The 1 investing rule from the Swiber saga

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News about Swiber appear almost everyday I did a Google search, and all these results came out. Seems like Swiber is quite a hot topic these days. So what is the hype about Swiber? In one sentence: Swiber, an O&G company, has defaulted on its bonds, which were sold to many individuals in Singapore. What can we learn from the Swiber episode? There are many news report about how … [Read more...]

Does the stock market always rise in the long run?

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Why does the stock market always rise in the long run? To understand this, I turn to William Bernstein's book, "The Four Pillars of Investing". According to Bernstein, the Gordon equation is the irrevocable law in investing. Put simply, the total growth of a stock market is equal to the sum of the dividend yield and the dividend growth of the stock market. The stock market is made up on … [Read more...]

What is the Boglehead Singapore 3-fund portfolio

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The Singapore 3-fund portfolio explained The Boglehead Singapore 3-fund portfolio is an adaptation of the Boglehead 3-fund portfolio, which was suited for American investors. The Boglehead 3 fund portfolio basically uses 3 funds, in order to achieve global diversification, and thus receive the market rate of return. It was named after the main advocate of index investing and the founder of the … [Read more...]

Am I an anomaly amongst Singapore investors?

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The weirdness of the SGX survey Last month, I received an email from SGX. I was asked to participate in a survey by them, and I would win a prize if I was lucky. The survey took no more than 5 minutes, and I answered the questions as accurately as possible. Many questions were asked, and mostly geared towards asking how often I trade, and what is the reason for trading? These were also the … [Read more...]

7 tips to achieve early financial freedom

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1. Set aside an emergency fundAs its name implies, this fund will be used only for emergencies. Those events that happen out of the blue, taking you unaware. Some examples would be like getting into a car accident, or a wisdom tooth extraction.Use this emergency fund to pay for such emergencies and avoid having to take on debt or borrow from relatives and friends. If this fund runs out of money, … [Read more...]

CPFIS not "fit for purpose" – DPM Tharman

CPF Investment Scheme to be reviewed I refer to this article by the Straits Times: here. There are three main takeaways after I read the news article. Takeaway 1: Most people would do better just leaving their money in the CPF OA He noted that, over the past 10 years, more than 80 per cent of members who invested via the CPFIS would have been better off leaving their money in the Ordinary … [Read more...]

The complete guide to planning your insurance

I have spoken before about the Financial Planning Triangle. Basically, we need to have protection first before wealth accumulation. Insurance is the bedrock of the triangle, where one needs to have protection before one can try to grow his or her wealth. It might be a little scary on planning your own insurance. So, in this post, I will be showing you how you can get the calculations, so that … [Read more...]

Does active management win passive management? What experts know but don’t want you to hear

Just last Sunday, the Straits Times published an article on the "7 habits of successful investors". In it, it lists down many characteristics, but the last one has caught my attention. It says that "go for active management". I am part angry and part disappointed. Angry because such an article could get published passing through editorial checks; disappointed because everyday, people fall prey … [Read more...]

Investment Guru or Scam: How to Spot a Fake One

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Money from investments or money from you? When I see the advertisements for Investing Courses and "How you can invest like Warren Buffett", I can't help but suspect the speakers make more money from you attending their courses than from their own investments. Fortunately, there is a very simple way to sniff out a scammer. Using the Warren Buffett test The legendary value investor Warren … [Read more...]

The question that everyone avoids – how much do I need so that I can retire?

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The question everyone avoids Most people want to retire. Even more want to retire early. But, not many know they can retire. Like running a race, the most important thing to know is where is the endpoint, and how long more you have before reaching the endpoint. Two ways of calculating the retirement sum There are basically two ways of calculating your retirement sum. The first is the … [Read more...]

Time management hacks – How I study one semester’s worth of lectures using one day

Time management hacks When my friends take five days to study for one subject, I take one day instead. This gives me 4 days free. With this 4 days, I can do other things. I read, and write, and dabble into something interesting. I don't compromise on the quality too. Even though I spent eighty percent less time, my results are always the same, if not better, than my peers. If I can … [Read more...]

Harnessing solar energy to reduce utility bills

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Solar energy in sunny Singapore Just that day, I happened to be on the topic of utility bills in Singapore. I stay in a HDB flat and my utility bills are around $150 every month. I was curious, and wanted to use an investment philosophy to deal with utility bills. Buying an asset and receiving dividends I went online to research, and solar energy came up as a viable solution. Basically, … [Read more...]

Portfolio update for the Singaporean 3-fund portfolio

Brexit did nothing to my portfolioEven though there was much sensation about the Brexit earlier this month, I was not at all concerned about my Singaporean 3-fund portfolio. Out of curiosity, I went to take a look at it.7.95%That's the half-year return on my portfolio having started it in February this year. There was still some dividends coming from the International Equities portion which will … [Read more...]

An alternative to Standard Chartered new brokerage fees

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Talk of the town The buzz term today is the new brokerage fees imposed by Standard Chartered bank for online trading. Standard Chartered used to be the saviour for retail investors, charging 0.20% brokerage fee for any trade for the Singapore market, without any minimum commission. A $1,000 purchase only costs me around $2 in commission. Comparing it to other brokerages, I would have needed … [Read more...]

Equity component of the Singaporean 3-fund portfolio – SPDR STI ETF and Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF

The Singaporean 3-fund portfolio is the Singapore version of the Boglehead 3-fund portfolio which is suitable for US citizens. The Boglehead 3-fund portfolio comprises of three components: - Vanguard Total Stock ETF (home equity; the name is misleading but it comprises only US stocks) - Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (global equity) - Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (home bond; similarly, this … [Read more...]

The REAL Mathematics behind Early Retirement

My brain was feeling a little itchy for some Math yesterday. Math was my best subject in school, and my favourite subject when I tutor. So, I decided to try out to calculate and derive the formula for Early Retirement. After using this website (link), and MMM post (link) on how Early Retirement is only determined by the Savings Rate, I decided to try to derive the formula that calculates the … [Read more...]

Bonds component of the Singaporean 3-fund portfolio – ABF Singapore Bond Index Fund

The Singaporean 3-fund portfolio is the Singapore version of the Boglehead 3-fund portfolio which is suitable for US citizens. The Boglehead 3-fund portfolio comprises of three components: - Vanguard Total Stock ETF (home equity; the name is misleading but it comprises only US stocks) - Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (global equity) - Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (home bond; similarly, this … [Read more...]

The case for index investing – a parable

Taken from John Bogle's book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.Once upon a timeA wealthy family named the Gotrocks, grown over the generations to include thousands of brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins, owned 100 percent of every stock in the United States. Each year, they reaped the rewards of investing: all the earnings growth that those thousands of corporations generated … [Read more...]

Is the STI a good index?

I had previously written a post that 30 stocks is definitely not enough for diversification:┬áhere. However, many investors are currently putting money into the Straits Times Index (STI) fund regularly. As you may know, the STI is a basket of 30 stocks. The STI is actually not passively managed as there are reviews to choose the basket of stocks. In 2015 last year, there were changes to the … [Read more...]

Is the STI a good index?

I had previously written a post that 30 stocks is definitely not enough for diversification: here. However, many investors are currently putting money into the Straits Times Index (STI) fund regularly. As you may know, the STI is a basket of 30 stocks. The STI is actually not passively managed as there are reviews to choose the basket of stocks. In 2015 last year, there were changes to the … [Read more...]