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...]

What’s 14 subtracted from 432?

Sorry, I just had to get this out of my head. I learnt about binary system in JC but I was very bad at it. However, that new number system is so vastly different from the current decimal one that I'm obsessed and fascinated by it at the same time. It had always been on my mind and recently more so. Did I tell you that being moody makes me ultra creative in unexpected ways? It can be in the form of … [Read more...]

I played 800 games of 100 coin toss

You have to read this article before this to make sense of what I'm saying here. After putting up the probability distribution and showing that after playing 100 toss of coin, where each head gives you $2 and each tail takes away $1 from you, will not always give you a positive returns, I was still unsatisfied. I went ahead and did a monte carlo simulation of the game on excel. Using RAND() … [Read more...]

THAT statement is probably improbable

I saw this article from the fifth person while having mee goreng for lunch. The article talked about how you can increase your wins in investing. All in all, a good piece of article. Sound investing advice. The only complain that I have is that it's not sound mathematically. I'm being anal about this, of course, and it's all because of one word. But let's hear my arguments. You play a game of … [Read more...]

Realize (the value of time)


This is a fantastic poem called Realize, author unknown. I first saw it hanging as a poster in my then girlfriend's room. This poem captured both the essence of time in the viewpoint of different people in their unique circumstances. Take this as the sequel of my previous post "Time slipping through my hands like sand". Realize ----------- To realize the value of one year, ask a student who … [Read more...]

Time slipping through my hands like sand

It's nearing the end of Feb. Soon it'll be March and it'll be another quarter of 2015 gone. Just like that. It's crazy when you sit back and observe the flow of time. It's slowest when you have nothing to do and you keep looking at your watch, urging with all your mental strength for the minutes to tick by faster. It's fastest when you're the busiest, secretly wishing that time will slow down … [Read more...]

Thought experiment on being FF

What will I do after I have a million dollars? A million dollar is figurative, it might not really be one million dollars. Could be 2 million. The point is, what will I do if I have the financial means not to ever work again? Quite resolutely and with much certainty, I'll continue doing what I'm doing. I don't hate my job; in fact I like it very very much. There's a lot of meaning and it brings … [Read more...]

Why I read blogs

My daily morning routine for the past few years had been quite constant. The first thing I do is usually to go to to read what other people are blogging about in an area of interest known as 'Personal finance' and 'Finance'. is actually a blog aggregator, which means that I just have to access one site to see a range of different sites that contributes to it, saving me … [Read more...]

Planting a bamboo is insane

Can you imagine sitting still for years, doing the same thing again and again while waiting for the results, if any, to show? People might have called this the definition of insanity - doing the same thing again and again yet hoping for a different results. But there's exactly how a Chinese bamboo tree takes to grow. Most tree will grow steadily, so you can definitely see progress for the … [Read more...]

How to do a 2 variable data table

I was going to teach a student business analytics, which is something I've never really done before. So far so good, it's half statistics, which I already knew but more application type of questions (instead of theoretical ones) somewhat related to making sound business decisions. The other half is about simulation and modelling using mainly excel. I've always wanted to learn the deeper end of … [Read more...]

LP’s asset portfolio


I'm inspired by Derek when he shared his asset portfolio here. Like him, I'm not going to include the asset value of my residential property, nor my CPF or insurance surrender value. No point including property, as it easily overshadow all the other assets, distorting the percentage. Besides, I don't really see my residential property as an asset. Personally I would include the surrender value of … [Read more...]

POSB did it again!


Not long after the 1.5%, 6 months (cap of 20k) exercise that I blogged about here, they came up with another bigger amount and longer tenure. This current one is 1.88% pa for 12 months, with a minimum amount of $1k to a max of $1 million. In addition, there's also a $88 ang bao for the first 10,000 customers. The details are all found in their website here. The full terms and conditions is … [Read more...]

My spending threshold

I always believe we should grow bigger than our problems. It's the way to make a big problem smaller, simply because you've grown bigger in size. I've written about these topics at length here:1. Of dragons and men2. The relative size of your problems3. Outgrow your problems4. Growing bigger than your problemsIn the past, I used to fret about $10 meals. I only had very little pocket money and … [Read more...]

MRT reserved seats

Tan plugged in his earphones, trying hard to ignore the stares of other passengers. He tried to close his eyes, pretending to sleep, so as to shield himself from the knives those eyes are throwing at him. In front of him, a pregnant lady stands close to him. He heard someone muttering, but it's drowned out by the music blasting from the earphones. Tan is, afterall, sitting on the reserved seat of … [Read more...]

Start with the man in the mirror

I started ‘playing’ the market with no skills, dabbled in warrants simply because they are cheap and that I have limited amount of cash and patience. I've no idea how warrant works but that doesn't stop me from buying and selling them, often several times in a day to the tune of 15 to 20k per trade to scalp the minute changes. It’s a wonder that I didn't catastrophically burst my bank account. … [Read more...]

How to beat OCBC 360’s return

To the above blog title, I should add, 'in a relatively safe manner'. Risk and returns are directly related, so if you want to beat OCBC 360's 3.05% pa returns, you can always invest in the stock market with the potential risk of having capital losses. Here, I'm going to try beating the 3.05% returns, as well as equal it in terms of the risk of losing your capital. Possible? Read on. We all … [Read more...]

(Some of) My 2014 expenditures

Finally after using YNAB for 1.5 yrs, I have a full set of expenditure data from Jan 2014 to Dec 2014. This is a software that enables me to track my spending to a great degree of accuracy. No faulty mental accounting nor mistakes here, so it's as good as it gets.These are some of my expenditures:1. Food/restaurants : $424 per month, or $14 per day ($4 per day for restaurant, $10 per day for … [Read more...]

LP minibonds 20k

I was setting up the stage for LP mini bond for my parents' friend for 20k, so naturally I've to do some homework. I started by looking up the yields for the different bonds and preference shares listed at SGX. Do take note that the yields I calculate is based on my own way stated here. It basically included all the coupon/dividends payment until the first date of maturity, subtracted from the … [Read more...]

Reviewing my resolutions

It's interesting to see other bloggers starting to put out their battle plans for 2015 with their great goals and targets. It's just not me though, not because I don't believe in goals and planning but I think it shouldn't be dictated by the number of revolutions the earth rotates about its axis and around the sun. I think it should be set when one is motivated and the circumstances forces a … [Read more...]