Wednesday, March 26, 2014

10 minutes to improve your life and investments

I spent time at night reading his archive of comic strips then realised that he also has a blog on the same site. The slides won't take more than 10 minutes to go through. It tells us what some of you already know that the means matter more than the goals. That if you focus on getting the processes in place, the goals will be "easier" to reach. By the way, the slides uses techniques from a communications guidebook and could be a reference for your future projects. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Catching up on my reading

After my examinations ended on 19 February, I have been indulging myself with computer games, exercise, after work drinking as well as reading. In fact, I borrowed from my girlfriend a book that I had bought for her, Thinking, Fast and Slow, and am almost done reading it the second time. Despite rereading it, I think there are many wonderful points about how our minds work that we can learn and understand as well as exploit. I will perhaps raise a few points in the coming posts, but suffice to say at this point, our minds are the product of many years of evolution and what it is most useful with - surviving the wild - means that sometimes it fails to cope with modern day abstract situations, such as in finance. 

The other book was purchased at least 2-3 years ago when I first signed up for a Kinokuniya membership, The King Never Smiles, actually as a followup to a undergraduate module on Thailand. I picked the book up again to understand the history of Thailand and the role of the monarchy, especially the long ruling king Bhumipol. The crisis in Bangkok is a long recurring one but I am of the view that once the prophecy comes true, it may mean more chaos but a new start to Thailand's democracy.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What if the HDB flat comes too early?

In late 2012, I was successful in balloting for a BTO in McNair Road. Although this was a 90+3 square metre unit, me and my girlfriend would incur a liability of half a million dollars once we receive the flat's keys. According to the documents, the legal date of possession is the fourth quarter of 2017 (!) but usually tenants will take possession about one year in advance.

I was looking through the facebook group for this HDB group and one of the photos showed that a sign at the construction site indicating the first quarter of 2016 as the expected completion date.

At this point in time, while I am delighted that the project is moving ahead, I am also taken aback because i have yet made any marriage proposal! Rest assured that this is in the planning stages but what if come first quarter 2016, I receive a letter from HDB to inform me to collect keys, when I haven't receive an affirmative to my proposal? It is a requirement that both owners be married to each other upon receipt of flat.

This is a very real issue because when the keys come, HDB will clear also any balance in your CPF to reduce the mortgage principal. Moreover, it also means that renovation works will be in order.

According to "seniors", it is possible to appeal for an extension of three months to. HDB just requires an ROM certificate to legally indicate our married status, so they do not need to be at your wedding dinner.

But the big worry is that what if we cannot really agree that marriage is the right thing for the two of us. Personally, I have told my girlfriend that while we have put a 5% deposit down and paid stamp duty (total amount of about 40 k!), it should not be the reason that we are sticking to each other even if things are showing otherwise. My own advice to other couples who apply-first-marry-later is that you have to agree on this point. That is the only way that you prevent an escalation of commitment that is doomed from the on set. An expensive wedding dinner, ring, renovation works, only for things to be split and even burnt (wedding photos). Hopefully it won't happen to me!