ryanong

Articles by Ryan Ong

I was a freelance writer for over a decade, and covered topics from music to super-contagious foot diseases. I took this job because I believe financial news should be accessible and fun to read. Also, because the assignments don't involve shouting teenagers and debilitating plagues.

Hiring Tutors in Singapore: How Much is Too Much?
Education
Hiring Tutors in Singapore: How Much is Too Much?
You can always tell when the PSLE or “O” Levels come around. People involved look haggard, and if you gave them a syringe they’d start mainlining coffee and chicken essence....
11 January 2014
Renovate Your Home, Not Your Wallet: 5 Essential Tips!
Property
Renovate Your Home, Not Your Wallet: 5 Essential Tips!
I’ve seen what happens to old houses and flats. It’s like that documentary, Life After People, with the added misfortune that you’re around to see it. Take my buddy Aaron for...
10 January 2014
5 Places Where Drinks Are So Cheap, It’s a Problem
Dining
5 Places Where Drinks Are So Cheap, It’s a Problem
Life in Singapore is stressful, so there’s many occasions when I need to get plastered, even on a tight budget (e.g. stressful deadlines, impossible clients, days ending in the letter...
3 December 2013
Why Do You Keep Letting Yourself Get Ripped Off by Insurance?
Life Insurance
Why Do You Keep Letting Yourself Get Ripped Off by Insurance?
These days, a lot of insurance agents are called financial advisors. You will note that “financial advisor” sounds nothing like “salesman”, despite that being what they actually are. When the...
26 November 2013
How to Rent Out or Sell Haunted Property
Property
How to Rent Out or Sell Haunted Property
So your last tenant left gibbering about shadows and voices, before they carted him to the asylum. And at least three prospective buyers have turned religious while trying to view...
1 November 2013
What Beginners Should Look For in an Annual Report or Prospectus
Invest
What Beginners Should Look For in an Annual Report or Prospectus
So you want to buy some shares, and you’ve decided to try reading an annual report or prospectus. I’m glad to hear it. This is a great way to expand...
27 September 2013
Why You Need to Diversify Your Investments
Invest
Why You Need to Diversify Your Investments
The first mistake of first time investors is not diversifying. This is what happens when a newbie gets a “hot stock tip”, and then proceeds to pour ever last cent...
17 September 2013
The Three Types of Life Insurance Every Singaporean Should Understand
Life Insurance
The Three Types of Life Insurance Every Singaporean Should Understand
Last week my insurance agent sent me the most intense word game ever. It kept me occupied for three hours; then I realised it was the terms and conditions. Let’s...
2 September 2013
How Singapore’s Latest HDB Cooling Measures Affect You
Property
How Singapore’s Latest HDB Cooling Measures Affect You
Affordable housing is a big ticket issue right now. And when our government tackles a problem, they do it with a uniquely Singaporean slant: That is, the unshakeable conviction that...
29 August 2013
The Beginner’s Guide to Investment Products (Part 3: REITs & CPF Investments)
Invest
The Beginner’s Guide to Investment Products (Part 3: REITs & CPF Investments)
In our previous article, we delved into the world of Unit Funds and ETFs. In the final part of our 3-part guide to investment products, we look at REITs, which...
29 July 2013
The Beginner’s Guide to Investment Products (Part 2: Unit Funds and ETFs)
Invest
The Beginner’s Guide to Investment Products (Part 2: Unit Funds and ETFs)
In the first part of our beginner’s guide, we explored the two fundamental investment products everyone should know about: Bonds and Shares. Now that we know the basics, let’s move...
15 July 2013
3 Reasons You Want to Use Visa PayWave
Credit Cards
3 Reasons You Want to Use Visa PayWave
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “What the hell? Is MoneySmart being paid by Visa now?” And that wounds me, because (1) I have never made things up or told...
12 July 2013
The Beginner’s Guide to Investment Products (Part 1: Bonds and Shares)
Invest
The Beginner’s Guide to Investment Products (Part 1: Bonds and Shares)
Finance experts have a lot of special talents. Key among these are re-inventing words, and using them in a way that approximately zero English speakers will understand. You might be...
10 July 2013
5 Basic Things You Need to Know About Buying Malaysian Property
Invest
5 Basic Things You Need to Know About Buying Malaysian Property
Singapore property’s an easy investment. If your orifices are big enough for all the diamonds and XTC pills you’re smuggling. Because how else could most of us afford it? With...
5 July 2013
Understanding Singapore’s COE System
Transportation
Understanding Singapore’s COE System
Singapore has as much road space as Greece has optimism. Just check during rush hour: The roads degenerate into one giant parking lot. Kids stare out the car windows, and...
20 June 2013
5 Kinds of Credit Card Fraud that Happen in Singapore
Credit Cards
5 Kinds of Credit Card Fraud that Happen in Singapore
Hah! Credit card fraud, that’s easy. All you need’s a store catalogue, a card skimmer, and a street corner. When someone walks past, whack them in the head with the...
19 June 2013
What Kind of Investor Are You?
Invest
What Kind of Investor Are You?
Every investor has a system they swear by. I’ll tell you mine: It’s called winning by not losing. It’s even good for a whole bunch of things besides stocks (except...
7 June 2013
5 Benefits that National Service Should Have (But Doesn’t)
Opinion
5 Benefits that National Service Should Have (But Doesn’t)
We like to think compulsory National Service (NS) betters us. It teaches us responsibility, doubles our chest hair, and shows us how to add creative flair when swearing. But at...
3 June 2013
Why the Smart Money’s on Investors, not Savers
Invest
Why the Smart Money’s on Investors, not Savers
Saving money is good and all, but let me be frank here. When your financial strategy is on par with a chipmunk hoarding acorns, I don’t see wealth and comfortable...
29 May 2013
How to Earn $1,000 a Month by Running a Blogshop (Part 1)
Career
How to Earn $1,000 a Month by Running a Blogshop (Part 1)
Ah, blogshops! My favourite way of making money since 1992. “Uh, that’s a lie.” No it isn’t. I was stealing classmate’s diaries and hocking them for a buck twenty. Diary =...
23 May 2013
Down to 4 Cs: Why Country Clubs are Falling Out of the Picture
Entertainment
Down to 4 Cs: Why Country Clubs are Falling Out of the Picture
Country clubs are going the way of Chia pets. They’re awesome for a while; then we realize they’re pricey, need too much maintenance, and (after a few years) become as...
21 May 2013
No Discount: The Average Cost of Raising a Child (in Singapore)
Family
No Discount: The Average Cost of Raising a Child (in Singapore)
In my day, children were raised on sunshine, sports, and pure grit. The only “play station” was a clearing where the musangs were less likely to gnaw your face off. And...
6 May 2013
Income Inequality in Singapore: Our Annual Peek (2013)
Opinion
Income Inequality in Singapore: Our Annual Peek (2013)
Income inequality measures how much richer the rich are, compared to the poor. It’s a polite term economists created, to replace: “Here’s how far the poor are from ramming sharp...
1 May 2013
HDB Loses $1 Billion a Year, and Why You Shouldn’t Care
Opinion
HDB Loses $1 Billion a Year, and Why You Shouldn’t Care
Some Singaporeans asked that land costs be excluded from HDB pricing. The answer to this was a stern no. Too much social welfare, as we all know, leads to laziness, communism, and Satan...
30 April 2013
Is Childcare Affordable in Singapore?
Family
Is Childcare Affordable in Singapore?
Historically, the most affordable childcare system comes from Sparta. They just left the toddler out for the night, and if he didn’t get eaten by wolves, he was probably prepared for anything....
26 April 2013