The Best of Everything for a working adult – my recommendations

In my experience, the Internet is the first place we look when we conduct research on the products and services. However, the overwhelming amount of information out there might be too much to distil at times.

In this summary post called the best of everything for a working adult, I summarise the best of the financial and non-financial products, services, platforms and apps based on my personal opinion so that you can quickly get started in the right direction. This list will be updated regularly.

Disclaimer: All information represented in this post is based on my personal opinion and is accurate as of the date published. While all attempts is made to ensure factual accuracy, the information provided may not be updated in a timely manner. 

Latest Update: March 2020

The Best Cashback Credit Card: UOB One Card

Update March 2020: Due to the recent changes in terms and conditions of the UOB One card, the winner for the best cashback credit card is under review.

Alternatively, the DBS Live Fresh Card gives up to 5% cashback on online and contactless spend, with a higher minimum monthly spend of $600

  • Summary: The UOB One Card is Singapore’s most generous card for a reason – it gives you up to 5% cash rebates, an additional 5% rebate on Grab and it’s applicable for almost all spend. A minimum of 5 transactions monthly is required.
  • Review: UOB One Card – the best cashback credit card
  • Cost: Free
  • Referral: –

The Best Multi-currency Debit Card: TransferWise Debit Card

Alternatively, the Revolut card offers perks such as in-app analytics, money transfers, and free withdrawals.

The Best Savings Account: UOB One Account

Alternatively, the DBS Multiplier Account is a similar high savings account with lower monthly spending requirements, but has an investment component to it to make it worthwhile

  • Summary: The UOB One account is a high-interest savings account pays you around 2% p.a. when you combine it with a UOB One Card with $500 monthly spend, credit your salary or make 3 GIRO debit transactions a month
  • Review:
  • Cost: Free
  • Referral:

The Best Online Broker for investing in Singapore: FSM One (below $200K), Stanchart Online Trading (Above $200K)

Alternatively, CGS-CIMB i-Trade provides a strong charting interface, brokerage reports and reliable platform for trades although the trading costs are higher (starting from $18 for cash upfront)

  • Summary: FSM One leads the pack for an all-in-one platform for stocks, bonds, unit trusts and ETFs. Their pricing model is flat-fee based ($10+) and in-line with Stanchart, but in addition, they support trade amalgamation (all your trades on the same counter on the same day with the same mode are considered as one trade) and you can sell your CDP holdings with them too.
  • Cost: Buy and sell trades start from $10.70 with GST
  • Review: FSM One ETF RSP Thoughts – this review is for their RSP product
  • Referral: P0376099

The Best Online Broker for investing globally: InteractiveBrokers

Alternatively, StanChart Online Trading (recommended above) is also good for global investing, but it comes with higher trading commissions and forex spreads

  • Summary: While InteractiveBrokers restrict the trading of Singapore-listed securities for Singaporeans, its low-cost (US$1.99 per trade), international presence and sophisticated platform makes it a winner for global investing
  • Cost: Varies, around US$1-3 per trade plus monthly activity fee
  • Review: Getting started with Interactive Brokers (IB)
  • Referral:

The Best Robo-advisor: StashAway

Alternatively, Endowus is another excellent low-cost robo-advisor that offers solid globally diversified mutual funds from Dimensional Fund Advisors with lower expense ratios for cash, SRS and CPF-IS accounts.

  • Summary: Robos like StashAway offer low-cost investing in a broad range of index funds or ETFs, which gives you diversified exposure to a global portfolio of stocks, bonds and alternative asset classes
  • Cost: Starting from 0.8% of assets under management per year
  • Review: StashAway Review 2019
  • Referral: StashAway | 50% off commissions for 6 months up to S$50K

The Best Crowdfunding Platform: Minterest

Alternatively, I also like Funding Societies for higher volume of deal flow and great UI

  • Summary: Minterest is a strong P2P crowdfunding platform that offers short term tenors ranging from 3-12 months. Its low non-performing loans ratio, high quality offerings and good reviews online ranks it high on its trustworthiness score
  • Cost: 15% on interest
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best Budgeting App: Next

Alternatively, YNAB (You Need A Budget) gives you full control over your money and budgets by giving each and every dollar a job to do.

  • Summary: Next is an easy to use budgeting app that changed my life but it’s iOS only. It also comes with csv export for doing analysis
  • Cost: S$6.98
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best Investment Portfolio Management Tool: Sharesight

Alternatively, WeBull is an app-alternative that gives you great results on your mobile device although it lacks detailed analytics

  • Summary: Sharesight is a revolutionary portfolio management tool that helps you track dividends automatically, monitor portfolio gains and losses over time and get alerts on portfolios and corporate actions
  • Cost: Free for 10 holdings, premium plans available from US$12 a month
  • Review: ShareSight Review – best in class portfolio and dividend tracking
  • Referral: Sharesight | 2 months free premium subscription when you upgrade

The Best Apps to save money: ShopBack

Alternatively, RebateMango does a similar job of giving you a choice of rewards, from cashback, airline miles, to CapitaStar STAR$

  • Summary: ShopBack helps you save money by giving you a small cash rebate every time you shop by clicking through their website
  • Cost: Free
  • Review: Get paid when you shop with ShopBack
  • Referral: ShopBack | You get $5 when you signup with the link

The Best Financial News Website: Bloomberg

There is no alternative, Bloomberg is the best for financial news but it is super expensive

  • Summary: Bloomberg has terrific data sources and visuals, precise reporting and high quality factual reporting for everything finance
  • Cost: US$9.99 monthly for an all-access pass
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best News Aggregator: Feedly

Alternatively, I also like Refind for its AI-driven content discovery platform praised for its relevance and quality picks

  • Summary: Feedly is my go-to news and RSS aggregator to pull the latest news and articles from my favourite sources. It’s free, easy to use, saves your article for future reading and has amazing sharing options
  • Cost: Free for up to 100 sources, with Feedly Pro costing US$5 per month for unlimited sources and Google keyword alerts
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best To-do List app: Things 3

Alternatively, I had 2Do for a while and it is a great app with tons of features for a power user, it’s too cluttered for my liking

  • Summary: Things is an award-winning personal task manager for iOS with useful features, interactivity, flexible organisation and thoughtful design
  • Cost: US$9.99
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best Notetaking app: Bear

Alternatively, Ulysses is an ultimate writing/notetaking app that offers full suite of features but at a costlier price point

  • Summary: Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for writing notes and todos on Apple devices. You can link notes together, use tags and organize your notes in a beautiful cross-platform app.
  • Cost: US$9.99
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best Email app: Microsoft Outlook 

Alternatively, the Gmail app and Spark app are terrific choices as well with their clean interface, auto-complete suggestions and multi-account support

  • Summary: Stop using the default Mail apps on your phones – Microsoft’s Outlook app integrates calendar, to-dos, and other productivity tools like focused inbox and action cards to keep your life organised and inbox clean
  • Cost: Free
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best Laptop: Apple 13″ Macbook Pro (2019)

Alternatively, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 or Dell XPS 13 are formidable Windows alternatives too – you can’t go that wrong with the latest laptops and ultra-books today

  • Summary: The Apple 13″ Macbook Pro (2019), 2.4 GHz Core i5, 256GB SSD with Touch ID and Retina Display is a timeless classic and powerhouse that serves the needs of anyone. It’s powerful, has yearly updates, has great resale value and lasts a long time – mine is 6 years old and still going strong.
  • Cost: S$1800-S$2500 depending on model. Student discounts and refurbished models are also available.
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best Fitness Tracker: Apple Watch Series 4/5

Alternatively, the Fitbit Charge 3 is a more cost-friendlier version for non-Apple users

  • Summary: Fitness trackers are all in the rage now with many of us living the healthy lifestyle. The Apple Watch series 4 – despite its age – remains a strong value for fitness tracking for Apple users, thanks to its constant updates, strong integration into the iOS ecosystem and comprehensive feature set
  • Cost: S$300-$500 depending on model and age
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best Computer Speakers: AudioEngine A5+

I also like the Harman Kardon Soundsticks III as a cheaper alternative at S$259

  • Summary: The AudioEngine A5+ has very lovely treble, mids and highs – this well-reviewed speakers is an excellent pair of bookshelf speakers that will enhance your listening experience for all Spotify music and Netflix films
  • Cost: S$599
  • Review: –
  • Referral:

The Best Personal Finance Books: See below

Reading investment books from some of the greatest authors has helped me navigate my financial journey tremendously. For a start, I recommend these books –

  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle
  • The Bogleheads Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore
  • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  • You Need A Budget by Jesse Mecham

Special mentions and useful websites

  • Dividends.sg : Dividend information for Singapore stocks
  • Singapore Savings Bonds: View information about past and upcoming SSBs and allocation results
  • SGX: Singapore Exchange website for information about SGX-listed securities, corporate actions and company announcements
  • Central Depository: CDP is a portal for investors to view their account information, securities portfolio and transactions
  • Yahoo Finance: Global financial news, stock and portfolio tracking, advanced charting
  • WhatCard.sg: Help individuals discover the best credit card strategy based on their own spending behavior and personal preferences
  • SG investors.io: A platform that amplifies the voices of investment bloggers by sharing the articles to wider audience of investors community
  • Seedly: Singapore finance community and reviews platform
  • CardUp: Pay for non-credit card eligible expenses such as mortgages using your credit card

Try out these apps as well

Cryptocurrency:

  • BlockFolio: Bitcoin and cryptocurrency tracker with API connections to popular exchanges
  • Delta: Similar to BlockFolio above, Delta is tracks a wide array of tokens and looks brilliant

Payments:

  • SoCash: Skip the ATM queues and withdraw cash from shops instead
  • YouTrip: A travel wallet for spending abroad with no fees on foreign currency transactions
  • Fave: Get instant cashback when paying with FavePay at stores

Budgeting:

  • Spendee: A minimalist expense tracking app that has most functionalities you need

Productivity:

  • Office Lens: Scan any document or whiteboard, covert them to PDFs and upload them to the cloud
  • Adobe Fill & Sign: Fill up and sign documents anywhere on your mobile

Getting rid of stuff:

  • Carousell: Singapore’s most popular marketplace app

Derrick is a digital native, finance geek and avid photographer. He loves spontaneity but is a control freak at the same time.

2 comments On The Best of Everything for a working adult – my recommendations

Leave a Reply

Site Footer