My partner and I are the typical millennials in the manner we approach your own finances. We have a healthy suspicion of individuals wishing to hard-sell to all of us and aren't comfortable disclosing personal information to strangers. Instead, we prefer taking our time for you to read about and evaluate our insurance and investment options online.
We keep close an eye on our savings, expenses, debts and investments. Recently joining the workforce, we took over servicing our very own health, life and savings policies from your parents. We invest in a regular shares savings plan and employ DBS Multiplier accounts to maximise interest returns on our savings.
We both lead a frugal lifestyle, saving more than 50% of our take-home salary each month. Our aim is to carry on investing prudently while keeping our high savings rate to prepare for big-ticket expenses soon, such as our wedding and BTO flat renovation.
Why I Decided To reserve A scheduled appointment With DBS NAV
While I believe my personal finance plans are comprehensive enough, I thought it would be good for make contact with a qualified financial professional to review what I've already done and gain insights into potential insurance or investment gaps I may have overlooked.
Hence, I made a decision to reserve a scheduled appointment with DBS NAV.
To help young Singaporeans much like me, DBS and POSB created NAV, an initiative aimed at empowering us to create more informed financial decisions and find our very own financial means by life.
One aspect of NAV's suite of tools and services is a free one-on-one consultation for both customers and non-customers, with a Wealth Planning Manager (WPM) to go over financial matters in a non-sales environment. To provide greater value and limit conflicts-of-interest situations, these WPMs are salaried employees and do not receive any form of commission from the items that they recommend. This reassured me which i wouldn't be forced view a sales hype which my interests would be put first.
Setting In the Meeting
Setting up the meeting was as easy as a mouse click around the NAV website, after among the WPMs followed up to set up to meet for coffee (not to mention, discuss our financial health). We agreed on a convenient place and time after office hours so both my spouse and i could attend.
Here's How It Went
My session with the WPM occured in one of DBS' meeting rooms. For meetings after work hours, it's also possible to meet at cafes. We were greeted by Michelle, our WPM representative, who had been very warm, if slightly on the young side. She introduced herself, and gave us a better knowledge of what she, along with a team of 15 other WPM representatives, were doing to help young Singaporeans with their financial planning review and questions.
She started the session by asking us to talk about a little about ourselves to provide an introduction to our current financial status, goals and aspirations. Next, we were inspired to input detailed information about our current financial situation into the NAV Your Financial Profile (YFP) system, such as our:
- Financial knowledge (employment details and investment experience)
- Net worth (assets, including savings, investments, insurance, CPF balances, and our liabilities, including outstanding debt and loans)
- Monthly cashflow (money arriving from our salary, interest payments, dividends or rentals, on and on out to pay for housing, bills, insurance, transportation and other components)
- Dependents' details (if any)
- Existing insurance coverage
- Risk Profiling Questionnaire (RPQ) (detailing our attitude towards risk and ability to cope with losses)
As we entered our information in to the system, Michelle explained the information allows the system to pick items that will be highly relevant to our financial needs. This helps to ensure that we only discuss products that the machine has shortlisted as ideal for us.
At the end of entering all of the relevant information into the system, it showed us where we were lacking – when it comes to our insurance and investment needs.
Michelle then gave us an overview and explanation from the results based on the information keyed in to the app. While her insights were not completely new to us, I know this being very informative for young working adults who have never gone through the procedure for auditing and cataloguing the entirety of the finances. This is essential in helping you visualise monthly cash inflow and outflow, keeping track of your financial goals, and identifying gaps in your insurance and investment needs.
For reference, the detailed YFP report was also emailed in my experience following the session to provide for further reading and reference.
Michelle went through several investments and policies the system generated according to our responses, highlighting that we are able to afford to look more closely at our investing and retirement needs in the current moment. She explained the way we could do this, before zeroing in on a potential investment product.
Before concluding the session, she arranged for another appointment as well as encouraged us to do our research and consult with us and friends before deciding when the shortlisted products were suitable for us.
Here are my biggest takeaways in the session using the WPM.
#1 Putting Everything On Paper
Prior for this session, my monthly expenses and just how much cash I had been playing after every month were just rough estimates in my head. I also knew that people were saving and investing every month however i wasn't tracking our value or our assets and liabilities.
The session using the WPM forced us to scrutinise our monthly budget and understand our net worth. These details, demonstrated exactly where our money was going every month and just how we could further cut down our monthly expenses. Our net worth can also be an important figure to trace our longer-term financial health.
These values were summarised within the report that i can relook inside my convenience. While these amounts could change over time, this method highlighted the importance of budgeting and tracking my value.
#2 Analysing My Current Efforts
Through the session, I saw that we were being prudent with this monthly expenses and had a healthy positive net cash flow monthly. This indicated an opportunity to consider what we want to do with this extra funds we've at the end of every month rather than spending it or funnelling it into our already adequate savings.
#3 Keeping Track Of My Financial Planning
As I keyed in values for a number of components into the app, I realised there were a couple of categories I haven't taken notice of. It was mostly related to discretionary paying for eating out, personal care, subscription packages and gifts.
I wasn't sure about the value of our current stock portfolio, or even how much was at my CPF Ordinary Account and Special Account. More importantly, I also wasn't sure exactly how much I'm insured for. Taking a snapshot of those values solved the problem produce a more complete picture of my overall finances.
Make An Appointment With A Wealth Planning Manager
A financial planning session having a professional the ones won't be selling anything to us creates a safe and comfy setting for those who are unsure of their insurance and investment plans, and also have somebody to speak to and get questions.
Besides through an overview of your current financial state, the session may also be helpful to highlight problems with your monthly budget in addition to gaps in your financial planning, for example insufficient insurance coverage or possible avenues to develop your investments.
If you are keen to create an appointment having a WPM, you can do so here. Let us know how your session went!