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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

So what questions to ask, smart ass?

This is a stand alone post, but readers may want to read my previous post, especially the comments section for context and perspective.

Let's say you have done your research and have some experience with buying TVs in the past. You're not a white piece of paper.

You know LED TV is a specific type of LCD TV; both are using the same LCD technology - just the light source is different. So you won't be the "bei kambing" who thinks LED and LCD TVs are using different technologies.

So how to you test whether the salesperson serving you is competent to offer your "advice"?

Contrast "Which brand is most popular?" with "What's the main difference between QLED and OLED versus plain vanilla LED TVs? 

For salespersons out there, when we meet aficionado customers, we can talk shop for hours! Buy don't buy never mind right? 

Closing "bei kambings" is good for the pocket, and downright patronising as we would talk down to customers with, "Don't worry... I assure you... Trust me... This one good for you..."

But if every customer like that we would go crazy!

Even snake oils need to be intellectually stimulated. Everyday serve gullible customers who can "tahan?"

For stock investing, imagine if you get questions like:

"What catalysts do you see for this stock X to get re-rated?"

"Do you share the same opinion the the Oil and Gas sector is currently bottoming out?"

For the person asking, how the question is answered can reveal a lot whether the person answering got "substance" or not. Wink.

But you can only tell if you yourself got "substance" too. Double wink wink.

That's why if you are a white piece of paper or bei kambing, whatever people say, you'll believe!

When things go wrong, you blame others.

You don't reflect why you buy shoes you ask others what shoe size you should buy?


  1. Why some people order shoe online?

    Can return them after trying at home. Free and easy. Time has changed.

    1. CW,

      What has ordering online got to do with asking others what shoe size they should buy?

      And your point is...

    2. Same size as any others and then trying fixing size to our foot. Nothing to lose.

    3. CW,

      Ah! This is what you meant!

      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery :)

      We all started out like that.

      When we learn to sing, we try to imitate our favourite singers. If we are good, we can even get into singing competitions in the early rounds ;)

      Just look at American Idols. The judges will criticise the very contestants that they have put through in the early rounds for singing "karaoke"...

      To get into the final rounds, the judges do not want Mariah Carey sound-a-likes... They encourage and require the contestants to sing a song in their "own way". Make the song their own!

      That's why when we get to the final rounds of American Idols, we'll never hear a song sung with the "original" musical arrangement ;)

      Again, we may disagree on form, but in essence, we are boringly in agreement again :(


  2. Ya I initially tot LED TVs were like the LED watches of the 1970s, until I saw that black areas of screen pictures were not completely black...

    OLED is different from LED/QLED though, and more like those ancient LED watches in principle.

    Unfortunately since wifey & I are not TV/movie buffs -- don't need ultra 8K or top-end contrast to see dental work or manicure of wonder woman or individual thread texture of superman's leotard. Also we're not into video games or FPS (input lag, response times... what's that??)

    I still use a 15-yr old no-brand 20" LCD TV in my study to watch streamed movies once a while. Not bad for something probably made in a dingy Shenzhen factory by migrant farmers at the turn of the century!

    1. Spur,

      Sometimes its better to be one generation behind when it comes to electronics if we have no desire to be early adopters ;)

      OLED is so paper thin and the black is so gorgeous! Wow! But then, the price is also very pretty too!

      I still have my 12 year old 17" LCD PC monitor bought for $800 then. At that time, that was considered "cheap" ever since the price fell below the $1000 barrier...

      Its still working with an orange cast (the CCFL tubes aging liao). I just use it as a spare monitor for "sepia tone" charting for that nostalgic look. LOL!

      Now for $800, I can buy a 27" 4K PC monitor! Maybe next time when I moved into my new flat? I can turn this 27" 4K monitor into 4 x 13.3" HD monitors for charting?

      Or maybe I should get the 32" or 43" versions? Hmm...

      Nah! I not really into electronic toys.

      I'm more into wine, women, and song :)

  3. I'm the beikambing who duno what is beikambing

    1. ERSG,

      Its OK.

      The younger generation weaker in dialects and old school singlish.

      Then again, I sometimes don't understand the new lingo used by Singapore millennials too.

      I still remember I had to ask a young blogger what does XMM means... Bloody hell, its Xiao Mei Mei!?


      P.S. In case you wondering, "bei" is white in Hokkien; "kambing" is Malay for mutton as in "kambing soup".

      Put them together we have Little Red Riding Hood's little white lamb. So innocent and naive. See big bad wolf also can't recognise :)

    2. Ahhhh.
      I understand hokkien.
      And kambing.
      But never heard of beikambing.
      So I didn't relate the Bei=white.
      LOL. Now it makes better sense . Hahaha

    3. ERSG,

      Its used in social political forums to poke fun at blur sotong sinkies.

      I'm the one who brought it over here to our financial community; crossover between DC and Marvel universes mah...


  4. Absolutely think that the right question to ask is more important than the right answer. Often times, just by asking the right questions, you would have already answered the question yourself...

    1. Macroanalyst,

      Hey! The real McCoy is here :)

      Oh well, now everyone can see I'm the court jester, who struts and frets his time at this watering hole, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing...

      Lucky I got prefix my self appointed hedge fund manager with "nano". If not it would be so embarassing now.

      I'm the fake Rolax, Dunbill, and Cartiar ;)

    2. Hey, dun be so modest. Anyone that dares to put the bulk of their own money at risk in the market and survives for many years across market cycles deserves the right to write a blog.

    3. Macroanalyst,

      You're too kind :)

      Ya hor. Maybe I've no glory success to share, but blood, sweat, and tears I've got plenty!


  5. Yes!

    If U can ask the right question, U already have done your reserch.

    1. temperament,

      Now that's a refreshing change in attitude!?

      Eh! Don't think you be nice to me I'll forget...

      You still owe me 10 cups of coffee!

    2. Ha! Ha!

      Keep it up.

      Trying to use "Iron teeth" on me?

  6. Hi Jared,

    Times have changed. Ask salesman but scared they try to sell you those that gives the highest commission but lousy quality. Most salesman don't know their stuff so it's great to see you doing well.

    Even if people research online to check reviews, how true are the reviews and celebrity endorsements.... Hmmm. Scams are everywhere, haha!

    1. Jes,

      Yes and no.

      Those salespersons that don't know anything are recruited by companies that pay peanuts... Low end segment.

      For those big ticket retail segments, we still get the best of the best when top salespersons can earn up to $8K per month ;)

      Competent ones typically can earn around $4-5K, while "average" ones earn $2.5 to $3K (I suspect these are the ones you met)...

      When I were selling furniture at IMM, I was earning much more than most graduates; and that's indoor retail sales only!

      Sales and entrepreneurship are two of the best avenues for people like me with no paper qualifications to EARN more.

      Hence my bias with EARN more over SAVE more ;)

      You are braver. You have jumped into the sea of entrepreneurship!!!

      Don't get me started on social media, forums, chat groups, blogs, etc...

      You sales, I sales.

      We can tell when someone is speaking from "vested interest" mode; but to "bei kambings", well, lucky just wool and milk.

      Unlucky, they become meat on the table...

  7. Hi SMOL,

    ....and I just came across a post that compiles the top holdings of the top financial bloggers.

    Comfort and assurance in having the same counters as top bloggers, eh?

    Sometimes, I wonder is there plenty of group think in this community? Once in a while, you can observe a flurry of posts from different bloggers initiating a position in a particular counter. Hmmm....

    1. Using same Method or Metrics so they arrive at the same group of stocks or that few stocks?

    2. Unintelligent Nerd and CW,

      I was going to say that's the dumbest idea until I remembered I used to track the Top 10 holdings of Mutual and Hedge Funds too...

      Well, at least I not so "malu". I know the difference between institutional and retail investors ;)

      For eg, I rather follow Warren Buffett than his ex daughter-in-law... Evidently some can't tell the difference!?

      I've since stopped BLINDLY following the Top 10 holdings of the pros. Although I do "glance" at them sometimes.

      I take counsel in what some of the top minds in the industry have to say, always listening to BOTH sides of the argument.

      At the end of the day, I must generate my own investment thesis and trading ideas.

      If not, what's the point of DIY again?


      Honestly. If one is not interested in the craft of investing, wouldn't outsourcing investing to professional money managers be better if you believe in active management, or putting your money with low cost index funds if you believe in the passive path.

      Either of the above would make much better sense than following the top holdings of financial bloggers.


    3. Every time when I see someone happily posing with Warren Buffett 's ex daughter-in-law during value investing courses promotional events associating with her with value investing. She got XX% CAGR over XX yrs meh? My google search for Gurus investment records never show up. Strange!

      Knowing the difference require investing brain to be running on good engine.

    4. CW,

      We are not very "politically correct" aren't we?

      I guess once we are coming down the mountain, we can call a spade a spade!

      Those climbing up the mountain themselves will shout must invest or else!

      And do the Joan of Arc thing, "If you believe me follow me!"

      Looking at the battle scars on my body and the corpses along the path, I wouldn't dare do that.

      I ownself stupid can already. No need to drag friends and family members down with me :(

      Investing is not saving.

    5. I know who you are talking about and for a simple reason you no list that blog on the right side bar. LOL.

      You like that no good leh. Open new category call 'The Proxy Pro Forma' mah.

      Oh, wanna wish you Happy Birthday! We now in different age bracket le lor. :P


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