The Three Faces of Poverty in Modern Life.


In order to become richer, sometimes it is helpful to understand poverty. When Thomas Piketty published Capital in the 21st Century, it is easy for a rentier like me to dismiss this as a rallying cry of welfare-state socialists. But as it turns out, the book had the effect of deepening my conviction towards my dividend portfolio because it proposes the idea that the growth of capital far … [Read more...]

Equity Management #6 : A unified approach to engineering portfolios.

Ok, we're moving into a new section of the book which talks about portfolio management. The basic summary is quite simple - a unified approach towards portfolio management trumps the approach where the markets get segmented. What this means to me is quite simple, wherever possible, try to start with the entire universe of stocks. In my case, I review the 700+ counters available on SGX through … [Read more...]

Personal Update

There has been no article on Equity Management last week because I as getting into the deep end of the book which talks about selecting the right data and tracking errors, items which are dry even for a dedicated finance otaku like me. Instead, I hope to start talking about the Portfolio Management section of the book over this weekend. So all I have is a personal update : a) School has … [Read more...]

You don’t get to hack the CPF, the CPF gets you hack you !

Ok, it is time to summarise yesterday's proceedings. In case you guys are wondering, when we conduct our talks, we don't really do rehearsals so some of us speakers are also there to listen to what other bloggers have to say. So things get interesting if there is a disagreement between us, nothing we ever do is scripted. Here are some comments and things which I learnt from yesterday's session … [Read more...]

Equity management #5 : The Small Firm Effect

Some investors like investing in small firms because it is an area where the natural strengths of a retail investor can really shine. Institutional investors can't invest in some counters like Karin Tech and Global Testing because there is so little liquidity in these counters that it would be a struggle to even pick up more than 2000 shares in a single transaction. The small firm effect is … [Read more...]

FInancial Blogger’s CPF Talk : Some details.

For this upcoming talk, we employed a very lax marketing schedule so right now we are about one week away and we have only 20% of our tickets left to sell so we should have another sell-out session next week. Today I’m going to provide more clarity on what I will be talking about. The problem with the CPF program is that it attempts to do too many things at once. Hence we should emphasize … [Read more...]

Next Talk : CPF Optimization for Retirement


You can now start to get your tickets to the next event that is held by BIGScribe. This time I will be joined by superstar financial bloggers CreateWealth8888 and Budget Babe who should be familiar to readers of this blog. Like all talks, I will volunteer for 30 minutes of the seminar. A third of my slides will focus on the basics behind the CPF program so that the other bloggers are not … [Read more...]

Equity Management #4 : On Market Anomalies

Market anomalies would not normally creep into a discussion between value investors but their existence demonstrates the possibility of making profits by understanding some market patterns which has been happening on a regular basis for a while. Even if you are a long-term investor, knowing these anomalies might assist you in deciding on a good time to buy a value stock. a) January … [Read more...]

The joys of being temporarily Malaysian.

With the ringgit at an all-time low, I went into Malaysia for a few hours with my mum during my mid-term exams. We did not venture far into Malaysia, we just hung out at City Square very possibly the most expensive part of the entire country because it is the closest mall to Singapore. Shopping in Malaysia is a liberating experience for me. I am always counting my expenses in Singapore. In … [Read more...]

Equity Management #3 : The Dividend Discount model is overrated

One of the fundamental building blocks taught in the CFA is the dividend discount model or DDM. In Chapter 4 of the Equity Management book, empirical studies would succeed at demolishing the explanatory power of DMM when it comes to stock returns. For the novices, the dividend discount model is basically the  idea that a stock price should be the net present value of all future dividend … [Read more...]

The Singaporeans you will meet in the Economy of the Future.

Perhaps it is time for a semi-serious look into the four kinds of Singaporeans you will meet in the future. I call this is new 4P model of the Economy of the Future. a) Prince / Princess You will find Princes in those schools along Bukit Timah Road that offer the New Age International Baccalaureate syllabus because only rich people can buy a ticket out of taking the A levels. The … [Read more...]

CFE post : How SMU can fit into the future economy.

Yay ! Mid-terms are over. Today, I wanted to combine several posts into one. Of recent note, SMU has been on the radar of social media as of late. Exchange student Kerry Dwyer has written very candid comments about her SMU and Singapore experience here. In a mid-term party which was conducted by my JD pals yesterday,  my foreign classmates felt more inclined to agree with Kerry. There are … [Read more...]

Equity Management #2 : What strategies are the real deal when investing in stocks ?

[ This article is based on Chapter 3 of Equity Management by Jacobs and Levy ] It is not easy to tell who is the real deal when they about investing in equities and who is merely making up a story on a good investment strategy ? The really smart quants have a decent answer : Disentanglement. When we say that a low P/E strategy produces returns which are above average compared to the rest … [Read more...]

Quick Personal Update : End of CNY

Just like that CNY is over. I am hunkering down for a week of 3 mid-term exams and my blogging will slow over the next few days. a) Personal Finances It has been quite good for the past few weeks for income investors. We should be expecting juicy pay-offs at the end of this month and, in spite of every negative thing that has been said about Trump, his approach towards the fiduciary rule and … [Read more...]

Equity Management #1 : Ten investment insights which matter

I thought I should look for a more advanced book after reviewing Tim Feriss' Tools for Titans and have settle on Jacobs and Levy's Equity Management which I doubt anyone would read because it is quite an advanced guide and looks like a huge brick. The way I'm going to cover this book is going to be slower, with about one article a week. This book is, upon inspection, quite difficult to … [Read more...]

Chinese New Year as Life Audit.


Today is the 7th day of Chinese New Year and I would to talk about family visits between relatives. Exchanging notes with my younger classmates, the culture of probing relatives who ask about school performance and marital status is currently alive and well in Chinese New Year and it has created a considerable amount of angst amongst Singaporean Chinese, particularly unmarried women. The … [Read more...]

Channel 8 Rant : Why be a Good man when you can be a Great man !


A Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog. I've been silent this new year prior to writing this article because I don't really have any mind-blowing content today having initially wanted to talk about elitism, hubris and exclusivity of law schools but that's only useful for a small segment of my readership and not really consistent with the festive mood this week. And then, a couple … [Read more...]

Modern trends in self-help and personal improvement

I started reading self-help books sometime during my JC years, quite a while before Robert Kiyosaki incited me to really take possession of my personal financial destiny. The self-help fare in those days are divided along the lines of the personality ethic books by Dale Carnegie and the character ethic books championed by Stephen Covey. Along the way, Anthony Robbins became a huge motivational … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #45 : The Last One !

All good things must come to an end. This is the last segment on this blog on Tools for Titans. I am only going to do the wealthy section of the book. Starting tomorrow, my priorities are to complete the "Wise" section at my normal pace which means that I would be done with the book over the next few days. BJ Novak is an actor, writer, director and executive producer of the hit comedy The … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #44 : The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Peter Diamandis has been named one of the World's 50 greatest leaders by Forbes Magazine. He is interested in space travel and human longevity. This is a good, solid section that is full of visionary ideas. a) A problem is a terrible thing to waste This simple idea exhorts us to cherish the problems that we discover at work because if this problem is novel enough, it can lead to the … [Read more...]