Author: Singapore Man of Leisure

Shitty Financial Advice

Look! Just cut your tennis balls in half and you can save more space! Wah lah! Don’t laugh. Just look at some of the shitty financial “advice” out there: 1)  The more you spend the more you “save” kind… Enough said. 2)  Collect air miles and fly or upgrade for free! Hello, unless your Ah Kong (corporate company) pays for the air tickets, or you charge your business expenses on your personal credit card, these air miles are not “free”. 3)  And then there’s this come here little mouse… See the loops and hoops over there? Now jump through all of them and we’ll “reward” you...

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Can we stop using XIRR to mean annualised return?

First, the last thing I would claim would be to an England grammar vigilante. Second, I would never dare challenge anyone on math or business finance calculations. Not when the max I can count using all my fingers and toes looking down is 21. But XIRR? Really? If you have never studied business finance subjects – you’ve an Arts or Science background – its excusable you use XIRR as a “financial” blogger. But if you got proper business finance training in Poly and Uni, well, what’s your excuse? XIRR is just a function in Excel to calculate internal rate...

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Alternative to CPF Top-ups

Psst. Try this. If CPF is paying 2.5% interests, while banks are paying less than 1% for savings accounts, why don’t you pay up your housing loans using cash? This way, you don’t touch your CPF and you can enjoy the magic of compounding with higher interest rates? Also, by not touching CPF for housing, you won’t be “asset rich; cash poor” when you reach age 55 or 65. How? Isn’t this less cumbersome than using cash to top-up CPF and then use CPF to payoff your housing loan? A bit LPPL right? (No, I’m not going to translate what...

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Understanding the “Spirit” of CPF

I think the pendulum has swung a little to the opposite direction this time… CPF money can’t see and touch There was a time when people would “shun” CPF. When got chance, quickly use our CPF to buy shares, properties, useless ILPs, integrated policies, and what not. If don’t use now, wait we’ll never see our CPF money ever! It seems we were in a race to deplete our CPF as fast as possible? Don’t let big daddy get his hands on our money! Of course this idea was planted by snake-oil salespersons, and successfully too! If not how to earn commissions...

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A Flat Pancake Trading Year

Oh well! I guess the streak has to end some day, isn’t it? 2013 – Doubled my trading account (Rampage!) 2014 – Tripled it! (Godlike!) 2015 – Up 88% (Double happiness!) 2016 – Up 13%… (Shy, Shy, Shy – Yes, its from K-Pop Twice’s Cheer Up MV) Tale of 2 halves 2016 started fantastic. Got played out as the trend reversed? Then came mid-year where I thought surely this must be the one… Nope. Got played out one more time… The market is such a tease! Luckily, both times I got profit-stopped. I’m not smart, but even I can...

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The Real Benefit of Blogging

What you expect? Money from blogging? Me? Want to know what I think? One good investment or one good trade for 2016 should be many times the dollar value what one could get from blogging. Now that’s getting our priorities straight! (Something for wannebe bloggers out there) Wink. There are quite a lot of interesting characters that make this watering-hole a fun place to mingle (龙蛇混杂) – provided one is not so thin-skinned that one gentle poke you go, “Teacher, teacher! Botak disturb me!” If you are a regular here, you’ll know the popular and recurring characters. I’ve thanked...

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What are Bucket Shops

I noticed a bad habit by some readers of financial blogs – too reliant and dependent on their favourite “shepherd”… For example, got question on CPF matters, instead of checking the CPF website or contacting CPF directly, prefer to be spoon-fed… If you get a summary from a summary from another summary, what do you think? Want to bet there’s some “oil and vinegar” (油加醋) added to the mix? How do people get scammed? Yup, they don’t do the verification themselves. Assuming others will do it for them, and/or have their best interest… Think about it. Would you help...

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Who died and made you Indian Chief?

For those of us in my generation, its a common phrase we use during our National Service. In our little financial bloggers community, its definitely a breeding ground for lots of self-styled Indian Chiefs. Wink. Let’s turn the tables and focus on us for a change. If you are a polytechnic graduate, doing well in your career with frequent promotions despite not having a university degree, guess what? You often get well meaning advice to “upgrade” and study for a degree from classmates whose career are not going anywhere, but they are always on the paper chase thinking that...

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The confused “Value Investor’s” transition from Value, to GARP, to Growth Investing…

This post is stand alone. For those who have the time to read a century of comments to get the context and perspective, you may want to read this old post: Here’s a question to Value Investors. When to buy When do Value Investors buy? They buy when they can find a stock that is selling below its “fair value”. There are quite a few metrics to use, but fair to say these “fair value” metrics can be “calculated” from published quarterly or annual statements. Teaching or learning these metrics is easy. There are formulas, excel file templates to fill-in,...

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Where are the Retail Growth Investors?

In my previous post, I wrote in the comments section that most retail investors began their journey as a Trader, then as a Value Investor, moving on to Dividend Investing, and finally capitulating towards Low Cost Passive Indexing when all things fail… What about Growth Investing? Ah! That was deliberate. Why? Because most retail traders and investors behave like Growth Investors – no matter what they call themselves. Verification 1: When you made a trade to buy (long), and/or you invest in something, were you expecting the price to go up higher? Verification 2: When equities prices were low in 2009 and end 2011, did you do most of your buying then? Or...

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Bernard Baruch – 10 Rules of Investing 

If you ask retail and professional traders alike, most will agree one of our all time favourite trading bible will be: Reminisces of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre. It’s a thinly disguised biography of Jesse Livermore. A lot of trading’s popular adages came from that book. If you have not already read it, I would highly recommend it. It’s not your typical trading book. I promise you that! However, there’s a fly in the ointment. Jesse Livermore blew his brains out… A fitting reminder to all traders out there, I guess. This post is not about Jesse Livermore....

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Headless Chicken

In the world of trading, I’ve learnt from painful experience its better to take a quick and small realised loss than to suffer a conviction sapping and margin eroding unrealised loss. Once I have cut loss; I feel relieved. Money can lose; but presence of mind cannot. Same goes for the investment side of my portfolio. Not taking profit can mess with our minds too. Take for example – M1, a stock I’m not vested in. If you had bought in at $1.50 during 2009, you would be a most happy retail investor during March 2015 – M1 hit $3.94! That happiness was short lived...

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That 2% Trading Rule

It’s quite easy for us trading veterans to sniff out whether a blogger is writing from personal experience or just copy paste (more polite word for plagiarism) from some other official sources. To a “bei kambing” or “white paper”, since you know nothing, you’ll just swallow hook, line, and sinker wholesale. That’s until you have chalked up more experience points and now looking back, you’ll just laugh it off. It’s part of the journey. Never risk more than 2% of your trading capital per trade Let’s take the above risk management rule as example. Can’t go wrong with parroting...

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Peer to Peer lending at 240% interest per annum?

Can. But now illegal. Still can. Just don’t get caught! Remember what they said during our National Service time? Can do anything we want, just don’t… Court dismisses moneylender’s bid to bankrupt debtor charged 240% annual interest rate The highest interest a fellow blogger got from his peer-to-peer lending “investments” is 18% interest per annum. Already a sizable “discount” from the 25% that credit card companies charge for unsecured “loans” from individuals… But if we compare against high yielding junk bonds, 18% is a lot better than the 6.5% yield Swiber bond holders got. Well, so much for accredited...

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Bet you never saw it coming! (Wrong but make money)

Neither did I! Let’s not talk theory about Trump’s win yesterday. There’s enough pontifications and red-faces out there. We know who got it right; who got It wrong… Boy, was I wrong!!! Like the majority of the market, I had a small skin in the game that’s positioned for a Clinton victory – long USD/SGD. Nearly spilled my coffee when I saw Trump leading Hillary early in the morning. Markets went bonkers and it was Brexit deja vu all over again. USD dived; equities markets in Asia bled big time. S&P futures went limit down 5%, and gold went...

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