Friday 28 October 2022

Are You Confident Enough To Recommend Others Your Favourite Eating Places?


I have a Filipino sales colleague at my weekend sales gig who have his in-laws coming to Singapore to visit.

He asked me about the usual touristy Maxwell and Novena hawker centres. Which stalls good, what food to recommend, etc...

I smiled and asked, "Near your home you don't have your favourite hawker centres and coffee shops?"

His eyes suddenly lit up, "I like you recommendation! Thanks!"

I didn't say anything!!!

That's coaching by the way - let others figure out the answer for themselves.

This Filipino colleague has been in Singapore for 5 years already. He is in his mid 30s. 

Before joining us as Showroom Sales, he was "sitting at home" for 2 years.

Previously, he was Shop Manager at one of our local DIY shops - which unfortunately closed down...

He is no bei kambing; he is shepherd.

That's why he got the "answer" to his own question immediately. Wink.

Bei kambings need to be spoon-fed.

Long time readers at this watering hole may find this post kind of familiar... Deja vu?

It's this 10 year old post lah - What's Your Favourite Chicken Rice Stall?

When friends or relatives ask you what stocks to buy or what asset class good to invest, how would you reply to them? 

That's quite telling about your level of craftsmanship, isn't it?

Thursday 20 October 2022

My new BTO flat has gone from $4 to $7?


The new HDB letter boxes are the type where we can lock the holes, if we so wish, so that we can't receive spam leaflets and brochures.

But I'm impressed with one real estate agent - she literally mails her leaflet in a proper letter addressed to my flat!?

And imagine doing this to all flats in my estate?

She definitely does not subscribe to Save More. Wink.

Nothing new. 

Didn't our 5,000 years of Chinese wisdom teach us that to attract big money, we need to spend small money as bait?

She knows her marketing or Jedi mind control trick well - the moment I open the letter, in big bold fonts, your home is estimated to worth $738,000 jumps right out at me.


She even customizes her sales spin for different flat types! 

HDB 2 rooms, 4 rooms, and 5 rooms will have different valuations on the cover letters I presume! 


I got my keys to my Dawson flat on Dec 2020. The direct purchase HDB valuation was $398,000. 

In 22 months, now it is worth around $700K in the open market?

Alert regular readers will know I did a sleight-of-hand just now.

Hello, my SERS journey started around June 2014 lah!

The compensated SERS replacement flats prices were "frozen" at that point for us. 

Therefore, it's more correct to say that my new BTO flat has gone up from $4 to $7 in 8 years, not in 22 months. Wink.

Don't laugh. 

Many years back, I was poking all the (innocent or knowingly) shenanigans when people were calculating their ROI or XIRR of their portfolios with weird bombastic returns in percentages!?

The percentage return from $4 to $7 over 22 months is different from over 8 years!!!

The same trick is used during seminars or courses. You'll be surprised how many tertiary educated people fall for it!


If Lady Luck were to continue to smile on me in 10 years' time, I may even get my $4 (and more) back from big daddy.

Then again, even I feel the prices has gone up a little too fast, too quick....

I not greedy. If price were to just jump just $1 more over the next 10 years to $8, confirm I will get my $4 back - now that's a low bar or what?

One thing is clear. 

For those who have put money in Singapore properties over the past 8 years, especially if you have bought direct from HDB, your returns are a lot better than equities. No?

Even more alert regular readers will probably point out I didn't "buy" my HDB Dawson flat at $4...

I bought my Tanglin Halt SERS flat at the resale price of $1.25 in 2003.

I better stop. 

In percentages, it's even more ridiculous...


Monday 17 October 2022

I'm back! What did I miss?



A small break has turned into 2 months hiatus???

Well, that definitely wasn't planned!

Two things happened...

One not so good; one happy.

The not so good part is 生老病死 or life cycle.

Someone close (not my mom) got diagnosed with 4th stage liver cancer. Probably got 12 more months? 

We have decided not to seek medical treatment; late stage no cure, it's just prolonging the inevitable... 

We'll be doing an Anita Mui. 

When the time comes, we'll seek palliative care.

The happy moment is I've finally moved to my new Dawson flat!

The view here is fantastic. Very windy and cool.

I got the keys to my Dawson flat Dec 2020; moved in this month. 

Yup, have been flushing the $88 service and conservancy charges down the toilet every month for more than 1.5 years... 

Town council super efficient! Start charging the moment we got the keys? Not from when we moved in?

Then again, I've been collecting big daddy's conservancy and PUB rebates for 1.5 years too. That should alleviate some of the pain... LOL!

Why take so long for the move?

Let's just say we took 3 relocation trips spread over 4 months... There's a lot of psychological "work" involved...

We are the 4th remaining flats at my old Tanglin Halt flat. There are more "problematic" cases.

Some may have to involve police... 

I can empathize.

While I'm ecstatic with the move; mom is not.

That's why some private properties enbloc will fail. No matter how high the selling price, some will never move no matter what!

Phew. It's all over now!

A pleasant discovery is I can walk away from the markets, when needed.

Now that's really a man of leisure!

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