Friday 29 December 2017

Me? Top 100 Singapore Blogger?

Of course I don't believe!

Received an email today from some "foreign" website congratulating me they have selected me as one of Singapore's Top 100 bloggers!?

Even so kind as to allow me to display their "free" gold medal award on my blog.

I did a quick "trust but verify" check on the rest of the so called Top 100 blogs in Singapore.

The bleeding heart, the fisherman, and the butterfly blogs all not there. And Xiaxue not there too?


How credible are the rankings?

Lucky I'm already as shallow as piss on the sidewalk. So no need ego inflating devices from questionable sources. Inflated piss smells even more!

I not IT savvy. Wait the copy-and-paste "gold medal" is a Trojan Horse how?

Even if "real", would you go round telling the world you got "conferred" an honourary degree from a degree mill? (Evidently some bloggers do)

I mean if its from NUS or NTU, then that's something else! 

Hello! I snake oil remember?

The "foreign" website trying to press my "ego" and "vanity" buttons.

Good try. 

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Ode To Joy

Sunday 24 December 2017

Where's my 7 year itch?

Another Christmas eve, another me 7 years back:

12 months to financial freedom

I were still in Athens, Greece then.

Now I've been back Singapore for 6 years now...

For most married couples, 7 years would be about time for some "do but don't get caught" clandestine shenanigans!

Surprisingly, I haven't got the itch yet? Hey!

Animals to this watering hole have come and gone. Some come for a visit and then disappear for months and even years... Then pop by again to disappear once again. But they've left a deep impression on me.

Some have stayed from the beginning. They are part of the wacky charm and silliness here. And yes, many readers come here to read their comments more than my blog posts...

There is dialogue here.

During these 7 years, my blogging style has changed and evolved.

From sugar-coated story telling (still pokes) to more in your face "what were you thinking" frying pan to the head pokes.

This is like real life mah!

New friends, new colleagues, new neighbours - we super friendly and fake polite.

When we can poke and "suan" people we've known for quite a while, we know its a deeper and more real relationship - on equal footing. The gloves and masks are off!

I've realised I can talk about anything under the sun. Blogging is a lot easier if you are "rojak"!

And when we don't take ourselves too seriously. I'm not an authority of anything; and no one died and made me Indian Chief!

I also don't spend hours to research and aggregate that sort of thing. Write a summary on a summary on a summary?

I write off the cuff from memory in one flow. I'm not a perfectionist. I'm more "agar agar can oredi". And this lack of "care" shows...

Thank goodness I have readers smarter and more knowledgeable than me that practice "trust but verify", and more importantly, they do point out my mistakes:

Eh! Wrong poet lah! Its Du Fu, not Li Bai!

You mixed up the South Sea bubble with the Tulip bubble leh...

Hello! Your cheena cannot make it! 小时后 and 小时侯 not the same!

If you've played competitive sports before, you'll know we can't improve our game if we only play with weaker players. Wink.

There are some serious dragons at this watering hole here!

The secret for my "longevity" in blogging?

Having fun!

And I hope you had fun too!

Thursday 21 December 2017

How you know you no longer Bei Kambing?

In Singapore's context, most people will immediately think of certifications, diplomas, awards, etc.

My tavern master recent wrote this interesting reflection:

"Learning the different roads and how to drive from one place to another is like learning a language. If your family do not have a car when you are a child, you can learn to drive in your adulthood, but you will never be able to know how to go from A to B without a GPS."

The words jump right out to me.

We can read his statement on 2 levels.

Less start with the easier one. How to know you no longer a bei kambing?

If you have ever bought furniture from IKEA for the first time, what you do? Read the assembly instructions word for word, line by line right, picture by picture. No?

Even so, you may still give up trying to assemble IKEA furniture yourself! You can't understand the cartoon instructions!!! You pay someone to do it. The assemblers came and put everything together without taking a single glance at the assembly instructions right?

Same with your ah ma who cooks. Can you remember the last time she looked at a recipe book? Even when watching cooking shows on TV, if she sees an new recipe or new cooking procedure, she doesn't rush to write down the recipe flashed on TV right? Ah ma will experiment it on her own and come out with her own interpretation. She makes the new recipe her own!

Yup. This is easy. You know you no longer a bei kambing in whatever task you do when you don't need "for idiots and dummies" GPS support. Wink.

Before you want to argue back, ask yourself how Master of the Universe you feel when a machine tells you to turn right, you turn right? Good boy! Well done! Pat on the head. Woof, woof!

LP is probably smiling as he knew where I'm going next.

Same applies for those who can read between the lines, or 听弦外之音。

That's the reason why "enlightened" parents expose their children early to soft skills (grey and fuzzy) that may have more impact to their future happiness than academic or technical skills (precision up to 2 decimal places).

These soft skills are more intuitive when its part of "play and fun"; less effective if they were for a SMART goal... How the hell you measure happiness!?

For eg, everyone knows children can pickup new languages super fast. Without taking proper lessons some more! They just pick it up on the playground!?

Just look how you envy your colleagues when they can speak a third or fouth language during that business trip to Europe? Yeah, you boss took notice too.

How about drama and dance? If one has no problem acting, singing, and dancing on stage, do you think you child will have a problem with public speaking as an adult? Or making presentations to boss and clients?

On MRT rides, I often like to spot which women had ballet lessons from the way they sit or stand on the train. Elegance and grace.

Same goes with love for reading. If the child reads because he enjoys reading, it will extend to adulthood. Those who track and record how many books they've read in a month or year... How sustainable is it when the focus is on achieving the (meaningless) goal than deriving pleasure from reading?

Then there's appreciation of the Arts and Culture. Of course there the when Limpeh gets rich Limpeh can "buy" Art and Culture nouveau riche way; and there's the smile on our faces when we discover our dates for the evening were not brought up in a cultural desert.

And of course sports! OK, not everyone can be captain of the football or basketball team. Even if we don't talk about out early exposure to leadership skills, there's this thing called getting along and working in a team. I've noticed quite a lot of grown ups have this difficulty... (Those seeking financial freedom to quit?)

If you are reading and taking courses on how to improve EQ as an adult, I think you are missing the point. Its like taking courses on entrepreneurship...

Then its back to the recent discussion about whether trading and investing can be taught?

Of course can! Just like the GPS, people tell you to turn left, you turn left. Easy! But whether having a GPS will make you a competent driver? Hmm...

Let's see how many years of driving before LP will share with us in his annual reflections that he no longer has any need for the GPS!

On this note. I'll put down my naughty pen.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

P.S. I think I'll take the opportunity to share with newer readers that quite a few veteran bloggers who started blogging 5 years or more ago were spin-offs from having begun as regualr readers at LP's tavern.

I drink water never forget source one OK?

Any yes, I started from "stealing with pride" too!

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Chasing Other People's Dreams

Saturday 16 December 2017

Now this is Real Savings!

This is not about being miserly, or taking frugality to the extreme.

Its about whether you are conscious of the various Jedi mind tricks others are using on you.

If you interested to learn more, free go to the library and borrow a book on Consumer Behaviour.

Don't say I "bo jio'!

By the way, it also works if you want to learn what buttons to press to get others to work quicker, faster, and cheaper for you!

And yes, can help in your investing and trading too!  This one you have to figure it out yourself how.

Ar ber then?

Thursday 14 December 2017

You Think You Know The Fundamentals and Technicals?

When you look at the Sun in the sky, do you know that's the image of the Sun 8 minutes 20 seconds ago?

You may think you are looking at the Sun; you are not.

Talk about looking at illusions. Wink.

When you use fundamental analysis, are you not driving using the rear view mirror?

Unless you tell me you have access to the annual reports for 2018 up till 2048 now?

Same for those of you who prefer the voodoo art of technical analysis. All those beautiful chart patterns and indicators, are they not a snapshot of what has already happened?

(Those who trade Price Action, I bow in reverence to you. Can't poke you. You trade the here and now.)

Now you know why when prices go up, everyone is an "expert" on that stock they owned. Go round telling their friends and families to own it. Look! Its a no brainer!

Talk and behave like sell side analysts, full of conviction with your recommendations.

But when the same stock suddenly turns south... 

Some jump all over the place searching for answers like headless chickens.

Some get frozen with inaction like a deer caught under the headlights of a car.

Investing and trading is a lot like Zen.

The more I know, the more I realise I don't know. 

Monday 11 December 2017

That's why girls are drawn to men with talent

Thursday 7 December 2017

Useless Financial Life Hacks

Tired of boiling water everytime you want instant noodles?

Boil a large amount in the beginning of the week and freeze them for later use!

Can you think of similar useless financial life hacks?

Can't thnk of any?

Can I steer you towards credit cards?

Yes, you spot them now...

Cashback and frequent flyer miles...

Its the equivalent of saying I've paid $300 for my electricity bills, but look! My aircon usage is totally "free"!

Monday 4 December 2017

The Ability To Read Patterns

Have you read in the papers several years back where some new cases of Dengue Fevers were not diagnosed by some younger doctors?

Experienced doctors are usually the ones who will report to Ministry of Health if they spot patterns of unusually high cases of Dengue Fevers that require a co-ordinated response to root out the breeding grounds...

Similarly, those medical professionals who have experience working with SARs would have the muscle memory burned into them.

Next time if Singapore is once again faced with an "unknown" highly infectious disease, these medical professionals would ensure they protect themselves and their medical staff first. 

If these brave doctors and nurses fall ill themselves, who are left to treat the sick?

For those who've never experienced a car accident or air turbulence before, you would think putting our seat belts on in the car and during our flights is such an hassle... 

"Investors" who started their investing journeys after 2009 would know only one pattern - higher highs, higher lows.

To those of us who have lived through past patterns where markets do decline by -50%, we can't beat youth who don't know what cannot be done. 

We practice Risk Management. 

How do you practice portfolio re-balancing when both equities and bonds are in a bull market?

To youths who have studied business finance, portfolio management, and risk management in polytechnics and universities, have you gone back to ask your lecturers and professors what they've taught you is not reality today? 

Do they still teach when equities go down, bonds in general will go up? 

I'm a student of hedge funds, and yes, I practice the sincerest form of flattery - mimicy.

Its extremely humbling to see quite a few greats in the industry decide to return money back to their investors and retire from the industry. Well not really. They are investing/trading for themselves now.

Better to quit when they are still ahead and avoid the fate of those who have blown-up quite spectacularly! 

All of them have one thing in common - they have made lots of money for themselves and their clients prior to 2008; after 2009, their past strategies don't seem to work anymore...

But then, those of you who started your journeys after 2009 wouldn't care or know. 

And you don't use seat belts anyway.

Those of us who have experienced several bull/bear cycles and thus more "sensitive" to changing patterns, we are the ones who will probably take care of ourselves and our love ones first, before taking care of anonymous people we don't know.

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