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: 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, ( ) 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...]

3 little pigs – how we react to change

Once upon a time, there lived 3 little pigs in a small enchanted island not far from the equator. They were the best of friends. The first pig was called “Nimble-feet”. Nimble-feet does not like to carry a heavy load and have chains tied to his feet. True to his nature, he built his house made of straw within a week. The second pig was called “Sit-on-fence”. Sit-on-fence does not have any … [Read more...]

I don’t want percentages; I want money!

4 years ago, my Romanian boss in Shanghai went for a business navigation course. I like this “navigation” word – it sound a lot better than business steering or financial control. Anyway, he came back and tested his new skills on me. He asked: “Jared, what pay raise you would like to have this year?” Unwittingly, I uttered with glee: “50% thank you very much!” My boss then scribbled … [Read more...]

Are HDB flats (public housing) affordable?

There’s lot of intellectual discussions on this interesting topic ever since MBT offered his viewpoint. One quick way to find out: Look at the take up rate of new Built-To-Order HDB flats. If all sold out, then the facts prove MBT right. But if there are lots of new HDB flat left unsold, then MBT is so “blond”. Let the facts speak for themselves. Or? If we are not buying a HDB within this … [Read more...]

Can you lend me some money?

Before lending money to others at a profit, I must check out the market. Since I didn’t study so much, I’ll have to use my own life experiences: 1)    My broker charged me 6% interest p.a. for my margin account. To lend me money, I have to pledge “collateral” in terms of shares or cash. And not just any shares, my broker classify shares into 3 kinds of ratings: A – can leverage 3 times, B – … [Read more...]

A letter to myself

Dear Jared, I’ve written this letter to you at a time of plenty and smooth sailing. When all the stars are seem to be aligned. But as the days can’t be dark and bleak all the time, so goes that the days of sun and harvest may not last forever. All things in nature have a balance; and do expect the reversion to mean to counter balance the pendulum swings in life’s fortune. When the … [Read more...]

The wind and the sun – push or pull?

On a long and uneventful day during the middle of autumn, Sun and Wind were both chilling out up in the sky; bored stiff with nothing to do…. Before long, Wind noticed a lone travelling man walking down below wearing an unbuttoned coat. A naughty idea popped into Wind’s mind that to make fun of Sun. Wind raised his nose at Sun and sneered: “I’m the man!” Startled by the challenge, Sun … [Read more...]