Monday, 27 June 2022

Blog Reaction To Confronting Mr Loo About 1M65


Have you watched those viewer reaction videos on YouTube?

Well, I thought I'll do one. Sort of... (Since I do not have a YouTube channel)

Hope it works via blogging!

OK, see if you can watch the video below in its entirety. Warning: 38 minutes long... 

Now to my spontaneous reactions:

1)  Hey! Mr Loo practice "Market Timing" too! 

2)  In current environment, CASH is more powerful, whereas CPF has very limited use... (14.22 in video for those who can't be bothered to watch the full video)


3)  1M65 is just an "inspiration" call... With inflation and lifestyle escalation, we'll certainly need more than that. 

Couldn't agree more! 

Regular visitors to this watering hole know my minimum and recommended PC requirement analogies. Wink.

4)  This last take away, its something I love the best!!!

Most people who quote Rich Dad Poor Dad often intentionally or unconsciously avoid the big gorilla in the room - Business Ownership. 

How many parents would encourage their own child to take 6 months off studies to learn the ropes of running a business in the real world?

Mr Loo is imparting the Rich Dad values to his children. Respect.

Ink blots - we see what we want to see

Well, I must say I'm a bit surprised after watching the whole video!

I started with the expectation to "Argue with the Stop Sign"...

In the end, I had to change the post label to "Street Smarts".

I don't know about you, but all I hear is about Earn More stuffs!?


To think I've been wasting my time arguing with his acolytes who couldn't read between the lines.

These acolytes probably still think the 1M65 movement is about Save More!?

If you listened to why and how Mr Loo chose the 1M65 moniker, it was because it hit the "sweet spot".

Those of you in sales, marketing, or advertising would know what he did there. Wink.

And when I found out Endowus is a client of Mr Loo, let's just say I'm not surprised. Wink, wink.

How about you?

What's your viewer reactions?

Do you see what I see?

Or have I missed other interesting points due to my bias and selective perceptions?

Alternative and opposite opinions welcomed. Just as long you don't hit the face! (I don't wear a brown paper bag over my head)


  1. Smol,

    Lol, think Mr CPF's outlook has changed over the decades too.

    One thing that hasn't change is his disdain for early retirement (otherwise he wouldn't have talked about 1M65 in the 1st place!)

    Btw, for video viewing & listening to podcasts, change the playback speed to 1.5X ... more efficient, unless it's your star idol, then can slo-mo or freeze frame. ;)

    His earlier talks really focused more about savings, living below your means ... and working hard, upskilling, getting a bigger salary etc.

    His interest in investing and S&P500 came just after GFC. You could say it was good timing ... or luck or when preparedness meets opportunity. ;)

    His entrepreneurial bent was an offshoot of being given (or grabbing) business-like responsibilities towards the later part of his corporate job. He succeeded obviously but having a corporate safety net during his entrepreneurship OJT took away a fair bit of stress.

    From his life experience, he understands opportunity cost & time value. Hence his encouragement of young people, including his children, to take some risks when young, and see whether you have the "X factor". The costs of failure while young is much lower than when middle-aged.

    1M is a nice round number, good for financial marketers. ;)

    But it hasn't been updated since the 1960s. Adjusted for inflation it's closer to 5M ... which is probably out of reach for many people.

    Fortune put out an article 2 years ago, where FAs say $3M is the new $1M. (They're targeting professionals, not your hoi polloi ;))

    Academics have another rule of thumb ... 25X annual expenses. So for an upper middle-income lifestyle of $100K spending at the start of retirement, that means a retirement pot of $2.5M.

    And to make that pot last (maybe for the next generation), at least 40%-50% gotta be in stocks or other tried-and-tested risk assets.

    1. Spur,

      Those with sales and marketing backgrounds would be familiar with techniques used by Mr Loo.

      For Buddhists, its the burning house parable where Buddha was able to entice the children out from the imminent danger by catching each child's attention with "toys" that appeal to them.

      I mean if you are unknown, the first thing is to attract a large following. With a large enough platform, you can then "pivot" and promote your poison of choice - S&P 500. Wink.

      Which may have disappointed those STI passive and yield hog stalwarts...

      Fair enough. I mean to invest, we need capital.

      Although I find it strange "educated" people need to be told how to "save" in the first place...

      If I can sock $50K every year under the mattress, in 20 years, I'll be a millionaire! Without any compounding tailwind support whatsoever too!

      Would anyone be interested to join my 1M in 20 years Sock Money Under The Mattress movement?

      P.S. Spur, what you say big daddy agrees and fully aware long ago. Hence they introduced CPFIS and tried to encourage more Singaporeans to own shares by "gifting" the SingTel shares at a discount.

      That backfired big time and found not fit for purpose years later.

      Big daddy must be hoping the new generation of CPF members, if risk averse, please stick with CPF and don't itchy fingers.

      If want to Earn More like Mr Loo in their pursuit of 4M65 by tapping CPFIS, well, the jury is still out whether they can outperform their old fogey seniors who found out the more they "invest", the more they lose...

      Look, this time its different!

  2. Smol,

    Talking about Singtel Discounted Shares scheme (SDS), govt also practised market timing BIG TIME.

    They launched the ipo near the tail end of the Aug 1992 - Dec 1993 bubble when STI shot up over +80%.

    It's no secret that ipo's occur mostly during bull markets & the most during bubbles. If it was purely a profit-making company doing it, then no issues. But when a govt pushes it onto citizens & housewives without any idea of stocks & investing, then it's something else...

    Almost immediately after the Singtel ipo, STI went into a -9% correction (Fed raised rates by 75bps). Over the next 3 years, STI was rangebound & basically went nowhere. And then plunged -67% during AFC.

    At least got panadols lol.

    1. Spur,

      That's why Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett stayed away from IPOs...

      There are "better" value buys in the secondary markets ;)

      Same goes for property pros; they only buy properties they can see and touch.

      That's the advantage of properties over stocks. Even without knowing Feng Shui, we instinctively know some locations cannot make it...

      Bei kambings go for new property launches based on some fancy drawings, mockup showroom displays, and 3D building models...

      All very faith-based. Of course the developer will deliver everything they "promised"! No?

      Then again, it could be the we want "virgins" complex at work?

      I mean today, what are the odds the bride or groom are virgins on their wedding night?

      If we don't need our partners to be virgins, why the need to buy "virgin" stocks and properties when it comes investments???

  3. Hi SMOL,

    Different era different theme.
    2000s “Rich dad poor dad” was the inspiration. I was inspired and then ASSI and STE show the way.
    2010s with low interest rate environment, CPF 2.5% becomes attractive, 1M65 movement start to catch fire. Well too late for me to ride this train 😆

    1. AT_AT,

      Yup, we do have fashion and flavour of the decade themes to investing too ;)

      Once upon a time, financial advisors and academic finance lecturers swear by the 60/40 stocks/bonds mix to ride out volatility.

      It didn't do too well this year when BOTH stocks and bonds are in the red...

      Try complaining to the FA or lecturer who sold you that idea 30 years ago when both have now retired years ago!

      Whatever happened to when stocks go down, bonds will go up to counterbalance???

      We are living in interesting times!

      Many events that were not supposed to happen - have happened.

      Negative interest rates, crude futures going into the negative (sellers pay buyers to take crude off their hands!?), shelling out tulip prices for digital images of bored apes; just to name a few...

      All strategies work - until they don't.

      Value investing works great in bear markets, but they lag Growth investing in runaway bull markets.

      Don't stick to one religion?


  4. Smol,

    60/40 ... benefit of the doubt?

    Trying out in Portfolio Visualizer indicates that using more intermediate treasuries may be "better" than using long term treasuries.

    Long term returns will be slightly lower but intermediate treasuries drop much less when inflation & interest rates spike up.

    In terms of value investing, large cap quality tech and long term treasuries are both value plays now.

    They may go lower but there's a whole bunch of indicators showing +ve divergences on daily & weekly timeframes.

    Might scale in over the next 4-6 mths. ;)

    1. Spur,

      If I'm the FA confronted by angry clients, what you expect me to say?

      Of course give more "back-testing" and "chide" my clients for not thinking LONG TERM...

      And hope my clients not lucid enough to realise that's what I did 25 years ago - smoke them with back-testing bullshit...

      Please don't ask, please don't ask isn't 25 years long term enough???

      Keep chanting, "Don't worry. Stocks always go up one. Trust!"

      All this time glancing at the calendar - 5 more years to my own retirement!

      Need more fees and commissions! Bear with it! I can do it!

      Eat my own cooking? Nah!

      I put all my money in CPF!


  5. Smol,

    Lol, that's why in S'pore we probably shldn't use FAs etc as there isn't much fiduciary law & corporate protection takes precedence over investor protection.

    In S'pore & other 3rd world countries (yes, lumping SG with 3rd world countries when it comes to personal investing), we should read & absorb as widely as we can, and then try out a few in a measured manner.

    Many methods work & many roads lead to Rome. But not all methods are suitable for everyone. If a 60/40 investor can't even take the relatively mild drawdown thus far this year, he probably shldn't be investing. ;)

    The good thing about Singapore's situation is that if one just do a bit ok in investing, he can be a multi-millionaire among the masses who can barely meet CPF FRS, which helps to also keep the costs of basic services and stuff low. ;)

    The bad thing about being a relatively privileged minority is if socially & politically, things take a turn for the worse in S'pore.

    1. Spur,

      I would argue what we have are mostly former insurance agents that now can sell investment products on the side...

      Old wine; new bottle.

      There's only one reason why ones wants to become a FA - to Earn More. (Not easy though; not everyone and anyone can do it)

      We now have 500K Singaporeans who are millionaires.

      Today's HDB 3 room BTO flats in mature estates are around $300-400K.

      The day when HDB 3 room BTO flats are sold for a million dollars to first time buyers within the next 20-30 years, no one will talk about being a millionaire in Singapore anymore....

      Just like our Malaysian friends and relatives today - they wouldn't talk about or set goals to be a millionaire in Malaysian Ringgit right?

      If one has a lot of money in CPF, you don't want a Singapore where anyone and everyone is a Singaporean millionaire just like in Indonesia...

    2. Smol,

      Lol! Maybe we should use gold i.e. to retire, need to hit 24kg of gold!

      Makes you wonder about that old phrase "worth your weight in gold".

      For practical purposes, the millions (ok, in SGD) should exclude own stay housing & be in easily liquid-able, run road-able assets.

      For Asians (and UK), we're more used to talking about passive cashflow for retirement, rather than a total gross amount. It's basically what your assets can produce, in inflation-adjusted terms, year-in & year-out, whether you're awake or in a coma. ;)

      The reason why there's stale wine in new bottles is because the FA Act is a joke compared to most G-7 countries, and it's not in govt's interests to stifle the financial industry. I'd do the same if I was in govt. ;)

    3. Spur,

      What to do?

      The 3 banks make up the majority weightings in our STI.

      We can't handicap them with too many rules and regulations... We are competing with other financial centres in the world globally!

      Wait our STI "lagi" fall even more behind US stock indexes how?

      Big daddy is using a "targeted" approach.

      When it comes to crypto coins, big daddy quite vocal and strict, "Don't you dare promote it to my citizens. Cannot!"

      But innovators in Blockchain technology most welcomed to come put your HQ base in Singapore! We welcome you! Singapore wants to be the global hub for you people!

      As for "not fit for purpose" financial products like investment-linked policies and "savings plan" policies... Close one eye; open one eye lor.

  6. Market timing is for everyone including M165 followers who inspired to upgrade to 4M65 with CPF fund. Which index fund doesn't practise some degree of market timing for rebalancing and adjusting accordingly to index components weightage?

    1. CW,

      I should add a part 2 to my Stock Index vs Stocks post.

      Like what you've said, passive investing is just an "illusion".

      You have merely "outsourced" the market timing to the index owner.

      The trick that stock index always go up is to keep adding new "flavour of the season" stocks that go up in price, and kick out "loser" stocks like NOL or Creative when their prices go no where...

      Want to bet when commodities become hot again, STI will reinclude those commodities stocks that they kicked out when commodity stocks were out of season?

      As for REITs yield hogs, you probably want to sell BEFORE STI kicks them out of the index!!!


      Nah! I won't happen one!

  7. From 1M65 to 4M65 through investing our CPF fund is net 300% investment gains across market cycles. Anyone has info of funds under CPF approved scheme have achieved that over past 30 years?

    1. Uncle8888,

      STI ETF? Lolz.

      Only a few funds. Most people will not be able to hold throughout, unless small amount & treat as salted fish. Volatility & human nature don't mix. ;)

      FSSA Regional China Fund -- 400% past 28 yrs

      FSSA Dividend Advantage Fund -- 310% in past 17 yrs

      Schroder Asian Growth Fund -- about 1,500% in 29 yrs

      Schroder Singapore Trust -- 1,100% in 29 yrs (Yay S'pore!!)

      abrdn India Opportunities -- about 340% in 18 yrs

      abrdn Pacific Equity Fund -- 600% past 24 yrs

      abrdn China Fund -- 310% in 21 yrs

      abrdn Singapore Fund -- 550% in 24 yrs

      PS: No S&P500 index fund approved for CPFIS until recently ... and that is thru robo-advisors where you have to pay extra annual fees. But if MAS had approved the OCBC one since 2000, the total returns for the past 22 years will be .... 130%. Thanks to the lost US decade from 2000-2013.

      As I mentioned before ... if Mr CPF had invested in S&P500 in the early 2000s instead of after GFC, he may not be so enthusiastic about it. ;)

    2. Spur,


      Those who bothered to do the research (google) themselves, I wonder how many will still hop on the voluntary CPF contribution bandwagon?

      I mean 4% compounded by 30 years is ...


      Those who invested in S&P 500 with CPFIS after the go ahead recently, were they "early adopters" or "laggards"?

      Time will tell ;)

    3. CW,

      This Spur good or what!?

      You just asked, immediately he got the results!?

      Eh, we better keep a watch out next time we put on a position...

      Make sure Spur is not on the opposite side of our trades with more thorough research and clearer analysis!

      I better hide my penknife now. So shy after seeing his bazooka!

    4. Smol,

      No lah, it's because those were some of my go-to fund houses when I started investing seriously in the early 2000s ... when online fund platforms were starting out & reducing initial sales charges from banks' 5% to 2.5% Uggh!

      Still got a few 6-figures in some of them. Treat as legacy salted fish but taste like sharks fin. ;)

      Fed's the one with the nuclear bazooka.

      Ok, that's a cannon...

    5. Or howitzer...

      You got actual skin in the game track records backing up your analysis!!!

      That's even more shock and awe!

      Anyone and everyone who got some googling skills and get the same data, but interpreting them in the right context, that's another story ;)

      Thank goodness my bias is Asia Pacific ex Japan!

      It would be interesting to check back in 30 years (I will be 85) how Asia Pacific ex Japan will fare against the S&P500 "ang moh tua kee" fan boys and girls ;)

    6. Smol,

      Oh, I got my share of dud funds ... Latin America (commodities!), Emerging Markets (high GDP!), Eastern Europe (Russia!) ... not realising then that these are meant to be traded, not buy & hold. Cut loss or stopped out of all these by 2012. A common thread is that these countries also tend to have poor corporate & national governance! ;)

      Then there are those okaaay laaarrr .... US (thanks to lost decade), Global (thanks to lost decade + geriatric Europe post-GFC) lol. Still holding a bit of an active US unit trust ... treat as salted fish, although much less saltier in the last few years.

      ETFs are my main poison now ... purer & lower cost ... That's provided you go for the no-frills basic index types.

      With all the active etfs, smart beta etfs, thematic ETFs, investing style ETFs, factor-based etfs, hybrid human-machine driven etfs, weird anyhow-create-the-latest-fad-index ETFs etc etc, it's getting a lot murkier in the etf space. A blanket statement like ETF investing = passive investing is definitely not true now, even if one buys & forgets.

      But for Asia ex-Jap, the good fund managers are able to maintain long term outperformance against the index. It's definitely having to deviate from the index constituents, invest in more mid & small caps rather than the usual large caps, & deviating from index weightage to over-weight in higher conviction companies etc.

      The price? Higher volatility, but in these cases, you're rewarded for taking on extra risk over the longer term. Most people don't have the stomach or patience. ;)

      If you believe in long term mean reversion, the 2020s and maybe 2030s may be Asian stocks to shine. (Although I think Xi retiring will also help a lot!)

    7. Spur,


      I guess we both learned the crash got sound way!

      ETFs are great vehicles for trading. We now have ETFs for anything under the sun!?

      Bullish on uranium? But no clue where or how to trade uranium directly or leverage on uranium miners? No worries! We got an uranium ETF for you!

      Interested in Reits but too lazy to pick the better ones? Psst! Here's one Reits ETF - no brains needed!

      Although I think its getting a bit out of hand... We even got NFT ETF!!!???

      No clue how ETFs got hijacked by the Passive Investing people... Can't be snake oils as they much prefer their clients to trade ETFs!

      Mr Winnie-the-Pooh isn't going away anytime soon... I believe he'll be like Mahatir - never retiring!

      The biggest downside to my Asia ex-Japan thesis will be wars over the South China Sea...

      Or to be precise, over what lies underneath the sea bed.

      Then all bets are off! (Or I can hedge with Energy ETF?)


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