Author: Singapore Man of Leisure

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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My Braless Literature Teacher

This is the last post as part of the trilogy of posts looking back on my school days. For a change, its not about me. Its about the young and vivacious Literature teacher that taught us in Sec 1 at an all boys school (it was co-ed for Pre-U classes). She did her degree in UK and from the way she dressed and talks, you can tell she is “different”. She got that bohemian air about her… And when she taught in class, she was not teaching us robotically so we could pass Literature exams… No, she was clearly...

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I’m not making Tools; I’m making Art

You know what? I missed out Technical Studies completely from my previous post!? Did I study so many subjects during Sec 1 and 2? Now that’s what I call a broad education! Subconsciously, it probably showed how much I hated Technical Studies…. I’m a klutz when it comes to DIY. So how did I ended with a DIY company!? Yes, I’m the kind of “dainty” Singaporean male who will pay for someone to assemble the furniture… LOL! My Gan Eng Seng School (Anson Road) did not have a workshop. So we had our Technical lessons at Bukit Merah Secondary...

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I never failed in Art classes

I’m not sure about school nowadays, but during my Secondary 1 and 2 (1980-1981), we had to take 10 subjects. Looking back, it was the best of times since I had to learn everything – English, Chinese, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Literature, and Art. I think that’s a great approach if one is starting out on their nascent investing/trading journeys. Start broad and specialise when we know our interests and aptitude. Lawyers and doctors follow a similar path. But that’s not how most retail investors/traders approach investing/trading… I think most students (and KPI centric educators) are glad they don’t have...

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Perspective matters! You are your own shepherd

I was having my breakfast at the hawker centre this morning when I overheard an interesting banter between a quite youthful dressing “ah ma” with her granddaughter and another man in his late 60s at the next table. The senior man is single and was lamenting on his singlehood; while the ah ma was telling him she regretted marrying and its much better to be single… It was kinda fun until I noticed the poor granddaughter sitting all quiet and staring at her food with a forlorn face… Do not underestimate young children. They understand a lot more than...

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That’s it! Send in the reserves now!

As some readers may have deduced, I’m a fan of military history. When you read the historical accounts of famous battles, you’ll find military commanders withholding their reserves and committing them only at right moment of the battle. The reason you don’t commit your forces all at once (show hand) is so you can deal with the fluidity of the battle and react if there’s a breakout or counter-attack from the enemy. Unless of course you are a military genius who can predict your opponent’s moves – always one step in advance. Now look at your portfolio. Have your...

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The Math of Averaging Down

Test your math. What’s the difference between a -80% loss and a -90% loss? 50%. If the answer came to you immediately, you can stop reading. In years gone by, you probably would have made good profits by spotting arbitrage opportunities! But now, its a lot harder with high frequency trading and all… Show me, show me! For the rest of us mortals, let me illustrate: You bought a stock at $1.00 At -80% loss, the market price is $0.20 At -90% loss, the market price is $0.10 Still want to average down when price is at $0.20? Price...

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Its not about the tracking and measurement silly!

The reason why its important to track and measure performance is not the actual measurement in itself – its to provide actionable information for us to improve our game. Americans are the no.1 when it comes to statistics – just look at their sporting stats! But why is it then some have been tracking and measuring their investing/trading performance for years yet there’s little or no improvement? Denial The butterfly had a good post recently where he was upset with himself for not sticking with his stock entry plan. Excellent! If we deviate from our plans and we then...

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Who will like this SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF?

Japan yield hunters Top of my mind, I think Mr and Mrs Watanabe will like this ETF! I mean Mrs Watanabe is famous for being conversant with forex trading as a side income. So foreign exchange risk is not an issue since they are not “bei kambings” (white little lambs). With negative interest rates back home, Japanese insurers and pension funds have been piling into Australian bonds as they continue their search for yield. Currently, the Australia 10 year bond yield is around 2.25%. Those Japanese investors who are more “garang” (aggressive) may want to spread some love into...

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How to double your income in sales

In sales, this is how we motivate and inspire our underlings to sell more! First, we track ask them to track their sales performance. For eg, how many customers they approached per day, how many of them turned into sales that day. We will then get their closing ratio. A sales person may score 1:10 – meaning for every 10 customers he applied his snake oil sales pitch on; 1 turned into kaching $$$! Work harder Want to double your income? Prospect and approach 20 potential customers per day! Work smarter What? You want work/life balance? You didn’t join...

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