Author: Singapore Man of Leisure

The Two Paths – Freedom And Slavery

Source: Aesop, Fables “Zeus once ordered Prometheus to show mankind the two ways: one the way of freedom and the other the way of slavery. Prometheus made the way of freedom rough at the beginning, impassable and steep, with no water anywhere to drink, full of brambles, and beset with dangers on all sides at first. Eventually, however, it became a smooth plain, lined with paths and filled with groves of fruit trees and waterways. Thus the distressing experience ended in repose for those who breathe the air of freedom. The way of slavery, however, started out as a...

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Buy/Sell Until You Can Sleep Soundly

All of us are different. Hence our risk tolerance and emotional stability would be different too. A few years back, I saw a Youtube video on buying silver and one thing the video blogger said I liked very much. He was answering the question how much silver should we buy: Buy a 1 ounce silver coin he advised. Can’t sleep that night as you feel you need more? Buy another 1 ounce silver coin the next day. Repeat the process until you can sleep soundly at night. Ah… I thought this makes a lot of common sense. No one...

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Singlish and Making Decisions

First, a little joke. Two Singaporeans – Ah Lim and Ah Peh – entered a pub in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong. Ah Lim: “Send me a girl!” Ah Peh: “I want a Thai girl.” The ang moh lady bartender looked shocked and offended: “Sir, we don’t provide such services here.  If you want girls, you have to go down to Wanchai’s girlie bars.” Ah Lim and Ah Peh looked at each other with puzzled looks. What talking her? What girls? We only wanted a San Miguel and a Tiger beer!? LOL! (OK, pathetic laughing at my own joke...

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Chess Playing And Investing/Trading

My classmate taught me how to play chess during my secondary school days. Remember those wonderful weeks after the school exams where our teachers leave us to “study” on our  own? As a newbie, I was very surprised to be checkmated in 4 bloody short moves!? Huh?  I was “taught” how each chess pieces move; but was not taught “how” to play chess. I learned from my mistakes and now I am puzzled how my classmates were able to counteract my early opening moves without much thinking on their part. That is until I realised that they have memorised...

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Taking Care Of Ourselves First

When travelling on airlines, as part of the operational safety procedures, we will hear:”Please put on the oxygen mask on yourself first before tending to your children.” Isn’t it counter-intuitive to our natural instinct to protect our young ones first? Or do you know that experienced life-guards will let swimmers in trouble “drown” first before attempting to bring them on-shore for resuscitation? Before you start kicking life-guards in the press, maybe you can pause and reflect whether it’s easier to rescue one drowning person or two drowning persons – never mind if the other inexperienced rescuer is just trying...

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Noise Cancellation And Retirement

Have you seen some passengers wearing their own noise cancellation headphones while travelling by air? I think is super cool and a better way to “drown-out” ambient noise than to pump up the volume. It’s better for the health of your ears and the “happiness index” of the passenger sitting next to you ;) I remember watching a documentary on how it’s done. Instead of blocking or minimizing the pesky ambient noise, these speakers emit another sound that produce a wave length that is the direct opposite. Presto! Silence. (Please don’t ask me about the science. Mine is a...

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The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk – Beware of who you hang out with

A Mouse, by an unlucky chance, formed an intimate acquaintance with a Frog. The Frog one day, intent on mischief, bound the foot of the Mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined together, the Frog led his friend to the pool in which he lived, until he reached the very brink, when suddenly jumping in, he dragged the Mouse in with him. The Frog enjoyed the water amazingly, and swam croaking about, as if he had done a meritorious action. The unhappy Mouse was soon suffocated with the water, and his dead body floated about on the surface, tied...

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It’s Easier To Learn From The Loser Than From The Winner

My first time in a casino was in Austria of all places!  We even got free chips to play a few hands… This was part of the “cultural experience” included in the company course I attended.  It was like in the James Bond movies where the men wore tux and the ladies wore bare-backed evening gowns. I think I spend more time admiring the “numbers” (36, 24, 36) on the ladies than on the roulette tables…  We even got to visit the vineyards to do some wine tasting. I tell you, that’s the best company paid course I’ve ever...

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Multibaggers in less than 4 months? Don’t you just love penny stocks!?

Hands up for those who have not played penny stocks before! Most of us have played with penny stocks starting out – especially when our account was small starting out. Remember those wonderful and euphoric days? Ah…  Of course with the highs will come the abyss of abject horror and manic depression… Nowadays I am a reformed speculator. Although I still dabble in S-chips and penny stocks for a good old swing trade once in a while, I’ve said goodbye to punting on “rubbish” penny stocks. Recent events reminded me of those good old days: MDR Jan 2012 =...

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The Sheep That Wants To Be Shepherd

In a distant parallel universe where sheep rule the planet Htrae, there was 2 young sheep named Rekcus-bmud and Nepo-seye that dreamt about being a shepherd. You see, there are only 2 kinds of sheep on that planet – shepherd sheep that lead and sheep that follow the shepherds. Both these two young sheep, who were the best of friends, have no wish to be like the other sheep, always following and doing what the shepherds demanded or have planned for them. They too wanted to be their own shepherds. To have a flock of their own each! “Nepo-seye,...

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Is Passive Income Really Passive?

We are living in a flavour of the month and fashion season of the year world. Now it’s easy to read passive cash flow this, passive income that – as if all we need is to sit under the sky and money will just drop onto our lap? Rentals from properties Even if your tenant never calls you to fix the toilet, and always pay on time every month dutifully into your bank account (of course exist! I am one such tenant) – surely there must come a time when you need to re-negotiate a new tenancy agreement on...

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Failures and Side Effects

Sometimes taking a few steps back can be very interesting to get a perspective of things. Things are not always what it seems, and if we are not careful, we may even throw the baby out with the bath water! Failure Have you ever used the 3M’s Post-it note pads?  When it was first invented, it was considered a “failure” as what do you do with a “weak” glue that don’t stick? It took 6 years later before a colleague of the inventor found a use for it by anchoring a bookmark to his hymnbook. The rest as they...

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What Is The “Norm”?

This morning, as I was queuing up to buy my breakfast at the hawker centre, a pretty and shapely young girl caught my eye. Tank top and skinny jeans – nice! (Ladies, do cut me some slack as I’m only a man – it’s an evolutionary thing…) Anyway, I was slurping into my bowl of laksa when to my surprise, this young girl sat down beside me!? Light up the fireworks! Together with what I think is her husband (yes, I am turning him into a thing), and a baby boy in a pram. Houston, we are crashing down...

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Abrupt and Creeping Enlightenment

  In Zen Buddhism, there are 2 main schools of thought. Don’t worry, I am not here to proselytize. I am agnostic. OK, enlightenment maybe is too strong a word. Let’s call it insight or awareness.    Ah ha!  Have you ever had your eureka moment? A problem or conundrum that’s been troubling you for days and weeks, and totally out of the blue, a solution or idea just pops into your brain? Did you notice when and how these little sparks of brilliance came about? I bet most of them came from doing or thinking about something that’s...

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Is Snow Water?

Contrary to popular belief, most linguists today consider it a myth that the Eskimo language has an unusually large number of words (some say 50 and some others say 100!) for snow.  It goes to show the danger of accepting everything you read in the popular press or media without first “filtering” via the grey matter between our ears. By the way, there’s no one Eskimo language too ;) We don’t have to look far. In the English language, we have:  “blizzard”, “flurry”, “pack”, “slush,” “drift”, “sleet,” and “powder”  Each refer to different types of snow, but all are...

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