Tuesday 30 March 2021

Ma'am, the delay of your order is due to jam at Suez canal...


If you have bought any home appliances or furniture recently, you may experience some delays.

I know I have. 

The IKEA wall shelving that's supposed to arrive in mid-March has now been delayed to mid April.

I not in a hurry to move in to my new place. Time is on my side. Heck, I don't even have a move in dateline or goal...

Well, in my weekend sales gig, halve my product range is now out of stock. Shipment delayed. 

First thing I ask new customers  is when is their delivery expectations. If they can't wait till early May, I'll promote another brand that got stock, or pass the customer to another promoter.

I'm not the dog in the manger. If I can't do any sales; no one else should also.

As for pending customers expecting deliveries this April, some are "easy" like me, "No worries. I can wait." 

These customers are the best! Like the Thai song, "Sabai, sabai..." 

Then there are those irate customers who rightfully are angry and frustrated. You know, the precision in 2 decimal places, Just-In-Time, SMART goals people.

I tell them, "tongue-in-cheek", the delay is due to the "jam" at the Suez canal.

While getting a earful, I have a fun time figuring out which customers know geography, which doesn't.


One sales staff cannot take it anymore and chided me.

"You full of shit. Your products are made in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. What has the jam at the Suez canal got to do with the delays for your brand?

So I gave this colleague a lesson on what is bei kambing knowledge and street smarts knowledge (euphemism for insider knowledge).

Hello, the container for Singapore sitting at Yiantian Shenzhen port is waiting for the container vessel from Europe to arrive, unload, load, and then drop off at Singapore port on its return run back to Europe. 

If Suez canal is blocked, the container vessel has to make a LONG detour around Africa. 

And what happens when all the delayed container vessels arrive at Yiantian port at the SAME time? 

So its not just the delay in ocean shipping time, we need to add the bottleneck waiting time for unloading and loading. 

Yes, even if your container vessel is not from Europe, you're still stuck in "traffic" when there's a port congestion.  


You get the picture.

Even our big daddy minister (that's why he earns more than you) warned the jam at the Suez canal has implications to Singapore. I bet his message flew over the heads of many...

Most bei kambing "fundamental" retail investors have a hard time understanding why the share price is tanking when everything they've read in the annual reports is blue skies and bright sunshine???

Similarly, they couldn't fathom why the share price is moving up when everything reported in the media and discussions at bei kambing retail investor forums are all doom and gloom???

Don't worry. 

You are not alone.

Peter Lynch is right. 

Most retail investors invest in companies they have no edge whatsoever.

The doctor investing in fishing stocks; the fishmonger vested with biotech stocks.


P.S.  I'm not smarter. I just happened to work with Supply Chain before. 


Thursday 25 March 2021

3-Day Work Week Hawker


This morning, I bought duck noodle soup for mom as breakfast.

Nothing unusual.

Except I noticed something new.

There's a new sign stating they are closed on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Sundays.


Why can't they just say they are opened on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays?

Before you think they are lazy hawkers, they have been here since the early days of Tanglin Halt. 

People have been selling for over 40 years. 

I think that's a nice reflection on the progress of ordinary citizens with the progress of Singapore over the years.

They have earned it.

Those of you in your 50s like me, do you remember most hawkers when we were in primary school never closed?

Of course the owner will rest for one day. But when he takes off, he will make sure his assistant/apprentice will take over for that day.

When you pay the same rent every month, a day off not earning money is like flushing money down the toilet right?

As our economic picture improves, we finally see hawkers taking 1 day off per week. (Money cannot earn finish one) 

Slowly it tuned into 2 days off per week like most hawkers we see today. (Food courts don't count as most of them are chain stores/outlets run like fast food outlets)

I don't know about other HDB estates, but in mature (euphemism for old) HDB estate like Queenstown, there are quite a few hawkers that only open 4 days a week. 

Just visit ABC market, Alexandra Village, Mei Ling Street, and of course the two Tanglin Halt Food Centres (10 storey and 16 storey).

Often these are first generation hawkers who have been plying their craft for 40 over years. 

But a 3 day work week is rare amongst hawkers.

That's why I had to take a double-take this morning.

I'm happy for the duck noodle soup seller.

Its really a case of hungry eat; tired rest.

A lot of bei kambings in our financial freedom community over plan things. 

Set goals that they neither have influence or control over...

Own self don't trust their own feet. Go round asking others what shoe size they should wear!? (How much money should I have to retire on? And yes, that's a dumb question!) 

No, I'm not going to say if a Duck Noodle Seller could do it, so can you!


Monday 22 March 2021

Everyone Is A Speculator - Whether You Like It Or Not


Last week, after a bout of heavy rain, I noticed there were a swarm of scary ants along a stretch of pavement I'm walking on.

Ah! Its the Marauder ants.

This specie of ants is famous for its major and super major "soldier" ants.

You can spot them on the pic above.

We don't normally see the super majors. Today I guess there are out in full force to protect their worker ant sisters who were busy repairing/evacuating their flooded nest due to the heavy downfall.

These soldier ants don't need to "work" like their worker ant sisters. They have only one task - defend the colony against intruders. 

They reminded me of the knights in medieval Europe or samurais in feudal Japan.

Peasants toil the fields so they can feed their overlord, who in turn hire these sellswords to protect their realm and territory. 


The naive peasant may think its "safer" to be a peasant as the warrior class has to put their lives in harm's way all the time.

Hello, when was the last time peasants were not called up to be cannon fodder during a war or battle?

Even if the peasant is lucky not to be conscripted into battle, if your knights or samurais lost, you think the enemy force will not rape or pillage your lands just because you're a docile peasant?

In the realm of investing/trading, we have the two classes too.

Earn more - speculators, investors, traders; etc.

Save more - put money under a mattress, at a savings bank, or into pension schemes.

Those who opened savings accounts at banks never knew they were on the hook like equity or bond investors of the same bank - just ask savers who put money into Iceland and Cyprus banks. 

"But we are not investors!" 

I'm sure some savers may cry in disbelief.

Since the 2008 Great Financial Recession, central bankers all over the world have bailed out the speculators. 

If you owned equities or properties, you're not complaining, are you?

You got bailed out too. Wink.

But if you're a saver, you got screwed.

Once upon a time you can survive on a 3-4% relatively "risk-free" normalised interest rate environment. 


With near zero interest rates, you are "forced" to become an "investor".  Once you touched any "Earn More" financial products, you'll soon learn there's a REAL risk of capital destruction. 

Again, just ask those who "invested" in Lehman minibonds or Hyflux perpetuals... I bet they never understood fully the risks they were taking on for that extra few percentage in yields...

How about government pensions?

Surely they must be safe!


What assets do pension funds invest in?

There you go.

Even if you never directly invests in anything "risky" like equities or properties, indirectly, just as long you are saving into a pension scheme, you are just as liable for all the risks that speculators take!

Minus the spoils of war. Ouch!

Back to my Marauder ants.

So if got choice, do you still want to be a worker ant because its "safer"? 


Monday 15 March 2021

How I Got Rich On Tesla Stock (Satire)


He is funny!

If only I'm a billionaire...

Then maybe I'll cure my baldness?

Regular drinkers from this watering hole may recall this guy looks kind of familiar...

Yup, I featured him in 2016 at this post:

How to be a Financial Freedom snake oil

And you think I like to poke people...

This guy even better!!!

He's making a living out from poking others!

P.S.  Notice he likes to use the Zen "ding" sound? And his channel is called AwakenWithJP?

This is a a fellow practitioner. Wink.


Thursday 11 March 2021

People That Matters


Monday 8 March 2021

Yup, STI backbone still strong


A tale of two cities.

Hang Seng down -1.9%

STI up 1.9%

But we are not alone today.

With the exception of the FTSE, the rest of Europe are green like STI.

All these despite the US futures very solid in the red.

Most of us are used to taking our trading cues from the US markets.

So how?

Throw away top-down monkey see, monkey do - risk on; risk off?

Time to embrace bottom-up and trade the individual fundamentals of each and different market?

Thursday 4 March 2021

STI got backbone?


Now this is a sight we don't see everyday!

Major bourses in Asia and Europe drowning in a sea of red. 

US futures also crimson.


Its nice to be the odd one basking in green, isn't it?

STI power!

Wednesday 3 March 2021

Stacked Homes - Revisited


I've always admired the energy and fire whenever I met young entrepreneurs.

I had coffee with one of my sponsors yesterday. It's nice to see how they have evolved and grown since they first appeared at this watering hole in 2017...

Its Stacked Homes.

Now they even have YouTube videos. Just search Stacked Homes in YouTube. 

You might want to check out that video on the Dawson HDB (DBSS) flats  which I consider the most beautiful in Singapore. That's if you are into architecture and design that sort of thingy...

If property is your poison, you might want to checkout their platform.


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