The email address in "Contact AK: Ads and more" above will vanish from November 2018.


Featured blog.

1M50 CPF millionaire in 2021!

Ever since the CPFB introduced a colorful pie chart of our CPF savings a few years ago, I would look forward to mine every year like a teena...

Past blog posts now load week by week. The old style created a problem for some as the system would load 50 blog posts each time. Hope the new style is better. Search archives in box below.


"E-book" by AK

Second "e-book".

Another free "e-book".

4th free "e-book".

Pageviews since Dec'09

Financially free and Facebook free!

Recent Comments

ASSI's Guest bloggers

Counting our blessings.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I overheard a conversation two women were having while I was waiting for my bee hoon to be prepared. One of them is concerned that her son wants to get a license for riding motorcycles because his friends are all doing it. The other one, with a sharp intake of breath, immediately launched into an argument against it.

"Aiyoh, ride motorcycle very dangerous one. Flesh wrap steel leh. If car bang into you, sure die one. If not die also badly injured. Maybe, become handicap for life liao. One arm gone or one leg gone. Worse, maybe become a vegetable! Then how? Tell him don't lah. Learn to drive car better. At least steel wrap flesh. Got protection. You can afford mah. Offer to buy him a car lah."

Lucky boy.

I remember when I asked a student of mine why did he want a motorcycle rider license, he told me it was so that he could work and make some money. I was curious and asked him to tell me more. He told me that his family income was very low and, being the eldest, he should try to share the burden. Having a license meant he could help to distribute newspapers for his father when his father who was not well was unable to work. It also meant he could be a part time courier and fast food delivery boy.

The conversation the two women had triggered this memory in me and I decided to share it here in my blog to remind all of us to count our blessings during this festive season and, if we can afford to do so, consider making a donation to a charity of our choice.

I recently revealed in a reply to SnOOpy168 a list of charities which I make donations to annually in Singapore. The charity which I have the softest spot for is Singapore Children's Society because children are probably the most helpless. They are the most innocent and have no way of supporting themselves. Very often, they are also the most easily abused.

To find out more about Singapore Children's Society and to make a donation, please go to:
Singapore Children's Society.

For greater convenience, donations can also be made online using a credit card.

While I am at it, if you are thinking of buying books in future, do consider helping the environment and funding literacy for the less fortunate at the same time by visiting BetterWorldBooks:

Free Shipping Worldwide

Find out more about BetterWorldBooks at:
ASSI is an affiliate of BetterWorldBooks.

Have a blessed Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Hi AK,

Totally agree, have a friend who's parents bought him a condo and continental car so that he can have a 'headstart' in life. If I compare, I'll prolly be so disheartened with anguish, as I have to pay though my nose (nose bleed) like most ordinary folk for a piece of space in the sky which I don't own and pay taxes for it on this expensive island.

Be happy for being relatively healthy is better. :) As your saying goes, count our blessings...

Happy New Year to everyone!


AK71 said...

Hi Tree,

Your story is not unheard of. I know two other guys who got condominiums bought for them by their parents. So lucky.

Actually, you are quite lucky too if you were to compare yourself with someone who had to take over the housing loan of his parents' HDB flat. This is also a true story.

Count our blessings, indeed. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi AK,

True true, in Tokyo and Hong Kong it is well known for housing loans to stretch to even 3 generations! The child and grandchild inherit the mortgage and continues servicing the loan left by the parents... Very unhealthy I feel...


B said...


I remember seeing a kid beside me kicking down a 10 cent coins into the drain instead of picking it up. That goes to show how our modern world has evolved.


Anonymous said...

Hi AK,

Actually when I said I have to pay through my nose, I didn't mean I bought a place... I'm still saving up... Don't have a place of my own. My friends and colleagues all tell me that I'm screwed... Hai...


AK71 said...

Hi Tree,

In Hong Kong, the residential properties these days come with only a 50 years lease. So, I doubt it would go beyond two generations now. ;p

As for Tokyo, freehold shoebox apartments in the city now cost less than 99 years leasehold shoebox apartments in OCR in Singapore! Real estate prices have been declining for 20 years! Let us hope Singapore does not go down that road in future.

AK71 said...

Hi B,

Inflation! 10c is really small change these days. When I was a kid, 10c could buy me a nice lunch. :)

Having said this, I would still pick it up if I see the coin on the ground. See a penny and pick it up, will have good luck! ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Tree,

Oh, you have not bought your place yet? Well, actually, you could be better off not buying now if all the numbers we see are correct. We could see prices coming down by 2015. :)

I think people who bought multiple properties for investment this year or even last year could be the ones who would be in trouble. ;)

Now, unless you can find an undervalued property, you really have to think very hard before handing over that cheque. Buying at the valuations today is risky, imo.

yeh said...

hi ak,
something to share.
my colleague just bought a new EC, dual key unit.
their household income about 6.5k, with 2 kids somemore.
they earn about 200k from their BTO unit. so they also wish to get another few hundred K profit from this EC, as their nearby condo selling about 1M.

another colleague also thinking to move to condo.

well, i am happy as majority think like this. so this mean crash will be coming?
hehehehehe :)
then i can buy my 2nd property.

i am so bad, please forgive me.

AK71 said...

Hi yeh,

Although I feel that we will be faced with a situation of chronic oversupply by 2015 which would probably depress the rental rates and prices of HDB flats and condos alike, it is harder to say if Mr. Market would agree with me. ;)

In general, I would say that there is some margin of safety buying ECs because they are usually pegged at a discount to private condominiums.

For example, the Rainforest EC in CCK was selling at $700+ psf when launced earlier this year but MiCasa, a condo that just received TOP a few months ago is asking for about $1k psf. So, even if there should be a correction in price, owners of ECs have a margin of safety.

In general, I would say to avoid buying condominiums in places which are likely to see an abundance of ECs. The difference is too stark.

Anonymous said...

生 在 富 中 不 知 富.
Me & Family are guilty too.
Shalom & Amen

AK71 said...

Hi temperament,

You are a good father who takes good care of his son but I can understand why you might do a bit more pampering in your case. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi AK,

Nope I haven't ... Thanks for your objective assessment of the current housing situation, hence my dilemma... More like a combination of disbelief peppered with some uneasiness.

My current predicament is quite common I would believe. By trying to be prudent, I waited for 35 to get a resale HDB due to singlehood, but alas, by the time I became eligible, HDB prices have breached their all time high with ridiculously high COV.

For now, I'm counting my blessings that I still have a roof over my head of thanks to parents.


AK71 said...

Hi Tree,

Well, if you have set your eyes on a resale HDB flat, you are in for a treat if you are willing to wait another 3 or 4 years.

Many people will be moving into their spanking new BTOs, DBSS, ECs and condos. They would all have to sell their flats within 6 months!

You would have choices galore!

I have little doubt that resale HDB flats will see prices softening 3 or 4 years down the road. ;)

Ray said...

Hi AK,

This talk abt 2015 property correction, do you reckon is restricted to the private properties or would resale HDB (and BTO?) also be pulled down together? (assuming the 2015 scenario really come true of course).

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,

Oh, when the bear comes out of its cave, none will be spared. ;)

Imagine all the HDB upgraders getting ready to move into their new BTOs, DBSS, ECs and condos. Some would have to sell their old flats within 6 months because it is the rule while some would sell voluntarily for other reasons. The resale flat market is going to see a spike in future supply.

Of course, this is just my view. :)

SnOOpy168 said...

Perhaps that fall won't really or damper those in mature estate with MRT links. When the upgraders move, the younglings & new citizens will be on line. Already, i m feeling that rentals of legal units HDB flats is growing slower last year.
will yield flattened ? well, yes for those in pte developments. High entry $ and lowering rental. Someone reported <4%. in hk, it is break even or less. HDB ? not for my case.

@Tree. When buying for own stay, the entry timing is less of a concern than when buying for investment. Y ? own roof, if the price isn't good, continue to stay. prices will appreciate, only a matter of time. Have you seen HDB prices come crashing down ? nope. Y ? 80% lives in one. if it comes down, there will be a new government @ next GE leh. i had often tell everyone who can get a HDB the same. . hopefully, you'll get yours soon.

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

I am not as sanguine about the situation in the next few years. Remember a time when HDB flats were selling below valuations? Never say never, I always say. ;)

Well, as long as we are positioned to benefit from both bull and bear markets, we are OK. :)

SnOOpy168 said...

Nice to be mentioned in this post. From 2013 onwards, i am targeting that for every $10k mark crossed in my annual dividends income, i will add 1 more charity to the list. ^_^

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

I am glad you enjoyed your guest appearance. ;p

Please add Singapore Children's Society to your list. Thank you. :)

SnOOpy168 said...

Will pre-add SCS to the 2013 list.

Happy New Year AK

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

On behalf of the children, thank you. :)

Happy New Year!

Rebel said...

Mr AK,

It is scary that you listen in on other folkz talking and post the juicy contents here.

AK71 said...

Hi Rebel,

Be careful when you talk in public. You never know if AK71 is nearby listening. ;p

Monthly Popular Blog Posts

All time ASSI most popular!

Bloggy Award