Which one suits you better – earn more or spend less?

We all know there are only two ways to save money. The first is to reduce your expenses. If you spend less, then whatever is left is your savings. The second is to increase your income. If you keep your spending to be the same, what you earned after your spending will be your savings. But which way works better?I think the key point here is whether your income is scalable. If your income can vary … [Read more...]

My service standards in tuition

A student asked me a question that I thought is quite interesting. She had been messaging me through whatsapp, spamming (her words) me with questions throughout the day because of the O'lvls and I had been answering them as and when it comes. She asked if I'll be pissed off because of the spamming of the questions and why I'm so free to answer.The short answer is that I won't be angry. In fact, … [Read more...]

Prepare yourself mentally for bear market

For those of you who had not seen a real mother bear striking down at the market, here's a sneak preview from the past. Unfortunately, I've lost some of the pics when the server I've uploaded them crashed and died. The pictures I saved is meant to serve as a reminder for me when the next bear comes...which might be now. This one is taken from 2009 Sept 10. Just look at the Nasdaq and SP500, … [Read more...]

How do you feel in a jittery stock market?

I noticed a big difference in how I handled the bearish stock market sentiments recently. STI had fallen from a high of around 3300 in early-mid Sept to about 3160 in mid October 2014, roughly about 4%. STI closes on 2nd Jan 2014 (the first trading day of this year) at 3180 and now it's slightly under, wiping all all the gains made so far. Market is getting more delicious  How … [Read more...]

Bullythebear’s 3 Steps Guide to Stock Market (for newbies!)

There’s a lot of people in this last quarter of the year on how they can start investing in the stock market. I always tell them to read up and I’ll get back to them. If there’s a market truism that you need to remember, it’s this: "The market is not your mother. It consists of tough men and women who look for ways to take money away from you instead of pouring milk into your mouth."  Alexander … [Read more...]

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...]