Can Financial Literacy Be Taught? Yes and No

Thanks for the comments and your feedback to my previous post: Can Financial Literacy Be Taught? You know what? This exercise is already an answer by itself. Sort of. How many of you who commented had attended a "proper" Financial Literacy class? I'll bet none. But that didn't stop you from knowing what you know now. Wink. Preaching to the choir boys or pagans? There are some … [Read more...]

Can Financial Literacy Be Taught?

My spontaneous view is that teaching "Financial Literacy" makes as much sense as teaching "Entrepreneurship". Of course there are certain aspects that can be taught - those housekeeping stuffs. But that's already "taught" in our schools or in our homes as part of growing up. The secret desire that most people seek when they use the term "Financial Literacy" as a cover, that I don't think it … [Read more...]

Evening with Pamela Chng from Bettr Barista

It's with 50 other persons at Young NTUC, Crossroads last night lah! And I never say no to free dinner if you are wondering why.   2 takeaways from last night's talk I would like to share with you: Learning again From working in the corporate world (SPH) to co-founding her own boutique web consultancy, and to starting Bettr Barista, it has been a journey of small … [Read more...]

Goal setting on things you can’t control?

The old days I remember getting poked when I submitted my first business goals and plans to my Steering Group many years back. During my tour of duty in Shanghai, when I became part of the Steering Group during my final years there, I had fun returning the favour back to the team leaders so eager to please and impress us - them with their bombastic goals together with shock and awe business … [Read more...]

Spot the leopard

Can you spot the leopard in the picture? Confirmed it's not a trick. If you spot it, please don't spoil the fun for others in the comments section. Just say you found it or can't find it. You can pretty much throw pattern recognition out as part of your technical setups if you take too long a time to find the leopard. Don't worry. There are other technical setups like counting … [Read more...]

My Virgin Speaking at this Personal Financial Investment Seminar

First things first. Date: 17 Jan 2015, Saturday Place: NTUC Auditorium (Walking distance from Raffles Place MRT) Time: 12 - 5:30 pm  (See programme) Remember to enter at the coupon code: MLFRIEND This way, you'll only pay $8 per person if you register before end Nov 2014 Heard got some free packet food and drinks provided during the break. (Hello! Don't come for the food only OK? … [Read more...]

The words not spoken

For those of us who are in sales or purchasing - where we do a lot of human interactions and communications - we are quite attuned to the hidden message of words not spoken. Women in general are better than men in this regard as women are more in tuned with the little subtleties of a gesture, a changed inflection of the voice, or the raising of the eyebrow. Men on the other hand can be so … [Read more...]

Me Time; Family Time

Last night, I ended up at this round table discussion whereby Young NTUC has been gathering feedback from the many youths on their concerns between the balancing of social and economic priorities in Singapore, while maintaining the family as the foundation. Wait. How did I ended up there again? I'm not exactly a spring chicken... Oh! It's for the FREE dinner. (I'll do anything to get a free … [Read more...]

Song choice and Music styles

I can still remember clearly the day when I discovered I can sing (in tune at least). I was in Sec 3 and was sitting in the toilet doing my "big one". Feeling bored, I started singing the chorus bits of "Always on my mind" by Willie Nelson. The night before, I was watching the Grammy awards where Willie Nelson and this song won several awards... I guess it sunk in unconsciously. When I … [Read more...]

I hunt alone

Have you noticed students of 2-4 studying together at fast food outlets? It reminded me of my school days. I never can study in a group. Someone I liked asked why I don't talk or blog about the stocks I own. Simple. I hunt alone. OK, I do reveal some of my trading positions. But that's only when I am talking shop to a veteran full-time trader (he hunts alone too). And I only do so … [Read more...]

Life Insurance with No Commissions (coming soon at a theatre near you!)

I'm not a bleeding heart. I'm not a Bodhisattva. I'm more of a man-whore who believes in self-cultivation and walking our own way. But then, sometimes man-whore also got passion. So here goes: Life Insurance with No Commissions  Old news leh! Want to bet? Those of you studying business finance courses at tertiary institutions, do you know about it? Have fun taking a … [Read more...]

Dollar Cost Averaging is Voodoo or what?

I must first qualify myself that of the 3 - Averaging down, Scaling in, and Dollar cost averaging - I've never done Dollar cost averaging myself. So unlike my other posts on this topic, I'm totally speaking from an "academic" perspective. Dollar cost averaging is usually spoken in the same breath with passive index funds or ETFs. Although I think its just as valid as an accumulation strategy … [Read more...]

Scaling In is not the same as Averaging Down

Scaling in is simply the building up a core investment or sizable trading position through a series of entries. It's usually practiced by those who have been humbled by the market and realised they are not so great at picking tops and bottoms. By spreading their entries, they hope to get a reasonably good average entry price - the shotgun approach. This is the opposite of the 100% all-in … [Read more...]

Average Down versus Scaling-In versus Dollar Cost Averaging

Nothing draws in new batches of cannon fodder like the bull market of 2013 - be it STI or S&P. I think its good to revisit this never ending average down topic once again. Experienced investors and traders (lived through 1 bull/bear cycle) you can move along now. Nothing to see for you. You won't be where you are today without a well established opinion. Don't change a winning formula. … [Read more...]

Crash Got Sound – Management by Stumbling Along

Crash got sound is a wonderful Hokkien saying in Singapore. It never really sunk in until I started work at this wonderful previous company of mine. Let me share some of the interesting anecdotes of the company's early years that introduced me to this not so well known management concept of Management by Stumbling Along. The bloody chair is too big One evening, pioneer employee X was … [Read more...]

Blogging for Hobby versus Blogging as a Business

Most of us are blogging as a hobby. Never mind the rather "lofty" goals some of us wrote in our manifestos. Wait... Do I have a mission statement in my blog? Check here, check there. Phew! No. Good, good. No stress then. It's a hobby remember? There are also bloggers out there who are CLEARLY using their blogs as an extension of their existing businesses. Think remisiers, insurance … [Read more...]

Me and My Scooter – Revisited

This is the last of the trilogy of "peeling the onion" stories about me. Me and My Scooter This story has nothing to do with principles or outlook on life. While others prefer to quote this authority says this and that, that guru sermons so and so; this scooter story shows my love of writing in metaphors, analogies, and stories to make a point. Different strokes for different … [Read more...]

The Willow and the Oak tree – Revisited

This is the 2nd story dear to my heart: The Willow and the Oak tree Of course it's not about banging your head against the wall, or throwing yourself in front of a oncoming freight train. But there will be a time where we need to make a stand. To be counted. And not hide behind "we"; "others are doing it"; "this expert says so"; or put a brown paper bag over our head and shout with … [Read more...]

The Grasshopper and the Ant – Revisited

I've noticed that I have some new readers playing here recently. Adopting the environment friendly mantra of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, I would like to take the opportunity to introduce to new readers 3 old stories that I wrote ions ago. These 3 stories can best encapsulate my current philosophy and outlook on life. This way, you don't have to sieve through my 3 and half years of postings … [Read more...]

Embrace Meritocracy; Not Paper Chase

No prizes where the inspiration for this post came about. Most will focus on CPF (money, money, money); I focus on people. Let's get the bogeyman out of the way. Embracing meritocracy will not increase happiness. In fact, it may probably increase more stress, angst, and burst the illusions for those who collect paper qualifications like collecting stamps or boy scout badges. Why no … [Read more...]