Author: Singapore Man of Leisure

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 strong views and opinions. He prefers to let others tell him what to do. As a compromise between easy to gather straws and backbreaking use of stones,...

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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 50% on a piece of paper and handed it to me: “There you go. You got what you asked for!” There and then, I had my moment of “enlightenment”. I...

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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 year, then the discussions are merely shooting the breeze NATO kind of kopi-tiam talk talk. For those who must locate to a HDB flat this...

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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 – can leverage 2 times, and C my broker just laugh at me…… I have to pay the interests charges monthly – but...

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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 darkest of days do appear and all seems lost, I do hope you still have the presence of mind to re-read the words I...

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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 looked at Wind suspiciously; thinking to himself – what is Wind up to now? “No, I am the man!” the Sun countered. Wind, happy that he has...

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My meeting with a HK man of leisure

During my business trip at Warsaw, Poland last year, I spent 2 nights at this hostel for my private trip extension. On the 2nd day when I was ready to roam the city, I thought I saw a cool middle-aged Japanese guy checking-in. He was wearing a red bandana and black t-shirt and pants.  Looking very muck like one of those chefs at Japanese noodle bars. In the evening when I was surfing the net in the common lounge area, he approached me. Only then did I discover he is a Hong Konger – not Jap! He got 5...

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The Grasshopper and the Ant – to have lived or make a good living?

In a field far far away, there lived a happy-go-lucky grasshopper and the hardworking ant. There were good friends. The grasshopper love to make merry and play all day long. When hungry he eats, when tired he rests. He has never done a honest day’s work in his life. And planning for tomorrow is something he never taxed his little brain: “Wah lau! Too chime leh. No time lah!”, he likes to say. The ant is different. Since birth, she has been “educated” by her sisters that there’s no need to think for her own self, the interests of...

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Men and our irrational behaviour

In my daily life, I often catch myself saying one thing and doing another thing. I guess I am not alone. So let’s start making fun of our irrational behaviour! I have an ex-colleague who gives me lots of grief for not bringing my own “bag” to the supermarkets when I do my groceries……… But this lady tells me that she full blasts her air-con all night long and drives to work alone in her sedan.  OK….. I have a friend who tells me cannot eat tuna – cute and lovable dolphins are killed in tuna’s fishing nets. Cannot!...

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The tortoise and the hare – to invest or save?

Whether it’s better to suffer the risks and ups and downs by investing our nest eggs, or by saving it in a savings account, we can escape the emotional roller-coaster? The story of the tortoise and the hare is well known. The hare fell asleep, made the mistake of underestimating the tortoise, and slow and steady won at the end of the day! Like all fairy tales, if only that’s the end of the happily ever after story….. What if we have many more races ahead?  Not just one race? Putting money in a savings account is “safe”.  Like...

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To Rent or Buy?

To rent or to buy? First of all, I will not talk about the rule of thumb used by economist: if the home price is 15 times higher than the annual rent for a similar property, it is better to rent. Nor will I talk about financial worksheets of formulas and ratios used by accountants to determine whether it’s better to lease or buy a property. No, I won’t mention them. (Smile) What I will do is to share the emotional struggles and questions I’ve gone through to determine whether it’s better to rent or buy. (Here I am...

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