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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Pathways to Investment Options or How to Get Rich Without Being Scammed

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Giraffe has done an awesome job collating the various investment means available in Singapore, and has even provided some step-by-step guides on how to get going for each of them. This is really awesome. Have a read: 17 Investment Options (by GiraffeValue) I think it's a most useful source of reference to help somebody embarking on the "doing" part. The closest I ever got round to was this … [Read more...]

Mortality – Are We Well Protected?

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Oh dear, oh dear. It's been one death after another ever since the start of Chinese New Year. It was a spate of half a dozen who passed on in recent weeks. In all cases, they were aged parents of friends and colleagues.Most recently, I found out that a friend had suffered a tragic medical incident. He's in very bad shape and I fear he may not make it. As a single income family with two teenagers, … [Read more...]

When an Exit Becomes an Investment Opportunity

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Zagro has been delisted. Yet again, I've lost another decent dividend paying stock in my portfolio. I had acquired 16,000 shares in Feb 2012. This was followed by a rights issue in Aug 2012 where I accumulated another 5,000 shares. Each year thereafter, it has issued dividends annually. I guess I'm lucky that there was still profit to be made from the exit offer. In all, the annualised … [Read more...]

10 Traits of Top Stocks

Came across an old issue of "Money" magazine (I think it's a Aussie edition) with an article titled "10 Traits of Top Stocks". The 10 traits connect well with my thoughts on what constitutes factors for a good stock to invest in, when it is at the right price. [Note: 10 traits are from the article, but comments are mine.] 1. Rising earnings. It's been making more and more money. Provided … [Read more...]

To Toto, or to Toto not?

So I speculated over Chinese New Year (see What is it with Chinese New Year?), throwing good money over the wall, hoping to strike a million or two. Of course, I came away empty handed, again. Even with a couple of System-7 bets, I came away with only 3 pairs of hits. Not even the lowest of lowest prize. "Phooi". As an old friend would have said, "Ka na sai!" Oops, not supposed to say such … [Read more...]

What is it with Chinese New Year?

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What is it about Chinese New Year that I will most certainly lose my inhibitions and gladly pass my hard earned money through a window to a stranger in return for a piece of paper with a couple of numbers on it? We know when such things happen, it's called a fool's transaction. Indeed it is. It's a disease. It's called Toto. But I can't help it. I have to do it. Hard to say no to the potential … [Read more...]

Boredom Amidst a Dreary Market

Boredom, that perhaps describe how I feel. For some, it must be heart-wrenching, watching the drop day after day? But I go with "Boredom". Drop, drop, drop. For me, it has been a "Buy!" opportunity. It didn't take very long for me to empty all my cash hoard to buy more shares as they dropped more with each passing day. I soon used up the cash holdings in the trading account. Then I … [Read more...]

The Gahmen Gives Away Money

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Kids grow up real fast. It seemed like it wasn't so long ago that I witnessed the little one being pulled out from wifey, all bloody and blueish looking. I didn't faint. Guess I'm a steady father? And now she's already 16 and done with the GCE 'O' levels. Sheesh. Time flies. Unfortunately for wifey and me, my daughter was born long before the introduction of the Child Development … [Read more...]

The Gahmen is Always Wrong?

Once in a while the Gahmen pushes out a post on retirement planning and some basic guidelines, to encourage citizens to work out a viable financial future. Unfortunately, once posted on Facebook, all they're going to get is a lot of brickbats. Lots of random eggs go flying. The comments kind of irritates me quite a bit. "Give me back my CPF and I would be fine" How? Because the individual … [Read more...]

More Tales from Taiwan Trip II

Tale OneIn a recent trip to Taiwan, wifey had an interesting encounter at breakfast. Actually, the exact word she used was, "Disgusting!"There was a big China tour group at the breakfast place in the hotel as the breakfast came with the room package. One gentleman from this group, presumably a Chinese national therefore, walked over to the toilet at the restaurant. Guess he was searching for a … [Read more...]

The Market is a Bloody Mess!

So the headlines are now all gloom and doom. What is Yuan may not be round China devalues its Yuan and the rest of the world suffers a cold. As if Winter isn't cold enough for them. They need to export their cold to the rest of the world too. Does it mean the Sing dollar will strengthen against the regional dollars? If so, then it's a good time to exploit the stronger exchange rate to go … [Read more...]

Portfolio of 8 Singapore Stocks – 31 Dec 2015

On 28 Aug 2015, I started exploring a portfolio of 8 Singapore stocks with a value of ~$100,000 (Portfolio of 8 Singapore Stocks). Although the actual value would have been $99,126, I am assuming for simplicity it would be $100,000 after accounting for transaction costs. How has it fared? It's been four months and here's how it looked like on 31 Dec 2015: Stock No. of  Shares 28 … [Read more...]

An After Note on Ip Man 3

After watching Ip Man 3 (The IT folks prefer to call it "I-P-Man"), I can understand why it overtook Star Wars VII at the local cinemas. The plot is simple. The characters are largely familiar to build upon. The new villians are introduced gradually. The action sequences are great. But I can't understand the attempt at mandarin by our boxer man though. He's as bad as Sylvester Stallone at … [Read more...]

A Review of Investments for 2015

2015 has actually turned out to be a horrendous year, or a wonderful year, depending on how you look at it as an investor. Checking against the STI, I realised it has actually suffered a -14.3% dropped compared to this time last year. Taking into account 3% of dividends which the STI index would not have accounted for, that would actually be -11.3% net in terms of total returns. So if you're … [Read more...]

Hits and Misses – Did I make the right financial choices?

Thinking back to the financial decisions that I had made over a span of 20 years, I wonder if I had made the right financial choices? My very first home was a 5-room flat bought off the resale market. House hunting was quite an effort of visiting house after house. It's a pretty exhausting exercise. And by the seventh attempt, we pretty much reached a point of fatigue. It was at what would be … [Read more...]

Stock Take for 2015 on To-Do’s – The Force Awakens!

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It's almost the end of the year. Time to do a bit of stock take. Fully contributed SRS. Checked. Made donations to charity. Checked, checked, checked. Contributed $7,000 to wife's CPF-SA. Checked. Watched Star Wars.  Oops, not yet.  Time to feel the Force yet again.  The last time I did that, I was sitting in the first row of the cinema after having spent a whole afternoon of footdrill … [Read more...]

Discounts on Discounts – Saving to the Last Cents

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The number of membership discount cards that we hold these days is simply amazing. Some are even in electronic form. I couldn't help noticing how I was reaping multiple layers of discounts when I was shopping at a mall recently. I bought dinner at the Food Junction food court. They now have a discount cash card which you can buy from their drink stall. Aside from using the pre-paid (top-up) … [Read more...]

Considerations in Stock Picking

This is a reminder for myself on the considerations in selecting stocks to invest in ... I am not a trader, so carrying out technical analysis to decide when to buy and sell by the minute isn't my thing. That is perhaps best left to a full time professional. For a working professional, a value investing approach is probably more appropriate. Business Business that lasts, not a flavour of … [Read more...]