Personal Financial Planning [Work-in-Progress]


To set the record straight, finance is a tool, not an end in itself. There are rarely clear normative positions regarding what you “ought to do” or “should have done” when it comes to capital movement and allocation. That said, where we might cross the line between personal responsibilities and social responsibilities (and correspondingly, personal harms and social harms), I will make my stance known.

“Oh, come on! Glue’s not meant to be used as an adhesive. It’s for sniffing, sweetheart.” Hah. Please don’t.

Take this as a conversation between peers, feel free to take what you need and chip in as and when you like, and let’s continuously review what we read and say. If it hasn’t been clear enough, these are not to be taken as financial advice.

Presently, there are two ways to organise this: Either by life events that require financing or by financing tools that are commonly available. I wish I knew how to draw a matrix on WordPress…

It’s okay, looking at them sequentially actually helps. Here goes:

By Life Events

Here, I find it easy to consider two axes: (1) Impact and (2) Frequency.

Low I Low F

  • ___: Savings (Goals)

Low I High F

  • ___: Budgeting

High I Low F

  • Property Purchase: Savings (Goals) + Loan Financing
  • Total Permanent Disability / Critical Illness: Insurance (Income Replacement)
  • Hospitalisation (Inpatient Treatment) / Early Critical Illness (especially if Outpatient Treatment): Insurance (Treatment Costs)
  • Retrenchment: Emergency Fund + Investment (Financial & Human Capital)

High I High F

  • War?

By Financing Tools

Or, what some term, “financial products”. I just find “tools” more empowering and more accurate since, unlike actual products where sellers owe a clear duty of care to buyers, “financial products” are often sold with explicit clauses of non-responsibility.


  • Life is an enterprise. Run it prudently.

Savings (Goals)

Begin with the end in mind.

  • We often forget the first habit: Be Proactive.
  • Homo Economicus vs. Homo Sapien

Loan Financing (especially HDB)

  • DINK? For how long?
  • Housing Loan: HDB or Bank?


  • [Must Read] Geek out. The math that makes it work.
  • Life: Term Life, Group Term Life, Whole Life, Universal Life
  • Health: Inpatient, Outpatient, “Homepatient” (credit to Chi Kin from Aviva for this term)
  • Travel:
  • Personal Accident: Term PA, Group Personal Accident


  • Assets = Liabilities + Equities
  • Savings + Fixed Deposits, etc.
  • Debt
  • Equity