Random musings about Bangkok.

This is not a lifestyle blog but I spent the last 3 days in Bangkok in a fairly intense but fun trip. Here are some random thoughts from my trip. a) Singapore is losing on many fronts to Bangkok in retail and entertainment The retail situation in Bangkok is really so much larger in terms of scale and variety. The first thing you notice is that there is no "Capital Mall" effect and each … [Read more...]

My JD aftermath #1 : Was it worth it ?

Ok, I've got sometime to blog before I head to Bangkok over the weekend for some serious shopping and eating. A couple of days after my last paper, some headhunters have started talking to me and I had a serious chance to ask myself what would be my desired price tag to postpone my legal ambitions. I have since calculated a number and have gotten back to them and they still seem … [Read more...]

Equity Management #9 : Long-short equity investing.

For the next few years, I will be stretching myself beyond the usual yield investing which has been instrumental in allowing me to reach this current of financial independence. One of the approach I am toying with is the use of leverage, I hope to start building a small portfolio which has a modest amount of leverage to magnify my dividend yields. The longer plan is to look at long-short … [Read more...]

Personal update – Done with my JD programme ( Hopefully ! )

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And just like that, I completed my final exam in SMU and I guess I would have met all the requirements to graduate with a Juris Doctor qualification. While I would have preferred to end my SMU stint in a high, my last paper was brutal and I found myself lacking the time to craft a coherent response to the exam questions. Nevertheless I should be able to move onto the next stage where I start … [Read more...]

Mystics Secrets of the Eunuch Sorcerer !

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Before I go for my exams and take 10 days off my blogging, I'd just like to address the amazing traction of my Eunuch post by looking at ways for a fresh graduate public servant to rapidly create a portfolio that can facilitate an early exit from stifling bureaucratic environment. The public service is a lot more forgiving for entry-level personnel and you will find that your early salary … [Read more...]

Equity Management #8 : Front-running and factor crowding.

If you follow this series on my blog, one of things you will realise is that it is increasingly harder and harder to come up with actionable ideas for readers as the equity management textbook becomes even more abstract. I was wading through 3 chapters on smart beta investing before I could compose this article. Nevertheless, this column is probably meant more for my own investment education than … [Read more...]

If you’re an eunuch, here’s how to grow a pair !

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When I left the private sector, I was already financially independent. But I wanted to see if I could get into a career which would stretch longer and give me work life balance. Unfortunately, my tenure out of the private sector was very short and I never managed to get used to the culture of the public sector. It's actually sad what public servants had to endure in the past few months. One … [Read more...]

Equity Management #7 : Taking on more risk from a benchmark portfolio.

Most investors are normally fixated at their returns from ordinary asset classes. You take on the risk of equity for 8% returns and moderate your equity position with a bond position which is stable but only gives you only 2%. Professionals don't have that luxury. If market returns from equity are like an act of God then individual returns which deviate from the market benchmark would be the … [Read more...]

The Three Faces of Poverty in Modern Life.

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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

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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...]