Author: Singapore Man of Leisure

Wolves in our midst

Remember the 80s Scholl sandled touts with high waisted pants and permed hair outside of Lucky Plaza? (Millennials, sorry. You too young) Well, we have them too in our financial blogosphere: SEC: Articles on some investing websites were by people secretly paid to tout stocks Singapore Man of Leisure (welcome to my blog; just google...

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Netlink Trust IPO – who benefits the most?

If you answered Singtel shareholders… Not bad. You close. Big daddy lah! Or to be precise, Temasek. Smart people. Perspective from not bei kambing retail investor   Those of us who have core holdings that we’ve owned for ages. Would you sell 75% of a stock that’s still growing, performing, and giving you good dividends? You only do so when the reasons you bought have changed. Or the valuations have gotten a bit “rich”. You take some money off the table… (risk management, re-balancing that sort of stuff) Talking about risk management. If you have taken too much debt/leverage...

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Go Find A Purpose!

Zuckerberg to Harvard students: Eureka moment is a lie, go find a purpose I know what you are thinking. You are right. Newton’s third law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That’s why I always like to hear the opposite view: Survivorship bias Want to have a bit of fun this weekend? Look at those people who wear “goals” on their lips all the time. Take a good look at them. In case you forget, goals usually have numbers in them, without them, goals would not be “SMART”, would it? Now try to...

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Visions, Dreams, Ikigai, and Goals

I am better organised now! For those of you who have this lingering feeling of “emptiness” in your heart even though you have hit all the goals you have set for yourself, you may want to click under: “My interests” and on the “Dreams and Goals” tab located on the right column of my blog. There, you’ll find the deranged and hallucinated writings typical of a grasshopper. Mind you, the perspective of the grasshopper was borne out by his past life as a purchaser visiting founder owners of factories throughout Asia. Its a real privilege to be able to...

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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuffs

Cutting coupons, jumping through hoops to earn that extra 1% plus in interest, skipping that drink during lunch, looking for the lowest cost ETFs or brokers… I know, a little bit, little bit will slowly add up to a mountain as in the words of wisdom from our Malay friends: Sedikit-sedikit lama-lama jadi bukit. However, there are 3 major financial decisions that if we got them “wrong”, all the nickel and dime above will come to naught… Your first property purchase Buying our first home, whether it be public housing or private properties, this is probably our biggest financial...

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Herding Affirmation Meets Contrarian

Monkey see; monkey do. We know what it meant (not exactly flattering); but it feels so much more comforting to swim as a school of sardines, to graze together as a herd of zebras, fly as a flock of geese, and hunt together as a pride of lions. Although we call ourselves DIY “investors”, we buy subscriptions to newsletters that tell us what the famous investors or hedge fund managers are doing and jump on the same bandwagon. The freeloaders just mimic other commercially vested financial bloggers. Free what? That’s very comforting until we stumbled onto Contrarian Investing. And...

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What’s the most difficut thing to Plan for our Retirement?

No, its not your rate of investment returns. Nope, its not the rate of inflation that will eat into your rate of investment returns above. Or for that matter, what withdrawal rate to use? (Friend, its not that birth control technique) Ah… You almost got it if you say how to plan whether at 65 you’ll be still healthy to do line-dancing, marathons, and overseas travelling; or will you have an Eldershield kind of lifestyle… Are you ready? Please tell me when you intend to see your maker? If you got 2 more years to live, I suspect you’ll discover you have enough right here, right now. Can quit and...

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How to ownself snake-oil ownself – Investment Goal Setting

Why do people like to set “SMART” goals on consequential activities they have little control or influence over? For example, setting an investment goal of 8% return per year when you are a long only retail “investor”. Hmm… When they hit their goals, they say its their stock picking skills (STI went up 20%). But when they failed to hit their goals, they say it bad luck, its a bear market you know? (STI went down 20%) Eh… Like that how is it any different from Passive Indexing? Smart Passive Indexers don’t set goals on investment returns. What’s the...

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Price Triggered Orders

People like to invent new names. SGX call them Price Triggered Orders, some brokers call them Conditional or Contingency Orders, while traders just call them Stop Orders. A Stop Order is just an instruction to automatically trigger a Market or Limit Order when a pre-determined price level has been hit. (Stop reading if you don’t know what is a market or limit order) 1) It can be used as money management tool to limit our losses: Bought stock ABC at $1.00; set a Stop Order to sell if and when the price drops to $0.90 – that’s if a...

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Investing is not Saving (Part 2 of 2)

To recap from my previous post: Invest – risk capital to capture (outsized) capital gains and/or income. Saving – seeking conservative yield in return for no risk to capital (in nominal terms). Why in nominal terms? Well, if you include inflation adjusted returns, it gets us no where since you and I know the CPI is just a statistical index. What we chose to include and exclude, we can manipulate it to whatever we want to show. For eg, if CPI shows inflation is 3.5%, then voluntarily contributing to CPF OA to get the 2.5% interest is “dumb”… When...

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Investing is not Saving – Know the difference! (Part 1 of 2)

I am back to mess with your head. There are times when I am anal when it comes to precision in our choice of words – we mean what we say; we say what we mean. (Of course it helps if we have a wider grasp of vocabulary) However, there are times we should not let the trickery of words fool us. Nor get trapped by words by insisting to split hairs when it comes to semantics… Today, I shall illuminate the difference between investing and saving. Investing When we invest, we tend to think in terms of windfall....

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Shitty Financial Advice

Look! Just cut your tennis balls in half and you can save more space! Wah lah! Don’t laugh. Just look at some of the shitty financial “advice” out there: 1)  The more you spend the more you “save” kind… Enough said. 2)  Collect air miles and fly or upgrade for free! Hello, unless your Ah Kong (corporate company) pays for the air tickets, or you charge your business expenses on your personal credit card, these air miles are not “free”. 3)  And then there’s this come here little mouse… See the loops and hoops over there? Now jump through all of them and we’ll “reward” you...

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Can we stop using XIRR to mean annualised return?

First, the last thing I would claim would be to an England grammar vigilante. Second, I would never dare challenge anyone on math or business finance calculations. Not when the max I can count using all my fingers and toes looking down is 21. But XIRR? Really? If you have never studied business finance subjects – you’ve an Arts or Science background – its excusable you use XIRR as a “financial” blogger. But if you got proper business finance training in Poly and Uni, well, what’s your excuse? XIRR is just a function in Excel to calculate internal rate...

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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 less cumbersome than using cash to top-up CPF and then use CPF to payoff your housing loan? A bit LPPL right? (No, I’m not going to translate what...

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