Friday 24 July 2020

Chance meeting with the fisherman!

Guess who I met on the bus yesterday afternoon?

I was riding in bus 122, going to Tiong Bahru market at around 1.30 pm to buy braised duck for mom, when I saw CW getting up the bus!?

Of course I waved at him to say hello!

The funny thing, looking at the both of us - bermuda shorts, slippers, and worn-out T-shirts - we don't look anything like men of leisure at all...


But then again, the fact we can walk here, walk there on a weekday afternoon, and not stuck at our trading screens, it speaks volumes on our trading/investing styles....


Thursday 9 July 2020

Others Can; We Can't - Not So Bad After All!

I was fooling around as usual at CW's blog, then something interesting popped-out from the bantering...

What if there's a "lobang" that others can access, but we can't?

You'll be upset right?

So unfair!

It was about this voluntary cash refunds for CPF savings used for property purchases. 

There's some still grey areas that I'm not crystal - and I thought my england quite powderful!

Anyways, I won't talk too much about it.

I'm not a fan of voluntarily shoving money back into CPF; but tell me how we can get money out from CPF I'll be all ears!


Yup, I don't feel like giving you ideas for something that I wouldn't do myself.

What I can do is share something similar. 

With interest rates probably going down again, I believe property owners with outstanding housing loans are very much looking into refinancing their loans once again? 

1/2 percent saved here, 1 percent saved there. 

Can save a few thousands every year!

I can't join in the fun.


From the very day I bought my HDB 3 room resale flat, my outstanding housing loan was below $100K.

Banks not interested to do refinancing if the outstanding loan is below $100K.... No meat.

Should you be upset if you were in my shoes?

For those who don't get it, I shall be a bit clearer.

You mean those who got a $300K outstanding housing loan after buying a HDB 3 room resale flat be happier?


Yes, I do "lose out" by not being eligible to save on the small interest rate differentials through refinancing...

But the thought of "saving" $200K is perhaps compensation enough?

How's that for not sweating the small stuffs?

Like paying for life and medical insurance policies, we win when we lose; and we lose when we win?

Moral of story?

Don't get too upset when others can; we can't!

Monday 6 July 2020

This 99 years thingy...

I long time no tell stories already.

Funny right? And to think during my first year of blogging, I was telling stories left, right, and centre!

Kung fu don't use will depreciate one. So here goes!

Once upon a time in a little red dot island, a family - father, mother, and 2 lovely children boy and girl - went for an extended vacation for 99 days.

So they found a service apartment (or chalet if you prefer) online that charges $120 per day. But if they pay in full upfront, they can get a 15% discount. So they took it. 

Got discount don't take stupid or what?

The service apartment got 3 bedrooms. 

It didn't take long before the money-minded enterprising father figured out that if he can force persuade ah boy and ah girl to share the same room, he could rent out the spare room!

That he did. And to his joy and happiness, he could rent out that spare room for $50!

He almost wanted to bribe his two children to sleep in the living room to make another $50 before his wife chided him,

"Are we here to vacation or to make money!?"

Sheepishly he dashed that idea... If the price of earning that extra $50 meant children not happy and wife angry, then its too expensive!

Fast forward 30 days later, the whole family got bored with the city they were vacationing in. Let's fly and explore another city!

But problem. 

They've already paid upfront for the full 99 days of rent. Leave like that very wasted...  

No worries! 

Ever enterprising Dad talked to a few travel agents and found lots of people were most willing to take over the rest of the 69 days from them at 50% premium for what Dad has paid for 99 days!!!

How can it be? Can't people count?

Oh! It just so happens the city our protagonist family were vacationing in just happens to be hosting the - Olympics/F1 formula race/film festival/huge business convention - its just a story, take your pick!

Hotels fully booked with visitors from all over the world. Any room available people will grab!

Never plan, never do analysis. 

Being at the right place, at the right time, has triumphed everything!

Ecstatic. Off our vacationing family went to another city with huge smiles on their faces! 

How to describe that feeling of knowing the past 30 days' accommodation were "free", and the rest of your 69 days' renting costs are now subsidised by the 50% profit you've just made?

Long story short. The family came back to their little red dot island and shared their wonderful vacation time and bonus good fortune with relatives and friends.

Some who listened tried it out themselves and came back with affirmations of their own,

"It true! Can vacation and make money on the side one! No bluff!"

And so this "lobang" (hot tip) became known to anyone and everyone.

Now story moved to this Charlie Brown and his family. 

Hmm... If others can do it, why can't I?

So same, same Charlie Brown copy/paste exactly what others did.

I think you know what's coming. Wink.

Bang! The city he and his family vacationing in got hit with - hurricane/tsunami/earth quake/volcano eruption - chose whichever one you fancy. 

A bit too drama you think?

OK, story over.

I shall leave you with 1 question and 1 moral of the story.

1.  The dad in our first protagonist family story - was it luck or was it skill?

2.  The moral of the story is make sure your name not Charlie Brown!


Thursday 2 July 2020

Free-To-Play & Virginity

I must share a recent funny episode about this mobile gaming community in Reddit.

A gamer proudly screenshot his rank in PVP (player-versus-player) arena but titled his post as F2P (free-to-play).

Basically he was trying to be passive aggressive against those P2W (pay-to-win) players, implying as F2P, he too can achieve such a high ranking...

Making his "achievement", all the more impressive for all to see.

The trouble with internet is there's a paper trail.

Other Redditors were quick to dig up his old posts to show he indeed has bought gaming packs from the game developer during his early gaming days; and his previous posts boasting his collection of hard to get heroes were coming back to haunt him... 


Many were calling him a liar. A fake.

Then there are others who are quick to defend this gamer. 

Look! He only bought those gaming packs during his first few beginning months. Sure, they helped, but he has not bought anything since for the past 8 months. 

For all intended purposes, its perfectly fine to consider him "F2P" now. 

Don't be a pedantic and argue over semantics!

I couldn't stop myself laughing.

It made as much sense as your new girlfriend telling you she's a virgin for the past 8 months. 

Try it!

Next time people ask you whether you're a virgin, tell them you are one for the past 3 days.

See if they catch on to the joke... 


Jokes aside, you can see this kind of mental gymnastics in our financial community.

Let's take property.

The BTO flat prices offered by big daddy are very interesting. The top 2 floors are being offered at the same prices. 

If you had bought the 2nd highest floor, do you think you can advertise or pass off your flat as the "highest" top floor in your block? 

Do you really think you can get the same selling price as the ones on the top floor when its time for you to sell?  

Yet you are willing to pay the same price as the top floor when you can get the 3rd and 4th highest floors at lower prices...

How about perpetual bonds?

Now think about it. A "bond" with no maturity date...

Can it still be considered a bond?

Or maybe its more akin to equity in practice?

Don't look at me!

That's like lending money to a "friend" who promises to return it back whenever he feels like it. 

I should get more generous friends like you!

Then there's the home-made definitions when it comes to networth or calculating investment returns.

I forgot or didn't include this or that...

This I count, that I didn't....

Look! I only smoked; I didn't inhale...


Those of you who knows something about accounting will understand that's why we have Accounting Standards.

If we let companies decide what to include and what not to include, and come up with their own interpretations, then no need to pay taxes anymore!

Have fun! 

See if you can catch yourself trying to justify to yourself or others whenever you try to do something that makes no sense whatsoever.

But hey! What's life without a few little lies to ourselves?


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