Apr 20, 2007

Exams for Mr Wang

I received my textbooks today. My new job requires me to pass certain exams, held by the Institute of Banking & Finance and also the Singapore College of Insurance. Rather annoyingly, most of the syllabus has no direct relevance to what I actually do at work.

So these are exams that I'll have to pass for the sake of passing. If I fail, the MAS will not allow me to work in Singapore and who knows, my employer may have to transfer me to Hong Kong (heheh) .

There are, however, some positive aspects to these exams. Some parts of my required syllabus are actually meant for personal financial advisers and insurance agents. I'll have to study in detail certain things like how to conduct a financial needs analysis; how investment-linked insurance products work; the CPF Investment Scheme system; the Supplementary Retirement Scheme; how unit trusts operate etc.

None of this will be completely new to me, as I have, for many years now, been quite hands-on and interested in managing my own money. But this will be a good time to organise the higgledy-piggledy personal financial planning knowledge in my head into a more formal framework. The studying won't be relevant to my job at all, but it will be useful for my own money.

In the coming weeks, I may blog more about such money matters. One of my readers, Ling, had written: "I'd like to get advice from you on how Singaporeans can prosper under the current situation in our country". Personal financial planning would certainly have something to do with that.

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce one of my regular readers, Christopher Ng Wai Chung. Christopher is an expert on personal financial planning and has published a book, "Growing Your Tree of Prosperity", on the topic. The book was previously reviewed on the Singapore Entrepreneurs blog.

This book is useful particularly because it is written for the Singapore audience. There are always many money-related books available in the stores, but most are by overseas authors (so they wouldn't address Singapore-specific aspects of financial planning).

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

good luck for your exams. i am sure you will do well.

Mr Anonymous

hugewhaleshark said...

Yes, the exams are irritating because they focus mostly on rote memory of the law. But I've taken the HK exam and it is worse, and the Malaysian exam which takes the cake (there is no text, just a bunch of statutes).

The least annoying is the CFA ethics syllabus, which focuses on principles (e.g. thou shall not front-run thy client), rather than law.

Anonymous said...

HeHe goodluck. Found this posting in a popular forum.

"HEARD FROM SEVERAL FRIENDS IN HR FROM DIFFERENT COMPANIES THAT FTs ARE NOW DEMANDING THAT THE COMPANIES THEY WORK FOR PICK UP THE DIFFERENCE OF THEIR RENTAL HIKES.

MOST ARE USED TO RENTING 2/3 ROOM CONDOS AT BELOW $1.5K AND SUDDENLY THEY ARE FACED WITH RENTAL HIKES OF UP TO $3.5K FOR THE SAME APT THEY USE TO PAY $1.5K FOR. AND GET THIS, THEY DO WANT WANT TO LIVE IN HDB. WOW!

THIS PROPERTY PRICE SPIKE IS TURNING TO BE A 2 EDGED SWORD FASTER THAN EXPECTED.

ANY BRO/SIS HERE RENTING CONDOS AND FACED WITH SUDDEN UNREASONABLE JUMP IN RENTALS BY LANDLORDS? MY NEIGBOUR AN AUSTRALIAN WAS SO PISSED OFF WHEN HIS RENTAL WAS UP FOR RENEWAL AND LEARNED THAT THE SPIKE WAS FROM MORE THAN 60%, HE PACKED UP AND RETURNED TO AUSTRALIA.

SO IF OUR NEWS SUDDENLY REPORT THAT COMPANIES ARE HIRING MORE LOCALS, YOU KNOW WHY. YOU READ IT HERE FIRST! "

Christopher Ng Wai Chung said...

Mr. Wang,

Thanks for the plug. If you need any help for your quant topics or statistics, let me know.

Book 2 goes to the printers next week, it's been rough getting the layout and editing done properly.

Regards

Jimmy Mun said...

To the anon posting about rental hikes, knowing our FT-loving government, there is no way they will tolerate any lifestyle degradation to their beloved FT. So you can be rest assured some committee is working to "arrest" this problem. They will probably introduce a rental tax rebate or rental price controls. (The government already threatened hawkers against "excessive" price hikes due to GST hike, and the "crackdown" may arrive soon. Rental price controls can piggyback on such an initiative.) Other possibilities would include massive liberalisation of HDB rental and new pro-FT rental rules disguised as "anti-discrimination" measures.

Never ever doubt "our" government's eagerness to rape the stayers to keep the FT happy.

Anonymous said...

I am glad the locals are finally able to get back at the foreigners by jacking up the rentals. For too long, FTs have been mollycoddled with this and that, from expensive shows at Esplanade to special rules from them to buy landed property at Sentosa Cove, resulting in raising the cost of living of Singaporeans. With this rental weapon, we can kick them offshore and reclaim our birthright. Now, for a solution to kick out the thieving MIW......

Celestial said...
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Celestial said...
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Celestial said...

Good luck to you Mr Wang.
On how Singaporeans can prosper, but first of all, they must have enough money to invest right?
My ex-boss once told me rich people are not just making but growing money...poor people just spend it.
And i guess people like Mdm Jin can just continue to sweat without growing any richer...

Anonymous said...

hehe, so does ur fren pays u to help him advertise?? haha... :P

Anonymous said...

The rental issue is hard to solve lah. Heh heh, too many entrenched interests.

If whack condo rental, you know who will ganna whack. Where got rich people whack rich people one.

If whack HDB rental, they will collect less taxes. TODAY got one article pointed this out. HDB rental drops, heartlanders happier, because we don't have to pay for what we don't collect (rentals), but the gahmen will get less tax.

Then again, we may under-estimate the capabilities of the MIW when they get stuck in a rock and a hard place.

But I am one happy person to get a short reprieve, and amusement at seeing the FTs getting screwed for priviledges they do not derserve, for once.

BL said...

Mr Wang,

Thanks for the mention in your blog. Hope that all are well in your new job.

yours sincerely,
BL