Income Statement versus Balance Sheet

Equities investors focus on the Income (Profit & Loss) statement - how much you make? Corporate bond investors focus on the Balance Sheet statement - can you pay me back? Some corporate bond investors and peer-to-peer lenders have found out the hard way the differences between making secured and unsecured loans... Have you seen the title deed to your property? The smart bank is "safe … [Read more...]

Career advice for 20 somethings – that’s how I approach investing too!

Found this interesting pushback article in my Facebook: Why millennials should ignore career advice from Boston Consulting Group boss Before I go on, I would strongly recommend you read the original career advice from the BCG boss - the link is inside the article above. If you are now in your 20s or early 30s, which career advice appeals to you more? Don't think! Just follow your … [Read more...]

Chor Dai Dee and CPF proposed changes

When I was working at Montgomery Ward Buying House as the Hardlines merchandiser, I picked up this interesting card game called "Chor Dai Dee" from my bosses. The MD and QA manager were both Hong Kongers that applied for Singapore PR and citizenship due to the 1997 HK hangover thingy. It's one cool game! You know the CPF proposed changes? I deliberately held my hand. Now that most … [Read more...]

Equities and Bonds can’t be both right. Right?

If you are a panda or koala bear (single asset investor), it doesn't matter. Move along now, there's nothing to see here. But for those of you who practice portfolio management with asset allocation; or have engaged financial advisors advocating the merits of diversification into different asset classes... How now? In the "old normal" before 2009, one of the simplest asset allocation … [Read more...]

My Trading Edge

As usual, I shall lay out the context and perspective before I share what's my trading edge.   Paid to trade Traders working for institutions like hedge funds, investment banks, sovereign wealth funds, etc; they all have one thing in common - they have a base salary. That means they don't have to worry how to pay the bills every month. With one thing less to worry, they can … [Read more...]

View on retail from the selling floor up

If you visit Plaza Singapura on level 3 at the new wing extension, you will see lots of empty shops. Now that 1st Market by Chef Wan is also closed, the whole stretch on the left side is all partitioned up. Before you jump onto the bandwagon of press articles (and ya-lor ya-lor new media blog posts) pontificating its doom and gloom for retailers today - and the biggest reason is high rentals - … [Read more...]

How to be a Financial Freedom snake oil

This ultra spiritual guy does satires, pokes, and parodies so much better than me! I give him my Stephen Chow's 2 thumbs up! He is hilarious!   But behind the laughter, don't just watch and believe. Talk to "bei kambings" who have paid ridiculous sum of money to snake oils and you'll find a common thread:   It all started with "Free".   The same sales tactics is used by time-sharing … [Read more...]

What comes before goals and plans?

Watch the below video from Jack Ma from Alibaba first. Don't worry. Got English subtitles. 1.  Before we go on, Singapore is where it is today not because we have goals and plans. You mean other governments and countries have no annual budgets and 5 year plans? 2.  Do you keep thinking of money every waking hours? Is it healthy? Is this the reason you are here on Earth? You are … [Read more...]

I am humbled (Lucky I’m not salaryman in Japan and Singapore)

Humility It can be fun and games until I found out recently how fortunate and lucky I am. A new reader to the bleeding heart's blog shared his recent retrenchment; and the shame and anguish that ensued... Glad his nightmare is over, albeit taking a 1/3 pay cut at his new job. The new reader is just one year my junior at 48; and he has 3 teenage kids. In an alternate universe, I could be … [Read more...]

Follow your OWN passion – not someone else’s

Follow your passion. Nothing wrong with it. Except as with all good things, when they get "parroted" by dumb people, they become clichéd or hackneyed. I personally prefer this Japanese word: ikigai - the reason you get up in the morning. Less used, but its "similar" with passion. But if a famous author or big time motivational speaker starts to use ikigai, then everyone and anyone … [Read more...]

The allegory of warm blooded and cold blooded

Self-propelled or external engine required If you had a hobby or sport that you loved, and competence in your passion has no bearing whatsoever to your academic results or corporate climbing - that would take away playing golf for the sake of networking with your bosses - can you remember where you get your motivations? I remember when I picked up photography just before going for NS, I … [Read more...]

Something is not right if you still need that cheapo platform after 5 years…

I wanted to say 2 years, but I remembered I was small once too... But then, I was ikan bilis small, never that itsy bitsy krill small. I guess that's the advantage of starting my investing/trading journey at age 32? Unless one is a day trader or trades a lot, come on, there are more important things to worry about than transaction costs!? Ask your father, uncles, older cousins - how … [Read more...]

Live in JB and drive back for work?

I wrote this post in April 2016 - Landed property and car with $6K per month household income. And this article appeared one month later - How feasible is it to move to Johor Baru and drive back and forth for work and school? Yup, that's the kind of terrace house I was talking about. See? Some of us have ready options just waiting in the wings! We can live on landed property and … [Read more...]

Financial Security, Financial Independence, Financial Freedom?

I got give chance. Waited and waited. Since no one wants to poke it, I'll take the bait! Different words have been thrown around carelessly. What the fish is Financial Freedom compared to Financial Independence and Financial Security? Let's play a Sesame Street game! See if you can match the above 3 definitions with the below scenarios: Scenario A You are the instructor of elite … [Read more...]

Options are not Plans!

But first, a special shout out to LP and Rolf. It's their cyber conversion that sparked this post. See? That's why its better to mix with people smarter than me! Living in the future Plans are to help us acquire, achieve a goal, or reach a destination we are currently not already there yet. Which means we cannot rely on our plans entirely as there's a question mark whether we can … [Read more...]

Deflation? Zun bo?

18 straight month of negative inflation. Aiyoh. Deflation say deflation. What negative inflation? Reminds me of the joke I used to play on customers when I was selling sofas at IMM. "Yes Sir! Its made of 100% genuine synthetic leather." It will take a while before some customers wise up to the joke! It's PVC lah! LOL! Deflation? I recently renewed my fibre broadband at lower … [Read more...]

Do what you like; like what you do

I've always envied others who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. Me? I've no clue except I know I don't like a desk bound kind of job. My career was a series of job hopping until I found the right fit (see my story). Its more a "crash got sound" way of finding out what I liked; what I hated. I think the more "educated" way of saying is "Learn By Doing"? So I'm probably the … [Read more...]

Heuristics – short cut or blind following the blind?

When we chit-chat or do bantering at our neighbourhood coffee shop, it's OK to do a bit of talk "male chicken" here and there. You are welcomed to do it here at this watering hole too. But when it comes to putting your own money on the line, you may want to do a few more verification questions before you swallow what others say hook, line, and sinker... Let me share some examples where … [Read more...]

Landed property and car with $6K per month household income

SMOL - QueenstownHDBTerrace

Success is what we have to sacrifice to achieve it. Hold on to this thought as I share with you this story about my colleague. I think their story can be a good counterbalance to financial bloggers and readers who think (and plan) too much. Husband and wife in their early 30s. Combined household income around $6K per month. One is a technician, the other in retail sales like … [Read more...]