Wednesday 29 December 2021

Overseas Property Investing Risks


Property disputes in Batam

Need we say more?

Another good example in showing the difference between knowledge and wisdom....

That's why my former Swiss expat boss have a lawyer vet through his employment contract each time he got a new overseas assignment - especially when big money is involved. 

Ever puzzled why companies have to pay millions in compensation when firing their CEOs?

The CEOs got good, better, best lawyers drafting their employment contracts!!!

It reminded me of a legal case I learnt during night class decades ago...

A construction company agreed to hand over a property development to the owner AFTER completion of a 12 floor office building.

Guess what?

The construction company just build up to 11 floor and never handed over the building, citing construction delays... Meanwhile conveniently leasing out the lower floors in its possession.

Like that also can!?

So when people "promise" a lease extension for a "premium"... The wise and savvy ones would ask, "What is a premium?"

You "assumed" its a few hundred Ks? 

People can ask for a billion or a trillion! Nothing wrong right?

You think why big daddy dropped the 99 year leasehold bombshell on us years ago?

Its to prepare the ground for the day they take back those "ancient" HDB flats when their 99 year leases are up - without compensation.

Not every citizen got study Business Law...

Show with example the best:

Geylang private homes returned to State

Glad our repossessions are done more professionally; no fuss, no muss.

Many years ago when a Mainland Chinese supplier told me he prefers to work with Singaporeans, he has to be very alert when working with Hong Kongers and Taiwanese, I didn't take it as a compliment. 

What he meant between the lines is that Singaporeans are follow the law straight straight "bei kambing" little red riding hoods... Much easier to deal with! 

Sure, overseas property investing can be "cheaper". 

If going overseas to do your university degree, you would want to go to universities that are more prestigious than our local universities right?

But doing overseas property investing, similar to you no choice have to go overseas to study as you can't get into our local universities, is same same but different!

Same same overseas degree; academic respect not the same. 

As evident in your starting pay...

Just ask yourself. Would the Batam developer do what they did if majority of the owners were local Indonesians?

Any property developments that are targeted exclusively to foreigners, is that a good thing or bad thing?

Don't look far, just look around back home. Wink.

Passing tourist dragon can't beat local local snake!

Monday 27 December 2021

I Guess I Should Be Grateful?


This year blew by so quickly that it just occurred to me I just had a "lost" year!?

I mean I didn't learn or accomplish anything new.

Talk about "stagnation"...


Still, I guess I am grateful on how the year has turned out.

From the macro side, grateful that Singapore has no tornadoes, typhoons, or hurricanes! Imagine your home or life's work just blown away by the forces of Mother Nature?

Earthquakes and volcano eruptions? We lucky to born here or what?

How about 1 in 100 year floods? Ours reach ankle level we complain and whine; other people's floods can result in actual deaths one...

Must give credit when credit is due. Big daddy has done a good job on what we can control when it comes to flood alleviation works. 

What we can't control, as in actual rainfall, we leave it to the heavens.

On the micro personal side, no major accidents or health issues for family, thank goodness nothing to worry about.

I've tempered my expectations on this Wuhan virus thingy.  Beginning of this year was a bit angry and down as I thought the most this Wuhan virus pandemic would last was at most one year... How wrong I was!!!

Frustrating right? Just when we thought we can move forward and treat it as endemic, this new variant came knocking...

Now we have a few clusters of the new variant, hope we don't become like UK next year, that will already be a blessing!


Goals and resolutions for next year?


I'll follow the discipline from my trading and investing.

Focus on what I can Control.

Let go of things I can't control nor influence. (Of course be conscious and aware of what they are, but what's the point of getting angry or worry about them?)

Got time left over then maybe can work on things I can Influence. (Like encouraging mom to go for her booster shot)

We old fogeys have it easier. 

I mean 2 or 3 years don't matter that much at our age.

For youths below 18, they have already lost 2 years that's never coming back...

But there's something that no virus or pandemic can take away:

Youths, your strength is you don't know what cannot be done!

Thursday 23 December 2021

You Are Not Their Customer If It's Free!


In gacha mobile gaming, its the Free-to-Play players that make the most noise and laughable complaints.

I'm FTP by the way. (Its an inside joke in the gacha gaming community)

But at least I know my place.

These FTP players are clueless they are not the customers of the mobile game. We are part of the game design!

Why do players dump money into a game as Pay-to-Win players when we can play for free?

Because it feels good to thrash other players!

I mean no one will brag about beating AI characters; we all know AI bosses suck.

But its different when we know there's a real life person behind that nick we are beating into a pulp. Wink.

There's a running joke that gamers have no life, no friends in the real world, that sort of thing...

So as a form of "escapism", who doesn't like the accolades and adulations you get as one of the top players in the virtual world?

Have the rarest of rare heroes, or god-like gear that we FTP cannon fodders can only dream of?

(You think why men buy flashy cars and women buy luxury handbags in real life?)

This only works if there are enough FTP weaklings for these PTW players to bully. 

Hence game developers have to attract enough FTP players or else the game dies.

Have you ever thought how do brokers that offer "FREE" trading make money?

Of course you are NOT their customers either.

With access to all the collective order flows (you are part of the product), these brokers will sell this valuable information to their real customers - the PTW institutional players.

You may also want to check around. Do institutional traders/investors, with their millions in transactions, use these "FREE" brokers? 

They could be saving tons in transaction fees alone!

Strangely, "FREE" brokers are only targeting retail traders/investors. Hmm... I wonder why?

In retail, when you purchase something for $100, and it turned out to be a lemon, of course you can bang table and ask for a refund.

The retailer will give you your $100 back. 

When you use a "FREE" broker, just when the market is most volatile exciting, the platform dies due to overload, causing you to either miss an opportunity of a lifetime; or worse, drowning you in steep losses because you can't get out in time...

How do you get compensation?

You paid "FREE"; they refund you "FREE".

Thursday 16 December 2021

Ultraman is here in Singapore!


This is so cool and nostalgic! 

Good job STPB!!!

I started watching Ultraman during primary 2.

It was the Ultraman Jack series (not this first Ultraman in the video).

And it was in Malay as it was from the Malaysian channel. 

That's how I learned "raksasa" in Malay for monster. Wink.


I think I used that on some of my teachers...  LOL!

Knew all the Ultraman brothers until Taro. 

My favourite is UltraSeven! (He looks different! I guess from young I never wanted to join the crowd?)

Its incredible this Ultraman universe is still growing strong in Japan. 

55 year anniversary!!!

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Warren Buffett's Story Telling On Earn More


Found this interesting speech by Warren to a group of entrepreneurs.

Just thought his story telling ties in nicely to what I've wrote last week on the Paradox of Success.

Friday 10 December 2021

The Paradox Of Success


Have you noticed for every "wise" saying, there's always another contradictory "wise" saying to counteract it?

Let's use 2 examples from our 5,000 years of Chinese wisdom:

人定胜天 - I decide my own destiny!

天时, 地利, 人和 - I just got lucky!

When we are climbing UP the mountain to seek success, we can't believe in luck, destiny, and all things that suggest its pure coincidence, can we?

I mean why bother if whatever we do, its just like buying Toto? All randomness?

That's why most Chinese parents put so much emphasis on study hard and work hard! Get into brand name schools, win scholarships that sort of thing.

Its the legacy of the old Chinese Imperial Exams system that's so embedded into our collective DNA...

Its gives us "comfort" to know we can "control" our own destiny.

But in reality, we know that's not completely true... 

Some no study or got lousy grades can also become filthy rich!?

Some got multiple degrees, magna cum laude this, summa cum laude that, also like that lor after leaving school...

You can Trust but Verify at class reunions. 

What's the paradox then?

Its when we have climbed to the summit of the mountain and achieved whatever that is we call "success", the WISER ones will sing another tune.

Its self interest. Especially when we want to be liked or be happier.

These successful people will start to downplay their own efforts - those blood, sweat, and tears shed during the climb up - and put more emphasis on luck, the help others have given them along the way, grace from heaven that sort of thing...


Have you been in the company of those who are successful but feel very entitled to their success? 

Not pleasant is it? They are so full of it!

They are the ones who believed, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail..."

Its another way of saying, "If you born poor its not your mistake, but if you die poor it's your mistake!" 

Would those humble successful people you've praised a lot, and enjoyed their company with treat you like that?

Where does humbleness come from?

It only comes when we are grateful.

How can we be grateful when we think success it all due to us and us alone?

I think this is where the humble atheist and the grateful believer have a lot in common. Wink.

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Most Effective Hedge Against Inflation


Earn More.

No. I'm not kidding!

Let's start at the country level. Throughout our human history, there were many bouts of high inflation. Yet humanity still survived. 

Of course there were countries that suffered and fell into oblivion, then there were countries that thrived.

If you not a fan of history, but you love travelling, next time you visit those countries that have lots of zeros on their dollar bills, try asking the tour guide or locals how they, or their parents/grand parents, survived through it.

Who "prospered" from high inflation, and who got "clobbered"...  I'll bet that will be more illuminating than reading "theories" and "opinions"!

Especially youths who have not experienced inflation of the 70s. 

Wait. I so stupid! Just ask your parents or grandparents also can! Travel not needed.

If a country can export and earn more revenues than the what they have to pay in imports, does inflation matters?

Just look at oil producing countries. If they can raise oil prices in an inflationary environment, would they be complaining?

At the corporations level, you know you may have to update your resume when the company you working for is practicing austerity in an inflationary environment...

That meant the company can't raise prices despite higher input costs. It has no pricing power.

But if you working for Apple or Microsoft, customers may complain about higher prices, but they still will buy as that's the power of having fan boys and girls as your customer base. For Microsoft's "captive customer" base , unless you are a techie who can switch to Linux, switching to Apple is "lagi" more expensive!

And that's the same for boring and defensive companies like utilities, telecoms, and public transport... Unless big daddy is willing to subsidise us by "stealing" from our grandchildren, what can we do as consumers facing higher prices?

Utilities and telecoms no way out. At best we use less; practice Save More. Only public transport we can do something about it. Walk or cycle to work anyone? We can "spin" it as being environment friendly!!!

"Look ma! No carbon footprint!"

Now comes to the individual level. Inflation sucks for those who are on a FIXED income. And those whose pay raises are lower than the inflation rate.

But if you are a high performer, you are not phased by it. Not when you are getting double digit pay increments annually like 10% or more... And 40-50% promotional pay increases every 2-3 years!

True or not?

That's where most of us in this community comes in. Why do we invest or trade? 

Because our day job sucks lah! Or we suck at our day job; don't hit the face!

No choice. The Save More route is out for us; that's for the high income earners. 

Hence Earn More it is!

Talking about Earn More, I would like to give a shout out to Kevin of Turtle Investor:

Alternative Income  (I like this post as few commercial bloggers are so transparent. Read the part about active efforts on his part)

There! If our alternative incomes are more than our regular day job, whose afraid of a little inflation?

Ah! How to Earn More if you want minimum effort with maximum reward? And you not really into craftmanship that sort of thing?

Buy Toto?  

I must write to Singapore Pools for affiliate marketing commissions! I am plugging Toto so often, at the very least, buy me a drink!

Friday 3 December 2021

Bad Decisions


If we can't laugh at ourselves from time to time, it simply means you are trying too hard...

Sunday 28 November 2021

Conflict Of Interest

An interesting episode happened yesterday.

While applying the "free" membership for a customer (the rewards point "hook" to seduce customers to come back), I was surprised another person is using the same HDB address.

It could be the previous owner.

So I asked the customer whether she recognise the name.

Nope. But wait. That's her property agent!

I can see my customer not happy. Of course anyone can see she got "conned" by her property agent. 

No wonder the property agent insisted cannot get a lower price... My customer fumed...

It reminded of a similar case quite a few decades back.

Although this time, the property agent is the actual buyer..

The property agent probably realised his client is a bei kambing. The owner of the condo along the Singapore river had no clue how much his condo was worth??? 

Everything trust the agent!? Agent says what, believed hook, line, and sinker.

Let's just say the condo was probably worth $1.8 or $2 million, but the property agent told his client that the market price is around $1 to $1.2 million (its just an example I came up but you get the picture).

Remember, this was a time where property listings on the internet was not common. 

And it worked!

His client sold the property to the wife (of course pretend to be just another buyer) of the property agent without knowledge of the conflict of interest.

And the property agent made a handsome profit by flipping the property to the next genuine buyer.

Stealing candy from children. Easy!

Thankfully there's justice.

The bei kambing condo owner found out he was conned months later and took his property agent to court.

The condo owner is a bei kambing when it came to property matters... But he is no bei kambing when it came to his securing his rights and knowing how to seek damages and redress!!!

This condo owner is  probably someone who not interested in financial matters as he was preoccupied with his career or business... (Shocker! Not every so money minded like us)

And the funny thing, the property agent turned out to be the CEO of his own property agency!?

Talk about leading from the top!

Make a guess. 

When you attend property classes, workshops, seminars that "shrill" certain properties, are there conflicts of interests?

And if it can happen to properties... Can it not happen to forex, options, equities, insurance, and what not?

How to gain street smarts fast?

If you are between jobs, waiting for exam results, or having school holidays, just join any insurance or property agencies for "fun" and you'll get the insider view. 

Who knows? You may enjoy being a snake-oil!

You may also want to join those adult education "academies" as "volunteers" or minimum wage "helpers". 

This one you may need to join a few. 

Then you'll realise there's a set pattern or modus operandi which they all practice to channel bei kambings into their sales funnels.

It all starts from the "free" seminar or viewing. Wink.

Of course anyone in sales, purchasing or have your own businesses already got "crash got sound" experiences with "conflicts of interest".

Some give; some take.

Like they say in the Army,  

"Can do anything you want, just don't get caught!"

Big daddy made it clear some years back to their civil servants, and shepherds of big daddy linked companies, even if no money is involved, getting "free" sexual services is also a conflict of interest!

And you thought that sort of thing only happened in the entertainment industry...


Wednesday 24 November 2021

Intermittent Slowness? Remember Ponding?


You smart; others not stupid.

The problem is you "think" you smart...

Look, there is a time for euphemisms, and there's a time for telling it like it is.

Land owners and alpha shepherds have no need to hide behind sugar-coated words. 

The wise ones often encourage straight talking from their underlings. 

If we punish messengers of bad news, then no one will tell us the truth!

Until its too late...

You can see how communist China behaved during the first SARs outbreak and this Wuhan virus pandemic.


I don't think Singapore is anywhere near that bad.

Unfortunately, it seems the lessons from the "ponding" incident have been forgotten...

Service recovery anyone?

Any old fogeys here remember the big fumble by Coca Cola during 1985?

Management replaced Coke with "New Coke"; the public revolted.

The red-faced management was forced to bring back the original formula back within months.

Paradoxically, this quick about-face actually helped boost Coke's credibility!?

Accountability really helps when you own up to it!

The recovery was so "brilliant" that some even "suspect" Coke engineered the whole thing to increase sales!!!

I hope when big daddy looked into this incident, they would "encourage" their own vested interest to tell it like it is.

Like how they "encouraged" and "educated" their civil servants many years back.

"If its a flood, say its a flood. What's with the ponding? Who's kidding who?"

I'm not vested in DBS.

But I'm very vested as a Singaporean citizen and consumer.

We can do better.

Sunday 21 November 2021

3 Stories; 3 Reflections


The other day we were talking about ikigai.

Found this video to be quite interesting to reflect on.

Why we do the things we do. 

What's it all for anyways?

I would like to draw your attention to the 2nd video - the little girl selling pineapple "ice-cream".

It seems from the comments in YouTube, most have missed the "essence" of what's it all about....

If you're an educator, of course you know. But its hard to execute in today's system. That's why the wise religious gurus only use this method for their more equal "inner chamber" students.

As for the rest of their anyone and everyone students, they do what you do today. Its just for KPIs only; since they don't really matter. 

For parents, it can be hard if you have not got to where you are today using the same method as in the 2nd video. 

So like the poverty trap, its back to doing the same thing over and over in the next generation but expecting a different result...

That's also a reason why I suspect so many in our community are either too eager to Indian Chief others what to do; or honestly believing others will help them reach their financial Nirvana without they themselves putting in any effort on their part!? 

And the most ironic of all, most have got it all backwards...

You create wealth through SELLING; not buying.




Wednesday 17 November 2021

GIC versus CPF


GIC Celebrates Its Achievements

5% above global inflation?

Fair enough.

I mean its not Temasek.

When you read through the chronological history of GIC, some of you may see what I see:

1)  Great Market Timing Or What?  

Why did Mr Goh Keng Swee bother setting up GIC in the first place? I mean "risk-free" US 10 year treasuries were yielding above 10% in the early 80s!? 

Try figuring out what better long-term returns meant?

When GIC was setup during May 1981, was it blind dumb luck or was it great marketing timing as US bonds were near the bottom of its bear cycle?

2)  Baxxs Bigger!

Early 2000s GIC became more confident and mancho! Less reliant on cash and bonds?

No worries mate! I got it!

Pivot to more public and private equity and real estate!!!

Give GIC a Tiger!

3)  Passive To Active

To some, this may come as a surprise!

2010s to 2020s....

Isn't this the time when passive investing was beating the majority (75%) of active funds handily?

And Warren Buffett won his bet?

Wait. What?


I'm having a chuckle right now! 

Feels good.

My poke is safe!


Sunday 14 November 2021

Property Versus Stocks (REITs)


You know the bullshit out there?

Its not a fair or balanced comparison when right out of the gate, you can't afford properties yet lah! Wink.

I mean anyone and everyone can afford $1,000 to buy a stock or REIT. 

Youth, remember your goal to earn and save $100K before 30? 

Well, that's just nice to pay for the 20% deposit for a $500K HDB 5 room flat. 

And... Poof! Just like that, its all gone in one concentrated position! 

So if you have anything less than $100K, you don't have write a cock and bull story why you are into stocks (REITs) over properties. 

We can all see what's going on....

Most of us prefer real people, real stories.

I would think there's a little more "credibility" listening to someone in their 40s, who have the actual capital to invest in a second rental/investment property, sharing their "crash got sound" experiences and learnings from having their fingers bloodied in both stock (REITs) and property investing. 



Thursday 11 November 2021

To Concentrate Or Diversify?

That's not difficult to answer.

There's usually 2 situations where one tends to concentrate or diversify - depending on one's situation.

1)  Got craft? 

When you are clueless to what doing you, of course being diversified is one way to ownself do less harm to ownself.

But if you believed "luck" is preparation meeting opportunity; when opportunity presents itself, of course you would concentrate and strike while the iron is hot!

That's what edge over others or craftmanship is for!

2)  Up mountain or down mountain?

When you have nothing else to aim for, or is wary of giving back to the markets what you have gained so far, then diversification to protect wealth may be the preferred choice.

It could also be due to shrunken baxxs due to old age... 

But if you're like that Indonesian Chinese who went from $1 billion to $7 billion with his concentrated bet on Tesla, and is still aiming to reach $100 billion, then concentrated bets would be the poison of choice.

He reminds me of the tale of the bird with no legs... Got to keep flying... Always on the way...

What has age got to do with anything!?


Thursday 4 November 2021

The Reason You Get Up In The Morning


Regular readers of my previous post - What Then? Be A Prostitute? - have correctly guessed I'm poking parrots who just vomit out mindless catchphrases without much internalisation or deeper thought themselves.

Let's take ikigai.

What comes to mind immediately?

The diagram below?

Hands up anyone who have heard only of the this word "ikigai" or seen the diagram above, but have not read any actual literature on ikigai?

That didn't stop anyone from "pretending" to know everything there is about ikigai, does it?

Want to bet if you talk to a Japanese, or to be more precise, an Okinawan, they wouldn't express ikigai like the diagram above? 

The diagram above is  definitely something a Westerner would come up with! Everything with clear boundaries - with a name for each box you happen to belong to. A is for apple... B is for boy...

As for those of us who have not forgotten our Oriental roots and culture, you would know right away that's not how we Asians think! Philosophically speaking - we are very holistic and fuzzy, fuzzy; often clear as mud!

Its like trying to describe the taste of mango to someone who has never eaten one.

That's why I prefer to describe ikigai as, "The reason we get up in the morning." 

Of the many descriptions of ikigai, I like this one the best!


Remember those days when we were young we can't wait for tomorrow to arrive? It could be Christmas, a school excursion, going on a date, a sporting event?

As we enter the workforce, ever had those days when we were eager to show up at work every morning? Or during the weekends, we can't wait for Monday to come sooner?

But when we drag waking up in the mornings, or suffer from Monday blues, we know something is not right in our lives...

Some numb themselves with alcohol or drugs. 

Extreme cases, some decide to not to wake up ever...

On a side note, please seek medical help or talk to a person that matters if you find yourself avoiding waking up in the mornings persistently. 

In case you didn't know, although ikigai as a concept has existed as part of Japan's culture, it was Meiko Kamiya who popularised ikigai to the general public in modern day Japan through her book, "On the meaning of life (ikigai)" in 1966. 

Surprisingly, her book was never translated to English!?

Want to see the Japanese version of ikigai in picture?


Hey! I'm going off tangent again! 

Some readers may exclaim in frustration...

Some are probably still waiting for the reasons why I'm poking both contradictory catchphrases below:

1.  Follow your passion!

2.  Follow your passion is the worst career advice!

Well, it's your life.

Who better to judge whether your life has meaning, or are you happy?

Plus whether the pursuit of more money would fill the holes-in-your-heart... 

And you don't mind being a prostitute at all just as long the money is right!

Or is you life so shallow that you are easily manipulated influenced by some mere catchphrases uttered or written by people whom you don't know well at all?


Monday 1 November 2021

What Then? Be A Prostitute?


Don't follow your passion?


So what's the alternative?

Just as long the money is good, you'll do it?



Isn't that the definition of a prostitute?

And I thought I'm the man-whore in the community!

Never mind if your workplace is toxic. If pay is good, better, best, why complain? Suck it up!

So what if the company is a slave driver. Expects you to work 60 hour work weeks. I mean who have heard of anyone dying from hard work?

Eh... Karoshi?

But, but... This job pays triple what I can get from a less stressful job... 

Look! Just focus on money!

Money, money, money.

Earn and save as much as possible. Take the money to invest for passive income.

Then we can all attain FIRE at 35!

Suffer first; enjoy later.

P.S.  That's provided you don't die of heart failure or have a mental breakdown first!

And when we are working 60 hour work weeks, or mentally stressed from work, pray tell how the hell one got the time and composure to find the "right" passive income vehicle that matches our temperature?

Friday 29 October 2021

HDB Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) Great For Pinnacle Flat Owners!


Remember I was explaining how owners of those "rare" HDB terraces houses were pretty upset when their houses were chosen for enbloc eons ago?

Yup, there are always exceptions in life. Someone's loss is another person's gain.

Those "lucky" HDB terrace house owners that were not chosen for enbloc got to thank big daddy big time! 

Big daddy made those "rare" HDB terrace houses even "rarer"!

If I'm a flat owner at Pinnacle, I would be jumping with joy! And high-fiving with my neighbours right now! 

As big daddy build more PLH BTOs in future, those HDB flats located in prime location (Pinnacle) that have no extra encumbersome rules and restrictions, what do you think?

Will they not be more popular? 


I wonder who are those 7,500 "kaypohs" that so "generously" provided feedback to big daddy?

It would interesting to find out how many were staying in private condos or landed properties?

Is it a social economic class thing?

Ahem, rental incomes and capital gains should only be the purview of private property owners. 

Subsidised public housing should be for living in purposes only, OK? (KNS)

Or can it be the majority of the 7,500 contributors are sour grape HDB heartlanders doing the dog in manger thing? 

Wait. Of the 7.500, some are waiting to get their first HDB flats?

You know what would be "justice"?

Let them get their PLH BTO flats!!!

When they gave their 2 cents' worth, I bet these Charlie Browns probably thought they won't be so lucky as to get the ballot for these PLH BTOs!

Readers who have bought the recent BTOs at Telok Blangah, come, I congratulate you!

Some of you is pure dumb luck.

But some of you is "preparation meeting opportunity". Wink. 

You took noticed when the Greater Southern Waterfront project was first announced in 2013, and more importantly, you took action!

Now you pray a future PLH BTO would be announced near your flats.

I don't think you need me to spell it out for you...

There is still hope for those of us not staying inside the Central Area or Greater Southern Waterfront project.

There is another definition called the Central Region.

I'll also use this Wikipedia link for Central Region to make it easier for bei kambings to determine which HDB towns are included. 

A quick question: Where is Telok Blangah!? 

This proves those who are staying in Telok Blangah, Bukit Merah or Queenstown have our backyard edge over those who not familiar with the area. Wink.

Its a big region. 

Look, big daddy says they have plans to launch one PLH BTO per year...

It won't happen within the next few years. But in a decade or two? 

When all the available land in the Central Area or Greater Southern Waterfront have been allocated to PLH BTOs?

HDB flat owners staying at Kallang or Marine Parade area would be hoping the future Dakota BTOs would be part of PLH!

Same for me. 

I mean Bukit Merah and Queenstown are within walking/cycling distances to the Greater Southern Waterfront project. 

Bukit Merah residents you go via Henderson Road; we in Queenstown use the Alexandra Road. Both very green and scenic. 

We don't compete amongst ourselves. Either one of us get, we'll share in the halo effect! Its all good.

Our "competitor" will be those residing in the East. They got "lao goh" to lobby for them!?


What about Bishan and Toa Payoh in the North of Central Region?

Eh... Sorry. You're not in the running.

Not I say one hor!

P.S.  You know why so many suck at fundamental analysis? Don't read annual reports?

In the wall of text for the Bishan and Toa Payoh link, if you not observant and missed that one sentence...

I know. 

Reading is hard.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Bring Forward Or Delay The Inevitable?


For those of us snake oils who have planned or participated in sales promotions or marketing campaigns, have you ever experienced this inconvenient truth?

I mean we celebrate when the marketing campaign has been a success! Get our extra commissions, bonuses; plus accolades and recognition from top management.  

But then sales for the next few months dropped quite a bit lower than previous years...

It quickly dawned on us that we have merely brought forward the sales from future months.

In fact, the company would have made more money had we not done the sales promotion in the first place...

What do we do?

Of course next quarter or next year, we will still propose doing the same thing all over again!

That's the difference between hired guns/sellswords from business owners.

Especially when we noticed the business owner is "passive" or not very hands on. Wink.

Got to feel for big daddy. 

During early days of Wuhan virus pandemic, got "recognised" worldwide for our zero Wuhan virus strategy.

Compared to the alarming number of deaths and infections around the world, we really stood out. 

Even got "luxury" to start planning how to "profit" from this pandemic like in past crises. If we open up before everyone else...

Then discovered we are merely delaying the inevitable...

While other countries have peaked, their deaths and infections numbers coming down...

We are now playing "catch up"...

This is not a smart alec "behind horse cannon" poke. On hindsight, everyone is genius!

This post is for those who like to parrot.

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Monday 25 October 2021

SkyParc@Dawson Lauded For Good Design And Construction


Not I say one hor!

HDB said so!

For those who prefer to Trust but Verify:

Living With Birds And Bees

Luck is sometimes preparation meeting opportunity.

Total 5 sites for us to choose our replacement enbloc flats from.

With the exception of 1 site where its "normal" HDB flats for the budget conscious, the other 4 sites are same same "premium" HDB flats. 

All paid similar prices; yet my chosen site won the design and construction award. Wink.

Let's just say my chosen site is definitely not the most popular one during balloting. Heng ah!

If not, how would I have gotten the top floor with my ballot number?

To paraphrase Steve Job's connecting the dots backwards, my time spent loitering at the Art Club during my secondary school days has turned out useful after all...

I've shared in my "look see, look see" photos that I have a thing for design and sculptures, and architecture is 3D Art that's all around us!

Appreciating good design comes natural to me.

Especially the sensuous 36, 24, 36 curves on the female form.

Now that's heavenly Art! 

Sunday 24 October 2021

Well, more colleagues down...


Guess what?

When I reported to work yesterday, one of the managers looked and said to me, "Ownself take care of ownself OK?"

I thought what happened?

Another TV promoter took 3 days MC for the weekend. Took the PCR test and lucky came out negative. Normal flu. 

Our cashier also not feeling well; on MC. Awaiting her PCR test results.

And one computer section sales staff confirmed tested positive for Wuhan virus.

Just like that, the showroom has lost 2 staff and 2 promoters for the weekend!?

In the old days, we could easier "borrow" staff or promoters from others showrooms to cover.

But big daddy made it crystal clear last year when it "punished" a global fast food chain for doing so during the early days of this Wuhan virus... 

You'll be surprised on the level of "common sense" at management level.

One showroom or outlet shutdown is better than the whole chain being contaminated with staff intermingling between different showrooms/outlets...

In a way, we were "lucky" store traffic has been dismal for the past 2 months. So its manageable, despite the lack of manpower.

If you like me, still prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar stores, or like eating out at restaurants, I hope you can be a little understanding if you find the service a bit "lacking" during this Wuhan virus period.

Would prefer a longer wait? 

Or do you prefer "black heart" profit first landowners ignore "common sense" and insist staff that tested positive, but asymptomatic, still report to work? 

Or they secretly roster staff from other showrooms/restaurants; play the cat and mouse game with big daddy?

Don't believe?

One one hand, we can sympathise with long suffering F&B business owners; on the other hand, we can also see how many black sheep F&B owners are constantly testing big daddy's resolve by flouting all the safe distancing measures...

And we have idiot consumers "enabling" these errant business owners!?

Stay cool everyone.

Don't let fear overcome us. Life has to go on.

Just practice common sense.

And common sense is a great edge when it comes to your financial pursuits!

Be it the Earn More path, or the Save More path.


Friday 22 October 2021

My Close Brush With Wuhan Virus


Tuesday evening, I received a call from the Supervisor of the retailer I was attached to on the weekends.

A TV promoter, who works just opposite my concept corner, has just tested positive for the Wuhan virus...

Guess what? During last weekend, a customer who is positive also visited our showroom during the weekends...

No panic. 

The very same Tuesday evening, I just took the free ART kit that big daddy sent out to us - ownself violate my own nostrils.


Result negative.

Thursday did the ART test again. There's a thing called incubation period.


Tested negative.

Tomorrow I'll do another ART test. This one using Zoom as its part of the weekly group ART tests for all of us working in retail.

If still negative, I'll go to work.

I do my part not to infect others. 

Look. Everyday 3,000 plus cases. 

Sooner or later we all will test positive one lah!

Please don't blame your colleagues or family members.

Do you want others to blame you if you got the Wuhan virus and unknowingly spread to them?

If well and don't know, cannot say.

But if you feel unwell or suspect you may have come into close contact with someone who got the Wuhan virus, for goodness sake, do your part OK?

Each household only got 6 "free" ART kits. Yes, you may have to buy them on your own...

Don't everything depend on big daddy...

If you have financial difficulty, just talk to your MP or family doctor. I'm sure they can refer you to organisations that can help.

I know. Its not cheap. One ART test kit costs $10...


Then again... What's the point of seeking FIRE if you can't afford or too cheap to get the ART kits on your own?


Wednesday 20 October 2021

Health District Pilot Project Launched In Queenstown


If you are planning to monetise your private property to free up cash by rightsizing to a HDB flat during your retirement, you may want to check this out: 

Health District Pilot Project Launched In Queenstown

On one end, you get to immerse yourself into the peacefulness and greenery of Queenstown. 

We have Botanic Gardens, Mount Faber, Henderson Hill. Hort Park, Labrador Park all within walking distances - if you are into hiking or walking that sort of thing. 

Then there's the awesome rail corridor that used to be our railway track.

And on the other end, if you appreciate the finer things in life, like scintillating dining experiences, or checking out cool new watering holes, we got you covered!

Orchard Road and the future Greater Southern Waterfront project are just a stone's throw away. Treat them as our "backyard".

Getting a cab or private hire ride home after midnight won't cost you a bomb! 

Retirement does not mean no fun allowed anymore... Wink.

No rush.

There is plenty of time.

Cheers from Queenstown born and bred resident!

Monday 18 October 2021

SP Wholesale versus Electricity Retailers


I noticed some Singaporeans are quite pissed off with the increased in electricity tariff for households by a "mere" 3.1% for October to December period.


I mean for a HDB 4 room flat, the average monthly electricity bill will increase by $2.49 before GST. 

That's if you are one of those who have not switch to any of those OEM Electricity Retailers, still happily on the SP Group default regulated tariff plan. Those who laughed at you for not switching are not laughing now... Are they?

To be precise, these pissed off Singaporeans are very "buay song" their chosen Electricity Retailers are no longer giving them the generous 20-30% discounts they used to enjoy.

I mean if you are not in sales, don't have profit and loss responsibility in your day job, you got excuse.

Then again, you mean you have already forgotten what happened with Grab and Uber? 

What about those generous "carrots" that banks and credit card companies dangled in front of you, but after a few years, they'll give you a bigger hamster wheel to run on, or else the carrot incentives will be taken away... 

So fast forget?

You really believed the 20-30% discounts from OEM Electricity Retailers will be forever and ever? You didn't anticipate the spread between Standard Regulated Tariff Rate and Non Standard Rates will narrow over time?  

If you're an investor or trader, I'll be betting you'll be more drawn towards Technical Analysis. Wink.

Before I go on, I believe MOST of you will not be affected by the price increase of electricity FOR NOW.

Steady lah. Don't anyhow panic for nothing just from reading headlines.

Firstly, if you are still on the SP Group's default Standard Regulated Tariff plan, the impact is non-event.

Secondly, if you already have switch to any OEM Electricity Retailers, you are only affected if you are RENEWING your electricity plans within these 3 months from October to December.

Unless you were one of those "unlucky" customers who chose the "wrong" electricity retailers that decided to throw in the towel... Now feeling very jilted and abandoned...

Can anyone spot the biggest difference between those electricity retailers that are still thriving and those who cannot make it? (You may want to reflect if you always thought you're a fundamental investor)

Want to know why LUCK is better than skill?

During May 2021, I blur, blur, no goals, no plans, just renewed my Tuas Power PowerFix plan for another 24 months.

The price locked 4 months ago was - $16.80 cents per kWh with GST. 

Today if I were to renew the same PowerFix plan for 24 months, it would cost me - $25.68!!!

Crazy right?

Not so crazy if you knew during April 2020 last year, WTI Crude futures went negative!? And today one year later, WTI futures is now above USD$80!!! Now that's what I call a reversal!

So what's next year's energy price? Your guess would be as good as mine!

For the majority of us who have locked-in a much lower price till next year or two, don't be complacent.

Use the extra time to prepare in advance what would you do if oil prices were to revert back down to mean. What to do if prices go higher and higher and breaks USD$100? 

If you think oil prices will go lower going forward, would switching from a fixed price plan to a guaranteed percentage discount variable plan be better?

Then again if prices were to go higher, of course remaining on a fixed price plan would make better sense. You should be asking whether to lock the price for 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months? It all depends on the level of conviction for your thesis, doesn't it?

OK, there's a reason I've left the trickiest one till the last - SP Wholesale Electricity Price (WEP).

On paper, its the "cheapest".

If you believed in the Market Efficiency thesis, why isn't this plan the most popular???

I'll let you figure it out for yourself.

But I can help you along with some poking questions:

If big daddy were to liberalise the electricity market today, would it succeed?  

Would you make the switch for a mere 3% discount from standard regulated tariff?

So was big daddy lucky like me? Or did they spot an opportunity 3 years ago, and quickly acted upon it? 

I would humbly suggest you can consider WEP if you are NOT one of those who were genuinely surprised that HDB flats will go to zero after 99 years. 

If your england is so poor you don't understand what a lease meant, you're probably the type of customers that SP Group want to avoid having. Hence the reason why SP Group not pushing WEP so hard in the market.

They probably don't want the CPFIS scenario where customers go to Hong Lim Park complaining why offer the WEP option to me when I can ownself hurt my ownself!? 

Want to bet that even if OEM were to be introduced today and not 3 years ago, there will be customers who will still switch? Even if the discount is a mere 3%...

Those who voluntary contribute to CPF would do it! (3% not much different from 2.5 or 4%)

These are people who value certainty. And 3% saved, compounded by 30 years, these happy souls would probably giggle in their sleep! 

WEP would be ideal for those who are already into selling naked options for the "passive income".  Its fun collecting the premiums month after month, especially when most options expire worthless. That's until...

Similarly, WEP would appeal to REIT yield hogs gleefully collecting their dividends year after year. That's provided the REIT massacre don't happen again like in 2009. A more recent example is Eagle Hospitality Trust. And I guess most Singaporean yield hogs will never touch Shipping Trusts ever again, never mind their juicy yields were much higher than REITs!

If a 50% increase in electricity bills can get you all knotted up, would you go ballistic if your electricity bill were to spike up by 2 times, 3 times, 7 times?

OK, one year's data from SP Group is too short.

New Zealand has decades more experience with Wholesale Electricity Market. Try this:

Spiking Electricity Prices A Shock To The System

Figure out why those customers not on "spot contracts" were better "insulated".

And why WEP not popular due to "high market risks" according to insiders:

Switch and Save


I know. 

Who wants to do their own due diligence. What? Do my own reading and research?


Come to think of it...

Why study when we can just copy the homework from our classmates?

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