Saturday 29 July 2017

Monday 24 July 2017

LPG, Newspaper, and TV

Liquified Petroleum Gas

At my current weekend sales gig, one of the home appliances that I help "promote" are hobs (stoves).

When we sell a hob, we need to ask the customer whether they are using piped PUB gas (aka Town Gas), or using those blue liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.

Of course the majority of customers are using PUB piped gas.

I've noticed the minority still using LPG are the elderly (60s and above). And learnt something I didn't know before - there are some ancient HDB flats that have no piped gas installed for the whole block!?


Yet, there are always exceptions. I'm quite bemused whenever I get customers who are in their late 20s or early 30s opting for LPG.

So I casually surveyed their rationale for doing so.

2 main reasons:

1.  They grew up in LPG families. They never thought of considering the "convenience" of piped PUB gas. What their parents did, they followed as adults. No questions asked. (Big daddy would love them)  

2.  Then there's the equivalent of "giam kana" (stingy thrifty) financial bloggers. They know every nickle and cents about the cost savings from using LPG over piped PUB gas. Very financially literate!

Yes, that type that foams at the mouth over one extra % in bank interests, free miles, and count in 2 decimal places. (What? Someone got to troll them right?)

So don't say got lobang (good deal) I never jio (recommend)!

If you are one of those penny pinchers who believed saving 10 dollars a month compounded by 30 years will lead to a big mountain, then do consider switching to LPG for your kitchen. Especially if you cook a lot! 

(Tip: I got this from a gas technician who uses piped PUB gas for the cooking convenience, but use LPG for his gas fired dryer. He saved extra $20 per month!)

For those of you that have moved recently to your BTO flat or condo, you may want to take a look how many of your neighbours have opted for LPG gas? During house-warming parties, take a peek at their kitchen hobs.

You may even notice the some have opted for the electrical induction hobs. Wink.

Somehow, I am reminded of how good Li Ka-shing was when he listed his HPH Trust.



I prefer reading the dailies in print form (same goes for book reading). I'm an old dinosaur in this respect. 

Once upon a time, there were lots of job ads in the classified sections. Now? Drastic reduction right?

Come to think of it, my current weekend job was found through online job search websites. And my previous one was walk-in when I saw Howard Storage World's job ads outside the store while drinking kopi at Ya-Kun HabourFront...

Have you noticed sometimes there were full page colour ads on the front page of our dailies?

Snake-oils out there like me, we see it as a sign of weakness... An act of desperation... 

For those who are not in sales, think about it for a moment.

Would you walk around dressed in a chicken suit to earn that extra income?


I noticed I don't watch TV anymore.

Yes, sometimes I'll join mom to watch the 6:30pm Channel 8 news. That's more to keep mom company.

Now I watch movies and documentaries on Youtube. 

And surf the web for what's going in the world.

Question. When was the last time you watched TV?

I have a naughty thought. 

Can you make a guess when big daddy would monetise their TV assets?

Would you bite?


Saturday 22 July 2017

Satires, Pokes, and Bullshits

Have you rolled-eyes at some of the posts and articles that are out there in our financial blogosphere?

Wednesday 19 July 2017

In This Corner Of The World - Can I Take Setbacks?

Yesterday, I went to Yishun GV to watch this anime movie:

After the movie, my mind dirfted to 2 incidents.

Imagine if we had achieved everything we wanted in life.

We have our own small business - could be a restaurant, cafe, or hostel.

A warm and loving family with children and living with our aged parents; 3 generations under one roof.

Family house fully paid for. No business debts.

Except we work and live in Fukushima...

If I am the only survivor - lost everyone that mattered to me - would I be able to pick myself up and start over?

Imagine now I live in Singapore. Financially free; no need to work.

I bring my wife and children to Phuket for holiday.

Tsunami struck.

Only I managed to make it back to Singapore...

I still have all my financial networth undamaged; unlike the me in Fukushima.

Would I be less distraught?

Yes, being devastated in my own "castle" with no money concerns is not the same as being devastated in a make-shift shelter and penniless...


Am I wealthy?

My siblings and I get along. Parents still "healthy". I am in reasonable "good" health; although the latest health check revealed I'm a diabetic risk if I don't control my weight (rich man's curse)...

You bet I'm wealthy!

Wait. I double-check. 

Yup. No money goals. 

So why do I get up in the morning?

Saturday 15 July 2017

Wolves in our midst

Remember the 80s Scholl sandled touts with high waisted pants and permed hair outside of Lucky Plaza? (Millennials, sorry. You too young)

Well, we have them too in our financial blogosphere:

Thursday 13 July 2017

Netlink Trust IPO - who benefits the most?

If you answered Singtel shareholders... Not bad. You close.

Big daddy lah!

Or to be precise, Temasek. 

Smart people.

Perspective from not bei kambing retail investor  

Those of us who have core holdings that we've owned for ages. Would you sell 75% of a stock that's still growing, performing, and giving you good dividends?

You only do so when the reasons you bought have changed.

Or the valuations have gotten a bit "rich". You take some money off the table... (risk management, re-balancing that sort of stuff)

Talking about risk management. If you have taken too much debt/leverage in your margin account, paying it down is prudent. But you don't sell your crown jewels, do you?

Anyway, if you are a yield hog, you wouldn't want to "share" away 75% of your future dividends right? Got fantastic dividend stock you want to keep 100% of the dividends right?

And if you super bullish on the dividend stock's future prospects, you even will forgo cash and opt for your dividends to be paid in scripts instead. You know, delayed gratification so you don't consume the golden eggs to compond dividends on dividends! You smarter than smart!

Perspective from retail speculative trader

Worth a punt. Maybe.

You stag the IPO.

Animal Farm

Yup, we have bulls, bears, hogs, and now stags. 

Oh! How can I forget bei kambings (little white lamb)?

Where you have lambs, you'll find wolves too.

Who are wolves?

If you don't know, you are bei kambing! (Don't get offended. That's how you tell mah!)

Tuesday 11 July 2017

TIP - To Insure Performance

In general, most Singaporeans have lost the Art of Tipping. (Or to be precise, never knew it from the first place!)

We can see the fumblings some Singaporeans make when they travel to cities where its expected that you tip.

Many, many years ago, I was on a date to watch the musical Jesus Christ Superstar (she tricked me) at World Trade Centre Expo (now known as VivoCity; and yes, its that long ago). 

After the muscial, there were a long queue for taxis as we were walking towards the taxi stand along the sidewalk.

Right then, a taxi stopped beside us to alight his passengers.

I looked at the taxi driver expectantly.

He pointed to the taxi stand.

I took out a $10 dollar note. 

The taxi driver waved us in.

That's why some people get the best tables at restaurants. The best rooms with a view in hotels.

Many of my customers who are salespersons or business owners themselves will make an effort to look for me when they've decided to buy sofas (now home appliances) from me when they come back after their 2nd or 3rd visit.

They want me to get the sales commissions. 

I do the same when I do my shopping. 

I want the salesperson who treated me well to be rewarded. 

And if the service is exceptional, I'll write a compliment letter.

You should see the service I get next time I revisit the retail shop or restaurant. Wink.

Professional property investors don't do DIY property transactions themselves to save a few dollars. They treat their real estate agents well.

No surprise they get first hand information from these real estate agents when a buying or selling opportunity pops up.

The same for brokers when it comes to IPO allotments, price moving news, or best deals before the rest of the retail investors get wind of it through the media.

Anyone who gets their financial news from the media (or financial bloggers) knows they are at the bottom of the information food chain...

TIP - To Insure Performance

There is a fine line between tipping and giving a bribe. 

That's why I say some Singaporeans fumble at it.

No, they don't teach you in school for this. And please don't blame schools and big daddy for everything.

Do they teach you how to be a good parent in school? (See, drop literature lah!)

So don't say no one teach you financial literacy (hello, there's math), how to be entrepreneur (can teach meh), and how to tip others (watch successful people behave).

Those of you who attend prosperity churches may recognise tipping.

Law of increasing returns. Sound familiar?

The more you give; the more you'll receive.

But do note a MAJOR difference:

Tipping is the more you reward others; the more you'll receive in service back.

The other one is where the more you give; the more the shepherd will receive.

Not the same OK?

Shepherds tip.

Sheep give wool, milk, and meat.

Thursday 6 July 2017

People Are Like Garbage Trucks

A few months back, an elderly tanned big brawny old man (in his late 60s?) with bad knee and a walking stick shouted at me at the top of his lungs... Everyone turned an looked at us.

He is like your neighbourhood "ah long" or contactor with permed hair, wearing thick gold chains around his stumb of a neck, and multiple "Lords of the Rings" gold rings around his leathery fingers...

All I did was to make a "joke" that if he wanted "free" delivery and installation for the home appliance, I just need to change the price tag to a $100 more...

99.99% of the other customers will get the sugar-coated poke that there's no such thing as "free" delivery and installation. Its either included in the price, or its not.

I am glad I had some "cultivation or training". Although I was caught off guard by this sudden outburst, I simply smiled at him.

Seeing I did not "bite", the old man continued his tirade against me and threatening to complain to management.

I continued smiling at him with full eye contact (its an animal and man thing). No malice, no anger, no condescending pity on him.

It was actually a sorrowful sight.

I imagined he could be a gang leader or someone important in his prime in the 1970s or 80s...

But now... Not in the best of health, wearing all that gold to "mask" his current lack of means... If money was not a problem, why get so worked up on a home appliance that only costs $300? 

Since I've been on the receiving end of patronising smiles before, I made sure my smile is the "stand tall I wish you well" variety - not the "I pity you" kind. 

For that would have made the situation worse.

The old man lumbered out of the showroom mumbling to himself...

It takes 2 hands to clap.

Monday 3 July 2017

What will you do AFTER retirement?

People who ask such questions are frequently the same person who use "work" to avoid the unpleasant task of figuring out the reason why they get up in the morining (ikigai).

Its not "work" - if you enjoy what you do.

Why stop if its stil fun and giving you a sense of purpose and self actuallisation satisfaction?

Perhaps that's why Warren Buffett, Li Ka-shin, Lao Lee, never retired?

Eh, don't say Li Ka-shin will be retiring next year. "Retiring" at age 90 is not retirement OK?

No need to look up.

Just look around you.

Can you spot some plain vanilla seniors in their 70s and 80s loving what they do so much they still continue to do what they like despite the paycuts and job title demotions?

They are definitely not working because they "have to"; or using "work" as the perfect tool of denial (too busy to think mah!) that they haven't figure out why they get up in the moring...

You know why corporations have grey grey fuzzy fuzzy Visions and Misson Statements before more concrete and SMART business goals?

Concrete goal setting is like climbing a ladder - the rungs representing the various milestones before you reach the top of the ladder.

However, shit happens when you discover at the top and after reaching your goal, that your ladder has been leaning against the wrong wall...


Maybe that's why we have mid-life crisis?

Some woke up one morning and realised they no longer wish to spend the rest of their lives with the woman or man sleeping next to them...

Some found out the same job that nourished and inspired them yesterday no longer motivates...

Want to have a bit of fun learning to read people?

Next time you see friends or bloggers with manifestos to be financially free by age 35, see if you can spot those who are trying to "escape", and who are seeking to "achieve"?

Tip: Those who seek to "achieve" are the ones who have figured out which wall to lean their ladder against first ;)

P.S.  If you need a listening ear to your ikigai questions, just jio me out for kopi.

As a man-whore, professional ethics dictate I won't spill the beans on you. Who dares go to a prostitute who sleep and tell on clients?

Many have asked precision questions like how much money they need to retire...

How many will spend time figuring out why they get up in the morning in the first place?

Any people wonder why after achieving their goals, and having loads of money, still do not make them happy...

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