Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Inequality explained as a game.

I read with great amusement a FB share by a person known as Mark Lin who wrote a brilliantly original take on inequality. You can find it here. While I am of the opposite camp from Mark Lin, I must congratulate on his approach of describing the kind of inequality we have in Singapore. He describes it as basically playing a kind of Monopoly game where the winner of the previous game gets to start with two pieces of property that he can collect rental from. The effect of reading this FB update immediately gave me a motivation to...

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The Art of the Good Life #28 : Making a deal with the Devil.

I can certainly relate to this chapter. Beyond harming oneself or one’s immediate family, there’s not a lot that people will refuse to do if the monetary incentive is high enough. It might not be a bad thing for society because,  sometimes,  even a serial child rapist-killer should have access to justice and should be a chance to hire a lawyer to defend himself even though his actions may be universally disgusting. This closes the three sections on the Circle of Dignity. The author proposes that in order to live a good life, we develop a set of principles...

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Tuition as an investment

I read the news with increasing consternation that our society has created a monstrosity such as the tuition industry. The situation is now so bad that I think personal finance gurus need to put their heads together to formulate a better framework to decide whether kids should have tuition because the consequence to  your wallet is so dire that in the BIGS FB group, professional tutor La Papillon estimates about $1,500 spent per month for four subjects. And this is only for one child. Tutors have a guaranteed rice-bowl due to the systemic mess the education system has created...

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My World Cup 2018 shenanigans…

Dungeons and Dragons geeks, as a general rule, are not into soccer. Nerds and jocks do not mix. For the life of me, I never understood why folks would bother so much about 22 guys kicking a ball while hordes of fans use the event as an opportunity to get drunk in a pub. It also irks me that whenever the English loses, wife abuse in England goes up. After becoming an investor, though. I learnt that World Cup season is also bargain hunting season. So I started to follow the World Cup results because I wanted to know...

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The Art of the Good Life #27 : If you break on the outside.

The second part of the Circle of Dignity series is about maintaining the upper hand no matter what happens. The example given was a story of a Vietnam veteran who was supposed to be paraded through the streets to show the world how well-treated US POWs were treated. Moments before he was supposed to be paraded, he bashed his face so hard against a stool, his face became bloodied so much so that the Vietnamese were no longer able to use him to make a public statement. Although I sort of get this advice, I would hesitate to attempt...

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Radical ideas on parenting.

This came about after I became triggered after reading Teo You Yenn’s book when she created a false dichotomy on the various approaches to parenting found in Singapore. For the folks that she did a lot of ethnographic research on, she labelled their approach towards children as seeing them as a “blessing”. Children are almost like a gift from the Almighty. You take the children as they are and then do your best in raising them. Children for these folks are happy accidents. Prof Teo had no mercy for the folks on the other side of the rich-poor divide....

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A deeper analysis of the Astrea IV Private Equity Bond Offerings.

There seems to be quite a bit of excitement on the Astrea IV Private Equity Bond Offerings.  These bonds have been described in great detail by other bloggers such as Investment Moats and Financial Horse. I just wish to write a small article to plug the gaps in the analysis I find in the blogosphere. Compared to most investors, my personal interest lies in the Class B rather than the Class A offerings. Here I am detailing the reasons why this is the case. [ Feel free to critique my analysis. In practice, I do not have the money...

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F.U. Money is about reinventing the Singapore Dream !

This post came about because Kyith Ng from Investment Moats was giving me feedback on my slides for the upcoming talk and he wants me to see if I can suggest some alternative lifestyles or schemes for people to choose from after they achieve their financial independence. After some deliberation, I think we can do much than that. I think by now, readers of this blog knows that I’ve been blogging about the Death of the Singaporean Dream for quite some time. In fact, I think the Dream is already Dead. My generation’s leaders murdered the Singaporean Dream when...

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The Art of the Good Life #25 : Hedonism and Eudemonia

My talk on F.U. Money is not just going to be a showcase of reams of data in my back-testing experiments. In fact, I’m spoiling one of my slides here ( I have close to 60 slides for the 30 minute presentation ). Post- F.U. Money, most folks will focus on personal pleasure or Hedonism. These are the guys inflicting all that psychic damage on me right now, posting their wonderful June Holiday photos of them travelling with their kids in Europe. Hedonistic people will use their money to travel, procure more sex, or eat at a Michelin 3-star...

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An idea so dumb, only an intellectual will believe it !

The genesis of this article came from Alvin Chow of Dr Wealth who make this quote of social media. I was once reminded of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH). On Investopedia, the definition of EMH is as follows : “The efficient market hypothesis (EMH) is an investment theory that states it is impossible to “beat the market” because stock market efficiency causes existing share prices to always incorporate and reflect all relevant information.” This theory is broken down into three sub-forms: The weak form of EMH posits that past movements and volume do not affect future stock prices. Believers...

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BIGScribe Investors Exchange 2018 is about F.U. Money !

I’d like to see BIGScribe Investors Exchange as the Wrestlemania of Singapore Investing. You can book your tickets for this event here. Our last event sold out and I was told by the event organisers that we are selling the tickets at twice the rate last year. It’s no surprise, because as of this time, we have four heavyweight speakers who will be talking about serious investing topics for that day.As you all know, I am a retail investor and a fan boy, so I look forward to the presentations just like members of the audience. Which puts me...

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Describing a problem well does not mean that you have a solution.

The Art of the Good Life is taking a break this week as I am blogging from my parent’s home and recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning. This is part 2 of my critique of Teo You Yenn’s This is what inequality looks like. After completing the book, I became a lot more disappointed at this piece of work. The first half had vivid descriptions of inequality but the second half is a confusing mess. There were two chapters dedicated to the problem of the lack of dignity in the lower classes. One chapter, which I find...

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Quantamental Investing and the Piotroski F-Score

I don’t have much to talk about because I’ll be spending the weekend in NLB to crank up more backtests for my next talk which is entitle “F.U. Money”. I can’t start my marketing blitz until I finalized my contents. But here’s a share on what I’ve been thinking about of late. The latest buzzword being bandied around is Quantamental Investing and I did some Googling to find out how professionals do it. Right now, I can’t figure out how this is anything new compared to what was done before so it is possible that some people invent a...

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The Art of the Good Life #24 : The Spiral of Self-pity

Another short one, There are three unproductive ways that we can deal with negative events. a) Do nothing. b) Complain c) Engage in Self-Pity The book misses out the fourth point : d) Engage is self destruction The trick is not to engage in any of these activites. The suggestion not to engage in self-pity comes about because there is no end to the injustice that your ancestors faced that led to your fate today. I just want to say a few words about Millenials and personal finance. In 2008 and 2009, our generation faced possibly one of the...

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Feasibility of Bond Margin Financing

[ Feedback for this article is fast and furious ! Some concerns raised is whether investment grade bonds with a short duration can even be found in the markets ] This has been a great week. The folks of Kim Eng held an open house and invited me to attend. The catered food was relatively good given that my exposure to free buffet is limited to what is available in SMU law school. They also gave me a pair of free movie tickets because I was such a special margin financing customer. I’m just saying all this because I...

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