Three things nobody tells you about financial freedom

Have you ever asked yourself, how much do you need to have financial freedom?

Well, that could be a wrong question to start with. There is often this misconception that having an abundance of money gives you said freedom. But the truth is financial freedom is much more than having money.

3-things-financial-freedom

It’s the freedom to be who you really are and do what you really want in life. If you want to be financially-free, you need to become a different person than you are today and let go of whatever has held you back in the past.

Therefore, conventional wisdom will never lead you to financial freedom. There are three things you must know and it is likely nobody has told you about it.

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Why bond funds are no safer than stock market now

When it comes to investment, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably investing in stocks. People argue about stock investment all the time. Market goes up, market goes down. This stock is good, that stock is bad.

But where do you put your money when no stock market is worth investing now?

where-to-invest

To some people, the natural alternative seems to be bonds. Bond investment is “boring” to some people. I am not going to discuss the merits of investing in bonds today, but I will give you my opinion of what kind of bond investments you should consider.

In a nutshell, bond is a debt instrument. You lend money to a company or government, and they guarantee to

  • Return 100% of your money back upon bond maturity
  • Pay you a pre-agreed interest (known as coupon) every year.

The key word here is “guarantee”. In a volatile and uncertain stock market like now, that sounds good right?

When people talk about investing in bonds, they are actually referring to bond funds. This is because in Singapore, most direct bond investment requires at least $200,000 capital outlay (except Singapore savings bond). Investing in bond funds is usually more efficient for two reasons

  1. You do not need as big a capital outlay as if you were to buy all the bonds in the fund. You can typically start with just $1,000.
  2. There are many bond fund options for you to choose based on your desired risks and returns.

But if you think you can just buy some top bond funds as safe haven, you’d be deadly wrong. The bond funds you are buying may be even riskier than stocks. Let me explain.

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How to survive a stock market crash

There are plenty of investment moves you can make during a stock market crash, but this is not the obvious one.

2016 started as a bumpy year in the investment world. Shanghai stock index crashed more than 7% just 30 minutes after market opened on Jan 7 and was forced to close due to “circuit breaker”.

roller-coaster-market

This, as ridiculously as it sounds (and populated by global media), caused global stock market meltdown for the 1st week of the year. There was nowhere to escape. In a single week,

  • Emerging stock markets crashed 6.9%
  • Asia stock markets crashed 6.8%
  • Even developed markets crashed 5.2%

Many panic readers ask my forecast of the market. Let’s put the technicality of this aside, but what can I say? The truth is, I can’t even predict which clothe my wife wants to wear today (can you?), let alone for me to forecast the market.

But here is thing, what just happened prove again that buy and hold strategy does not work (if you disagree, you can comment below). We human beings like to seek for certainty in life, but certainty is perception and predictability is just fantasy.

Although I may not know how much return the stock markets can give you this year, but I know exactly what to do now. So hear me out here…

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3 things you must do now to get more income tax relief before year end

Getting started on your tax planning before the New Year begins can help you maximize tax relief and minimize tax payable next year.

tips-for-more-income-tax-relief

Many people only look into tax relief in April when they need to declare their income tax. But there are 3 things you must do now before the year 2015 winds down if you want to obtain more tax relief.

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All you need to know about SRS (Supplementary Retirement Scheme)

Do you want to pay less income tax and save more for the future? If so, you should pay some attention to Supplementary Retirement Scheme (a.k.a. SRS).

couple-with-calculator

Unlike popular CPF retirement scheme, many people have not even heard of SRS.

In this article, I will explain

  • What is SRS and what are the benefits of SRS contribution
  • How to make SRS contribution
  • How to make SRS withdrawal

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