Hi Everyone, we’re going to have a special Ask-Me-Anything sessions for our new channels!

AMA stands for “Ask-Me-Anything”. AMA is a "crowdsourced interview" where our community asks a host questions, within a specific period of time. For the entire week, from 28 January (Monday) to 3 February (Sunday) 2019, you will get to ask our hosts anything related to their channels!

For this Personal Finance Channel, you host is @DollarsAndSenseSg Timothy Ho, Co-founder and Managing Editor of DollarsandSense.sg.

DollarsAndSense is a personal finance media site that aim to helps people in Singapore make better financial decisions.
Timothy Ho is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of DollarsAndSense. He writes regularly on a wide and holistic range of personal finance topics including investing, insurance, properties and policy related matters. When he is not busy spending time on DollarsAndSense, Timothy can be found playing with his young daughter. Like most entrepreneurs, he is very passionate about start-ups.

Go on, Ask Him Anything related to Personal Finance by posting in the comments below for this AMA post and he will reply!

*standard community guidelines apply*

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Thanks everyone for participating in our first AMA sessions ever. The AMA sessions have now officially come to an end.

A special shout-out to our kind AMA hosts for answering all our community members' questions! They did a great job!

We will have more of such sessions to come, for now Happy CNY everyone!


hi , which sector will be bullish in 2019?


Reply to @ninjaboi : This is a really tough question for me, especially since you are asking for 2019.

And if you read between the lines, you will get what I am
trying to say :)


Hi Timothy, how does one determine one's needs for insurance? Also, whole life or term insurance, which is better?


Reply to @haydenching : At DollarsAndSense, we always advocate for people to look at insurance as a way to lower their downside risk. Buying the right types of insurance policies can help protect us and our loved ones from adverse circumstances, such as death, medical illnesses and accident.

It's hard to determine each person's downside risk without knowing them well. Generally however, when we start working, have a family and are in the peak of our career, our downside risk is also at its highest. This makes sense. If you are in your 30s making a 100k per annum, with a family of 5 to feed, you (and your family) have quite a lot of downside risk to protect against.

As for whole life or term, the names of the policies says it all! If you are looking for life insurance coverage for a period of time (perhaps while you are working till the age of 65) then you buy term insurance, if you want insurance coverage for life, even till your 80s or 90s, then you buy a whole life insurance policy. Otherwise, a term plan is good enough.


Hi there,
Not sure if it's valid, shall try my luck.
Many people has shared that it is optimal to sell your BTO flats once it's MOP after 5 years. Property agent even said you will lose out sitting still compare to selling.
What is your take on this?


Reply to @DollarsAndSenseSg : Awesome reply!!
Thank you very much for sharing!
Wish u a very happy new year

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What is a realistic budget for a BTO house renovation?
And any tips on how to keep it affordable?


Reply to @smoodles : Assuming a 4-room BTO flat that you bought without opting in for the OCS, we would think this would cost you between $30,000 to $60,000, depending on your actual requirements. This includes furnishing as well.

As for tips to keep it affordable. Considering the following:
1) Less built-in cabinet. Opt for loose furnitures instead. They are also more flexible. For example, you can switch your study room to a kid's bedroom in the future.

2) Go for minimalist design. This means you build less, and you buy less.

3) Electronics can be a killer. The latest TV set is always going to cost much more compared to something which has been around for a while, and just as serviceable. The same goes for other items such as refrigerator, oven and washing machine.

4) Ensure that your ID quotes you an accurate costing. Last thing you want is to be on the hook for hidden cost. Read this to find out more. https://dollarsandsense.sg/5-hidden-cost-t...

5) Lastly. Set a budget, stick to it.


What stocks do you think have potential for great upsides this year?


Reply to @kangheong : Hi @kangheong, Stanley from Value Invest would definitely be the right guy to ask :)



HDB loan Vs Bank loan for BTO. Which is better?


Reply to @NeVeRAgAin94 : Good question. Many people also ask this when getting their first BTO flat. Rather than think about which is better, it's easier to consider the pros and cons of either option. Here are a few things to take note.

Advantage of HDB Loan:
1. Interest rate is stable (2.6%)
2. You can always choose to go bank loan in the future if you want
3. No penalty for early repayment
4. No need to refinance every 3 years.
5. You pay a lower downpayment of 10%

Advantage of bank loan:
1. More flexibility with home loan interest rate types
2. You may get lower interest rate. Over the past decade, bank loan would have given you lower interest rates compared to HDB loan.
3. Unlike HDB loan, where you need to meet the loan criteria (e.g. monthly household income of $12,000 or less) no such criteria for bank loan.

You can read more about this topic here.



Feel free to ask your host @DollarsAndSenseSg, anything related to Personal Finance, CPF, credit card, HDB etc.!

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