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Of Elections, Insurance and Cost of Living

Indubitably one of the hottest topics surrounding Singapore’s General Elections 2011, cost of living appears to be one of Singaporeans’ top concerns. “Insurance” has also been used quite prominently as an analogy.

Naturally, political parties, the incumbent and opposition alike, have made it a point to address such issues amidst the lead up to Polling Day on May 7.

With local politics and personal finance two of my favourite interests, a post on the matter is inevitable.

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How I Ruined My Father’s Insurability

This is a topic that is close to my heart and also explains the motivation behind what I do.

My dad fought and thankfully won a critical illness back when I was still a young boy, a time when managing my finances meant putting away coins into a piggy bank. Back then, both my parents were in their prime and provided a lifestyle for my sister and I which was, by most standards, a very comfortable one.

We were too young to know why Dad left his stable job, or the reason behind the abrupt resignation of my mother from her illustrious insurance career. It was much later did I realise how my parents have been sheltering us from worry and distress.

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Taking off the Bubble Wrap!

After many hours of tweaking, coding and testing, it’s finally time for me to take off the bubble wrap and unveil this very blog for the world.

Everyone’s connected to the net now and it’s common to see financial advisers and consumers alike take to the Internet. You have insurance agents trying to find – yet again – their next prospective client, and on the other hand you have the clients themselves trying to figure out what on earth their adviser has just recommended them. Inevitably, there’s quite a bit of noise generated and even in cyberspace, where discussions are open for all to see and refute (especially on Internet forums), there are still many with vested interests propagating misleading half-truths in a bid to justify certain dubious practices.

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Untying Myself and Becoming Independent

A short time has past since I’ve broke free from the tied distribution model and begun my independent financial advisory practice, and I have already experienced the benefits of the move.

True financial advisory has indeed become possible. With the client assured that he/she is receiving independent advice on solutions from a wide range of product providers, products take a backseat for the focus and effort to be on the financial planning process. Products have never been the most important when it comes to financial planning, but remains the bottleneck for most in the industry. The diverse range of an IFA platform goes beyond just life insurance, be it investments, general insurance, mortgage refinancing, corporate benefits etc. amongst many other solutions for the man-in-the-street or accredited investors. The only bottleneck now is how well I am able to advise my client as an independent and professional financial adviser – no more excuses now.

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