Being resourceful is one of the strengths of Singaporeans. From looking out for the latest food craze to the best food discount in town, Singaporeans have done it all. Unfortunately, such resourcefulness has been limited to food, rather than our finances.
To help Singaporeans become more resourceful about our finances, here are four free financial services that every resourceful Singaporean should know and take advantage of.
Most Singaporeans are apprehensive about the idea of getting advice from financial advisors. Most people, if not everyone, avoids them like plagues at MRT stations and shopping malls.
Yes, it is true that financial advisors are gunning for the commission that comes with selling an investment/insurance plan to you. Yet, financial advisors are offering free financial advice to you for free without anything in return. If you do not agree with what they say, you aren’t obligated to buy anything from them. Moreover, there are still some financial advisors who can give you sound financial advice and craft a sound financial plan for you, especially if you do not have one.
Another option for you is to approach DBS’ latest disruption to the financial advisory space: DBS NAV Hub. DBS NAV Hub has a team to help you assess your financial health, set goals and explore what step needs to be taken to achieve those goals. It’s free and they won’t be hard selling any products to you. (Translation: They aren’t gunning for any commission from you).
In the past, understanding and comparing each financial product (loan, credit card or insurance) can be a whole lot of hassle. You have to get down to the branch, understand each product from the relationship manager, grab a whole bunch of leaflets and type them into an excel sheet when you get home. After which, you need to start doing comparisons to see which of them gives you the best deal.
But today, the internet has changed the whole experience of comparing financial products for you and I. Every piece of information you need is available on the bank’s website. It takes you less than 30 seconds to find the information you need. It is not just the ease of attaining information that makes it convenient for you as a consumer.
There are also free comparison tools available for loans, credit cards and insurance. They even help you determine what are the key criteria you should measure in order to make a fair and substantiated comparison across different products. This ensures you do not get overly confused by the terminology that financial institutions often throw your way.
Saving is one of the virtues of Singaporeans. But how do you really save? If you are like most Singaporeans, you would be letting your cash sit safely in your bank account. While this is a really safe way of saving, the reality is that inflation is slowly eating at the value of your money without you realizing.
To help you become better savers (and investors), banks have rolled out regular savings plan for customers for free. You do not have to pay to enrol in a regular savings plan. Every month, you will commit to save a fixed amount through your regular savings plan. This amount will be used to purchase a basket of stocks for you at market price at regular monthly interval.
In essence, a regular savings plan is a dollar cost averaging investment strategy that is administered by the bank without additional cost for managing your money!
The old adage ‘Health is wealth’ says it all. You might have all the riches in the world, but if you do not have your health, your riches mean nothing. To help Singaporeans become healthier individuals, Health Promotion Board (HPB) has been organising exercise events in parks, and even at workplaces!
For families, you can bring your other half (and kids) with you to the nearby park/reservoir to learn and experience new kinds of sports like Tchoukball, baseball or even inline skating. HPB has also been organising after-work workouts in the vicinity of workplaces to cater for the working class. These workouts include running, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Functional Training and even HIIT. They are all conducted for free and you are not obligated to sign up for any future classes with the trainer. All you have to do is to create an account and sign up for the events beforehand on HPB’s website.