Broker for Second Life Items/Electronics

Ever used Carousel or Gumtree to purchase or sell your items. To be very honest, Carousel has been a great game changer to date. Though I really doubt the way they can make money and how it is possible to raise so many funds. Users stand to benefit from setting up stores. However, their systems have been breached twice and they ought to make some security improvements to protect consumer interests.

In a way to recycle and reuse items, in a way to help the world and not generate waste. There is a Chinese saying that says do not do or give anything to anyone if you do not want them to do the same to you. So, I really dislike it when someone tries to dump their stuff on me in the context of good faith. (It just means they want to declutter but yet want to be a good saint)

Some items that I have at home are rarely used and they have been bought new (6 months to 1 year) bar fridge, toaster, baby items, etc..) and I think they can be put to good use. Though I can’t stand the bargaining and “quick sale”, These products find a second lease on life.

It does sound like I am ranting a little but I get a teeny weeny bit irritated with the bargaining and the emotional plea of budget. I think many people lack flair and being fair. This is a second-hand platform and not a brand-new store. Don’t think NEW, think about the condition and electronics are meant to be lasting at least 3-5 years. To also be fair, I do know of some people who don’t take care of their stuff. It could be that they can’t be bothered or just pure negligence (I don’t know – It doesn’t get you anywhere if you say you don’t know)

These images are obtained from the carousell website

Be respectful to yourself, and don’t take others for granted. When others help you, don’t treat them as a help desk. Personally, I prefer the DIY route because customer service is negligible in the current world. Very few companies out there focus on customer service B2C.

It just came to my mind when I got a message that someone wanted to purchase something from me and that there is no such thing as no demand.

a. If the product is not sought after by anyone. Sell it at a discounted price – There will be takers eventually because everyone has a reservation price regardless of how low it is. It means that 99% of people actually know that they have to open their wallets to get something.

b. If the item is a branded/well-known item, you don’t need to discount it too much. Why?

  • If you sell it way too low, people actually think that it is a fake product (What’s the catch? That’s how Singaporeans are)
  • Brand products typically sell. Singaporeans know the good stuff.

c. If the seller has a reservation price that is higher than the buyer then you got to wait before you get rid of your stuff.

These are simple economics, subtract the communication portion which I really dislike a lot. There are a lot of lowballers and people who don’t respect. Just because they are behind a digital app, doesn’t mean that one can do that.

Meanwhile, good luck with decluttering.

This post came about because Christmas is coming (Wastage is coming) and the Chinese Lunar New Year is around the corner and it pays to plan in advance.

Please do check out my referral store to see if any stuff works for you to get your free cash. These keep the light on this blog active and I thank you in advance.

Interest Rate Series (DBS Multiplier) [2.5 out of 5 Burger Patties]

As on 4 November 2022

On 4 November 2022, 3 working days after OCBC rolled out their new interest rate on their flagship 360 accounts, DBS followed up with an email that the DBS Multiplier has increased from 3.5% to 4.1%. The balance cap amount is also increased to S$100,000

The Multiplier account has always been proportioned by the transaction amount.

below S$2,000

S$2,000 to below S$2,500

S$2,500 to below S$5,000

S$5,000 to below S$15,000

S$15,000 to below S$30,000

Above S$30,000

The next layer of categories to fulfil will be the number of categories. They are known to be:

1. Salary/Dividends/SGFinDex

The Salary portion has to be a GIRO transaction with code “SAL” or “PAY”, which seems pretty strict given that there are increasing numbers of the next generation in the ‘gig economy’

For dividend crediting, these eligible dividend has to be from CDP, DBS Vickers Securities, DBS Online Equity Trading, DBS Unit Trusts, DBS Online Funds Investing and Invest-Saver (Promotion their own eco-system)

Connecting and sharing financial information from SGFinDex to NAV Planner (I would think one needs to do this on a monthly basis

2. Credit Card Spend

For the monthly card spend, it has to be on any DBS credit card and has to be eligible spending. Eligible will be the usual suspects and it will be very much dependent on the MCC codes.

3. Home Loan Installment

Home Loan financing has to be from DBS or POSB (New or Refinancing). The eligible amount will be from the monthly home loan instalment amount.

4. Insurance

Similar to my previous post on insurance and investment in these high-yield accounts. These are usually valid for a limited period and interest rates are always subject to changes. Further, only selected insurance are eligible.

5. Investment

Nothing much to comment on here. This section will be pretty hard for most people to fulfil.

Additional option: The PayLah! Retail Spend. Honestly, don’t seem like a good deal to me.

The ideal interest rate will be between 0.9% to 2,5%. Frankly, nothing much has changed though and I don’t think it is even worth announcing via their communication channels. I feel like there wasn’t even much thought placed into it. I just felt like it isn’t any effort to compete with these changes. With the most recent 0.75 bps increase by the US Feds, this is not anything competitive and not quite worth looking into for now.

For more information, check the link here: DBS Multiplier Calculator

Conclusion

Nothing worth looking at for now. Till next time.

Interest Rate Series (OCBC 360) [4 out of 5 Burger Patties]

As on 3 November 2022

The week has been intercepted by headline interest rate hike news and OCBC 360 certainly did take out their competition with a banging headline. As of the 1st of November 2022, the entire suite of the OCBC 260 flagship account will revise its interest rate across the board.

As of their online quote, “The OCBC 360 Account has six bonus interest categories – Salary, Save, Spend, Wealth (Insure), Wealth (Invest) and Grow. By tapping on just three of these categories – Salary, Save and Spend – customers will be able to earn interest of 4.65% p.a. on the first S$100,000 in their bank account.”

Prior to this due to the interest rate environment, the first S$100,000 could get you 1.85% p.a. The biggest update is that for their spending options, you can use the OCBC 365 credit card, OCBC Titanium Rewards credit card, OCBC 90°N Visa card and OCBC 90°N Mastercard.

There are a total of 6 categories:

Salary, Save, Spend, Insure, Invest and Grow.

The basic of the high-yield account is to fulfil the following – Salary, Saving (Keeping the average daily balance by $500 increment monthly) and spending S4500 to the above-mentioned OCBC credit card each month. Quite simply put, by fulfilling these three options, your interest yield is 4.65% p.a. for up to $100,000. (technically 4.64962903% p.a.)

Over 365 days, the interest earned is S$4,649.63

Salary

You need to credit at least S$1,800 of your salary to fulfil the Salary Category. That is if your HR allows that or if you are not employed in another rival or financial institution.

Save

You need to have an incremental S$500 in your monthly balance. However, if this is your transaction account then it might be an issue. But as long as it is an incremental (Average daily balance)

Spend

You need to spend S$500 on selected OCBC credit cards. You can use the OCBC 365 credit card, OCBC Titanium Rewards credit card, OCBC 90°N Visa card and OCBC 90°N Mastercard.

Insure & Invest

Forget about the insurance and Investment portion, there’s probably no way around those.

Grow

For the Grow category, if you have an additional S$100,000 to keep the average daily balance of S$200,000, the first S$100,000 will get an additional 2.40% p.a. while your remaining S$100,000 remain at the 0.05% p.a.

To illustrate, the interest over this S$200,000 will be S$7,099.60 hence the yield for this amount will be 3.55% p.a. (technically 3.54980161% p.a.

To calculate your interest amount, use the link to calculate the expected interest on your saving amount here: Calculate your Interest Amount

Conclusion

This is very interesting indeed. Because competitors will drastically make these changes as well. The interest rate hike might be a good and bad thing. However, take note that these rates are never confirmed or fixed. They follow the current market conditions. By taking on investments or insurance, these interest rates might change fast and furious. Overall, valiant effort and quite good timing as well. In the next few weeks, we might see revisions to compete with this increase in interest rate.

Life and Travelling

Now that we are all living with the pandemic aka living with covid, travelling is on the cards for many people and there’s pent-up demand. For a moment, while I was searching for travel next year, everything settled down and the restrictions for other countries started to ease. It became quite an overload of information. No doubt reading and watching travel logs do inspire the places to visit in the future. Suddenly, it seems like there isn’t much time to visit all the places

It felt as though travelling is such a luxury all over again and very much preparation seemed like a hassle. Have I been living like a hermit for a while now? I’m not too sure. One thing I am sure of is that many people are looking forward to their travels. I just want to say that do remember to get your travel insurance and be safe from any form of sickness.

Another query that I had in my mind is that I wonder how many of those shops or places that were once of interest, survived the pandemic and managed to carry their business. Maybe I’m just overthinking it but I’m just generally more risk-averse since there are kids and old folks. I’m worried about the health of young and old all the time. In recent months, I’ve also been wondering if I need to do something to make sure that my own health is being taken care of.

Having time to think and ponder indeed is a luxury. Once it has been taken away from me, I learned to treasure time more. Been less diligent to apply for jobs this week since I ran most of my errands this week. I scheduled time to relax and also a couple of appointments in the next three weeks.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed on the recent interview and it does seem promising. Again, nothing’s confirmed till they call me up for an offer. Once that is done, I think I can then peacefully make some purchases that I have been putting off over the last few months. Then hopefully, preparing the next year for a full-on work and family schedule.

Whether there’s a recession or a market boom, I should ready myself for it. I’ll also probably take some time to put a good year’s resolution and rate them once the year has passed. Till then.

Managing Yourself

Life is very different for everyone. Every nook and cranny is different for each one of us. Eventually, that moulded all of us very differently. (i.e. How do we react to certain situations? How we seemingly lose common sense at certain things. With those things in mind, we can then empathise with others in their situation. While we may focus on how others are lacking, in the same sense we also need to be patient with others.

It is very easy to fall into the trap of looking at others and as always the grass is greener on the other side. (Until you reach the other side) Let me just sum it up. Only a small proportion of people get it lucky, they get the best of both worlds – What is rosy is also what is the true portrayal of their lives. The rest of them is living the beautiful lie (It doesn’t always come easy)

I can only speak from my own experience and while things were rosy. I had the opportunity to enjoy work and make good money while doing so. So, many times I try to look toward others with more empathy. Managing your own expectations is the hardest and because we all have our own aspirations, it often leads to less than expected results. However, we should always hold our heads high. Bite the bullet and move on. Sometimes pacing, slowing down before searing forward again. Easier said than done.

All of us are different and I do implore that no one look at other portfolios at 1 million, 500k or 250k at an envious level. Rather, look at things from a goal perspective and practicality. After all, everyone’s starting point is different. Look toward the end goal. Never give up and remember it is never too late to start.

One have to manage yourself as well as manage your own expectation. Every situation is different. Sometimes just purely managing time and break is not sufficient. We are built this way, some stronger than the other but lacking in other atrributes. Similar to thr concept of there are no perfect systems, there are no perfect human being. Behind the scenes, do you not think that those who seem fine has it easy too?

It is very similar to investing where everyone’s starting point is different. Today, I am lucky to have additional funds to explore and invest. Some may have just start while others may be struggling with debts or even many other issues.

I am glad I had basic financial knowledge and I understand some thing better than others.

Don’t see it as a hind or head start. It always start with an idea or a dollar. Be confident, no one else should tell you how you should be.

Remember you are not alone. Find support and community that are of like-mindedness

Lunch, Covid and Networking

Covid has change the way I approach many things at work. In the past, I would force myself to go attend at least one networking event at least once a month, meet new people or even try to get to know someone new anywhere.

Lunch was a common period to network and attend events. There were plently of opportunity and too many events (free or paid) but the choice is really one to choose.

Fasr foward three years, working from home. Having a new structure, cancelled events and reduce social interactions slowly back tracked into what I fall into. That is to become introverted.

Lunch seems to always be an extra meal for me. When you start breakfast from 9.30 onwards, 12 is too early for lunch and 3pm is too late. Yet, it is good to find a time for a logical break and get out of the space for an extended period of time.

Depending on your own company culture. Arranging lunch used to be one of my dail affairs. At the same time, lunch buddies are hard to find. However, today I really cant be bothered. I prefer to just have some me time and settle lunch somewhere. I dont mind company but if there isn’t any, it is really fine for me.

I dont know much about how many of you out there enjoy lunch. I certainly dont quite fancy it. I prefer to get the work done and then head back earlier to beat the crowd. Everywhere on the roads or public transport is just slow traffic. 2 hours of commute is really quite a waste of time. However, to a certain extent, some kind of work doesn’t have the luxury to work from home.

It does seem like readers like to understand and know more of the struggles and discussion about personal life instead of new products, promotions or deals.

Thanks for reading. Covid made me start this blog which I have put off for at least 5 years. I wasn’t sure if anyone wants to read what I pen down and if my content would attract any. At the end of the day, I also realise that penning down my thoughts through the years also let me bookmark some of the financial decisions I made previously.

Eventually, if there is an opportunity to monetise the content, I would not miss it. Writing and managing a blog is not as easy as I thought it would be but it is manageable. At least it isn’t as time consuming as editing and shooting a youtube video.

Thanks again for hearing me rant. I rant from time to time to vent mt frustrations and express some of my personal opinion. While I may not be correct, it is just my way of de-stressing.

Happy Wednesday everyone.