Author: Lizardo Realm (Investment)

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 risk of an operation. It’s been a fortnight of hospital stay, followed by weeks in the rehabilitation ward at the adjoining community hospital. Hospitals can...

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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 draining Pokemon app, I had a few moments of insights … How is Pokemon-Go good? – Long waits at Polyclinic may become more bearable. There’re two PokeStops outside a Polyclinic I came across. May well...

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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. So I’ve started placing a small percentage of investment funds into a P2P platform, specifically, Moolahsense. Spreading my investments into numerous blocks of a few thousand dollars each and across...

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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 anymore. I finally got round to installing Android Pay, but only because POSB/DBS has some offers to link their credit cards to Android Pay with the first five transactions offering...

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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”. Even the service staff seems a lot more motivated. Perhaps the smaller stalls allow them to provide a more steady rate of service? Or maybe they are...

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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 immediate nosedive. My Singapore stocks went downhill, and was followed that same night thereafter with my US stocks as well. It was a...

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The Great Pacific Andes (De)Fault

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 about the growing population of China and Asia in general. And with a growing population, demand for food will increase. Fishery provide the nutrients for...

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How Much Thy Lunch?

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 experiencing instant lifestyle inflation. It’s really hard to find a decent lunch at below $5 in town. It’s not unusual for a lunch to be in the...

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Creative Eateries Membership Card

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 on meals and $20 voucher during birthday month. I’m definitely a meatosaurus. The meat is great. So this works well for me. Perhaps bad for health given the obscene...

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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 transaction costs which eroded the performance, especially for the smaller portfolios. The portfolios have not been around long. So to be fair, they need to be given more time to show results over a longer term, perhaps three years? I...

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I Struck Toto!

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 there is, it’s so bad, it’s time for more buying!? With PE ratio so low and dividend yield so high, how not to experience a new high? Interested. It...

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Will to Live, Will to Die

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 could … … cost you an extra $3,000 to get the necessary documents processed. … take from 1 to 3 years, instead of...

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Do we need $1.5 to $2 million to retire on?

$1.5 to $2 million seems to crop up often as the typical range for a retirement investment portfolio. It seems daunting and extreme, especially to somebody who is single and below 35 years of age. But as one progresses into the 40s and starts to have a family, the maths starts to be a lot more serious. What is $2 million? If one works on the basis of a perpetual income, then $2 million at an extraction rate of 5% each year would work out to be $100,000 per year, or $8,000+ a month. If it is $1.5 million,...

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How Would You Like to be Credit Card Scammed?

I received an incoming call a few days ago. It wasn’t a number I recognised. As I was busy in a meeting, my usual bad habit was to simply ignore the call. It was pretty persistent however, and called again a few times. But I was really, really too busy at work (in meetings) to take the calls. Soon after, I received a SMS. The message said that there was a suspected credit card fraud on my credit card and asked that I call back to follow-up. Shitz! My first reaction was, is this itself a scam? How to...

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Taxi Tales III

I found myself rushing to an appointment and decided to take a cab. To be exact, I was already late. Bad time discipline. I was at VivoCity. And damn, “long the queue was”, as Yoda might say. But just across from the taxi queue however was a row of pristine MaxiCabs, waiting for passengers. This is really a market failure. Long queue of people, but no taxis. A queue of MaxiCabs, but no customers. What a waste. $50 flat fare is the going rate for the MaxiCab. I was desperate enough. So I hopped into one. An expensive affair!...

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