Tuesday, 15 December 2015

ePayments.com Payment Method

Personally, I would prefer to use PayPal as a preferred payment method for my ad network programme. However, some ad networks do not use PayPal due to some issues and they have other payment methods which are not common in certain countries.

I'm going to evaluate one of the payment methods that is available for one of the ad networks that I'm using. It is www.ePayments.com.

The available payment methods are:
  • ePayments
  • Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard
  • Payoneer Bank Transfer
  • Wire USD
  • Wire EUR
  • Webmoney Z
I chose ePayments because I think the setup is easier and minimum cost needed to signup. You can go to the ePayments website to under it better.

I took a couple of days to figure out a problem to signup a personal account. I used my Hotmail.com account to sign-up but every time it failed because it did not send an email to my Hotmail.com account for the confirmation code. I tried other Hotmail.com account and also failed. I asked the support for help and they advised to use other account which is not Hotmail. I tried using gmail.com account and immediately I got the confirmation code in my gmail account. So, to avoid the frustration during the sign-up process, you need to use gmail or other account but not Hotmail. I think ePayments.com should mention this in their FAQ or resolve this issue with Hotmail.

You will need to verify your ID, address and phone number too. I'm stuck at verifying the phone number because every time I tried to confirm my phone number, it did not send my any confirmation code. I tried other phone number with different Telco, it is the same issue. I have submitted a ticket to ePayments and they are trying to check with the Telcos. I hope this can be resolved soon.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015


Forgot to update on my OIBR stock. I have sold all my holdings a couple of months back. I have made a loss of 90% of my capital. Luckily I only invested USD1.6K only and managed to get 10% back. Well, it is a lesson learned and I think when you see a stock that is low in price, it does not mean that it is a value stock to invest.

I sold it because I think that if it is below USD1 for many months, it will be delisted from the stock exchange NYSE and I would need to do OTC trading if I want to sell it. So, to avoid this from happening, I have decided to sell it and I have not regretted since the day I sold. It is a relief for me.

Luckily, I have made more from Apple stocks and already covered the loss from OIBR. There is nothing more to expect from this OIBR except for it to be delisted from the exchange.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Goodbye SGE and Welcome SKX

Today, I say goodbye to my 10-year old car with the licence plate SGE. That was almost 10 years ago car. It is sad to part with it since it has served me well for the past 10 years. It has not broken down once. I think it is due to the regular car servicing and maintenance with C&C. The only thing that I have replaced is the timing belt and one time tyre change. Amazing that I have clocked 180,000 km with this car and yet when my colleagues sat in my car, they always said that it is a waste to scrap it.

Yes, there are some problems though as it ages:
  1. The horn is spoilt. Actually, the connectors are worn out and will connect automatically when the car is parked under the hot sun. I had to remove the fuse to conserve battery.
  2. The leather at the driver's seat has cracked at the side but no issue.
  3. The radiator is leaking. I have to top up the water to the reserve tank every 2 to 3 days.
  4. The engine brackets are corroded and the engine is supported by the mounting. No issue but it may vibrate a bit.
  5. The suspension on the front tyre has issue and will vibrate and create some noises when the road is uneven.
I think the wear and tear is not too bad as compared to other cars. I must say that I was thinking of renewing my COE for another 5 years while waiting for the COE and car prices to drop further. However, I think I will lose my scrap value and need to replace the 5 items should I choose to renew my COE. After much consideration, I decided to purchase a new car.

I made my decision quite timely when LTA said that the COE quota for Nov to Jan will reduce because fewer cars were being scrapped. I chanced upon this and quickly made a purchase and locked in the COE. After two rounds of COE biddings, the prices of cars started to increase by $2K. Luckily I managed to save this $2K.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

How to invest in property in Singapore?

How to invest in property in Singapore? Many people will ask themselves as the property price has skyrocketed over the past years. They are waiting for the price to come down but still every year it keeps increasing and you will never know the right price even when it comes down.

If you are a salaried couple who earn say a combined income of $10K and above, I think you should go and buy a HDB. Don't buy a DBSS as it is overpriced unless you really, really want to buy one. For information, DBSS has been discontinued already as it is not that value for money. Buy a 4-room or 5-room or even an executive unit that falls within your means and budget. Buy a new one and not a resale as it is cheaper to buy new one with the grants given by the government.

A typical 4-room flat at Bukit Batok for example, starts at $272K before grants. After grants, it is about $217K. The flat can be easily paid off within 10 years. After the flat has been paid off after 10 years, the couple can consider to buy a private property. Once the loan has been paid off, the couple can borrow 80% of the private property price from the bank. Consider a condominium with a price-tag of $1 million, the couple needs to come out with only $200K plus to purchase the private property. Of course, the couple will need to check with the bank whether they can borrow the 80% of the property price. My advice is to go to the bank to ask for loan in principle before signing on the dotted line for the property.

The private property if newly launched will take about 2 years to complete. So, still have time to save up for the renovation of the unit.

Since you are staying at the HDB flat, you don't need to worry about the completion of the property or TOP date. After the TOP, you will need to do defect rectification and then renovation. This will take about 2 to 3 months. After the renovation, you can start to move in and in parallel when the renovation starts, you can look for tenants for your HDB flat. A typical 4-room flat rental is around $2.5K for the whole unit. The monthly instalment for the condominium loan is about $2.2K. The maintenance fee is about $250 per month. So the rental for the flat can almost cover the instalment plus the maintenance fee. Assuming the couple rents out the flat for the next 15 years and also saving to pay off the loan, I think the outstanding loan can be paid off within 15 years. Then on the 16th year onwards, the rental will be a passive income for the couple.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

COE Bidding for October 2015 2nd Open Bidding

My Lancer Sports is coming to its 10-year term. The current COE will expire in March 2016. In Year 2006, the COE was about $10K and at one point, the COE was $8K. I quickly went in to buy the Lancer Sports 1.6A which was selling for $52K with the COE at $8K. I got the COE at the first bidding which was about $11K, so effectively, I had gained $3K from the COE.

The Lancer Sports is quite durable and the only major repair (or replacement) is the timing belt. Every two to three years, I had to change the car battery. I have no problem with the air-conditioning. The one good thing about this car is the tyres. C&C gave Yokohama Aspec DB tyres which are very durable and hard. They had served me for almost 5 years (100K km) before I really needed to change them. Well, I think I'm a good driver who knows how to take care of the wheels while driving. I had heard friends or colleagues who changed tyres every one or two years. They are surprised when they heard that I changed every 5 years. I remembered the first Lancer that I bought in 2004, it was having the same Yokohama tyres and when I traded in to the agent in 2006, they thought I just changed my tyres when they inspected them. Well, I told them that I had not changed them since 2004. The only drawback about the tyres is that they are quite noisy when driving over certain road conditions. You need to get used to the noise but I saved quite a lot with these tyres.

Coming back to the COE Bidding for October 2015, I knew that it will go up because of the reduced number of COEs for Nov-Jan period. This was because a lot of people are renewing their COEs and fewer cars are being scrapped. The reduced number will cause some kneejerk actions and drive up the prices. True enough, the COE for CAT A went up by $1.3K and the price of Lancer EX went up by 1K too. Luckily, I locked in the lower price and yet got a higher COE price. What a good deal!

I got the bid!
I got the bid!
The PQP for CAT A is $56,583 and if you want to renew your old car for 10 years, this is the price to pay. If you want to renew for 5 years, I think the price is halved. But if you renew for 5 years, you cannot extend it at the end of the 5th year. So, at the end of the 5th year, you will need to scrap the car. Another thing to note about renewing your COE for old car, you will lose the scrap value of the car, yes, it will be zero if you did not scrap it at the end of the 10-year COE. Also, the road tax for the car will increase every year for old car. The other problem is the maintenance of the car, most likely at this point (9th to 10th year period), the car will have a lot of issues, such as leakage radiator, engine brackets corroded, leather seats worn out, horn spoilt, rusting parts, air-con problem, suspension issues, noise from car, gear-box issue, chip and dent on paint-works, etc. That will be another $3K to repair or/and replace the spare parts.

COE Bidding Results - source from http://www.onemotoring.com.sg
COE Bidding Results - source from http://www.onemotoring.com.sg

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Rinnai Gas Dryer

I have been using Rinnai Gas Dryer RD-600 CG from City Gas to dry my clothes for almost 8 years and have only done one time of repair. It is a durable machine and can dry clothes say 5 to 6 kg of washed clothes. The time taken to dry one load is about 30 minutes. Normally, for an electric dryer, the time taken will be double of the gas dryer.

When you start the cycle, the gas will be ignited to provide the hot air to dry your clothes. You may want to provide some ducting to channel the hot air out of the house. It is recommended to install this near a window for ventilation. This Rinnai Gas Dryer can be installed above your washer via mounting brackets to the wall. I don't think it can be stacked onto the washer directly as it is 5cm wider.

I have anticipated to install this Rinnai Gas Dryer in my new condominium unit but now after collecting the keys to my unit, I realised that the width of the washing area is only 64cm. Even if it is 65cm, I don't think I will be able to fit the Rinnai Gas Dryer into the space because there should be some clearances between the wall to the sides of the dryer. I was very disappointed with the design as the developer has not considered that people may want to install gas dryer which is around 65cm in width. I was hoping that the washing area width will be around 70cm which is good to fit in the gas dryer. I was considering the possibility of knocking down the wall to make way for the gas dryer but the DB, OpenNet Fibre Optic cable and telecom points are located behind the wall. It will be a major renovation work if I need to hack the wall.

There are only two options available. One is to get an electric dryer instead and stack it above the washer. The other option is pray that Rinnai can manufacture a gas dryer which is around 60cm in width (which is closer to the standard washer/dryer dimension). The later option does not seem to happen in the next couple of months or even years. Well, I will need to switch to an electric dryer for my washed clothes. This will definitely increase my electricity bills.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

E-booking for handover slots for The Nautical

Welcome to the eAppointment booking for the key collection! The payments have been made and received by MCC Land Hao Yuan Development Pte Ltd. We can now proceed to book an appointment for key collection.

E-booking for handover slots for The Nautical
E-booking for handover slots for The Nautical

We have paid the maintenance fees (6 months) plus the survey fee on 14 Sep 2015. However, the 25% of the purchase price will only be released on 21 Sep by the bank.

Today on 26 Sep 2015, even though it is a Saturday, I'm able to login to book an appointment. It was a surprise because I have login in the morning and afternoon but did not get through to the booking page. I tried to login at about 10pm and was directed to the booking page.

E-booking for handover slots for The Nautical
E-booking for handover slots for the Nautical

Weekdays bookings have 4 timeslots, 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm. Each timeslot, there are 4 slots available.

Saturday booking has 6 timeslots, 9am, 10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm. Each timeslot, there are 5 slots available. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Received letter from lawyer on Nautical TOP

Finally, on cooling day, I received a letter from my lawyer in my email regarding the Nautical TOP. I will need to pay 25% of the purchase price, 6 months of maintenance fee and contribution towards the survey fee. After the clearance of the payments, I will be able to go online to book an appointment to collect the keys to my unit.

The Nautical Condo

The Nautical Condo had been issued the TOP on 31 July 2015. The developer MCC Land wanted to issue out all the letters by end of September 2015. Block 99 and 97 were the first to complete and then followed by Block 95 and 93. Currently Block 93 is still doing minor construction and touching up. By end September, there will be more owners collecting their keys and more human traffics at the Nautical Condo.

So far, only one family has moved in and staying there since August. They mentioned they had only three minor defects and had quickly renovated and moved in. Wow.

I was lucky to be invited by the family and had a quick tour of the Nautical Condo. The basement carpark is spacious now and there are only 2 cars parking at Block 99 basement. The lifts are of a standard size and looks ok. There are acrylic sheets protecting the walls of the lifts when the owners are doing their renovations.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Nautical Condo - TOP and Preview

Finally, after 2 years, the Nautical Condominium at Jalan Sendudok has been completed and received its TOP status. Block 99 and 97 have began issuing of keys. However, now is the Hungry Ghost Festival Month and few unit owners will collect their keys in this month. I think majority of the owners will book the keys collection on 14 Sep 2015 onwards. From 14 Sep 2015, there will be more human traffic at the development.
I must say that the development looks interesting. The outdoor chairs and tables are quite classy and attractive. I forgot to take picture of the chairs and table. The keys collection is located at Block 97e Sky Dining.
The free-form pool is very nice and the resting area at the end of the pool is spacious and you can enjoy the breeze there.
Swimming pool
Add caption
Keys collection
Keys collection
Swimming pool
Swimming pool
Free-Form Pool
Free-From Pool
Swimming pool resting area
Swimming pool resting area
view from the balcony
View from the balcony
Ground floor unit
Ground floor unit

Tennis court at roof top
Tennis court at roof top
Resting area on the roof top
Resting area on the roof top

Preview of the interior
Preview of the interior

Basement Carpark
Basement Carpark

Monday, 31 August 2015

Earn money with your credit cards

Credit cards can help you earn money every day if you know how to use them properly.

Have you wondered why many people use credit cards for their purchases? They have the cash with them but yet people choose to use credit cards to pay for all purchases. This is because most credit cards have rebates or cash-back when you use them.

There are discounts when you use certain bank's credit cards at restaurants or promotional items.

Personally, I use only two credit cards for my purchases. I use another credit card for all online purchases and also Pay-pal. This is to minimise any fraud transactions for online purchases.

I use one credit card to get dividend cash-back of about SGD50 to SGD100 per quarter. Average monthly spending is about SGD700. I charge my petrol bills, phone bills, meals, etc all to this credit cards. I enjoy discounts at petrol stations as well as meals at restaurants.

Check out this website that ranks the best Petrol Credit Cards for 2015. Citibank Dividend card is the best in this category. I have been using this card since it was introduced. Image the amount that I have already saved and earned.
  • 18.3% discount at Esso Stations - 5% Esso site discount + 5% Smiles card discount + 4% Citicard discount + 5% Citi DIVIDEND Cash rebate on nett purchase
  • 18.1% discount at Shell stations - 5% Shell site discount + 5% Shell Escape discount + 4% Citi Rebate (applies after Shell discount) + 5% Citi DIVIDEND Cash rebate (applies after Shell discount)

Below is a screenshot of my dividends redeemed this month. It is SGD53.58. Just image that you pay via cash, you will not have discounts and dividend cashback. It is a good way to save and earn money. The banks are giving you money and you just need to be disciplined.

Dividend cashback
Dividend cashback
Another thing about the annual fee for credit cards, so far only UOB does not allow fee waiver. Most banks will waive the annual fee if you request them. Remember to request for annual fee waiver and you will save a lot on this. Just pick up the phone and dial the bank's number. Punch in a few keys and you will save at least SGD100. Don't be lazy. I can help you do it if you pay me the annual fee.. Just kidding.

Banks earn money by:
  • Late Fees and Finance charges
  • Interest rate charge on revolving balance (which is not paid before due date)
  • Fees for cash withdrawal
  • Annual membership fees (this is ridiculously high)
So, let's try not to give away our hard-earn money.

Some people are sceptical about credit cards, one person is my brother. He is afraid of using it because he had been burned by the bills. He had overspent his limits and was unable to pay. In the end, he had to cut all his credit cards and vowed not to use them again. So, credit cards can help you save and earn money but you must know the right way.

Friday, 31 July 2015

The Nautical Condo TOP

I'm pleased to announce the TOP of the Nautical Condo today. Congratulations to all the owners. Huat ah!!!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Nautical Condo Signage is ready

The Nautical Condo Signage is ready. I went by last week and the signage at the main gate and another one at the back gate near Sembawang Shopping Centre (SSC) have been erected. I think TOP is getting nearer.

The Nautical

The Nautical Side Gate

Friday, 8 May 2015

Is the Nautical Condo going to TOP soon?

The blue plastic stickers have been removed from the glass windows of the sky lounge and the gym since end of Apr 2015. I heard from the Nautical Condo Facebook page that the waterfall at the edge of the swimming pool is running.

The balconies of the two units at Block 93 that were still under construction had already been completed. I didn't have the time to see whether the Nautical signboard at the entrance has been completed. Last time I saw that the sign was still not ready yet.

From the outside, it should look like the Nautical Condo is ready for TOP. I have the feeling that the TOP will be around July 2015.

I have checked the bca.gov.sg eServices website. The Nautical Condo has applied for site inspection on 9 April 2015. I think the site inspection is currently being carried out at the Nautical Condo. Some people have already posted on the FB page that water is running on the edge of the pool (liked waterfall). I think if the inspection takes a couple of months and rectification to be done (if any during the inspection), the most likely date for TOP is still in July 2015.

status of Plan Application
Status of Plan Application
The website for the Nautical condo handover slots eBooking is up. The venue for the keys collection is at Block 97 Jalan Sendudok 5th floor Sky Dining lounge. The FAQ section will tell you more information on the online booking of appointment and procedure for key collection. You will need to clear all your payments and wait at least 5 days before you can book the appointment.

The Nautical - Handover Slots eBooking System
The Nautical - Handover Slots eBooking System

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Canberra MRT Station NS12 to be ready in 2019

New Canberra MRT Station.

The new Canberra MRT station (NS12) will be along Canberra Link and is located between the Sembawang (NS11) and Yishun (NS13) stations. We have waited for this Canberra Station since 2012. When I bought the Nautical Condo unit, I had anticipated that there would be a MRT station near it. This was because from Sembawang to Yishun stations, there is a missing station (NS12). From this, I could tell that one day, the population near the area will grow rapidly and a new station is needed to cater for the people.

The distance from Sembawang station to the Nautical is about 900 metres. If you walk 1 metre per second (1 m/s), that will be about 15 minutes walk from Nautical to Sembawang station. But I don't think we walk 1 m/s, most probably will be faster than that. The walk will take about 10 minutes or so. Of course, I wouldn't want the station to be that near that I can hear the train passes by every few minutes.

Looking at the map and making some measurements, I think the distance from the nearest Canberra station exit to Nautical's main entrance will be about 500 metres. Again, assuming one person takes 1 m/s to walk to the station, it will take about 8 minutes. So, I think on average, it will take about 5 to 6 minutes to walk to the station. That is considered near to the MRT station I must say. I'm thinking that the price around the area will appreciate by 10% at least.

The station is expected to be completed by 2019. I hope that it will be completed in early 2019 instead of end of 2019.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Sold my Singtel and SGX shares 20 March 2015

I sold away my Singtel and SGX shares. They were bought one year ago and already earning 4% dividends. They were sitting on 15% profits and I wanted to lock them in. However, I had the feeling that after I sold my shares, they would climb higher. I learn not to fall in love with my stocks and so I sold them to get some capital gains.

I will buy again when Singtel is around $3.50 and SGX is less than $7. These are the entry prices that I think will earn at least 10% in a year.

Now I'm thinking of whether to sell my CapitalMall Trust shares. It is sitting on some profits that are quite hard to resist but on the other hand, it is paying good dividends. I will sell if it hits $2.30 and buy again at $1.90.

The Nautical Condo Update - Stage 5

Just received the letter from my lawyer that they have disbursed another 5% to the developer for the completion of Stage 5. There is a rumor that the TOP for Nautical Condo is around June and July 2015. Keeping our fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

OIBR - Sell or Hold

I have been trading OIBR for a couple of years and made some profits along the way. But last year, I was not quick enough to sell when I have a little profits and now I'm stuck with this stock. The worst part is that it has undergone consolidation to avoid a delisting from the NYSE.

I bought at around $1.60 and then it went up but I didn't catch it to sell at that moment. After a while, it dropped to below $1 and then towards $0.4. After consolidation (10:1), the stock went up to $3. Now it is trading at about $2.09. I'm thinking of selling it but since I have already lost 90% of the value, I might as well hold it till the end. So what is the end? Maybe another consolidation (split 10:1) or more shares dilution from issuance of new shares to investors. I don't know but recently, the Brazilian phone company Oi SA is going to price its shares as part of an offer to merge with Portugal Telecom. The company may authorized the issuance of up to a maximum of 7.8 billion in new shares. This may happen in April and then there may be price fluctuation and hopefully, the economy improves and the balance sheets of Oibr may look better.

Still holding on for now till May 2015. If the price improves and I can get back 50%, I will consider to sell.

See my update on this.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Google Adsense Alternative - RevenueHits

Another alternative to Google Adsense is RevenueHits. If you have been rejected by Google Adsense or your Adsense account disabled due to invalid activities, do not despair. There are other ad networks alternatives which you can sign up to generate revenues from your website or blogs. RevenueHits use Contextual & Geo targeted Ad Serving technology. Its Performance Base (CPA) Ad Network helps publishers to monetize online assets.

I have signed up with RevenueHits a couple of months ago. Well, it has zero revenue until recently it shows $0.04 in my account. I looked into the report and realised that the normal ad did not generate any revenue. It is the extra tag that is generating the revenue. As you can see in the below table, there is no revenue even when there is click on the banner or button. The real revenue is generated from the extra tag which is the pop-under or bounce. I see the FAQ from the RevenueHits site and it seems that the extra tag was created automatically till you discover it.

RevenueHits report for Placement
I have RevenueHits, Chitika, Infolinks and Bidvertiser in my blogs. So far, I would rate them as:

  1. Infolinks
  2. Chitika
  3. RevenueHits
  4. Bidvertiser
I have zero revenue from Bidvertiser and I'm trying to figure out how to blend in all the above four ad networks. Also, I'm quite annoyed by the pop-up ads and I hope my readers will not be annoyed by this. Drop me your view and comment if you are annoyed by the ads. Thanks.

RevenueHits Daily Stats Report