Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Dating advice for financially independent men.

I do not need to really blog anymore. These days, a fellow blogger might just refer some readers here and all I have to do is to react to their article. Investment Moats put up a really hilarious article today. Before I start, a little bit about my dating history. I was NOT financially independent when I was dating, but I was a bona fide cheap date in my early thirties struggling and failing every month to live on my dividends. But me and my missus were happy. We ordered a $7 Nasi Briyani from Shami Banana Leaf restaurant...

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How to beat the STI index ?

  A lot of other blogs talks about the virtues of the STI ETF index ( ES3 ).   For most beginners, buying the entire index makes sense. As ETFs generally have low management fees, holding the ETF for a long term yields solid dividends and you get to make a general bet on the Singapore economy.   But what if you are an intermediate investor and want better performance on the STI index?   One way is to understand that the STI index is a capitalization-weighted index. This means that the position of an individual stock when you...

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Law versus Chaos in Personal Finance.

I just completed 90% of two research papers and started by mid-term holidays ( Lectures resume next Tuesday ) and have only a few minutes to create this update. Recently a really horrible piece of financial advice came out from Elite Daily which was immediately pounced upon by by my friend and uber blogger Budget Babe. I would like to add some context and nuance about personal finance in general. We need to think about our adult lives as battle of Law against Chaos. On the side of Law is our desire for security. To meet our goal of...

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How to deal with the idea of 15% yielding "unicorn" yield stocks.

Investment moats struck blogger gold again with an article on keeping cash around for that 15% yielding stock. To me, this article borders on financial pornography, but it does so in two good ways : Firstly, Driz’zt did not insist that 15% yields exists, he merely suggests that a prudent investor hold some cash in reserve should that day arrive. Secondly, he referenced my blog, so I would need to put in some effort to build on his ideas. The main idea of my article is that a 15% yielding stock which would pave the way for your financial...

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Manage your CPF well but please do not rely on it !

I’m very busy this week as I have my mid-terms and a presentation to make next week in school. Nevertheless I want to elaborate on this point I made in my radio interview which Driz’zt of Investment Moats has kindly referred some traffic to me is his very well-thought article on CPF. We Singaporeans are a lucky lot because a large part of what our government do actually works. The same cannot be said if you happen to live in our neighbouring countries. The mindset of not relying on CPF is not a judgment on our government’s capabilities. I...

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Peer to peer lending strategy using the Kelly Criterion.

There is very little literature on how to invest in peer-to-peer lending campaigns and I am pretty sure that very few financial bloggers who have a decent framework on peer-to-peer lending. I am going to attempt to come up with a blueprint on how to size your bets when you are being offered a campaign on any lending platform. This approach is based on the Kelly formula which is employed by gamblers in casinos. It is an optimization strategy which maximises long term returns. Based on what I know about the current state of lending platforms, the Moolahsense platform...

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Notes from my last interview at Kiss 92 FM on retirement.

I think I was a lot more nervous in this round of the interviews because some of the questions veered away from what I was prepared for, apologies if there are more time fillers if you are a Toastmaster. Nevertheless, it was a good session. I want to clarify some points I made and highlight some questions I addressed when I was off-line with the deejays, a) REITs are not everything. The DJ’s couched the questions from the position of a rent collector which was how the conversation veered towards a discussion on REITs. While REITs are a mainstay...

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Write your own manifesto ! Rekindle the Singapore Dream !

The concept of a manifesto has become more interesting in the upcoming elections. For a party which is not likely to form a government, a manifesto is of little use to the electorate but serves a purpose similar to that of marketing collateral. You see that these parties would come up with the best manifestos that have the effect of transferring a bulk of the reserves into the pockets of Singaporean. For a party that is very likely to form a government after the elections, a manifesto becomes almost contractually binding because the electorate would remind the party of...

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Before you vote on Sep 11 : How to make your own minimum wage and unemployment insurance.

I was actually quite apathetic to this year’s elections, that is until I came upon snippets of the Worker’s Party manifesto on their proposal for minimum wages and unemployment insurance which warrants some gentle intervention from a finance blogger. But first of all, I don’t want this article to lobby for any political party. Just because I think that WP’s ideas on minimum wages and unemployment insurance are wrong does not mean that the reader is being asked to support the PAP. This is because WP will not be able to execute on their manifesto even if gain two...

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How to seek financial knowledge ?

Budget Babe was the first blogger to respond to the POSB advertisement which exhorts Millennials to surrender their financial futures to financial adviser. You can find the posting here. I’m going to post the next logical step which would take the reader towards building a basic foundation in personal finance. Here are the bare basics before you even start on reading a financial book : a) You run your life like a business. A good way of framing your financial life is that you are running a business regardless of what kind of vocation you are in. Your salary...

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What about Engineers ?

If you want a study for a degree which is likely to see you in a bank doing Operations, you should study engineering. However, if you want to study for a degree which would land you into a job managing a hipster cafe or baking cupcakes, a Law degree is your surest bet. If I can start my life all over again, I would still take Engineering as my first degree, the only change is that I will aggressively study software engineering, ignore electronics/hardware and try to slant my electives towards Data Analytics. However, I would still not become...

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What to do in this market downturn ?

Yesterday, everyone seemed to be having a reaction when the STI started on a free-fall which led it being 4% down. Some of the folks had a “I told you so” episode, brazenly declaring that they have won because the market bear is upon us which is stupid because a savvy investor knows that bull markets don’t last forever. A least one person I know even went as far to declare that the Chinese Yuan would depreciate 10% and that this downturn was just the beginning. I checked into Yahoo finance, a 10% depreciation would mean that the USDRMB...

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Technology disruption, marriage and the New Age bachelor.

I think new technology developments warrant a fresh look into marriage and bachelorhood in Singapore. It started during the summer holidays when I was asked by my professor what is the most important app which was developed over the past 12 months. My answer was Tinder. I was unable to really come up with a strong argument for the app because I was not a user of the app and had to rely on articles from other folks who could not stop raving about it. My only argument was that Gen-X guys in general struggled hard to get hitched...

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Should you panic with the STI below 3000 ?

A lot of folks are talking about the crash of the STI index and started contacting me out of the blue about what I plan to do so I thought I’d write a short post on this. First off, local markets are down. At this point of time, most investors would have a suffered massive losses. I lost the school fees of my entire JD degree over the past week. This means that I would have been better off had I sold my entire stake before going into Law School and just ate my cash holdings. But am I...

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Recording of my my interview on Kiss 92.

As a League of Extraordinary Financial Bloggers, the community have really come pretty far and we are now getting some informal support for each other to promote our own independent form of financial planning for the masses who cannot bring themselves to trust commissioned agents. This gig would not have been possible if not for cheerful.egg’s  Lionel’s introduction. Lionel is also the man of the week and has appeared in last weekend’s Me and My Money. Richard Ng of Invest Openly has managed to create a recording on my interview on Kiss 92 FM. Clearly this is not the work of one individual...

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