Monday 31 August 2015

My Virgin Cameo Appearance On TV

Last Monday, I was at SMU being interviewed by the producers of Talking Point for 10 minutes.

2 lady producers (sweet!), one sound man and a cameraman.

Once upon a time, I was quite interested in photography, so I was watching intensely how the sound man and the cameraman set up their gigs for this interview. Cool!

This interview was to gather feedback from the public on our immediate reactions on PM's speech on National Day Rally.

It was aired on last Tuesday night live on Talking Point's regular slot.

For those of you who missed the 47 minutes show, you can click on the pic below.

I cameo appeared on: 1:02; 17:38, and 34:03.  (Just saying...What? Me ego? Never! LOL!)

There's a thin red line that linked all my questions.

With our bias, vested interests, self-interests, we see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear.

Some will be disgusted, some will be elated. 

Just make a wild guess why I made this post now, and not strike when the iron is hot last week?

P.S.  Having a stake in Singapore can be more important and priority for those who are seeking financial independence.

Something to think about when more than 70% of those who invested in equities (including unit trusts) with CPF would have done better if they had left their money in CPF...  

Of course you are smarter and different, no high cost unit trusts for you you say. Well, some reality check for those who bought STI ETF and DIY stocks recently. 

I challenge everyone to find anyone who "lost' money buying a HDB flat directly from HDB.

OK, you're a high flyer and you don't qualify for HDB BTO. Just imagine buying your private apartment for 100K lower than your neighbours. Multiply this 100K with the bank interests you'll be paying for 20 years. 

There you go! 

Being "lucky" for our first humble abode can shave years off on your journey to financial independence.

So when people ask me eagerly how to start their journey of investment, I always ask, "Do you have a place of your own?"  

(Property agents and those in property education, you owe me a drink)

Thursday 27 August 2015

Seize The Day

Yesterday, when I wrote my piece: Financial Advice From Spiritual Leaders, it went off tangent in the comments section (it happens a lot with me).

I like to write in Chinese with Sillyinvestor as he one of the few whom I can banter with when it comes to Chinese literature and Oriental philosophies.

I would like to share the equivalent to what I quoted in Chinese: 人生得意须尽欢.

And that's: Seize the day!

It's best expressed in this short clip from Dead Poets Society:


OK, for those who like to split hairs, literally translated its not the same. But the spirit of the words are most apt!

If you are cynical, you can explain, whine, and complain why its easy for some to Seize The Day, but not you.

But deep down, you know what and who you are today are the decisions you have made (or not made) yesterday.

If you have "outsourced" your decision makings to others in the past, have you wondered why you are so eager to do DIY investing/trading now?

Or maybe the DIY part is another one of those little lies you often tell yourself?


Wednesday 26 August 2015

Financial advice from Spiritual Leaders

I'm agnostic (I can't verify whether there's God or no God), with a bias towards Oriental philosophies like Zen and Taoism.

Whenever I find people lamenting or complaining that Big Daddy should have taught us financial literacy in schools, I always have a wry smile. 

These people must be atheists!

Since I can bluff my way through Buddhism and Christianity (I even found time to learn about Orthodox Christianity during my time in Athens), let me share with you 2 snippets:

1) The Sigalovata Sutra and Buddha's advice on money.

2) Parable of the Talents - Mathew 25:14-30

For those who are believers, well, something for you to ask your shepherd this weekend!

For those who are atheists, let me remind you there were a choice during school for you to take up Business and/or Financial studies. Why didn't you?

If you are graduates, there's Graduate Diploma in Financial Management and similar post-graduate qualifications from many tertiary institutions.

And non-graduates like me, there are lots of books like Finance for non-accounting managers, or Finance for dummies, and other similar titles. What's stopping you from life long learning?

P.S.  Muslim and Hindu friends out there, if you can share a snippet from your faith on money management in the comments section, that would be very much appreciated!

I know the Koran must have; if not there would not be Shariah compliant investment funds.

Sunday 23 August 2015

Cycles and Trends

If you believe the current correction is no different from the 2011Fiscal Cliff and 2013 Taper Tantrum corrections, and this 2009 bull market has legs for another push up to STI 3800 next year and beyond, you would respond and act accordingly during the next weeks.

Buy the freaking dip?

If you believe that trends don't go on forever and this 2009 bull market cycle is coming to a close, then you would be preparing for the start of the next bull market cycle like in 1998, 2003, 2009.

Load up when there's maximum doom and gloom?

Wait a minute!

Don't they look similar?

Not on your life!

What's the difference then?

The bleeding heart calls it war chest. 

The fisherman calls it pillow stock strategy.

I call it cash as ballast. (I like the imagery of me in my little sailing boat braving the rough seas)

If you just started out your investing journey during the last 1 to 2 years, don't worry if you don't understand. 

You'll figure this out for yourself when you discover what it feels like to see the STI double only for your portfolio to break-even.... (next cycle, you swear to yourself never to make the same mistake twice!)

Thursday 20 August 2015

I give myself a re-rating on an exit

Sometime early this year, I exited on a business trust at $0.715.

Yup, after my sale, that share promptly went up to $0.74 before its slow meander down to near it's all time low of $0.55 today.

I remember being quite angry with myself. Giving myself a B- rating for this exit. I've left too much money on the table...

I don't set consequential goals like X% returns for the year - things I've very little control over. But I do set qualitative goals (fuzzy fuzzy kind) for my entries and exits - these are within my control.

I am into speculation craftsmanship - if I improve on my entries and exits, the returns will take care of themselves.

Guess what?

Upon reviewing the recent price drop, I think I might have been a tad too harsh on myself... 

I now re-rate that B- rating to A- for that "lucky" divestment.

Something to share for those who have yet to experienced a 20% bear market in the STI; or a 50% hair-cut on their individual stock holdings to ponder upon.

Especially when you review your "SMART" investment/trading goals for 2015.

Regular readers will know I don't baby-sit readers. But I can give you 2 hints:

1)  What's your definition of a competent investor/trader?

2)  Describe your edge - you must have one for you to engage in DIY investing/trading!?

Monday 17 August 2015

Are you really learning HOW to fish?

You buy, I buy!

You sell, I sell!

Take a step back and look at yourself.

You say you want financial freedom to do what you want. 

Is following the asses of other people what you really had in mind?

What if your shepherd had an heart attack and moves on... What will you do now? 

Be your own shepherd or find another shepherd?

OK, you have no financial freedom illusions. 

You just want the thrill to make some money!

You make, I make, everyone make - huat ah!

Come to think about it, it's not money you really after...

It feels good to "belong"... To be "accepted"... Just as long you tithe a bit of your wool...

People take course you take course.

Some become their own shepherds and now take wool from others.


Still giving wool... 

Who has got "it" and who still clueless?

Thursday 13 August 2015

Monday 10 August 2015

Freshly Brewed

I think Yeo's must be happy.

Their packaged soya bean milk drink "tastes" like freshly brewed. Well, at least to those consumers who relied more on labels than their taste buds.

Recent events have an interesting The Man Who Wants To Buy New Shoes feel to it.

I'm not a coffee afficionado, but as a regular coffee drinker, I can tell the difference between instant and freshly brewed coffee; good and bad coffee. For example, KFC coffee is simply undrinkable...

If you are a sushi lover, one bite you can tell between those cheap supermarket kind and those prepared by specialist sushi restaurants. 

I'm sure you have similar experiences when it comes to your area of expertise or interest.

Now bring it home to this arena of trading and investing. 

Are you looking out for the "freshly brewed" labels others attach for your trading setups or investing ideas?

Or are you relying on your taste buds?


Thursday 6 August 2015

You free this coming 27 Sept Sunday afternoon?

The good folks at Wealth Directions, who organised the first Financial Bloggers Investment Seminar early this year, have just given me a free ticket to their upcoming Profit Mastery Seminar.

Why I so special?

Well, you just have to do what I did: 

I totally bombed in my public speaking yesterday... I'm still alive today!

This time round, they will be inviting pro speakers. Hmm... It's not a hint right?

OK, I'll be there to "steal with pride" the art of public speaking from these pro speakers.
Click below to see more details of this Profit Mastery Seminar:

If you feel like coming, come. Don't come, don't come!

This is not an advertorial post. I just go where there's free food!

But if you are coming, do say hello during the break? (Especially if you are more than a woman!)

P.S.  Don't you dare pay $20 for the tickets when you can get it for $10! There's an early bird discount from now till end August. The discount code is "EARLY".

Must give feedback to the organisers. Men don't like to be "Early". Next time use words like: "Smart"; "Savvy"; etc. 

Monday 3 August 2015

Investor Psychology Cycle

Something changed last week. Did you notice or felt it?

For the last several weeks, STI was quite boring. 

It was doing the cha-cha-cha. 

One day up, two days down.  One day down, two days up.

Anyway, I've read some newbie investors (started their journeys after 2011) were getting a bit "anxious"...

It's normal. We all have been there before, haven't we?

That's why we need to go through a full bull-bear cycle to really understand ourselves and find the "most suitable" vehicle "just right" for us.

Those of us who have gone through a full bull/bear cycle will look at the above chart on Investor Psychology Cycle with a knowing smile.

Just like we have "traders" who got burnt badly after a trading account melt-down, and have now become born-again "investors"; we may see mind-flips, paradigm shifts, and new born-again converts from the investing side of the community...

Some may realise that DIY individual stock-picking is not their cup of tea. You neither have the interest nor time to put in the necessary hours to secure yourself the edge to achieve that Alpha outperformance you seek. 

You may now switch to passive low cost indexing. 

Not sexy. And does nothing to boost your ego to adopt a strategy that screams: "Look ma! No brains needed!"

But you now know what you want. And its not bragging rights...

At the opposite extreme, some may finally realise why even though they call themselves "investors" previously, they were tracking and monitoring their portfolios on a monthly basis.

You found out that you are more into instant gratification. Or you need immediate feedback on your actions - not 10 years later, but right here right now! 

Your testosterone level is much much higher. You face up to who you are - you a carnivore; a trader.

It's not just money that you are after...

Money is just a way of keeping score for most successful traders.

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