Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Your network is your net worth

Your work and income is vital to achieving financial freedom. What are you doing to ensure your career progression, or even to prevent yourself from losing your job?

After a decade spent slogging out in the corporate world, I've come to realise that it isn't what you know, but who you know.

The hard truth is that if you truly want to be successful, who you know might matter a lot more than what you know.

Image Credits

Here are some reasons why:
Think about it. If you have only one position and the choice boils down to 2 candidates - both of whom are equally qualified, but one of them happens to be the best friend of the boss' son - who do you think the job will go to?

When you have a million-dollar business idea and need several investors at the early stage, do you ask the people you know or random folks on the street? How did Larry Page and Sergey Brin end up becoming co-founders of Google? Was it what she knew or who she knew that made Susan Wojcicki so successful? How did Charlie Munger end up working with Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway?

Your network is your net worth.

Aside from my internship and first job when I graduated from college, I've never had to send in my CV or apply for a job to land the other roles that I've held. My second job, which offered me a significant pay increment, was made possible because a colleague of mine made the recommendation (thanks, Vic!). My subsequent (current) job was also a direct invitation from the CEO and founder of the company himself.

I've also received several other job offers since, mostly from people I know.

Over the years, as I built my business network and connections, I've had the privilege of being referred to businesses, which then further solidified my standing and reputation in the compliance industry.

I've had the chance to invest in several businesses recently, thanks to (my husband's) network.

I've had the opportunity to meet several notable figures such as Minister Heng Swee Keat and Lauren Templeton...because of network.

Many of my interviews are from people I know - either from school or other events where we networked.

Even if a person does not have the relevant technical knowledge and experience under their belt, it might not even matter as long as they have the right connections.

Image Credits

So how can you build your network?

Make an effort to invest in your relationships - both professionally and in your personal life - for you'll never know what opportunity might just pop up next. After all, that person you just met at that conference or even a movie gala night might just be your ticket to your big break.

Attend networking events. If your company or industry offers them, go for business networking events and drinks to get to know more people. Self-improvement or motivational conferences are also another great place to meet folks hungry for success. An extremely successful businessman I know met his long-time business partner from one such occasion.

And if your industry doesn't typically have such networking events? Folks in advertising, for instance, tend to network a lot more than engineers. In that case, check out networking events organised by Workforce Singapore for such industries where networking events are of a rarer breed.

Find a career coach or mentor. A good one with strong connections can not only aid you in your career growth and progression, but also help you to open the doors to more opportunities. 

PSA: If you haven't already heard the good news, Singaporeans and PRs can enjoy a free career coaching session from WSG as part of the Adapt and Grow Initiative. Whether you're an unemployed PMET or a mother looking to get back into the workforce or a job with flexible working arrangements, a career coach might just be able to help.

To sign up and register for your FREE session, click here.

With love,

Budget Babe

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Standard Chartered Unlimited$aver - Yay or Nay?

Is Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver worth signing up for?

Video screencap from Standard Chartered
As the product teaser goes,
"Been scoring 1.5% cashback with your Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card? Now you can unlock our highest cashback* of 5% with Unlimited$aver."
I've been seeing so many ads for this product lately that it piqued my interest, and so I took a closer look at it. My conclusion? Nay.

How does it work?

At first glance, it definitely seems promising enough - 5% cashback is among the highest in the cashback market right now. Unfortunately, once you start to compare among the other options you could go for with the same amount of funds, the attractiveness of SC's promotion starts to fade away.

Let's first look at how SC's Unlimited$aver seems compelling:

With $100k of funds in your Unlimited$aver bank account, you're immediately eligible to earn 5% cashback on all your credit card spend. And even if you don't have a 6-figure lump sum to deposit, anything above $50k will also get you 3% which isn't shabby at all.

Unfortunately, what you're getting is a 5% cashback on your credit card spend, and NOT 5% interest on your savings. 

The alternatives 

This makes a big difference because if you were to put the same funds into other high-yield savings accounts, you could get so much more:

With $75,000 of deposits and $600 credit card spend each month, you could get:

  • $435 on Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver + SC Unlimited Cashback Credit Card
    • $75 savings interest + $360 cashback
  • $1,827 on UOB's One Account + $200 cashback from UOB One Credit Card
    • $600 monthly credit card spend + 3 GIRO transactions
  • $1,547 on DBS Multiplier + $456 cashback from DBS Live Fresh Credit Card
    • $600 monthly credit card spend + $500 home loan + $100 investments 
    • Earn $938 interest if only 1 banking transaction eg. salary credit + credit card spend
If your choice is only between the 3, which account and card will you choose?

The biggest catch that SC buries in their T&Cs? That you'll only be getting 0.1% p.a. on your savings deposit:

I don't know about you, but based on the numbers, I'd definitely choose to go with DBS Multiplier in this case.

So is Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver account bad?

Of course, that doesn't mean that Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver account is not for everyone, and I'll share one way you could use it to your advantage. But first, ask yourself these questions:
  • Are you spending more than $600 on your credit card(s) each month?
  • Have you already locked in your salary credit with another bank?
  • Do you have more than $50,000 of funds lying around with nowhere else to put them in?
If you answered yes to all the 3 questions above, then the Unlimited$aver might just be a solution for you. But before you jump to register, you might want to compare it against the UOB Stash account first, which can pay you $329 of interest on your savings deposits alone. Depending on your spending habits, you might just find that the UOB Stash account could be more rewarding than SC's Unlimited$aver account.

This is NOT a sponsored post for Standard Chartered's Unlimited$aver.

With love,
Budget Babe