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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?

Really?

LOL!


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?

Ding!

Namaste.












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.

Easy.

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.










Thursday, 8 August 2019

Straight Talk About Passive Income


I got this video from a fellow blogger in the community.

I guess he knew my stance on "passive". 

So would regular readers, and anyone who can think for themselves. 



Wait. Wait. "Nanti" lah!

Ah! Got it!

My trusty maggi mee pot to protect my head!










Monday, 5 August 2019

Free to play


It's understandable if the free-to-play whiners and chronic complainers in gatcha games are children or teenagers.

Especially if they are used to getting things handed to them - just for showing up. 



In reddit, whales would ignore such free to play minions. I mean when was the last time you stopped by the path and try to have a conversation with ants?

But sometimes, when the whining gets too strident as in crying "unfair" when the game developer introduces changes that favour the pay-to-win players, some exasperated dolphins will come with rebuttals to put these chronic whiners in their place...



In the social/political arena, we see this all the time too.

The loudest critics of ministers' pay are those who hardly pay any income tax at all. As if the ministers' pay are coming out of their pockets....

And then there's the perennial favourite about the wealth gap - the rich gets richer, the poor gets poorer. The "system" favours the wealthy... This not fair, that not fair...



Let's explore this "free-to-play" business model that's becoming more and more prevalent with technology companies. I find it so interesting!

In the old days, companies make money by selling products and services. Simple and clear-cut to understand.

Then came companies that offer their products and services to us for "FREE"!?

Do you pay Goggle for the convenience of making a search in the internet?

How about Facebook? Free to use, right?

Netflix must pay, but watching videos on Youtube is free!

Those older like me may remember we once had to pay for our own email accounts by subscribing to those dial-up internet providers. Now? Anyone can get multiple free email accounts from Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo! Now that's cool or what?



Guess what? We are not the "customers" of the above companies.

How are we customers when we don't contribute to these companies' bottom line?

Their customers are "pay-to-win" advertisers, public relations firms, political parties, mind control consultancies, puppet masters, pied pipers; etc.

What are we?

We are the "product". 



Now back to gatcha gaiming. 

If only the complaining free-to-play gamers realise their role in the game...

They are part of the game design.



There's only so much fun in beating non-player characters (NPCs) in a game.

But if we design a game where we offer whales and dolpins the opportunity to trash real people in a cyber setting...


$$$$$ Kaching!

Or-yi-oh! 

Who doesn't want to be Tarzan or Master of the Universe?



So there you go!

Next time you grab the next "FREE" offer, subscription, or workshop, just have awareness of your role - whether you are the product or a customer. Wink.



Its OK lah!

If the other party is just trying to milk or fleece you. Won't die one.

But if the other party is a glue factory or abattoir, sometimes its better to say, "No thank you. I'm good. I'll pass."

Walk away.








Friday, 2 August 2019

Free Credit Card Consultation For Maximum Rewards


I would like to take a break from regular blogging to insert this fine advertorial...

Eh!? 

Wau lau! Don't run to the toilet leh!



This advertorial is definitely not for me. 

I am the EARN MORE kind of guy.



However, just because I'm like that, I don't expect everyone else must be like me. You know, the "If you believe me, folllow me!" kind of "wah kali gong" blogger. Wink, wink.



OK, for the sake of diversity (yup, I can speak politician), here's something for those of you SAVE MORE people who gets titillated whenever you see - free miles, free points, cashbacks, discounts, offers, etc...  

Now you can search and query which credit cards have the best bang for the buck at which popular retail outlets.  

So go hack yourself till you get to credit card Nirvana! (No alcohol or drugs needed)



This is the website to check it out:

Whatcard



Its beta version. So you don't CB when you hit some chinks and flaws in their user interface.

Do remember its FREE. 

Do your part by giving them feedback to improve on. I'm sure they will appreciate it!







This endeavour is started by 3 young men. Go to the "About Us" and "Community" page.

As usual, there's a front man - the face of the team and website. 

Then there's another but I not clear what he does... (Consider this a feedback to him. Create a "role" or "character" in the team so people will remember. Unless he is OK with people assuming he is Robin or Tonto)

Finally, there's the shy guy who wear a brown paper bag over his head. However, with a bit of rudimentary CSI, I found his Facebook page. He is the workhorse who does the actual programming or coding. 



Although their product is about "saving more", I am very glad these 3 young men have dreams of "earning more". That's cool! 

And right up my alley.

How else would  I agree to do this advertorial?

LOL!















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