Saturday, April 08, 2017

Avoid insurance policies that give an upfront bonus

Many people fell for this trap. The financial adviser or agent told them that they can earn an attractive upfront bonus is they buy the policy during the promotion period. They bought the policy and regreted it very much.

The products that have this feature include the Vista policy from Zurich, the Pulsar policy from AXA and the Global Wealth from Friends Provident.

Consumers should avoid these policies. In fact, they should be wary of any policy that offers an upfront bonus. This is how they are distracted from looking at the other important features of the policy.

Easy to win this $6 prize

There are 15 questions that you can vote on. You only need to submit 10 votes to win the prize - Financial Planning for the Young (usual price $6).

Is this a good investment?

Are you willing to give your money to a financial institution who promises to invest their money carefully for 25 years, and ask you to give them 40% of the accumulated amount, so that you get only 60% as your return?

For example, if your investment amounted to $300,000, the financial institution will take away $120,000 and give you $180,000?

Your total savings for the 25 years could be $130,000, Your net gain is $50,000 for 25 years.

After you have considered this matter, you can read this article to see the correct answer.

Stand up and address the allegations

I expect the police to be able to stand up and address these allegations, rather than hide under the protection of legislation. This legislation will lead to silencing legitimate protest against abuse of power by the people in authority.

Lessons from New Zealand

Michael Ng said:
New Zealanders are happy with their government because of the consultative approach of running the country. High degree of transparency and accountability earn trust. Although the tax rates are comparatively much higher than Singapore, the tax evasion cases are rare. The government spends wisely on great improvement on infrastructures, education, healthcare and social welfares, etc.. Because of excellent diplomacy and friendly relationship with other countries especially the superpowers, only a small budget in terms of GDP percentage is allocated for defence purposes. Good practice of democracy makes the difference. The united and happy population ensure that New Zealand enjoys harmony and high productivity.

Who would you vote as the next Elected President?

Who would you vote as the next Elected President, if this were an open election?

Dr. Tan Cheng Bok beat the incumbent Dr Tony Tan by almost 10 to 1. Okay, there is a bias in the voting by the crowd.

Who should be considered as first Elected President

Who should be considered as the first Elected President. An overwhelming majority of the Crowd took a few different view from PM Lee.

Some views about the reserved election

I met a few old classmates over coffee at a food court. We talked about the next presidential election.

Friend 1 - I spoke to two Malay friends. They told me that they felt ashamed to have a Malay President elected under a reserved election. They prefer a Malay to win the election on their own merit.

Friend 2 - Of the possible candidates who could be "endorsed" by the PAP, 2 have an Indian father, 1 has a Chinese mother and 1 has a caucasian wife. They cannot be considered as "pure" Malay. This will make our system a laughing stock.

Friend 3 - We are supposed to have a president who has a strong financial background. One of the "favorite" candidate does not have any background in running a large organization or ministry. How can this candidate perform the duty expected of the Elected President?

TKL - I think Lee HL now realized that his idea of a reserved election is a bad one.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Vote on performance of health minister and manpower minister

You can now vote on the performance of the health minister and the manpower minister.

This will help you to reach the 20 vote mark and win the next prize.

Low birth rate in Singapore

According to the Crowd, the main reason for the low birth rate in Singapore is the high cost of living (58%), the insecurity of jobs (22%) and saving for a HDB flat (10%).

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Increase of more than 50% in cost over 4 years

The following medical procedures increased by more than 50% over the past four years for subsidized patients.

Breast lump removal
Lung cancer with comlications
Stroke - no complication

Is there justification for the increase? Did the cost increase by so much? Or, was it due to higher demand, which prompted the public hospitals to increase their fees?

Should public hospitals operate on a model to maximize profits, according to what the market can bear, or to recover their cost of operations with a reasonable margin?

Universal life policy

If you a large sum of saving in a bank, your private banker may recommend this policy for your investment. You can read more about it here.

The Crowd expects the value of HDB flats to fall

What will happen to the value of the HDB flat in the future? The minister has said that the value will be $0 at the end of the 99 year lease.

60% of the Crowd expect the value to fall in the near future. The majority of this gloomy lot expects the price to fall sharply.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

More interesting topics voted in The Wisdom of the Crowd

I have selected the interesting topics that are voted on The Wisdom of the Crowd.

You can view the results for these topics easily in this link.

Another complaint concerning the Friend Provident Global Advance plan

Here is another case where the policyholder bought the Friend Provident Global Advance plan from an independent financial adviser and was very angry that the adviser did not recommend a product that is good for the customer.

In this case, the Effect of Deduction is more than 40% of the accumulated premium. This is extremely high.

I suggested to the policyholder to sue the financial adviser for breach of compliance under section 7.2 and 7.3 of the Financial Adviser's Act.

I am also healing to round up several people who want to join and take collective action.

Remove the wasteful activities in the hospital, please.

I went for the colonoscopy procedure today. There are a few good points and a few bad points. The cost was only $500, instead of $1,000 given during the financial counseling. The financial counseling is a wasteful operation and should be removed.

More interesting issues voted in The Wisdom of the Crowd

Here are the more interesting topics that have been voted in The Wisdom of the Crowd. You can view the results in this link

My view about the reserved Presential election

Gil Bert Thank you Mr. Tan for sharing your views as a veteran in political arena.

Regardless of the count of open election for presidency, i never read or heard your stand in a reserved election for minority race representation for president in a predominantly chinese electorate of singapore. Where do you stand Mr. Tan?

The reserved election is a very bad idea, either in 2017 (extremely bad) or in 2023 (also bad).

I already gave a detailed writeup of my view in The Comedy of the Elected President.

Act 6 of the Comedy said:

There is the likelihood that the next Elected President will be returned unopposed through another walkover. It is also possible that this Elected President, who was supposed to be appointed from a reserved ethnic group, may not be truly representative of that ethnic group. There are many mixed marriages in our multi racial society.

Act 6 of the comedy will be an Elected President who qualified through a reserved election turning out to be not purely from that reserved ethnic group.

Is Comfort offering a "flat fare" or a "fixed fare"?

Comfort Taxis said that they would offer "flat fare" from next Monday.

My understanding of "flat fare" is a fare that does not vary according to distance. This is not the case.

Their "flat fare" means that it would include the variable charges, but the fare will still vary according to distance.

Surely, a better description is "fixed fare" rather than "flat fare"?

Even the Straits Times describe the new fare as a flat fare. Does this reflect a low standard of English? Or maybe, I am wrong?

What will happen to the value of HDB flats after Lawrence Wong's announcement?

National development minister Lawrence Wong said that the value of HDB flats will become $0 at the end of the 99 year lease. What will happen to the value of HDB flats after this announcement?

Will the flats continue to maintain or increase its value due to the shortage of land and the demand for housing in Singapore? Will the price drop sharply now that the buyers realize that is is a depreciating asst?

The results of the votes in the Wisdom of The Crowd website is now available for your viewing.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Average increase in medical charges

The average annual increase in medical charges over the past four years is 8.6%. This is high, but not as high as I had thought earlier.

Is the minister for health neglecting his job?

This is not fake news. This is an opinion.

I get the impression that the cost of medical treatment has increased sharply during the past four years. The cost of a colonoscopy for subsidized patients was $250 in 2013. At my last visit to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, I was told that it would cost me nearly $1,000.

I checked the Ministry of Health website. It said that the average cost of this procedure at KTP Hospital based on last 12 months was $650. Did it increased so much during the past year? I will know in two days time, what my actual cost is.

I went for a laser surgery in the Singapore National Eye Center yesterday. The 6 minute procedure cost me $1,080.

I am quite dissatisfied with the Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong. Is he paying attention to this matter?

You can read my postings in

I have asked someone to carry out a research on the increase in cost for other medical treatment over the past 4 years.

In my book - Medical Care for the Elderly, I captured the average cost of the common treatments in 2013. I will see if the cost has increased sharply during this period.

You can get a copy of this book FREE here, after submitting a certain number of votes:

Gan Kim Yong took over as minister for health in 2011. Has been neglected his work and allowed the charges to go up so much under his watch?

This is not fake news. It is an opinion. My facts may or may not be correct, but it is an honest opinion.

Bookmark my websites

Here are the pages that you should bookmark and visit daily to read my views and activities:



TKL website


Wisdom of the Crowd

Do not rely on Facebook feeds - as they do not pass everything to all my friends. A daily visit through these bookmarks are better.

Fake news, opinion and mistake

The government is carrying out a review on how to handle fake news.

Do they know the difference between a fake news and an opinion? Or a fake news and a mistake?

When the mainstream media publish news that give a favorable slant to the government, isn't it a form of fake news also?

What are your views?

Has the financial adviser complied with this law?

Clause 7.2 of the Financial Advisers Act (which is a law) requires the financial adviser to "take into account alternative investment options" when recommending an insurance policy to a client.

Most of the investment linked policies recommended and sold by financial advisers (including insurance agents who are covered under the same law) have an Effect of Deduction of 30% or more of the accumulated premium. An alternative investment option, such as the STI Exchange Traded Fund, which carry similar risks to the ILP, have charges that amount to less than 10% of the accumulated premium.

Has the financial adviser met with the requirement to 'take into account alternative investment option" that has similar risks and a much lower charge? Has the financial adviser met the requirement of 7.3 to explain to the consumer the basis of his recommendation?

This is a danger facing many financial advisers. If a customer were to sue them under the act, they stand the risk of having to compensate the customer for the loss and even to lose their licence for failing to comply with the Act.

Protect turf

This article shows what is so bad about the Singapore system - the wastefulness, the inefficiency and the disregard for the citizens. Will LHL's ministers wake up and take charge? Will they just allow their government agencies to continue to protect their turf?

Large increase in medical cost in Singapore

Here is my finding about the large increase in price of colonoscopy in Singapore in the past four years. Does this increase apply to other medical procedures?

It is quite worrying. Is the minister for health, Gan Kim Yong, paying attention to this matter?

Learn problem solving with the Intelligence Quiz

Vera, 10 years old, enjoys the Intelligence Quiz. She is addicted to it. She enjoys solving the puzzles. It develops her skill and confidence in problem solving. This skill is important for your child.

I conduct a tutorial on how to solve the puzzles. You can attend the talk to learn the skill and teach your children. You can also bring your child (10 years or older) along.

Give them the chance to learn an important skill and to enjoy it. Like Vera did.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Develop the problem solving skills

One important skill needed in the future is the ability to solve problems and to have the confidence in solving problems.

This will overcome one common weakness - depending on other people to take the lead. Due to lack of confidence, most people would rather "just follow orders". But they cannot make progress if they act in this manner.

The ability to solve problems and to have the confidence of dealing with problems can be learned. You only need to learn how to approach the problem and what to look out for. And this skill and confidence can be learned through simple practice.

I speak from personal experience. Although I do not have the high qualification that other people have through their studies, I have the problem solving skill. More important, I have the confidence in approaching these problems.

I teach the skill in two tutorials (1 hour each) on Saturday. This is targeted at adults (so they can teach their children). Or they can bring their children along (10 years or older). Do not miss this opportunity.

This insurance agent served the customer well

While waiting for my laser surgery, I heard a woman speaking to a client on her mobile phone.

She was obviously an insurance agent and was advising the client about a medical insurance claim for her mother. The mother was a foreigner and the claim could not be submitted through e-filing. She told the client that the mother could submit the claim manually and offered to help her with the submission.

After her conversation, I spoke to her.

TKL - I congratulate you. You are serving your client well. Which insurance company are you working for?
Agent - Great Eastern Life
TKL - How long have you been with them?
Agent - 7 years.
TKL - I commend you again for you excellent service and wish you success.

She smiled. I must have made her very happy.

Friends Provident Global Wealth Advance saving plan

A policyholder send this Benefit Illustration to me. She was very angry that the independent financial adviser did not explain to her the charges under this plan.

She approached a private banker who explained to her why the plan was bad and the charges where high. He also explained the hidden risks under the plan, e.g. the insurance company could amend the charges at their will.

I studied the benefit illustration and found that, contrary to what the private banker had said, the plan was rather fair. I took the average of the projected benefit for 4% and 8% (i.e. 6%) and found the yield based on the surrender value at the end of 10 years to be 4.2%. The Effect of Deduction was an average of 14.2% of the accumulated premiums, based on the two projections.


Compare First website

The Compare First website was an initiative from MAS. It helps consumers to compare the life insurance policies offered in the market.

I have created a 10 minute video to show how you can use this website. It can be viewed here.

My views and observations about Singapore

I hope you like my views and observations of Singapore published in this website:

FISCA Website is updated regularly

I will be updating a few articles on insurance and financial matters in the FISCA website every week. They are available for the public for 14 days. After that, they can only be read by members of FISCA.
FISCA members can also read the past articles which are arranged by categories, such as Insurance, Investment, Learning, Product Analysis, etc. I hope that you will join as a member to get access to these useful articles - especially the product analysis.

Why I dislike our health minister

Here is my experience in the Singapore National Eye Center. I don't like their practice. I also don't like the health minister Mr. Gan Kim Yong.
I hope that the minister becomes aware that the charges are excessive and the service is unsatisfactory.

Terrible experience with Ministry of Manpower

Here is my experienec with the EP Online system of the Ministry of Manpower. I describe my experience as "terrible". I don't know why our government agencies continue to waste so much time of the public. Their officers seem to think that the public has a lot of time to study how to comply with their complicated processes.…

52 man years to prepare a list of physical assets

President Ong Teng Cheong had some disagreement with the government when he asked to see a list of physical assets. The Finance Minister replied that it would take 52 man years to prepare that list. Here is a full statement from the Finance Minister in 1999.…/Issues%20raised%20by%20President%20…

People in Singapore spend 12 hours a day on gadgets

A survey showed that people in Singapore spend 12 hours a day on gadget. What is your reaction?

Give your vote in

Unattended bag at Hougang MRT station

A man left a bag unattended at the Hougang MRT station. The bag was found and the authority decided to close the station for 20 minutes, in case it was a bomb. Was this action advisable?

You can now vote on the shutdown of the Hougang MRT station due to the unattended bag.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

How ot use the Compare First website

I have created a video to explain how to use the Compare First website - a MAS initiative. I showed how to compare a Whole Life Policy for $300,000 offered by several insurance companies.

The video is 10 minutes long. It can be accessed from

The link for the Compare First website is

Analysis of popular life insurance policies

This link allows you to view the analysis of the popular life insurance products sold in the market.
Before you buy the product, find out what an independant expert says about the product.

Serious consequences for financial advisers

Many financial advisers are not aware that they will get into serious trouble in the near future.

Many consumers were misled into buying bad financial products. They were not able to take a case against the financial adviser for the bad advise in the past.

They can now take a case based on section 7.2 and 7.3 of the Financial Advisers Act. If a consumer wins the case, and this outcome is quite likely, a few tens of thousand of advisers will be in serious trouble.…

Do you agree?

New prizes for voting in the Crowd website

I am introducing new prizes for voting at the Wisdom of the Crowd website.

The prizes will now be given on reaching each level, based on the cumulative votes. This will give the challenge to reach the higher level.

The new prizes take effect from votes submitted from now. The current prize (Planning for your retirement) will still be available for another one week.

A new life in America for Amos Yee

80% of the Crowd sends best wishes to Amos Yee for starting his new life in America.

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