Category: The New Savvy

Important Considerations When Starting Your Small Business In Hong Kong

“Women can often find themselves labeled with the veiled attempts of squashing femininity. You don’t have to become like a man to succeed. You can still be successful and keep your womanly graces.” These were the very words of Anson Chan, the former Chief Secretary of Hong Kong when asked about what it takes to be a working woman. If you think that starting a small business in Hong Kong is an impossible feat, you are only putting yourself down. While it is not a walk in the park, it is something that you can accomplish – as long as you are equipped with the right tips and strategies. Starting a small business in Hong Kong will open a lot of opportunities. This is one of the most promising regions in Asia. Just like Singapore, this follows a liberal economy. When you open a company here, the restrictions you will face will not be as limiting as those that you will encounter in other cities or regions. The process is not only simple, it is also very fast and quite cheap. You only have to spend HK$10,000 to completely process and register your business. In fact, some entrepreneurs have opened

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3 Reasons Why Singaporeans Shouldn’t Be Excited About IKEA’s Online Store Launch

We all dream of having beautiful homes to live in. Since home renovations are often expensive and difficult, most people turn to decorating their homes with gorgeous furniture. But, with beds, sofas, air conditioners and TVs costing thousands of dollars, even this is not easy to do with a limited budget. Given this, it’s understandable why people are so excited about IKEA Singapore’s impending launch of its online store. However, the Swedish brand’s reputation for providing beautiful and affordable furniture doesn’t seem to be supported by evidence, according to our research. Here, we discuss how IKEA can actually be more costly than other online options in Singapore. IKEA isn’t cheap In order to assess whether IKEA actually is cheaper than other further brands, we collected prices and dimensions of 22 different kinds and sizes of furniture like wardrobes, dining tables, sofas, drawers and bed frames. Often, we found that other online furniture stores like Furniture Mart and Forty Two were cheaper or at least competitive to IKEA’s prices. For example, take an example of 3 door wardrobes of similar size and style from all of three of these stores, featured above. We found that IKEA’s product was 60% more expensive than Forty Two’s, and 30% more expensive in terms

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Top 5 CPF Hacks for You

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a government scheme initiated to help members prepare for their retirement. Over the years, many initiatives have been introduced to enable people greater flexibility in deciding how funds in their CPF accounts are used. There are 3 accounts in the CPF, namely the Ordinary, Special and Medisave accounts. In this article, I have put together the top 5 hacks you can do to ensure your CPF is well utilized. TOPPING UP THE SPECIAL ACCOUNT Starting with the Special account, the Special account currently earns you interests of 4% per annum. This is a decent return for something relatively lower risk. You can do a voluntary cash top-up of your Special account up to $14,000 per annum (maximum $7,000 for self and $7,000 for family members). Not only does this ensure you have more funds in your CPF during retirement, the cash top-up qualifies you for tax reliefs when you do a voluntary contribution to your Special account up to the current Full Retirement Sum (FRS). INVESTING THE ORDINARY ACCOUNT While it is possible to invest funds from both the Special and Ordinary accounts, I do not usually recommend taking out funds from the Special account

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Home Ownership in Hong Kong: Should You Buy or Rent?

To rent or buy? That is a good question. Real estate in Hong Kong is not cheap. In fact, some may say that it is the most expensive in the world. The cost of living is not only high. Buying and renting a house in Hong Kong will cost you a lot of money. This is why the Hong Kong Housing Authority introduced a lot of schemes to help increase home ownership in the region. They have the Home Ownership Scheme, Tenants Purchase Scheme, Home Assistance Loan Scheme, and Home Purchase Loan Scheme. All of these are meant to make home ownership affordable for those living in this region. Does that mean you should opt to buy a house? It is not as easy as that. There are several factors to consider before you make a final decision. Factors to consider when deciding if you should buy or rent in Hong Kong There are 4 important factors that will define the best course for you – whether you should be a homeowner or a tenant. The housing market conditions. Start by looking at the housing market. Is it a good time to buy? Read the papers and find out the

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Fallacy of Diversification: How Investors Can Get Hurt from Diversifying Too Much

Any fledgling investors would know that a good portfolio should consist of a well-diversified set of investments. However, not many are very clear about just what level of diversification is sufficient to reduce the risk inherent in their portfolios. In fact, many people believe that more is always better. If you are one of these people, you may be surprised to hear that over-diversification actually be harmful to your returns. Here, we discuss a few academic works of literature on the effectiveness of diversification, as well as how this translates to real life investing practice. What Scholars Say on Diversification Historically, both the practitioners and the academics have long believed that it’s sufficient to hold only a small number of stocks to be diversified. For instance, Evans and Archer (1968) calculated that 90% of diversification benefit came from just 16 stocks, and 95% of benefit could be captured by just 30 stocks. Similarly, another study by Campbell, Lettau, Malkiel, and Xu (2001) argued that an investor needs about 50 stocks to sufficiently diversify their portfolios, the increase from 15-30 to 50 being attributed to the increased volatility of individual stocks. However, a new study in 2007 by Domian, Louton and Racine claimed that even 100 stocks

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What To Do After A Terminal Diagnosis In Hong Kong

What To Do After A Terminal Diagnosis In Hong Kong Being given a terminal diagnosis is one of the most devastating and depressing news that you can hear. Although death is a certainty for all of us, nobody wants to know that they only have a specific time frame before they pass away. And death through a sickness is also something else. Most of the time, it involves a painful journey as our physical body slowly gets weak. According to the data published on, 1 out of 3 deaths in Hong Kong is caused by cancer. This amounts to 10,000 people each year. The data revealed that this is both physically and mentally painful for the one diagnosed – and those around them. It is not something that one can easily accept. However, that is the reality of life. We sometimes abuse our bodies and fate has a way of getting back at us for our irresponsible lifestyle. Of course, you are probably not in the mood to play the blame game. As you are trying to wrap your head around being given a terminal diagnosis, you need to take your eyes off your plight and start thinking about

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Why You Should Never Borrow from Unauthorized Lenders

Unauthorized moneylenders are always looking for people who are in a crunch for cash. It seems they are even on Whatsapp pretending to be licensed moneylenders, ready to give you a loan when you need it to pay your bills. Given that they can charge exorbitant interest rates and abuse the borrowers into repaying their funds, it’s no surprise they are so eager to find their next victims. However, it is when you are the most desperate for money that you should exercise the most caution. Taking a loan from an unauthorized moneylender can be a deal with the devil that can ruin your life in many different ways. Here, we discuss a few pieces of evidence on why unauthorized lenders are still real threats to consumers in Singapore, and what alternatives they can use when they really need cash quickly. Yes, unlicensed moneylenders will still harass you The Singaporean government and its police force have done an amazing job reducing the activities of UMLs in recent years. After hitting its peak in 2009, UML related harassment cases have dropped by 80% to 3,375 per year in 2016, thanks to the law enforcement’s heavy crackdown. However, the recent arrests of loan sharks in Bedok

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How To Make The Most Of Your Credit Card Perks

There are so many advantages to being a credit card holder, from the ability to make changes quickly and easily in case of emergency to establishing a credit rating and credit score. In addition, credit cards from various institutions now offer lots of rewards and incentives that can even save you money on purchases as far-flung as airline tickets, hotels, Amazon purchases and more. If you use your credit card prudently and don’t accrue too much debt, you may find yourself able to squeeze lots and lots of value from the perks which your card offers. You just need to know how to do it! If you are a credit card user, as so many in Singapore are, you will want to make efficient use of those perks. Since most Singaporeans have at least three cards, it’s only about knowing how to determine the best rewards cards and getting the most out of what they offer.   1. Request a Higher Limit Many people who have a credit card that offers rewards points like to use it to purchase everything. That way they can rack up those points and redeem them for merchandise or services, or participate in other incentives.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Symptoms of Breast Cancer And What To Do About Them

There are a number of symptoms of breast cancer which mystifies a lot of people especially women. And the best remedy for that is proper education and training – even while you are young. Your health care needs change as you age so you should never feel complacent about your health. While it is true that prevention is better than the cure, early diagnosis can also help save a life. Believe it or not, breast cancer symptoms can be self-diagnosed. There are methods and ways to do it on your own, in your own time, and in the privacy of your own home. Unfortunately, there are various myths and old wives tales surrounding this dreaded illness. Like how wearing a wired bra or using antiperspirants can lead to breast cancer. Their persistence in society has lent it credence and, sadly, true. The thing is, both of these has already been debunked by even Dr. Wong Seng Weng who is the Medical Director at the Singapore Medical Group’s Cancer Center. Parts of your breasts In order to understand the symptoms of breast cancer, you have to know your breast thoroughly. Surprisingly, not all women are aware of this list. Since knowledge

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Every Woman Needs A Stash Account

Life in Singapore can be stressful. As a woman chasing the delicate balance between work and familial commitments, it is normal to want to reward yourself after a particularly trying period. While it is not advisable to give into all your desires and fulfil your every whim and fancy, splurging on a spa date or buying something nice, once in a while, can give you just that little push to keep on going. One way to ensure you are reaping the full benefits of all your hard work, able to afford the occasional treat and still stay on top of your financial goals is to make your savings work harder for you. A bank account housing your secret stash can come in handy during rainy days or days you find yourself needing some extra cash. This low-risk method of investment, while convenient, is known to reap low returns, which is why it is even more important to ask: Are you getting the most out of your current “vanilla” savings account? How do you leverage on the best saving options to ensure that you are maximising & growing your stash? Have you considered starting another account to grow your stash even

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