Father's Day is a celebration of family milestones. It's about memories of the first baby steps, their first word (usually mum) and later suddenly being called 'dad' instead of 'daddy.' It's about the cherished photos from graduation from kindergarten to primary school to tertiary education. It’s a time of reflection on what we have passed on – hopefully the better traits we wish our children will pick up along the journey of life we have shared with them. As fathers, we celebrate in our hearts the milestones we had imagined would be like and those to come.
Let's hear from several of our UOBAM colleagues who are stewards of our clients' wealth on how they steer their families' finances too.
Thio Boon Kiat, CEO
Father’s Day is a quiet affair now as my children are all pretty much grown up and have their own weekend activities, and even more so this year as it coincides with Phase 2 of Singapore’s circuit breaker. For me, every day is Father’s Day, and it is a daily joy and pleasure to witness the boys growing up to be fine young men. That said, a great Father’s Day present for 2020 would be if the pandemic crisis abates and we can have a family getaway at our favourite holiday destination, Japan!
Hopefully, with some of my investing tips I have given, they would have saved up enough to fund some of the holiday from their investments with digital advisory platforms!
Dharmo Soejanto, Chief Investment Strategist, UOBAM Invest
We used to joke, "What did you receive for Father’s Day? The credit card bill for my kids’ Mother’s Day present!" This year, however, is special for me. My son went for his National Service and couldn’t be home for Father’s Day. Yet, he used his NS allowance to buy me a bottle of Japanese whisky – my son is one after my own heart. This is the first time I’m receiving a present from my kid that is NOT from my pocket but from his and I couldn’t be prouder. So this Father’s Day, I will pour myself a good shot or two, sit back and enjoy. Guess I did pass on something right about money sense – not that of spending on alcohol – but that you spend it on the people you love. On this Father’s Day – I am happy to raise a glass and say, "Salute to all fathers!"
Yip Chih Kiong, Senior Director, Digital Channel & Direct Sales
When the kids were young, I enrolled them for different courses on weekends and even signed up to learn piano with my daughter. I am a firm believer in character building as expressed in the Chinese saying '养不教, 父之过' (it is the fault of a father if the child is of bad character). Glad to say that my two kids are of good character and are well-mannered who always thank their parents after every meal.
As to the matter of financial obligation, I have provided for their tertiary education as well as put aside a few insurance policies. Early financial planning such as regular savings, insurance planning, SRS contribution which I started at age 36 as well as various prudent and careful investments helped make this possible. My 23-year old daughter has also started to invest regularly with our UOBAM Invest App. My children asked me to pick my favourite restaurant to celebrate this Father’s Day. My reply was HOME because mum’s cooking is still the best!
Adrian Lee, VP, Digital Channel & Direct Sales
Father’s Day with three young kids is one mostly filled with little crafts. It’s a joy when they come running to you excitedly, "Papa, for you!" and you just pick them up to give a big hug. Planning for their future beyond basic endowments will mean looking towards investing in some robo-portfolio based solution for their future education. Of course, UOBAM Invest comes to mind!
While my youngest is still learning to count to 10, the eldest started primary school this year. She is able to buy things on her own and is learning the concept of ‘saving’ by setting aside money to buy stationary – only to give to her friends later! I must say she’s got a generous heart. As a father, I see it as my role to help them build confidence and learn the right values. I enjoy each stage of fatherhood for I believe it passes quickly and looking back it will be worth it.
Leow Aik Jiang, VP, Investment Writer & Marketing Communications
For the past few years, the family would take part in the annual Father's Day run at St Mary of the Angels with Max our dog. I was always the last to cross the finishing line because Max would be easily distracted by the trace smells of other dogs in the grass or next to a tree. I always end up holding the leash after the first kilometre. I would get a treat at a restaurant later in the evening which I end up paying anyway! There was a year when my son gave me his favourite stone he had picked from a stream on a holiday. From my daughter, it's always drawings with words of endearment. These days, it's more likely to be a book or a T-shirt found online like the one with Full Metal Jacket because it was the one item Dad couldn't find during a trip to Vietnam. I have saved for their education from age one or two through endowment funds. I always sometimes joked that they should try and get scholarships, so that part of that investment can be funnelled into a retirement travel fund for me and my wife!
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