Why am I interested in personal finance?

I thought this is a more relevant question that we can answer for ourselves, instead of why other people are not interested in it. As personal finance bloggers, we tend to think that the people from the other side of the fence are not as enlightened, at least in financial matters, as us. I guess those who are not interested in such matters will likewise make similar stereotypical viewpoints … [Read more...]

The price and value of deprivation

Price is what you pay for and value is what you get. Usually this is applied for things that you purchase. But I guess it's equally applicable to things that we choose not to purchase. If we choose not to buy something for $10, then we would have saved that $10. That's the price we had saved. But did we also correspondingly lost $10 worth of value? Rationally, we should choose to deprive … [Read more...]

Is financial freedom a competition?

Recently, I saw this article that resonates deeply with me. It's about how we shouldn't be jumping from the corporate rat race to another unlikely race - that of financial freedom. It's interesting to think of financial freedom as a competitive sports. Not too long ago, there's this massive spontaneous competition, likely sparked by the Sunday Straits times section, where 'competitors' take … [Read more...]

Fooled by randomness?

I've ever seen a student who is delusional. When he gets right, he'll claim that he's smart and clever. Especially if he didn't put in the effort compared to those 'muggers' who studied all day and night but scored worse than him. When he gets it wrong, he'll blame circumstances (oh he's sick, the paper is too hard, he's studying for another subject etc). What I think is that he didn't study at … [Read more...]

The conversation between a caterpillar and a butterfly

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Somtimes, the strangest tale comes from the inspiration of fellow bloggers. In this case, SMOL's post on butterflies got me thinking. I'll be the first to admit. This short story below is adapted from another book that I read.Emile the butterfly floated down to the Francis the caterpillar, who is her friend. But Francis didn't seem to recognise who the butterfly is. I mean, how could anyone blame … [Read more...]

Saying ‘I CAN’!

When I first started working as a full time tutor 10 years ago, I had many self limiting beliefs. Looking back now, it seems rather ridiculous that I had those beliefs, but I remembered that these beliefs were very real and very limiting to me at that point in time. Let me list down some of them: 1. No working during standard meal times I thought that I'm normal and I should have a normal … [Read more...]

You see what you want to believe

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This picture is too important not to share it. A friend posted on facebook a long time ago and I was immediately struck by it. Once I recovered, I've saved it and kept it until I saw it recently again. The message behind the picture is as true now as before. I think I shouldn't spoil the reflection part for you. Different people will see touch different parts of the elephant. … [Read more...]

As strong as the obstacles we’re facing

When I was in army, I got a silver for IPPT, so I thought I'm very strong. Until I tried to do a pull up 15 years later and realised I couldn't even do one. And so I trained hard for the past few months and now I managed to do 6 perfect form pull ups, then I know that I am strong. Until I tried to do a dumb-bell lift for 10 kg, and realised that I couldn't do it properly and effortlessly. And … [Read more...]

To create a masterpiece

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Michelangelo is a great sculptor. His great masterpiece is David, a sculpture of a person which is so lifelike that it amazes anyone who had glanced upon it. One day, he was asked about his great masterpiece and how he had managed to carve a lifeless rock into something that is so lifelike. He said this, "It's easy. All you have to do is to chip away everything that didn't look like … [Read more...]

To him whom you love to hate and hate to love

It hadn’t always been a smooth relationship. When I was young, I respected him as I would to any adult, especially one who so crucially shaped Singapore the way it is today. Back then, he was still the Prime Minister of Singapore and I remembered fondly the crowds that stood up and cheered loudly for him whenever he arrived on national day parade every year. I must be one of the last batches of … [Read more...]

My Two Rolex

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I never wanted to have a Rolex. But today I realised that I have not just one, but two! Two Rolex right in front of me and I didn't know! A Rolex watch is a status symbol, a hallmark of those who had arrived. But I think I'll never ever buy one. I prefer my time pieces to be digital, so that time telling is precise. I also need my time pieces to have a stop watch, water resistant, have night … [Read more...]

Book review – The Singapore Permanent Portfolio by Alvin Chow

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Alvin from BigFatPurse is very kind to pass me a copy of his newest book, The Singapore Permanent Portfolio. I've always wanted to know more about the Permanent portfolio, so this comes as a godsend. Why is it named the permanent portfolio? I think I'll answer that question at the end of this post. The permanent portfolio is an investment idea that comes from US in the 70s, but the idea is that … [Read more...]

SMART expo

SMART expo had been around organizing events and seminars for quite a while. This March is their 38th one running in the series. The event is free and it's good if you're interested or want to find out more about investing in properties around the region or if you want to know more about investing/trading in the stock market and achieving financial freedom. The list of speakers include Ken Chee, … [Read more...]

FREE Jim Rogers seminar

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I know some of you are fans of Jim Rogers, so here's a lobang you can't miss. To those who don't know who he is, here's a quick description of him. He is a astute investor who is quite unlike others. He is a top down kind of investor who bets on big macro trends in the economy, unlike some other gurus who go from bottom up. He had said before that commodities will be the thing to look out for in … [Read more...]

Unactionable advise

Things should be made simpler, but not to such an extent that a big part of the meaning is lost. We often hear of market truism like the following: 1. Buy low, sell high 2. Don't lose your capital 3. Diversify diversify diversify and many many more. I'm sure if we look hard enough, we can find contradicting truism that runs contrary to an existing one. With regards to the above 3 truism, I … [Read more...]

Old posts made new: Multiple brokerage platforms

When market crashes, you thought that you can be nimble and sell your stocks if you’re in the wrong side of a trade. But have you encountered situations where your brokerage platform failed on you? I looked through my 2007 posts and realized that I posted about it before. It’s found here: 1. The sky is falling 2. SPECIAL DAY – TAKE NOTE 3. DAMN U DBS 4. Finally logged on to DBS Back … [Read more...]

Old posts made new: Warrants Trading

I'm starting a new series in my blog, called "Old posts made new". I know, the name is quite lame and I'm not in a creative mood to come up with fancy name now. In this series, I'll look back at some of the past articles I've posted in my site and compare to see if it still stands true now. Most importantly, I'll share some of the psychology behind my thinking in the past and contrast against that … [Read more...]

Of men and women

If you go to any shopping mall, you will notice how the goods in the men's department and ladies' department are arranged in different manner. 1. The items in men's department are packed in nice boxes. Shirts are sold in transparent packages and neatly arranged in colour, size and cutting. If you know what you are looking for, you can swoop in and get the right package, pay for it and it's … [Read more...]

Hurray for redundancy

I saw B's post on market valuation here and I thought he did a good job to remind people about not investing when market valuation is high. I'm here to warn about another thing - that disasters does not strike alone. Usually we're well equipped to handle one big disaster in our life, but we're seldom well equipped to handle 2 or more in quick successive hits. We talk about employing our war … [Read more...]

2 minus 1 is different from 1 minus 0

The numerical difference between 1 and 2 is the same as that between 0 and 1, but they are not the same. I cite some examples: 1. When sharing food, and there's only one piece left, nobody touches the food. Every time you take away a piece, you deprive others of having another piece. This deprivation is greatest when you take away the last piece, compared to any other pieces. Suddenly from … [Read more...]