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....



  1. Wah... Singapore so small ah... U two got connection.

    Tiong Bahru use to be my pai kia territory in my younger days. I live there for 2 decades.

    1. Rolf,

      Now Tiong Bahru is "ATTAS" and very HIP and COOL place to stay ;)

      Those who "worry" about the 99 years thingy won't understand why those 4 storey HDB walk-up apartments with less than 50 years leases are still selling for $600-700K!?

      As for those pre-war Art Deco apartments, no $1 million; no talk...

      That's the beauty of our Singapore story - from "pai kia" to Chief Shepherd.

      As for me, I'm still stuck at Queenstown. I like it here :)

  2. Hi Rolf, as bystanders we can't help but read and feel the strong affinity between the 🐜 and the πŸ¦— haha

    Hi SMOL, why "worry" when the 99years is a fact of life ;)

    1. Buildingmydream,

      The ant and the grasshopper have been poking each other for years, only to discover we are opposite sides of the same coin :)

      Well, this 99 years thingy definitely do not worry those who are financially "literate".

      But then again, let's see if they will bring it up in parliament (again) to assuage the concerns of the general public whose math and england less powderful...

      Those in our community who still cannot get over this 99 years thingy should never touch options, warrants, or rights issues...

    2. Looking forward to WP's working paper on 99 years thingy and see what is missing out by investment bloggers who like to count.

    3. CW,

      In the commercial and private property realm, the various options and precedents are all there for anyone to take a look.

      Big daddy even offered to buy back the remaining lease from HDB flat owners; there's a buyer of last resort for peace of mind.

      Of course in the open market can get better prices, maybe. That will depend on the prevailing market and how good is our negotiation and selling skills lor!

      Anyone who lets their HDB flats goes to ZERO through INACTION - who to blame?

      My bad.

      I'm a cat person; I don't like to be spoon-fed.

    4. Oops!... I did it again! Please excuse my incorrect 'Reply' click

      99years.. I will not attribute it to financial literacy but rather how woke individuals are.. 50-60 years ago when the general populace may not be as educated, the tendency to follow and 100% trust the landowner's marketing trends higher

      Of course this blanket generalisation excludes those who are woke or street smart.. don't believe? Ask the three blind mice!

      Also, the definition of "worry" may be different.. to some of our friends, this "worry" is more of the questioning and challenging the status quo rather than being worried per se

      Same with uncle CW8888,I look forward to the working paper too..

      Meow. Woof.

  3. Why does the 99 year lease not worry those that are financial literate?

    1. Evan,

      Well, if one is financially literate, one would understand the meaning of "leasehold" ;)

      This 99 years thingy...

      Besides the similarity to options, warrants, and rights issues that have a time expiry, if one cannot get over this 99 years thingy, then how to invest in:

      1) Listed toll roads, port, mining concessions?

      2) REITs that contain assets that are NOT freehold or with 999 year leases?

      3) Comfort Delgro and shipping trusts? Eventually, taxis; buses; trains; and ships have to be scrapped... Not zero value, but its still at scrapped prices...

      Is that why SIA so smart always sell their older planes at 2nd hand prices (when there's still a demand for them) instead of flying them until scrapped?

      When men do not understand the nature of lightning and thunder, there's fear and worry.

      Once men of science figured lightning and thunder out, the the worry is gone.

      Fear is managed by taking the necessary precautions, and with the invention of the lightning rod.

    2. I see your point i think. The difference between HDBs and options/reits/concessions/typical leases are that the general populace are brought up thinking that HDBs are a store of wealth. But one needs to start shifting that mental model to reflect that ultimately, we are just “renters”, and that we are essentially paying a lump sum for 99 years of rent upfront

    3. Evan,

      One is science - fact based.

      The other is "religion" - faith based.

      Thinking for ourselves is hard...

      Its understandable people would prefer to rely on a big daddy who would do all the hard thinking and take care of them, forever and ever...

      But the founding fathers are all gone now...

      The trick is NEVER outlive your big daddy!

  4. People worry becoz they mix up HDB lease with private property lease.

    Remember that HDB original purpose is not home ownership, but rental flats for low income. It got hijacked as a tool to tie down people to the country & therefore the law had to be cobbled up overnight to allow lease ownership.

    This new type of public housing lease is not 100% private property lease. Govt still needed to have intrusive lessor-lessee relationship, land control, and final arbiter of lease disposal. This means no suka suka ownself enbloc. No choice coz govt needed to retain the land for future public housing needs.

    In return you get to buy a flat much cheaper than a private leasehold apartment.

    And 99 yrs is a long time to extract value from a flat, even if big daddy ultimately owns it. There are many ways to use the system to your benefit. E.g. using your 1st BTO to get a fully paid 2nd BTO -- in a way doing your own SERS, albeit not as good.

    Hopefully govt can be more upfront & explain in simple and blunt language. More facts & less motherhood talk. LOL.

    Even in private leasehold, there are those who don't understand English & still expect to have cheap cheap renewal at the end of 99 yrs. Luckily (or unluckily) so far private leasehold get enbloc before such financial illiteracy come to fruition.

    When 80+% of sinkies can afford 1+, 2+ million dollar flats, then HDB job is done. And it can go back to focus on pure rental flats for the bottom 10-20%.

  5. Spur,

    It reminds me of those lucky ones who got in under the HUDC scheme.

    Big daddy probably got tired of coddling people who can take care of themselves, and let them go with a golden handshake ;)


    Singapore becomes like HK?

    Majority stay in private properties and not public housing???

    Like that how to "influence" the flock by dangling the HDB upgrading carrot?

    It worked on the old fogeys but youths didn't bite.

    There goes the HDB repossessing stick if the flock flouts the terms and conditions of staying in public housing...

    And I thought that's already a red flag like you say - HDB lease is same same but different from private property lease ;)

    I think we better stop scratching. Wait people become more moody...

    If HDB dwellers want to believe they are "land owners", just like those "investors" who think they are "business owners" because they bought a few shares into a listed company...

    Hey! If that makes people happy, where's the harm?


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