Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Improve the user experience for online transactions

Singapore has been very slow in adopting online processes. Many countries, such as China or Japan, are miles ahead of us.

I blame the Monetary Authority of Singapore and other government agency for this sad situation. They are too concerned about security and have introduced impractical processes and steps that discourage the public from using online processes.

Here are the reasons why it is difficult to use online proceses in Singapore and the simple steps that can be taken to remove these obstacles.

Lower the price of baby milk powder

What can the government do to set the environment for the free market to bring down the prices of baby milk powder? They have taken the step to ban the advertising of the premium products. Perhaps they should take additional steps.

Investment policy of GIC and Temasek Holdings

How should GIC and Temasek conduct its investment policy?

Here is a view from a fund manager. I agree with him.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ridiculous and inconsiderate process by CDP

I wish to share this ridiculous and inconsiderate process by the Central Depository (CDP) of Singapore Exchange.

I am embarassed to say it, but this is typical of the mindless approach adopted by many large organizations in Singapore.

This young man ask if he should be insured under an Early Stage Critical Illness insurance

Hi Mr Tan,
Recently I faced a dilemma whether should I continue my AXA Early Stage CI or not which covers me until 75 for a guaranteed fixed $1,246.50 annually inclusive of GST.

This is especially so when comparing with the rates offered by SAF Aviva Living Care and Living Care Plus program.

I am a student, age 26. I will be graduating soon.

Thomson View townhouse available for rental 1 Jan 2018

Thomson View townhouse available for rental 1 Jan 2018. You can watch the video.

If you wish to list your property for rental, click on Register and follow the instructions. Listing is FREE.

This portal allows you to show a video of your property (hosted on Youtube). It allows the prospective tenants to view the property without a physical viewing.

To search for properties to rent, go to

Monday, May 15, 2017

Two buses arrive in a convoy

When I arrived at the bus stop in Upper Thomson Road, I checked the app for the arrival time of Bus 163. It said 14 minutes.

I was looking out for Bus 163 when I walked towards the bus stop for 2 minutes. So, the gap must be 16 minutes.

I wondered - will there be a "ghost bus" that will arrive within the next 14 minutes? This is a bus that has a failed GPS tracker.

The next 2 buses for service 163 arrived in a convoy after 14 minutes.

With the modern technology, we are still have buses arriving in a convoy? Surely, these buses could be tracked and directed to maintain a gap in arrival times?

I wonder if LTA is paying attention to the big data that they collect on the bus arrival time. Surely, they could spot these problems and rectify them?

Why spend so many million dollars for advanced system and not use the data analysis to improve the service standard?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Investing for the long term - two stories

I have exceptionally good luck on two major investments. It was helped by the principle of "investing for the long term". If the market is bad, we can wait. When it reaches a peak, we can take a good profit.

Should I buy a larger flat on my first purchase?

Mr. Tan,
The government allows a citizen to buy a new flat (BTO) at a subsidized price and a second flat in the future at a subsidized price, i.e. each citizen is allowed the subsidy for 2 purchases.

Many people have bought a new flat and sold it many years later to make a profit. They can then buy the flat a second time.

Should I buy a larger flat (up to 7 years of salary) as I will have the chance to make a large profit on its sale?

Read my reply here:

12.45% return

Dear Mr Tan,
Recently I enquired about a 12.45% interest, 6-year structured deposit as advertised by OCBC bank.

Some people may be misled to think that the return is 12.45% per year. It is the total return for 6 years, so the annual return is only 2% per annum.

There are also some other factors that the investor should take into account. The capital is guaranteed but the interest rate is not.

Read more about this product in

Suggestion to take somebody's lunch

How does the Crowd view the suggestion by PM Lee to "take somebody's lunch"?

You can see the results of their votes here. A vast majority has a better suggestion for PM Lee. Read it.

Has GST been good for the economy?

Has GST been good for the economy? If not, what is the damage that it has caused?

A vast majority of the Crowd has spoken! And they have given a clear statement of its worst impact! Read here:

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