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Sunday, 21 October 2018

Preaching to the Choir Boys

Yes, I know... Another rerun of an old topic...

Preaching to the choir boys on CPF top-ups


If TV stations can do it, so can I! LOL!

We all live in our little bubbles.

Some larger, some smaller. 

We live happily ever after... 

That's until some evangelist or influencer tries to crossover his bubble into ours, and tell us his way is better!?

For us in our little financial freedom bubble, everything seems so "natural"! So logical! 

Got good news must spread to everyone! 

Hey! What's wrong with self-appointing oueselves as the next Indian Chief Messiah?

Look! I can't be wrong! I have so many followers! And they all "yalor, yalor" to what I say!

Eh... How many of the 12 apostles get to die of old age? 

Then there are some personality traits or behaviours that are not socially welcomed in the real world:

Greed, avarice, rapacity on one end; miserly, niggardly, and parsimonious on the other end (yes, I'm showing off my england).

Put on the euphemism mask of Financial Freedom, we are finally accepted inside here! We find our kindred spirits! Black attracts black! Even soot!

This "lie" only works if we stay INSIDE the bubble. Gilded cage anyone? 

Ironic isn't it?

Considering we put finanical "freedom" on our lips all the time... So much for "conditional" freedom...

I'll give 3 examples of opposite spectrums to show how others may view us:

1)  The entrepreneurs

Guess what they would be interested in? Networking, public speaking skills, art of motivating others, how to attract funding; leadership, vision; etc?

When we talk about leaving a legacy behind... How does ours compared to theirs?

Theirs is about leaving their names on buildings!

They make their money by selling; we try to make money by buying. Pause and think about it for a moment.  

2)  The tree-huggers and save the animal people

Try telling these do-gooders who gave up promising careers for $2-3K per month to focus on Financial Independence Retire Early!

You'll feel so red-faced and awkward. 

Especially when all you have to show is: Open mouth money... Close mouth money... Go to sleep dream of money...

3)  The religious people

You pray they don't preach to us happy already! You want to "influence" them to focus on this current life?

Their focus is on the hereafter. 

They'll probably look on us with pitiful eyes as avarice is one of the 7 sins and clinging on to material stuffs is what brings unhappiness...  (Don't lie that save more is not clinging to cash/money)

I guess the only religious people that would embrace us would be the Prosperity Gospel converts!?

And that's not saying much...


We are not any better

Just take the recent Suzie Orman comment she dislike the FIRE movement. 

See how some of us behaved?

We are a community of snakes and dragons.

There you go!

If you got any ambitions to crossover to other people's bubbles, be prepare to spill some of your own blood... 

Unless you think you can do better than the 12 apostles.

Who knows?

You may be the next Kong Hee!


Thursday, 18 October 2018

Anyone and Everyone Can Have a 10 Bagger! Bao Jiak One!

I guarantee it!



Start with $10K. 

Put it under your mattress or biscuit tin.

Every year add the same $10K amount to it.

Wah lah!

10 years later, you can have bragging rights on how you've turned your "investment" portfolio into a 10 bagger!

If cannot earn and save $10K per year, no worries!

Can reduce the bar to $1K per year!

We are counting in percentages remember? 

So any amount also can. Even $1 per year!!!

I don’t want percentages; I want money!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Singapore Best Place to Work and Live for Expats

We lucky or what?

Talk about blind cat catching dead mice!

The Best Countries to Work and Live in - And to Boost Your Salary

Not easy to get Singaporeans to move overseas right? Not when we are already so well paid...

Funny how those who are hungrier and more ambitious are eager to come and work here, yet we have Singaporeans eager to stop work ASAP!?

I'll take this as good news?

Especially those who owned rental/investment properties or shares in companies that profit from population growth in Singapore.

I mean even if we are not "investors", can't be good for Singapore if nobody wants to work in Singapore right?

If maids find they can earn more in neighbouring cities other than Singapore, that's probably when our graduates have to move overseas to find better paying jobs?


Saturday, 13 October 2018

Take Risks

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Free Trade - The Utility and Limitations of Stop Orders

When I enter into a trade, once the order is filled, I immediately enter my stop loss order into my trading platform.

Yes, its mechanical and not a mental stop; I don't trust myself. 

Then I can go walk here, walk there!

Hello, the currency market is near 24 hours. How to stare at the screen all the time? I need my beauty sleep OK?

What happens next is either I'll be stopped-out at a pre-determined $ amount I can afford to lose, or this trade has become "in the money".

If its the latter, nothing is more satisfying than moving my stop to my entry price plus 2 pips/ticks to cover my transaction costs.

Now I have a "free" trading position!

That's the best risk/reward or what?

If market continues to move in my favour, I'll make more.

If market suddenly turns against me, I can get out without a scratch!

The only way for me to lose money is when the market has a big gap move. It can and has happened.  Mercifully, I wasn't in that EUR/CHF massacre some time back.

That's when many discovered stop orders can't protect us on big gap days :(

When enough clients go bankrupt, brokers went bankrupt too.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Friend and Bullshit

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Everyone wears masks

East, west, we all same same.

Below is how we present ourselves to the world.

Only young children don't wear masks; they have not learned how not to say what we really feel, what not to say in public, and the art of hollywood in the workplace!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

What happened to your Bucket List?

Everything is about cycles and fashion right?

Once upon a time, it was "fashionable" to have a Bucket List. Just like the FIRE goals many parrots are now mimicking...

Others have you don't have, cannot!

For those old enough to remember Bucket Lists and used to have one, well, what happened?

Forgotten about them right?

They are there somewhere collecting dusts...

And to think once upon a time, the items on your Bucket List were so "meaningful" to you that you must cross them out before you die! 

Would you believe your own self next time you feel like having a goal or a plan?

Oh! Want to bet 10 years from now anyone would mention about FIRE goals? 

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Updated: Size does matter for income plays!

I would like to update this old post with new information:

Size does matter for income plays!

What if you don't even have the minimum $500K?



Brokers give 2 to 3 times leverage - now $200K enough oredi! Just like that, you can be financially free too!

No $200K?

Save more?


It will take you 10 years to save $200K? Can't wait that long... You want to retire at 35. Don't like and don't want...


How about Earn more?

What now?

Too hard and difficult? Anything easier?

OK, I know just the solution for you!

Try Toto.

Or marry rich!

Thursday, 27 September 2018













Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Pseudo Farmers, Monks, and Warriors


Look around you. You must know rich and successful people whose wealth or career positions are not "earned" by them. 

Its the ususal. They got there through their parents, siblings, children, in-laws, or lovers.  And some say paper qualifications too...

When we complain about our bosses and managers, we are talking about these "farmers" right?

Think about it for a moment. When was the last time you complained about the warriors in your company for being indecisive, no clue where they going, or  don't have a vision to lead the team?

Envy and jealous maybe. 

But not the reasons you complaining about "mediocre" bosses and managers right?


I used to work for the stingiest person I've known. Yet, he is also one of the richest man in the world. He is so rich he no need to list any of his stable of companies.

Now that's being true to his character! 

If his companies make so much money, why "share" future profits and dividends with strangers and freeloaders you don't know through an IPO!?

He got to where he is by building up one of the biggest home furnishings empire out there.

I'll let you decide whether its through earn more or save more. Wink.


Its a bit too easy or simplistic to assume someone is a warrior just because they do well in their corporate careers or brave enough to jump into the sea of entrepreneurship.

This is like chosing someone in his 40s that's already financially stable and with established career or business as a marriage partner. That's like buying blue-chip companies. How difficult is that?

The challenge is having the guts to marry that 20 something dirt poor idiot with nothing but a dream who may or may not turn out to be that fabled 10 bagger warrior in the future! 

Look at our childhood friends, classmates, NS comrades, and working colleagues. We know it intuitively.

There are some who think, act, and talk differently from the rest of us. Years later, when we hear they have become captains of their industries, or have built their own successful companies, we are not surprised right?

Yup, that's the yardstick by how we tell.

Now look into the mirror.

And compare with "self-professed" warriors out there.

I don't listen to what people say (any idiot can do it); I listen to what they do.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Peace be with you - Dawn Gan 顏黎明

Below is my favourite song of her's.

For those of you who grew up in the 80s like me, here's my favourite Xinyao song and a trip down memory lane...

Remember non-aircon buses? And the era before handphones and Wifi?

We've come a long way...

Least we forget. 

I am getting old. I'm nostalgic nowadays.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Taxi driver who drives because he wants to

Nowadays, I often chit-chat with taxi drivers.

Just the other week, I had the pleasure of meeting this 60 plus taxi uncle who had a cheerful outlook on life. And it showed in his body language and voice!

I hate to take taxis around 5-6 pm in the evenings. A lot of taxis will be changing shifts.

Was telling this taxi uncle how lucky I am to have flagged his taxi. No shift change sign on the windscreen!

He laughed. 

Turned out, he don't have to change shift; he has no need for a relief driver to share the rental costs of the taxi. 

Curious, I asked can survive like that meh? 

I told him most other taxi drivers I met were always complaining how hard it is to make a living... Costs high, and competition from Grab not helping...

What I've learned from this encounter is another real life example where we don't need to take up "investing" to be financially free in Singapore.

This taxi uncle told me he had "enough". 

Children all grown up with their own families.

His HDB flat fully paid for. 

No debts.

By driving 14 hours a day (instead of the normal 12 hours shift if he had a relief driver), what he makes is more than enough to cover his daily expenses.

He is happy.

I know some of you reading here may "feel sorry" for his 14-hour work day. Not so fast!

This taxi uncle loves to drive. He enjoys it so much that he drives 6 days a week; 52 weeks a year!

He revealed he can't sit at home and do nothing; or watch TV. 

Don't like to travel either. He can't stand those vacations he had taken in the past. To him, any vacation more than 3 days long will be a "torture". 

Driving a taxi gives him purpose.

I sat there nodding with a knowing smile on my face.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Knowing when to move on...

Thursday, 13 September 2018

宜家, 可口可乐, 蓝叫

Some brands when translated from English to Chinese are excellent! 

A bit of luck and loads of belly ink ;)

For example:

1)  IKEA - 宜家

It comes from 宜室宜家。Which means harmonious home and family. Excellent when buying furniture right?

2)  Coca-Cola - 可口可乐

Chinese characters that primary school kids can read and remember. Simple yet super effective! How not to associate drinking coke with sweetness and pleasure? 

Yes, I'm a coke guy ;)

3)  Then we have this...

This is crass.

I mean those in my generation would remember Nissan's Bluebird. That's an inside joke between Hokkiens and Teochews when we spot others riding this car. But that's totally unintended by the company. 

From the copywriting, the above idiot company knew what the chinese characters meant. Yup. the company is from Xiamen, Fujian.

White hat; black hat

There are snake oils, then there are snake oils...



Monday, 10 September 2018

When to Save More; when to Earn More

Simple primary school math.

If a person "only" needs $50K per year to be financially free, then all he/she needs is to save $50K per year for 20 years. One million dollars invested with "conservative" 5% yield will provide $50K for life! 

(Don't too serious. Pretend pretend as example only. Of course life is not a straight line extrapolation!)

Start work at 25? Then can retire early at 45! Easy peasy! Just through save more only!!!

But if married and husband or wife stay at home never work (you did choose him/her remember?), then we either have to save $100K for 20 years or $50K for 40 years.

Start work at 25, retire financially free at 65 by saving $50K per year. Just nice can collect "bonus" CPF Life payouts too! (See? Life is good if CPF is a smaller portion of our networth!)

Again, just through save more only! Look! Anyone and everyone can do it!!!

That's until the rubber hits the road...

When you realise you earn less than $100K per year...

Those who earn more than $100K per year can focus on save more.

Earn less than $100K per year?

Perhaps that's why so many are willing to pay thousands of dollars for workshops and courses to learn how to EARN MORE!?

Those who pay to learn how to save more I don't know what to say... Can't figure things out for themselves?

Now you know why even at 80 or 90 years young, so many HDB heartlanders still queue to buy Toto!

Trust but verify

Just look at your relatives, neighbours, classmates who were not so well off when you were young, but have now became much wealthier than you...

How did they do it?

1)   Doing sales with high commissions or corportate careers that give big bonuses when they achieve (institutional traders, investment bankers, jobs with abcs as titles like CEOs, CFOs, COOs; etc)?

2)   Being their own boss by starting their own businesses?

3)   Marry rich or marry lucky as in the husband or wife dirt poor when marry, but later became examples 1 or 2 above? 

4)   Made serious money through speculation in properties or equities?

5)   Struck Toto or Big Sweep? I think this can put in same category as marry lucky?

6)   Of course I've not forgotten this last one. Study hard to become doctors or lawyers? 

When we say we got "lucky" in financial matters, do we associate it with earn more or save more?

Does anyone know of anyone, any company, or any country that achieved prosperity through austerity?

I know what you going to say. 

You've read stories of people frugal frugal saved $1 million dollars in 10 years and became financially free at age 35.

Friend, using 100% savings rate (you parasite on parents), to save $1 million in 10 years, you have to earn how much a year?

Your mom dropped you when you were a baby right?

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Buy Term and Invest The Rest? Aspirational or Competence?

We often hear this being parroted:

Buy term (insurance policies) and invest the rest.

Is what you say backed up by competence as in actual track record of "earning more" in your investments?

Or is it just another "aspirational" statement like that "every school is a good school"?

If all you did is to voluntarily contribute to CPF, and/or transfer money from CPF OA to SA, eh... How is it any different from buying Wholelife and Endowment policies? Isn't it same same? A kind of "forced savings"?

(Snake oils out there, don't say I never support you people. Recognise me in the streets remember to buy me coffee OK?)

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with what doing you. However, if you like to "Indian Chief" your financially clueless, but happily living in the present friends, better pray they don't get serious and do a "trust but verify" act on you!

Face is what others give you; embarrassment is what you bring onto yourself.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Bad Handwriting

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Britain's 99-year leasehold on Hong Kong

OK, to be precise, only the New Territories was leased to Britain for 99 years in 1898.

Both the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Penisula were ceded (freehold) to Britain in 1842 and 1860 respectively.

Would you for one minute shed a tear for Britain who, for more than a century, had invested and developed Hong Kong to what  it is today; suddenly find themselves with an asset that has ZERO value once its returned to China in 1997?

And to think Britain had invested in big scale infrastructure projects like MTR, the new Hong Kong International Aiport at Chek Lap Kok Island, and that wonderful connecting airport express rail!

Ya hor! Its like doing a major renovation om your 99-year HDB flat when the lease is expiring soon in less than 20 years!?

Don't you worry. India was once upon a time the crown jewel in the British Empire. That's a sugar-coated way to say the wealth and splendor of London was built from the wealth transfer from India to Britain.

Make a wild guess when those mega infrastructure projects in Hong Kong were awarded, which companies got the tenders? 

Want to bet whether China was concerned when Britain early don't build, late don't bulid, all of sudden decide to build the new airport to be completed only in 1998? Wink.

99 years is a long time. How much wealth (value) we extract from our 99-year leases is only limited to our imagination and creativity.

If we do nothing and sit on our asses for 99 years, who to blame if we got nothing in return?

From an investing perspective, if you can't figure out how to profit from 99-year leases, you may want to stay clear of stocks dealing with toll road concessions, port concessions, mining and logging concessions, oil and gas exploration concessions; etc... 

Drum roll please.

And especially REITs!

Tell me how many of their properties are freehold?

So you not concerned one day the "assets" that are on leasehold will revert to ZERO?


Eh your head!

If you are only superficially financially literate, please don't jio others to follow you. 

Like what we like to say in Army, "Smart can oredi; don't act smart!"

P.S.  Some of you may want to think for a moment why Britain "had to" return Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Penisula when they are essentialy "freehold"?

Yah, its written black and white clearly they were CEDED to Britain by... who? The Qing dynasty!

I'll leave you alone to figure out the implications even when you have a freehold property, and what happens when you rely on promises made by people who are no longer around when its your time to collect. Wink.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

How to know you are "trying too hard" or "doing it wrong" when it comes to investing?

Exercise is good for the body and mind.

But overdoing it may lead to sports injuries and other complications...

Also, a little knowledge may do more harm to the body than good. Have you seen those "clueless" joggers running along the main roads during peak traffic rush hour in the evenings?

Then there are exercise myths like believing in false prophets... 

No, exercise won't grant you immunity against cancer, strokes, or heart attacks. Just talk to your doctor. But no... You rather believe in your (vested interest) exercise guru. You'll live forever and ever! Your exercise guru said so!

here are also those who mixed-up anaerobic with aerobic exercises, or have no clue between the two!

If you want to bulk up to look like the incredible Hulk, will climbing stairs or jogging help?

Similarly, if you want to lose fat fast and not wait 10 years to see the result, high-instensity intermittent exercise would be a better bet than doing Tai-Chi, no?

Exercise can bring pain. Pleasurable pain. Just like those we experienced behind close doors. Often, after a good workout, it'll lead us to a good night's sleep.

But something is not right if the pain just won't go away... Or the more we exercise, the more we can't sleep at night...

Idiot! Click-bait! 

When will I start talking about investing?

Friday, 24 August 2018




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