Friday, October 28, 2016

Waiting in queues

I had another bad experience with Ryan Air on my return from Madrid.

At the security checkpoint, the security officer did not allow one bag to be carried in. I had to check in the bag.

I went to the customer service. There was a queue. I asked the staff how to pay for the check-in bag. She asked me to go to the bag check- in counter. I had to wait in another long queue.

The bag check-in staff wrote a price of paper and asked me to pay at customer service (the same that I had approached at first). Another queue.

After payment, I had to go back to the bag check-in counter. Another queue.

The people who designed this system only consider how to reduce work for their staff.  They do not care about the inconvenience to the customer.

We also face a similar issue with our hospitals. We have to wait in long queues to register, see the nurse, see the doctor, to make payment and to book another appointment. We spend 80% of the time waiting in queues.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Options to invest in STI ETF

I have often been asked - is it better to invest in the STI ETF through POSB, OCBC or a stockbroker?

My answer is given here:

Questions asked by a young man

A young man sent me four questions on financial planning and insurance. I gave my answers here:

Bukit Panjang LRT system

Should the Bukit Panjang LRT system be decommissioned, as it was costly to maintain?

You can view the results of 39 people who voted on this issue, and see their individual comments here:

Financial products sold by banks

I have come across many cases of risk averse people actually end up making bad investments unknowingly. This mistake was made in a safe place, i.e. a bank. They wanted to place a fixed deposit but ended up making a bad investment. It is easy to fall into this mistake. I know, because I had a similar experience in a bank.

Learn how to avoid this mistake. Watch the video on Financial Products offered by Banks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Medishield Life

I keep getting questions for the public - I am a young person. Should I stay on Medishield Life or move to an integrated shield plan?

The answer is - it depends on you. You can find out the facts and make your own judgement. I have given some tips in my video here:

Changes to the constitution on the Elected President

Did the PAP government proposed the changes to the constitution for the main purpose of excluding Dr. Tan Cheng Bock from contesting in the next election?

The voting has now closed and the results can be viewed at

You can also view the results of the voting on two other issues relating to the presidential election;

a) ensuring minority representation
b) higher requirements for eligibility.

You should pay attention to the difference in voting between the younger generation, the middle generation and the older generation. These differences are startling.

Pursue the right economic policies…/we-are-pursu…/3231354.html…

Lee HL has been pursuing the "right strategy" for the past decade. It has led to
a) A large increase in population
b) Over crowding
c) Inadequate infrastructure and public services.
d) High cost of living
e) Unproductive work and wastefulness.
f) An uncompetitive economy

I don't think he has recognized the problems caused by his "right policies". I wonder how these same policies can make us competitive again.

Continue an existing life insurance policy?

A consumer should avoid locking up long term savings in a life insurance policy that gives a poor return. They should look for a return of at least 4% p.a. on a long term investment. The benefit illustration for most policies taken today shows a return of less than 3% if the policy is kept to maturity. It is usually negative when the policy is terminated during the first 10 years.

If you are already stuck in a life insurance policy that has been giving a poor return in the past, it may still be worth keeping the policy until maturity. Why? The "going forward" yield may be more than 4%.

Read a real case study here:

An excellent hotel in Saville, Spain

I checked in at the Melia Lebreros Hotel in Seville. I congratulate their management for exercising common sense, which leads to highly productivity and excellent customer service.

My tour group comprised of over 40 people. We were checked into the hotel with no hassle and quite quickly.

They do not require to scan the passports of the hotel guests. Most hotels around the world still carry out this unproductive exercise. What is the purpose, other than to give unnecessary hassle and work?

Quite likely, there is an outdated regulation that compels hotels to do this mindless activity. But the management of this hotel must have found a way to avoid it.

I connected to the hotel wifi and found, to my surprise and delight, that no password is required. They save a lot of their staff time in providing the password and in helping guests to get connected. All of this unproductive work is avoided.

What is the risk? Will some unauthorised person tap into the wifi of the hotel? They have to get into the guest rooms or corridors in the upper floors. Only those with key cards could access these places anyway.

I salute the management of this hotel. I hope that our hotels in Singapore can learn from them to be improve staff productivity and provide excellent service to their guests.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Terrible experience with Ryanair

I took Ryanair from London to Spain. It was the worst check-in experience in a few decades of flying.

I did not check in online. Usually, I check in at the counter in the airport.

They required me to go to customer service, where the staff is very slow. He told me that I have to pay GBP 90 for failing to check in online for two persons. He said that this was stated in the website.

I had no choice but to give in to this kind of extortion. I consider the penalty to be excessive. I wonder why the British regulator allows this kind of deplorable business practice.

After spending nearly an hour on this process, I had to check in my bags. There was a long queue.

Many of the passengers had various kinds of problems with the check-in process. They were travelling with young children. Maybe they were also not familiar with the unusual check-in process.

I will never take Ryanair again.

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