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.

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