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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!



T
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

人过半百



人过半百知天命


月到中天分外明









Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The biggest difference between 99-year leasehold HDB flats versus private properties


You don't hear owners of 99-year leasehold private properties "cry father, cry mother" that their home assets will go to ZERO one day.


Have you?


Funny right?


And we don't hear silly rhetorical questions like are we "tenants" or "owners" of our leases right? 


I'm beginning to understand why some who grew up in our HDB heartlands can't wait to move out...


孟母三迁?









Monday, 20 August 2018

He knew its a SCAM, and he still did it anyway!?


Last Saturday, I was assigned to another showroom to help out as that store had some sales promotions there.

7th month, so it was an awkward experience where sales promoters present were more than customers at the store.

Very free, so got chance to talk to a 17 year old boy from ITE doing his internship at that showroom. 

He told me he will be going to NS next year.



Looking at him, it reminded me 34 years ago, I too was working on the selling floor with Metro...

34 years!!! I feel like a relic!



This young boy asked me which sales jobs can earn lots of money?

I told him what everyone knew - life insurance and property.

Outdoor sales pay better than indoor sales. 

But retail sales can be fun if he liked the idea of managing his own store or department - that's the store operations route.

Alternatively, he can join the merchandising route and have fun making frequent overseas buying trips.

He seemed only interested in making lots of money... And fast!



Curious, I asked him why?

He told me he is making good money selling "charity vouchers" door-to-door in the evenings after school.

Each "charity voucher" costs $12, and for every voucher he sold, he gets to pocket $5.

I suddenly got a heavy heart... I continued fishing him for info since I wanted to keep abreast of the "market rate", those who wear the black hats charge nowadays. 

Turned out his leader, the one who recruited him, gets to keep $2 as overriding commission.

I see... The creator of this scam gets to keep $5 out of $12 from the naivety of Singaporeans and underlings like the young boy. 



I looked at the young boy with a straight face. 

"You know not a cent goes to charity right?"

The boy just smiled sheepishly. 

"Its a bit like MLM."



My heart starts to boil inside. He knew and still did it anyway!!!

After NS, if he joined retail, he will be like those Sim Lim crooks...

Who knows? Maybe he will be the next millionaire getting involved with those MLM scams like Gold Trading or Ostrich Farms...

And if he has explosive charisma, he can even hit the big time by listing his company or starting his own religious cult...

Its all about the money. Nothing else matters.



I noticed my rising anger; I am just as aware as I let my emotion fade away.

I quietly nodded in silence and walked away.

And haven't spoke to this future "black hatter" for the rest of the day.



But my thoughts were not on him.

Yup, its what you all are thinking right now.









Friday, 17 August 2018

The "Wash"


I was having lunch with another blogger yesterday afternoon. 

It was one of those "talk male chicken" sessions.

And the topic somehow touched on my weekend sales "manipulations".



In our industry, the local lingo in Hokkien is "shueh" or "wash".

Companies usually will employ either or both pull and push strategies when it comes to marketing and sales.

Pull is to psycho the customers through advertising, social media advertorials, or public relations campaigns, to seduce the customers to ask for your brands/products when they walk into a store or browse any online shopping platforms. Top-down.

Push is what we do inside the stores or online shopping platforms to steer you to our brands/products. Bottom-up  



There are some smaller brands of home appliances that don't employ Pull strategies. 

What they rely on is the skill and incentives they provide to their promoters to push their brands out to customers in the stores. 

Contrary to what you expect, the bigger and more famous the brand, the less attractive the commissions scheme will be.

Think about it for a moment. 

Would you need to give more or less commissions to promoters to help you sell Apple phones versus if you were selling "unkown" brands from China?

Same logic works for Term insurance policies.They sell by themselves for financially savvy customers. But for wholelife and endowment policies, you need to incentivize your insurance agents to push these out right?

When your investment bank recommends you unrated corporate junk bonds over those that are rated, make a wild guess why?

Now you know why peer-to-peer lending platforms can offer up to 18% interests to attract willing "philanthropists". Wink.



So when a brand advertises and attracts customers to a store, a percentage of the customers will end up buying other brands when they walk out.

If it happened to you, you've been "washed"!

And that is all thanks to the skill of the promoter's "washing" skills.



Put yourself in the promoter's shoes.

If I sell brand X I get $200; and brand Y gives $300.

Which brand would you promote?

Shh...











Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Successful Man and Woman













Thursday, 9 August 2018

Movie dedication to Sillyinvestor


Sillyinvestor, 2 hour long Japanese movie when you have the time.

Its the continuation of our comments to your last post.








The realisation by big daddy is not unique to us. The Japs understand it too...

Its a lot harder for them.

We at least got "bananas" that are not saddled with our Confucian scholastic baggage of the past...


成也萧何,败也萧何。

 

Transition pains.

Top knows we have to change, and have started the ball rolling with slogans and visions.

The reality is that all of us are products of "robots" ourselves.  

One hand reaches up towards the fruit of reformation; the other hand clings on to the roots of tradition.


Breathe.




  



Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Yoga and Meditation - SunUp Yoga


What do you know? Its been a year since I've finished my Zen Drumming lessons at Bright Hill Temple!?

Talk about how time flies!

During the lessons, I've met some interesting jie-meis (ladies) which I may share more, when the "feel" is right, at a later time...

One such "mei-mei" is Elaine.



We need to do warm up exercises before our Zen drumming lessons. Guess what? Elaine volunteered to conduct yoga and meditation exercises for those of us who were willing to come 20-25 minutues early for FREE!

That's how I got to know her.

OK, I lied. 

I noticed her on the first day.

I have a thing for dimples...  (Both hands cover face. What? I very shy one!) 



Elaine is the founder of SunUp Yoga.



Go to the "About the Teacher" tab to check her credentials. Verify whether she studied a few lessons in Singapore, got a piece of paper from a degree mill, and then turn around and start teaching others!?

Don't laugh. Majority of the "trainers" in the financial education industry are like that!

For those of you into Meditation, you would know the euphemism "travelled to the forests of Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand meant.

I got some training in Meditation, most of it self-taught. But I must say, I dare not go where Elaine has gone... Its definitely not some "3 minutes passion thing" she endured!



I came to know Elaine had left her Corporate job to pursue yoga and meditation fulltime over coffee after lessons (don't think naughty now).

In my heart, I knew there had to be a "catalyst" for her decision. Just like I had mine at 44 when I decided to return back to Singapore. She didn't shared; I didn't pry.




I highly recommend you go to the "Live to Shine" tab. 

I am pleasantly surprised Elaine had opened up so much of herself here.



I'm not going to talk Phoenixes and Dragons about the benefits of Yoga and Meditation.

Only "crash got sound" first hand experience will you know for yourself.  

How can you learn anything about Yoga and Meditation from reading? 



Eh! Don't just sign up just like that! (You didn't read my previous post on I almost joined the Life Insurance Industry, did you?)

I would encourage you to talk or write to Elaine first through her website's "Contact". Even better over coffee! (You pay OK?)



And for those who prefer to use Facebook messanger, here's Elaine's Facebook link.



I know. You ladies out there must be aghast when you saw the pictures!

Next time I see Elaine I'll give her a gentle poke.

No makeup before filming is OK. But there's such a thing called blotting paper to remove excess oil and shine lah!

Well, at least we know Elaine is all natural!

LOL!










Saturday, 4 August 2018

Paris got Bak Kut Teh?


I got this joke from my Facebook feed.

Funny!








You want to know we find it so funny?

Its because we are laughing at ourselves!



Hands up to those of you who have mispronounced European designer brand names for years until you sheepishly discovered your mistake?

Don't believe?

Want to try the most mispronounced designer names?



Hermes


BVLGARI


Yves Saint Laurent


Ralph Lauren



Want to bet most of you will get the last one wrong?

It looks the simplest but its a trick I've just played on you. 

Now we have Youtube's How to Pronounce... You people can check it out for yourselves!



Ralp Lauren is an American brand (you idiot). You pronounce "Lauren" in the normal American way. 

But because I've primed you with fancy European way of pronouncing before, especially placing "Yves Saint Laurent" in front of "Ralph Lauren", most of you would have pronounced "Lauren" as "Laurent"... 

Got you! You pretentious you!



This goes to show how subtle we snake oils can get into your heads without you realising. Wink.

Notice the similar technique is used in seminars or workshops?



Tell a joke; everyone laughs.

Guards down. Disarm.

Pretend to lead your flock in one direction; actually you leading them elsewhere.




Next time you come out of a seminar or motivational workshop, go into the toilet.

Look into the mirror.

If you aware, you may see the fish hook in your mouth.

You may want to pull it out.

No need to thank me.

Just buy me coffee!








Thursday, 2 August 2018

This is travel blogging!


There are quite a few good travel bloggers here in Singapore. So good until can get free flights and lodgings by writing advertorials on their travels! Power or what?

Of course one key requirement is they know how to take great pictures!

Must make readers want to empty their bank accounts and jump on the next flight mah!

Writing skill not really required as all you need is just explain how to get there (just joking). 



Then they are travel posts by financial bloggers. (Long pause)

Talk about watching paint dry... Or as inspiring as waiting for grass to grow...

You know what I'm going to poke right?

The whole highlight of the trip is how much they have saved !!!???

And we wonder why the general public have no interest in financial bloggers... (Snigger, snigger)



Early last month, a gentleman commented on my below post (all the way at the bottom of the comments):


Chiang Mai Jan 2018 - Reflections


Sharing with me his own travel post about Mt Fuji and guess what? He's a youtuber too! How cool is that!? From his accent, I am guessing he is Indonesian? (Yah! In your face! Got Indonesian read my blog! How?)

Let's just say I'm so impressed I immediately created a new blog link (right column strip) at my blog - "This is travel blogging!" - just for him! 



If you not into fine writing, no need to proceed further.

This is his blog: stenote   (Is this english?)

Go to this post - An Interview with Leonardo - for a sample why I find his travel blogging style is so refreshing! Its part of his series of posts on Milan.



I will not tell you where, but for those who are willing to explore his blog further, there's an "interview" with the famous Japanese woodblock print master which I shall drop a click-bait - erotic prints. Wink.

Before you get too excited, shall I remind you this blogger paints with words too? (Subtle self-praise for those who can't read between the lines)



Not everyone can write like that. Got history, got literature, got culture, got "black ink". Now that's what I call intellectually stimulating!

I must attract more animals to this watering hole who are stronger, smarter, and richer (in culture) than me! 

If not, what's the point if I can't steal with pride?

LOL!








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