Thursday 30 September 2021

We'll Drive Safer With A Big Spike On The Steering Wheel


I sometimes drop little nuggets while "talking male-chicken" in the comments section.

I know its a bit far-fetched, but this putting a big spike on the steering wheel is not made up! I stole it with pride from an article I've read in the past... (Yah, surprise! I read!)

I couldn't remember the source, but here's one link I found that's close enough. And the spike got an actual name!

Tullock Spike

You know why I use my real name at this watering hole? 

Its precisely I'm driving with a big spike on the steering wheel! (行不更名,坐不改姓) 

This way, I write as if I'm speaking in public. No, you not talking to a man with brown paper over his head. 

Unless you are an IT hacker who knows how to cover your digital trails, even if you use anonymous or made up nicks, if people want to get you, they can easily CSI you out!

We know what happens to those who stir shit in the internet, thinking there are airbags in front of them just by being anonymous or have fake nicks... 

Why do some Singaporeans obey the law in Singapore, but when overseas, have no problem littering or spitting? 

And this one most shepherds know. Why is it so difficult for get feedback from Singaporean employees at a company meeting, but at the water cooler, the same church mice Singaporean employees have no shortage of opinions about management? 

Now look at your own investing/trading/saving paths. 

Yes, even the so called "safer" Save More route is included!


Is it possible those who are on the Earn More path, who assumes there's a spike on the steering wheel, are more cautious than those on the Save More path who assumes nothing can go wrong with the supposed "safety" of airbags? 

Just ask those UK savers who had savings/fixed deposit accounts with Icelandic banks just because of a few percentages more in interest rates during 2008....

Of course we had our own Lehman minibond saga in 2008. I mean they were sold and distributed by reputable banks in Singapore, no? Not from some clickbaity internet scammy ads right?

And yes, don't make statements like if this company goes down, the whole of Singapore will go down too...

You are just putting an "exclamation mark" over your head to alert all the snake-oil wolves in the vicinity,

"Hello everyone! I'm a bei-kambing!"



Monday 27 September 2021

Money is Money lah!


Sell flower of course say flower fragrant!

I find it quite hilarious that when I find people in our community like to do the Joan of Arc thing, 

"If you believe me, follow me!"

I hope these people don't come to power... When they can really dictate what others can or cannot do!

We have seen this movie in religion and politics before. And its not pretty...

You don't laugh. 

As a left-handed person, I'll be hesitant to join in with the majority to "discriminate" or "demonise" some minority just because they are "different" from us.

You never know when these zealots, once they have run out of "labels" to persecute, will start picking on left-handed people like me!

OK, after going on a big tangent (that's how you express your social, religious, and political views without getting into trouble), let's get back to this funny phenomenon in this money chasing  financial freedom community of ours.

Its optional, but for those who enjoy foreplay, you can take a peek at this ancient post of mine:

Is Snow Water?

Let's take 3 scenarios:

1)  Person A stays in HDB, maxed out all his CPF accounts early, prioritises paying in cash for his housing loan, voluntarily contributes to CPF up the the limit possible, and becomes a CPF multi-millionaire at age 65. Debt free.

2)  Person B stays in HDB, maxed out his CPFIS to invest in equities or equities funds. Never voluntarily contributes to CPF because cash is opportunity fund to invest in equities. At age 65, he is an Equities multi-millionaire. Debt free.

3)  Person C never invests nor is he a prolific saver. He just likes to upgrade his home of abode ever so often; no 2nd rental or investment properties. Took 2 bites of the cherry from HDB 3 room to 5 room. then when day job got better, upgrades to private condo or landed terrace/townhouse. CPF withdrew to max allowed for housing property loans. At age 65, he is a Property multi-millionaire. Debt free.

Multi-millionaire is so vague! 

$2 million is multi-millionaire, $100 million is also multi-millionaire.  

Tip: When someone uses the label "multi-millionaire" instead of saying $2 million, he is doing the snake-oil mind manipulation trick like for "pre-owned", or "high yield". Wink. 

Let's just use $5 million as the multi-millionaire definition for all 3 persons above. 

Tell me, is one person "better" than the other?

Its like arguing till our faces are blue that Green is "better" than Red!? 


But for vested interests, it matter a lot!

If you are in the banking and property sectors, which path would you promote?

If you working for SGX, distributor for equity funds/ETFs, or in the equities brokerage industry, which flower would you say is the most fragrant of them all? 

If you big daddy, and you can't bring yourself to chastise your fanbase,

"Eh! If you idiot don't invest can or not?

Buy that time never write to me for permission...

Make money you genius! 

Lost money now its all my fault!?"

Then again, big daddy can't expressly "discourage" don't invest either... The wealth management industry you attracted here with dangling carrots are watching...

So you do the next best thing. 


I'm tickled pink that our 5,000 years of Chinese wisdom has it covered:

八仙过海各显神通 - 8 immortals cross the Eastern Sea, each in their own way.

I mean, money is money right?

Who cares how we got that $5 million at age 65 just as long its not illegal!!!

P.S.  For youths who want to be FIRE at age 35. one path is definitely out of the question.  

Unless you don't mind saving sex till old age.


Friday 24 September 2021

STI ETF can be good for those who can't Cut-Loss


I'm not a fan of passive investing.

It just intellectually "weird" to me, to savour the pleasure of  getting rich, by not doing anything at all???

The analogue is like winning an Olympic gold medal by sipping pina colada while chilling in the shade on the beach...

But I must say there's one good thing about passive investing using the STI ETF - its great for those who can't bring themselves to cut-loss on losers.

STI will do it for you!

FTSE Russel and SPH do quarterly reviews on the STI component stocks. Any lemons/dead anchors that are dragging the STI down will be kicked out!

They will in turn add "hot" stocks of the season into the index. 

That's the secret sauce why stock indexes always go up!

How not to go up if we only include stocks that go up, and weed out stocks that go down?

Its never passive.

Can you imagine how bad it must be for SPH to ownself kick ownself out of STI?

The current STI ETF is still 3 banks and 1 telco (plus REITS & property if you pedantic). 

ZERO exposure to tech unicorns...

What about SEA Ltd? 

Oh! That's included into the MSCI Singapore Index.

Those who trade the SIMSCI futures will know. Wink.

I know what you thinking.

Is there an ETF for MSCI Singapore?

Yes, you can goggle iShares MSCI Singapore ETF. 

Its listed in the US.

But, but I already torn deciding which is better - SPDR or Nikko STI ETF?

Now I sharing another extra choice is not helping!

Don't worry. 

Just go back to the person who sold you on "passive" investing. He/she will tell you what to do.

Problem solved!

Snake oils love customers like you!

Tuesday 21 September 2021

The "Free" Trade


What's the next best thing to taking your capital safely back and only risking your profits when it comes to trading?

I guess it would be the "Free" trade.

When I put on a trading position, the first thing my order gets filled is to enter a stop-loss order.

Its a bit like options (but not the same) where from the get go, I know the MAX I'm willing to lose on the trade.

Its a risk/money management thing.

Three scenarios will happen next:

1)  I got stopped out of the trade at the predetermined loss. (Well, that was quick!)

2) The price just oscillates around my entry price, going nowhere... (Some advanced traders will get out of a trade if it does not perform within their expected time frame. That's next level stuff...)  

3) My position becomes profitable. (This one I like best! Who doesn't?)

When I can move my stop-loss order point to my entry price, hey! I got a free trade!

Which means if and when the market reverses, I just scratch the trade. 

No harm; no foul.

But if the trading continues to work in my favour... 


Friday 17 September 2021

Manipulation With Words


Those not in politics or sales have too little appreciation on the power of words.

The pen is mightier than the sword is just not some empty words uttered by some scholars who can't fight.

Let's take a snake oil word I hate the most:


What the fish is that!?

2nd hand say 2nd hand. But no... Previously owned. 

No, can't spell it out like that! 

Write "pre-owned", somehow the 2nd hand; other people used before; no more virgin negative "stigmas" are no longer obvious.

Pre-owned has become "neutral".

And that helps in fetching a better price!

Stocks in general can be categorised as big-cap, mid-cap, small-cap.

These are neutral words.

But if I want to sell you buy-and-hold big-cap stocks (so I can milk the AUM fees forever and ever), I would call these stocks "blue-chips" instead!

Some how, when the brain hears "blue-chips", we automatically think sure win, "bao-jiak", and make silly extrapolations like if the stock goes to zero, Singapore will go down too...

See? Told you SPH is blue-chip! It never went to zero right!? Just buy-and-hold. Stocks only go up one!

Similarly, if I want to encourage you to trade penny stocks (I want to fleece the trading commissions from you), I not so silly to call them penny stocks. I would call them small cap stocks. 

The name penny stocks somehow got negative connotations... Like rubbish, risky, 2nd class; and all that... 

Most youths are not aware Venture was a penny stock before. So not all penny stocks are risky speculative bets OK!?

Corporate bonds are getting more and more common in SGX in recent years. 

Most are unrated and are called by a very nice and sexy name - High Yield Bonds.

Old fogeys would remember their former name - Junk Bonds.


You read correctly. 

But just like penny stocks, junk bonds can be very lucrative, provided you know what you are getting into. 

They say the bond market is smarter than the equities market.

If you wan to play high yield bonds, just make sure you are smarter than the average equities investor/trader. Wink.

What's the moral of the story?

Having a wider vocabulary helps!

Just don't over do it.

Remember the "ponding" incident? 



Wednesday 15 September 2021

Change Sucks For Old Fogeys!


Its harder today right?

Especially if you are in your late 40s to 50s...

Things just change and move so fast nowadays!!!

Remember that time when you were eyeing your boss' job?

Now that old fogey has retired, you finally got his job! Whee!

You not stressed on the greater responsibilities. Why say no to better pay and prestige?

I mean you have been his/her lieutenant, deputy, assistant for donkey years, its just wash, rinse, repeat. You can even do it with your eyes closed!

How hard can it be? Just follow the past precedents, and chant, "Faster, quicker, cheaper!"

Its all about Efficiency, isn't it?

Now imagine you are working in Comfort Delgro. A bit stunned and blindsided by the private hire competition right? Who the hell in your company knows how to code? 

How about Singtel? Your wash, rinse, and repeat tactic of buying other telcos overseas for growth is getting old... (Limpeh got money!) 

Now you got to relearn new tricks and explore opportunities outside your field of expertise?

Should you get into the mobile/PC gaming market? Let's sponsor a professional gaming team!

Or compete with the traditional banks and other smaller and more nimble startups to claim a slice of the fintech pie?

Then there's the ultimate - when all things fail, become a property play! (SingPost, SPH can, so can we!)

No need to say more if you working for SPH. How the hell do we compete with "free"!?

You finally understood and empathised when desktop publishing made typesetters obsolete in your industry so many decades ago... 

When the pin pricks your own skin, you don't become so smug like when you were a management trainee back then, 

Mind you, I'm not talking about CEO positions here.

Just you finally replacing your old boss to be a department head in your late 40s or 50s...

Not what you expected right? You envy your old boss can coast along for so many decades when change isn't so rapid...

You? Its so fxxking stressful! And no fun!

Especially when the pivot today is towards Effectiveness.

But that's like telling an old dog to do new tricks!

If I had to be "entrepreneurial" in thinking, I wouldn't have chosen a stable and consistent paying job in the first place!!!

In case you want to learn more about Efficiency versus Effectiveness.

Its the same for politics and religions too.

To win new converts to your sales funnel banner, you got to do Twitter, Facebook, Instagram?

Kissing babies during weekend walkabouts no longer enough...

Its so funny to see Trump sharing his ideas and policies on Twitter! Can you imagine our PM doing it?

Oh! It will come! "Akan datang"!

Of course youths would have the edge over us old fogeys!

You grew up with all these rapid changes in technologies and cultural changes. Its not new to you! 

We can see it in our community.

How would 1M65 be attractive to youths? When youths have goals to retire by 35?


A few have indeed done so by being early adopters of cryptos and are now millionaires in their 30s!? 

All the power to them!

There is some truth in the meme about not trusting any adults above the age of 30...

Go big or go home! (This works best when we have nothing much to lose anyway!)

Oh! What I would give to be young in my 20s again!

It sucks to be old IT dinosaur in a rapidly changing world.

Just when I'm finally comfortable with Windows 10... Windows 11 is coming!?

You got to be freaking kidding me!


Friday 10 September 2021

Freehold Investment Income?


I think I'll help CW out.

Sometimes we use lingo or terminology that flew over the heads of readers. 

Don't laugh. Give chance.

When I started "serious" mobile gaming a few years back, I too was a bit lost when I went to their Reddit site.

I mean I knew in gaming, "OP" was "over powered".

But in Reddit, "OP" meant "original poster"!? 


Then there was TLDR - too long; didn't read.

Which meant my blog posts and comments would not appeal to these short attention span Reddit users!!!


So what is Freehold Investment Income?

Before I explain, let's take a step backwards to explain how land/business owners think.

When a land owner evaluates a new business proposal from his in-house shepherd or outside snake oil, the first thing he calculates is how many years it would take to get his capital back.

For those who studied Business Finance, its IRR (Internal Rate of Return) expressed in land owner language. 

Why is it important to take back your capital?

Have you noticed some landowners are doing very well despite letting their listed or non-listed businesses go to zero in a bankruptcy?

As a minority outside investor, we can only take back our capital from sale of our shares or cash from dividends.

But for the landowner, if he is CEO, he can pay himself big salary increases and bonuses despite the company bleeding in red ink.

And if he is Chairman of the board, he can pay himself obscene director's fees for just meeting a few times a year...

Even better if the landowner himself appoints himself BOTH as CEO and Chairman! 

Yes! Its ownself check ownself!

Then there's other tricks like siphoning funds out of the company through 3rd party related transactions. Wink, wink.

That's why most outside investors will sit up when they spot land owners divesting their own share holdings or surreptitiously and quietly move company funds back into their own pockets.

Ai yeah! Its the same in a divorce settlement lah! 

Some rich men will secretly put their assets in the names of people he can trust. Anything to prevent that bitch from milking him completely dry! 

(Eh! Don't get caught! Its against the law one!)

OK, now we've got the context out of the way, what better way to explain this home made investing terminology called - Freehold Investment Income than through examples?


You mean its not proper Business Finance terminology? Can't find it in Investopedia?

Eh! Why you all surprised?

Especially those who are fond of using this home made XIRR.  Yes, its not proper business finance terminology too!

Why is it happiness whenever we have a 2 bagger or doubled our money in investing?

Its because if we are conservative or strolling down the mountain, we can simply SELL half our holdings and retrieve our capital safely back into our pockets.

Then we are merely risking the "unrealised" profits. 

Now its a matter of make more or make less.

We can even "pretend" to be Buy-and-Hold "investors" and chant "Let our profits run!"

Of course conveniently leaving out you already got your capital back...



Because if that investment turned out to be a 10 bagger, pain!

As for those who prefer to flex in percentages, you are ecstatic too!

What's the percentage return for ZERO capital employed?

Infinity returns for the win!

Power or what!?

If you have a rental investment property, and your rental yield is 5%, in 20 years' time, you can do the Tarzan "or-yi-or" thing to others.

"See? This rental property is "free"! Who says you can't have your cake and eat it?"

"And every month, the rental is "free" money too!"

If you are age 25 or 30, compare the above rental investment property path to voluntarily contributing to CPF, which is better for climbing up the mountain?

If don't like property, you can substitute with equities like REITs?

How about cryptos? And double-digit yields from DeFi?

Hello! I'm not dissing CPF OK?

Just doing my gentle poking reminder that depending whether we are climbing up the mountain or strolling down the mountain, the strategies and vehicles we employ can make a world of difference!



Tuesday 7 September 2021

Stable Consistent Income Versus Variable Volatile Income


One of the most underrated benefit of the Earn More path is Self Discovery.

Especially when we put real money on the line!

Once upon a time, I wrote this post to help newbies learn more about themselves:

First Things First - Invest In Yourself

There, I used the example of HOW you like to travel may give clues to which investing/trading vehicles or instruments you would be drawn to.

Today, I would like to draw attention to your day job.

Most of us, after several years in the corporate world, would probably know which we prefer:

1)  A stable consistent income month after month, year after year.

2)  Completely cool with a variable and highly volatile income. You know, some months like famines, some months bumper harvests!

Do you know anyone who earns $10K and more a month in a stable job, quit to become an insurance or property agent?

Or throw away their iron rice bowls to start their own businesses with an uncertain future?

If you have children, would you get a stroke if they come back home to share they would like to career switch to become a full time singer or actor?

How you respond can be interesting and revealing about yourself.

Would you be supportive?

"Sure! Go chase rainbows! We are only young once... I support you!"

Or would you with the best of intentions tell them the "odds"?

"Are you sure what you doing? Only a minority can make it. Majority just fail you know?"

Have you noticed to people that don't matter - casual colleagues or acquaintances - you almost always appear positive and all supportive?

Its because if they die its their own business, isn't it?

But to your love ones and people that matter, you are often conflicted...

On one side, if they fail, you really feel their pain. So you don't want them to get hurt.

On the other hand, you were young once too. You had your flames of passion snuffed out by well intentioned friends and family members... You don't want to repeat the sins of the father all over again...

Then again, if your love ones succeed, sure, you'll be happy for them! 

But that will also make you feel sorry for yourself... Sorry that you gave up before even trying so many years ago...

Can you now better understand why some retail investors are yield hogs? 

Why some even structure their dividend portfolios in such a way that they try to get dividends flowing in over as many months during the year, as opposed to one big or two dividend lump sums over the year?

Plus why some prefer the Save More path over the Earn More path?

That's not all!

I want to draw your attention that not everything is what it seems on the surface.

Context is important.

Your opinion of that ultra conservative "no bxlls" CPF voluntary contributor may totally flip, if you discover how volatile his day job pays... He probably got more guts than you!

And that fearless retail investor using leverage with abandonment wasn't as reckless as you thought... That's when you discovered he got tenure for his day job! That's not fair!

Bet you didn't see this coming!


Its never about 4 legs good; 2 legs bad... 

Know your own feet; choose the right shoes that fit.

That's all!

If you are a penguin, no amount of "If you think you can, you can!" will help you soar into the air. Wink.



Thursday 2 September 2021

Are You A Snake Oil?


People most often associate snake oils with salespersons.

Well, that's true and quite obvious.

Sales who can't snake oil won't survive. 

Look, those of us who can snake oil generally do better in life. (As for whether we proud with ourselves, that's another story...)

First, what is snake oil?

Its to say things to others that BENEFIT us. 

Now that's it out of the way, let's give some examples where we snake oil to make our lives better:

Guy do this all the time when we meet girls. How else to get inside her panties?

Girls, you not stupid to tell him you don't actually love him or even remotely sexually attracted to him... But he knows how to EARN MORE, and that's enough for you!

(Guys, you don't pretend pretend to be surprised. Why else you seek Financial Freedom if not to get girls?)

Some of your kakis got "lobangs" love to share with you. 

Of course most won't share the kickbacks they received for recommending customers to their "sponsors". Wink.

Affiliated marketing is not new. Since biblical times it exists. 

"Recommend new customers to my tavern, I'll give you free wine next time you visit!"

Why do you go back to your favourite hairstylist? Because each time he sees you, he makes you feel good!

"Chen tai tai! Did you lose weight! I almost couldn't recognise you!"

"Wait! Do you have a new lover? Why is your complexion so radiant!?"

Then of course we often snake oil our way out of trouble whenever we were caught.

"Mom, I didn't break it! 'Di di' broke it!"  (Di di is a 5 year old who can't defend himself)

"Daddy, I wasn't smoking... I didn't inhale... Swear!"

"Teacher, I didn't box him; his eye ran into my fist..."

If you are a doctor or car mechanic, and you found out your patient/client got insurance... 

What do you do? 

Snake oil for more "good to have" medical tests or parts replacements of course!

I'll give politicians and religious shepherds a pass this time round. Only because its painfully obvious.

The only question is whether Multi-level Marketing (MLM) stole with pride from religion and politics, or was it the other way round?

That's exponential compounding if you not already aware. 

Recruit 10 people, they in turn recruit another 10, and so on it multiplies.

That's how revolutions get started. And just like that, a new religion is born!

By the way, isn't that's how cryptos are being marketed?

How else for prices to shoot to the moon if we don't get anyone and everyone to buy in?

Its not new again. Someone did it with some flower in the past. 

I noticed women love to watch palace intrigue dramas. 

Is it because women are more into passive aggression, while men are more into overt confrontations? 

Snake oil skills come in handy when you want some idiot to do the dirty work for you... While you stay aloof from the fray. 

What? You play politics? 


Is snake oil the same as EQ then?

They seem similar...

Don't look at me! I didn't study psychology.

Then again, I'm a people watcher. (Less creepy than to say I like to look at women)

I'll say its same same but different!

But I'm at a lost to explain the differences...

Its like pissing in the snow on a dark winter's night. 

I believe I'm making a difference in the snow...

But its hard to tell!

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