I am wrong

Question: When was the last time you heard yourself saying: “I am wrong?” If you did, then you belong to the minority of people who are open to the idea that we can and do make mistakes. Or we take responsibility for what we say or do – and not play the blame game. Next question: How many of you say it this way: “I am wrong. How can I make it right?” There’s a world of difference … [Read more...]

Housing mortgage loan as an inflation hedge?

The US Fed has gamely revealed their poker hands for the next 2 years – rates will remain low. No surprise this decision is not unanimous! 3 out of 10 committee members dissented – the biggest split in 20 years. Talk about living in unusual times! What is your housing mortgage loan rate? What’s the inflation rate in Singapore now? I will soon have some spare cash by December of this year due … [Read more...]

The Barbarian and the Bard

“You puny little thing!” growled the Barbarian as he put his giant foot on the chest of the fallen Bard he has just ambushed. “You can’t escape now. This shall make up for all the times you have escaped from my clutches.” The Barbarian fisted at the Bard who is lying on his back, while wielding the dragon-slaying double axe in his other hand. The Bard desperately clutched at the Barbarian’s … [Read more...]

We have the land, they have the book

I remember hearing this quote from the BBC when they were doing a story about an African anti-colonial freedom fighter leader many years ago. The freedom fighter said: “When the white men first came - they had the book, we had the land. Now we have the book, the white men have the land.” No, I am not going to write about colonization or fighting for independence. I missed that boat in the … [Read more...]

Are you the Opinion leader or Follower

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JYY4-uuMPF4/TjY_y2Ye0qI/AAAAAAAAAEI/ra4QTo7clZQ/s1600/Image0090.jpg Like lemmings to the cliff, there is one species of caterpillar in Athens where they will do mass migration to god knows where every summer. To new sources of food, I guess. It can be a frigthening sight - caterpillars everywhere! (You can stop laughing at me now) Most will stumble onto the … [Read more...]

Look within for financial freedom and happiness

I am not here to proselytise, but I would like to share with readers who are searching for external answers to their quest for financial freedom and happiness. The "easy" path is to seek the external solutions like: 1) Collect more paper qualifications (note: I did not say education) 2) Climb the career ladder 3) Seek multiple sources of income 4) Trading and investing 5) Marry … [Read more...]

SMOL’s fun take on common Singaporean trading words:

Big cap Alternate name for big “head”. Positions held by traders who believe size does matter. Small cap Alternate name for small “head”. For traders who believe technique matters more; not size. Elliott waves Technique used by stressed-out insomniac traders to help them get back to sleep – counting waves as opposed to counting sheep. Candle-sticks For traders who have not … [Read more...]

To nationalise or privatise?

The recent call to review and perhaps nationalise the public transport of Singapore caught my attention. There are pros and cons of course, but let's take 2 examples: 1) HDB - nationalised. 2) Taxis - liberalised and deregulated. HDB I thought there were lots of noise recently that HDB is not "transparent" with it's costing and pricing? Making too much profit? High prices and … [Read more...]

The man who wants to buy new shoes (a soft satire)

Long ago, no, longer than when policemen wear shorts… Go back longer. When Chinese men still wear pigtails? Yes, that’s about right! There lived a man in a Chinese village (why most stories happen in villages?) who wanted to buy a pair of new shoes in town. He is a “precision” kind of guy. Everything has to be “exact” and “precise”. He loves to measure everything! True to his nature, he … [Read more...]

Should I DIY or outsource to professionals?

On Monday night, my Dell desktop PC crashed and can no longer boot up with Windows XP. All I got is a strange looking error message: “Ntfs.sys file missing or corrupted” The next day, I googled the internet and found many solutions how to fix this problem – even found one You-tube video with step by step instructions!!! (This internet thing is great!) However, I soon found out it’s not … [Read more...]

The father and son and their mule – the next generation

You may have heard of this story about the man and his son with their mule. If you have not, you may want to read about it here from La Papillion’s blog:father-son-and-donkey Well, the little boy grew up and became a father himself to a bright young boy of ten. One Saturday morning, father and son decided to sell one of their mules to the weekend market inside of town. Before they sat off … [Read more...]

I am an equities man-whore

Yes, I am an equities man-whore and proud of it! I make no apologies as I am what I am. I flirt from stocks to stocks, always on the lookout for sugar mummies who can provide me the sugar rush I crave. There are 2 kinds of sugar mummies: 1)     Those who promise to give me part of their estate (capital gains). 2)     And those who buy me smart clothes and blinks blinks … [Read more...]

Bacon and eggs – difference between committed and involved

The pig and hen were good friends in a farm. One lazy sunny afternoon, while shooting the breeze together under the shade of the old oak tree just outside the barn, the hen had an inspiration! “Hey pig! Would you be interested to be a millionaire?” said the hen, fluttering her eye-lashes in a most alluring manner. “What? What do you mean?” The pig awoken from his stupor… “Wake up! Wake … [Read more...]

It’s better to start young

Yes, it’s better to start young to me. (But not so young that its child labour!) The Singapore business times have ran quite an interesting series of articles on young investors in Singapore. I think it’s a good way to foster “entrepreneurship” and “self-reliant” amongst Singaporeans. Look beyond the usual trodden path of: Study hard, get good grades, get a job in MNC or Govt, get … [Read more...]

My aim is to have my cake and eat it – a 3 room HDB flat for free!

I would like to follow up on my previous post on "Are HDB flats affordable?" and share my experience in using the max 30 years loan when I don’t have to. Disclaimer: 1. Numbers have been rounded up for simplicity’s sake. 2. CPF ordinary interest = 2.5% per annum (ignore the extra 1% for the first SGD 20,000) 3. OCBC bank interest = 3.75% per annum (first 2 years’ promotional … [Read more...]

Sometimes it’s better to be “stupid” and “wrong”

I would like to share a “true” story that my grandmother used to tell me when she was alive. My grandma had a widowed “jie-mei” (sister) friend who stayed at Punggol in the 1960s. This friend stayed in an attap (wooden) house like many Singaporeans who stayed outside the city then. (Singapore got city meh? Hey! My story or your story?) This jie-mei auntie worked hard and managed to save SGD … [Read more...]

Lies, damn lies, and statistics!

Recent IPO statistics on the yield: FY 2011 = 5.30% FY 2012 = 5.51% Take at the look at the charts below: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-t6VFfifwsng/Te8Zeps6u0I/AAAAAAAAADo/l3RDMX5yeBw/s1600/Jared.gif Big growth for the 1st chart? Since I prefer round numbers, the same statistics in my mind graph is as the 2nd chart. The difference between 2011 and 2012 is only 0.21% lah! Is … [Read more...]

Embrace all experiences – good and bad!

I am now back in Athens. The last 3 weeks were a blur.... 3 weeks ago I was in Warsaw, Poland. Then a quick detour to Basel, Switzerland, and after a quick 1 day return to Athens, I was back on the road to Helsingborg, Sweden last week. Travelling is "2nd nature" to me now. But I realise that for someone "new" to travelling, it can be quite stressful and bewildering..... Let's take the … [Read more...]

How would I know I didn’t need anything?

Peter and John were good friends. One day, both of them came to an electronics shop. Peter went in and took the opportunity to browse around. John meanwhile just window-shopped from the outside. After 15 minutes, Peter came out empty handed. "Did you find anything you liked?" asked John to Peter. "Nope. I didn't need anything at all." said Peter shaking his head. "Then why did … [Read more...]

Leverage for equities– good or bad?

In continuation of my previous post on the topic whether it made sense to take on a 30 years loan for HDB, (http://singaporemanofleisure.blogspot.com/2011/05/are-hdb-flats-public-housing-affordable.html ) I would like extend it to the realm of investing/trading in equities/futures. What I am sharing is what I am doing in practice right now. But please be aware from “My story” that I have lost … [Read more...]