Lessons I Learnt from My Mum: A Tribute on Mother’s Day May 7, 2021

Lessons I Learnt from My Mum: A Tribute on Mother’s Day

“Life doesn’t come with a manual, but it comes with a mother,” so goes the saying.

From the most mundane to the most critical life lessons, mothers were often our first teachers or mentors. Our mothers influence our outlooks, personalities and habits more than we realise. Most of the time, we learn by observing them and the lessons then take root in our subconscious. Just by watching how our mothers handle their money, we learn how to handle ours.

My amazing mom imparted several money lessons that shape me and my financial habits till this day.

Money isn’t scary

Growing up, my parents often argued over money. My mother had to raise three children as well as take care of my ageing grandparents. Every week, she would sit me down at the kitchen table and go over her records of the household’s income and expenses with me. Looking back, it was definitely a stressful period for my mother, who tried her best to juggle our expenses with the limited money we had.

While most kids in this environment might grow up feeling deeply insecure financially, I did not. Instead, my mother made me understand the importance of financial literacy from young. Having the necessary knowledge to manage personal finances efficiently allows me to plan and achieve my long-term goals while making healthy financial decisions.

We always have the power to make choices which can change our situation any given time. I learnt not to let money be the sole determinant of the decisions I make in life. Having said that, I qualify by saying that though money cannot buy happiness, it can provide peace of mind, freedom and flexibility.

Manage your own money: there’s no Prince Charming!

Perhaps there is a prince and maybe he is perfectly charming, but you should not count on one to rescue you from financial illiteracy.

“A man is not a financial plan,” was what my mother used to say. She emphasised the importance of financial independence and self-sufficiency. I imbibed from her the belief that a strong financial base provides a strong foundation for partners to build their relationship upon. Only then can you attract partners who can complement your financial habits.

Working is a must

“Money doesn’t grow on trees”, is yet another adage she drummed into me.

From young, my mother taught me that if there was something that we wanted and did not really need, we had to use our own money to buy it. I found part-time and full-time jobs after my “O” Levels to fund my entertainment expenses, like watching a movie or eating out with friends. (McDonald’s was the de facto restaurant in those days. I continued to work through my studies in the polytechnic and university, to fund my tuition fees.

When I graduated, I already had the habit of working hard to achieve my goals. I cultivated an entrepreneurial spirit and learnt the satisfaction of working towards my financial goals.

Save early and often

My mother showed me the value of regular and disciplined saving.

As a 7-year-old, I was gifted with a clay piggybank and started dropping coins in it. When the piggybank was full, my mum and I would trudge to the POSB bank and deposit the cash in a joint savings account. My mum let me manage the passbook. I could clearly see the sums building up with each trip and relished the feeling of being “rich”.


No matter how hard we work, it’s unlikely that we will be able to save, invest and spend optimally without proper budgeting. Budgeting helps me allocate money to what I want and need without drifting into debt.

Investing and growing my wealth

Finally, my mom encouraged me to invest as soon as I received my first pay check. She was ahead of her time, as in those days, investing wasn’t so common. Certainly not among fresh graduates.

In her view, there was no need to wait till I was mid-career to start investing. While most parents would not trust their children to invest, taking that risk with me truly paid off in the long run. I learnt the ways to divide my funds and the ways to park my money to accumulate wealth much earlier in life. I also grew to understand my personal risk profile early.

I have learnt many invaluable lessons from my mother while growing up. While not all were foolproof and mistakes were made here and there, I believe that mothers always wish the best for their children. They try to pass down knowledge that they learn the hard way.

Thank you, all mothers, mothers-to-be and mother figures for the profound impact you make on your children. Wishing all of you a wonderful and safe Mother’s Day!


These commentaries are intended for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any person who may receive this document. Accordingly, no warranty whatsoever is given and no liability whatsoever is accepted for any loss arising whether directly or indirectly as a result of any person acting based on this information. Opinions expressed in these commentaries are subject to change without notice. Investments are subject to investment risks including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. The value of the units and the income from them may fall as well as rise. Past performance figures as well as any projection or forecast used in these commentaries are not necessarily indicative of future or likely performance. Phillip Securities Pte Ltd (PSPL), its directors, connected persons or employees may from time to time have an interest in the financial instruments mentioned in these commentaries. Investors may wish to seek advice from a financial adviser before investing. In the event that investors choose not to seek advice from a financial adviser, they should consider whether the investment is suitable for them.

The information contained in these commentaries has been obtained from public sources which PSPL has no reason to believe are unreliable and any analysis, forecasts, projections, expectations and opinions (collectively the “Research”) contained in these commentaries are based on such information and are expressions of belief only. PSPL has not verified this information and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made that such information or Research is accurate, complete or verified or should be relied upon as such. Any such information or Research contained in these commentaries are subject to change, and PSPL shall not have any responsibility to maintain the information or Research made available or to supply any corrections, updates or releases in connection therewith. In no event will PSPL be liable for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages which may be incurred from the use of the information or Research made available, even if it has been advised of the possibility of such damages. The companies and their employees mentioned in these commentaries cannot be held liable for any errors, inaccuracies and/or omissions howsoever caused. Any opinion or advice herein is made on a general basis and is subject to change without notice. The information provided in these commentaries may contain optimistic statements regarding future events or future financial performance of countries, markets or companies. You must make your own financial assessment of the relevance, accuracy and adequacy of the information provided in these commentaries.

Views and any strategies described in these commentaries may not be suitable for all investors. Opinions expressed herein may differ from the opinions expressed by other units of PSPL or its connected persons and associates. Any reference to or discussion of investment products or commodities in these commentaries is purely for illustrative purposes only and must not be construed as a recommendation, an offer or solicitation for the subscription, purchase or sale of the investment products or commodities mentioned.

Contact us to Open an Account

Need Assistance? Share your Details and we’ll get back to you


This material is provided by Phillip Capital Management (S) Ltd (“PCM”) for general information only and does not constitute a recommendation, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to invest in any of the exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) or the unit trust (“Products”) mentioned herein. It does not have any regard to your specific investment objectives, financial situation and any of your particular needs. You should read the Prospectus and the accompanying Product Highlights Sheet (“PHS”) for key features, key risks and other important information of the Products and obtain advice from a financial adviser (“FA“) pursuant to a separate engagement before making a commitment to invest in the Products. In the event that you choose not to obtain advice from a FA, you should assess whether the Products are suitable for you before proceeding to invest. A copy of the Prospectus and PHS are available from PCM, any of its Participating Dealers (“PDs“) for the ETF, or any of its authorised distributors for the unit trust managed by PCM.  

An ETF is not like a typical unit trust as the units of the ETF (the “Units“) are to be listed and traded like any share on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (“SGX-ST”). Listing on the SGX-ST does not guarantee a liquid market for the Units which may be traded at prices above or below its NAV or may be suspended or delisted. Investors may buy or sell the Units on SGX-ST when it is listed. Investors cannot create or redeem Units directly with PCM and have no rights to request PCM to redeem or purchase their Units. Creation and redemption of Units are through PDs if investors are clients of the PDs, who have no obligation to agree to create or redeem Units on behalf of any investor and may impose terms and conditions in connection with such creation or redemption orders. Please refer to the Prospectus of the ETF for more details.  

Investments are subject to investment risks including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. The purchase of a unit in a fund is not the same as placing your money on deposit with a bank or deposit-taking company. There is no guarantee as to the amount of capital invested or return received. The value of the units and the income accruing to the units may fall or rise. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of the future or likely performance of the Products. There can be no assurance that investment objectives will be achieved.  

Where applicable, fund(s) may invest in financial derivatives and/or participate in securities lending and repurchase transactions for the purpose of hedging and/or efficient portfolio management, subject to the relevant regulatory requirements. PCM reserves the discretion to determine if currency exposure should be hedged actively, passively or not at all, in the best interest of the Products.  

The regular dividend distributions, out of either income and/or capital, are not guaranteed and subject to PCM’s discretion. Past payout yields and payments do not represent future payout yields and payments. Such dividend distributions will reduce the available capital for reinvestment and may result in an immediate decrease in the net asset value (“NAV”) of the Products. Please refer to <www.phillipfunds.com> for more information in relation to the dividend distributions.  

The information provided herein may be obtained or compiled from public and/or third party sources that PCM has no reason to believe are unreliable. Any opinion or view herein is an expression of belief of the individual author or the indicated source (as applicable) only. PCM makes no representation or warranty that such information is accurate, complete, verified or should be relied upon as such. The information does not constitute, and should not be used as a substitute for tax, legal or investment advice.  

The information herein are not for any person in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or availability for use would contravene any applicable law or regulation or would subject PCM to any registration or licensing requirement in such jurisdiction or country. The Products is not offered to U.S. Persons. PhillipCapital Group of Companies, including PCM, their affiliates and/or their officers, directors and/or employees may own or have positions in the Products. Any member of the PhillipCapital Group of Companies may have acted upon or used the information, analyses and opinions herein before they have been published. 

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.  


Phillip Capital Management (S) Ltd (Co. Reg. No. 199905233W)  
250 North Bridge Road #06-00, Raffles City Tower ,Singapore 179101 
Tel: (65) 6230 8133 Fax: (65) 65383066 www.phillipfunds.com