Useful articles curated by our gurus.

This article requires an average reading time of 2min 22sec.
There has been a long-running and seemingly never-ending “term policy versus permanent life insurance” debate in the insurance circle. Each side has ardent supporters as well as equally passionate detractors. Needless to say, both term policy and permanent life insurance policy have their strong and weak points. This article asks a number of questions and presents arguments from both sides of the debate to help you come to your own conclusion.
This article requires an average reading time of 1min 57sec.
Comprehensive personal financial planning encompasses everything from wealth protection using life insurance policies, growing your wealth with equities and properties, to wills and trusts for estate planning. Though life insurance is a vital element of financial planning, there are however, several misconceptions about it. Many people view it as an unnecessary burden on their financial resources. In the past, it was even viewed with distaste because of its association with death, accidents and other misfortunes. Fortunately attitudes are changing as public become more educated with the usefulness of insurance policies as risk management tools.
This article requires an average reading time of 1 minute 5 seconds. 

Insurance is not the most popular topic in any chill-out joints, or any place for that matter. But it is one of the most important personal financial planning issues to address first to ensure a peace of mind.

This article requires an average reading time of 1min 23sec
Pre-existing condition is a common term used by insurance advisers whenever you buy any life insurance. It is often defined as “any condition or illness which existed or was existing or the cause or symptoms of which existed or were existing or evident, or any condition or illness which the Life Assured suffered or was suffering from, prior to the policy issue date.” In short, it simply means any medical conditions you have before buying this life insurance policy.
This article requires an average reading time of 3min 15sec.

“It takes two to tango.”
The above expression is all the more apt in a client-consultant relationship for personal financial planning. The partnership between a client and his personal financial consultant has evolved over many years in Singapore. From the days of having only “insurance peddlers”, the financial planning industry has since produced many fine degree-holding professionals possessing other industry-specific qualifications such as the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP), the equivalent of a Chartered Accountant (CA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the field of accounting. Nevertheless, even with the various regulatory measures in place, the client-consultant tango can still be an awkward dance item for some with toes accidentally stepped upon. As the case with other industries, black sheeps can still be found, both in the client and consultant community.
This article requires an average reading time of 1min 55sec.
Do less and have more for retirement? Is there a typo mistake here? Fret not, read on!
A simple question for all: Do the ‘golden years’ of comfortable retirement occur by itself without any intervention or does it take wise planning to do so?
If your answer is the former, please sell me this magic formula. 
If your answer is the latter, then check out the example below.
This article requires an average reading time of  3 minute 14 seconds. 
The arrival of a new child in the family is a good time to take stock of your finances and start planning for the child's future. As a responsible parent, it's natural for you to want to give your children a solid foundation in life so that they can build on that to live a successful and meaningful life. In today's highly competitive world, the best way to do that is through good tertiary education, which equips them with the knowledge and skill to hold their own and forge ahead in life. So what are the key factors to think through in planning for your child's university education?
This article requires an average reading time of 3 minutes 6 seconds. 

Many parents will agree that one of their most defining moments in life occurred at the birth of their child. A child is a blessing from above and he/she is seen as a ‘continuation’ of ourselves when we depart from planet Earth. As such, many parents would want to have a glorious ‘continuation’, by planning for their children from the school they must attend to even making it a personal goal to buy a house for their children. It is also no wonder that many parents would purchase education savings or investment plans in order to save up for the hefty university fees for their children in future. However, there are “must-knows” factors to consider first before we embark on education fund planning for our children.

This article requires an average reading time of 2 minute 43 seconds. 

Financial planning involves establishing goals, working out what assets and liabilities you have, evaluating your current financial position, developing a plan to achieve the goals, implementing the plan, and monitoring and reviewing the plan whenever needed. The main goal of a financial plan is to achieve financial freedom and this cannot be done without doing the 4 things below:

This article requires an average reading time of 2 minute 51 seconds. 
Let’s admit it. It is a headache for those who are not in the car industry to know exactly the financial implications to choose between whether it is more ‘worthwhile’ to buy a new car in Singapore or an used one. To make the matter worse, Singapore’s cars are ranked as one of the world’s most expensive! If you can buy a Toyota in Singapore, you can easily afford a Porsche in the USA (yes, my heart pains as well when I think of this). So let’s assume you are adamant on buying a car in Singapore. What are some of the key factors to consider in choosing whether to buy a used or a new car? Let’s examine them one by one.
This article requires an average reading time of 1 minute 20 seconds. 

Yes we all want the best deal in our private motor insurance plan. After all, in Singapore, it is illegal to drive without a valid car insurance.
Why is it that some insurers, especially smaller digital insurers with only online presence, are able to offer seemingly cheaper car insurance quotes?

This article requires an average reading time of 4 minute 28 seconds. 


As a parent, we want the best for our children. It is less about buying the best clothes, latest toys, or coolest gadgets, and more about wanting them to be happy, safe and secure. We want to lay a foundation that they can build upon to achieve whatever they want to in life.

I often ask myself — being Singaporean with a somewhat ‘Kiasu’ (scared to lose out) outlook — am I falling prey to the rat race and pushing my children to academic excellence? Am I putting too much pressure on them such that they are not enjoying their childhood?

I try to ask myself regularly, “Am I teaching my children lessons that impact how well they do in life?” Having graduated from a local university with a degree that is not related to my current profession, I understand the importance of imparting life skills to my children as early as possible so that they have all the information they need to make informed decisions throughout their lives.


One of the most important lessons I have begun teaching my children about is money.


This article requires an average reading time of 3 minute 5 seconds. 


Coming together to forge a life together comes with its unique financial considerations. The best way to set a strong foundation is to plan ahead and be prepared for life’s curveballs.


Here are the top three financial planning tools:


This article requires an average reading time of 2 minute 5 seconds.


Get the lowdown on pets’ long-term financial needs from Janice Tan, experienced mother of two West Highland white terriers, before committing to a new fur friend. She shares tips to help prospective pet owners understand the financial commitment  required and how to include fur kids in their holistic financial plans so they can achieve their dreams with confidence.


“Pets teach us the greatest lesson in loving without expecting anything in return.”


This article requires an average reading time of 4 minute 28 seconds. 


Divorce is a messy affair. As a financial planner, I’ve witnessed my fair share of separations and divorce cases. With kids involved, it is usually even more delicate and complex. Children often bear the brunt of the emotional trauma, which can have a lasting impact on them well into their lives.


On top of that, the last thing any parent would want is for their child to face diminished prospects in terms of opportunity. That being said, proper financial planning during or after a divorce can not only mitigate such risks but also help set your child up to be more resilient in the future. Here are five things you can do to better prepare yourself and your child financially.


This article requires an average reading time of 2 minute 11 seconds. 
Wanting to be the next Warren Buffett is one thing; actually making even a fraction of the money he makes in a year is quite another. Truth be told, the biggest enemy of an investor is none other than himself. More often than not, it is no one else but yourself who prevents you from making the right investment decisions.
This article requires an average reading time of 1 minute 46 seconds. 
As perhaps the most successful and famous investor of our time, Mr Warren Buffett should know a thing or two about money managment. When he took over the management of Berkshire Hathaway in 1964 until today, the company has an average growth rate of about 18% per annum. $1,000 invested in 1964 wil be worth a staggering $6.4Million today! In comparsion, the amount if invested in an S&P index fund would have grown to about $60,000 in the same period. This speak volumes about his genius in financial management. 
This article requires an average reading time of 3 minute 7 seconds. 

Looking for an investment strategy that works in any market conditions is like searching for the proverbial fountain of youth. Neither exists in reality. The financial market is subjected to too many unknown factors eg the collapse of oil prices that can hurt blue chip stocks like Keppel Corp or a sudden war (God forbids) that may take place in any part of the world; all these events will affect the performance of the stock market. Every kind of investment strategy has its limitations but what are some time-tested investment strategies out there for us to consider?

This article requires an average reading time of 2 minute 37 seconds. 
Many people have unlimited desires but limited financial resources to fulfill them. If you think you are one of them, then you should read “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel Clason. This book is unlike any other book on personal finance. It dispenses financial advice in a simple yet powerful way through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon.
Here are the 7 time-tested secrets of becoming rich shared within the book:

This article requires an average reading time of 4 minute 5 seconds. 


Saving for our golden years is something we should prioritise in our income-earning years. However, as most people at this stage also have more immediate financial goals, retirement planning often gets delayed.


That’s where the SRS comes in.

This article requires an average reading time of 8min 40sec.

UPDATE August 2023: The below article was written in September 2019 when the price of Bitcoin was less than USD 10,000. 3 years later, it rose more than 600% to about USD 61,000 in October 2021 before dropping to about USD 26,000 now in August 2023.


Show Me the Money – the World before Bitcoin

Since the creation of the concept of money, the supply of it has been controlled by governments and central banks through the physical minting of it in coins and paper money, as well as through policies in the fiscal and monetary form to regulate the money supply flowing in the economy. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines money as “something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment”. After the fall of the Bretton Woods system in 1970, the printing of a country’s currency no longer has to be tied to the gold they own. As such, “because fiat money is not linked to physical reserves, such as a national stockpile of gold or silver, it risks losing value due to inflation or even becoming worthless in the event of hyperinflation. If people lose faith in a nation’s currency, the money will no longer hold value.” Thus, the governments of the world has a very important task of regulating its money printing and supply so as not to cause wild fluctuations in its fiat currency value, or creating asset ‘bubbles’ when there are too much money flowing in the economy chasing after real estate properties for instance.

Intermediary clearing houses like banks are especially important for us to make payment transfers to a third party. Today, with the advent of the Internet and technology such as digital signatures, we are able to make money deposits and transfers electronically using our phones, iPads or laptop computers. Credit card companies and payment gateways such as PayPal has enabled us to make payment for goods and services digitally without having to dig into our pockets to use physical paper money or metal coins for payments. So essentially, money in our bank account has essentially become “no more than entries in a database that can only be changed under specific conditions. Money is all about a verified entry in some kind of database of accounts, balances and transactions"

To help move money within the country and around the world, banking institutions have been around for hundreds of years to help facilitate this process and they earn loads of fees in return. The banks are to act as the ‘trusted’ intermediaries to confirm our identities, how much money we really own, and to prevent double-spending if we had already used up our money deposited with them. The banks will vouch for the money we have with them before we can use it or move it to another bank who will then have confirm on their ledger correctly that we have shifted a sum of money to them. But with the advent of blockchain, things may just start to change.

This article requires an average reading time of 1 minute 12 seconds. 
Like any other investment vehicle, equities come with risks of their own. This is why we need advice from the top experts in the field before investing. We surveyed fund management houses on their investment approaches. There are many “rules” to equity investing but we found the below four to be common golden rules of equity investing shared by the fund managers:


14 February is Valentine’s Day, a day where those with a partner celebrate love and those without partners celebrate friendship. It is also a day that florists look forward to and boyfriends dread – the one single day where the prices of flowers like roses sky-rocket, much like the tulip craze in the 20th century.
This article requires an average reading time of 3min 39sec; to understand, it requires 3min 39sec, a little longer into the future or never at all.
In the busy world we live in, it is not difficult to find an individual who is self-motivated to strive for greater heights in life as measured by power and position held at work, the car one drives, the dwelling the person stays in or the amount of cash stashed up in the bank. Many success stories are shared on how one struck it rich at a young age with an innovative idea that sprung into a tech company but little light is shed on how an over-achiever with abundant physical possessions and money can also fall into deep depression.
As the Chinese New Year approaches, besides the usual hustle and bustle of doing spring cleaning, clearing out the trash, buying some new clothes, coordinating the reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, the next big thing on everyone’s mind, especially if you are the giver and not the recipient, is: how much Ang Pow money should I be giving? is jointly owned by ALP Rocks Pte Ltd “ALP” and IPP Financial Advisers Pte Ltd “IPPFA”. IPPFA is a Financial Advisory Firm licenced under the Financial Advisers Act and Exempt Insurance Broker. ALP is a Singapore-registered Fintech company certified by Singapore Fintech Association as an InsurTech provider. ALP has been appointed by IPPFA as the administrator of this website.

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