Saturday, October 7, 2017

Money Hacks To Make The Best Out of Your Money - Part 2

Money Hacks is a 2 part series to share about the deals which I used to make the best out of my money. Read Part 1 here.

In Part 1, I shared on the high interest bank accounts, the cashback cards and also the dining discounts which I can get. In part 2, I will write about the deals for movies, shopping and also how to travel smartly.

Finding the best deals - Movies and Shopping

For movies, here are a list of discounts for 3 of the main cinemas in Singapore:

Golden Village Cinemas

HSBC's Movie Card - $7.50 weekday movie tickets, $9.50 weekend movie tickets

DBS GV iCard - $7.50 weekday movie tickets, $11 weekend movie tickets

Shaw Theatres

Safra Card: $7.50 weekday movie tickets, $10.50 weekend movie tickets and 1 for 1 weekend tickets (for first 500 redemptions per day only)

M1 Customers: 1 for 1 movie tickets on Sunday (valid for first 450 customers only)

Cathay Cineplex

Mastercard - $8 weekday movie tickets, $10.50 weekend movie tickets (not valid for online bookings)

Singtel Customers - 1 for 1 movie tickets every Thursdays (valid for first 500 customers only)


For shopping, a good website is Shopback to get cashback. You can get cashback on all the popular stores such as Taobao, Qoo10, ebay, AliExpress, Lazada, Shopee and many more. There are many other popular stores too which includes food panda, Expedia, Agoda etc

What's more, you can use my link to get $10 free when you sign up. Sign up here to get your free instant cashback.


Many of you should have heard of Carousell where you can buy and sell stuff. Its getting so popular that I'm hearing more and more people use it. Besides selling your stuff, many people actually buy things from there too. You can get some good stuff just searching around and most of the time its much cheaper than what you get in the retail shops.

Ezbuy is an online shopping portal which brings you the stuff from Taobao without you having to buy your stuff in RMB. There are quite a lot of stuff available for sale and its fairly easy to use. For delivery, you can choose either to deliver straight to your doorstep or choose a location near your house. This can save you quite a lot of delivery charges.

Travelling Smartly

For travelling, the 2 biggest expenses will be the air tickets and accommodation. Let's talk about air tickets first.

Air Tickets 

For comparison of the best air tickets, you can use skyscanner which will instantly compare for you the cheapest air tickets across many airlines. In just less than a minute, you can get the best deal for your flight tickets instantly.

However, air lines do not offer promotions all the time so its crucial to know when the promotions are offered. There are a few ways to keep up to date on the promotions. Firstly, you can follow the different airlines on their Facebook page and also subscribe to their newsletter. For Scoot, they seem to offer special rates on Tuesday and for Jetstar, its on Friday. Full fledge airlines such as Singapore airlines do offer promotions too and it can be quite attractive once they have it. Another website to follow is which always have the latest deals updated on their site.


For accommodation, there are more choices now as compared to the past. Besides staying in the traditional hotels, there is airbnb where you can stay at someone's else home. If you're going on a trip with your family, you can actually book the whole apartment with kitchen, living room, bedrooms all for yourself. I've stayed in a few before and its quite an unique and fuss free experience. Just remember to check the reviews to make sure its good before booking.

For hotels, we can use to compare for the best hotels. You might have used Agoda or before but now with Trivago, they instantly compare against many websites (including agoda and for the best hotel deals. Its the best "skyscanner" for hotels.

Regardless if its getting higher interest on your bank account, cashback for spending, shopping, dining, watching movie or even travelling, there are money hacks which we can use to make the best out of it. With the power of technology and the rise of comparison portals and sites, it makes it easier to get the best deals now.

P.S: I've started a comparison portal on my blog too to allow you to compare for the best deals. Check it out here

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Money Hacks To Make The Best Out of Your Money - Part 1

Money comes and go like a running tap water. However, we can always make the best out of our money by using a few simple hacks which I've done over the past few years. I believe this has significantly added to my savings and at the same time I still continue to enjoy the finer things in life.

Some of the hacks I employ includes:

1) Enjoying higher bank account interest

2) Getting cashback on my spending

3) Finding the best deals (Dining, movies, shopping etc)

4) Travelling smartly

Let me share in detail what I do to make the best out of my money which you can too to make the best out of yours!

Enjoying higher bank account interest

Since 2005, I started putting my money into higher interest account because the banks in Singapore just slashed their interest rates like nobody's business. Since then, I've switched a few accounts here and there because interest rates in the accounts changes over the years too.

For now, my 2 main high interest accounts are from OCBC and CIMB. OCBC 360 is easy to use and we just need to meet 2 criteria to enjoy 1.5% interest rates on the first $70,000 in the bank account. I just need to credit my salary and also pay 3 different bills to get the 1.5% interest rate. This is easily an additional free $1050 for the year.

Above $70,000, I put into CIMB fast saver account to earn 1% interest on the first $50,000 and then CIMB star saver to earn 0.8% on any balance. The best is there is no conditions to meet for CIMB so its very straightforward. It is very easy to open too just need to do everything online without the trouble of going down to the bank.

Possible extra cash savings: $1000+ a year

Getting cashback on my spendings - Free $150 Grab Gift

I started using cards to get cashback on my spending when I heard a friend say how he had a debit card which gives 2% cashback on all spending. I went to apply for it and used it to pay for my university fees where I got hundreds of dollars in cashback as a result.

Nowadays, its hard to find a debit card which can give good cashback. One of the debit card which gives cashback is the DBS visa debit card which gives 5% cashback. However, you have to use visa paywave for your payments and have to keep withdrawals from the ATM at 3 times or lesser. For me, this is very hard to achieve.

So, I signed up for some credit cards which gives good cashback for my spending. This is easily done for those who has a stable income. If you've started working or have been working for awhile now and do not have any problems controlling your spending, getting a credit card is more beneficial than not having one.

My favourite cashback credit cards is still the Standard Chartered Unlimited card and American Express True Cashback card. Both gives 1.5% cashback on ALL spending (online or offline) and 3% cashback for the first 3 months for the AMEX card. Getting credit cards has even more perks because often there is good sign up bonus. For example, I got $138 credited into my card when I signed up for the SCB unlimited card and additional $100 vouchers.

There's also a new credit card that gives 2% cashback. This is the Standard Chartered Spree credit card. There is no minimum spend and 2% cashback is given for all online and contactless payments.

Currently, there is promotion to get $150 Grab gift for many of the credit cards below. Promo ends 15 Nov 2017.

There are many other cards available too. Click on the image to apply and grab your Grab Gift:

*Note: Grab Gift only applicable when you apply through the above links

Possible extra cash savings: $150 gift + a few hundred dollars cashback

Finding the best deals

There are many deals I've found out over the years which is so good sometimes I don't believe its true. Fancy some 50% off for your dining? Special discounts for movie tickets? Or half price for your shopping? All these are possible with just a touch of your fingers.

Most deals are found online now. For dining, some of the best websites to make reservations is Chope and Eatigo. For Chope, they give 100 Chope dollars for very reservation made. Just 400 Chope dollars and we can exchange for a $10 restaurant voucher. That's $10 off for every 4 reservations only.

The best is still Eatigo which is a dining reservation app that gives up to 50% off your total bill for the restaurant you book at. You can get 50% off for a buffet at Swissotel The Stamford or fancy 50% off for some Michelin star restaurant at Marina Bay Sands? All these can be done using Eatigo to book your reservation.

There are many restaurants on the website which you can look through. Many people are paying the full price for their dining but you can enjoy the same meal for just half the price at the same restaurant. That's the smart way of dining.

Possible extra cash savings: $100+ for each meal

There you go, 3 simple money hacks you can start to make the best out of your money. Part 2 will go more detail into money hacks for movies, shopping and travelling. Stay Tune!

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Monday, September 25, 2017

What Happened To Comfortdelgro? - The Taxi In Distress

Comfortdelgro has been on the hot seat for the past few weeks with share price dropping to a low of $1.98 now. Grab and Uber seems to have an upper edge in this taxi business competition. It is crucial to review Comfortdelgro's business at this junction to see what it is really worth. Separately, it didn't manage to get the new Thomson East Coast line which could have boost its operating profit by about $12-$18 Million a year. Let's take a look at its different business segment and break it up to see what it is really worth.

Public Transport Services Business

This is essentially its core bus and rail business segment with revenue at $1147.8 million and operating profit at $86.2 million for 1H 2017. If we annualised the revenue, assuming this segment continues to grow at the same rate, we should see revenue at $2294.2 million. For this segment, there will also be contribution from DTL-3 which will be opening in October 21 this year. If we assume their ridership to double which adds about 200,000 ridership daily, the revenue contributed for this FY will be around $8 Million. 

We should see operating profit for the full year at $177.3 million. 

FY2017 Operating profit: $177.3 Million

Taxi Business

This is the tricky part to analyse but I will try my best to make sense of the numbers. Revenue stands at $618.5 million and operating profit at $72.3 million for 1H 2017. The fleet size of comfortdelgro is about 15,472 as at July 17. This is down from the fleet size of 16,821 in 2016. I estimated the rental of each taxi to be $120/taxi per day. At this junction, the taxi business is estimated to shed $59 million in revenue for the whole FY2017. 

The estimated revenue drop for Singapore's taxi business alone will be around $59 million. There are still other countries' taxi segment which may also face headwinds. If we assume a $70 million drop in revenue, full year FY2017 revenue should come in at $1270.8 million. 

Assuming total cost stays the same as FY2016, operating profit should come in at $97.5 million.

FY2017 Operating profit: $97.5 Million

Bus Station

The bus station business should remain stable. 2Q 2017 profit came in at $3 million. Annualised this, we should see a profit of $12 Million for FY2017

FY2017 Operating profit: $12 Million

Automotive and Engineering

This segment will see a decrease as lesser taxi fleet size means lesser servicing revenue also. 2Q 2017 profit came in at $11.4 million. Annualised this, we should see a profit of $45.6 million. A further reduction of taxi fleet will put pressures on this segment moving forward. So a conservative profit of $45 Million can be expected. 

FY2017 Operating profit: $45 Million

Inspection and Testing Service

This segment should remain stable too. Profit for this segment should come in at around $30 Million for FY 2017. Q2 2017 came in at $7.6 Million. 

FY2017 Operating profit: $30 Million

Car rental and leasing

Car rental has been facing a lower leasing fleet in Singapore and China. The profit should be about $6.4 Million for FY2017.

FY2017 Operating profit: $6.4 Million

Driving Centre Business

This segment should remain stable. Profit for FY 2017 should come in at $11.2 Million.

FY2017 Operating profit: $11.2 Million

Total Value of CDG's business

Now, we can add up the different segments and get the FY2017 estimated profit to derive the actual value of the company. Total operating profit for FY2017 should come in at $379.4 Million. This is 17.9% lower than in FY2016. With this, profit attributable to shareholders should come in at $246.6 Million. 

With outstanding shares at 2162.8 Million, EPS will be estimated 11.40 cents for FY2017. With this EPS, PE ratio will be 17.37 at current share price of $1.98. 

To put things into perspective, if the taxi fleet decreases by another 2000 for the next few months, EPS will be about 10.4 cents. This means the PE will then be 19.04 at current price of $1.98. Looks like at current price of $1.98, it will only seem fair if taxi fleet does not drop too much again. If taxi fleet continues to drop drastically, the situation can get much worser. 

Business times had a very good article on Comfort Delgro valuing its business at $1.70 if we exclude the taxi business. This is using a simplistic 20 times multiple of net profit. Of course, this will only happen if all Comfort taxis disappear from the streets once and for all which I don't think will happen at least for now.

It is also interesting to note that despite all the competition, the average daily number of taxi trips only slightly decreased by about 1 trip per day as compared to 2016. Comparing to 2015, the average daily number of taxi trips decreased by about 2 trips per day. Average daily number of taxi trips stands at 17.8 for one shift taxi and 27.5 for two shift taxi as at July 2017. This means that taxi drivers can still earn quite a decent income even with the fierce competition from private hire cars. 

There are many factors to consider in this investment and it is definitely not for the faint hearted. From my perspective, Comfortdelgro's taxi business should still continue to exist in Singapore but probably at a smaller market share in the future. It would be quite hard for it to go back to its $3 stock price value as the market adjusts itself to consider the future value of the company. For grab and uber, it is still an unknown how long they can keep offering discounts and burning cash month after month. How the taxi industry will evolve in the future will be for all to see.

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