Thursday, 3 September 2015

You still want to play equities in your 80s?

Today woke up late at 9am.

Teeth haven't brush, face never wash, first thing I did was to see if I can pick a "fight" with my nemesis. Or in K-pop or J-pop's England, my "rival". 

(What? If aunties can watch K-drama I cannot meh? )

One thing led to another; I also don't know how it led to me thinking do I still want to be in equities in my 70s to 80s?

I've noticed in my investment/trading journey, I've morphed and adapted to changes in my investment life cycle - if there's such a thing.

For example, I started out (as with most newbies) playing penny stocks. Now I don't.

Equities and cash were once upon a time the only 2 asset class I dabbled in. Now it has expanded to different asset classes and even "instruments of mass destruction". 

From paying in full with cash to margin accounts, to now using leverage of up to 10 to 1. (Don't try this at home without parental guidance.) 

I was thinking, will I want to be messing with all these shebangs into my 70s and 80s?

OK, trading to achieve that I can keep with a small account. It's like mahjong; to keep my mind active and dementia away. Not to worry.

Is there an asset class that's less volatile and "exciting" to the heart?

Can you imagine me living off dividend stocks in my 80s going through 1997 and 2008 all over again??? OK, maybe you are more optimistic on your heart condition than me...

I think I'm leaning towards a 2nd investment/rental unit that's paid in full during my "happy years" (乐龄 - now that's a good euphemism!)

I mean it can be good exercise to walk every month to my tenant and bang on doors, "Collect rent! Pay up!"

Also, if I move on, I think it's a lot simpler and easier to inherit property - something that can see, feel and touch - than a portfolio of arcane asset classes?

Unless of course you are super confident the persons you bequest to have the same financial literacy and investment acumen as you.

I don't know. 

Just saying...


  1. Hi Smol

    How about calling u James Bond ? Hehe

    1. Small Time Investor,


      Call me yan-eh! (Even though I know I look like shit, it still feels great!)

      People used to call me that a lot. Now?

      Uncle this uncle that...

      Uncle you head!


      Me and my vanity...

  2. Hi Smol,

    Possible if it becomes hobbies, like this guy:

    1. Yaruzi,

      Yes, I've read this story.

      The hobby part I understand - that's what my small trading account is for.

      But somehow I have no desire to lose half my networth - never mind I'll be giving it away anyway.

      At 80, I don't think its about the actual money part; it's more about "virility". Our sense of self-worth.

      Quitting while we are ahead is not the same as quitting.

      I'm not sure whether you listen to Mandarin and Hokkien songs.

      I think its so cool to leave at the top like 刘文正 and 江蕙!

  3. Hi SMOL,

    However and whatever the source of income, I think at that age health and family would be more important...

    1. Joyce,

      Yes of course. Just saying only lah....

      What's the point of money if we have no one to share it with?

  4. Hi SMOL,

    "Play equities"? I thought we only play in the casino or Toto or with ....

    I tell myself that I am not playing in the stock market, but investing in the stock market. Sounds much more professional and like being in control which - as we know - is an illusion. We definitely can't control the returns, but we can control the risks (Put Options anyone?).

    Investing in cement and concrete is also not entirely risk-free. Finding a tenant might not be so easy when the population stops growing. Rents might slip and interest rates might go up (not for you of course, paid in full, right?).

    As so often in life it is all about having a comfortable risk/reward ratio.

    And SMOL, maybe next time you should wash your face first before you have such deep and necessary thoughts about being 80 years old. Lol

    I heard there are many good things about getting older, but no one knows what they are. We fall asleep and wake up at all the wrong times, avoid more foods than we can eat, and take pills to help us remember which other pills to take.

    'Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.' - Woody Allen

    1. Andy,

      You know what they say about grasshoppers...

      I have a simple motto - If it ain't fun doing, why bother?

      Trading is what I enjoy - so I'll carry on till the end of days. I'll just keep the account small so I won't self-destruct ;)

      Investing? Its just a boat to ferry me across the river. Once I'm on the other side, I'm not sure I'll still want to lug the boat around all day...

      Shh... Don't frighten the yield hogs! Many are already sweating bullets over the REITs they may have overpaid...

      In Singapore I've not experienced a property crash of >50%, but we've seen the >50% property crash in the States during 2008/9.

      Even less Singaporeans are aware HK experienced a -65% property crash during the Asian Financial Crisis of 97. Yeeks!

      So don't complain about property cooling measures!

      That's why I say the 2nd investment/rental unit must be fully paid. So even with no tenants, I still can use it as a babes magnet to invite girls over... Can't let girls know I'm 80 and still living with mom, can I?

      Well, you know how strict Singapore is with "pharmaceutical enhancements"... Being not "too awake" may be the only way I can write without too much thinking...

      Unless I pick up drinking...

      Opps! There goes political correctness out the window!

    2. No, I don't really know what they say about grasshoppers. Or do you mean that famous African Proverb: "A grasshopper that sleeps about will be soon awake in a lizard's mouth."?

      Yes, you should pick up drinking. At least 2 litres of water are recommended.

      Have I spotted a crucial typo there? "... to invite girls over ..." shouldn't that read "... to invite aunties over ..." when you are 80?

    3. Tacomob,

      I prefer the Indonesian proverb: Different fields, different grasshoppers; different seas, different fish.

      What? More water? That will make my legs look fat...

      Hello! When I'm 80, I'll do my Hugh Hefner thing ;)

      Look, its now or never! What have I got to lose?

  5. Replies
    1. CW,

      Ever the cheerleader, thanks!

      First we worry money not enough.

      Then we worry whether we got the physical health to enjoy the wealth.

      Now we got to worry about our mental health???

      If that doesn't scare us into "today got wine today drink", I don't know what will!?

      Who wants to live forever?

      Kee Chiu!

  6. Jared,

    I spoke to one of my ex bosses and asked why he always say stocks is a waste of time. This is bcos for 30 yrs he only break even or earn so little in his stock investments.

    Yet, he had countless of properties all over Sg and Msia collecting rents which I always reckon he think property is a better investments.

    In his 60s now, he said to me this year, it's not about whether stock or property which is better. Both are only as good as urself.

    End of the day, it is all about what suit u the best! Even for all his pragmatism and success in work or business ventures, he was easily influenced by the swing in stock markets. So it does not suit him.

    While in property, he just feel so comfortable.

    Eventually it's knowing urself and wat that suits u. It's the same as finding a partner, although this is much more tricky...

    1. Rolf,

      Can't agree with you more!

      I've written an article as part of a project started by one ring leader of financial bloggers. Once its published and released by end Sept (I hope), I'll post it here.

      And it's written BEFORE your recent post ;)

      You'll be surprised how similar the underlying message is to your post!

      You may be wondering why I kicked you if the message is the same?

      Please come kick sand in my face - no matter whether you figure it out or not!


  7. Hi SMOL,

    Maybe equities is something that keeps you feeling challenged and motivated everyday so no matter what's your age, you may still like doing it. After all, a leopard can't change its spots! :P

    Hope you will continue to blog huh?

    1. Jes,

      Congratulations! Then this person has found his/her ikigai - our reason for getting up in the morning!

      To some people, it's their job; to others, it could be their children or grandchildren. And to the fortunate (or unfortunate) few, it could be chasing rainbows :)

      Don't worry. I'll blog just as long its still fun to do so!

      When tired, rest; when hungry, eat.

  8. Hi SMOL

    I only planned to live till 80. Hopefully I don't have to worry about your worries. Anyway, i doubt i will have >20% stock after 60?

    1. Frugal Daddy,

      I bet waking up on the morning after your 80th birthday will be a blast!

      That's provided you didn't spend every cent on wine, women, and song on extreme market timing ;)

      We make changes as we move along our investment life cycles.

      Some are aggressive in the beginning, conservative in their later years.

      Some do the opposite - play it safe during their youths, and upon discovering their mortality, became super aggressive in their old age to make up for lost time. (No.1 prime targets for scam artists)

      And some are one trick ponies ;)

  9. i think as long as you have your marbles up there, you will want to use it even your legs have become almost useless (touch wood).
    By the way the best i think is to have a finger in every pie if you can even up to your ripe old age-- Asset Allocation ma!

    But why now, now & then i am thinking of selling my USA shares which most are on "DRIP" for more than 25 years already?
    If not due to my age what then?
    You tell me.
    The young one always think they will live forever.

    1. temperament,

      Now that's practical execution of diversification ;)

      You sly old fox! Quiet quiet low profile.

      25 years of DRIP in US shares? Now that's long term dividend growth strategy!!!

      There are quite a lot of crouching tiger and hidden dragon amongst us that are not bloggers.

      You are wise.

      We can't control what the markets will give us; we can only control the risks we expose ourselves to.


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