Thursday 15 December 2016

What is the No. 1 Export of US?



If you are into bonds, currencies, gold/silver, you would know the answer.

But if you are an equities only specialist, then excusable.


  1. Hi SMOL!

    Long time no come disturb liao:p

    Machines and planes... is the answer I obtained from google.

    Hahaa. But I'm guessing that the top export of the US will be stability (or lack of) to the world.

    Can't wait for the answer to be revealed:D


    1. PassivePeon,

      It's been sometime indeed!

      Nope. Your google act only reveals what you were told.

      But you didn't "verify".

      That's 2nd level thinking or looking beyond appearances ;)

      By the way, I was re-reading your Jan 2016 post and about your -20% loss on REITs.

      Nice reflections. Did you do anything or act upon it?

      Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!

      Lightning will not strike the same place twice, but it can strike again in the vicinity ;)

    2. Wa SMOL.. my answer is so far off. Guess I need more training in the art of "verification".

      Hahah.. hmm. After the reflections, I stayed true to my lazy self and did not make any moves throughout the year except for a small nibble at Sembcorp.

      As my boss said, im a very calm person; Actually, I think he trying to hint that I'm too nua and chillax la.

      I actually wanna grab more ETFs when the market were down several times this year but the price didn't reached the level that I wanted so it's a pity really. Guess I have to review my buy-in level for the coming year.

      Yes there are certainly lost chances this year but hopefully, after the review, I'll be able to grab hold of similar opportunity in the coming year😉

    3. PassivePeon,


      You are more in the mode of "offense".

      I would have thought are a -20% loss beginning of this year, you would not want to be caught "sleeping at the wheel" a second time ;)

      Offense is fantastic for youth!

      But remember to look into defence so you don't give back what you have won back to the market ;)

      No point scoring 4 goals during the fist half only to lose the match by letting in 5 goals during the 2nd half :(

    4. Thanks SMOL.

      Yup, you're right. I was too offensive even before the 20% loss earlier in the year.

      This resulted in me expending my cash too quickly, causing me to run out of steam at the end of my offensive run. Eventually, I had to set very low buy-in targets which was hard to hit, and I missed several opportunities to grab the ETFs at an attractive price:/

      Lesson learned. Balance is the key. 4-4-2 formation just nice. Very balance.

      hmmm. If 5 goals can be let in during the 2nd half, confirm kelong! This match cannot bet!

    5. PassivePeon,

      I just so happen to start my journey before 2000 and scored 4 goals - this was easy!

      Then from 2000-2003, I let in 5 goals :(


      Sometimes the best learnings are when the pin pricks our own skins.

      It's true. What didn't kill us will make us stronger :)

    6. 😨SMOL...

      Wa.. then luckily it's just 5 goals and not a crushing defeat; else it'll be AOS liao, very demoralising one.

      I hope when the pin pricks me, the pin will not be too long and doesn't pierce my heart. Very hard to recover and must have strong fortitude to make a come back😅

      Thanks for the timely reminder😄

    7. PassivePeon,

      We are just sharing experiences and talking "male chicken".

      I not reminding or engaging in "wah kali gong" ;)

    8. Hi SMOL,

      I know it's not your style to "wah kali gong" people (I got read ur post leh😂)

      However, you've spent more time on earth than me, so it will be quite foolish of me to disregard your shared experience also😄

      你就算在放屁, 也是香的😛. Anyway, the things you said, I also concur. That's why I'm at your watering hole yea😉

    9. PassivePeon,

      Stand tall :)

      Be respectful but don't be "too respectful" to seniors.

      Singapore is not Korea or Japan. Never been a fan of the seniority system there.

      I much prefer our meritocracy here ;)

      When you have a different opinion, must express it here!

      It's would be a good exercise to test your conviction.

      You know I'll give as good as I take ;)


    10. Si Si (funny how it means the same thing in Spainish and Hokkien; coincidence?)

      To more constructive exchange of experiences within the community in future;)

      Merry Christmas to you SMOL and all 🤗🎄

    11. Merry Christmas and have a prosperous New Year!

      Young diver you ;)

      Stay in the here and now.

      Who knows? You may discover some hidden treasures down way under?

      Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Seng!

      Wait. Too early... One more month to go.

  2. They export debt to the world as the world number 1 debtor? lol.

    1. Hello and welcome to my watering hole, Wei Han Teo!

      You are "technically" not wrong but US dollars would be more "precise".

      The rest of the world have to provide services and/or to export manufactured goods to earn US dollars, but after 1971, US just have to "print" US dollars and presto, they can buy goods and services from the rest of the world with these freshly minted US dollars that are not backed by anything...

      How cool is that!?

      Of course, this can only go on just as long the rest of the world is willing to buy US treasuries (debt) as you have correctly pointed out ;)


  3. Replies
    1. BeeT,

      Welcome back from the land of down under ;)

      Studying and working overseas can be lonely and tough; but that builds character!

      Like me, you are back 4 to 5 years now?

      I am guessing you trade currencies or you know your US financial history since the founding of the US Fed ;)

      Yup, bingo!

      You got it spot on!

      Its USD :)


    2. Hi SMOL,

      I have been back for 6 years already. It's been fun and challenging studying in Sydney but I still prefer being around my family. So I came back.

      Frankly I am a long only equity "investor" but your clue certainly helped me with the answer. I read a lot especially historical stuff so I am aware of the change from gold standard to the current fiat system.

      US$ is still the most useful currency in the world esp if u travel to developing countries like Vietnam. I only traded currencies w a demo account before haha.

      Thanks for your compliment.

    3. BeeT,

      End of this year will be my 5th year back. How time flies!

      Ah so! You not trader ;)

      Knowing your financial history will give you that big picture perspective.

      For a long only equity "investor", knowing when to move to cash is an useful skill to master.

      Good luck on your journey and remember to have fun!

      You are only young once ;)

  4. Innovative Ideas including financial engineering?

    1. CW,

      I would think the crowns of financing engineering would go to Mainland China and Malaysian listed companies?

      I have a theory that those qian-bei Singaporean retail investors who have experienced the shenanigans of CLOB Malaysian stocks would not have been so easily deceived by S-chips.

      But then again, I could be wrong...

      Especially when I read from your blog that Singaporean bei kambings have been conned by fraudulent binary options brokers...

      Those below 40 excusable. But those above 40, you never heard of bucket-shops???


    2. Hi Smol

      Interesting ! Maybe you would like to do a post on the "bucket shop" ? It's a new lesson for the under 40s and a reminiscence for the above 40s.

    3. Small Time Investor,

      OK, I'll see what I can do without spoon-feeding readers ;)

  5. Hi SMOL,

    First answer that comes to my mind is that they export ideas. From cultural ideologies (like free speech, democracy, capitalism), to food, to technology, to weapons and even their monetary policies.

    1. LP,


      OK, I was thinking of US dollars and that's the left-brained approach - precision.

      Your right-brained approach is just as valid and more entertaining ;)

      Yes, US cultural imperialism have won all over the world.

      Newly weds in Asia, even not Christians, would want a church wedding with white gowns and the exchanging of marriage rings ritual thing...

      Then there's food. Lucky we got our hawker fare as counterbalance; but if we look at young children, its hands down they prefer fast foods!

      China during the Tang dynasty was like US today.

      We exported our Chinese culture to Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc.

      So interesting to find out watching Korean variety shows some of the Korean words sound like Hokkien just as in the Japanese language ;)

      Hokkien was the court language during the Tang dynasty.

      Wax and wane, rise and fall.

      There are cycles wherever I look!

  6. Hi SMOL,

    Must be the civilisation game that I played :) Cultural warfare is cleaner, stealthier and can achieve most of the objectives in conventional war anyway. It's the way in which a country with weaker army can conquer another one.

    S.Korea is one country that channeled a huge part of their energy and effort into creating cultural exports. Singapore for a brief period of time in our xin yao, did that for us too. Maybe we should export our education programmes in the future? haha

    1. LP,

      In a way, we have. Our math syllabus is adopted and copied by several countries in Asia - most notably China.

      Hence the heavy overseas student population here in Singapore. The MDIS Queenstown campus is just across the road from my flat. Very diverse!

      We are tops in Science and Math. I hope when these students grow up, some will aspire to create their own companies and not just help make other people's dream come true...

      If not, we are just one of the selling points in the marketing spin for big daddy, "Come invest in Singapore, we have a highly educated workforce. Come! Come lah!"

      We may be well paid; but judging by the number of young people who aspire financial freedom even before they started work, I guess that's not surprising when they see their older cousins or parents struggle in their 50s...

      We need more Breadtalk, OSIM, Old Chang Kee, etc; to export our Singapore Culture overseas.

      Cannot always rely on big daddy linked companies like SIA, Keppel, DBS, and so on...

    2. Hi SMOL,

      Export Singapore's culture - what an interesting concept. But actually our culture comes from importing the many cultures from elsewhere, then mix them together to become the SG blend LOL.

      I cheated by scrolling all the way down to read the answers to find out what I don't know... And then find that there's more that I don't know.
      Like why is US$ growing stronger with Trump's on throne? :P

    3. Rainbow girl,

      When a country or civilisation can project or export its culture - it says a lot about its political and economic prowess ;)

      There is a reason why Singapore can punch above our size and weight internationally.

      However, when it comes to the Arts, we are a bit of a cultural desert... Like what you've said, most of it is imported...

      Follow the money trail.

      As for why the USD strengthen with Trump, don't look at me!

      I was positioned for a Clinton win. But I made money with my USD long!?

      The US Fed's hawkish hike was a pleasant surprise too!

      I not complaining.

      That's trading for you. I rather be lucky than smart!!!


  7. SMOL,

    Touché on your comments about Malaysian listed entity.

    Indeed not a week goes by where these financial engineering champions don't announce bonus issues, share split, free warrants, rights issuance with free warrants, ICULS...blah blah blah

    Mostly the only parties being enriched are the insiders.

    Pray tell, these shenanigans won't be tolerated in Singapore, would they?

    1. Tabula Rasa,

      Your Malaysian blogging scene is a lot more happening!

      Got English and Chinese communities ;)

      I love this Where is Ze Moola blogger; sadly he has since stopped blogging :(


      Our big daddy practice "crash got sound".

      Once accident happen, we take action ;)

      For the 1MDB case, we kicked out 2 banks, fined and reprimanded 4 banks (even those where big daddy is the major shareholder), and jailed 2 bankers.

      What do you think?


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