A Trip, a Fall, and a $115 Bill

My daughter is pretty enthu' about badminton. So in pursuit of her interest, she had joined her school badminton team. The twice a week night training span 3 hours each time. A typical session will see them doing all kinds of dexterity and stamina exercises before proceeding to skills training and practices. I think it's good for her. On one such occasion recently, they were jumping over … [Read more...]

Paying $1 a Day to Reap Half a Million

My son has started his National Service (NS). As he charts his journey serving that nation, progressing from boyz-to-man, it's perhaps also timely to set him on the journey to manage his personal finances. As a national serviceman, he is entitled to sign up for the MHA/MINDEF group insurance scheme with Aviva. It is really a steal. $500,000 term insurance coverage (inclusive disability benefits) … [Read more...]

$Thousands Moved in a Minute

There is so much pent up demand to invest cash, even when if the opportunities are basically short-term junk bonds.  Each time Moolahsense launches a peer-to-peer loan campaign at 2.30 pm on a "First Come, First Served" basis, the loans are fully subscribed within a minute. My goodness, it has become a case of fastest finger wins!  A short pop by the toilet and I missed that window. What the … [Read more...]

Health365 and counting

So I've been trying to clock 5,000 to 10,000 steps per day to walk off the calories. The logic being that 5,000 steps is approximately 250 calories expended. Doing that 30 days a month equates to 7,500 calories, which is about 1 kg of weight. [More on this: Investing and dieting - wealth and health] It's not too difficult to reach 5,000 steps a day really. Walk to the MRT on the way to work. … [Read more...]

REIT on!

Owning a property can be a real pain, especially when you are still servicing a loan. Presuming it's rented out, then comes the pain of maintaining the property and dealing with the rent collection and such. There's also the income reporting and tax deductibles. Seems like quite a bit of work. But there's an easier alternative of course. Outsource it! Let someone else manage it, and you are … [Read more...]

When Junk Bonds Default

Opening disclaimer: I should first declare that this is not about some oil and gas company going under! It had to happen at some point. After a few months of trying out peer-to-peer (P2P) loan on Moolahsense, I've finally experienced the first delayed payment. The company concerned made two monthly payments promptly for a 12 month loan, but it was only able to provide a partial and late … [Read more...]

An Uber Shiok Ride

I am a late starter I guess. I've been patiently waiting for taxis on evenings after work, to catch the ride home. But it was only last week that I got round to trying out Uber. More specifically, UberPool, which is potentially a shared ride. The experience was seamless! After keying in my pick up location and destination, I got a response instantaneously. The Uber cab was only 2 minutes … [Read more...]

How Much Cash is Needed for a Hospitalisation?

So my aged mother had a fall. She is statistically above average in age. It's a blessing that she has been largely well all these years. But it had to happen, sooner or later. Any fall at this advanced age is likely to have consequences. She has decided to forego an operation given her age. And she'd rather live with the pain and a slow recovery (if ever), rather than subject herself to the … [Read more...]

Pokemon-Go and what it means to daily life

Over the past weekend, the level of human activity in Singapore has surely increased significantly. There are visibly more human beings walking around, albeit a bit strangely? Never have I seen any product that could create that kind of impact on human behaviour overnight. Welcome to the Age of Pokemon. Anyway, as I trolled around neighbourhoods, staring at my mobile phone and the battery … [Read more...]

When Junk Bonds Become My Moolah

Equity hasn't been kind in recent years. While a historical performance of 10-12% (with dividend reinvested) may have been the norm of past, it's been far, far lower of late. But income investing has remained decent with 3-4% dividend payouts while REITs have been giving me 5-6%. With a combined family portfolio that has crossed seven digits, I felt that I can afford to ante up my risk palette. … [Read more...]

4 Apps and a Whole Load of Freebies

Digital wallets and e-transactions have taken some time to materialise. But surely and certainly they have. There now seems to be a myriad of options. I finally succumbed to this form of electronics transaction. In truth, I didn't have much of a motivation to do so. Most, if not all, credit cards already have this pay wave option, and most transactions below $100 don't even need to be signed … [Read more...]

Menya Musashi vs Ajisen

I can't quite figure it out. Why is Menya Musashi so much better than Ajisen? I'm referring to their ramen. Menya Musashi's offer a range of "white", "black" and "red" ramen. The "red" ramen is probably for the masochists. I go with the "black" - it has a strong onion flavour. Burp. The more cozy look and feel of Menya Musashi outlets are a lot more interesting, giving a more Japan-like "feel". … [Read more...]

When the Market Over-reacts – London Bridge is Falling Down

Judging from the office bet going on, I guess Brexit has been yet another Black Swan event in recent history. The bet was 8 for Brexit and 22 against. So most people from this side of the Commonwealth were very much expecting the UK to stay in the EU, notwithstanding the fact that the UK had never made the switch from their Pound to the Euro. The day the results came out, the market took an … [Read more...]

The Great Pacific Andes (De)Fault

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When you have a stock whose name sounds like the San Andreas Fault, I guess it's only a matter of time before it follows its name sake disaster movie. So yes, Pacific Andes has gone Chapter 11 since. Years ago, before I became discerning about value investing, I was pretty bought in to any "reasonable" story as a reason to buy a stock. So what the devil was the story then? Well, it was … [Read more...]

How Much Thy Lunch?

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There are some things we sometimes take for granted in our work routine. Lunch, is certainly a necessity in a typical work day.  But how much does your lunch at work cost? Having worked in an away-from-CBD area for years, I've gotten so used to hawker centre food that is usually in the below $5 price range, kopi included. Recently, I've shifted to a new workplace in the city and found myself … [Read more...]

Creative Eateries Membership Card

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Here's another one of those restaurant membership card that seems to be 'giving' away money/credit. I was having lunch at Tajimaya at VivoCity and was introduced to their membership card.  Sign on for a fee of $24, fill up some details at the online registration, and voila! You get $40 of credit on the card which can you use immediately to pay for that meal. Member benefits include 5% rebate … [Read more...]

Beating the Benchmarks

I especially like to read Sunday Times where there are various Personal Finance articles towards the back of the stack each weekend. In recent months, they have been putting up a series on hypothetical investment portfolios for three people with very distinct profiles. All three portfolios have consistently performed below their equivalent market benchmarks. The common reason stated was … [Read more...]

I Struck Toto!

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Yes! Yes! Somebody won $8 million today with Toto. But no, it's not me. I wished. Sigh. All I got out of throwing $10 on this was a prize of $10. So technically, I did win something. It's break even. No progress whatsoever. Guess I should take consolation there was no loss. Pun intended. On the market front, the poor market conditions have continued to rue/rule. No excitement there. Actually … [Read more...]

Will to Live, Will to Die

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Retirement seems to be all about the will to live a life. Somebody shared that people who retire early without any goals of what to do thereafter tends to die young.Which leads me to a recent discovery about death. More specifically, a Will for death. I had a few realisations on this, which led me to several "Oh shit!" moments. And I thought I had all the bases covered. How wrong.Not having a Will … [Read more...]