Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Personal update and what to look out for in this blog.

Ok, here’s a quick personal update. a) Finances There is supposed a 100% probability that the Fed will raise interest rates before the close of the year. I think it’s already built into the REIT prices so even if it happens, a rally for REITs should be around the corner. More worrying is Singapore’s new found status as a sick man of the East. My position is that the downturn is built into the government goal to restructure the economy and not widen the rich-poor gap any further. If a recession is a deliberate strategy, then a more aggressive...

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Example on how to Review your Job and Relevance within your industry.

Just thought I would provide an example on how to review your current job and predict the degree of disruption which you will face over the next ten years. The example I will use is the task of a litigator and if you actually know some litigators, you will understand these are supremely confidant guys who will never believe that their work will ever be replaced by an AI. So to review the work of the litigator, the first task would be to break the work of litigation down into multiple parts, which according to my reference book is...

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Can your job be replaced ?

I’ve just started on my unpaid internship with a start-up that deals with smart contracts. The power of an unpaid internship is that it is very easy to fall into the trap of doing the bare minimum and I was very careful not to let it happen to me. My start-up has a a number of objectives which I can work towards which I intend to meet, otherwise I am spending my December trying to pick up two key skills : a) The first is to pick up the MEAN stack of writing software using MongoDB, ExpressJS, NodeJS and...

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Motivating readers to take control of personal finances.

Many of us bloggers face the same problem, our readers are already fairly motivated to take control of their personal finances. the challenge is to be able to reach out to the folks who can benefit from our articles the most. As such a mini-revision on personal motivation would come in useful today. The bulk of today’s material comes from Barking up the Wrong Tree Blog. There are three conventional ways to think about motivation but I’m going to offer one novel suggestion. a) Finding meaning in what you do. You can construct meaning behind your financial planning by...

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On PSLE.

Ok, my exams are finally over and I am moving into my final semester beginning next year. Starting tomorrow, I begin a short unpaid internship stint with a startup. I hope I would be able to learn something significant this year end holidays with some programming high on my list of priorities. It has been a largely relaxed semester so there’s no need for any break this time round so off I go… Of late, there has been much talk on the PSLE exams and how demotivating it is for the majority of the primary six students who had...

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Financial Bloggers meet-up with SGX.

On Wednesday evening, financial bloggers were invited to meet up with SGX over and informal dinner session. This event was coordinated by Timothy Ho of Dollars and Sense, so I am grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to meet up with SGX. As this is an informal session, I was speaking to the SGX representative as to what she intends to achieve with this session and came away with the impression that they really just want to get to know financial bloggers better and have no desire to really find out where we stand on key issues....

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How a visit from an old ex-colleague made me $100,000 richer !

On Tuesday, an old friend decided to come all the way to my home for a visit. My friend is transitioning quite well into real estate sales and was kind enough to share some really basic tips with me on managing my own property. As you guys might know, while I have quite a decent amount of REITs in my portfolio, I am not too familiar with actual real estate. I live in an Executive Condominium which I service with the money I have left in my CPF-OA. Personally, I don’t really think very much about my primary residence...

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Personal Update

As exam season is upon us, this blog would be facing erratic updates over the next 3 weeks : a) Financial outlook One of the most important result of the Trump victory is that it’s become impossible to read what will happen to the markets next. Analysis found on Friday’s issue of the Economist is already incorrect in many ways as Trump is already working to back track on many of his campaign promises. The most promising news for investors is the question of whether the Fed to proceed to raise interest rates on December ( They might not...

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Triumph of the Trump !

What an amazing year ! We’ve got the election of Duterte, Brexit and now Trump. Let’s talk about what investors should consider next. Unlike the liberals who will spend the rest of the day depressed over the US elections, I don’t think that Trump is crazy. He carefully crafted a message for white voters and thrashed Clinton at the polls. And I doubt any family man wants to be remembered as a Hitler-like personality given that his kids will have to live with that in the future. This means that while there will be bargaining opportunity in the markets...

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Is Singapore entering a lost decade ?

First, a personal update. Sick and tired of sending resumes to law firms and getting roundly ignored, I did something unusual and spent the week chatting up legal startups to see if I can get an unpaid internship for December. I managed to get a positive reply within a matter of hours with my resume and within 24 hours managed to gain some access to a couple of startup founders. In a short 2-3 years out of the IT industry, the hiring process for IT guys have almost completely changed. The hirers are more interested in my Github.com account...

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Why Sex Matters in Personal Finance.

I’ve just concluded reading a book by Jon Birger called Dateonomics and it has quite a lot of insights on the effects of gender ratios of personal finance. The book tries to examine the effects of a lack of a eligible males in US cities like Manhattan which I think can be translated into the situation in Singapore. Almost all substantial societal progress was backed by population demographic which assumes that the number of men exceeds the number of women. In countries where there is a serious lack of women, men are forced to work hard to accumulate wealth...

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Death of the IT Project Manager

I was one of the early adopters of the Project Management Professional qualification and held it for nine years from 2003 to 2012. I was reading about the PMETs who are losing their jobs and wanted to understand why there is such a wide gap between the skills desired by the markets and the skills which middle-aged PMETs like me have. I also read a really badly written book called the Neo-Generalist by Kenneth Mikelsen, one of the worse books ever written in support of a generalist career which paints the picture of a polymath as someone who is a trickster,...

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Life-hacks for the money-conscious.

We had to send our kids to the hospital due to both getting high fever over the weekend. Things have only settled down today, so the weekend post has been slightly delayed. Here are three life-hacks for the money conscious. a) Roti Banjir Arbitrage  I read about a variant method to eat roti prata the other day, so I tried ordering two roti kosongs and then poured the curry all over it. I then bought two soft boiled eggs from the drinks seller and place it over my new creation. The result is light years better than any egg...

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Personal thoughts on Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF

The folks at Phillip Capital Management invited financial bloggers to a session where they introduced us to this ETF which just ended its offering period yesterday to quite a red-hot reception from investors. Many other bloggers are talking about this ETF, so I will just say a few words about this new product. Let’s start with the negatives : a) Dividend yield of 4.5-5% does not make my heart sing. The fund is not really attractive for high yield investors in a market where a REIT like Fraser Hospitality Trust can give more than 8%  when bought directly from...

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A perfect storm for REIT investors.

Another point which was keyed off the meeting we had with some fans is the idea of the perfect storm for REITs. Just to summarise REITs are the perfect instrument for the investor who is gunning for financial independence. REITs are Collective Investment Schemes so come under moderate scrutiny by the Singapore Government. Issuing REITs require a high level of compliance to prospectus requirements. Investors then get rewarded with be able to diversify their holdings among multiple pieces of property. REITs are also held by back with a gearing limit of 45% and a 25% on development property. The...

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