Jul 14, 2018

Cory Diary : Financial Literacy

I have a group of ex-secondary school classmates which by chance get to meet again since last year. Since then we have been active in chat group. After more than 30 years, they all look more or less the same. Not sure about others, but there has been attrition, re-join and mia individuals. Surely there will be difference in opinions, a little offline gossips and past grudges.

There were quite a few who are dead against institutions aka government in the chat group. So whatever PAP do, there is motives. Mistrusts ran high. One of them use to be my close buddy.  Lost touch with him as we go on separate way after our "O" levels. In those days there aren't smartphone. Let me describe his life now from my perception that I have formed.  We were one of the pioneer batch of normal stream education. As I could remember, his family appears to be below average as they have problem paying utility bills some time. We often go for mini-hike in the afternoon after school. And would comb the forest hill on our way home. It is as close to nature as we could get in developing Singapore. There were a lot of adventures. He went on to technical institutes whereas I am fortunate enough to excel in my study and manage to get a place in a Junior College.

My impression is that he do not have good jobs for past decades and he has in-depth frustration with the government. And in recent time probably for 5 years found a stable job that he is good at. A manager and has some work across the causeway. His salary about S$4k appears to be below average considerating his level of technical soundness and knowledge. There were some considerable stress and sometimes appear to need to work till late into the night. Married and has a son who just finished his primary with average score. He owned a car and stays in HDB.

Here's his financial status I think. In his late 40s, he do not have much saving. And probably about 5k to 10k in stocks the most at any one time. Mindset for him is that this are "vice trade". He would also like to take out as much money out from CPF as soon as regulation allowed as he do not trust them at all. And the money will be use for his son education. Singapore Saving Bond is just another outlet for the government to tune up their national Ponzi scheme. Inflation grumbling is always from water hikes to hawker meals. Every time where is a bad news by Temesek or GLC investments, they will point out that the funds are losing nation money which could have reserved to help the poor and needy. There is a believe tax is too high locally.

With such mindset, there is no way I could advise him to even go for safe investment like SSB which technically safer than saving account or fixed deposits. How nice if he could sell his SSB allocation which I would gladly take up to increase my limit. At least there is some use for him. I think we finally agree to disagree. At late 40s, trying to change each other mindset is next to impossible. He is still a good friend that I cherish over political divide. I view myself nationalistic and wish to keep the game going with the right formula to succeed.  I wish him well.


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