Monday 30 March 2020

How to know if you are overreaching?

To the "lucky" few, self-awareness comes easy.

Like my ex-colleague many years ago who lost $5K "investing" in stocks, and just like that, he forever swore off investing in the financial markets!

To him, the pain of losing money is more than the fear of missing out....

Unfortunately, to the majority of us, especially when we have started our "investing" journeys in a bull market, this self-awarenes may take a bit longer...

However, with the recent extreme volatility within a short space of a few weeks, we all had our "tyre meets the road" moment.

Let's use the jogging analogy.

If we are jogging at a comfortable pace, we can have conversations with our jogging partners without losing our breath... Some of us can even even joke around and have a few laughs along the way!

But if you are struggling, and your mind can't think straight except catching your next breath, you may want to slow down your pace a bit. You are pushing yourself too hard...

And if you prefer to jog as a group and not alone, you may want to find new jogging "kakis" that are more on the "same level" as you? Why do this to yourself? Trying to fit in when you are not ready?

For those who drive, ever wonder why do we need the tachometer?

I mean got speedometer to tell how fast we are moving.

Then got odometer to tell how far we have travelled.

Come to think of it... What's the tachometer for???

If we rev our engines until we get to the redline zone for an extended period, you'll know.

Chatty person suddenly becomes quiet...

Quiet person now super talkative...

You take out your anxieties and frustrations on people that matter (spouse, children, parents)

Its affecting your day job at the worst possible time ...

Messing up your sleep...

Tired rest; hungry eat.

Listen to your body.

Thursday 26 March 2020

Is Investing/Trading a Team Sport or Solitary Game?

In PC or mobile gaming, its easy to observe 2 main kind of players.

There are those who enjoy playing in clans, join guilds, actively participate in group chats. They love debating the most META strategies, and flexing on the in-game gears and trophies acquired. 

Gaming is a social thing for them.

Then there are the lone rangers. They are more into PVE (player versus environment) over PVP (player versus player) gameplay. They do their own thing. Like collecting waifu characters or playing the game in a non-linear manner...

Make a guess if you are the game publisher, which group is easier to monetise?

Its the same with religion.

Some are in it for the social interactions. They are "religious" only on certain days of the month or week. The rest of the days, they don't act or speak as if they are "religious".

And definitely not deep into the theology or philosophy. Just as long can "parrot" some catchy hackney phrases, they are good to go!

On the other spectrum would be those who prefer to practice self-cultivation. Maybe an occasional meeting or discussion here and there, but mostly they prefer to walk the path themselves. 

These people don't ask others what shoes they should buy; or need others to tell them what shoes they should buy.

Have you noticed the same in our community of traders and investors? And those who seek FIRE?

Of course the biggest "sell" of being in a group/club/discussion forum is we can pool the resources and individual research of everyone. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole...

Surely an investment thesis or trading idea from the "herd" is better!? 

The reality is a few "Indian Chiefs" or "Star Shepherds" are doing all the talking. The rest just parrot or monkey see; monkey do

Ask yourself: Do you feel good when the stocks you owned are also in the portfolios of others?

That's a silly reason to own stocks right?  

Nowadays, there's so many forums and platforms to gather and talk shop. As we speak, many more are popping up.

Its just a numbers game. 

The more people joined, the easier it is to monetise. Its a business. Cool. I get that.

Is investing/trading a team sport or solitary game like chess or golf?

This you have to figure out for yourself. We are all different.

Its quite interesting to read some bloggers sharing their reflections on this topic.

(A quick shoutout to 15HWW for taking personal responsibility and not blaming his friend)

Monday 23 March 2020

Paul Immigrations Reviews: Becoming a SPR!

During my 3 years in Athens, Greece, I am so glad my company hired a consultant to coach me in my annual employment pass rituals. 

Talk about administrative bureaucracy! I had to visit 3 to 4 offices to get rubber stamps. Yes, literally!

These offices had mountains of files and papers stacked on top of one another. I do wonder what were the computers for? Minesweeper?

But I should not be complaining. I was chauffeured and escorted to these offices all the time. My experience was a breeze compared to the hapless applicants trying to figure out which queues to join. Imagine waiting in line for more than an hour to only be told to go queue at another counter!

No. We always ended up in the express line or appointments only counters. There is a simple reason for it – TIP.

It stands for – To Insure Performance.

It is not free, but the money paid was well worth it. 

My company paid for the professionalism and competency of the consultant to ensure a smooth, efficient, and painless process. 

It won’t be like my application would be delayed or rejected due to me forgetting to dot an “i” here; or cross that “t” there. You get the picture.

Want To Become A Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR)?

Of course I don’t have to spell out to you what are the benefits of becoming a SPR. This you knew or you won’t be interested to become a SPR in the first place.

If you are already working or studying here, you can see the benefits with your own eyes.

And if you are the aged parent; spouse; or child of a Singapore citizen or PR, you just want to be with the person that matters most to you, what other benefits can beat that?

That’s not the struggle you face.

Common Struggles Face By DIY PR Applicants

First time applicants

Tedious paperwork with a strict time frame

Unfamiliarity with the application process

Difficulty navigating the e-Service

May not fulfil all criteria required by ICA

Lack knowledge on how to make their application stand out


Face multiple times of rejections

Tedious amounts of paperwork

Difficulty navigating the new e-Service

Unsure where to upload the additional documents

Unaware of the reasons for the past applicant’s rejection

Do You Need A Professional?

This is where you exercise your TIP – To Insure Performance.

Paul Immigrations is a professional immigration consultant that specialises in the application of SPR.

What sets them apart from other immigration consultants?

1. Professional knowledge and professional care management

2. Strong complete documents package

3. Minimise hassle and time wastage

4. Strategic approach in handling complex issues

This Is How They Can Help

Offer expert guidance

I don’t know about you, but I would welcome the edge over other SPR applicants by gaining access to their team of specialists.

The tips and insights I can glean from them would make the complicated and tedious SPR process a lot more palatable.


When you submit your SPR application yourself using the online portal of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA), if you mess up on any steps of the process, or miss any essential documents, this will render your application invalid.

Argh!!! Delays and have to start all over again!

Why do this to yourself when you can leverage on other people’s talent (OPT) by using their team of professionals to ensure everything is in order from the very get go?

Essential document preparation

Beyond the necessary documents required by ICA, their team of specialists – with their years of experience in securing SPR for other successful applicants – can and will recommend other documents that will bring out your best qualities and contributions.

For eg, by including a letter of recommendation from your employer, it will make your application stand out a lot more!

Specially crafted cover letters

Remember that time you had to draft your own cover letters for multiple job applications?

Let’s be honest. Are you a wordsmith? Is English your mother tongue?

I suspect as much. Better let the pros do it.

Guidance throughout the process

How was the experience buying your first home? Especially when it came to the dreaded paperwork for conveyancing, applying for bank loan, fire insurance, etc…

Aren’t you glad you had a property agent to guide you through the whole process?

The same logic applies here.

Less hassle and minimal time wastage

As an IT dinosaur, I hate it whenever I have to fill in forms on any online portals.

Make any mistakes have to click back-page and redo. Especially when they only prompt me I have missing fields not entered after I’ve clicked the “submit” button.

Where did I do wrong now? Talk about time wasting!

Similarly, the ICA e-Service portal can be daunting if you are not familiar with it.

Yup, you know what I’m going to say…

Let the pros do it! 

What Some Happy Clients Have To Say

“The consultants at Paul Immigrations were very patient. They provided detailed explanations to my queries too. I’m so happy to have them handle my submission & even more so now that it is approved!”

Priya Darshini, 27
India, Accountant (LTVP to PR), PR approved in 6 months

“So glad that I finally got my approval in 5 months! Thanks to the consultant and team of Paul Immigrations, the troublesome applying process is so much less stressful for me! Kudos to the team!”

Yap Khai Wen, 32
Malaysia, Corporate Communications Executive

“Booked a consultation with Paul Immigrations after knowing about them from a friend who engaged their professional service. The process was so much easier than trying to do it on my own!”

Sandra Liu Hua, 35

China, Lead Engineer, PR approved in 6 months

Free Resources To Your Questions

You can access your eligibility now to find out more.

I find the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the webpage has a ton of useful information. 

And if you scroll up, you will find a tab under “Free Tips”. That’s super helpful too. 

Oh! And welcome to Singapore!

Thursday 19 March 2020

You Are Next

When big daddy took one month pay cut last month on 28 Feb, I remember thinking, "This bad huh?"

My worst fear was confirmed last night when someone that mattered shared with me everyone at his top management level had to take a 10% pay cut effective this month.

I know some of you may take schadenfreude glee on knowing this.

But don't say it out loud least you expose your intellectual "lightweightness" to everyone...

Landowners and shepherds out there know what this means.

And what's coming next....

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Average Down Versus Average Up (revisited)

In recent days, its interesting to see quite a few in the community buying on the way down.

These are the buy in tranches people.

You know, they have already planned in advance to buy X% when STI hits 2500, another Y% if STI drops to 2200, and Z% when the index plummets below 1800, etc.

(Please don't ask what happens when STI goes below 1400? That's rude.)

But first, got to give respect and props to those who actually execute their plans they have shared openly to us.

That takes discipline and conviction. Its not for the faint hearted.

As for those sound bites that say say only, well, you know who to discount next time they try to parrot something they have stolen from others, pretending to sound all knowing. Wink.

I've tried averaging down for investing. Nearly destroyed me.

And for trading, I nearly gave it all up at one point - to return to born-again "investor" - when the disgust with myself was that bad... 

Yup, I've let a small loss turned gangrenous. Was lucky the market turned and I survived. 

Never again. Can't always depend on Lady Luck to bail me out everytime!

I've put in place mechanical stop-loss orders from then onwards.

I prefer to buy on the way up. It just feels better to have tailwind support and positive reinforcements. 

And I sleep better too.

I'm not into masochism.

How to find the bottom and start averaging up? 

Crash got sound.

When I initiate a position, if it got stopped-out, that's that. The losses won't grow and compound since they can't fester on me anymore.

But if the position is profitable, and I can't find any reason to take profit, then its natural to add to a winning position.

That's how the initial small position may eventually scale into size. Its quite organic.

Long ago when I was youth, it was 100% all-in entries, and 100% all-out exits for me. I know. The hubris!

Winnings were spectacular; losses were even more gargantuan! LOL!

That's youth for you. I didn't know what cannot be done.

Now I know. 


Newer readers may want to read this old post to get a better understanding of chosing the right shoes to fit your own feet.

Mind you, there's nothing wrong with averaging down if it suits you better. It could be you have a higher threshold for pain than me.


You win!


Thursday 12 March 2020

What's the difference between Saving and Investing?

Well, now you know!

Sunday 8 March 2020

My Prediction For STI

If STI bounces off 2961 Monday, it would target above the psychologically important 3000 level. Closing above 3000 will encourage the bulls to push towards 3050 as first target, and eventually 3100 for the week ahead. 

However, if STI pierces through 2961 instead, 2900 will open up for the bears to target. With the eventual break towards long term support at 2500 in the weeks ahead. 

Now that wasn't so hard, was it?


See? Anyone and everyone can be a sell-side analyst?

So go start a blog or create an account on those investing/trading forums. The trick is to have as many bei kambings follow you as possible.

Once a critical mass following is achieved, you can start milking or shearing them for profit - that's monetising your sales funnel 101.

Even better if you start giving workshops or classes.

The trick is for Monday class, tell your little white lambs that the market will go up.

Then same week for the Wednesday class, tell your other bei kambings the market wil go down.

This way, you'll always have 50% of your flock swearing by what you say. Wink.

Of course with 50% attrition rate, you'll eventually have to start all over again.

But no worries!

That's why you see snake oils have to branch out to other Asian countries. Singapore how big? The trick is to move from one city to another before your "bawu" is discovered...

Another trick is the "same lamb; fleece many times" scheme to constantly churn out flavour of the month topics. This month penny stocks, next month options, the month after passive indexing, and next, next, next month factor investing...

Or just patiently wait for the next bull/bear cycle once you have exhausted your current batch of bei kambings trapped in your sales funnel. Every new cycle, there will be fresh cannon fodder added to the mix. Have faith.

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Deja Vu - Has it been this long?

Last night's US Fed "emergency" or inter-meeting rate cut caught me by surprise. 

The last time this happend was way back in 2008.


Has it been 11 years already?


Talk about deja vu..

As for Sars in 2003, that's a generation away as in 17 years!?

If I had a son then, he will be preparing to go to NS soon...

Those of us who had gone through "big wind, big wave", I guess we have a small edge over youth now? 

Especially when it comes to decision making and taking action. Wink.

Unless you are one of those veteran retail "investors" who talk and act like its your first year investing experience times 20 or 30 years.


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