Ally, Beth and Charlene – my 3 chilli plants

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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...]

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...]