facebook5 Key Financial Takeaways From DBS Bank - Seedly Personal Finance Festival 2024
130524_ 5 Key Financial Takeaways From DBS Bank - Seedly Personal Finance Festival 2024

5 Key Financial Takeaways From DBS Bank - Seedly Personal Finance Festival 2024

profileHui Juan Neo


Did you know DBS Bank is a leading advocate for financial literacy, offering tools, services and solutions to help individuals manage their finances more effectively? The bank even has a dedicated team that guides Singaporeans to make smarter financial decisions.

That’s why Seedly is proud to have DBS Bank as the Main Title Sponsor for the Seedly Personal Finance Festival 2024. This fifth instalment of our Personal Finance Festival, themed around Singapore’s neighbourhoods, drew an impressive crowd of 5,000 attendees who enjoyed over 15 hours of insightful content from 71 esteemed speakers.

If you missed the event, here are some key takeaways and standout moments from the sessions led by DBS speakers!

TL;DR: 5 Key Financial Takeaways From DBS Bank – Seedly Personal Finance Festival 2024

Key takeaways:

Disclaimer: DBS Bank is the Main Title sponsor of the Seedly Personal Finance Festival 2024. All opinions mentioned in this content are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of DBS Bank. The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Please conduct your own research or consult a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

Save Regularly to Build up Cash Reserves for Emergencies

“If you want to plan for the future, you’ve got to start early, and you can afford to start small… And then, over time, you’ll be able to reach what you want, what you plan for.”
Ling Seng Chuan, Head, Financial Planning, Investment & Insurance, Consumer Banking Group, Singapore, DBS Bank Limited

Ling Seng Chuan, Head, Financial Planning, Investment & Insurance, Consumer Banking Group, Singapore, DBS Bank Limited

Reflecting on the keynote entitled ‘Financial Planning From Your First Paycheck to Retirement’ by Ling Seng Chua, Head, Financial Planning, Investment & Insurance, Consumer Banking Group, DBS Bank, one key takeaway stands out: the importance of beginning your personal finance journey early.

This message reinforces the idea that personal finance is just that—personal. As we navigate the ups and downs of life, adjusting our financial strategies at each stage is crucial, i.e., Learn about DBS’ 4 Financial Habits.

The basic rule of personal finance: save, save, save—especially for emergencies. Whether you choose a savings account or a cash management account, the goal is to have funds set aside that you can access quickly when needed.

Many have heard stories about parents saving diligently secretly, perhaps hiding money in unexpected places. In my own experience, I found an A4 insurance booklet in my mother’s drawer, revealing a regular savings plan she had started for me when I first began working.

Source: Giphy

A story shared by DBS Bank speaker Ling Seng Chuan resonated with me. He recounted how his father gave him a POSB savings passbook upon receiving his A-level results, revealing that his parents had been diligently saving for his education and university fees.

These stories emphasise the importance of saving for ourselves, our loved ones, and our dependents. Planning ahead and saving for their future needs can significantly impact their lives.

Financial Planning is a Journey & You Have to be Disciplined

With the evolving landscape of financial planning, there are now many tools available, such as the Plan on digibank, which offers insights into your spending, saving, and investment habits. These tools also provide personalised financial tips to help guide your decisions and set up a holistic plan.

Ultimately, everyone’s financial journey is unique, so it’s important to discover the approach that works best for you.

Get Insurance Not Just For Yourself But For Loved Ones Too

It is common knowledge that as we age, our likelihood of experiencing physical health issues increases.

Over time, I’ve witnessed how illness can enter the lives of those around me, causing both emotional and financial challenges.

It can be cancer, it can be heart disease, and for those without proper financial backing through insurance, it’s a downward spiral from there.

Cancer treatment is not cheap. In fact, it can cost $8,000 to $17,000 a month without insurance coverage, and most people would not want to spend their hard-earned money solely on treatments, even if they have the cash.

Can we afford treatment without too much financial stress?

Good news: We can, especially if we own an Integrated Shield Plan and/or cancer insurance.

Being underinsured means you might not have enough coverage for your needs, while being overinsured could mean paying more than you need for your insurance.

My main takeaway from planning for protection is that it’s an ongoing process that changes as your life does. It’s essential to have medical insurance and start early while you are still healthy.

To avoid overinsuring, consider insurance as a safety net for unexpected situations, not a way to seek large payouts. It’s all about striking the right balance.

Let Your Money Work For You—Start Investing

If you have been an avid Seedly reader for some time now, you should know that we always suggest investing early and investing right.

Grow your wealth by making investments wisely—whether it’s low-risk or high-risk investments—and ensure that they are aligned with your risk profile, financial circumstances and mid- and long-term goals such as retirement.

Building a diversified portfolio through dollar cost averaging can help cultivate a disciplined approach to investing, but first, you have to learn about the different investment assets available.

Thankfully, we have a beginner’s guide just for you:

Besides investing your money, you should invest in your skill sets, health, mental, and family. This becomes even more crucial in light of the recent tech layoffs and the growing importance of upskilling in response to the rise of generative artificial intelligence.

Work Towards Building Layers of Passive Income to Fund Your Retirement

While most workers in Singapore would come under the national annuity CPF Life scheme, building multiple layers of passive income is one of the most popular ways to fund retirement.

Left to right: Christopher Ng (Investment Trainer, Dr Wealth, Lorna Tan (Head of Financial Planning & Literacy, DBS Bank) and Joel Koh (Editor, Seedly) as panellists of ‘Exploring F.I.R.E: Understanding, Sacrifices, and Pathways to Financial Independence’ at the Seedly Personal Finance Festival 2024

This ensures that you will have a consistent income flow even when you stop working, and one of the key takeaways that can help to identify where to start is this:

I really sat down. I had my Excel spreadsheet. So on the left side of my spreadsheet, I  have the expenses that will be required during my retirement.

Because I’m a bit kiasu (translate: afraid of losing out), I imagined three retirement lifestyles: basic, moderate, and luxurious, and I would state in detail the expected expenses for each lifestyle. I’m my parents’ retirement plan, so definitely I still need to give my parents financial allowance and so on. I love to travel, so I also indicated how much I will need for travelling, and I did set aside quite a fair amount for that, depending on which lifestyle I’m looking at.  Then on the right side of my spreadsheet, I indicated in detail the income sources that will come in that can help me fund these needs and wants.

I would have the time frame as well as the type of income flows. So definitely CPF payouts will be the basic income flow, followed by annuity insurance. my Supplementary Retirement Scheme savings and investments, which include fixed income, equities, specialised funds,  real estate, rental income, and so on. By doing this exercise regularly, I’m able to allocate the surplus savings that I have after setting aside emergency cash of at least three to six months into these investments and build the income flows that can help fund my expenses during retirement.

So by doing that, I’m able to know realistically when I can retire, how much I can possibly get.  It’s better to do this when you’re young, when you have years of compounding ahead of you, and by doing so, it helps you decide what kind of investments would be suitable for you, and so on, to help you realise your retirement dream.

Lorna, Head of Financial Planning & Literacy, DBS Bank

Invest in Yourself

The government’s announcement of a $4,000 SkillsFuture credit top-up for those aged 40 and above clearly signals this trend.

Although lifelong learning can be challenging, embracing change is essential for personal and professional growth. By continually adapting and evolving, we increase our chances of achieving our goals and thriving in a constantly shifting landscape.

It’s crucial to keep learning daily, as the world is changing rapidly, and this pace will only increase. While investing in your wealth is essential, don’t forget to invest in your well-being, health, and time with your family.

Strive for balance in life to avoid feeling miserable or burnt out, and prioritise quality time with your loved ones.


I don’t know about you, but the lessons from the sharing were a stark reminder to check my finances on time.

With every new addition to life and every new milestone, it’s good to relook at our goals and align our finances to achieve these goals in the future.

If you’ve missed some of the great sharings, remember that you can catch the live recordings on our YouTube channel soon!

In the meantime, comment below on any insights you’ve gleaned and share them with your fellow Singaporeans!

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About Hui Juan Neo
A savvy shopper and foodie at heart, I'm always on a lookout for discounts and deals to snag the best bargains.
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