Author: Singapore Man of Leisure

How to amass a small fortune?

Start with a big fortune. This way, if you mess up, fall for scams, or the global economy implodes, you may still end up with at least a small fortune. And that’s if you are lucky! Now who says size does not matter? Sarcasm aside, there is a message between the lines. Just look at those who started with almost nothing and ended with a fortune – never mind small or big. What did they do? Walk away from free lunches. Singapore Man of Leisure (welcome to my blog; just google...

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Don’t forget number 1

I had a Taiwanese colleague who is the “unofficial” leader in the office in Taiwan. We call her “Da Jie” (Big Sister). At that time, all the official heads of our offices in Asia Pacific were either a Swede or a Dane. You know how it is when we worked in a European MNC. (It has since changed with more diversity. And don’t you believe this “tapping the local talent” crap… It’s all about dollars and cents.) This Taiwanese colleague got posted to Shanghai 9 months before me. She was I guess 5-8 years older than me (never ask...

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Stop worrying about CPI

Recently, it’s fashionable to talk and fret about the increasing CPI statistic – but what has that got to do with you personally? Do you understand what and how CPI is measured? (Count me in as those not knowing what talking me if a reporter were to ask me the same question that I’ve asked you!)  For those interested, you can visit this: Consumer Price Index Education Corner Remember, it’s just a statistical average. It’s a world of difference between the below same CPI “average” of 5%: 1)      (4 + 6) / 2 = 5 2)      (-5 + 15)...

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Zealot, Atheist, and Agnostic

Have you wondered which one is you when it comes to your investment/trading beliefs? Zealot and Atheis A Zealot and an Atheist are on opposite side of the spectrum. But they are very much similar than you think – both their cups are full; and they both think they are right and the other person has some serious issues. They are great talkers. Common arguments or debates between academic and cantankerous (I learnt this word from reading Garfield) market participants are:\ 1. Fundamental versus Technical analysis 2. Investing versus Trading for success 3. Passive indexing versus Active stock picking 4....

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Memory good for longer term positions; bad for short term trades

After 12 odd years stumbling, falling, and muddling through in the markets, I would like to share this reflection of mine. But don’t get me wrong. I am constantly struggling in the implementation. It’s like we know too much fried food is bad for us; but it’s hard not to nibble or be in denial by saying eating once in a while can’t hurt…   Memory good for longer term positions By going through market tops and bottoms – I’ve learnt how markets can overshoot and stay frothy longer than that pint of beer that you have been nursing...

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Dr Richard Teo Keng Siang

The advantage of Facebook is I sometimes get very inspirational sharing from friends. Here is one such story that I would like to help spread the message: Memorial of Dr Richard Teo Keng Siang I do not know Dr Teo personally, but I guess there’s a little bit of Dr Teo in all of us when we are doing well and at the peak of our career. It’s not my intention to promote a certain faith or religion. I am agnostic with a bias towards Zen as a philosophical way of life; not as a religion. I had my own...

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Are you a sportsperson? (Why it’s a great foundation for investing and trading)

I am glad I played table-tennis for our school team during my secondary school days.  I played the doubles and act as a sparring partner to the “star” singles players. That’s where I learnt how to contribute to a team as the supporting cast Big corporations, when doing recruitment, do look at the extra-curricular achievements of their candidates – especially when identifying potentials for leadership grooming. Those we have worked a few years may already have noticed this phenomenon. If you unsure, try buying your HR (preferable not underling) lunch and find out what they look for in “elite”...

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Reflective Mind and Listening Heart (Stop-loss)

No, this is not a religious post. Last Friday night, I got stopped-out of my Dollar/Yen trade. The whip-splash was so quick that the fill was at a greater loss than my stop-loss point. Ouch! What’s worse than a loss? It’s discovering on Monday afternoon that the price action has swung back; and if I hadn’t cut-loss, my original position would now be in the money! Shssh! Ah! But the Reflective Mind is able to calm the emotional heart: “10 times you cut-loss, there will be 2 to 3 times where positions bounce roaring back. Now, don’t you dare...

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Justice Bao and Bail-outs

When I was in primary school, I remember a Taiwanese TV serial on Justice Bao was all the rage in Singapore. “Kaifeng you ge, Bao Qing Tian. Tie mian wu ser…” The rest of the song I forgot liao… I remember one memorable story was about the Grand Tutor’s only son of around 20 plus.  This prodigal son lived a life of privilege and decadence. Always bullying others and getting his way. His family had always bailed him out whenever he ran into trouble or afoul of the law. One day, this prodigal son’s luck ran out when he...

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What’s your favourite chicken rice stall?

What’s your favourite chicken rice stall? OK, keep the answer to yourself (hello, no need to email  me OK?).   Is it that stall that you frequent all the time near where you stay? Or is it that stall freaking all across the other side of the island, but no matter, you still make an effort on a regular basis to have your regular makan “fix” right? Both answers will put you in the category of opinion leaders. If your answer is that famous chicken rice stall that everyone knows; but you can count on one hand how many...

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If you really care, zip up!

In these low interest rate and relatively high inflation times, you often find people (who think they know) expressing shock and surprise when they discover their “friends” or acquaintances still keep the bulk of their money in plain vanilla fixed deposits and savings accounts.  Like talking heads on business networks like CNBC, they will rattle off unsolicited one minute sound bites like: Invest in dividend stocks; you can earn more than 6-7% easy! Put your money in passive index funds – look, no brains needed! Buy gold, it’s a great inflation hedge. Even central banks are buying them! Get...

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Gasp! I’ve gone half-naked!

Yesterday, I went down to the AIA tower at Robinson Road to cancel my Life insurance policies.: Term, critical illnesses, disability, and personal accident. The only one that I’ve keep is the remaining whole-life policy that may “break-even” in 2 years’ time at the 20 year anniversary mark.  But looking at the surrender cash value today, its far behind the projected cash value when I first signed up for it age 27. May have to wait for a few years more to break-even due to the current low interest environment… This is not a rash decision. Insurance is great...

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4 biggest bubbles in the last 40 years

Bottom-up investors can skip this post. You wouldn’t be interested. This post is more for macro top-down (that’s how I check girls out too!) speculators like me. The below chart is interesting! Iron ore? It’s one of the key ingredient for steel making in case you never studied Chemistry or Physical Science. But unlike copper or crude oil (other more commonly used economic activity indicators), there’s no paper futures market for speculators (leveraged hedge funds, investment bank’s trading desks, etc) to “manipulate” the prices. You take away from this chart whatever you like. Being prepared and having a plan...

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Singlish and Technical Analysis

Let’s have a bit of fun! Remember when you first started to learn Technical analysis? It looks so simple right? This line cross that line; a bounce off (imaginary) support; a breakout through resistance (yes, it’s imaginary again); and we are off to the races! But once we commit real money, eh!? Why are we still losing money? The answer lies in Singlish! It’s a bit like explaining to our Ang-Moh friends the nuances and different shades of meaning when we speak like we do in Singapore: Singlish                                What we meant Can lah                                    Yes. Can leh                                      Yes. Of course....

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Yield hogs will be slaughtered

Last month, I sold a Growth and Income REIT that I’ve bought 1.5 years ago. It’s was yielding 9% at price of purchase;and has since gone up by 40% in capital gains when I sold it. Total returns is slightly more than 50% for 18 months of “waiting”. (I am hiding behind percentages for a reason. A blogger friend’s experience has taught me sometimes it’s better to be coy!) I replaced it with a beaten down S-chip that’s “only” yielding 3%…  I am speculating that this S-chip will grow at least by 50% in capital gains within my 6-18...

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