Read Before You Invest: Personal Investing Tips for Seniors

Chew Hock Beng

Before I could provide a few pointers on how to avoid common mistakes and making unwise decisions, I would like to highlight a few key areas that you should consider before investing.


Because Personal investing for Seniors can be complex!

So should any seniors be investing?


retirement-planning1However the following pointers might be helpful.

  • Know how much funds you have.
  • Know how much you need for your daily and medical needs and for any outstanding financial commitments you have.
  • Set aside funds for your basic needs before investing.
  • The less spare cash you have, the less risk you should take in investing.

So if you really want to invest, then you should seriously consider your options before investing. So before making any investment decisions, ask yourself this 3 critical questions!

  1. What do you WANT?
  • What is your investment objective?
  • How much returns on investment do you need to meet your objective?
  1. What do you HAVE?
  • How much do you have to invest?


  1. What can you LOSE?
  • How much are you prepared to lose?


Let me share with you what some of my seniors and mentors on their views on  personal investing.

Be aware and mindful that the more you WANT, the more you must be prepared to LOSE!!!

Allow me to explain further.  

Know your investment objectives.

For example, are you investing to earn a regular income? Are you investing to preserve your capital sum? Or are you investing to grow your capital?

Know your investment time horizon.

Simply put, ask yourself how much time do you have to invest to achieve your financial goals. Generally, the shorter your time horizon, the less risk you should take with your investments.  If you need your money in a short time, do not invest in products that will put your capital at risk or that will impose penalty charges for early withdrawal. If you have more time for investing, you may wish to consider taking up products with different investment periods so that you can have access to funds at different stages during your retirement years.

Know your risk profile.

How much fluctuation and risk can you tolerate in your investments as the market conditions change? This is known as market volatility. So do not place all your eggs in one basket.  And diversify your investments to reduce risk. Hence, set up an asset allocation based on your risk tolerance and preference is critical. One suggested portfolio for seniors who are Moderate Risk Takers could considered a 40% Equity and 60% Bond composition. Another option could be 20% Equity & 80% Bond asset composition. The reason for having the equity allocation in the asset mix is to counter the risk of purchasing power of the retirement dollars. It also take away some market risk. As for the Bond allocation, it serves to protect the principal. We need the money to outlive our life expectancy.

Personal investing for seniors is not simple and easy. It’s always at your best interest to engage someone who is qualified to advise you accordingly to what you want to do with your hard-earned monies! Always provide accurate information about yourself, your financial situation and investment objectives to them so that any appropriate retirement recommended are suitable to your individual needs!

One last thing, constant monitoring the performance of your investments to ensure that they continue to deliver the returns you expect and meet your needs.

I hope this sharing could benefit you.

We will share more on the retirement planning and investment asset allocation method in our upcoming event on how to construct and build your retirement portfolio without losing your sleep. Please register your attendance HERE as seats are limited.

See other event here.

Weekly Inter Market Analysis Oct 16-2016

See previous week Weekly Inter Market Analysis.

Original post from


SPY broke down from the symmetrical triangle but immediately rebounded from big Rising Wedge support. Keep an eye this coming week to see whether there is a follow through of this breakdown.

  • Resistance turned support zone: 211-213
  • Rising Wedge immediate support: about 210
  • Previous Head and Shoulders neckline support: about 204.
  • Rising Wedge next support: about 200




VIX spiked above 15 on the break down of the symmetrical triangle of SPY. Need to see whether VIX can stay above 15 in coming week.



Sector Performance (SPDR Sector ETF)

  • Best Sectors: Utilities (XLU) +1.34%
  • Worst Sector: Health Care (XLV)  -3.13%



SUDX (S&P US Dollar Futures Index)

SUDX broke out from the Symmetrical Triangle and continue to break support turned resistance at about 129.04. Currently SUDX is facing the next resistance at 130.36. Still need to wait for the retracement to confirm the breakout.



FXE (Currency Shares Euro ETF)

FXE broke the rising trend support. Can this be the next big move down?



XLE (SPDR Energy Sector ETF)

XLE is expected to trade within the up trend channel.



USO (United States Oil Fund)

USO is just resting on the resistance. If USO can stay above this resistance (about $11.44) and make this level a resistance turned support, USO will start an uptrend.



TLT (iShares 20+ Years Treasury Bond ETF)

TLT broke another support at 132.5 and closed just below the 200D SMA! Is the treasury bond beginning to sell off? Sit up and pay attention!



GLD (SPDR Gold Shares)

  • GLD broke down from the support with a gap down. GLD is currently testing a 200D SMA support. Can this 200D SMA support hold? Take note that 200D SMA is still trending up.
  • Fibonacci Retracement level redrawn for GLD. Currently GLD is also sitting on the 61.8% Fibonacci Retracement Support.
  • Expect GLD to rebound from level.



Next Week Economic Calendar

Key events:

  • ECB Draghi speaks on Oct 18 (Tuesday)
  • Crude Oil Inventory on Oct 19 (Wednesday)
  • ECB Press Conference on Oct 20 (Friday)


3 Essential Questions to Investment Portfolio for Retirement Planning

Chew Hock Beng

Q1: How much savings does one need for retirement?
When to start, and much funds should be set aside per month?

retirement-nest-eggThis really depends on your lifestyle. Take your current expenses as a gauge. For basic retirement , $1,000 per month. Then you need to have some ideas how long you need this income to fund. In other words, you need to have some ideas about life expectancy. Life expectancy, on average, is around 80 years of age. 

For simple and straight-forward calculation, we do not consider inflation, so the retirement lump sum would be $12,000 x 20 yrs = $240,000 for a basic lifestyle. So if you’re considering $2,000 per month, the retirement lump sum would be $480,000.

Let’s say, a person aged 40 wanted to retire at age 65, so he has has 25 years to accumulate his retirement fund. His desired retirement monthly income is $2,000, so based on 3% inflation, it will be inflated to $4,187.56 (This is equivalent to $2,000 in Today’s Dollars) (n= 25 years, i%=3% inflation rate, Present Value = -$2,000, compute Future Value) And if he’s going to live another 20 years, i.e. age 85, the retirement fund of about $770,031 based on a net return of 3% (6% return – 3% inflation).

What this means is to have retirement monthly income of $2,000 (today’s dollars), you need to accumulate about $770,031 retirement fund by age 65 to draw down the desired monthly income to age 85.

This shall form the basis for his retirement goal planning.

Q2: Are Singaporeans saving or investing enough to have a comfortable retirement?

Personally, I don’t think Singaporeans are heading towards their retirement plan. Most people probably thought that their Central Provident Fund (CPF) could be adequate for their retirement needs. For most Singaporeans, they probably rely on CPF for their retirement. But what CPF Life provides only a basic need of about $800-$1200 monthly retirement income. 

(On how to calculate how much you need to have, please refer to Q1)

Some also feel that they could sells/downgrade their house. But the question is can they able to adapt and cope with the new lifestyle? And not forgetting to take care of our younger adult kids who might find it expensive to acquire their future dream home and set up their family.  

More often than not, most of my younger clients feel retirement is still long long long way to go. They take ownership of this reason and so they postpone their plan with this  purpose.

So if we want to retire more comfortably, we probably have to save more now and as early as you can. This is another reason on the risk of not saving enough for our retirement that naturally lead to financial disaster. And that’s the last thing we want to take ownership.
Isn’t it true that the only person who can take care of older person you will someday be is the younger person you are today? So the person who can take care of the older person someday in the future is the younger person we are now.
So let’s start retirement saving as soon as possible.

Q3: How can one grow the retirement nest egg through investing? What products would you recommend?


Firstly, you need to know which assets are earmarked for. More importantly, you need to know how much of your capital assets has been set aside for retirement purposes.

We need to set up a disciplined saving program, which I call it “Save first, spend later” program.

In this program, you need to set aside a portion of your income, say 10% – 20% for this purpose, depends of your desired retirement lifestyle. Though retirement is many many many years ahead, it’s best to have an estimates of how much. This provides you a sense of certainty and gives you some piece of mind.  

CPF OA and SA could be another capital assets, after clearing your housing loan, set aside funds for children’s tertiary education, if any,  for retirement accumulation.

Another alternative for high-income earner. You may consider Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS). This is suitable for you who want to save some taxes and at the same time able to accumulate their retirement nest egg.

Of course, you could create a investment portfolio, after setting up your emergency fund of at least 6 months of your monthly expenses.

A low risk portfolio (20% Equity 80% Bond) or a medium portfolio (60% Equity , 40%Bond) could be a good start.

We will share more on the retirement planning  in our upcoming event on how to construct and build your retirement portfolio without losing your sleep. Please register your attendance HERE as seats are limited.

See other event here.