Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Passive income from investing in UOB Gold/Silver Savings Account

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve of United States announced its plan to purchase US$600 billion Treasury securities. What this means it that the USA will be printing another $600 billion dollars and flood the international markets with cheap dollars, effectively driving down the value of dollar. Now how would that affect you? Plenty. This is because now that banks have cheap access to huge amount of money and will drive down interest rates to virtually zero. So actually your money in the bank is getting negative interest rates due to inflation.

One way to hedge against inflation and earn passive income is investing in precious metals like gold and silver. Throughout history, gold has always been viewed as safe haven, particularly during turbulent times like wars. This is because unlike currency, gold has intrinsic value and has limited supply. Thus, gold prices usually move in opposite direction to the state of economy. If you are new to investing in gold, I strongly recommend you read the e-book, Gold Scams Exposed Guide by Paul Kruger. Steve Peters'e book,Buy Gold Like an Insider! is also highly recommended for gold newbies.

In Singapore, one of the easiest ways to invest in precious metals is by investing in UOB's gold/silver saving accounts.Based on my knowledge, UOB is the only bank that offers this type of investment to retail customers. This is equivalent to depositing a certain amount of money in the account and you can choose to buy and sell UNALLOCATED gold/silver through the passbook.Unallocated means you are not buying physical gold/silver and UOB will not store any gold/silver for you. Effectively, you are betting on the movement of gold/silver and converting your cash deposits into gold/silver in terms of value. UOB would charge a nominal administrative fees per month. Check out UOB website for more information.

With USA printing money like no business, investing in precious metals seem logical. UOB gold/silver account offers the easiest way for retail investors to take advantage of this wealth transfer. If you think that over the long run, gold/silver will appreciate in value, investing in  UOB gold/silver accounts can be a good form of passice income. However, do exercise caution and invest within your means as investing in precious metals is never risk-free.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mobile Application Developer

With increasing ownership of smartphones in Singapore, there is a growng number of mobile apps developers seeking a slice of the action. According to iMerlion, there are about 100 developers in Singapore, up from zero 2 year ago. Many of these apps have no real life applications but a lot of them are popular due to their entertainment values.

Many app developers are seduced by the fact that they can earn money while working from home. Apparently, the seduction is strong enough to make several successful executives quit their high-paying full-time jobs. According to The Straits Times, dated 6th November, a Mr Lim Thye Chean actually resigned from his job as chief technology officer with a Malaysian technology firm to start his own app programming company.

Just how lucrative the market is? Well according to the article, you can potential earn $10,000 in a few months if your app is in demand. If you have an unique idea and wants to develop an app, it doesn't matter if you have a computer science background or not. You just need to spend some time learning the programming code and there you go!

What are you waiting for? Catch the app craze while it lasted! Just another business idea for your consideration.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wedding Emcees Website

My partner and me are currently in the midst of preparing for our wedding next year and we are considering whether to engage a professional emcee or seek our friends' help on our big day. The problem is, I do not have any guy friends who are comfortable being a wedding emcee and we feel that the market rate for a professional wedding emcee is too expensive. I thought that even if an emcee was recommended to me by words of mouth, I would like to know his style, looks and rate in advance before engaging his services. After all, nobody likes to engage a balding fat uncle to be their wedding emcee even if he is very good!

I thought that it would be a great online business idea to have a website that promotes a mixture of up-and-coming and popular emcees. Ideally, the website should post their photos, track records, emcee rates and their selling points for users to consider. Of course the website should also contain contact numbers or email for couples to make arrangement with the emcees to discuss the details or to check their dates of availability. You can earn money by either charging commission fee for each successful booking or charge listing fees from the emcees. Just another online business idea for your consideration!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Creating an online pharmacy

Have you ever woke up early on Saturday mornings or having to rush off from office just to purchase some healthcare products from the hospital's pharmacy for your family members? Don't you just wish for a 24/7 pharmacy store? With Singapore's rapidly ageing population, an online pharmacy definitely serves a niche demand for the busy working executives taking care of their elderly parents.

CGH mypharmacy
Enter CGH's mypharmacy, Singapore's first online pharmacy store. I have been using mypharmacy for the past 4 months to purchase continence products for my dad and I totally love it! I no longer have to wake up early on Saturday mornings or rush down to the hospital from work.The key reasons why I like mypharmacy:

1) Free delivery for minimum purchase of $100 items
2) You can choose to pay by cash, cheque or credit card
3) Loyalty points for redemption
4) Wide range of products
5) Very transparent shipping policy (you can check out the shipping schedule for the expected date of arrival of your purchase).

Online Business Idea
There is definitely a demand for online pharmacies given Singapore's greying population. If you are interested, you can focus on selling healthcare products rather than healthcare supplements/medicine. Some of the followings you need to consider:
  • Choose a good e-commerce webhost with payment facilities and backend support (for you to do trending)
  • Policies on claims and reversal
  • Ensure that your website content is up-to-date and the design visually pleasing
  • Delivery fee (if applicable)
  • Shipping policy (expected date of delivery for different dates of online booking)
  • Where and how to stock up your goods cheaply
  • Loyalty points to retain customers
  • Decide on the variety of goods to sell
Given that there are so many online e-commerce templates offered by webhosts, setting up an online pharmacy is definitely achieveable for even those without html skill. But in order to compete effectively against big player like CGH, you have to be prudent and plot your business strategies wisely. Just another online business idea for your consideration!

Best Online Stock Trading System in Singapore: POEMS

I started my wealth building journey 20 years ago when I started trading shares through my brother's account, POEMS. If you are wondering what does POEMS stands for, it is an acronym for Philips Online Electronic Mart System. POEMS is an electronic platform established by Philips Pte Ltd in 1996 for buyers and sellers to trade equities, futures, forex, spot gold, silver and unit trust. POEMS charges commission fees for both buying and selling transactions.

Online Trading
During the late nineties when online trading was still at an infancy stage, many Singaporeans were still very skeptical of trading stocks online. Most people were horrified at the concept of buying stocks without certificates (just think of paying for goods without receipt given to you over the counter). At that time most Singaporeans are also used to rely on their brokers to trade because of tips and advice that stockbrokers can offer. In addition, there is the broker's fear that their jobs would be on the line once internet trading render their services obsolete.

Due to advancement in technology and the increasing ownership of computers in many Singapore families, a lot of Singaporeans start to realize the advantages of online trading. Furthermore, brokers' fears that internet trading would spell the end of their careers were unfounded as stockbrokers are still needed to provide value-added expertise views to traders. Thus, setting the stage for the online trading boom since 2000. Nowadays most Singaporeans prefer online trading because of the convenience and lower transaction costs compared to buying stocks through brokers over the phone. It is during this period of time, POEMS underwent tremendous changes and went to achieve many performance awards. Today, the company has 6 investor centers round the island located in Raffles City Tower, Toa Payoh, Bukit Batok, Raffles Place, Marine Parade and Yishun.

Buying/selling stocks through POEMS
I opened my POEMS account in 2006 at a roadshow when the brokerage firm waived off the $1000 deposit fee. Back then, I thought to myself that the best things in life are free, so why should I pay for an online stock account? My aim was really to become rich through stock investments. So I did not want to waste time and effort learning complicated trading system. Anyway, my elder brother had recommended the system to me earlier, so I thought why not give it a try, Basically, I wanted a simple and useful friendly online trading system and POEMS just fit the bill. Its features and tools are so simple to use that I started trading a few weeks after my accounted was opened. What I like about POEMS is that I can view my portfolio of stocks in a neat manner, access free in-house stock research reports and view the transaction summary in a manner which I am comfortable with. I always thought to myself you can never go wrong with POEMS because to me, it is the best online trading system in Singapore.