Author: Singapore Man of Leisure

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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Own time own target, fire!

Looking back, my 2 years of NS is a great source of learning experience. During range shooting, the above phrase is commonly used. And we in the back row behind the shooters have to “echo” it loud loud ;) We can also apply it to our life journey as well: 1) Don’t shoot other people’s target. 2) Pace yourself. There’s time enough to finish the shots. 3) But don’t wait too long as there’s a time limit! 4) Aim, fire! Don’t aim, aim, aim, aim, and still aiming!? 5) When I.A. happens, don’t panic. Fix the problem yourself. 6)...

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The elephant keeps walking while the dogs keep barking

I first came across this phrase when Suzie Orman (she also borrowed it with pride too) used it to explain how she feels when under “attack” by other financial commenters and bloggers. Let them have their 10 minutes of “fame” Suzie would say. What a cool lady! If you scan the media today, you can see lots of stone throwing at people who are famous; more popular; richer; stronger; in an authoritative position; and at a higher social standing than us. Although I applaud the retaliatory actions of Xiaxue (you go girl!), Suzie’s respond struck a stronger chord with...

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Investing Diary Or Trading Journal – Complement To Your Annualised Returns

You know what?  I suspect the reason why many investors and traders get so interested or hung-up on their annualised performance in percentages is because they are right-handed. Right-handed means left-brained, and that’s the domain of numbers and analytical skills. I always have a laugh when I see people write their performance down as in + 10.23% A 10% rounded is not good enough… Must also include .23… Well, I guess 10.23% beats someone who got 10.21% So competitive!  Let’s take a hypothetical example of Mr X’s annual investment/trading returns: Year 1             =          + 100% Year 2             =...

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Shawn Achor – The Happy Secret to Better Work

When we were young, we study hard so we can get good grades. With good grades, maybe our parents will love us. Upon stepping into society, we work hard so we can achieve success. With success, maybe we can find the love and the recognition our parents never gave us. The trouble is once you hit your goal, they keep moving the goal posts… First in your class? Good boy! Now shoot for first in school. Next comes first in Singapore, and since you are at it, must aim for first in the world too! When I was a...

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The Elephant And The Rope Round His Neck

The tree loggers ran out of the forests as a herd of wild Thai elephants came marauding out to defend their habitat. In their haste, Baba, a fully grown male and domesticated elephant was left tied to a tree by a puny rope around his neck. His trainer had gone to pee and never came back… The alpha male of the herd found the frightened Baba.   “Don’t be afraid. You are one of us. Come! You’re welcomed to join my herd if you so wish. Leave the humans; you’re free now.” Baba shakes his head, “I can’t! I’m...

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Follow the crowd

I read the Straits Times with admiration and envy how some young Singaporeans were quitting their well-paid corporate jobs to join internet start-ups. Similar stories were repeated in the next weeks. You can feel the buzz in the air! Six months later, the Nasdaq dot-com bubble crashed together with the blue-eyes dreams of many… That was year 2000. I’ve never liked crowds.  I prefer watching movies in half-empty cinemas. I definitely would not queue for hours for that “popular” brand of bak-kua or wait 20 minutes for that “famous” hawker food. I just make do with the next best...

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What do you think comes right back at you!

After asking this “what do you think?” question, how I would respond may depend on whether I am on a one-to-one situation or in a group setting. Group situation Newbie – If the question is so basic until I feel embarrassed for the enquirer, I would ask the rest of the group who can answer that question? It kills 2 birds with 1 stone.  Remember our school days where there’s a teacher’s pet that is ever ready with the right answers? Yup, they are still with us as grown-ups. Some even end up as bloggers. Hey! Don’t look at...

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What do you think?

When asked a question, what do you do? Do you straight away provide the answer, or do you encourage the person asking the question to find the answers themselves? The former is giving fish; the latter is teaching how to fish. Those who have gone through coaching or counselling trainings will know what I mean. I myself have gone through many hair-pulling sessions, and shall avoid talking about coaching! It’s so bloody difficult! I am still fighting my demons…  Every time I feel like “Limpeh kali gong” or “You should”; I’ve to bite my tongue. Now my ability to...

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Average up or down?

I have an ex-colleague who is now the tai-tai of one of the big luxury watch retailers in Orchard Road. While entertaining overseas clients, she may bring them to one of our casinos. She never loses money there. OMG! How? Her system is simple. She will place a $100 bet on the roulette table on either black or red. If she wins, she got back her $100 entry fee. End of story. If she loses, she will increase her bet to $200 on the same colour. Lose again she increase the bet to $300 and so on. So far,...

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Analysts – You win liao lor!

I wonder why there are so few analysts out there who can speak with conviction? Last Thursday, Goldman Sachs told investors sell the S&P 500: Goldman Sachs says sell S&P 500 But after the “got dragon got phoenix” spiel, they have to spoil with it with their hedge: “Still they did add a few caveats. The S&P could pop or at least stay flat if the U.S. or Chinese economies start revving up or if European policy makers talk a big game about propping up the market.” It’s the same with technical analysts. We believe after breaking the immediate...

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