Saturday, November 05, 2016

Avoid insuring for risks that are vaguely defined

You should avoid buying insurance for risks that are vaguely defined, such as for critical illness cover. You may be treated for a specific disease, such as cancer, only to find that the condition does not meet the criteria for a claim. You need to be a doctor to understand what is, or is not covered.

Find out how to deal with this situation in

Friday, November 04, 2016

Types of risk to insure

I have written an article to explain the risks that you should buy insurance for. These are risks that have a large financial impact and a low chance of occurrence. You can read my views here:

Confusing statement from the minister

I read this statement from our minister about our solar panel testbed in Tengah Reservoir

Mr Masagos said the pilot test of 10 solar energy - or photovoltaic - systems at Tengeh Reservoir is the largest globally in terms of how much power it can produce and the number of systems being tested. He was speaking at the Joint Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Asia Clean Energy Summit and the 26th Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference.

The testbed can produce a maximum one-megawatt of energy, enough to power 250 four-room HDB flats for a year.

I am confused by the statement that the testbed can produce enough energy for 250 HDB flats for one year. 

Is the minister referring to the energy produced in one day that can power the flats for one year or does he mean that it is the energy produced in one year that can power the flats for one year? 

If the latter is the case, why is it necessary to use the words "for one year"? Surely, it is sufficient to say that the testbed can produce enough energy to power 250 HDB flats?

I am surprised that the standard of English of our minister is quite poor and that our mainstream media cannot spot the error. Or perhaps it is my standard of English that is at fault?

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Invest regularly in an index fund

Dear Mr. Tan
I have watched your video about investing regularly in an index fund, ETF.
I plan to invest $500 a month. Which is the best way - POSB, OCBC or SGX?

My reply is given here:

Covering hospital care at older ages

Dear Mr. Tan
Recently, my friend had a major hospital operation that cost a lot of money. He was nearing 70 years old. What type of insurance policy should I have to protect myself from this event? I am now in my early 50s. As you know, the risk of getting a major illness increases as we get older.
You can watch my video "Have a Balanced Financial Health" . It takes about 20 minutes only.
I had covered the points in this video in a 90 minute talk. So, if you do not wish to spend 90 minutes, you can get the key points from the 20 minute video.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Review of first years's experience of Medishield Life

The Ministry of Health has issued a report covering the first year operation of Medishield Life. What does it tell us? Is Medishield Life operating well?
You can read my views here:

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Best travel insurance policy

Over 1 million people buy travel insurance each year in Singapore. I share my tips on the best insurance policy that they can buy.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Finding the right critical illness cover

A young man asked me about the critical illness coverage offered by several life insurance companies. He described them as "extremely complex". In particular, he asked about the Early Stage Cancer policy offered by an insurance company that provided 104 covers. He asked how to choose the policy that is "worth buying".

My answer is given here:

Understand the question, before you understand the answer

I often receive an email from my readers asking me, "Mr. Tan, is this a good policy to buy? Is this a good way to invest my money?"

I avoid giving the answer. The answer is useless to a person who does not understand the question that he or she is asking.

I have created several short videos (mostly 5 to 10 minutes) on the questions that are frequently asked by my readers. I have explained the question to give the context to the answer. If you understand the question, and ask the right question, the answer will become clear to you.

You can view the videos here.

The clock turned back 1 hour

I checked into a hotel in Wales. There were signs left in every room and at the lobby, "Polite reminder. Don't forget the clocks go back 1 hour tonight".

At midnight, the click is turned back 1 hour and became 11 pm again. This is called "Daylight Saving Time". They wanted to children to go to school 1 hour later when there is more light. But it gets dark earlier by 1 hour at night.

42 years ago, I had a similar experience. I was staying at a hotel in London. I went for breakfast at 7 am. But it was still closed. I asked the porter why the restaurant was still closed. He said, "What time do you have, Sir". "7 am". He said, "No, it is now 6 am. The clock turned back 1 hour last night".

Well, 42 years had passed since that eventful morning!

The self destruction of Deutsche Bank

This is a long article, comprising of many parts. I read it to the end. I was struck by the similarity between Deutsche Bank and Singapore Inc.

Deutsche Bank decided in the early 1990s to abandon its roots and solid values and to pursue globalisation. It brought in many new people from outside the bank to transform the culture of the bank. Isn't this what happened to Singapore Inc as well?

It is interesting to read about the disaster that had befallen what was once an icon of success. If you want to learn more, read the entire article for yourself.

Benefit illustration for a life insurance policy

The benefit illustration of a life insurance policy provides valuable information on the return that you can get by investing your savings in the policy.

You are given a benefit illustration at the point of sale. Learn how to read it.

You can ask for a "post sale benefit illustration" to give you the information about a policy that you have taken many years ago. You can study it to calculate the "going forward yield". It will help you to decide if it is worthwhile to continue the policy.

You can read an example here:

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