Monday 28 November 2022

If official retirement age is 55 how?


Young that time, I witnessed 2 of my neighbours' fathers retired at age 55 as that was the official retirement age then.

I hit 55 this year.

I just had a "wu liao" (nonsensical) thought.

Imagine in an alternative universe, where we have high youth unemployment as economy "hentak kaki" (like in Taiwan?), and we don't have problems producing babies since that's the only "entertainment" when we don't have career aspirations as deterrent.

To make way for youths, everyone has to retire by age 55.

And you can take out ALL your CPF at age 55. You know, how it was meant to be when created by the founding fathers.

No CPF minimum sum, no CPF Life. 


Would you be glad and happier?

Or would you suddenly feel a bit sheepish trash talking big daddy all these times?

Especially when you realise you don't do too well on your own... You prefer to have a pet owner - woof, woof!


Saturday 26 November 2022

Digital Sing Dollar - Akan Datang


Ever wonder why NS55, CDC, and other big daddy "handouts" nowadays always come in the digital form?

For IT dinosaurs like me, I surely miss those hardcopy paper voucher days!

Have you also noticed the booths around high traffic shopping areas offering smart phone courses for senior citizens?

Yup, big daddy laying the groundwork.

Singapore fell behind China with WeChat Pay and Alipay - Mainland Chinese tourists coming to Singapore a decade ago were surprised Singapore so "behind"!?

Yup, when I was in Shanghai, they were already using mobile payments at the wet markets.

Once big daddy realised it, we quickly developed our own PayLah! and other apps. 

The benefit is that big daddy can better target and monitor their handouts do what as they are intended.

For eg, if $300 is given to lower income families to offset their grocery bills, the recipient cannot then use the digital $300 to buy Toto or enter our casinos integrated resorts... 

Big daddy knows!

As for the ugly side, like "kiam siap gui" boyfriends who after a breakup, demand gifts given to their girlfriends back!?

Trudeau's Canada very shamelessly froze the bank accounts of those citizens who financially supported the truckers' strike. 

That's low.

Of course, that would not happen in Singapore! (I not stupid; I don't want to be invited for kopi)

Anyway, we are living in interesting times! 

In my lifetime, I can witness a new innovation in money.

The last time money had such an innovation was when the Chinese invented paper money!

And that's even longer than when policemen wore shorts...

MAS on Digital Sing Dollar 

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Passive Income Scams


It's fun and refreshing to find some "ang moh" financial YouTubers do play the role of the 2 dots in the Tao symbol!

Those of us who are snake oils (day job working as sales, marketing, advertising, PR; etc...) would cringe with all the hyperbole dished out. 

It's true.

The best way to make money attending all these "get rich" seminars and masterclasses, is to "steal with pride" how they conduct the trainings, "creatively" pour the course materials into new bottles, and then start selling yourself as the next "financial guru" - "If you believe me; follow me!"

Of course, it helps you can speak and do motivational talks in public.

Those who can't, can do YouTube videos. I mean you just have to talk into the camera. No?

As for those who are camera shy, well, there's still blogging. 

You'll be surprised how many people are willing to spend money on courses without knowing the real name of the trainer or how he/she looks in real life.

It's like a blind date! 

I kid you not. 

Then again, these "trainers" with brown paper bags over their heads charge the lowest... Ar ber then?

Those who dare to show face and use real names, of course can and should a charge a lot more! 


That's because "potential" students can CSI the trainers' background and credentials. 

Think about it for a moment. If you drive a Mercedes or BMW, would you take financial advice from someone taking the Comfort Delgro bus?

If you stay in a condo, would you attend property courses from someone who stays in a HDB flat?

P.S.  That's why "financial gurus" would rent villas, sports cars, take pictures in front of yachts they don't own to project that "success" to "bei kambings".

Those of you in real estate or insurance sales, you know the trick of wearing fake luxury watches, right? Fake it until you make it!


Sunday 20 November 2022

Crazy Rentals!


I couldn't believe it when my relative shared his neighbour is renting out their whole 4 room HDB flat out for $5,200 per month!?

OK, its Queenstown, but still...

Can't you rent a decent condo for $5,200 per month in Queenstown???

It's rented out to 3 Mainland Chinese who are sharing the flat together. Power!

Either the view of the flat is super breathtaking, or maybe the flat is renovated like a palace?

I tell you, if this keeps up, next we would be reading about million-dollar HDB 4 room flats soon!

Thursday 17 November 2022

You Are All Individuals!


Tuesday 15 November 2022

Negative Yielding Instruments/Vehicles in Singapore (2022)



Singapore Savings Bonds.

Singapore Treasuries.

Singapore Bank Fixed Deposits.

You get the picture.

In REAL terms of course!

You think why Big Daddy evaluate their shepherds like Temasek and GIC on a real rate of return after deducting the global inflation rate?

Fair right?

If not how to justify the shepherds' salaries and bonuses? 

It would be interesting to review GIC and Temasek's investment performance for 2022 next year!


We are "amateurs"...

Cannot compare with professionals you say?

Wait a minute.

Something is off....

I thought it's about whether one is financially literate or not!?

Or are you moving the goal posts by changing the definition again?

Friday 11 November 2022

Spear and Shield Moment


Sometimes it's a bit funny and awkward to see "amateur" snake oils trying to spin anytime is a good time to invest for the LONG TERM...

You know, the Time in the Market versus Timing the Market argument.

How even if you have entered the markets at the worst possible moments (market tops), you'll still come out "profitable" eventually because...

Get ready.

Stocks always go up in the LONG TERM!

OK, even if you swallowed hook, line, and sinker the spin that entries don't matter, pray tell why should you sign up for any Masterclasses then?

I mean if it's so idiot proof, then anyone and everyone can do it by themselves. No?

Ding! That's your spear and shield moment. Wink.

That's where snake oils like me will face-palm and go, 

"No! That's not how you sell LONG TERM investing lah!

Cannot oversell until like that!"

And that's me coming from the Timing the Market camp...


Wednesday 9 November 2022

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Diversification is for the Know Nothing Investor


Saturday 5 November 2022

Edge as in Local Local Knowledge - Or so I thought!


We often ask what's our edge when it comes to investing/trading.

Tip: If you have no freaking clue, you don't have an edge lah!

Just this morning, I discovered what I thought was my edge turned out to be merely superficial advantage all along...

I've been staying at Queenstown all my life - all 55 years of it!

If Queenstown were a stock, I'll have an edge over those who are not staying here. I mean I can rattle off what happened 30 years ago, what new shops or buildings popped up recently (technicals)...

I also have first-hand knowledge of the population growth (or lack of) here; the mix - whether it's aging or more young families moving in; and whether there's buying power as reflected by the "attasness" of the retail shops here (fundamentals).

Take a look at the picture above.

On the left side, there's a long row of 2 storey building. This I know about although I never went in and see it for myself - it was a former golf driving range. 

I only knew about it as there's a sign outside near the Queenstown library (what others say).

This week finally walked in to take a look.

Now it has been transformed into Children's Cove and Aqaduck? Interesting! (Child care big business!)

I discover there's 2 empty fields on the right side only after moving to my new high floor Dawson flat???

I mean I've only walked or took public transport outside Margaret Drive road previously.

The 2 fields are nestled inside landed properties estate. 


Just googled this morning and discover the top field is the Singapore Cricket Club Rugby Academy, while the bottom field is the Singapore Cricket Club Ground.

I'm not so smug now.

Feels similar?

Especially those of you born and bred Singaporean investors who have been investing in STI stocks for over 30 years?

Even now, I still make "I thought I knew but actually I no freaking clue" mistakes in trading...



Wednesday 2 November 2022

Are You The Investing Broken Clock?


A broken clock is right 2 times a day.

Investing can be most painful if we are like the broken clock...

During early 2003 in the depths of the Nasdaq meltdown, I remember my colleague couldn't stomach the pain anymore.

He sold out with steep losses, fearing low can get lower, and transferred what remained of his funds into those Capital Protected funds that were peddled by our friendly nation building local banks.

Yup, that's capitulation.

That move is the "equivalent" of voluntary contribution to CPF today.

When the market recovered until it broke in 2008, he missed the "one day I'll breakeven rally"...

The consolation is that "lucky" him! He missed the 2008 GFC! Heng ah!

Well, own self lie to own self is the best way to deal with the pain of missing out...

Then there's the other side of the story.

Parochial "local born and bred" retail investors who jumped onto the passive STI ETF for the past several years were not exactly thrilled when compared to their peers who piled into Nasdaq, S&P 500, or Hang Seng ETFs...

I mean STI didn't go anywhere except collect some dividends here and there. As wealth preservation and income, not so bad... But to build wealth or as vehicle to achieve FIRE? Eh...

Now the tables have turned.

STI pandas and koala bears are now probably patting themselves on the back! I mean losing 10-15% is better than losing 40-50% right?

That's the pain of investing, isn't it?

No matter how much we suck at it, we can always look back at those "twice a day" times when we were right.

But for the rest of the time, we were just dead wrong...

You'll be surprised.

Majority of retail investors just want to be "right", rather than to make money.

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