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Saturday, 6 February 2016

My son is here! Enjoy your food.

Petronas have some of the best and heart warming commercials.

This one I like a lot.

Don't you just love the Malaysian accents?

That's how you tell a Singaporean from a Malaysian overseas. From the moment we said, "Hello!" 

Success, when denominated in $ can easily be benchmarked, do an one-upmanship over others; but when it's measured by how well you have brought up your children...

Children learn from parents.

Financial freedom is just an enabler. It's not supposed to be a "religion".

Do you worship Money?

Or do you let money work for you?

Same same but different!


  1. SMOL,

    I saw the video last year and I thought I understand it. I only feel and more able to "放下” money only recently...

    Say because we believe ... Do because we convinced. We keep quiet when we do...

    Because "action" speaks louder than words, isn't it ?

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Your shoulders feel lighter right?

      Money is our servant.

      If we work for money, how can we ever be financially free?

      We would be forever chasing the extra zero; and there will always be another person who has more than us.

      Yup, we can always say one day we whould do this and that... Action counts more.

      Hungry eat; tired rest.

    2. i like what you say, but its not totally correct!

      the role of money in our lives should be both a servant and a master and should be interchangable.

      most people are mostly one sided, they either a servant or the master of money.

      being a trader for so long i come to realise that i must be both a servant and a master of money depends on the circumstances.

      "money is not important however, without money, we can't even put down our bets"

      kong xi fa chai!

    3. oh, being one sided is easy, just believe what you believe and stay with it.

      whats makes life and trading so difficult is the inability to be both side at the same time. the only way to compensade this to be as flaxible as one can be.

    4. coconut,


      That's why we have to make a stand.

      Sorry hor.

      I've no wish to be a servant to money.

      Of course when starting out climbing the mountain, we may have to eat humble pie and "work" for money.

      One thing I've learnt from my Taiwan and Hong Kong friends is that for money to work for us, we have to be landowners.

      Never mind even if its just a pushcart or street stall.

      Is it just me? I do find the young in Singapore nowadays are bit more entrepreneurial? Many have blog shops or doing the internet marketing thingy ;)

      Money is our servant; the more servants we have the merrier!

      You and I are nano landowners too!

      We have employee of 1 ;)

  2. Simplicity and back to the basics of life - spending time together beats everything we have materialistic wise.


    1. When you are old and fragile, i think it's the people around you that matters. And if the people around you matters, just because of your money, it's too late for you to regret already.

      The irony is when you have money, it is easy for you to say money doesn't matter.
      It's when you don't have any, then you know it matters like a man looking for water in the dessert.

      So it is better to have money but doesn't have to show it at all - at all times if possible.

      None of my friends or kin know how poor or rich i am.
      In fact most of the them think they are so much better off and smarter too.
      Some of them really do.

      But overall it suits me.
      Money is to use and not to show.
      In this sense is money a servant or master?

    2. temperament,

      "Money is to use and not to show.
      In this sense is money a servant or master?"

      What do you think?

      It's when we have money yet we still behave like servants to money that's sad.

      That's why CPIB will every few years haul shepherds and stewards into the dock - be it leaders of big daddy's organisations, religious leaders, and recently, leaders of academia...

      And I'm sure you have encountered people with more humble background than us with backbones that are so straight and firm they put us to "shame"...

      At the end, like the short commercial above, its not about whether we have money or not - its about how we were brought up; and what direction our moral compass is pointing to.

    3. "its about how we were brought up; and what direction our moral compass is pointing to."

      Every year, new year, once in a year, we gather together at my mother-in-law's or sister-in-law's house.

      A million dollar earning per year husband and wife who are specialist doctors in private practice (without fail) give $4 red packets to 1st cousins.
      And can you believe it only $2 to distant relative's children.
      (Not even enough for a bowl of "wan ton mee")
      Can you tell me how they look at money and the way they were brought up?
      Do you dare to approach them for help when you are in need?
      And the wife is from a multi-millionaire family.
      And their 3 children received at least $6 red packet from working class relatives

      How these people look at money?
      A tool to belittle people even related?
      What kind of messages are they sending?

      To me:-
      Please keep your distance as far away as possible from us from us.
      You good for nothing
      Because we will never need anything or help from you.
      So do not expect us to be generous, you poor, under privilege class (relatives or not).
      i guess they will treat their peers much, much more cordial.
      Because they will receive the same in material returns.

      Moral of the story is ?

      Really, some people the richer and more powerful they are the meaner they become.

    4. He should take a look who is Dr Richard Teo who drive Ferrari n yet die with regrets!

      Anyway I agree with u that there r so many examples of the richer and meaner type. But I believe what goes around comes around.

      My aunties who were all poor and work as cleaners spend every weekend together and their kids are all v filial. they r always v happy. When my daugthers bday, ang pow always $200. So this is nothing to do with how rich u r in the pocket, but in the brain.. I ll always visit my aunties n push money for them on n off... n my Ang pow is all in few hundreds for them during cny

      Those stingy n mean on others eventually one day, their kids or whoever they love, ll be mean back to them...

    5. temperament and Rolf,

      We can choose our friends; we can't choose our relatives...

      There was a time in secondary school where I was embarrassed to be seen in public with my parents.

      I can empathise why some are reluctant to be associated with their "poorer" relatives...

      Thankfully I outgrew that teenage inferiority complex phase. You know, when we realise other classmates' parents dress better, speak better, have more powderful titles, etc...

      I don't spend too much time thinking about others; I have myself to worry about.

      I spend a lot more time with mom today because she was always around when I'm back from school, back from work.

      Dad was never around. OK, he worked overseas for some years, but even when working in Singapore, he was hardly around even on weekends. Leave early, come back late in the wee hours...

      Mom is a full time housewife so I know dad provided for us financially.

      But if mom and dad fell into the river, I have no hesitation who I would jump in to rescue first.

      There are 2 sides of the same coin. I read in the papers some parents have regrets spending too much of their retirement monies on their children, leaving themselves very little in retirement when the relationships with their children are strained...

      Of course the press won't share how much time these parents spend on their children growing up...

      Emotional bonds are not bought with money.

    6. Money can't buy emotional bonds maybe true especially the receiving party knew what you are doing from the very beginning.
      But no action or reaction is without emotion (without a thought first, behind).
      Unless one is a psychopath.

      The millionaire couple using money to send a message to relatives even once a year is just too obvious.
      Please get far, far away from us.

    7. temperament,

      If we only meet once a year out of "obligation", that's crystal enough ;)

      Relationships are interesting and complicated.

      It's the same for friends and colleagues. Haven't we felt let down when long lost friends/ex-colleagues called to meet up only to "sell" us something...

      That's why we professional snake oils don't like to do business with close friends and relatives.

      Amateurs and newbies do the opposite.

    8. Hi uncle temperament and Smol

      I always like to be the black horse, somehow.

    9. OK.

      Hence forth, you shall be known as:

      The Black Small Time Investor


      The Dark side is seductive.

  3. Uncle Temperament,

    Totally agreed that when we need money, we became man whore.

    It's the poor that became a servant to money and became so rich that they became landlord by X times yet still live live like a servant until

    One fine day, they saw and live like a king

    I am
    Just a worker, happy worker. Not landlord mentality no servant mentality

    1. Yes! At the end of the day, whatever you do you must do it with "HUA HEE TOO HO".

  4. Hi SMOL

    Sometime, I do wonder am I being selfish to give my loved ones and myself more time by aiming for early retirement, which in exchange they could have a much better lifestyle if I work towards being a successful working class. Though I think our current lifestyles are comfortable enough for us. So hard to balance given resources are tight. haha.

    1. Frugal Daddy,

      As a snake oil, I understand the power and significance of words.

      Instead of "selfish", reframe the question to being true to oneself and you'll have your answer ;)

      We have seen around us how some parents are quite bitter with life, and they never shy from putting their children on a guilt trip by constantly reminding the sacrifices they have made for their children...

      Do your love ones prefer you to be happy or grouchy all the time?

      If you children want an overseas education, would you rather be there for them to help them explore their options: study hard for scholarships; work part-time/vacations to save for their own Uni-fund; work first, save, then go overseas when they are sure what they want to do in life!

      You don't decide for your children, but act as coach and mentor to them. Your children learn about ownership, responsibility, and empowerment early :)

      And not relying on parents and entitlements! Pay their own way? What a novel idea! (Yup, its sarcasm)

      Or maybe your children would prefer you pay everything for them (you pay; you decide), never mind you were never home most of the time because of work.

      Even at home, you often lock yourself in the study analyzing your stocks and investments...

      Don't worry. Young buy them an iPad. Big buy them a car. Don't disturb me! I busy!

      Who are your children mixing with? Are you children adjusting well at school? What are their hopes and aspirations?

      Don't ask; don't tell.

      Just assume they like to be lawyers and doctors. Can't go wrong one.

    2. I know I am doing the "right" thing for what I want. However, I hope my child will appreciate it rather than say, you see x and y parents pay for this and that and everything else. They have the latest I-watch superstar limited version in year 2030, where most kids have.

      I am just doing devil advocate using your post on myself. You are the Moderator. haha.

    3. Frugal Daddy,

      Now you know why I prefer to be single or live-in-sin ;)

      I would be the worst dad ever! I have zero paternal instincts :(

      We can only control our own behaviours.

      Children, they look at what we do; not what we say ;)

      If they see mom and daddy happily and lovingly married, imagine what will they write if there's an essay on what they want to be when you grow up?

      Will they say they want to be rich and famous?

      Or will they prefer to be successful and powerful?

      How will you react if your children wrote:

      "I want to be just like mom and dad - happy."

    4. "However, I hope my child will appreciate it rather than say, you see x and y parents pay for this and that and everything else. They have the latest I-watch superstar limited version in year 2030, where most kids have."

      Ha! Ha!
      i bet you:-
      Your child or children will definitely say something like above.
      My said that when he was in sec 1 or 2 due to show offs or one up-man ship among his fellow classmates. This is what you call home upbringing verses "peers pressure upbringing"
      Do you think there is any difference in our adult world?
      Even right now?

      What about TV advertisements trying to psycho your children to buy this and that?
      Even some adults may not able to resist.

      So all of us who can resist all this Keeping Up with the Joneses and commercial psycho pressure may be queer or weird people.
      Don't blame your children if you yourself can't do it?
      Ha! Ha!

    5. All human complain I guess. I actually have very little interest in commercial and materials. That why I am a weirdo in my daily life. Lol

  5. This watering hole is getting interesting.

    Got insects, got weirdos, got animals of different strips and colours, got faithfuls, got pagans, got heathens, got agnostics, got atheists, got astronomists and astro physicists!!!

    Some see in black and white; some see in shades of grey.

    Some are more left-brained; some right-brained.

    Some have more affinity to words; some to numbers.

    Some are artists; some are craftsmen.

    Some are goal setters; some are dreamers.

    What diversity!

    1. in the eyes of the other animal, we all looks and behave the same! they can't differentiat between you and me or the prime minister.

    2. i had done my selling and hedging, i'm now a little bit short.

      my guess is that we are in a prolong down turn in both our economy and something something i rather not say. the central banks medicine had no effect anymore, the market will continue on its downward path.

    3. ofcos one can still invest but you better open your eye big big cos many company will going to disappear. catching the wrong knife and its going to hit right at the heart.

      thought i love to catech falling knife but not this time, this time i don't want to be the hero, not yet.

    4. Don't think the Prime Minister's dogs can't recognised you are an intruder even though you are just another 2 legged creature.
      Ha! Ha!

    5. That makes 3 of us ;)

      Things must be really bad for a prime minister to come out and reassure everything is fine.

      Anyone wants to believe Deutsche Bank CEO's "rock solid" comment?

      BOJ must be frustrated they wasted one bullet for nothing. Now the USD/JPY is even lower than before they went to negative rates...

      Aunty Yellen was not dovish last night yet the USD fell.

      Now left to Draghi in March.

      If the markets don't believe in Central Bankers anymore, we are in for an interesting ride!

    6. forget about Deutsche Bank, nobody cares anymore, now the market will start looking into their books! they means the central banks and its country!

    7. coconut,

      Last night's USD/JPY power move man!

      Markets are readjusting and repositioning. The most crowded trade is unwinding (for the moment)...

      Sure glad I closed my 1.5 years trend following short EUR/USD core position last December!

      When Draghi hinted on more negative rates last month, I jump back in for a speculative swing trade. Got profit stopped :(

      Sometimes luck is luck!

      I must still complain about Simsci. See! Today market open up again. !@@#%%$*^$!!@

      Forcing me to be intraday trader - cannot have overnight positions :(

      I don't play already. Maybe switch to another vehicle to hedge my equity positions? Hmm...

    8. i don't advise you to hedge, how are you going to hedge? futures? are they corelated?

      rather its best to repositioning/diversification will be better, no need to have 100% cover. for example can buy gold which run up quite a bit, buy singapore dollar may be is another one. buy something that is currently runs the opposite of the stock market to have some kind of protection.

      hedge your head!

    9. temperament, people who think that their dogs are their friend are simple misunderstood them!

      you think dogs are very stupid?

    10. coconut,

      My portfolio is quite hedged since early 2015. Thank you very much ;)

      You don't hedge after the horses have bolted from our barn doors...

      When I say "hedge" above, its a nicer way than to say profit from the current market weakness ;)

    11. On the contrary, i think dogs are quite intelligent.
      Why people says "Dogs are man's best friends"?
      There must be a reason or 2.

      And why not cat?
      Only saying on dog as man's best friend.
      i am saying a trained dog definitely can differentiate who is the master and the thief.
      Although, we all look alike to them as 2 legged creatures.

  6. Dear SMOL,

    My favorite TV commercial.

    The late Yasmin Ahmad was such a great story teller. The kids were all successful, according to worldly standards, but really, which life would you rather live?

    The ending brought me to tears.

    A Petronas employee

    1. Hello and welcome to our cousin from Malaysia!

      Yes, encik Yasmin Ahmad is a great story teller.

      I see you have a front row seat to the Oil and Gas industry ;)

      Of the many things we've learnt from ang moh society, having nursing homes where we can "dump" our parents is something we should not have "imported"....


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