Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Equity Management #18 : Mysteries of short selling stocks.

Ok, now that I have established a system for margin trading, it is time to move on and consider this other system which I have always been curious about which is short selling. In the US, short selling is quite interesting as a sale should ideally result in some cash in your hands. You can then deploy this cash into various other long positions. I’ve always been curious as to how short selling works but I have no idea how to start. I am somewhat familiar with Contra trading where you sell a stock and then try to buy...

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The importance of Cultural Capital when changing careers

This blog has in the past discussed two forms of capital. Financial Capital represents whatever wealth you have in your personal balance sheet and represents what most of us are comfortable with. Human capital is the net present value of our unearned income. We are less familiar with this concept because it corresponds to what professions we have chosen  and it can also increase in value with more investment into lifelong learning. While financial and human capital are two sides of the same coin. Cultural capital comes from a different coin entirely. The idea of cultural capital came from...

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Equity Management #17 : More random thoughts on margin investing.

Here’s an update. This week on Wednesday the kind folks of Maybank Kim Eng bought me and two other finance bloggers to lunch to apologise for the margin call made on my account. ( As I was the only guy who got margin called, I accused the other bloggers of getting a free meal out of my misery ! ) The lunch was somewhat hipsterish –  we ate octopus at this place called Venue by Sebastian. The highlight of the session if not so much the free food but just how surprisingly insightful the folks of Maybank are. I...

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Investors Exchange 2017 : 50 Shades of Dividends Investing !

I’m really excited to talk about our next event which will feature 7 speakers and last one entire Saturday afternoon on 29 July 2017. This event will be the first time BigScribe would be selling tickets for 250+ seats.  You can place your order through this link. This time round, I’m really excited to be on the same panel as Teh Hooi Ling, who is currently the President of Aware and my super-senior in the NUS Masters of Applied Finance programme. I have to admit that I am the fan boy this time and I have all of Teh Hooi...

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Spending that counts – What we know from the latest surveys on the rich.

I am currently reading The Sum of Small Things : A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett and it looks like I would have to update some of my thoughts on saving and spending to the latest findings of social science research. Apparently, it is no longer cool to get into conspicuous consumption. Rich people no longer show off their expensive fashion and toys. Because the middle-class can consistently use credit to purchase the trappings of material wealth, the rich in the US are moving onto other things to maintain their social and cultural distance from the...

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One thing modern workers need to do to stop digging their graves.

This is going to be a short article as I look forward to paying off some sleep debt. Once of our upcoming talks in August was supposed to be lifelong learning but for very valid reasons, it did not pan out, so we will probably be going ahead with something else later this year. I’ve done some preliminary readings on lifelong learning for my own benefit and discovered this insight about lifelong learning which is not shared public about – you need some degree of career mobility to benefit from lifelong learning. For lifelong learning to really benefit a...

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Equity Management #16 : Troll Portfolio.

It is interesting that some folks who I did not expect to follow my blog are observing this margin trading experiment so here’s another update : Apparently the good folks of Maybank Kim Eng do read my blog and called me up to apologize for the “mistaken” margin call. They also told me that they were not sharing email accounts and my broker did make a mistake and triggered the margin call on Saturday. I took their word for it because my problem is solved and the system is reflecting my margin numbers correctly. I’m also very forgiving because...

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It gets worse – I got margin called after one day of trading !

This is so hilarious, I must share what happened to me yesterday for everyone to read. Yesterday at around 1pm, I received an email from Maybank-Kim Eng telling me that I got a margin call. In that email, I was told that can either pony up $7k or they will sell off $22k of my shares. I’ve only traded for a day. With a cash collateral of $10,000, I bought about $22k of REITs and even made $60 on the first day and I received a margin call a day after that ?!?!? The news almost gave me a...

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Inconspicuous consumption and the theory of platforms.

I felt that a recent article on AEON sums up my approach to life for the past 2 decades. Today I’d just like to talk about platforms, why they matter in a world of inconspicuous consumption and follow up on margin trading which is causing a small stir on other financial blogs. a) Platforms matter  The article on inconspicuous consumption discusses new ways by which people signal social economic status. All of these approaches are fairly cheap in terms of money but can be horrendously costly in terms of time. I use a more general term of platforms when thinking...

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Equity Management #15 : Finally managed to start margin trading today !

Once again, my Equity Management textbook is stuck in my condo but I’m staying at my parent’s place tonight so I don’t have any advanced equity investing ideas to share with everyone. Right now it seems that everyone has been very excited about the Sanli IPO that made some other financial bloggers very happy today. I missed out the fun because I saved two quarters of dividend residuals to get my margin account started. I sure hope that the most challenging part of the process is over. As there is a decent chance that I would have to start...

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Some insights from "Rich People Problems"

This is not a book review and I am not going to spoil this story as I think that if a Singaporean wants to read a piece of fiction, he should look no further than “Crazy Rich Asian” trilogy by Kevin Kwan that’s going to be made into a movie soon. Instead, I’m going to put my my very imaginary and non-existent “English Literature hat” and flesh out an interesting feature of Kevin Kwan’s writing throughout this novel. Kevin Kwan name-drops a lot in his works. Whether you think of Kevin’s name dropping of world class brands and designers...

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What can we learn from Male Gaming Hermits ?

This is probably the only local financial blog which talks about the latest phenomenon in the US that may already be a mainstream lifestyle in Singapore. Young males, especially those without tertiary qualifications, are not just refusing to settle down and have families; they are withdrawing from society, living with their parents and trying to spend as much time playing computer games as possible. The current crop of computer games are highly immersive and addictive. One example is Horizon Zero Dawn with cybernetic dinosaurs and another is the Zelda game on the Nintendo Switch platform. Academics are working furiously...

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Equity Management #14 : Starting positions of my leveraged account.

This is going to be a short post. Following up on my previous post, I have managed to set up a margin trading account with Maybank Kim Eng and used $10,000 from May’s dividends pay-out to get started on a portfolio with leveraged yield. I chose four starting positions which has the following criteria – Must yield at least 7% and has to contain stocks which I do not currently own in my main portfolio. With the exception of Manulife, the financial costs of the leverage is about 2.88% with Manulife going at 3.5%. [ I really hope no...

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Discourse on Avocado sandwiches betrays Gen-X’s own financial insecurity.

Every generation likes to poke fun at the generation which secedes them.  Baby Boomers were particularly cruel to Gen-X when we were growing up and made fun of the shows we watched ( Friends ) and the music we listened to ( Nirvana ). As Generation X got older, they started to take on Millennials or Gen-Y and recently came out with a distracting argument proclaiming that Millenials will never retire because they ate hipster food like Avocado Sandwiches. The article was particularly damning last week and featured one special snow flake whose life can only be complete all...

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On scarcity, $10,000-a-month internships and capping graduates to 30% of the Singapore population.

Given that I turned down five-figure a month job to carry on with my $500 a month internship, I thought I should share my perspective on $10,000 a month internships article that recently appeared in the Business Times. Statistically speaking, $10,000 internships are special with the average salaries for permanent workers being around the region of $4,000 a month. It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming envious of folks who get such lucrative internship stints but I expect only a few such positions to be so financially rewarding. Even if there are $10,000 a month internship, they...

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