24 Tales in the Journey to Wealth

RETIREMENT "Financial Independence, Retire Early" (FIRE) - that seems like a wonderful catch phrase to set the flames going. What does it take to achieve this burning desire? I think it boils down to a magic number. [1. http://lizardorealm.blogspot.sg/2015/05/light-fire-can-i-retire-now.html] STOCKS To achieve this outcome, I invest in the market, diversified across market regions, … [Read more...]

Get To Know Dividend Withholding Tax

Dividend Withholding Tax was one area that I had a little difficulty understanding. If you have a good and easy to understand resource, please please please share it with me here. Doing Google searches tend to dig up a whole lot of complicated and “cheem” stuff that tend to confuse rather than educate. This is especially important when we have ETFs that are domiciled all over the world. Having … [Read more...]

I Have Never Lost Money Investing

This is not meant to be a boast. I have no secret recipe, no stock tips, no insider knowledge, and no freaking idea how I did it. In fact, I fully attribute it to dumb, beginner’s luck. Good and Bad Apples I started “investing” around 2013, and my first stock was Apple. 1 share cost me more than US$400, and I was puzzled why SGX trades in lots of 1,000! I had no clue what index investing … [Read more...]

Tea with Matthew Seah: Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

ASSI's most prolific guest blogger, Matthew Seah, readily agreed to contribute this guest blog when I asked him if he could do it. Such an obliging and intelligent fellow. During the 4th “Evening with AK and friends” session, a young man mentioned cash-based and synthetic ETFs. After some discussion, AK shot an arrow for me to do a guest blog on ETFs, so here it is. Firstly, exchange traded … [Read more...]

About 20 ETFs Will Be Classified As Excluded Investment Products


HAPPY MAY DAY 2015! As per my earlier coverage on the upcoming relaxation of the rules/guidelines for ETFs in Singapore, on Wednesday, Monetary Authority Of Singapore (MAS) has announced the reclassification of some 20 ETFs (including the current 11), which account for about 80% of the asset under management by locally listed ETFs, as Excluded Investment Products (EIPs) [for more details … [Read more...]

More Singapore ETFs Will Be Accessible To The Retail Investors Soon


Aside from the individual stocks and REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), one of the other more popular investment vehicles among the retail investors is ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). As the name implied, ETFs are investment funds that are traded on stock exchanges by producing returns that track/replicate the performance and composition of a specific index such as stocks or commodity. If you … [Read more...]

FAQ on Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (VWRD)

Today, we’re going to take a quick look at Vanguard’s Global Index ETF – VWRD. A fair bit of emails and questions I get frequently revolve around the purchase of VWRD. Thus, I thought this blog post would be great at addressing the common queries. Disclosure – VWRD forms 30% of my asset allocation What is Vanguard Group? Vanguard Group is owned by Vanguard funds, which in turn are owned … [Read more...]

4 Reasons Why Spinoffs Outperform the Market Index


In 1993, Patrick J. Cusatis, James A. Miles and J. Randall Woolridge did a research study on the stock performance of spinoff companies from 1963 to 1988. From the research, they found that spinoffs outperformed the S&P 500 by about 10% per year in the first three years of their independence. The study also found that parent companies of spinoffs also outperformed the index by more than 6% per … [Read more...]

The Allure of Gold – Treachery of the Glitter

Gold is such an alluring product. It somehow carries this magical feeling of value. Perhaps it has to do with the Chinese and Indian cultures of collecting gold products as items of value, passing on from generation to generation. Unfortunately in recent years, gold scams have been repeated, case after case. How does it work? Here's the general idea ... The Scam Company sets up shop in … [Read more...]

2 Portfolios of ETFs – Growth vs Income

I was considering how I might structure a globally diversified portfolio based purely on ETFs available on the SGX (Exchange Traded Funds - Navigating Through the Maze). I came up with the below. Growth Portfolio Broadly, full replication ETFs are preferred over those that are synthetic. 15% US - SPDR S&P500 US$ - XD [Full replication] 15% Europe - DBXT MSEurope US$ - Reinv [Full … [Read more...]

Exchange Traded Funds – Navigating Through the Maze

The number of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) that have been introduced on the SGX has been growing at an explosive pace. ETFs that are index-tracking are touted as a better alternative to investing via Unit Trust given their lower fees. There is also the belief that being average (i.e. tracking the index) is better than being clever - i.e. beat the index. After all, if half the traders beat the … [Read more...]

Can You Beat Stock-Pickers By Flipping A Coin?


Imagine a world where nobody knows how to pick stocks. There are no investment books, no brokerages, and no annoying financial gurus trying to sell their stock-picking courses for $2,888. Instead, people “invest” using a very simple method: Flipping a coin. If your coin lands on Heads, you make money. If your coin lands on Tails, you lose money. Every year, you flip your coin and the … [Read more...]

Beating the Market Index Returns With a Simple Method

Investing in market index ETFs provide a generally diversified portfolio with the ability to track overall market returns. What if there is a method to beat the market returns with a simple mechanical and quantitative process? Well, a strategy of simply buying the 10 per cent of the Singapore market with the lowest price-to-book (PTB) ratio, and rolling the money to the next basket of low … [Read more...]

YES! I Also Say So That Investing = Gambling

Today, there is an article in the The Sunday Times that caught my eye. It can be found at the Invest section with the title of "Investing is a bit of a gamble" (by Melissa Tan). I totally agreed with her view that investing is kind of like gambling, but so does most other things in life. As long as we are dealing with anything in the future, we are effectively gambling as tomorrow might never … [Read more...]

Case Study: What Separates The Winners From the Whiners?

One of the coolest things about having a decently-sized email list (we’re almost 2,300-strong now – woot!) is that my Gmail inbox becomes a giant petri dish of different types of readers. I get to hear from people from all walks of life: “regular” executives/entrepreneurs/bloggers/journalists, freeloaders who don’t read my blog and ask me for investment tips, and best of all, weirdos who tell … [Read more...]

How To Invest Using Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) For Portfolio Diversification

When it comes to stock investing, one of the simplest and very effective method is to have a diversified portfolio. A simple way to think of diversification is not to have all your eggs in one basket. For stocks, a basic diversification strategy is to have many different stocks instead of a few. Another is to make sure you don’t have all your stocks in one country, but rather spread out across a … [Read more...]

MAS Should Consider Removing SIP Rules on ETFs

Following the recent article, more Singaporeans turning into investors, there were a record number of new accounts opened in past 12 months. While the number of user have gone up, total stock market turnover for first 6 months actually dropped dramatically by 34% to $136 bil. It seems strange that while there are more investors, total value of trades actually reduced instead of going … [Read more...]


It's been awhile since I did my last post. Woohoo, exams are finally over. Yay, FREEDOM :) I will be doing a summary on the difference between Nikko AM STI ETF and SPDR STI ETF. Some people are still confused over these two ETF. I hope my post can bring some enlightenment. Basically, these two different ETF are managed by two separate fund companies. The inception dates for SPDR and Nikko AM … [Read more...]

We are not perfect but we can improve our lives.

Hi AK, I am also pessimistic, actually. The thing I realised these couple of months is in life things can be unfair or by a stroke luck fate deals a bad set of cards or bad things happen because of my incompetence. However, whatever situation one is in, the cliche of being optimistic that's sold by people may not be too practical. What's practical I find is to be able to do something even a … [Read more...]

Why Living In The World’s Most Expensive City Can Be An Advantage

A lot of people are complaining about how hard it is to get by in Singapore these days. Maybe it’s because of that EIU report claiming that Singapore is the most expensive city to live in. Maybe it’s the huge surge of unhappiness over the recent transport fare hikes and Whatsapp charges. My Facebook feed is flooded with articles on issues like these, each one filled with dozens of frustrated … [Read more...]