Genting Singapore

The author owns Genting and dollars in this post refers to SGD. Genting Singapore has recently dropped to multi-year lows and the stock at this level looks increasingly interesting. The stock has fallen from its high of $2.30 in 2011 to a dismal $1.04 as investors lamented about the lack of growth and the looming accounts receivables on its balance sheet. Genting, needs no introduction. It … [Read more...]

What is Your Legacy?

"Seize the day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, because... we are food for worms."  - Robin Williams  as John Keating from Dead Poets Society. We are all food for worms. From the moment we were born, the clock started ticking. We will spend no longer than a dozen decades in this universe. For most of us, it's about 7-8 decades. The first 2 decades we spent learning just to get by. The next … [Read more...]

The Efficient Market Hypothesis

Investing, as with life, is a paradox. We have to learn to live with it and hopefully, sometimes, we find the way out. It is not rocket science. It's just about understanding the world and human behaviour. The world is ever changing yet human behaviour rarely changes. That is why it is so difficult for smokers to quit smoking even when we know that smoking is no longer cool. And it is equally … [Read more...]

Look for Free Options

Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge - Lao Tzu Investing is not about predicting the future. Predictions are usually not accurate. We heard the famous ones: Bill Gates predicting nobody needed no more than 640KB of memory, Dow Jones 36,000, who needs cars when we have horses blah blah. Yeah, how right. So what do we do if we do not want to … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong with CPF? (Part 3)

This is Part 3 of the CPF discussion, interested readers can start from Part 1.We have come to the most controversial issue, should CPF give us 6-16% return that our sovereign wealth funds generate? It is well documented that GIC generated 6% and Temasek a whopping 16% over a long time frame like 20 years or more. So part of the argument was that why is CPF only paying us 2.5%? Isn't that … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong with CPF? (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the previous post.Let's recap, our CPF (central provident fund aka Singapore's pension system) has four issues:1. The equal contribution rate (employer vs employee) was violated.2. The minimum sum was a total disaster.3. Interest was imposed on fund withdrawal.4. The interest rates are compared to returns of our sovereign wealth funds.We discussed issue #1. The solution … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong with CPF? (Part 1)

CPF refers to Central Provident Fund, Singapore's pension system.I must first profess that I am neither pro-PAP nor anti-PAP. In this post and the posts in the future (hopefully I get the time to write them), I will try to provide independent analyses on our pension system, touted as one of the best in the world, and hopefully readers will find them useful.I also hope that readers would also have … [Read more...]

Attack on Titans: Decisions

I just can't help writing down these analogies from Attack on Titans. Here's another post. Let me describe one scene relevant to today's topic. The lead character Eren was in a situation where he had to make a choice: should he trust his teammates or trust himself to defeat the enemy. He chose to trust his teammates which led to all their deaths and he regretted his decision painfully. Eren was … [Read more...]

Attack on Titans: Office Politics and Corporate Suicide

Here's a well kept secret. Japanese manga and anime have managed to subtly define pop culture and Hollywood for ages. As early as the 60s, robots from the future time-travelled to alter the present in Japanese comics. In more recent times, Ghost in the Shell inspired the Matrix trilogy, Paprika inspired Christopher Nolan's Inception. And the list goes on. Today's topic is about the manga … [Read more...]

Fallacies of ETFs

I have posted a long time ago that investing in ETFs could be one of the easy ways to make money. The theory was simple. Since 80-90% of all investors never beat the index, then why should we even try? We should just buy the index. That was simply buying ETFs. Since ETFs replicate the indices and are traded just like any stocks. We can easily buy them using one of the brokers like Poems or Kim Eng … [Read more...]

2014 High Dividend Stocks in Singapore

The annual dividend list is out!This year's list produces only 18 names despite tweaking the factors multiple times. It goes to shows that the market continues to be expensive and it is hard to get as many gems as before. Again, we see the usual suspects: Elec & Eltek, CSE, Transpac, Boustead etc.  2014 High Dividend Stocks in Singapore As with previous years' lists, I used just a … [Read more...]

Three Key Points for Newbie Investors

This is really more of a post for me to jot down what to say in the elevator or in a casual setting where I only have a few minutes to talk to someone and I would like to give the biggest impact and let him or her take away as much as possible with regard to the world of investing. It seems ironical but after blogging for 8 years, I actually still find it hard to explain, in the most simple … [Read more...]

There is no spoon…

This is a quote from the movie "The Matrix" almost 15 years ago. For readers who have never seen the movie, I urge you to watch it today. It is one of the best movies in the last century. No joke! For those with no intention to watch it, I shall summarize the plot for you. *SPOILERS ahead* The Matrix follows protagonist Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) as he discovered that his world was not … [Read more...]

The Impossible Trinity and the Tapering

Quick Summary:The Impossible Trinity is an economic theory that states that a country can only control two of the following three levers: Exchange Rate, Free Capital Movement and Monetary Policy.The recent Emerging Markets Crisis is a real world manifestation of this theory.Countries in ASEAN often chose to control their exchange rate and free capital movement thereby allowing US interest rate to … [Read more...]

Type A and Type B Decision Making

Quick Summary:Type A decision making focuses on the few key factors.Type B decision making understands that the fat tail of factors might become crucial someday.Ignoring the fat tails mean failing to understand that these factors could come and bite us someday. Recognizing the fat tail is the key to Type B decision making.In investing, this means looking holistically at the business and asking … [Read more...]

Type A and Type B Personalities

Quick Summary:There are 2 type of people: Type A and Type B.Type A: Digital, Task-Oriented, Focused on One Solution.Type B: Analogue, Multi-Dimensioned, Innovation is the Solution.Type B makes better investors.Type A vs Type B - SIA vs Singtel.Are You Type A or B?Over the course of my work and investing years I have had the chance to get to know and work with lots of people. Most of them are … [Read more...]

Investing Lessons from Ngiam Tong Dow – Part II

This is a continuation from the previous post.The second lesson from Mr Ngiam's book is something pretty well repeated in many circles but I think it's worth re-learning. It can be surmised into the following five words: there are no sacred cows.Mr Ngiam recounted the early days when Singapore was supposed to merge with Malaysia and the economic blueprint of the day was the creation of a Common … [Read more...]

Investing Lessons from Ngiam Tong Dow – Part I

I just finished this interesting book that gave a good perspective on Singapore's recent history from the former head of civil service Mr Ngiam Tong Dow. It was published a few years ago but the topics are still pretty relevant: public transportation, jobs, housing etc. I think every Singaporean who has an interest in public policies should read this book.Ngiam Tong Dow's BookFor me it was … [Read more...]

Investing is about Swaping Cashflows

If we strip down to the bare basics of investing, it is swapping today's money for tomorrow's cashflows (or future cashflows). So, you buy a stock at $100 today. What you actually want is that the stock can generate more than $100 in terms of future cashflows into perpetuity. The goal of value investing is then to determine how much all these future cashflows is worth today, and pay a lower price … [Read more...]

Swatch’s Everything (including Serina Wee)

The first Swatch post started in Sep 2012. After 15 months and 8 posts, I am still not done! It’s a marathon competition against the City Harvest trial to see who can last longer. But City Harvest would win the popular vote I guess, with Serina Wee, Singapore's prettiest accused criminal. All Singapore straight guys are just jumping around and can’t wait to see her strut down Supreme Court again … [Read more...]