My client tried to offer cash to me…

I went to a client’s place to collect a claim form for Critical Illness. He is a client I took over from in 2006 from a colleague who had left the industry. Since then, I had provided financial advisory service to his wife who had bought some products from a bank during the financial crisis and his children’s hospital claims.

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He handed over an envelope to me when I reach his place. I took the envelope because I thought it was his claims documents. Then he said,” Kim Heng, before I forget, this is for you.” I felt the envelope & know it is a little stack of notes. He said the money is a token to thank me for my service & help offered to him over the years. I rejected his gifts and told him I am just doing my job but he insisted that I take it.

After numerous failed attempts to reject his kind gesture, I guess the only way is to accept it. I think rejecting it is also not giving him “face”. So I decided to take his cash offer and then donate the money to Singapore Cancer Society to return his kind gesture back to those who might need it.

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There are many rejections and down time in our business. It is these appreciation from our clients that keep us going and knowing what we have been doing is right.

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Protecting your company against Cyber Security breaches with Cyber Insurance to minimise the financial damage.

PwC did a study for UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and according to PwC, the small businesses, the worst breaches cost between £65,000 and £115,000 on average; for large firms, the damage is between £600,000 and £1.15m. While that study was done in UK, the financial damage is estimated to be around that locally.

The financial damages on the company arises from the business loss during the downtime in a Denial-of-service attack, legal suits because of data leak or a more serious ones such as competition information are stolen in a Direct-access attack.

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An MNC will most probably have the financial resources to beef up their IT teams and security system but a SME may not have the luxury of funds. The cyber criminals took advantage of  this and viewed SMEs as a softer target and a route to bigger business partners. According to Stephen Ridley, companies can follow several simple steps to reduce cyber-risks. He suggests using secure passwords such as three random words, installing antivirus and malware software on all company devices, instigating regular software updates that contain vital security upgrades and educating staff on cyber-risks.

Just like preventing ourselves from a virus attack, we can have all the vaccination jabs and precaution taken but still hit by the virus. You may want to consider having a Cyber Liability & Data Protection Insurance to mitigate the financial loss in an event of cyber security breach. There are a few such plans in the market and they typically covers

  • Third-party claims
  • Remediation costs
  • Cyber extortion costs
  • Business interruption

To share a claim experience, a company with a turnover of SGD 2M and 8 staff had their server and client’s record locked by a Ransomware software. The company had to pay SGD50,000 to the hackers in order to get their files back.

SGD150,000 was paid to the company for the loss of income, the ransom demand including consultant cost and cost to restore the network as the hackers refused to release the files after receiving the ransom payment. The premium paid by the company was about SGD 3,000 a year.

You  can make enquiries with Mohd. Faizal to attend a workshop on Cyber Security and Risk Management to know more about your company’s exposure to cyber security risk.

Do note this cyber insurance is mainly for SMEs and if you are having a business that is bigger in size, another package of cyber insurance may be more suitable. If you need more information on how cyber insurance can reduce the financial damage to your company, please submit the form below.

By submitting this form, you agree to be contacted in relation to this enquiry.

 

 

Pre-existing conditions in Travel Insurance

Ms Cheong wrote that her dad’s travel insurers MSIG informed her family that they were “unlikely to have a successful claim as his collapse was attributable to a pre-existing heart condition”.  Click for full story on Singapore man in coma returning from Tokyo after daughter raises $250k online.

Do note that it is a general exclusion in a travel insurance policy to exclude incidents arising directly or indirectly from pre-existing medical conditions. However, NTUC Income offer a travel insurance that cover for pre-existing medical condition. A comparison of the 3 plans offered is as followed.

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Please read the brochure  for plan details or drop me a message.

By submitting this form, you agree to be contacted in relation to this enquiry.

Career as an IFA

While this article is from US, the datas & info are not much different from the local scene except on “How to Become a Financial Advisor”. Due to the different regulations between the countries, we have our set of rules.

Please submit the form below to arrange for an interview if you are interested to find out more about the career as a Financial Advisor, the pros n cons of an Independent Financial Advisor vs a Financial Advisor or you know someone who may be interested/suitable.

By submitting this form, you are giving permission Avallis Financial Pte Ltd and the staff to contact you via Email or Mobile for the purpose of recruitment.

Disruptive Technology Fund

  • What is Disruptive Technology?

Disruptive technologies are advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy.

 

  • Is this something new?

No, articles on disruptive technology can be found as far back as 1995.

  • What are some examples of Disruptive Technology?

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  • What is the future for disruptive technology?

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If you want to know more how you can put your money into these companies and ride the disruption wave with them, you many want to join the fund managers from Lion Global Investors and listen to what they have to say.

Date : 18th May 2017, Thursday

Time: 1900hrs

Venue: Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre

The seats are limited, please register here before the tickets are gone!

Register Here

 

 

 

Investment scheme or scam

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/investors-file-police-reports-against-property-company

Let me first state that land banking is a legitimate investment and if we look from another point,  any forms of legitimate investment can be a scam too.

Some clear warning signals are when 

  1. the returns is too good to be true,  
  2. the risk is too low to be real and
  3.  the investment is a “Sure-win”.

However, greed can cloud the situation & the sweet talks of the scammer can make the usually common sense uncommon. And to be fair,  some scams may need good investment knowledge to tell the real from the reel. 

One way is check out ACRA to look for the paid-up capital of the investment firm. In the case mentioned in the above article and other scams,  the companies set up with very low paid-up capital and some as low as $1. You might want to think twice why a investment company that is serious in business have that low paid-up capital cause in the worst case scenario,  that is the amount you might have to share with other investors. 

Coverage for diabetics

AIA Singapore had launched, AIA Diabetes Care, a first-in-market critical illness plan tailored specifically to the needs of patients aged 30 to 65 and diagnosed with Type II diabetics and pre-diabetics  .

It is challenging for diabetics to purchase additional insurance cover as the insurance applications are often rejected, or the insurance cover is often subject to exclusion, or an extra premium is loaded. Instead of the usual long medical questionnaires, AIA Singapore made the process of application easy for the applicants with just 5 simple questions.

AIA Diabetes Care provides coverage for key diabetes-related conditions, ensuring you have the financial support you need in case the unexpected occurs.You have the option to cover against Major and Early/Intermediate Stage Cancer.

The 5 key diabetes-related conditions covered in the policy are

download        Blindness

Heart bypass       Coronary Artery By-pass Surgery

Heart attackHeart Attack of Specified Severity

kidney      Kidney Failure

stroke       Stroke

For more details on AIA Diabetes Care, please contact me via the contact form below.

Enjoy 10% discount off first-year annual premium for applications before 31st May 2017.

 

Comparison of Endowment policies

Endowment policies are commonly known as “Saving plans”. The main objective of getting an endowment policy is to accumulate a sum of money at the end of a period of time. For e.g. to provide a education when the child gets into university or to create a retirement fund at age 55.  While endowment policy is not the only way to achieve those financial goals, it is still a good method for those who are risk averse.

An endowment plan consist of a death benefit but that is usually not the main concern. Most will look into the guaranteed returns or total returns. It can be difficult to compare a plan with another these days due to the different features. For a 15 year saving plan, one company may require the policyholder to pay for the full 15 years while another may require you to pay for as short as 1 year, 3 years or just 10 years in what we called as a “limited-pay endowment policy”.

This is a case study of my client who have the following financial objective.

  1. An endowment plan to mature in 15 years time
  2. Expect about $70,000 in maturity amount.

A typical comparison of endowment plans starts with the plans that are able to achieve the client’s financial goal. In this case, there were a total of 8 plans from various companies.

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Table 1

Those highlighted were the “best” in their respective feature. The premiums used above were inclusive of any riders included. I prefer to use this premium instead of the basic premium because it is the actual amount paid and it should be used as a reference to the returns. However, other financial advisors may just use the basic premium and exclude any riders or premium loadings.

It can be difficult to compare since the premium, premium term and returns all varies from one plan from another. So, a more accurate way is to compute the internal rate of returns which are the percentage illustrated on the yield table.

It can be rather confusing for a client to make a decision if they have to consider all 8 plans so the plans are usually presented after filtering out the not so ideal plans as shown below.

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Table 2

From the above, the plans will be explained to the clients in detail and together with the comparison table, it will be easier for the client to make an informed decision.

A client with a budget constraint or concern with death benefit may choose plan 3 that has the lowest premium and highest coverage amount although it may not be the best option.

For someone who is extremely low risk taker may decide to take up Plan 1 for the highest guaranteed yield. What this means is in the worst case scenario that the insurer did not pay any bonus for the next 15 years, the principle amount is not only guaranteed but you still get a yield of 0.76% per annum.

If the client is very optimistic of the market or the insurance company, he may decide to look at either Plan 1 or 6 since they have the highest yield base on 3.25% and 4.75% projection respectively.

There is no hard and fast rule to suggest one should choose a particular plan. It all depends on an individual’s personal choice. My role as a Independent Financial Advisor is to provide an objective view so that the client have a clear answer to his financial goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is claiming for travel insurance difficult or slow?

Submission was made on the 27th Feb 2017 and acknowledge by the insurer.20170303_115751

As the claim was made online, the insurer requested for the original copy of the receipt. I collected the receipt on the same day and submitted to the insurer.

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On the 3rd day, the claim was admitted and paid. My client received the payout within the next few days via post.

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The process might be even shorter if the original receipt was submitted but even with 3 days, I think the turn over time is fantastic!

A claim of any insurance can be the easiest job on earth and it can be the worst. It all depends on the document proof submitted to the insurer for assessment of claims.

Presentation on Medishield Life.

Matthew Ho conducted a presentation on Medishield Life on 1st March 2017 to a group of teachers. It was his first presentation and it was very successful.

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The audience were great and the session were interactive as they shared their experiences and clarified their queries.

One of the audience have a child with congenital diseases and was curious what could be done. Another shared the experience of a relative hit with cancer and she was prepared to sell off her property to fund the hospital bills but was thankful these plans were around to pay it off. 20170301_155824_mh1488513934425

The audience also gave us  good feedback which included comments like our position as an Independent Financial Advisor make it “less pressuring” because we did not end the  session with a sales nor we do it at any point in the presentation.

Our position also allow us to make an objective view on Medishield Life as well as other similar plans in the market. During this session, we also have a brief sharing on other area of financial planning such as Eldershield and retirement planning.

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After the presentation ended, we proceed to an 1-to-1 session and answer to some queries that the individuals may want to seek further clarification. We were glad that our objective of the session i.e. to give the audience a better clarity of Medishield were met.

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If you are interested to have a similar session for your staff, please fill in the form and we will contact you to make the arrangement. We look forward to hear from you.