Tuesday 24 December 2019

Peace be with you

I've picked up this phrase from my Christian friend who loves to invite me to church during my days in Shanghai.

You can see me using it quite often in this watering hole.

You know what?

Only this year did I truely experienced what it really meant.

Its like trying to describe the taste of durian to people who have never tasted it.

We'll only know when we have experiend it for ourselves.

Its uneventful year for me in many areas. Yet the peace and serenity I've enjoyed were amazing! 

On that note, I'm wishing everyone of you who comes to this watering hole a Merry Christmas and a Super New Year!

Peace be with you all.

Sunday 8 December 2019

The Path Towards Domestication

Dogs came from wolves.

Yes, its one of those examples where a "new" specie of animal is created by man, not the big guy upstairs.

It probably started with some weak, docile, or outcast wolves living off the scraps of man outside the camp fire. Over time, these wolves became so dependant on man that they willingly became man's best friend.

That's the marketing spin.

The reality is one is master, one is servant.

Go to our hawker centres and HDB estates. See the number of pigeons and mynahs living off our scraps?

Notice one thing?

Instead of soaring freely with their gift of flight, what do they do? 

There are no visible chains or shackles tied to their necks, but we know they are fettered.

One of my new evening walking route is the former railway track that has now converted to The GreenWay.

I often see lots of different species of birds living off the land here. Quite fun. From people watching to bird watching! 

Even the mynahs over here don't look the same as the ones that loiter around our hawker centres. Their plumage are in better condition. They chirp merrily.

Success is what you have to sacrifice to achieve it.

I guess some are willing to sacrifice their freedom and independence for it.

How to spot you have a pet mentality?


I hope daddy and mommy will take care of me...

I believe the company will take care of me...

I rely on big daddy to take care of me...

Its always others doing the work and thinking for you, while you passive passive just reap the benefits. Look ma! No brains needed!

When the time comes, I'll take as much out as legally possible. 

Just putting it in writing so I can poke myself silly if and when I finally "capitulates".

And grandiose words like independence or freedom will be forever banned from my dictionary...


Thursday 5 December 2019

My reflections for the past 11 months that have passed...

Wednesday 20 November 2019

You are not a Tree

I suspect the HK 1997 emigration wave 2.0 may happen soon enough.

Those of you around middle-aged, I'm sure you know of cases where some of your old childhood neighbours, classmates, or colleagues have already emigrated overseas.

I quite like Singapore. Very safe and comfortable. Too bad no 4 seasons. That's the thing I missed most.

But then again, I'm not a vegetable. I'm mobile. 

I have a citizen of the world mindset.  So I guess its all good?

Saturday 16 November 2019

Of course it will happen...

Those who volunteer to hand money to big daddy not affected. 

They probably wished big daddy would remove the cap. Then they can do lock, stock, and barrel! 

What can go wrong?

The rest of us not surprised. The sun rises from the East every morning right?

Unless you think things will get cheaper in the future.

Nah. Of course cost of living would increase. 

Wouldn't it be nice if education, transport, and medical costs can be like the switching of electricity providers? 

A 20% price reduction would be most welcomed!

Why I never mention housing?

Well, housing is like this. When we haven't got our own place, we hope prices would come down. But once we got our own properties, we'll sing another tune... You mean you want property prices to crash -20%?

Its all our fault lah!

Once upon a time in the 50s or 60s, people retire at 55 and die around 65. Your retirement savings only had to last 10 years or more. 

And if we go sell salted eggs at around 65, we won't have to suffer or worry about old age wear and tear medical problems and costs too! 

Life was much simpler then... 

Then everyone started to become like Dr Mahatir.

Be honest. If you take everything out at 55, you think it will last you till 95?

So its more whether you think you can do a better job in "ownself take care ownself", or let big daddy do it for you.

Before you take everything out or try to have as little as possible tied to big daddy (like me), remember big daddy has several advantages you don't have - if you decide to go the DIY route:

1)  Encourage more babies (have to wait 20 or more years; think of them as durian trees)

2)  Bring in more new citizens (working ones can contribute immediately; instant noodles)

3)  Encourage more to voluntarily contribute (can always move the goal posts later)

4)  Worst comes to worst, can socialise everything. There's always negative interest rates. 

And that's the essence really.

Can you ownself take care of ownself?

Wednesday 13 November 2019

It will never happen...

The thing about middle age is that we have seen and experienced too many things...

Once upon a time, I was like youth - it will never happen one!

Or so I thought...

That's the strenght of youth!

Not knowing what cannot be done.

But when old fogeys slam the table and exclaim with confidence - it will never happen...

I simply smile.

What's the point of arguing?

Did you expect things to get so out of control in HK?

Thursday 7 November 2019

Control Kids

Monday 4 November 2019

Property - not about Buy-and-Hold is it?

These Singaporeans won the housing lottery

Well, I let you decide whether the same can be applied to equities or other investment classes. Wink.

Maybe its my retail background.

Those outside the industry may think a Buyer's main task is to buy or procure?

That's farther from the truth!


Tuesday 29 October 2019

Not my SMOL eatery

Thanks to the heads-up a few weeks ago by Endrene the cool girl, I got to know there's one eatery sharing this SMOL moniker at Paya Lebar Quarter...

Went there this morning to check it out.

It was not planned, but after naming this blog Singapore Man of Leisure, I found out that smol is the internet slang for calling small in an affectionate way.


I am guessing the owner of this eatery had that in mind when he named his eatery. 

Eat healthy.

Won't get fat.

Not fat, so smol lah!


Sunday 27 October 2019

Competence/talent put into wrong use...

A waste of her talent.

With her competence in influencing and manipulating others, she would do well in hardcore sales such as insurance, properties, etc.

Even politics.

And definitely be shepherd class if she chose to lead her own flock in prosperity religious cults...

Malaysian born claimed she's LKY granddaughter...

You know, those who run those illegal football/4D/Toto gambiling syndicates must have super high IQ and EQ.

Have to.

In normal corporate world, if you fail, the most just declare bankcrupt or lose your job.

In the criminal world, the worst is not you end up in jail... Its how not to get hacked to death by your competitors and those you stepped on while gaining market share. 

High EQ definitely a minimum job requirement in staying alive.

Without high IQ, how to come up with those betting odds that favour the house?

Sometimes I do wonder where I would have ended up if I had gone over to the other side after leaving school at 16...

Sunday 20 October 2019

Landed properties in JB for HDB prices you want?

For those of you who are not vegetables - mobile and can relocate - you may want to keep abreasts of the development across the causeway: 

Singaporeans will snap up JB property...

I not doing advertorial for JB property developers OK? (But if there are any property developers out there, I'll sing like a canary for you if you buy me a drink. I'll sell my soul just to make a sale for you! I'm shameless!)

Affordable right?

RM $1 million is around SGD $350K.

RM $600 K is "only" around SGD $200K.

HDB prices for landed properties in JB anyone?

But then hor, you'll need your own car or motorbike to move around. If you expect a MRT or bus stop 5 minutes from your home... On 2nd thought, maybe you should stay put in Singapore.


P.S.  You may also want to follow the discussions at this post from the past:

Live in JB and drive back for work?

Friday 18 October 2019

First World Overhead Pedestrian Bridges

Got to give credit when credit is due.

A few years back, big daddy installed lifts to the overhead pedestrian bridges near the Singapore General Hospital and Queenstown Polyclinic.

That made it a lot elderly and wheelchair friendly to those who use public transport to attend their medical appointments. 

Thumbs up!

I thought that's that. 

I mean those who had installed private lifts in their own multi-storey landed properties would know how expensive installing lifts are. 

Was pleasantly surprised to notice on roads from Jalan Bukit Merah, Queensway, Alexandra Road (towards Ganges Ave stretch), big daddy is currently installing lifts to most overhead pedestrian bridges!?

Of course this is not new. All our MRT stations have lifts. But imagine if we install lifts to most of our overhead pedestrin bridges island wide?

Now that's first world infrastructure or what!?

Compared to our friends in other countries - they pay tax, we pay tax same same - but over here, we get to enjoy the "fruits" of our contributions!

I'm grateful as I'm part of the rapidly aging generation.

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Trust but Verify lagi important for People

Sharks and wolves are the same everywhere.

When they smell "blood", they'll go for the kill.

What is "blood"?

Its when they see their clients as bei kambings (wide-eyed innocents), blank sheet of papers (what people say, they believe - easy to imprint mah), or simply as fools (you know what they say about fools and their money). 

MAS bans...

You'll hear the same about lawyers running off with their clients money too. 

How about doctors prescribing unnecessary (and expensive) procedures or medicine just because patients got medical insurance?

In sales, we encounter it everyday. 

I mean if we "fleece" or "milk" bei kambings, some of us close one eye since the silly goat still lives... (Errant doctors and car repair workshops like to milk insurance companies the best!)

But I stay clear of (and will never join) companies that sent their clients to the abattoir.

(You may want to click the MAS link above about brokerages that trade against their clients)

Its not about being cynical or not trusting people.

Its just taking the time to verify for yourself BEFORE you hand over your money.

People very strange.

They will spend time and money shopping all round Singapore just to save $50 on a home appliance or smart phone. 

But when it comes to big money? 

Just take my money oredi!

Thursday 10 October 2019

We are no. 1?

Of course you knew!

Our nation-building media won't let this opportunity slip...

Go read and see what they want you to remember and focus on. Wink.

I prefer to read what others think of us. Especially from the one who "lost" to us:

The US slipped to third place in a ranking of most competitive economies 

OK, comparing the two, what's your spontaneous own take?

I'll put mine in the comments.

Monday 7 October 2019

A Catalyst or Shit Happens?

Over the weekend, one of the promoter updated me something interesting about his workaholic well-to-do sister.

His sister has decided to call it quits in her mid 40s.


She's a vice-president of a global bank, had a failed relationship in her twenties, and had since focused only on her career. 

No boyfriends, no relationships. Worked from 8am to 10 pm, 6 days a week that kind...

Since she don't do small-white-face toy boys, she had earned and saved quite a bit. She owned 2 condos - one for staying, one rented out.

My spontaneous thought was it can't be she "suddenly" decided to embrace FIRE or woke up discovering she had plenty enough that kind of philosophical epiphany

I was right.

Saw the news this morning that global bank is planning 10,000 job cuts to slash costs.


That was the catalyst.

Imagine if after many repeated attempts she can't get back the role she's used to, and decided to retire early instead, she can easlly come into our community as an "instant" FIRE?

Mid 40s not "old" right? 

She's "financially free" in that she can live off her rental income.

Technically she's not fired or retrenched. She "fired" her company.


No goals, no plans to achieve FIRE...

Yet she's an instant FIRE!!!???

I wonder how would those who had FIRE goals like X amount by Y years feel?


Wednesday 2 October 2019

How to manipulate children and bei kambing adults

The video below is 13 minutes long.

The dry humour is hilarious!

Watch it with an open mind, and don't get caught up with the climate change debate. That's not the purpose of this video.


Hold that thought

Read this old post from my early blogging days when I was still working in Athens:

Lies, damn lies, and statistics! 

Hope you can apply what you've learnt to your investing/trading. Wink.

P.S.   What? You can't think for yourself? 

So definitely can't do "Trust but Verify"? 

Fundamental analysis (you do yourself kind) is game over for you?

No worries! 

There is always plan B as in Technicial analysis. Never mind its actually voodoo...

Just draw some cartoon lines here and there, plus the ability to recognise repeating patterns, you'll be good to go! (Stay away from Elliot Wave though. It requires some brains)

Friday 27 September 2019


Friday 20 September 2019

How to know you have achieved Mastery?

During my weekend sales gig, its easy to tell the experienced and competent customers apart from the "bei kambing" newbies - when it comes to buying kitchen appliances.

Experienced and competent ones go for analogue ones; "bei kambings" go for digital ones.


Don't worry. You'll understand when we reach the end of this post.

Remember the 10,000 steps walking craze some years back?

I'm a city walker. I know.

I even installed a walking app in my mobile to track my daily steps.

Uninstalled it after a week.

I easily exceed 10,000 steps a day. Why should I measure my steps again?

Let me ask a silly question to those who are anal about up to 2 decimal places. 

Are you less healthy if you've only walked 9,999 steps a day? 

How about 9,000 steps? These 9,000 steps are "wasted" if we don't hit our 10,000 steps daily goal?

Similarly, in this community, you can spot veterans who have tracked their spendings in the past, but have now stopped. 

Gee, I wonder why?

I mean after 5 or 10 years of tracking expenses you still don't understand yourself? 

If you have poor self discipline; no self control; can't entertain delayed gratifications; how would more tracking help you?

The best example is cooking. When you started out, you'll follow every steps laid out in the cookbook diligently. 10 ml is 10 ml; 1 teaspoon is 1 teaspoon. 

When we don't know; we follow.

But now that you know how to cook, its a dash of this, a sprinkle of that. LOL!


That's for newbies.

Everything now is about feeling and your mood. Wink.

We use the sampan to cross the river. Once we've reached the other end, we leave the sampan behind on the river bank and continue on towards our journey.

Have fun spotting those who still like to carry the sampan over their heads even though they are miles away from any river or lake...


Friday 13 September 2019

Hey! Anecdotal job market observations got backup by statistics!

Recession is when your neighbour lost his job.

Depression is when you lost yours...

2 weeks ago, I shared my datapoint of one observation about my childhood neighbour being "forced" to take 6 months no pay leave - Recession came early for some.

Readers chimed in with their own experiences.

Guess what?

Today's papers now got official confirmation to what most of us have felt or observed on the ground - Tougher job market in Q2.

As usual, we see what we want to see.

For me, I only see:

"Professionals, managers, executives and technicians continued to make up the majority of locals retrenched, at 77 per cent."

In recent years, this is something those of us in our 40s to early 50s know only too well.

I remember a time when there's an economic slowdown, the majority affected were blue-collar factory workers or selling floor retail staffs. 


Just walk into any shopping mall and you'll see lots of hiring posters outside the food outlets or retail shops. 

30 years river east; 30 years river west...

Who knew study hard and collect paper qualifications - like stamp collecting or boy scouts badges - have turned out like this for some unfortunate PMETs? 

I guess that's why I often see lots of mature participants in those "successful" free investing/trading workshop preview photos?

Easy sell when you offer "dreams" to patch the holes in your hearts.

But one thing often puzzles me. 

Why the hell do you sell old fogeys in their 70s to 80s attending these "FIRE" seeking workshops in the photos?

Wait a minute.

Silly me.

Its probably for the same reasons I see old fogeys buying Toto?


Wednesday 28 August 2019

Recession came early to some...

Yesterday, I had a friendly tap on my shoulder while buying breakfast at my usual Tanglin Halt hawker centre. 

Its my childhood neighbour from Stirling Road! 

He's the same age as me - 52 years young.

After the usual, "Wah, you still alive?" ribbing, he confided to me that he's now on 6 months no pay leave...

No, not the ownself take ownself sabbatical kind to discover yourself...

Its the kind that's forced upon you. You don't argue or complain for fear if you make too much fuss, they'll retrench you on the spot instead...

The hope is after 6 months, business will recover, and your beloved company will take you back. Yes, hope springs eternal...  

Those of you in your late 40s or 50s can relate. Maybe.

Its just a datapoint of one. So don't read too much into it.

By the way, I'm curious. Do you know anyone in your circle that got retrenched recently? Or know any organisations that implemented a headcount freeze?

Don't get into specifics. 

Just getting a feel for what's happening in the corporate world.

Monday 19 August 2019

This is what makes Singapore different!

We do take action on the long term future of Singapore.

I just watched Mr Pinky's national day rally speech on Youtube. (Yesterday night working lah)

Compared to the some other countries where its max 2 terms - while I'm in office - kind of "planning" - got to say it feels warm in the belly we do care about what happens to our little red dot even 100 years into the future!!!

I know most people will say its long term planning that got us where we are.

Sure it is...

If you are in your 50s and above, I think you knew better. Wink.

Was it "long term" or "strategic" planning that got you where you are today?



As for those in your 30s and below, don't worry too much with the semantics. I'm playing with words again. 

Then again, play is how young animals and us, when we were young, learn and prepare for adulthood.  

You'll know the answer when you know! When you grow older... 

Well, there must be some benefits to maturity! No?

But I can give you a little hint.

The global warming and rising sea level threat is 100 years into the future. Big daddy has already built a polder (reclaimed land stolen with pride from the Netherlands) at Tekong island for some "crash got sound" real life experience. 

I'll leave it to you to decipher whether that's action or planning.

To those FIRE chasers and financially free dreamers who "catch no ball" what I say between the lines, where's your polders?



Wednesday 14 August 2019

Missed the low volatility of 2017?

That's the year for passive "investors" and yield hogs.

When STI moves from lower left corner to upper right corner.


Yup, you've earned the right to tell your mom, "Look! No brains needed!"

Of course that didn't last.

2018 and this year 2019 has a lot more see-saw rollercoaster ups and downs...

The fisherman and me met up with a young doctor for kopi recently.

STI is less than -10% off its recent highs, yet we heard some are already nursing more than -20% losses on individual counters.

Mind you, not penny stocks hor. They are so called "blue chips" and dividend plays. Connected to big daddy, so cannot "fail" ones! 

I agree. But prices can definitely turn south...  

I just hope they didn't call themselves "value" investors. I mean if you bought at 5 year high prices or near cycle top, calling yourself "growth" would be more appropriate...

Still wrong. Still lose money. But with less awkward silence...

And its not any easier with trading too.

There are quite a few traders - both full time and part time - that used to visit this watering hole

Some have already call it quits. 

So much for dreams and goals.

Investing is hard.

Trading is hard.

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