Thursday 31 December 2015

My Virgin 10 Bagger

Now why this didn't this happen when I had a full time job?

Idiot. Trade full time and at the "lovable" age of 48 then give me.

Hey! Don't look at me.

I've no clue whether this is causation or correlation...

Never look at gift horses in the mouth.

A quick recap.

I started trading full time 3 years ago. (That's how you manipulate statistics. Which year and month you chose as index 100 is key! Wink.) 

2 years ago I doubled my trading account.

And this year?

It's up 88%. (Nice pretty numbers or what? Double happiness; double playmates! Yes, its been that long...)

You know what's better than linear compounding? It's exponential compounding! And that 2 year streak just ended... (Talk about easy come; easy go... It ended just when it started to get exciting... I think got to stop with the sexual innuendoes!)

Is your Math good?

From what I've just said, some of you may spot 1 or 2 mathematical facts that may jump right at you.

1.  Yup. It's 11 bagger in 3 years - 1x2, then x3, then x1.88. (OK, I cheated. I rounded it down to 10 bagger as it sounds more powderful as a headline. Bite me!)

2.  In percentages, its up and down like a yo-yo; but in $ money terms, its growing year by year. And that's why I don't count in percentages.

If I told you I started with $1 in my trading account, and after 3 years I made $10, would you still have a "wow" in your mouths?

1 minute celebration

There! I've already taken the moment to cheer myself and gave myself a gentle pat on the back. Especially when 2015 wasn't a walk in the park like in 2014

Now I'll let it go.

The results of this year and/or previous years have absolutely no bearing on next year.

Letting go...

No trading goal settings for 2016

Sorry, no matter how "SMART" your investing or trading goals are, don't you find it silly to set goals on consequential results we have no control over?

Me? It's still back to the trading basics of focusing on my entries and exits - that's craftsmanship.

Monday 28 December 2015

Urgh! I'm so mainstream...

I do pride myself for being a bit "different".

The last thing I want is to be associated with "mainstream"; it's just another euphemism for "ordinary".

OK, growing up during my childhood wasn't so fun as there were moments of self-doubt and wishing I could be more like others. Especially when being mocked or teased. You know how children can be...

The funny thing is once I started working, I find I have a slight edge seeing things and doing stuffs different from others. Especially when I want to stand out for the right reasons.

I thought the same applies when it comes to blogging.


Alright. I must not be in denial anymore. I'm as mainstream as anyone else. #@$@!@$^&*(%#@!!!!

I thought I'm different

Then along comes coconut. To me, he is the most interesting and weird character out there. Which makes him all the more lovable. Often I'll wonder whether is he for real!? No wonder they say insanity and genius is just separated by a thin line... LOL!

I thought I am quite open and transparent

That's until Sillyinvestor started blogging. I don't wear a brown paper bag over my head, but some of the stuffs Sillyinvestor shared makes me feel fully clothed at a nudist beach. Often I go ,"Wow! Did he really say that out loud in public?"

I thought I've eaten a lot of salt

All temperament and CW have to do is look at me and I'll go sheepishly into my shell. Sorl, sorli. Just playing with my little axe at their doorsteps...

I thought I'm in touch with my feminine side

Female jie-mei readers (I was going to give you all sweet sweet nicknames and then I remembered some of you are married. For my own personal safety, no can do) will come poke me that no amount of bra padding will make me a women. Shsshh. I'm just the great pretender... Well, it was fun nevertheless!

I thought I'm the free-spirit grasshopper

Its fun to chill out and watch the ants soldier on down below. That's until I looked up and saw the butterfly consorting with the flowers above. Idiot. And I'm down here playing with my lonesome self...

Exotic animals spotted at my watering hole

Got to know many interesting characters out there:

Sanye and Penguin are in the premier league and its so cool of them to come talk and say hello to a third division player like me. No airs! I must be wary of Penguin though. I suspect he/she is a sea slug - have both male and female reproductive organs... LOL!

I am aware of the emotions and biases I exhibit through my cultivation in awareness and living in the moment. Thank goodness for Andy! I often go after reading his blog posts, "So that's the proper name of the bias I'm displaying!" 

Yaruzi is not afraid to be different. Is unit trust investing so shameful?

Kevin invests like a turtle; lives life like the jack rabbit. Now that's what I call balance!

Frugal Daddy walks the alternative path. Who says there's only study then work? Work then study anyone?

SS is able to figure out my metaphors too quickly for my comfort.... The force is strong in him.

Jimmy? I must seduce him to the Light. Join us as Jedi trading warriors! Trust me. Girls prefer traders!

P.S.  Opps! How can I forget the oily man Rolf? Those of you a bit older may recall Orang Minyak from Ramlee's movies in the 50s. Evidently, this oily man not very good. Kenna caught by his wife and is now a doting father of an adorable girl. I guess his women terrorising days are over...

Friday 25 December 2015

May it be by Enya - A song for home based retail traders

A song for home based retail traders out there.

It's a lonely journey.

Some may join a fellowship; or hunt alone as the lone wolf.

But at the end of the day, there can only be one ring bearer (in case you don't get it, this is the Lord of the Rings song).

Monday 21 December 2015

You don't save your way out of poverty

Remember those days when air-con buses were first introduced in Singapore?

They cost several cents more over the traditional non-aircon buses.

There were a time when I would let these new air-con buses pass while I waited for the normal non--aircon ones.

Those were bittersweet days of "austerity" due to modest salary. And leaving school at 16.

Thankfully, I subscribed to the earn more motto of my fellow brethren with modest means.

The save more strategy is more suitable for those who are already in a more comfortable situation who suddenly had the epiphany that they had been a tad too extravagant or spendthrift in their lifestyles...

This is nothing new. I've written an old piece on this "Earn more or Save more" topic 2 years ago.

When I look back and at the people around me - especially those who grew up in HDB 1 & 1/2 room, 2 room, and 3 room housing estates - how many managed to escape the poverty trap by saving more?

Why do Asian families focus so much on education? Intellectual pursuit? No right? It's study hard so we can earn more, am I right?

What happens if you are born into modest means and with little or no academic papers like me?

You crack your brain and bust your ass off to earn more first!

There's all the time in the world to work on save more when there's actual real money to be saved!!! 

This is purely anecdotal evidence now what I'm going to share. Bite me if you want empirical evidence! 

I see 3 main strategies that worked for us former street urchins:

1) Start your own business

2) Go into "no basic; pure commission" sales path - real estate, insurance, remisier, etc.

3) Climb the corporate career. (We have O' levels become Colonel, CEO, MD, etc. Don't look at me! Big daddy says one hor! You never watch our National Day rally? True lah!)


No investing or trading examples?

Well, I have not met any yet. The closest I've observed are those who start their own businesses selling financial freedom courses and seminars. Can get listed some more! Wink.


My first pot of silver was from corporate life.

Making money when we have money - that's a whole another ball game.

Yes. Hidden in that little statement is something much deeper and profound. No worries. You'll stumble to the truth all in good time...

And I'll not spoil that moment for you.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Trust your intuition

And yes, that include you male readers out there.

Intuition is not the exclusive purview of women.

Go ahead! It's OK to be in touch with your feminine side.

With practice, you may even get to understand her better...

Yup. If you think she's being angry with you, she is!!!

Saturday 12 December 2015

Eavesdropping at my broker - sentiment that bad huh?

Yesterday afternoon, I was at my broker's office to drop off this stupid W-8 form for trading US shares (I'm vested in some US ETFs; I find them good trading vehicles).

It's an annual ritual thingy.

When leaving the office, I took the same lift with one of the 70 plus Director (always smiling face gentleman) who dressed like our President - high waist pants, white long sleeves shirt with tie.

And sharing the lift with us was a remisier in his late 50s?

Rolled-up sleeves, shirt tucked out, with casual pants, and weightlifting a humongous luxury sports watch. He is built like an ex-rugby player - you know, the look that fits in well at country or yachting club. Exudes power and success.

I was caught off guard by what he said to that director inside the lift.

"Market is very quiet," laments the remisier with a tired face.

The Director smiles with a nodding head.

"During these 2 years, a lot of people have lost money until scared," continued the remisier. Shaking his head.

The Director kept his smile and continues nodding.

First thing that went through my mind...

That Director really experienced and knows the meaning of quiet strength! The current market now must be nothing compared to what he has been through!

Second thing that came to mind is this remisier must be having a really bad day.... But you don't talk like that in front of strangers. Since I entered the lift at the same floor, surely he suspects I'm a client?

All that physical image of strength and power crumbles when you lose your composure by whining...

And then a slight smile beamed on my face as I walked out the lift. Outside it's really pouring. OK, let's kill time with some window shopping while waiting for the weather to clear.

I'm glad I did what I did last year and early this year.

I guess unlike sex, being early is not as bad as over staying our welcome.

Wednesday 9 December 2015


A celebration of my new status amongst some female readers. Wink.

Monday 7 December 2015

We do better what we focus on

That's a given.

How can we be good at something we don't really appreciate or care about?

Let me take an investment mindset approach to the discussion on what is your net worth or asset.


If we don't consider CPF an asset or part of our net worth, your focus would not be how to optimise the benefits and freebies big daddy has been dishing out.

Like transferring money from one CPF account to another, making voluntary contributions, or utilising the SRS scheme, for example.

If you are a regular reader of Singapore financial blogs, you'll know the "bleeding heart" has a big following on how to milk big daddy to the hilt!

Don't complain; get even!

Then there are the financially savvy ones who know how to leverage CPF to make investments in properties or equities to create higher returns than what CPF can offer.

And yes, if you are able to generate returns better than CPF rates, you have earned the right to say - buy term insurance and invest the rest.

Try saying that with a straight face if you are leaving your excess CPF funds untouched earning whole life insurance like returns...


I think you get the drift.

Don't consider property is an asset? If you are middle-aged and above, have you caught yourself being envious of your contemporaries who are more property centric than you?

Move house every few years, end up with multiple properties or have a bigger apartment than you - yet they are earning similar pay as you!?

Got right?

Be careful now. If you capitulate, you'll likely be the ones who buy right at the property peak as you can no longer stand your subordinates living in bigger apartments or having more properties than you... 

It's perfectly OK

That's right. You can have your own definition of net worth or what is an asset. Just be aware that there's a cause and effect - that's all!

If you consider your career skill is an asset, and have no time for investing or so called financial literacy, being successful in your chosen profession and happy in what you do, what's wrong with it?

Some may focus on building their own businesses. Where got time for investing to escape? How ironic the majority are trying to buy shares to achieve financial freedom, yet the business owner is trying to IPO and sell the shares of his business to achieve his dream?

And for those who value their families as an asset, not count in dollars and cents, do I need to say more?

People reader

If you pay attention to what people say or write, you'll have a quick sense what they focus on, or what they are likely excel at.

Just like you the reader will know what I suck at - anything that I don't focus on or talk about!


And that's why salespersons encourage you to talk about yourself. The more you reveal, the more we know what buttons to press. Wink.

Friday 4 December 2015

I've gone naked! No more Life insurances!

I've just gone to my insurance company this afternoon and surrendered my remaining last whole life insurance. I ended my term life insurance policy 4 years ago when I returned back to Singapore.

Whole life insurance policies break even after 20 years. So had to patiently wait until today.

I bought this whole life policy just before my 28th birthday 20 years ago. Man! I'm now 48!?

Where did these 20 years go?

In case you forget, there's no estate duty in Singapore. If our net worth is several times the payout of our life insurance policies (doesn't matter term or whole life), pray tell why do we still need to have them?

The 2 main reasons we need to have life insurance when we are starting out in our careers are:

1) We have dependents we care about; and

2) our net worth are pretty dismal.

By buying life insurance, we create an instant "net worth" in the event of our early departure...

However, 2 things may happen to make our life policies redundant.

a) Our dependents have moved on - either through death, divorce, or acrimony.

b) Our net worth have caught up and now exceed the life insurance payouts. 

Ever wondered why we have millionaires that still need life insurance policies?

That's because they have insurance agents that can sell ice to Eskimos!

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Hee hee. I'm back!

I was distracted...

No. It's not a woman.

Although there were opportunities...


It was a game.

Brave Frontier.

After buying a new notebook, I was playing around the Windows Apps store and found this interesting free game!

Boy, was it addictive!

For the past 2 weeks, I was cocooned in my otaku (宅男) nirvana having the time of my life - slaying demons and collecting new heroes.

What a beautiful distraction!

Oh! But this week cannot be sidetracked.

This week is main event for my currency positions.

Come to think of it, trading is one of the most exciting "game" I've picked-up.

Trading is wife; gaming is just an occasional dalliance.

Friday 13 November 2015

Don't Facebook me with a Nick

I think I better share in this post why I've been declining Facebook friend requests with nicks least you think I sombong (Malay for arrogant)!

Let's start at the beginning.

It's was somewhere around 4 years ago where a group of individuals were enjoying each other's company at LP's (Bully The Bear) cbox tavern. 

So much so that the 5-6 of us decide to Facebook each other to reveal our true identities - that's trust and sincerity isn't it?

Guess what? There's this idiot (I say it with affection) who gave us an extension of his blog!? No personal friends and zero details of himself. I mean WTF!?

I just laughed off that incident of "betrayal" and tell myself never again will I fall for it. Lol!

My brief moment of anger turned into curiosity as it must be hard to wear a brown paper bag over our heads all the time... I guess we all have our issues and internal demons to get over...

Who am I to judge? I myself have issues with being called "Uncle"...

Unlike most bloggers who blog to share, educate, teach - you know, those giving bleeding hearts - I blog to receive (free coffee would be nice).

Just take a look at the quality comments received at my blog. 

Do you think its possible without building up a relationship first?

Guess why I took out anonymous commenting?

How to build up a relationship with anonymous?

If you are not ready or comfortable to reveal who you are, let's start with a Nick and converse through this watering hole of mine. 

Baby steps.

P.S.  New bloggers who are intending to use social media like Facebook or Twitter to expand the reach of your blog, leave me out. I don't play that game :)

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Be Unrealistic

"Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity."

Will Smith

Do you agree?

How does this gel with your view of living a simple life?

You know, the don't think too much and we'll be "happy" meaningless platitudes we like to comfort others?

Would you marry such a guy?

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Aspirational and Keeping up with the Joneses Insurance

Insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss.

Listening to some people, they talk as if they are treating insurance like a lottery ticket?

Let's take travel insurance. 

A friend of my sibling was caught in the Bali bomb blast several years ago. His medical flight evacuation from Bali to Singapore alone cost about $150,000 plus. Now that's the type of travel insurance one should look into if one is afraid of getting seriously sick or injured in a foreign country!

"Celebrating" you made a claim for a flight delay, lost luggage, or a medical claim for a minor ailment during or after the trip is not exactly the main purpose of travel insurance, is it?

I mean even if you had not bought travel insurance for these "good to have" claims, your lifestyle is not going to be meaningfully changed. A few hundreds or thousands out of pocket expenses are at most an annoyance, right? Just like getting the flu while travelling - a bummer - but it won't kill us. 

Have you checked your travel insurance covers medical repatriations? 

Too expensive? You wanted to "save" on the premium? You should listen to yourself...

Aspirational and keeping up with the Joneses Insurance

I guess this one of the main reasons why there's quite a large percentage of people who bought Integrated Shield Plans for stays at Private hospitals or higher class wards in Public hospitals - don't lose face to others - decide to downgrade themselves when the time comes for them to be hospitalised.

Aspirations are good; not when you extend beyond your means.

So what happens to the wasted higher premiums you have paid? 

Thank you very much! So say those who made the medical claims with glee!

They go in and out of hospital every other year, and its all free! So lucky of them they tell you!?

A perverse kind of lottery mentality? Did they say they were lucky again?

Notice what they focus on before buying Private hospital plans and after their hospital stay differs?

Before hospitalisation say in earnest its for less waiting time, can choose own doctor, good better best medical treatments, etc. 

After? Can only say the room very posh like 5 star hotel, food excellent, etc. You want to bet anyone took selfie and post in Facebook to show off?

You would think a staycation at a 5 star hotel or resort can easily be arranged. And the whole family can get to enjoy the facilities too!

So you buy medical insurance to cover the medical treatments or for sleeping in style?

Sell the printer cheap; make money on the ink cartridges

Just the other day, there's one interesting advertorial (nice fancy word to mean I'll only say nice things for my sponsor) on child insurance.

It started well. 

Medical insurance for child? Makes sense if you fear the rising medical costs in Singapore.

Education fund for child? Again makes a lot of sense especially if you do not have a good track record of DIY investment... Its basically a kind of forced savings to prevent you from blowing this money on money losing investments which some have already experienced! 

And then it has to happen.

Life insurance for the child!?

The comparison between term or whole life insurance is just what we call smoke and mirrors in the trade. 

It's just sleight of hand to prevent you from asking who is the dependent of your child? And if there are none, then duh! 

Now make a guess.

Medical insurance, Education fund, and Life insurance for child, which 2 are the printers, which one is the ink cartridge?

Same goes for eating out at the restaurants. 

The main courses are competitively priced. But the literary icing on the cake for the restaurant owners are on the desserts menu.

If you are thrifty you'll skip desserts right?

Strange? Yet when it comes to insurance, you just pile on the desserts!


Thursday 29 October 2015

Tuesday 27 October 2015

An Evening With A Senior Pro Trader

Several months back, I had the pleasure of spending one evening with a Director of Futures from one of our local brokerages.

He's an interesting character! 

Speaks England with heavy Singlish and lots of Hokkien phrases peppered for added spiciness!

Yup, not a graduate by any stretch of the imagination.

Like most street urchins made good, he stumbled onto the then Simex as a local with $30,000 Sing dollars (his life savings) when he heard how much a local could make from his friends working inside Simex.

He was in his late 20s when he became a local.

Fast forward to today, he's one of those locals who have successfully made the transition from the trading pits to electronic trading as a scalper. (Have you noticed most professional traders are intraday traders?)

It's not easy. Many of his local pals have dropped out of trading altogether as they find it hard to adapt in an environment where they can't read the body language of their competition, and where machines from high frequency trading firms are able to run circles round them...

Now he's 50 plus years young; still trades his own account and mentors the other prop-traders working for his broker.

Not one to let this opportunity go to waste, I asked him for his views (note: I never said advice, I'll come back to it later on) on what's interesting to both of us:

Is that a flick knife?

Right off the bat he was making fun of those "traders" who think they can "trade" with a tablet or smartphone. Limpeh have a 6 screen trading setup! You want to trade against me on the beach? He roared with a throaty laughter.

I reminded him his brokerage has mobile platforms for retail customers. He rolled his eyes, and I nodded with a smile. 

Free where got edge?

He was sharing with me excitedly how his US based trading platform is able to put a volume condition to his price stops. For example, most platforms only allow us to put our stops at a specific price level - for eg, 1.35.  So even if this 1.35 gets done with one contract, our stop will be triggered.

This US platform allows him to put another variable like >500 contracts at 1.35 - meaning only more than 500 contracts have traded at price 1.35 would his stop be triggered.

And he is paying for this platform out of his own pocket for several thousands a month. 

No, I didn't ask him why he didn't consider the "free" professional trading platforms used by the other prop-traders at his brokerage? That would be a dumb question.

CFDs or Futures?

He was dissing traders who trade with CFDs...

Of course he is biased. Taking into account his Simex background and his current position as Director of Futures.   

How many big time pro traders trade CFDs? He challenged me.

Well, I know my missing-in-action coconut commenter trades CFDs with hundreds of thousands...

But I know what this Futures senior is driving at. 

I started with CFDs before moving on to Futures trading when my trading account got bigger.

The funny thing is next day, I saw in the papers his broker advertising the merits of CFDs. I wonder what the Director of CFDs will think if he knew his Futures colleague is saying behind his back. Talk about internal rivalry! LOL!

2 traders talking shop

Why not advice but his view?

Although this pro trader is many leagues above me in trading account size, we are still 2 traders bantering as peers.

Humility yes. But notice how many wannebe traders and investors advertise themselves as sheep wherever they go?

Do this too often you'll invite the attention of wolves.

I may be less skilled; but I don't let others patronise or talk down to me without me giving them a poke or kick. 

Think about it. Why would land owners want to have a conversation with sheep? 

Want to mix with other shepherds and land owners? 

Respect yourself and your craft first.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

The River Story if you don't like Up Mountain; Down Mountain

Imagine our lives' starting point to be the snow-capped mountain tops.

As the snow melts, it forms little brooks we can step over; then into creeks we can jump over; blend into streams we can wade across; and finally merging into rivers we can swim across...


No, the journey does not end in the warm embrace of the oceans.

That's just a comfortable temporary holding area.

For those droplets of water who can let it go, they'll float into the skies.

And be the carefree clouds ;)


This river allegory is "less taxing" since it's about "going with the flow". The "hard" part though is the "letting go" bit...

As you may have discovered, ants prefer the mountain story, while grasshoppers would prefer the river story ;)

This post was inspired by WolfT during our discussions in my previous post:

The Allure And Alternative Path To Passive Income - Part 2 of 2

This River allegory borrows from what Bruce Lee had said about water and the non-action philosophies of Taoism.

Ever noticed the duality and polarity of Life?

Remember Newton's Third Law of Motion?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  

On one hand, there is the delayed gratification exhortations of study and work hard so we can enjoy our later years - Up Mountain; Down Mountain.

Then there is the enjoy the moment go with the flow take it easy bohemian hippie River Story...

Do you remember the angst and behavioural challenges you faced during your teenage years? 

It's a time of discovering your identity and how you would like to fit in with the adult world.... Its either you just do as you were told, or listen to that little murmur in your heart...

And what happens during your mid-life crisis?

You may have second thoughts on the choices you've made, discover you were lied to, or just come to the realisation - is this it?  

Monday 19 October 2015

How Cats and Dogs Think

Think for a moment how you view your employer.

How you behaved in front of big daddy every election.

Notice your behaviour when you ask others for help?

As an investor/trader, do you behave more like the dog or cat when it comes to your relationships with intermediaries like brokers; analysts; financial advisers; SGX, MAS, banks; insurance companies; mutual funds, etc? 


Wednesday 14 October 2015

The Allure And Alternative Path To Passive Income - Part 2 of 2

I guess some of you have figured out for yourselves what's the alternative path for adopting a passive income strategy really is. Wink.

I wanted to say "most of you", but who am I kidding? 

Coming down the mountain

Yup, your favourite shepherds who have already reached their X amounts by Y years, and where working full time is just an option, they didn't start with a passive income strategy from day 1, did they?

That comes much later. 

Their passive income strategy only starts when they were coming down the mountain.

Climbing up the mountain

So what were the common strategies they have used to reach the mountain top?

Let me list the 2 most frequent ones:

1) Earn more; save more (preferably earn more)

Let's face the facts. It's better to earn $10K and save 20% than to earn $3K and save 50%. 

It does not matter whether you work for someone or is self-employed, if you belong to the higher income brackets, you already have a head-start in earning and saving your first pot of gold!

And that's without any investments needed! How cool is that?

2) Make money from property

If you go round asking your uncles, older cousins, parents, etc; you'll find more of them made money from properties than from equities.

You may be nodding in agreement as that's where your first few hundred thousands came from... You know, the 2 bites of the cherry, upgrade, downgrade... 1st rental/investment property, 2nd rental/investment property... 

The real booster is the 5:1 leverage used. You know it; I know it.

Harder but possible

OK, the next 2 strategies are adopted by many; but few manage to pull if off successfully:

3) Speculation with leverage

Look, if I earn a below median salary, don't have much capital to speak of, how else to acquire my first pot of gold before 55? 

You think why some of us desperately want to withdraw our CPF money at 55? That may be our only opportunity to see something more than $100K in our hands... 

We are dealing with emotions and sentiments here... So please keep your holier than thou financial literacy supremacy to yourself. If you don't mind!

That's where the seduction of derivatives like Options, Futures, CFDs, Spot Forex, etc; and Penny Stocks trading come into the picture.

It's like Toto. Put in little; hope to win big big!

And just like Toto, the majority lose money so the few can win :(

You know the author of the very successful Market Wizards series? Whenever Jack D. Schwager makes money in his futures account over a certain limit, he'll transfer the excess funds into boring US Treasuries - passive income from trading?

4) Business Ownership

You know something funny? Many draw their inspirations from embarking on a passive income strategy from Rich Dad Poor Dad, yet the whole essence of the book is about the benefits of having our own businesses!

Talk about poor reading skills...

Of course the failure rate is high; but so are the rewards!

Is this why financial businesses are so eager to sell us their financial products and services to "help" us to reach our financial goals?  

And why some business owners have so much passion to educate us on financial literacy?

I still can't erase the funny sight of that young Sikh trainer who let slip he made his first million through his Trading Academy... Hello!

You don't find many business owners as financial bloggers. But they do appear in some investing forums. 

If you're observant, you'll find their passive incomes are not restricted to dividends from stocks - they include fixed incomes from bonds and rentals from physical properties. 

Now that's diversification!

If you have several taps of passive incomes (stolen with pride from the fisherman), if one pipe gets choked, the other taps are still flowing!

Alternative path?

Some of you reading here may be reflecting it's not so alternative after all...

Well, that's for you to decide for yourselves.

Whether it's better to EARN our first pot of gold first, then SECURE our passive income flows. (Note: its plural flows)

Or to start with a single gold coin and hope the passive income from this single gold coin will help us turn it into a pot of gold.

Monday 12 October 2015

The Allure And Alternative Path To Passive Income - Part 1 of 2

There's fashion in investing circles too.

For those of us above 40, we can remember a time (before Rich Dad Poor Dad) where every other investing/trading book,seminar, or workshop will tout Millionaire this, Millionaire that.

Now? It's Passive Income this, Passive Income that...   

Just like low-rise hipster pants were the rage a few years back, its now replaced by high-rise pants that accentuates the waist over the hip, this Passive Income popularity will too be replaced by another flavour of the decade. You just wait.

The Allure of Passive Income

Of course it's attractive! 

Who doesn't want something without lifting a single finger for it? Can someone carry my fullpack? It's so heavy!

Who doesn't want a beautiful body without exercising and dieting for it? Just lie down and upon waking up... Wah lah!

That's where people forget... 

Liposuction and guy Friday do cost money. 

Passive Income is neither special nor elusive

The average working person riding the ComfortDelgro bus upon reaching 55, just need to make 1 out of 3 choices, and upon 65, will have "passive income" for life!!!

No lighting, no thunder.  

That's why I am confident when everyone and anyone has passive income, it will go out of fashion...

A bit like being a Millionaire in Indonesian Rupiah terms.

An exercise on reading skills

Before I share with you the alternative path to Passive Income in my next post, here's a fun exercise for you to try out:

1)  Those Passive Income opinion leaders you follow, can you tell apart those who are climbing up the mountain from those who are coming down the mountain?

2)  If yes, notice the difference in goal setting and strategy employed between them?

3)  Most of those who are coming down the mountain have been quite forthright in how they accumulated their capital from which their "passive incomes" were based on. 

Now try identifying what are the different sources and how much of it were based on a Passive Income strategy?

Friday 9 October 2015

First Seek To Understand; Then To Be Understood

If you are in the community, you would have known about this viral article by one young "ang moh" editor from an overseas website that alluded there's something wrong with you if you have savings in your 20s.

Guess what? Quite a number of those self-proclaimed and self-appointed purveyor of financial literacy, locally and overseas, have taken umbrage and fought back vigorously.

That young editor and the owner of the website she works for must be sipping champagne and giving each other a high five! Now that's how you drive traffic to your website!

No, I'm not giving you the link to that article. LOL!

Don't worry. This post is not about the article. It's about reading people.

Yalor; Yalor 

Readers who came to know about that article from their opinion leaders, did you just read the headlines only - never bother to read the actual article itself - and based on the strength of what your opinion leader tells you, you went "Yalor, yalor"?

You probably do the same with the quarterly results and annual reports of listed companies. Preferring the summaries of others instead of doing your own analysis.  

And in the same breath you call yourself a "DIY" investor.

Feeling a tad more "superior" than those investors who opted for low cost passive index funds; and perhaps a lot more "smarter" than those investors who have outsourced to more expensive actively managed funds by professional money managers...   

You stupid dumbass

Now it gets more interesting!

If we want to win over people who are not in your choir, does it help to call them names like stupid?

Before the elections, at the pro-opposition websites, instead of engaging the rest of the 60% and winning the swing voters over through intelligent discourse, anyone who dares to give any different or alternate viewpoints will be hounded and cyber-bullied out. 

Apparently, 10% switched sides.

And the face palm craziness is instead of asking for feedback on why they left and what must you do to win them back to the fold next election, you start giving these 10% swing voters names!?

Smart. Real smart.

If I'm from the Opposition parties, I'll have a good chat over coffee with these on-line "supporters". Stop and desist! You're killing us!

How to tell a person got high EQ? 

IQ is easy to measure. EQ is much harder to quantify... 

We can't tell what a person is thinking. But from what a person says or do, we can make deductions there. 

Remember your Literature classes? Remember those questions to describe a character from a play or story? What do you do to back up your opinions of this character?


It's not precise and that's where the fun lies! Some will say Macbeth is a victim and not his fault, while some will argue Macbeth got what he deserves for the betrayal of his king.

Perhaps now you have some insights as to why your friends and siblings have problems listening to your financial literacy nagging...

The problem does not lie with them.

Have you made the effort to: First seek to understand, then to be understood?

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Dividend Income (Passive) is a Fairytale?

Investing in stocks for Passive Income = Misleading?

First of all, I must commend GiraffeValue for applying active critical thinking and his willingness to challenge and verify for himself some of the platitudes out there when it comes to investing. 

The strength of youth is you don't know what cannot be done! 

Normally, I would not poke youths since I would rather do cheerleading - who doesn't?

But how boring life would be without some exceptions!

This post is motivated by the "weak" challenges to what GV has written.

I mean, you don't go "you have not proved that dividends are not passive income" when GV has written a whole bloody long thesis on his views already! Duh!

It is you, the challenger, that have to provide the counter arguments to demolish GV's position! 

Thinking like a land owner 

When you are a business owner, it doesn't matter whether you pay yourself a salary, consulting fee, or dividend, in the books, its considered you have taken capital out from the business.

Now imagine you are a business owner, and your business is self-generating so you don't need to add new capital into it other than that first capital injection of yours.

You "reward" yourself with a 5% dividend yield every year.

After 20 years, we would have gotten our capital back.

Will the business collapse or disappear now that you've got your initial capital back?

What do you call those 5% dividend yields you'll continue to get from 21st year onward? 

Passive my foot! 

If you think I have your back all you yield hogs out there, you have another thing coming!

My only critique of GV's post is he is not twisting the bayonet hard enough... You're too gentle!

What Passive Income? 

And what's with all that apologetic preamble anyway?

Good job GV!

Income passive or active not the most critical; having an active mind is!

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