Why are we all hypocrites about weddings?, everyone pretends that they won’t spend huge fortunes on their weddings… until they actually do. Then they look back and say, “Ahhh crap. We spent that much?!”
Even yours truly – the cost-conscious personal finance blogger – fell into that trap. Today, I’m going to show you how much my wife and I actually spent on our wedding, why it busted our budget.
This could’ve turned into a “haha, I’m so stupid” blogpost, but there’s also a valuable, counterintuitive lesson to be learnt from all this.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Our Simplistic Cost Assumptions
Once my wife and I got engaged, we started budgeting for our wedding. Here’s how we estimated the cost:
- Step 1: Estimate that we’d invite 150 guests (small simple wedding, remember?)
- Step 2: Estimate the costs …read more
By Alvin Chow
Crowdfunding is all the rage these days, with burgeoning loans made available by myriad crowdfunding companies for yield-hungry investors.
CoAssets is bringing crowdfunding to another level as the company is raising A$10m through her listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
CoAssets is one of the major crowdfunding players in Asia, and the few which are publicly listed.
This article I would like to shed some light about the listing.
How Does CoAssets Make Money?
The breakdown of the revenue is as such, as produced in the Prospectus:
The Commission income is related to the fees generated from the businesses who list their projects on the CoAssets Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platform. Personally, I would prefer to see majority of the revenue to be earned from this avenue as opposed to the others. This is the core premise of a crowdfunding platform. Nonetheless, it is a start and investors should monitor the growth, or a lack thereof, in the P2P commission income.
Most of the income are generated from the development of a micro-site, and event income. The former, I believe, is a white label of CoAssets’ platform. The latter, are revenue generated from CoAssets’ flagship event, Expo for Property Investing and Crowdfunding (EPIC).
The development plans of CoAssets …read more
This ultra spiritual guy does satires, pokes, and parodies so much better than me!
By Lionel Yeo
Last week, I blogged about how it’s lame when fresh grads say, “I wanna earn $4k!”, with absolutely zero basis. I showed you a specific strategy on how to figure out the job to target, research the market rate, and set an ambitious salary target that’s won’t cause the interviewer to laugh in your face.
But wait – an ambitious salary? How do you justify a salary that’s higher than everyone else? Definitely not in the same way that everyone else is doing, like in this STJobs article:
Yu Lan, 26, a student from Nanyang Technological University, is one of them who thinks that her starting salary should be at least $4,000 as she has “strong analysis skills and trouble-shooting ability”.
On the other hand, 25-year-old Samuel Tan expects to be paid up to $4,000 in starting salary as other jobs he has applied to offer similar payouts. Other reasons cited include “I have the required abilities and good work ethics and experience from my part-time jobs”.
Strong analysis skills and trouble-shooting ability? GOOD WORK ETHICS? That’s like saying, “I have fingernails.” It doesn’t mean anything because everyone else has those exact same qualities.
Today, I’m going to show you how …read more
Watch the below video from Jack Ma from Alibaba first. Don’t worry. Got English subtitles.
1. Before we go on, Singapore is where it is today not because we have goals and plans. You mean other governments and countries have no annual budgets and 5 year plans?
2. Do you keep thinking of money every waking hours? Is it healthy? Is this the reason you are here on Earth? You are very practical and a realist – no money; no talk. And you wonder why others are happier than you…
3. Have you realised where you are today is the sum of all decisions you have made or not made? No choice? Was it really “no choice”, or the truth is you capitulated and took the easy way out?
By the way, during one of my Buddhist seminars, one business owner from a neighbouring country asked Ajahn Brahm, “Where I come from, nothing gets done without giving bribes. But I’m a devout Buddhist!”
Without being a Buddhist yourself, you would know how Ajahn Brahm would have replied. Or would you tell the business owner its OK to tell little lies to himself? No choice …read more
By Alvin Chow
There are a few milestones in life and wedding is definitely one of them.
Yours truly had just completed the wedding ceremony recently and I wanted to share the costing with you. Please do not take it as a comparison. Our expenditure was neither the cheapest nor the most expensive. The intention is to share what we have saved on and where we could have saved even more. This could serve as a useful reference for future weds. Also, if you have more tips to share, please do so in the comments below!
Breakdown of Costs
- Lunch and Event Venue: $16,478 (60%)
- Bridal Package: $3,088 (11%)
- Pre-wed Photography: $1,463 (5%)
- Rings and Jewellery: $1,326 (5%)
- Ang Pao: $1,000 (4%)
- Attire: $822 (3%)
- Live Music: $750 (3%)
- Decoration: $748 (3%)
- Chinese Customs: $618 (2%)
- Beauty Treatment: $528 (2%)
- Administrative Charges: $471 (2%)
- Total: $27,291
Money Saving Tips For Wedding
If there is only one tip to share, it would be to know what are the must have’s and the good to have’s for your wedding. Money can be saved from the good to have’s since you can either do without it totally, or go with the minimum.
You will get many ideas from different people because each couple want different things. It is YOUR wedding so do not …read more