Alternative to CPF Top-ups

Psst. Try this. If CPF is paying 2.5% interests, while banks are paying less than 1% for savings accounts, why don't you pay up your housing loans using cash? This way, you don't touch your CPF and you can enjoy the magic of compounding with higher interest rates? Also, by not touching CPF for housing, you won't be "asset rich; cash poor" when you reach age 55 or 65. How? Isn't this … [Read more...]

Understanding the “Spirit” of CPF

I think the pendulum has swung a little to the opposite direction this time... CPF money can't see and touch There was a time when people would "shun" CPF. When got chance, quickly use our CPF to buy shares, properties, useless ILPs, integrated policies, and what not. If don't use now, wait we'll never see our CPF money ever! It seems we were in a race to deplete our CPF as fast as … [Read more...]

A Flat Pancake Trading Year

Oh well! I guess the streak has to end some day, isn't it? 2013 - Doubled my trading account (Rampage!) 2014 - Tripled it! (Godlike!) 2015 - Up 88% (Double happiness!) 2016 - Up 13%... (Shy, Shy, Shy - Yes, its from K-Pop Twice's Cheer Up MV) Tale of 2 halves 2016 started fantastic. Got played out as the trend reversed? Then came mid-year where I thought surely this must be … [Read more...]

The Real Benefit of Blogging

What you expect? Money from blogging? Me? Want to know what I think? One good investment or one good trade for 2016 should be many times the dollar value what one could get from blogging. Now that's getting our priorities straight! (Something for wannebe bloggers out there) Wink. There are quite a lot of interesting characters that make this watering-hole a fun place to mingle … [Read more...]

What are Bucket Shops

I noticed a bad habit by some readers of financial blogs - too reliant and dependent on their favourite "shepherd"... For example, got question on CPF matters, instead of checking the CPF website or contacting CPF directly, prefer to be spoon-fed... If you get a summary from a summary from another summary, what do you think? Want to bet there's some "oil and vinegar" (油加醋) added to the … [Read more...]

Who died and made you Indian Chief?

For those of us in my generation, its a common phrase we use during our National Service. In our little financial bloggers community, its definitely a breeding ground for lots of self-styled Indian Chiefs. Wink. Let's turn the tables and focus on us for a change. If you are a polytechnic graduate, doing well in your career with frequent promotions despite not having a … [Read more...]

The confused “Value Investor’s” transition from Value, to GARP, to Growth Investing…

This post is stand alone. For those who have the time to read a century of comments to get the context and perspective, you may want to read this old post: Here's a question to Value Investors. When to buy When do Value Investors buy? They buy when they can find a stock that is selling below its "fair value". There are quite a few metrics to use, but fair to say … [Read more...]

Where are the Retail Growth Investors?

In my previous post, I wrote in the comments section that most retail investors began their journey as a Trader, then as a Value Investor, moving on to Dividend Investing, and finally capitulating towards Low Cost Passive Indexing when all things fail... What about Growth Investing? Ah! That was deliberate. Why? Because most retail traders and investors behave like Growth Investors … [Read more...]

Bernard Baruch – 10 Rules of Investing 

If you ask retail and professional traders alike, most will agree one of our all time favourite trading bible will be: Reminisces of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre. It's a thinly disguised biography of Jesse Livermore. A lot of trading's popular adages came from that book. If you have not already read it, I would highly recommend it. It's not your typical trading book. I promise you … [Read more...]

Headless Chicken

In the world of trading, I've learnt from painful experience its better to take a quick and small realised loss than to suffer a conviction sapping and margin eroding unrealised loss. Once I have cut loss; I feel relieved. Money can lose; but presence of mind cannot. Same goes for the investment side of my portfolio. Not taking profit can mess with our minds too. Take for example … [Read more...]

That 2% Trading Rule

It's quite easy for us trading veterans to sniff out whether a blogger is writing from personal experience or just copy paste (more polite word for plagiarism) from some other official sources. To a "bei kambing" or "white paper", since you know nothing, you'll just swallow hook, line, and sinker wholesale. That's until you have chalked up more experience points and now looking back, you'll … [Read more...]

Peer to Peer lending at 240% interest per annum?

Can. But now illegal. Still can. Just don't get caught! Remember what they said during our National Service time? Can do anything we want, just don't... Court dismisses moneylender’s bid to bankrupt debtor charged 240% annual interest rate The highest interest a fellow blogger got from his peer-to-peer lending "investments" is 18% interest per annum. Already a sizable "discount" … [Read more...]

Bet you never saw it coming! (Wrong but make money)

Neither did I! Let's not talk theory about Trump's win yesterday. There's enough pontifications and red-faces out there. We know who got it right; who got It wrong... Boy, was I wrong!!! Like the majority of the market, I had a small skin in the game that's positioned for a Clinton victory - long USD/SGD. Nearly spilled my coffee when I saw Trump leading Hillary early in the … [Read more...]

My Braless Literature Teacher

This is the last post as part of the trilogy of posts looking back on my school days. For a change, its not about me. Its about the young and vivacious Literature teacher that taught us in Sec 1 at an all boys school (it was co-ed for Pre-U classes). She did her degree in UK and from the way she dressed and talks, you can tell she is "different". She got that bohemian air about … [Read more...]

I’m not making Tools; I’m making Art

You know what? I missed out Technical Studies completely from my previous post!? Did I study so many subjects during Sec 1 and 2? Now that's what I call a broad education! Subconsciously, it probably showed how much I hated Technical Studies.... I'm a klutz when it comes to DIY. So how did I ended with a DIY company!? Yes, I'm the kind of "dainty" Singaporean male who will pay for … [Read more...]

I never failed in Art classes

I'm not sure about school nowadays, but during my Secondary 1 and 2 (1980-1981), we had to take 10 subjects. Looking back, it was the best of times since I had to learn everything - English, Chinese, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Literature, and Art. I think that's a great approach if one is starting out on their nascent investing/trading journeys. Start broad … [Read more...]

Perspective matters! You are your own shepherd

I was having my breakfast at the hawker centre this morning when I overheard an interesting banter between a quite youthful dressing "ah ma" with her granddaughter and another man in his late 60s at the next table. The senior man is single and was lamenting on his singlehood; while the ah ma was telling him she regretted marrying and its much better to be single... It was kinda fun until I … [Read more...]

That’s it! Send in the reserves now!

As some readers may have deduced, I'm a fan of military history. When you read the historical accounts of famous battles, you'll find military commanders withholding their reserves and committing them only at right moment of the battle. The reason you don't commit your forces all at once (show hand) is so you can deal with the fluidity of the battle and react if there's a … [Read more...]

The Math of Averaging Down

Test your math. What's the difference between a -80% loss and a -90% loss? 50%. If the answer came to you immediately, you can stop reading. In years gone by, you probably would have made good profits by spotting arbitrage opportunities! But now, its a lot harder with high frequency trading and all... Show me, show me! For the rest of us mortals, let me illustrate: You bought a … [Read more...]