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Friday, 26 May 2017

Go Find A Purpose!



Zuckerberg to Harvard students: Eureka moment is a lie, go find a purpose


I know what you are thinking. You are right. 

Newton's third law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

That's why I always like to hear the opposite view:


Survivorship bias





Want to have a bit of fun this weekend?

Look at those people who wear "goals" on their lips all the time. Take a good look at them.

In case you forget, goals usually have numbers in them, without them, goals would not be "SMART", would it?


Now try to come up with people who espouse vision, mission, dream, purpose, ikigai, and what not...

Yes, its all written in words that are fuzzy and super broad that can mean anything!


Can you spot a pattern?

Don't force it.

You'll spot it when you spot it. 

And not a moment too soon!




Sunday, 21 May 2017

Exclude this, exclude that...


Its quite easy to spot a person who is English or Chinese educated in cyberspace.

English educated ones like to compartmentalise everything; Chinese educated ones tend to be more holistic in their outlooks.




CPF

I don't include CPF as part of my networth.

OK...

What happens when we don't treat CPF as real money?

1.  We got suckered by snake-oils into buying "junk" insurance policies that we don't need or can't afford down the road...

I know, it cool to buy Integrated Policies to stay at private hospitals. Then you turn round and "pity" your friends who can only "afford" Integrated Policies for Class A wards in public hospitals... You poor thing...

Sure, gloat now. When you hit your late 50s or 60s, you may discover you can't afford the increased premiums.

You pray you won't need hospitalisations least your "poor thing" friends discover you no longer can afford private hospital stays... And have downgraded your Integrated Policy for public hospitals in your 60s.

Which is embarassing in logic.

When you young and healthy, you overpay for something you likely will not need. When you most likely would need it in your 60s, you now go the opposite downgrade way!?


2.  Since money in CPF you can't see or touch in a zillion years due to the constant shifting of goal posts, you decide to "gamble" with your CPF money under CPIS in the guise of "investing".

Don't worry! I'm a long term "investor"!

Even big daddy is embarrassed by the actual track record. The majority of CPF members who invested under CPIS have lost money or made less than the CPF OA 2.5% hurdle rate.

Well, so  much for loooooooooooooon term investing... And good intentions.

Not to worry. The smart people are at it to introduce new CPIS rules to prevent CPF members from "hurting" themselves. I'll bolt if they continue to say its for your own good!


3.  To those who include CPF as their net worth, what do they do? They will find ways to optimise their CPF funds.

I don't need to spell them out. 

In recent years, there are quite a few copycats of the bleeding heart. Voluntary this, voluntary that. LOL!

I'm not a big fan of that savings route. But it may work well for those who have neither the time nor competence for investing.

I prefer the earn more or investing route. (I abhor voluntarily adding more cash into CPF!!!) 

I delay the repayment of my housing loan by taking the longest loan period possible. This would free up more CPF funds under CPIS to "market time" my way to join the minority of CPF members who made money under CPIS.

Different strokes for different folks.

Does not matter whether its the savings or investing route; the important thing is we BOTH treat CPF as part of our net worth.

The Chinese have a saying on the line that if we do not respect money, why would money stay in your pocket?



Property

If we do not have a 2nd investment or rental property, the property we are staying in cannot be viewed as an "investment".
 
Want to bet the person making the statement is a HDB heartlander?

I'll take the bet anytime!

A person staying at a bungalow, semi-D, terrace house or townhouse will not make such a statement, would he?

The private banker serving high net-worth clients would not think that way too.

If a client walks in with zero cash but owns a bungalow, I'll see dollar signs straight away!

I'll suggest the client take out a home equity loan of $10 million for his $20 million bungalow at a special low low bank interest of X%.

Invest this $10 millon into several of my proposed investment vehicles (those that give me good commissions of course) that return a "projected" X+Y% returns.

Presto!

Now everyone can be a carry trader! Opps! I meant "savvy" investor. Look! You're an accreditted investor! Wink.


OK, not everyone is high networth. 

Lets return to the HDB heartlands.

Even without a 2nd investment/rental property, those who treat the humble HDB flat as an investment would play the 2 bites of the cherry, upgrade, downgrade game.

Look around your relatives, neighbours, colleagues and classmates. There are lots of annecdotal evidence. Verify for yourself!

See?

The Mind or psychological part of investing is quite powerful, isn't it.



Luck

My definition of luck is preparation meeting opportunity.

No opportunity is one thing.

Opportunity came but you can't recognise, its another thing.

Opportunity came, you recognise it, but you refused it... That's all you! 



Friday, 19 May 2017

$1 Billion Dollars Bid For Queenstown Land Parcel!



Record $1b bid for Queenstown land parcel



Cool or what!?

If you look at the bottom picture, to the North of the orange Sale Site boundary, there's a quaint Taoist temple just on the edge (not clear on the pic).

4 HDB blocks further North, that's where I grew up in my HDB 3 room flat 😊😄😅😏😛


And to the left where you can see landed bungalows, that's where my family GP lived. His clinic is the white HDB just North of the Sale Site boundary.

He should be in his 70s now? He inherited his clinic from his dad. Not bad right? I mean one clinic with an assistant only - 2 person show. And serving ordinary Singaporeans in the HDB heartlands; not "attas" patients in Orchard Road.

Those were the days when landed properties were within reach for most professionals.

He worked hard. I remember his clinic was open in the morning, afternoon, and night. Of course got 2 hours lunch and dinner breaks, but still...

Now the clinic is opened only in the morning and afternoon. I think he has earned the right to "relax" a bit. Wink.

People of his generation will never understand the youths of today seeking retirement by 35.


Big daddy very smart. That place had been left empty for around 15-20 years or more? Pay en bloc compensation at 20 years ago prices, patiently wait and wait, and when "Ah Tiong" comes awash with money, sell!

Now that's something I should emulate!


I remember my Dad and our neighbours were quite excited about us being en bloc soon 20 years ago. Rumours were flying all over the place. Then the enthusiasm faded away with each passing year...

I guess the flame of hope has been rekindled?

I wouldn't hold my breath.

But in another 15-20 years? Who knows?

I mean when we hit population 8 million, tearing down older 12 storey HDB flats and replacing them with 43 storey HDB skyscrapers makes a lot of sense. 


First reaction when reading the news is a smile. I resident of Queenstown mah!

But then, it reminded me of the Japanese in the 80s overpaying for properties in the States during their shopping sprees before the Japan economic bubble burst.

Then I smiled again.

Good, good.

Sell high is always better than selling low like those investors who bought Sentosa properties at the highs and now selling low...

Big daddy making money is always a good thing.

Maybe.






Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Data point of One - That is all you need?


Tuesday is my movie watching day.

And the GV cinema at Vivocity is one of my favourite.

Had lunch at the "one person; one plate" Hokkien mee stall at Seah Im Food Centre:



Hokkien Mee at Seah Im Food Centre



I used to worked at the old Cable Car Tower 20 years ago.

Same stall; same owner.

Wife now wears spectacles; husband's hair has turned all white...

Husband still jokes and smiles to the regulars. I was once upon a time a regular.

Their prices very reasonable at $2.50 and $3.00.

The photo above is the $3.00 plate. I big tummy mah!

Want to know whether their chilli good?

Must pay extra $0.50 for more chilli!

That's how you know! Which means many have asked for more!

No, the picture shows they not stingy with their chilli - regular chilli portion. The extra $0.50 is more for "chow kuan" (greedy) customers.

We know the type. More chilli, more noodles, more veggie, more soup - but still pays the same...



No, this post is not about the Hokkien mee or the movie I've watched - Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

It's about drawing first impressions from data point of one.



I'm a fan of Dell computers. Had good experiences with them - whether its PCs or notebooks.

However, my notebook purchase last year was a "lemon". The motherboard had to be changed only 6 months into usage...

Their recovery was great! I even wrote a compliment letter to the third party technician who handled my case.

Took the opportunity to ask about the pros and cons of on-site recovery versus service centres. And how many cases the technician have to handle in a day. May come in useful when another ACCS like company wants to do a listing here. Wink.

I've worked in Supply Chain. I know no matter how good a company is, there will always be "lemons" that will slip through Quality Assurance.

Its too "expensive" if we really want to ensure "Zero defects".

With my previous pleasant experiences with Dell products and service, one "bad" experience will not deter me from buying from Dell again.


Now contrast this with a first time customer of Dell. If you had to change a motherboard six months after purchase, even if the repair was covered under warranty, you would probably go round telling your friends, if asked, not to buy from Dell, wouldn't you?



Just now, while having breakfast, the regular old lady selling paper tissues once again approached me. I ignored her, as always.

If you first time visitor to this hawker centre and saw me doing it this, you would probably think I so heartless, so stingy. One dollar only...

But if you regular or residents living around here,  you would probably do the same as I.

This tissue old lady uses the "guilt technique" which I don't like.

She'll either throw the packets of tissues on the table or shove it in your face. Expect us to "support" her because she's entitled?

Even if she is pleasant and nice, I can't be buying tissues from her every day. Can I? There's such a thing called charity fatigue...



The same applies to REITs. Some will sing praises because they have never made losses on them.

But some will complain and be cautious on REITs as they have been burnt by them - especially in 2008 during the Lehman meltdown...

Just like if you asked Sabana REIT retail investors. Those who made good money and those who lost money will each have their own versions to tell.



A financial blogger appearing in the papers sharing his financial journey. If you don't know his backstory, of course some may question whether $500K can be financially independent meh? Is that enough in Singapore? Really?

But to those who know and have followed his journey, you would understand what his financial independence meant. Especially knowing his heritage, and after his sharing of some projects in the pipeline...

That's because those who question are probably using financial independence to escape; while our blogger friend is using financial independence to achieve.

Once you know the difference, the perspective changes. Wink.



Next time you're tempted to form an opinion with a data point of one, ask yourself why in your day job when it comes to making a decision, you always like to wait for more analysis, more research, maybe ask a consultant?

When your rice bowl in on the line, all of sudden you can't rely on a data point of one?

LOL!





Saturday, 13 May 2017

「我」字丟了一撇是什麼字?




初生的路,跟著父母走;學生的路,跟著老師走;社會的路,跟著名人走;這已成了一些人成長的模式。

人生的路上唯獨缺少了自己。

其實,跟著是要學會獨立,而不是隨從,更不是模仿。

讓心靈中開出屬於自己的花,結出與眾不同的果,雖然可能要付出代價,經歷風雨,但也會讓你自豪,讓別人羨慕。

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

What's The Edge For Successful Retail "Investors"?



Their day job.



To be precise, it's their annual cash injections to their portfolio.



Especially when the annual cash injections in dollars exceed the annual portfolio returns in dollars!






Friday, 5 May 2017

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Saphir Renovateur Leather Cleaner & Conditioner (ShoeTree Project)


During my retail selling days at Metro and Robinsons, we do get rotated amongst the various departments.

And one of them was the shoes department.

No, I'm not going to share with you the unexpected perks of "downblouse" moments!

Then there were my IMM leather sofas selling days with Melandas Casa Mobili (Closed shop liao... Don't look at me! Not my fault!)

So I guess I know something about leather care. Wink.


Often while taking long MRT rides, I like to look at the footwear of the passengers.

OK, I think I got a shoe fetish of sorts...

Whether they were colour matching and well co-ordinated with what the person was wearing?

Were they scruffy and worn out; or were they well taken care of and polished shining?

All these can tell a lot about the person wearing them.


Two weeks ago, I received a complimentary sample of this 2-in-1 leather cleaner and conditioner.

Tried it on my leather shoes, belts, wallet, and satchel bag.

It worked well. I'm impressed.


You can check-it out here:



Also, they have other shoe care accessories that you may want to explore.

Own time; own target.





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