Storify your facts

My wife and I like to embellish facts with stories.There's a very recent example of how we do it. There's a blue dustbin that we had in our void deck, that is used to collect bigger pieces of junk for recycling. One day when returning home, wife exclaimed that the dustbin is no longer there. Instead, on the floor where it used to stand were pieces of rubbish that the dustbin is meant to … [Read more...]

Kungfu Cats Academy is here!

For those of you who are regular readers, you'll know what I do for a living. I'm a full-time tutor and had been one for the last 10 years (and counting!). I recently set up a new website to showcase the things that I do as a tutor, and it's called Kungfu Cats Academy. I'll like to share it with you :) One of the main reasons why I wanted to set up a separate site for my career is so that I can … [Read more...]

Learn from the Ants!

There's a lot of things that we can learn from the ants. Here's a trick on productivity coming straight from the ants colony itself - it's called Ant Colony Optimization. How does a scouting ant tell the rest of her colony that there's food here? She will secrete more pheromones - some kind of ant perfume - along the path that she found the food. When her colony mates passes by and picks up the … [Read more...]

The 3 components of ROE

I've written in the past about the dangers of relying solely on ROE calculations. The danger comes from not knowing the components that makes up ROE. For the uninitiated, it refers to a matrix called Return on Equities.   Not this roe lah! I think it's important to use Dupont analysis of ROE to break up the components of ROE into 3 main categories: Financial … [Read more...]

Winning the skirmishes but losing the war

We are sometimes so caught up with our lives that we neglect the big picture. We often keep doing the things that are urgent, but forget about the things that are less urgent but nevertheless are important. Study the matrix above. Urgent means that it has a time factor to it. It needs to be done as soon as possible in order to meet datelines that are either self-imposed or externally … [Read more...]

Will you buy a chair for 1.6k?

I read a very interesting article about the comfort principle this morning. It's about optimising your spending in such a way so that you maximise your comfort level. If not taken to the extreme, this provides a very good guide on spending on things that are of value to you, not merely to catch up with or impress others. Similar to the author in the article, I also spent A LOT of money on a … [Read more...]

Hedging both sides of the bet on life

We usually hedge against a long life by planning for our retirement. We save up. We make sure we have enough passive income to last 20-30 years after our retirement. But we also have to hedge against the possibility of having a short life. Nobody knows when we're going to pass away. While it's never good to live in the present and forget about the future, it's also equally bad to concentrate … [Read more...]

$10k a month as a tutor? Think again.

I think by now you should have read this post about a tutor who earns $10k a month. Most of what is mentioned in the article is quite true and I can vouch for its accuracy. Some comments on it though, before you quit your job to become one: 1. There's no CPF contribution by employer, leave, benefits, company dinners, health insurance sponsored by company. There's no company benefits at … [Read more...]

Retirement thoughts

I was thinking about retirement income recently, especially after reading a click bait post from a magical blog. I felt cheated because I was baited into it, so that set me thinking. It's not the same topic however, but certainly in the same general area of personal finance.To get a retirement income, we have to settle a few variables. Once those variables are thought of, we can perhaps (roughly) … [Read more...]

Is it a "waste of yourself" to be caught up in investing?

I think financial education is a must in this world. It's not even an option. Everything (almost) transacts in monetary terms, so without a working knowledge of money, you'll be severely disadvantaged in this world that you're currently living in.But even though it's a necessity, it doesn't mean everyone needs to be an expert in it. There are different levels of involvement. Essentially, if you're … [Read more...]

Have you grabbed POSB’s low hanging fruits?

I thought I'll just share this again, in case you missed my informative story "It would have to do".It's about the POSB national day celebration, where they will give you an extra 1.5% per annum for 3 months if you register after you've deposited in a sum (up to 10k max) in your savings account and not touch it till 30th November 2014. Do remember to register here after you've put in your … [Read more...]

The girl who picks up snail

He was just 22, when he met a beautiful girlbending over a pavement, while it pours like pearlWith her brown and beady eyes, she pointed to a snailcrawling along the pavement, leaving a moist and slimy trail.With slow and gentle hands, she plucked it off the groundand placed it just beside, a soft and grassy mound.Puzzled, he asked the girl, "Why change the snail's locale?"Beaming, she answered … [Read more...]

OCBC rights issue (Part 2)

I was thinking whether there's a way to make the best out of this rights issue...seems bleak. For those who haven't read, do read my first post on this rights exercise: OCBC rights issue (Part 1) first. I thought of a few ways. Let's just assume that the buy in price is $10.20, just to make a comparison. Commission is not included in all calculations, unless otherwise stated. Theoretical ex … [Read more...]

OCBC rights issue (Part 1)

I'm always very interested in rights issue. There's a new kid on the block just announced today. That's for OCBC. They bought into WingHang bank listed in HK, maybe even over paying for it. The big idea is that they can raise the funds for the purchase by doing private placements (Boo!), borrow money and increasing their debts (not too good, in the light of ever increasing capital requirements … [Read more...]

A Great Loss

"A Great Loss"I knew I was unimportant. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life I am invisible to her eyes. Nah – she nary cast a glance at me, and even if she did, I must say the look is never affirmative. Usually it ranges from glowering distaste to say the least, and glaring disgust at the worst.“Why are you here? Why don’t you go away?” She mutters maliciously.But I did stay. I did not go. … [Read more...]

A clip from the past

Recently I chanced upon this site on NLB that has clips of Straits times in the past. It's very interesting to read about the past. Things were so different then. This was the headlines of the day when I was born. President of the US is Jimmy Carter. There's still USSR back in those days. The local police are hunting a con person who swindled an ex-teacher. 2 years later, in 1980, this was … [Read more...]

My Father

When I was a kid at 5, I never liked my father. He wasn't there when I needed him, to teach me how to bike. Each night I want a kiss from him, before tucking me to bed. Wasn't there to comfort me, as I cry myself in bed. When I grow up as a man, I don't want to be like him. When I was a teen at 15, I seldom see my father. He was sleeping when I leave at dawn, at work when I sleep at night. Two … [Read more...]

Kindle paper white

I thought I would never get another kindle, but I was proven wrong. This time, it's the 6.7 inches kindle paperwhite.What's so special about this compared to my 9.7 inches old graphite DX?First of all, there's a back lit for the kindle paperwhite. This makes reading possible when there's no natural light. The brightness level is easily accessible by two touches, so you can adjust the settings on … [Read more...]

The secrets of the millionaire dwarfs

"Bwahahaa! Those are yer good ol' times, ain't ye?", bellowed Drurim Drumsbearer as he gulped down his fifth pint of Heineken. The good dwarf had long ago hung his battle-worn oaken shield that had been passed down from his bloodline and exchanged his trusty old battleaxe for his Louis Vuitton's leather briefcase, perfectly tailored pinstripe suit and a pair of brown, calf leather … [Read more...]

It Would Have To Do

I'm on a roll. I must say this new development of dispensing financial information through the use of short stories is making me excited about blogging on personal finance again. It keeps me thinking of imaginary characters making imaginary conversations. Actually they are not so imaginary. It's always based on fragments on some real aspects of my life, or on the life of others around me. If you … [Read more...]