CirclesLife, the cheapest telco in Singapore with the most data?

Mar 11, 17 CirclesLife, the cheapest telco in Singapore with the most data?

Posted by in Featured, Reviews

  So my Starhub mobile contract just ended. The first thing I did? I went to CirclesLife. While the 4th Telco in Singapore has been a highly talked about topic, most people do not know that there is actually a virtual operator run by Liberty Wireless. How this is done is that Liberty Wireless leases M1’s mobile network on a wholesale basis in order to provide their own coverage. In the USA, and even in Australia, virtual operators are a common place. By making use of reliable infrastructure, operators can provide unique offerings in order to target a niche market segment. In this case, CirclesLife is aiming straight for the younger generation who don’t need sms, and lots of data. Another appeal is that there is no mobile contracts! With the proliferation of affordable phones such as Xiaomi, it just makes sense! Starting at just $28/month for the base plan, you get 4GB of data and an additional 2GB if you port in a number. On top of that, there’s free caller ID. Comparatively, my previous Starhub plan was $42.90 a month for 3GB of data, and I had to pay $5.35 for caller ID. That’s a total of $48.25 per month. Now, with a 24 month Starhub plan, you could buy a mobile phone on contract. But how much does that actually cost you? Not taking into account the extra data, unmetered whatsapp, and ease of adding additional data when you are about to bust, Starhub would have cost you $1158. CirclesLife would have been $672. That is a differential of $486. Without a contract, the Samsung S7 Edge costs $1048 (as of 8th March 2017). On Starhub’s contract purchase, you get various price points. On my earlier example, you can get the phone at $548. That would be a savings of $500, vs a contract differential of $486. Thus, the 2 biggest factors to your decisions would be 1 -> Do you need a bigger data package? 2 -> What phone do you use? In my...

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Essential android apps that I use

Dec 16, 13 Essential android apps that I use

Posted by in General

Smartphones are almost an essential part of our lives nowadays. Even to a point where some people don’t even use their desktop or laptops at home. One of the main reason is the versatility of a mobile phone. In such a tiny device (Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Samsung Note 3 aside), you can watch a movie, surf the net, access facebook, pay your bills, and even do contactless payment. That and a whole lot of other stuff. However, with that power comes a problem. There’s too many apps in the apps store! Be it Apple iTunes or Google Play, there’s probably clones and clones of apps doing the same thing. For me, I’m not much of a gamer, and I never liked filling my phone with tons of apps that I don’t use. However, there are some essential apps that I will always have, and these are some of them. Instagram Instagram is an app we almost can’t do without these days. From using a old school square photo format, to having standard filters that changes the mood of an image, instagram is now the go-to tool for photo sharing. For single images, I would use instagram to take the photo, apply a filter, type a caption and tag the location. Sometimes I would share to facebook, as the process is just hassle free. I do know of people who use hashtag as a way of sharing, but I’m not much of a fan of hash tagging.    WhatsApp WhatsApp is almost synonymous to instant messaging nowadays. It was one of the first contender to the mobile phone IM space, even though you could use msn, skype, etc on mobile phones for a long while. Perhaps it was just the simple feature set and low overheads. Nowadays there are many others such as LINE, Wechat, Kakao, etc.. Each has their own appeal, and honestly, I have all installed. But WhatsApp is still the one to use. I’m a little irritated by the annual subscription,...

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Kishore Buxani: A Passion for Real Estate

Feb 01, 13 Kishore Buxani: A Passion for Real Estate

Posted by in Interesting articles

First printed in Business Times, 12 Jan 2013 A passion for real estate Kishore Buxani, who heads the Buxani Group, has a nose for sniffing out undervalued assets, reports Kalpana Rashiwala Kishore Buxani had a headstart in the real estate business. When he was 12, he and his elder brother Haresh started ploughing through the classified ads to help their mother find a home for the family. One apartment in Meyer Road – a 1,250 sq ft unit with 999-year leasehold tenure – caught their eye. “When we finally bought it in 1986, it was at $165,000. But I remember having looked at it earlier in 1983, when it was $380,000,” says the 40-year-old, who heads the Buxani Group. His early experience and the skills he later gained at Goldman Sachs helped to hone his real estate investing strategy. He concentrates on what he understands best, that is, Singapore commercial real estate, seeking undervalued properties, adding value to them, and holding them for the long term. Market watchers say making shrewd property investments is a family trait for Mr Buxani. His mother, Indra, is a sister of Royal Brothers founders Raj and Asok Kumar Hiranandani – although Buxani Group is fully owned by Mr Buxani and not linked to his uncles. Mr Buxani has a nose for sniffing out undervalued assets. “We look for well-located older properties below replacement cost and which are under-performing, under-rented, under-used, and under-appreciated.” Part two of this strategy involves value-addition. “We actively manage the asset post-acquisition through refurbishment, repositioning or tenant remixing.” Founded in 2003, Buxani Group owns Katong Junction, a stake in Finexis Building in Robinson Road, four floors in Samsung Hub, and strata office units in Parkway Centre. Its partner in these four investments is a group of offshore investors advised by Seychelles-based Capital Management Group (CMG). Apart from these joint investments with CMG, Buxani Group owns more than 10 shophouses in Chinatown and Little India along with strata offices at International Plaza and Malacca Centre, and...

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Fergus Watch – Outlook 2012

Jan 02, 12 Fergus Watch – Outlook 2012

Posted by in Musings, Personal finance

Some of you may know, I work in the financial industry, and I usually write emails to some people for their reading entertainment. Here’s one that I wrote a while back, on my outlook of 2012. Originally sent out 26 December 2011. One of the things I wanted to do for this email was to amalgamate some of the views I have as well as others that I have discussed with. In a way, a snippet of things that happened this year, and what it means for the year ahead. That is, the outlook for 2012. 2011, the watershed year 2011 has definitely been a watershed year in more ways than one. We have the General Elections, we have Orchard Road floodings, we have MRTs breaking down dramatically, we have numerous dead bodies found in reservoirs, we have a new record price for properties, we have our 2 Integrated Resorts, numerous new shopping malls and numerous new office buildings in the CBD. We also have Lee Kuan Yew leaving active politics. In a way, 2011 is really extraordinary. How can so many things happen in the same year? Suay? Heng? Or is the world really ending in 2012? Complacency is a downfall of the Singapore model? Some of the viewpoints I have been hearing about is if the Singapore model is good to go for the next decade? In the last 10 years, the biggest issue in Singapore was.. no issue. We have taken a lot of things for granted. Things were meant to work. Jobs will be available as long as you studied to the best of your ability. We will always have housing, we will always have cheap transport, we will have accessibility to anything you want to buy. This has also affected the policy makers. Why fix things if there is nothing broken? Thus, I would say the last 5 years has been one of complacency. There has been some lack of foresight and planning. After all, you pay senior management primarily...

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Banker, empire builder: The story of Mr Mochtar Riady

Oct 11, 11 Banker, empire builder: The story of Mr Mochtar Riady

Posted by in Interesting articles

Quite a good read! Very apt since I am moving into the industry. Originally appeared in The Business Times, 8October 2011 Indonesian tycoon Mochtar Riady looks back on a lifetime filled with adventure and accomplishment. By Vikram Khanna IN his prepared remarks for a talk at NUS Business School (of which he is a major benefactor), Indonesian tycoon Mochtar Riady, quoted the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu to sum up his management philosophy: ‘Trees that fill our embrace emerge from small sprouts, and a thousand mile journey always starts with the first step … Plan for the difficult while things are easy, and act on the great while it is still small.’ Mr Riady started small and went on to build a pan-Asian business empire with some US$11 billion worth of assets, spanning financial services, property, retail, information technology, natural resources and healthcare. But he is first and foremost, by instinct and by passion, a banker. ‘I went into other areas only by chance,’ he says. Banking was an ambition he harboured since he was a schoolboy. Speaking in Mandarin through an interpreter – though later he breaks into English – he recounts this childhood memory: ‘When I was in primary school in Indonesia, I had to pass a big building on my way from home to school. I always thought, oh, this building is so impressive and the people who work there look so elegant. But I don’t know that they do.’ ‘When I graduated from school, I was already thinking about being a banker. My father said, you are unrealistic. The banking business is a rich man’s business, how can you do it? My answer was, the bank’s commodity is not money, it is trust. As long as I can have people’s trust, I can be a banker.’ ‘So I asked my teacher about the building. He said it is a bank. I asked, what is a bank? He said, a bank lends people money and makes money from that. And I thought, maybe one...

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