$1,379 Just to Survive in Singapore? – 8 Basic Principles to Help You Get There


Some may find this amount intimidating, while others may be perfectly happy to spend this amount any time of the day.

Some may even see it as a lottery number which could turn their luck around.

But more importantly, especially for Singaporeans, $1,379 is actually the exact amount a single, elderly person over 65 years, would need on a monthly basis to cover his/her basic needs.

This is according to a recent study spearheaded by Assistant Professor Ng Kok Hoe of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

However, being the country that has been reigning supreme as the world’s most expensive country since 2014, and with rapidly increasing prices,

a lingering disconcerting thought remains.

How much will WE need to survive when we’re 65 years old?

On top of that, with money management and financial knowledge still being absent in the school system up until now,

the future of our children is also a cause for concern.

If things are already looking this way now, imagine how it would look like 50 to 60 years from now when THEY are 65 years old.

That being said, even though we remain in a world that is still ruled by prices (no different than we were in the 20th century) and rising costs,

it is also worth noting that we are not at the dead end and there are still ways that we could earn that passive income, instead of being a perpetual participant in the rat race.

One of it – investing.

Child’s play for some and intimidating gamble for others, a lot has been said about investing over the years as fads equivalent to avocado toasts and salted eggs come and go.

The 8 basic principles to be a successful investor however, remains.

1. Pay the most deserving person with your salary – YOU

No one deserves your salary more than you. You worked hard for it, so no amount of retails shops or restaurants deserve first dibs on your hard-earned money.

Of course, this is not saying you should deprive yourself of any luxury or pampering,

but rather, put your savings account ahead of everything else and drop in a portion of your salary before you enjoy the sashimi you’ve been craving for.

2. Like everything else, make sure the foundation is solid

Before a building is constructed, a solid foundation must be established first.

If it erodes easily, the building will certainly not be around for long and may even harm lives in the long run.

The same goes for your investment.

Companies without solid fundamentals are almost guaranteed failures in the long run, regardless of how high the share price may be right now.

Much like a building that is sinking by 0.1cm a day, your investment portfolio could just be waiting to crash if the companies are not fundamentally solid.

3. Price vs value, ALWAYS

A one-dollar item can be cheap or expensive, depending on what you get in return.

On the streets, we’re always hearing phrases like “it’s only one dollar”, which is very misleading, especially for our children.

Instead, consider the value of the item that we’re getting in return.

Is it worth a dollar, or is it worth less?

4. Don’t be a stalker

Stop stalking your share prices and following its every move.

A lot of investors tend to mull incessantly over share prices and every single price movement will make them jump in their seats.

Not only is this unproductive use of your time, but it will also cause you to make bad financial decisions.

Instead, all you really need to do is check in on their quarterly financial results to ensure they are still in a good place and business is running smoothly, and then go on with life.

5. DYODD – Do Your Own Due Diligence

Just because your neighbor Roger says it’s a good investment, doesn’t mean it really is.

He could have heard it from his colleague John who heard from his broker James.

A good investment is one which you’ve done thorough research on, and you’re comfortable investing in because you understand their business and you know what they are selling.

6. Be in the circle

There are no shortage of investment tips around us, be it on the internet, newspaper or your friends.

The reliability of it sometimes though, is another story.

To be a successful investor, the right network and mentorship are of utmost importance because these are usually made up of people who’s been there,

or are on the same journey as you.

By being in a supportive community, not only are you able to discuss your investment with other members of the group,

if you’re lucky, you just might find someone who’s working in the company or the industry.

7. Let technology help

The generation before ours may have had difficulty investing due to lack of information and help.

All they could do was to put in their money and pray for the best.

In the current digital age though, there are plenty of tools to help people like us search for the right companies with solid fundamentals

and information can now reach us with just a tap on the screen.

What’s more?

These tools usually offer free trials which allow you to cancel within a certain period of time. So, it’s usually risk-free on your end.

All you need to do is leverage these tools and resources instead of doing the hard work manually like our parents.

8. Turn down the radio

Bloomberg… CNN… BBC…

These are all good sources of information.

However, too much market noise can also sometimes mess with your head and cause irrational financial decisions.

While it is important to know what is going on around the world, it is also important to know when to turn down the radio and refocus on a company’s fundamentals.

Is their industry affected by whatever that’s going on?

Will their business be affected by what happened?

The cost of living may be $1,379 now but it could be double the amount in the next 10 years.

And while this is inevitable within a growing economy, we could all start to work towards getting passive incomes to ease the load for ourselves and our family.

The good news though – the basic principles for successful investing are timeless and they’re something we can easily pass on to the next generation.

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Yen Hung Chua

Yen Hung Chua

I became an advocate of money management and value investing at the age of 27 for a simple reason. Money management, investing and MOST IMPORTANTLY, emotional stability – was never something that was taught in school. We end up a bunch of workers who are taught to only work for money but not the other way around, and to treat investing like a game of chance. And it was time to change that. Being with WealthPark, not only do I have the opportunity the spread the money-consciousness further and wider, but the platform on its own, is also wickedly useful for anyone who wants to invest in stocks.

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