Author archive - Ryan Ong

About the Author
Ryan Ong Ryan Ong I'm the editor for MoneySmart.sg. I was a freelance writer for over a decade, and covered topics from music to super-contagious foot diseases. After I was able to walk in public again, I designed board games, taught in schools, and edited a local student paper. I took this job because I believe financial news should be accessible and fun to read. Also, because the assignments don't involve shouting teenagers and debilitating plagues.
I Got Robbed in Tokyo – Stan Chart Says It’s My Fault

I Got Robbed in Tokyo – Stan Chart Says It’s My Fault

Getting robbed can be a traumatic experience – especially if it happens in a foreign country, and ends in a surgery ward. You’d expect an ounce of sympathy for the victim. But this month, I found out first hand how far that sympathy extended, when it comes to my bank:

Read more »


Malaysian Property is Still a Good Deal in 2014: E&O Tells Us Why

Malaysian Property is Still a Good Deal in 2014: E&O Tells Us Why

Last year, Malaysia announced new policies for foreign property buyers. We all braced for a bloodbath, predicting something to match Singapore’s cooling measures. But talk about an anticlimax – the new policy had less impact than Navy ads have on recruitment. Here’s why Malaysian property remains attractive:

Read more »


Best Skills Courses for Students in Singapore (2014)

Best Skills Courses for Students in Singapore (2014)

Our work culture stuns our students, and you can’t blame them. After 14+ years of being bossed around, we expect them to have personal initiative. Then we expect them to be personable and vocal; which, you may notice, is the exact opposite of what teachers have told them for years (i.e. sit down and shut up). Our students need help, and these skills are a start:

Read more »


5 Gourmet Restaurants to Dine at for Under $10

5 Gourmet Restaurants to Dine at for Under $10

When I was a student, I was so poor I wanted to marry my girlfriend just for the rice. Dinner involved a spoon, a plastic bag, and a trip to the free sample booths at the supermarket. But I wasn’t alone; over time, I joined roving packs of starving students. Through constant exploration and Scrooge-like frugality, we found places that would feed us on a budget.

Read more »


How to Save For Your First Home in Singapore

How to Save For Your First Home in Singapore

In a previous article, we’ve covered how homes aren’t too affordable. This caused some readers to be a bit worried, and I apologize for sending the wrong message. You shouldn’t be a bit worried. You should be having an all-out code red panic, unless the thought of being financially molested by a landlord for the next 10 years appeals to you. Each property spike will be worse than the last, so you better plan now:

Read more »


Best 3 Credit Cards for Frequent Flyers in Singapore

Best 3 Credit Cards for Frequent Flyers in Singapore

With Christmas and Chinese New Year done and dusted, I need a holiday to recover from my holiday. With a good rest in the Bahamas, this hangover ought to clear up by October. Plane tickets are more overpriced than uranium in Iran though, and I’m not paying full price; this is the sort of thing I accumulate frequent flyer miles for. If you haven’t got any, and you’re a frequent flyer, you’ll want to check out these top credit cards:

Read more »


Down to 4 Cs: Why Country Clubs are Falling Out of the Picture

Down to 4 Cs: Why Country Clubs are Falling Out of the Picture

So the line between buying a country club membership for the prestige and being a plain stupid decision seems to have just been crossed. With the government announcing on Sunday that they won’t be renewing the leases for two country clubs, and other clubs having to give up part of their land for their leases to be renewed, it’s no wonder they are no longer part of the coveted 5Cs. We take a look at some other reasons why:

Read more »


The 5 Stupidest Ways Singaporeans Deal with Debt

The 5 Stupidest Ways Singaporeans Deal with Debt

Somewhere in Singapore, someone is running a graduate course in advanced bankruptcy. Maybe it’s broadcast on a special wavelength, a sound frequency only morons can hear. I suspect this because there’s too much consistency in Singapore’s bankruptcy cases. Chief example? The Singaporean (soon-to-be) bankrupt’s response to debt. There’s a country wide trend here, and these are the five signs. If you see someone exhibiting the symptoms, I recommend a splash of cold water and a tight slap:

Read more »


Hiring Tutors in Singapore: How Much is Too Much?

Hiring Tutors in Singapore: How Much is Too Much?

You can always tell when the PSLE or “O” Levels come around. People involved look haggard, and if you gave them a syringe they’d start mainlining coffee and chicken essence. I’m not talking about the students either; I’m talking about the parents, working two jobs to pay off the tuition fees. But with every one’s out to hire the best, how much should good tuition cost?

Read more »


Renovate Your Home, Not Your Wallet: 5 Essential Tips!

Renovate Your Home, Not Your Wallet: 5 Essential Tips!

I’ve seen what happens to old houses and flats. It’s like that documentary, Life After People, with the added misfortune that you’re around to see it. Take my buddy Aaron for instance: his interior decor is so old his grandpa saw it and got flashbacks to World War II. Or my newly-wed cousin, who recently bought an old terrace house; there were more things growing on the walls than in the garden. Yet they’re both hesitant to make changes, for the same reason: renovation is expensive. Well not any more. Behold, MoneySmart’s guide to affordable renovation!

Read more »