Cashback or Airmiles

Cashback or Airmiles: A Behavior Economics Analysis

The long debate between Cashback or Airmiles has been going on every since the existence of Airmiles. In Wealth Management, there are tons of literature whether Cashback or Airmiles which each camp strongly defending their point of view. I will be using a behavior economic lens to analysis this after being inspired by Pete who recently wrote an article on his decisions to choose between Cashback or Airmiles.

Will you choose “up to 2% of cashback” or “up to 4% of airmiles”?

Cashback or Airmiles
Cashback or Airmiles: I miss travelling

To answer the above question, I have to remodel the question so that we can use a behavior economic theory to answer it. These are the following assumptions that I will be taking.

Assumptions

  • I will assume that Pete receive the full 2% and 4% (noted there might be conditions to get up to the intended rates)
  • I will assume that Pete receive $200 and $400 (in monetary form)
  • The probability of using the cashback is 100% (you will definitely be able to use the money)
  • The probability of using the airmiles is xx% (airmiles might be devalued/you can’t fly/points expire etc)
  • The traveler is paying the airfare out of their own pocket. (Thank you Philip Walsh for your contribution)
  • I recognize that airmiles are a specific spend in the travel category but will be treating it as if it is equal to cash

 

Which will you choose? 100% of getting $200 or xx% of getting $400?

One common way to approach this problem is using the concept of expected returns. In this case, if there is a chance of getting more more an 50% of getting $400, it is logical sense to go for the latter option. However, emotionally we might not feel the same.

In my previous sharing on Self Care and Wealth Management, I wrote about emotions being part of our decision making process and it is the same in this case. The behavior economic concept that I would be sharing with you is the certainty effect.

 

The Certainty Effect

Behavior Economist Dr. Daniel Kahneman propose a concept called the Fourfold Pattern. 

Cashback or Airmiles Fourfold Pattern
Cashback or Airmiles Fourfold Pattern

While we are not going to go through all four patterns, the behavior pattern that I would illustrate today’s case is in the top left section. These are the choices.

Choice #1: 95% of winning $10,000
Choice #2: 100% of winning $9,000

Clearly, choice #1 is ideal because the expected payout is $9,500. However, most people will choose choice #2 because the emotion called fear of disappointment. They rather “lock in” the profits in a high probability scenario. In certainty, most people are risk adverse.

 

The Final Verdict

In a real life scenario, we are unable to set controls in our experiment but we can draw inference from the certainty effect.

Choice #1: 100% of $200
Choice #2: xx% of $400

I believe most people will choose choice #1 because they are motivated by the fear of disappointment. There are too many uncertainty such as airmiles depreciation, airtravel resumption and expiry of points with choice #2. That being said, airmiles are can only be used in a specific category while cash will.. be cash.

I recognise that there will be some that will continue to choose choice #2 and may be motivated by other behaviour emotions.

How about you? What choice will you make?

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investment, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers.

Please feel free to contact me on my Instagram (@chengkokoh) or Facebook Page or my Telegram Channel! Or subscribe to our newsletter now!

How to have better relationship with money stressed woman

How to have better relationship with money?

We talk about building better relationship, having good wealth management but have we thought of having a better relationship with money (self-care)?

In Singapore, one thing that fly under the radar of the recent politics campaign is the high stress level of working. Do you know almost 100% of Singaporeans are stressed at work? (Source: Human Resource Director).

 

“Almost 100% of Singaporeans are stressed at work”: Survey

How to have better relationship with money stressed woman
How to have better relationship with money: stressed woman

Welcome to the city where the cost of living is high, have expensive healthcare and unaffordable housing. Together with this economic situation after COVID-19, many young people struggle to find their first job after graduation. Though I agree we have our positive side, we must also recognized that these economic-social issues will affect our relationship with money.

 

Why are Singaporeans Stressed at work?

Top causes of stress for single, married and working mothers vary, but all mention personal finance, too much work and personal health.

According to a survey by Jobscentral, being overburdened with financial commitments (29%) is one of the biggest reasons Singaporeans don’t leave a job they hate. 25% cited fear of not being able to find a better job as their reason for not leaving a crappy job. (Source: 3 Big Reasons Why Singapore Employees Are Always Stressed Out!).

While money is not the only reason, it is a common reason for stress.

Relationship With Money Stressed Statistics
Relationship With Money Stressed Statistics

 

Where did this stress stems from?

In my previous article about Self-Care and Wealth Management, I’m grateful to be able to ponder in depth on why people might become narcissist on self-care. It has to do a lot with their beliefs about money and I’m going to summarize it in the chart below.

Your relationship with money will determine your money habits that you have and it will led to the financial circumstances that one will go through and finally happiness.

Relationship with money
Relationship with money

Example #1: You are undeserving of money / reward.

I had a classmate, Karen who scored straight As for her primary school examinations. One year, another classmate shared with us that he just came back from a trip to Australia because he had good results in the last year. Karen decided to tell her parents about it. Her parents told her that if she continued to score straight As, she will be able to go for the trip.

Eventually, Karen had the straight As. But, the trip didn’t happen.

As a child, Karen held a belief that no matter how much effort she puts in, she will not get a reward. Today, Karen is a hardworking individual and put in a lot of effort in her work. Despite her hard work, she was unable to climb the corporate ladder and have mediocre salary. Personally, I feel that she still believes that she’s undeserving (relationship with money), other people are luckier and so passed on several opportunities (habits). This lead to her living a miserable life (financial circumstances)

 

Example #2: Believe that People With Alot of Money is Evil / Money is the root of all evil.

When I was young, I asked my parents why my classmate could go to Europe to travel while we only went Genting. My Mom told me that my classmate’s father was a businessman and he have to spend a lot of time on entertainment. He have to do a lot of “funny/bad things” that as children, we won’t understand at that age. Lots of Taiwanese/Korean dramas also reinforce this belief that you have to ruthless to earn money.

When I grew up, there was a period of time I judged people for earning a lot of money instead of being happy for them. If I learnt that they were earning more money, I felt that they done a lot of “funny/bad” things to achieve their goals.

I felt that earning a lot of money is evil (relationship with money), I would try not to earn over a certain threshold (habit) and that led me to living a normal life (financial circumstances).

 

This is ridiculous.

Your relationship with your money is largely influenced by the money lessons you learned from your primary caregivers and mentors, as you were growing up. While it is on no fault of theirs, we need to identify and be aware of the beliefs you have on money so that we can break out of this trap.

I challenge you to write down a list of your money beliefs. It could be “Money is never enough”, “Investing is risky”, “I need to spend money to feel good” etc. Ask yourself, does this money belief serves you or hinder you. If it hinders you, spend sometime to process why has it been affecting you and make a decision to change the belief.

We wish you good luck and stay safe.

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investment, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers. Please feel free to contact me on my Instagram (@chengkokoh) or Facebook Page or my Telegram Channel! Or subscribe to our newsletter now!

Self Care Wealth Management Bubble Bath

Self Care and Wealth Management

I was catching up with a friend wanting to find out how well he was coping with the COVID-19. I knew COVID-19 had a major impact to his job. His bonus was cut, his workload increased tremendously and he is praying that he would not have a pay cut.

“Fortunately, I still have a job.” He said with a bitter snigger. His facial expression was stiff as I looked at him over zoom.

Over the next 30mins, we chat on other things like where do we want to eat after all these is over, etc. Then, he mentioned.

“Have you been taking care of yourself? You know? Self-care. It is a difficult period of time. We should take care of ourselves.”

He then proceeded to show me a long list of things he had bought from Lazada, Shoppee, etc.

————————————————————-

If you have spent some time on Instagram, you might be familiar with the new trend of hashtags #selfcare #selflove. Most of the post feature beautiful young ladies enjoying themselves in a bubble bath with a caption similar to this.

“Just had to getting away for a while to take care of myself. #selflove #gratitude #blessed”

Self Care Wealth Management Bubble Bath
Self Care Wealth Management Bubble Bath

I smile as I can imagine their partners probably spend more than 2 hours taking 200 over photos just to make it look natural.

Self love is very powerful. In our Wealth Management Framework, we believe that Self-Love is necessary and vital in a person’s financial journey. However, Self Love was quickly corrupted by people’s narcissism and has became an excuse for indulgence. “Oh, why did I spend $3,000 on spa weekends last year? You know, self-care.” Meanwhile, their retirement account is doomed.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t spend money to have enjoyment. I just feel that it is not necessary a luxurious spa retreat or an over the top vacation (we can’t travel anyway now). To emphasize it again, spending money for self care is okay. I just feel there is another dimension to it.

 

Self love is not easy

Self love could be saving money for emergency. Self love could be going back to school to get your Masters. Self love could be reading a book to upgrade yourself. Self love could be letting a toxic friend go and not letting him/her affect your life anymore. Self love is getting yourself fit so that you won’t fall sick easily.

Financial Self Love is one of the hardest way to love yourself. I acknowledge that money adds stress to our life. That’s why we want to explore whether we can have it within our control. I believe that Financial Self Love isn’t about your net worth, but about taking control of your financial knowledge and, if possible, financial situation.

 

Financial Self Love could be…

Creating an emergency fund so that you can have a peace of mind when you need money.

Setting aside a budget for retirement and also for pleasure (Fun Goal).

Creating an adequate insurance program so that your loved ones can pay the mortgage, bills, even education costs, after you are gone or suffer from critical illness.

Learning how to invest so that you don’t make the mistakes so that you don’t need to work forever (Get Educated).

The list goes on.

 

Conclusion: It is okay to spend money for self love =)

Take care of yourself during this tough period. See you at another article.

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investment, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers. Please feel free to contact me on my Instagram (@chengkokoh) or Facebook Page or my Telegram Channel! Or subscribe to our newsletter now!

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020

Critical Illness Definition Change Aug 2020: Should You get CI Coverage now?

Have you been thinking of getting a Critical Illness (CI) Coverage for a while but haven’t done so? In Wealth Management, insurance is one key element of planning and we have talked about Life Insurers to change definition of Critical Illness in 2019. In 3 months time, there will be new definition for critical illness coverage. Will it affect you? Should you get a CI coverage now?

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020
Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020

 

What’s happening?

Like it or not, it is happening. Life Insurers in Singapore will have to comply with the new set of critical illness coverage as set by the Life Insurance Association (LIA). Previously, the definition of the 37 critical illness was standardized so that the coverage is consistent across the industry.

This review on the common definitions is to bring the definition up to date and aligned with advances made in medical technology and medical practice as well as to address areas of ambiguity based on insights gained from the past five years of experience.

(Source: LIA 2019 Framework)

 

What are the changes?

In total, 21 of the critical illness definition will be changed while 16 remains the same.

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020 Table
Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020 Table

 

Does this mean it is harder to claim in future?

After looking at the definitions, I believe there are pros and cons to the new definitions.

Pros

  1. Those suffering from Thalassaemia Major or Haemophilia can now get covered under the HIV CI condition.
  2. Viral Encephalitis: Previously, viral infection has to be the cause for it. Now, scope is expanded to include all causes, not just viral infection.

Cons

  1. Stricter, more exclusions for Benign Brain Tumor, Coma, Stroke, Aplastic Anaemia, Heart Attack, and Major Cancers among other things.
  2. The addition of ‘irreversible‘ to deafness, blindness, aplastic anaemia.

 

Personally, I believe the cons outweighs the pros because the more major cancer, heart attack and stroke have a higher occurrence rate in Singapore. (Source: Top 10 Conditions for Hospitalisation In Singapore). See point 2, 4, 6, 9.

Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020 Top Causes of Hospitalisation
Critical Illness Definition Changes Aug 2020 Top Causes of Hospitalisation

 

What should you do?

You have time. But, not long. After 26 August 2020, all critical illness policies in Singapore will have to follow the new definition as stated by the LIA.

Review your policies during these few months. Follow up with your financial consultant or you can contact me if you don’t have one.

Stay safe!

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

In Wealth Management, it is important to Pay yourself first. Beware of scams. Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investment, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers. Please feel free to contact me on my Instagram (@chengkokoh) or Facebook Page or my Telegram Channel! Or subscribe to our newsletter now!

Should you buy DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX D05) now

Should you buy DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05) now?

Should you buy DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX D05) now? $19 seems to be a popular price that people will talk about DBS Group Holding. In wealth management, investing in good companies are essential to build up the capital to achieve our financial freedom. This article will hold some of my thoughts I have regarding DBS Group and some of it will shock you. Is it a mistake or will we have regrets? (Read all the way down).

Should you buy DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX D05) now
Should you buy DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX D05) now? Introducing the cat indicator. Meow~

 

Is DBS Group a Good Company and Undervalued?

Should you buy DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX D05) now numbers
Should you buy DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX D05) now?

These are the numbers that I look for in a banking stock. You can find this numbers from the annual report of DBS Group. We want to analyse whether the bank is first a profitable and efficient bank.

To look at profitability, we want to look at the Net Interest Margin (NIM) to be as high as possible. Banks earns a spread by borrowing money from people like me and you and giving them out as loan. We also want to see non-performing loans (NPL) to be as low as possible. There will be people who will default on their loans given various situation, we want to see it as low as possible.

Next we want to see the efficiency of the bank in terms of operations and per dollar invested. We have used the cost to income ratio which we want as low as possible. A lower cost to income ratio means their expense is low as compared to the revenue. Return on equity (ROE) we want it as high as possible.

Personally, I think it is quite a good company based on these set of numbers.

The valuation is also attractive at PB 0.99. This means you are buying it at 99 cents for every dollar it is worth. On dividends, it gives a 6.95% dividends based on previous dividends.

 

Verdict

It really looks not bad isn’t it.

 

The Forgotten Track Record

As investors, we like to talk about track record. I realised that this only applies to numbers, valuations and also share prices. There are numerous things we forget and we are more forgiving and tolerant to these companies who have better numbers. Let’s talk about the forgotten track record that DBS Group has.

2020: Hin Leong Trading

DBS has the highest loan exposure to HLT at US$290 million, while OCBC and UOB are owed US$220 million and US$100 million, respectively. The sharp plunge in oil prices, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, had brought one of Asia’s largest oil traders to its knees. (Source: The Business Times: DBS, OCBC, UOB faced with over US$600m total exposure to Hin Leong)

The exposure is considered immaterial to DBS Group’s Profits.

2017: Energy Saga

DBS Group Holdings Ltd. reported a surprise drop in third-quarter profit as Southeast Asia’s largest bank boosted bad-loan allowances more than sixfold in an effort to deal with its problem lending to the regional oil and gas services sector. (Source: Yahoo Finance: DBS Profit Sinks as Bank Tries to Put Bad Energy Loans Behind It)

Allowances for bad assets of S$1.66 billion compared with S$261 million in the year-earlier period.

This would easily be blamed on the cyclical energy market when oil and gas services first got the worse hit.

2007: Lehman Brother Mini Bonds

Following the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, about 10,000 retail investors in Singapore lost all or a large part of their investments total-ling over S$500 million in structured investment products linked to the American investment bank. They were mis-sold these relatively high-risk products to investors, many of whom were the elderly and less educated. (Source: NLB: Lehman Brothers Minibond saga)

There are perhaps many more examples but forgotten with time.

 

The Way Forward

This section is my own personal opinion. While it may or may not contribute to the bottom line of DBS Group, I strongly believe it will contribute to a great brand which is largely intangible.

$500 minimum deposit of a fine of $2 will apply

I struggle to accept that DBS bank, our people’s bank have such a rule. The people who are most needy will be those with less than $500 as their minimum deposit. These people are from the lower income group and would need as much liquidity as they can get. I also struggle to accept that additional dormant accounts would cost the bank money. In my limited knowledge, I can only guess it will take extremely huge number of dormant accounts to really make a dent in the bottom line of the company.

Legacy Issues

DBS remains the bank to have the longest queue for its’ ATM or for bank tellers. I can only guess vast amount of paperwork that still continues to be done today. I’m also unsure of any technological advance in the company as we are only exposed to the mobile app and internet banking features which largely remains the same since 3 years ago.

Fintech

Fintech has disrupted lives around the world. I haven’t seen much in this space for DBS Group. The one that is most impressive on their website is was dated July 2018 for projects in 2017. (Source: Case study: DBS – the edge)

Negative Interest Rates

With the world moving towards negative interest rates, will we follow suit? Will our NIM will be affected in the future.

 

No one will care about your money as much as you do.

Before you invest in any company or popular investment opportunity, be sure to do your own due diligence. If you wish to learn more about investing, I hope to nurture genuine relationships with all of my readers. Please feel free to contact me on my Instagram (@chengkokoh) or Facebook Page or my Telegram Channel! Or subscribe to our newsletter now!