Author: Singapore Man of Leisure

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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Can afford a place of our own after working for 5 years

Very few countries (or cities) in the world can young couples afford to buy a place of their own just after working for 5 years. Singapore is one such place. Of course I’m not talking about private properties. But if it’s HDB BTO 3 room in mature estates and HDB BTO 4 room in new (euphemism for ulu) estates – they cost about the same around $400K? Its more a choice between better location or bigger space. And if you don’t mind low floor as on 2nd level, can get for $300K. You do the math. 20% of $400K is $80K, and divided by...

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How to verify “wah kali kong” advice

Proud declaration: I never practice cut-loss! Verify: You got any 10 baggers in your portfolio before? No? Walk away… Smug face: I measure and track my portfolio right down to 2 decimal places. Verify: Your portfolio in the red or black? Red? Walk away… Snake-oil: The future of trading is automated trading! Verify: How many copies of your software have you sold to institutions? Only to retail traders? Walk away… Parrot: Buy and hold long term investing is the one and only true path! Verify: When did you start investing? Last month? Walk away… Singapore Man of Leisure (welcome...

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From the frying pan to the fire – Unit Trust to ETF

For those of you who have actual investing experience with unit trusts, and I mean 5 to 10 or more years worth of personal track record, there are 2 main reasons why you lost money. See if you can identify with them. You were sold to… When listening to people who complained about their bad experiences with unit trusts, its like listening to how they were sold “bad” insurance policies… They most probably also bought these unit trusts from a tight skirt with chiffon blouse sitting pretty in a bank; and paying the max 5% sales load! Of course...

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“Bei kambing” passive index investors – Part 2 of 2 (Why STI ETF?)

Why STI ETF? Why indeed! There are thousands and thousands of low cost ETFs around the world. How did you end up with the STI ETF as your one and only ETF for Passive Indexing? I only know my own backyard If you are a Singaporean studying/working in the US, and you have decided to embrace Passive Indexing, which ETF would you buy? Same goes for if you are a Malaysian or Indonesian but is now a permanent resident or naturalised Singaporean – which ETF would you buy? Mind you, if you are a US citizen, if you go...

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“Bei kambing” passive index investors – Part 1 of 2

love to watch documentaries. For many years, I’ve always believed gravity is pulling us down to Earth – the Newtonian and main stream view that the common man in the street knows and accepts as “correct”. What do you know? After watching documentaries on Einstein and his General Theory of Relativity, I’ve learnt that its in fact the curvature of space-time above us that’s pushing us down to Earth… Of course those of you who studied Physics at tertiary level would already know. Maybe. Bei Kambing understanding versus Erudite understanding The same gravity example can also apply to Low Cost Passive Indexing. If you look around our blogging community...

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Position Sizing and Diversification

First, read this Bloomberg article: How Singapore’s Not-Really-Rich Have Been Burned By Swiber Bonds I know, you not interested as you don’t have $250K to buy into bonds in a single pop. Wait, there’s a hidden message you are missing. That’s risk management. What if the accredited investor has 10 million dollars in liquidity (do not count property assets)? Buying an unrated bond and losing 100% of that investment of $250K is not disruptive to his/her lifestyle right? Some of you may have participated in peer-to-peer lending. It’s the same “greed” as our accredited investor – you hungry for...

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