To see the world through the eyes of a newbie

The moment you don't need to excel is precisely the moment you start excelling. I knew that from my past experience as a air rifle shooter. When you take part in competition, you should be in a meditative state of mind. You have to know that you're competing, yet you cannot think you're competing. If you cannot treat the competition like it's just normal, routine practice, you cannot perform … [Read more...]

2014 in the eyes of the books I’ve read

I blogged about my book challenge here. Essentially, it's for me to read 1 book per week, for 52 weeks, summing up to a grand total of 52 books per year. The last time I succeeded in this challenge was way back in 2008 where I managed 55 books that year. Most of the time, it's just 30 odd books, which is about 1 book every 4 days. I also shared that the main purpose of this challenge is not to … [Read more...]

My offensive and defensive strategies

I wrote about my dilemma regarding whether to pay down my HDB loans or use the excess money for investment. That was back in Nov 2013 and more than a year had since passed. Back then, I really put in an extra 24k to do partial repayment for my HDB loans, and it shaved off 2.5 yrs off my 30 yrs loan.One year later, I still don't know if I did the right decision. The dilemma is always the same: … [Read more...]

Ally, Beth and Charlene – my 3 chilli plants

chilli10.jpg

I started planting chilli late last year. It's Dec 2014 now, so it's almost a year since I saw them grew from dormant dry seeds in a paper packet to the tall living fledgling plants bearing fruits now. I have three main chilli plants, let's call them Ally, Beth and Charlene, all of them in the same planter box. I wanted to give a "Best chilli plant 2014" award to one of them, so let's do a short … [Read more...]

Short term goals for my long term plan

I was tallying up my numbers to plan for the short term goals in the next 2-4 yrs. I was 'suddenly' inspired to save up again. The last time I did that was because I wanted to save up for my downpayment and renovation for my flat without getting in debts. So there was this period that I was going 50k per year savings for 3 yrs. Looking back, it's a very sad 3 yrs where I worked like a crazy rabbit … [Read more...]

DDM valuation for Blue-black Blue chips

acme10.png

Let's do some low ball valuation for a few blue chips, most of them beaten until blue-black. I'm using a dividend discounted (DDM) model, with the assumptions: 1. Zero growth rate for dividend 2. Rate of return required = 5% (twice as much as CPF's OA account) 3. Dividends given till perpetuity 4. No special dividends included, unless they occur every year. I'll guesstimate in that … [Read more...]

Be careful of domain specific expertise

facts10.jpg

We have very specific expertise in very specific domains. It'll be extremely unwise to think that being an expert in one domain can naturally lead to expertise in other domains. For example, you're an economic professor teaching in a local university. Due to the nature of your work, you have to be somewhat of an expert in economics. But to think that your expertise in economics extend to areas … [Read more...]

Views on CPF contribution by a Self-employed

This year, I made a bold move. I started to put my cash into CPF for voluntary contribution. It's a strange idea. When I was younger, I wanted to conserve my cash and invest in it myself. But as I get older, I started to think of things that can go wrong. I wanted some insurance against my own investment, in case things goes wrong.Rationale for putting cash into CPFThere's not a lot of write up … [Read more...]

The relationship between ROE and ROA

Been reading a few books on finance recently to brush up some stuff. Things that you don't use it often, you'll forget. So I make it a point to re-read some of the books that I've read and also some books for newbies. It's important to learn as if you are a newbie even though you are not. You'll see things in different light. Anyway, I was just musing over a key criteria in evaluating … [Read more...]

How to begin learning stocks from SCRATCH

Just had a meet up with someone new to investing. I totally understand how hard it is to read up all the jargons and finance related stuff when I started long time ago. It's like this big mountain of jargons in front of you, and in order to hold an intelligent conversation, you first have to learn the language and what those terms mean. That's one of the main purpose of this blog - to help newbies … [Read more...]

I’ve Zero networth!

zero_h10.jpg

I've finally reached zero! But what's the big deal? Zero is not a big deal, right? Well, not if you begin with positive, became negative, and then back to zero again. Reaching zero means you've erased the negative and now you're on a fresh start to begin being positive again.What am I talking about? It's my net worth!I still owe HDB $440k now. I halve this to take into account the portion shared … [Read more...]

Low hanging fruits season

low-ha11.jpg

POSB is giving another low hanging fruit for us to pick again. I've blogged about a previous exercise here and here where POSB celebrates National Day with a 1.5% pa bonus if you put in fresh funds for 3 months, up to a cap of 10k. Well, it must have been hugely successful and drawing a lot of new funds for POSB, because they are doing it again with some conditions upsized. This new exercise … [Read more...]

The 10 functions of money

What's money good for? From Richard Templar's book, "The Rules of Money", money is good for 10 things. I found the list quite exhaustively, though some points are really be lumped together as a single point. But here it is: 1. Security I think money provides a huge security for me. I need to have a certain amount in my bank before I can feel safe that I can tide through the month. I also … [Read more...]

The role of parents in an uncertain world

Bully The Bear - The role of parents in an uncertain world

The hardest thing about bringing up a kid is the values that you want him to inculcate. It's never a straightforward equation, where you put in the right input and you get the right output. Different kids respond differently to the same input and produce vastly different outputs. Take for example a parent who always tries to teach his kid to save up and be frugal. He did it in a way that forces … [Read more...]

Valuation of ST Eng based on order book

ST engineering had been dropping like crazy the last few weeks, and very recently in the last few days, the sell down persisted at a much greater pace. I know that they had a weak quarter, and possibly they will end this financial year with similar revenue but weaker net profits. My class got cancelled, so I had some time to crunch some numbers. Here's a fancy 5 yr key financial data taken from … [Read more...]

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...]