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Friday, 17 March 2017

What exactly is Crash Got Sound?


To be precise, need to pronounce it in Hokkien, "Long dio wu xia".

Crash got sound.

What does it mean?

Instead of giving you a definition, let me give you 2 examples to illustrate.

1) CPF Life

Did you know before CPF Life was introduced in 2009, the then National Longevity Insurance Committee (NLIC) proposed to big daddy to give CPF members 12 options to choose from!

You heard me right. 12 freaking options!!! Want to cover backside also not like that...

Mercifully, big daddy watered it down to 4 options.

1st crash got sound moment: Too many; too confusing!

OK, OK. We now change to 2 plans. Happy now? 

And for those who don't like to think for yourself, no worries, I'll choose for you the Standard plan.

This one good, better, best! Provided you live up to 95 and beyond.

2nd crash got sound moment: How do I know what I want in 10 years' time?

Its already hard to forecast what's the weather for tomorrow, not to say 10 years ahead!

Sorli, sorli, my bad!

I wrong to assume everyone helicopter like me.

Done! You can now choose the CPF Life plans when you are 65 and just before the CPF Life payout starts.

Ya hor. Why I never thought of that in the first place?

Who's the idiot that proposed we need 10 years' advance notice?

3rd crash got sound moment: akan datang (coming soon) 

Red faced. Forgot Singaporeans study, work, travel overseas a lot nowadays. Even frog in the well also got internet access.

So you guys know about inflation adjusted annuities and TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities?

2) SGX

Smart goal to increase transaction volumes - delete the lunch hour and reduce spreads between bid and offer prices.


Get out of car.

Eh? Why transaction volumes no increase? 

"Anyone got any good ideas to solve this predicament?"


"What's that?"

"Undo button Sir,"


There! Hope you now have a better appreciation of this Hokkien words of wisdom phrase.

No, I not Hokkien; I Teochew.


Why I "angkat" (tripod) the Hokkiens?


They are legion in Singapore.

If every Hokkien buys me a cup of kopi, I can start my own non-hipster café!


  1. Replies
    1. CW,

      Hee, hee.

      By the way, glad you had fun last night in your talk :)

  2. HA! HA!


    Some if not most must people will only wake up after crashes!

    If only they can wake up.

    Already selected CPF LIFE's Standard - can wake up but no use already.

    1. temperament,

      Fear not. Will still "win" if you live beyond 95!

      And here's to you good health!

      If not, just treat it as "charity" to our fellow men.

      Even if you are not into Karma that sort of thing, it can't hurt when you arrive at the Pearly Gates ;)

      Got merit better than being "accused" of Greed right?

      Look, no one planned to be kicked out of Malaysia in 1965; we didn't turn out too bad, did we?

      Planning is good.

      The ability to turn lemons into lemonade is better!

    2. No need 95.

      i think someone calculate from 85 on wards you win liu.

      In fact i had an article that said:-

      {Never Buy An Income Annuity – Here’s Why
      by Neal Frankle, CFP ®
      You might be very tempted to buy an income annuity right now, but if you do, you’ll regret it. Income annuity is just another name for an immediate annuity.
      First, what is an income or immediate annuity?
      You make a “deposit” with an insurance company and they immediately start sending you a monthly check. That’s what’s known as the annuity payout. Depending on what type of immediate annuity you set up, you can get monthly payments for five years, 10 years or whatever…even for the rest of your life or the life of you and your spouse.
      The monthly payment you receive will be based on two things:
      a. How old you are now.
      b. What prevailing interest rates are.
      Generally speaking, the older you are the more you’ll get. Why? Because the insurance company knows that as soon as you die, they can stop sending the check. The older you are, the less time you have to collect. That’s why life insurance for seniors might be better for you if you are focused on your beneficiaries.
      Mean and calculating SOBs, those insurance companies. Lower interest rates impact the payments because if the company earns less, they get to pay you less.
      For most immediate annuities, the payments you get never change and you don’t have access to your lump sum payment either. That means if you suddenly need $10,000 for an emergency trip to Paris or quadruple bypass, you’ll just have to find the money elsewhere. Your investment is irreversible.
      I told you they are mean and calculating SOBs.
      Still, the financial services industry is touting immediate annuities right and left as the answer to low bank interest rates and volatile stock market returns. Don’t fall for it. Think about your long-term needs – and the needs of your life insurance beneficiary. Don’t just think about what might feel good over a long series of short-term periods strewn together.
      Let’s look at an example.
      Let’s say you could invest $100,000 in an immediate annuity and receive $8,000 a year for life. Let’s further assume that you decide to make this investment at the age of 65 and you live another 15 years. Here’s why the investment stinks.
      You invested $100,000 and you receive $8,000 a year, but your return isn’t 8%. If you live for 15 years you’ll receive a total of $120,000 in payments (15 years at $8,000 each year). If y0u calculate the total return (on a simple basis), it’s about 1.67% per year. That’s because the $8,000 the nice big insurance company sends you is mostly your own money.
      Now how hard is it going to be to beat 1.67% (average) over 15 years? Nobody can predict the future, but my opinion is that it shouldn’t be that tough.
      The people who market these products appeal to your natural inclination to only think about the short term. They play to your fears of short-term volatility, and if you fall for it, it will cost you big time over the long run.
      Immediate annuities stink – especially now. There might be some cases where the investor doesn’t care about total return and only cares about cash flow…and in that case, they might be OK. But with interest rates as low as they are, I stand by my recommendation.
      Have you had a different experience with immediate annuities?
      You might also be interested in reading the pros and cons of immediate annuities for a different perspective.}

      So Annuity is about "Longevity Insurance" not about investing your money.

      No wonder the rich to quite rich very seldom buy ANNUITY.

      It's for us poorer folks that need each other in case some of us live too long(aka ROM B4 ROOL).

    3. temperament,

      This guy not snake-oil:


      That's how you've chosen the Standard plan - you agar agar assume; never Trust but Verify ;)

      Of course! Those who are financially savvy AND know to invest will never buy Annuities and ILPs.

      I intend to withdraw as much CPF money as possible when I hit 55 - by pledging my property under BRS.

      Leave as little as possible to CPF Life and mentally write off ;)

      I have my DIY investment track record to back me up. I full time nano hedge fund manager mah! I chose the investing path.

      Those who are financially savvy but can't or know they suck at investing, then nothing wrong to opt for the savings route.

      Then voluntary contributions to CPF and opting for ERS when retired may make more sense.

      Remember my post on savings and investing vehicles?

      That's the trouble with those who understand a little bit of financial literacy but confuse savings vehicles with the craft of "investing"...

      Some are even financial bloggers...

      What you expect?

      Anyone and everyone can write a blog! No entry barriers whatsoever!

      Snakes and dragons intermingle ;)

    4. Quote : "Remember my post on savings and investing vehicles?

      That's the trouble with those who understand a little bit of financial literacy but confuse savings vehicles with the craft of "investing"...

      Some are even financial bloggers...

      What you expect?

      Anyone and everyone can write a blog! No entry barriers whatsoever!

      Snakes and dragons intermingle ;)"

      LOL! Agreed. Confused investor.

    5. CW,

      You dragon - speak from experience of eating salt.

      I snake - I know my own kind.

      Opposite sides of the same coin, argue all the time, yet once in a while, we agree with each other!?


  3. Hi SMOL,

    To illustrate the concept better, it's sometimes good to talk about the opposite cases. What are the examples you can think of that crash but no sound one? :)

    Hmm, regarding annuities, I think is good to at least have an annuity that covers basic expenses. It can even be CPF life. It's good to have that component because relying everything on investment can be a risky proposition. 100% on annuities or 100% on investment returns is too extreme for me, haha

    1. LP,


      You walk around naked but you believe you wearing beautiful clothes. And everyone around you exclaim excitedly, "Yalor, yalor! So beautiful!"

      Crash no sound one!


      There's such a thing called capital drawdown or 吃老本。

      Under the Full Retirement Sum (FRS), we "surrender" $166,000 to big daddy in return for $1280 to 1380 per month for life.

      That monthly sum comes from OUR $166,000. How is that any different from capital drawdown of our own savings?

      We are not talking investment returns here ;)

      I just thought its rather "funny" we are actually making a "bet" on how soon we will die when it comes to CPF Life. Dark humour?

      Of course as with all things, good or bad may depend how well we recognise ourselves.

      If we no discipline and can't help ourselves - once we have money we must wine, woman, and song - then CPF Life makes a lot of sense!

      I'm very primitive when it comes to money.

      Money in my pocket I can do whatever I want with it.

      My money in other people's pocket I have to fill-in forms to access them...

      I hate to fill-in forms :(

    2. Ya, drawdown on capital is fine too. I think private annuity has terms that are better than cpf life. A friend who had bought a few annuities told me about that. I don't know much about it but will explore more. I'll treat it as a 'bond' component of a well balanced portfolio.

      Eh, your example hor, can be construed as a 'sound' leh, haha :) When everyone is avoiding the bad things, it's a sound. It's called the sound of silence! LOL

      Recently some people launched their ebook in a social media platform regarding trading. I always ask them to say a few bad things about their book to see if they can reflect. One guy did say what's bad about his book. Another guy said there's nothing bad about his book.

      Did you hear the sound of silence? HAHA

    3. LP,

      You've put me in a box. Trust you to come out with "sound of silence"!?


      The fact that your friend has SEVERAL annuities is already a tell its more likely he had been SOLD TO ;)

      And I hope the annuities are from several insurance companies? Maybe he too young to remember the AIG episode...

      Yes, do your own verifications. CPF Life's benefits cannot be worse off than private annuities. If not, where do big daddy hides its face?

      I'll go Hong Lim Park if CPF Life has a profit making component!


      Annuities are in the same camp as ILPs. In sales, we say must PUSH these products out; no customer will buy them on their own.

      Those who take our crafts serious can be paranoid to the extent that nothing we produce is "good enough".

      e-books. Anyone and everyone can produce one. Content got meat or not that's another story...

      Nothing to improve?

      Can you hear a pin drop? (I think this expresses the sound of silence better!)

  4. Hi SMOL,

    If crash got sound, but didn't reflect and internalize the teachings underlying the experience, is it end up like this:


    P.S. What's the Teochew version of crash got sound? Zhuang dio wu xia?

    1. Unintelligent Nerd,


      That obscure and cryptic post was meant for 有心人 - kindred spirits. I didn't expect people would remember it ;)

      I am impressed.

      Yes, that's the Teochew pronunciation version. But I don't recall my family using it in daily life - so its not part of our Teochew lingo.

      I suspect its a Singlish Hokkien thing.

      !!! Any Malaysian or Indonesian Hokkiens here?

      Do you use "long dio wu xia" in your hometown?

      Just to verify whether this is a local local Singapore Hokkien saying or its origins come from Mainland China.


      P.S. Cory, just in case you reading too, do the Taiwanese use this phrase?

  5. "That's how you've chosen the Standard plan - you agar agar assume; never Trust but Verify ;)"


    i had chosen the CPF Life Standard based on someone sharing his idea on logic without actual calculation.

    The logic is quite close to what you advocate too.

    Which is if your next of kin doesn't need any bequest from your CPF LIFE, then of course go for CPF LIFE Standard.

    Pay you more ma!

    But someone calculate even if that is so the little extra $ from CPF standard is not worth it comparing to the CPF LIFE Basic.

    That's why i have said before everything being equal - whether you have descendant or not, or very good health, still CPF Basic is more equitable or logical.

    That's how many of us can live to 85 and beyond?

    Actually once you live to 85 and beyond, money to you doesn't matters much but the people around you do.

    1. "i had chosen the CPF Life Standard based on someone sharing his idea on logic without actual calculation."

      On the surface, Logic seems reasonable; basing on calculations & estimation on how long one can live, the logic doesn't seems reasonable anymore.

    2. temperament,

      At first I thought I would choose the default Standard Plan since I no dependants.

      Then when I realised for the tiny extra few dollars every month, if I go sell salted eggs early, my CPF would still remain stuck inside CPF???

      A bit like taking public transport - passengers on short trips subsidise those taking the longer trips.

      I've no dependants but I got siblings. The money is not a lot since I will choose the BRS route.

      But I do want my siblings to have the PLEASURE to DECIDE what to do with my money - spend it on themselves, donate to their favourite charity or church/temple.

      You are right. It's not always about logic or common sense.

      You know what gives me the most SATISFACTION?

      Its knowing I didn't leave a single cent inside CPF when I'm gone!

      Don't get me wrong. I have no beef with big daddy.

      Its just that I'm a Small Government kind of guy.

      Stay out of my pocket and stop telling me what to do and how I should live my life ;)


    3. Ah.... the Cat and not the Dog.

      Meow, Meow.


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