Saturday, 14 November 2020

To Invest - We Need Capital


Gamers out there know when you grind your way to end game, that's when the real fun begins! 

And that is true for the path financial freedom too.

To invest, we first need to have CAPITAL.

That's where SAVE MORE comes in.

All we need is discipline. 

Yet not everyone and anyone can do it. 

Some people earn $1 must spend $1. 

Some earn $1 can spend $1.20....

So when schools or big daddy introduce financial literacy workshops to the public, it has to focus on SAVE MORE. 

Start with the basics.

Its also why we see so many financial portals and blogs talk about "earning" miles, comparison of bank or credit card interest rates, discount this, offer that; etc.

If we move to the realm of EARN MORE, it starts to get murky and where dragons and snakes co-mingle.

On one side we have snake oils who unabashedly proclaim they can help you to become millionaires or financially free (rich say rich lah):

No money down!

5 minutes a day!

Passive (which means you get rich while you sleep?)


Anyone and everyone can do it!

All you need is faith (???)

Then there are initiatives done with the best of intentions - like SRS, CPFIS, offering discounted SingTel shares to the general public (one time deal only?) - all in the name of encouraging more people to dip their toes into the realm of EARN MORE.

But that's hard.

Sometimes, the more we invest, the more we lose...

Some of us know it all too well. 

That's why we don't encourage or give investing/trading tips to friends and relatives anymore....

Make money they don't thank us; lose money we get the blame.

Spare us the grief!

So we stick to SAVE MORE tips.

And that's safe!

To invest, we need CAPITAL.

(If you then go and lose all that capital, its all on you!)



  1. Many people lost their capital because of greed. Tempted by the promise of quick $$, they eventually lost their $$. There are good reasons why it's boring learning finance and investment from a reputable university and it's very hype learning it from the get-rich-quick courses.

    1. Yaruzi,

      I'm just as puzzled why people would pay for overpriced "get rich quick" watered-down fundamental analysis workshops, when there are so many part-time Business Finance for Non-Accounting professionals courses offered by our universities and polytechnics?

      And I thought Singaporeans like to collect "stamps" through continuous upgrading? I mean these diplomas are recognised by big daddy! No?

      Of course we know why ;)

      Most attend snake oil workshops not to learn the craft of investing nor to think for themselves...

      They just want the shepherd to tell them what stocks to buy!

    2. Well, to be fair, there are legit investment courses out there. I myself once paid less than $200 for a year subscription to get a glimpse how an experienced investor constructed their portfolio and the though process behind. Personally, I think it was money well spent as it saved me tons of time analyzing good companies and their financials. I used to believe time is money, but now I believe time is more valuable than money.

    3. Yaruzi,

      If we took a course on baking, we learn baking. Period.

      How would we view a course on baking that "promises" we can be a millionaire by signing for the baking course?

      Yet the same logic fails on those who sign up for snake oil investment/trading courses that promises the moon...

      Yes, there are legit investment courses out there. A good example would be those courses found in the portal of SGX. (Eh, SGX, you owe me a drink!)

      Of course SGX would not allow any of their trainers to promise financial freedom, riches, or a thousand virgins!!!

      If you want to learn how to construct a portfolio like mutual or hedge funds, you get to learn the tools and thought processes behind them.

      If you want to learn candlestick charting, you'll learn that technique. Nothing more; nothing less. Just like learning how to bake ;)

  2. Greed is one thing. Lack of knowledge is another. Most have little patience, and wanted short term "no need effort" success.

    Wah... got ah!

    Btw, too many get rich from stocks/properties, Ads on Youtube nowadays!

    1. Rolf,

      The number of ads on how to start our own e-commerce business or make money through internet marketing/drop shipping is too hilarious for me to even comment...

      Its just old wine in new bottle.

      Before big daddy clamped down on the insurance and property industry, during my time there were lots of classified ads touting we can millionaires by becoming insurance or property agents!?

      Then there was MLM. Died down nowadays I think?

      Of course the evergreen 2 most popular get rich schemes would still be investing in equities and/or properties.

      Although I would add cryptos is the flavour of the decade for youths today ;)

      Rest assured there will always be snake oils eager to share with others HOW to make money! (Not for free of course!)

      Some things never change...

  3. Lack of capital? Under low rate environment, snake oil has courses to teach us leveraged investing for passive income. Why don't you take advantage of probably once in lifetime opportunity to do leveraged investing? Be brave. LOL!

    1. CW,

      You think why property prices holding up so well despite this Wuhan virus thingy?

      Interest rate so low, just borrow!

      If not now, when?

      Wait till interest rates rebound to 5-6%?

      Its all fun and games until you lost your job.

      Or your tenants lost theirs.

      Nothing goes up forever; nothing stays down forever.

  4. Hi SMOL,

    Allow me this indulgence. I shared the below thoughts at another platform, as a stress relief. This being November, thought work would be winding down, but instead workload went crazy. Hopefully can take a breather in December to recharge.

    "Good morning all, please indulge me once more as I put forward different takes to the conventional sayings.

    1. Health is Wealth

    2. Time is Money

    3. Passive Income is Passive

    4. Inflation is bad

    5. AIM for the top spot in your career

    6. Money cannot buy Happiness

    1. Health is Wealth
    Is this true? Health and Wealth do NOT have the same unit of measure and thus should not be equated. Comparing and equating the two is like comparing distance to temperature.  Health in many cases is more important than Wealth, but unlike Wealth, Health has shelf life. As one ages, Health declines while Wealth could be increasing. At the end of one's life, Health goes to zero while Wealth will remain if not consumed or even grow when invested properly, long after Health is gone! You can bequeath your Wealth but NOT your Health.

    2. Time is Money
    Again the two have different units of measure.
    However, most of us can easily relate to the statement because all of us, for most part of our lives, exchanged our time for money. If we dont do something about this endless cycle, we will continue to exchange our time for money till the day we die.  To get out of, or at least minimise this "Time is Money" cycle, we need to create other sources of income. The more passive the income, the better.

    Remember Time is LIMITED, while money can be earned, you cannot take back the TIME that has passed. So Time is NOT Money.

    3. Passive Income is PASSIVE
    The only passive income I know of was when I was receiving allowance from my father. All my passive income now required some heavy lifting upfront. Even now, as they are quite established,  I still have to maintain them, and prepare monthly status reports to the CEO (my dear wife).  Plus I have to ensure the passive income can keep pace with or beat inflation. Passive Income is thus NOT truly passive.

    4. Inflation is bad
    Inflation affects everyone of us but do we need to fear inflation? If we are just consumers, then we should fear inflation as it erodes our purchasing power.  On the other hand, when we own assets (including human asset, ourselves) inflation could be good and may even be welcomed.  So be on the right side of inflation - own assets.

    5.  Aim for the TOP spot in your career.
    Everyone wants to do well in their career but that does not necessary mean aiming to be at the top.  The higher one climbs in their career,  the more responsibilities and stress you shoulder. For all you know, the CEOs or business owners may be secretly envious of their staff who can enjoy their vacation without a care while the CEOs and business owners have to constantly worry about work and business 24/7 and even on vacation!

    I would say go for the SWEET spot, not the TOP spot. The Sweet spot is the point where you are your competent best, where the pay is decent and on work that you enjoy.  From my observation, my colleagues and friends who are in their SWEET spot in their careers tended to have better job longevity.

    6. Money cannot buy Happiness.
    I would say this statement is incongruent to this "xxxx" group.  Need I say more!?😃😄

    1. mysecretinvestment,


      You definitely can think for yourself!

      As someone who likes to argue with the STOP sign, this post of yours is definitely right up my alley :)

      For your point 6, I would like to add a very thought provoking statement from a HK comedy movie some decades back:

      "I would rather cry fake tears of regret sitting in my limousine, than to be homeless and sleeping under the flyover and telling myself little lies that I'm happy with nothing!"

      Happiness to me is when I eat water melons, I don't have to eat all the way to the green part ;)


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