Wednesday 28 June 2023

Hello SP Group, I'm Back!


Yup, I've moved back to Big Daddy's electricity provider this month.

To recap and have a better sense of context, you may want to read my previous 18 Oct 2021 post:

SP Wholesale versus Electricity Retailers

I've been "lucky" for the past 2 years - paying a mere $0.168/kWh - despite the rising quarterly Electricity Tariffs...

But that 2-year honeymoon ended this month.

My current electricity provider tried to "entice" me to renew the contract for another minimum 18 months with an extra "discount" for repeat customers.

Good try.

I don't sweat the small stuffs like downloading apps to enjoy extra discounts for Kopitiam or points for free burgers at McDonalds...

But for my monthly electricity plans? I bothered to do some quick research. Wink.

For historical electricity tariff prices, click the excel file from SP Group below: 

Historical Electricity Prices

Those of you who see better with pictures may want to convert the data into charts yourself. (What? I don't spoon-feed one OK?)

What do you see?

Locking prices for the next 18 months at current electricity prices is like buying near a market top...

I just can't bring myself to do it. (Occupational hazard of a trader)

But why return to SP Group?

That's because no independent electricity retailers are now offering variable plans!!!???

Remember when we can choose independent electricity retailers for the first time?

We were offered "fixed" and "variable" plans right?

I'll let you figure out why no independent retailers are offering "variable" plans to us anymore...

Well, no worries!

Hello SP Group, I'm back!

Of course I can be wrong!

I'll have eggs on my face if next quarter's electricity tariff goes up...

But if you are a Trend Follower like me (Lower electricity bills from April to June as tariff falls by 5.4%), then not locking-in our monthly electricity is the way to benefit from future lower deflationary electricity prices.

P.S.  Since I'm not Buy-and-Hold but a Man-Whore Market Timer, once electricity prices have dropped to the low 20s (break below 20 even better), I'll start flirting with the independent retailers again.

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Sunrise and Rainbow at Dawson


Woke up slightly before 7am this morning due to the sudden chill in the air.

Thought it would rain as menacing dark storm clouds looms...

Then I saw this:

Sunrise over Orchard Road 

Weather nowadays quite a tease.

Yup, the dark clouds just blew on by. No rain for Queenstown today!?

As consolation, the heavens gave me this:

View from balcony towards West

I then dragged myself down to the 35th floor Skygarden to snap the other side of the rainbow:

I showed mom the pictures.

She happy; I happy.

Simple pleasures of life.

Saturday 3 June 2023

Sunset and Dusk at Dawson


As requested by Sy, here are some pictures of sunset and dusk at Dawson:


Pictures taken standing on my balcony looking left (West) towards Holland Village direction.

As for sunrise...

I'm a late sleeper. That'll have to wait until those rare occasions I manage to wake up naturally before 6.00 am. Wink.


Tuesday 16 May 2023

Welcome Rain!


First of all, it's a colour photo; not black and white.

Can't tell you how happy I am to see the dark clouds over my balcony right now...

Especially after the recent 2-3 days of crazy heat!

Let it rip!

Please don't got sound and fury, then disappoint with a few drips...

Sunday 7 May 2023

Everyone Says Different Things - Who To Believe?


During my weekend sales gig, I sometimes get customers telling me it's all so confusing!!! 

Every sales promoter says different things!?

Who to believe???

These "confused" customers are bei kambings.

If you are knowledgeable and can think for yourself, of course you can separate the wheat from the chaff!. Wink.

Have you ever bought an item where you know more than the average sales promoters? 

Got right? 

You chuckle to yourself as you watch snake oils try to dissuade you from your purchase and switch to their brands instead...

Then there are also times when you walked into a store intending to buy Brand X, but you walked out with Brand Y!?

This only happens when you're new to a product category, no?

Then there are those customers who don't trust their own feet.

They go round asking sales promoters which brand is the most popular?

Others buy what, they buy what. 

Safety in numbers!

Then again, they are often the most confused customers too...

Every sales promoter will say their brand is the best selling!



Thursday 4 May 2023

Warren and Charlie poking US Business Schools


When Charlie said they "morphed" into buying better companies when they were underpriced...

I'll leave it to you to decide whether that's "market-timing". 

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Market Timing


There are 2 groups of people who would shill it's pointless to do market timing:

1)  The "too free" and no skin in the game academics; and

2)  the sell-side investment snake oils targeting mainly retail clients.



Let's start with the obvious. In your financial freedom journey, the last thing you would want is to be like them. Correct?


OK, name one academic that's your No. 1 fan favourite when it comes to Earn More/FIRE/Investing... 

I'm not a fan of Warren Buffett (I like Charlie more), but I can't help but love the humorous "pokes" Warren and Charlie often make at the expense of the academics.  

Not just the so called financial "wisdom" taught in Business Schools, but quite a lot of the management "bullshit" taught that don't quite make sense to Warren and Charlie (those that actually run businesses)!

For those who love to parrot what others say to appear "smarter", I mean, who dares to question academic thesis like the Market Efficient Theory; Time in the Market; Modern Portfolio Theory; etc?

But the awkward fact remains to top performing Hedge Funds and well-known investors (like Warren and Charlie) out there, most do the opposite!

Which makes intuitive sense... How can anyone outperform others if they just do the same as everyone else???


Sell-Side Snake Oils

I feel embarrassed to even mention it.   

I would think it's so obvious to everyone and anyone. 

But the sad reality is that many have never worked in sales before, and have no clue what talking me...

Look, if I'm a competent sell-side snake oil, and I see risks of a market correction coming, I would advise my own family members, best friends forever, and best clients to raise cash and dial down risky positions.

But to new bei kambing retail clients, what you expect me to say?

Tell them don't buy? Come back to you after a market correction?

Like that who will pay for your mortgage next month? 

Put food on the table tonight?

And allow you to bring your whole family to Europe this coming summer?

Of course, it's any time is a good time to invest!!!



P.S.   Anyone would like to hazard a guess why I left out trading for this statement below?

"OK, name one academic that's your No. 1 fan favourite when it comes to Earn More/FIRE/Investing..."

Saturday 29 April 2023

Sunbird on my laundry?


Thanks to the eBird website that I stumbled onto while writing my Dawson birdwatching post, I am guessing this little bird that flew onto my laundry is an Olive-backed Sunbird?

It looks like a fledgling. So I can't be sure.

I was showering in the evening at around 7 pm when I heard a series of loud and sharp chirpings.

I thought there must be a bird on the ari-con ledge or something.

As I went to my laundry yard, this little Sunbird (can fit on your palm) was resting on my laundry along the horizontal laundry bars.

It looked sleepy and tired. I left it alone after taking the pictures with my mobile.

You know what?

It slept the whole night there.

Only flew away in the morning when I checked on it around 6.30 am while making coffee.

It brought a smile to my day,

Little pleasures of life!

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Retirement Income Model - End Game Walking Down The Mountain Strategy


In gacha gaming, there're early-game, mid-game, and late-game strategies.

Often, newbies to a gacha game get themselves all tangled up when they watch late-game players play and try to copy or replicate their play styles.

That's how some get burned-out or discouraged and left the game after a few months.

Similarly, when it comes to FIRE or retirement planning, there's walking up the mountain and walking down the mountain strats.

Before I begin, I would like to remind everyone words are very powerful as they do affect our thinking.

Be an open umbrella

Noticed I removed the Dividend from Dividend Income Model?

Dividends locked us parochially into equities only. 

As some may have already discovered, once we just use a broad and grey definition like Income, we have a lot more options as in interests from fixed deposits, bonds, CPF; etc.

Then there's also income from rentals. Don't just think and limit yourself to properties. Anything you owned that you can "rent" to others also can!  (Illegal money lending is a crime OK! So don't get carried away...)

How about private annuities to complement CPF Life for those who want to pump in more beyond the CPF Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) limits? 

We can also continue working beyond retirement (freelance, part-time, ad-hoc); that's Retirement Income too. No? 

Passive my foot!

Long time visitors to this watering hole know how I feel about passive.

Well, no one stopping you if you really believed no need do anything and money will drop from the sky to you.

Maybe you're best friend forever with your God/Gods? Or Luck is your superpower!?

Hence there will be no Passive in front of Retirement Income Model for me too.

Walking Up The Mountain

I noticed some youths have a goal to have $100K by age 30.

Let's use that as Index 100.

If you wish to FIRE at age 35 or 45, do you think an Investing/Retirement Income Strategy would help you get there? Or in gacha gaming, is that a meta strat?

OK, you enjoy your day job and not into early retirement and all that jazz; you just want financial independence when you retire.

If you just aiming for 1M65, that's probably doable. But if you want 4M65, would an Income Strategy help you now?

It won't take you long after doing the math that an Investment Income Strategy works better when you're doing splendidly in your day job; or you have your own business that's growing exponentially. 

That's where the major compounding comes from - it's the annual cash injections into your Investment Income Portfolio!!!

Walking Down The Mountain

Once we have got our hands on the whatever amount that's "enough" for you, it's a lot easier to switch to the Retirement Income Model.

You think why I wrote Look at Goldfish instead of Modelling them?

If you bother to look under the hoot and at actual Goldfishes, the Retirement Income Model is not how most walked up the mountain in the first place.

Most got there through properties.

How many suck at their day jobs? 

A well-paying job means more cash injections annually for the win! 

Save More can oredi!

How many can show 10 baggers like our fisherman CW? 

If day job sucks, must make up for it at investing/trading! 

Earn More. Period.

P.S.  After 10 years of journey, we are starting to see and read former youths starting to doubt their Investment/Retirement Income vehicles...

It's not surprising; it's science.

Same strategy, but it's different when you're walking up against gravity; versus when you're walking down with gravity now on your side. Wink.

Sunday 23 April 2023

How to ensure your money never runs out in retirement?


Die early.

FIRE at 35, go sell salted eggs before age 37.

Retire "early" at 55, bye bye after 58.

Forced to quit and rot at home after hitting 70, up lorry age 71.

Remember when our official retirement age was at 55?

That's because that time most retirees meet their makers in their late 60s or early 70s.

That meant their retirement nest eggs just have to last them for 15 years? 20 years tops!

Now what's the actuarial age given by big daddy on when they "expect" us to live to? 

Around 85 right?

Some have probably figured out why big daddy switched to CPF Life at this point. Wink.

The old Retirement Sum Scheme (RSS) is like planning our retirements using the Withdrawal Rate model - or what I prefer to call killing our Golden Goose slowly though a thousand cuts.

Can you spot the biggest fly in the ointment for this solution?

So when you gonna die?

Die early no problem; live long long like Dr Mahatir could be problem!!!

Big daddy's solution is to "socialise" retirement - take the bricks from East wall to patch the holes at the West wall.

You can do that too!

If you're a couple on the 1M65 path, the minimum PC requirement sums may not last the both of you till your 90s...

But if one of you goes in your late 60s or early 70s...

What? Don't look at me! 

You should pay more attention to your partner if he/she looks at you funny...


The alternatives?

Work beyond your 70s and never retire. I don't see anything wrong or sad with it if you're doing what you love.

Or just see the 1M65 for what it is - a bait and switch routine. 

Nobody makes money off 1M65, but if its 4M65... kaching!

Better you pivot and capitulate on your own to chase the recommended PC requirement sums in your youth than to do so in your 60s!

Or maybe we don't exercise; don't eat healthy; do our best to wear and tear our bodies through wine, women, and song?

Yup, don't have to worry money not enough during retirement if we sayonara in our 60s!!!

Grasshoppers and crickets unite!

Sarcasm aside, if you can spot bad advice masquerading as "in your best interest advice", you'll be OK.

You're not bei kambing anymore. Wink.

Thursday 20 April 2023

Look at Goldfish instead of Modelling them?

I often shared this Goldfish story about this Professor who asked his students how they would go about learning more about Goldfishes?

If you never heard this story before, try it yourself. (Don't peek below)


The Professor's students all gave various "standard" answers like go library and research published articles or books on Goldfishes.

Or watch YouTube videos and documentaries on Goldfishes.

Then the Professor reached down and lifted up a bowl of gold fishes and plonked it on top of the podium.

"How many of you bothered to look at the actual Goldfishes?" the Professor asked.


This is not new for those familiar with our 5,000 years of Chinese wisdom.

Remember the story of the man who don't trust his own feet when buying shoes? 

He already at the shoe shop, but realised he left the measurements of his feet back at his home. 

He hurried back to retrieve them.... Huh???


I see lots of examples in our community.

Do you?

Talk like maciam got dragons and phoenixes about Goldfishes, but have they actually looked at a live Goldfish before?

Let's take this topic on how to be financially secure during retirement?

Have you interviewed and listened to actual retirees? 

Ideally not freshly retired for 1-2 years, but those who have been retired for more than 10 years and above. The longer the better!

No need to look far. Have you talked to your grandparents or grand uncles/aunties how they survived their retirements?

Senior citizen neighbours?

Retired elders in your church, temple, mosque?

There's this Buddhist story about a distraught mother who lost her young child and was so angry and upset that she confronted her Abbot.

Instead of "wah kali gong" or giving sermons, the Abbot asked the mother to knock on 100 households to find how many families have never lost a family member.

After knocking at tens of households, the distraught mother soon discovered the "truth" on her own. 

Ownself cured her ownself.


Just saying.

Monday 17 April 2023

Ah! Its Grey-rumped TreeSwift Fledgling at Skyville@Dawson


Birders flock to Margaret Drive car park to photograph cute Grey-rumped treeswift fledgling.

No wonder I can't spot anything the last time.

Mentally, I was trying to locate a traditionally bowl-shaped bird nest made of twigs or straws...


Now I know why I've missed quite a few opportunities in my life! 

I had pre-conceived notions of what I expect or assumed opportunities "should" look like....

And opportunities were right in front of me all along!!!

I just didn't have an open mind to recognise them... (Please don't let it be cryptos!)

I didn't know treeswifts let their young ones live their lives so on a knife's edge???


What nest???

Not afraid a gust of wind or a thunderstorm will just knock the fledgling from its perch?

Then again, if the fledgling survives to adulthood, it would be better prepared compared to those other fledglings that have been pampered or coddled all their lives... 

Snowflakes and strawberries anyone?

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Aren't You Glad You No Longer In School Today?


Remember streaming?

Now no streaming.

Full subject-based banding anyone?

From "precision" in PSLE school results to reducing fine differentiation in students' examination results at a young age.

From credentials and paper qualifications to skills and competencies?

Have you noticed it's moving in the direction of grey?

The muddier the better?

Look, big daddy is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) employer of their own "creations".

It got a front row seat in receiving immediate crash got sound feedback whether we Singaporean employees can make it or can't make it...

Mind you, our Singapore education system is highly respected worldwide. Our students often come out on top globally in Math and Science.

Hence this post is not a knock on big daddy; in fact its complimentary. Wink.

If you are tertiary educated in your 40s or 50s, and feeling very stressed with the constant changes and competition globally (using FIRE to escape), you may want to take the time to understand why big daddy spending some much time and resources making all these education reforms over the years?

Why the emphasis by big daddy today is not the first 15 years of our youths' formal educational years, but the last 50 years of their working lives? (Hint to youths - retirement age 70 is coming for you)

Perhaps it's to prepare our children so they don't become like us?

Very easy to tell whether our youths of tomorrow will become better prepared than us old fogeys.

I'll be very surprised if this FIRE thingy will be still a thing 10-20 years later.

Who will pay up to be told how to trade/invest when youths of tomorrow can think for themselves and get themselves educated on their own? 

Isn't that having the joy of learning and continuous education all about?

And why FIRE when we are happy doing the things we love?

Financial snake oils, you are on borrowed time. 

But no worries, you just have to relocate to countries where the people there are mostly bei kambings that love to be told what to do. 

Why I say this post is complimentary to big daddy?

Can you imagine how hard and difficult it would be to govern and rule over cats of the future???

But the good thing is that when citizens can think for themselves, we would more likely have the common sense to be like the Swiss who voted against Unconditional Basic Income in June 2016.

Can you trust the majority of Singaporeans saying no to "free" money today? 

Some would probably declare they have reached LEAN FIRE if the Universal Basic Income is similar to CPF Life as in $1,000 plus per month?

Take the money and "retire" to Bali or Phuket on the cheap?


Sunday 9 April 2023

Fare Thee Well, Old Friend


One of the two little dots in the Tao symbol has move on...

For years, we have been poking and bantering with each other. 

All in good fun as it didn't take long for the two of us to figure out we are actually two opposing sides of the same coin!

In our community - where most "yalor, yalor" out of politeness, or to insulate themselves in the echo chamber of reinforcing beliefs - you are the rare voice of rebuttals!

I thank you for your sense of humour, and tolerance to suffer the slings and arrows of my "no big, no small" pokes.

Blogging would not be the same without you...

See you in the stars! CW the fisherman!

And unspoken things.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Skyville@Dawson Bird Watching


This morning, while walking back after buying breakfat at Magaret Drive Hawker Centre, I spotted a group of photographers around Skyville@Dawson.

Talk about "powderful" lenses... Some are humongous! So big! 

I can empathise with the man in front in the grey shirt, "Shit! My one smaller than others..."

Star gazers? 

No. It's broad day light. What are they looking at???

I walked in closer with my Xiaomi mobile to have a better look.

Nope. Couldn't see a thing. I must be blind. Then again, there's only so much we can do with a mobile digital zoom...

Then I realised they may think I'm trolling them with my mobile, worn-out T-shirt, slippers, and most damning of all, my "dabao" breakfast for mom in the other hand...

So I nonchalantly backed-off into the back pretending nothing happening. No eye contact, no eye contact.

After going home, I goggled and found this website eBird where I found Skyville and Alexandra Park Connector are known sites for bird spotting in Singapore.

I not into bird watching, but I'm into people watching. Wink.

P.S.   Me with my mobile is a bit like when we were bei kambings starting out in trading/investing, isn't it?

Ah! Those were innocent days indeed!

That's until we discovered we were competing with other craftsmen with their monster lenses!!!


Thursday 30 March 2023

Crypto Monotheism Versus Polytheism


I don't own cryptos or shares of companies related to cryptos.

Hence, I'm not talking my own book here.

But I'm impressed with the price action of cryptos recently during the banking troubles in US and Switzerland. 

Aren't you?

I've noticed an interesting phenomenon amongst the crypto believers. There are 2 major camps - the Monotheists and the Polytheists.

The Monotheists believe there is only ONE true crypto. Everything else is just bullshit. 

The Polytheists believe in anything and everything. Just as long the story is compelling! 

As a crypto "atheist", I'll just stand aside and watch from the opposite bank with interest.

I mean even if you into crypto, it's something you ultimately have to resolve amongst the believers.

Crypto believers out there, are you a Monotheist or Polytheist?

It's like real life.

Even if you believed in religion, your fate isn't better than the atheists and agnostics out there if you died and discover,

"Shit! Wrong religion!"


Friday 24 March 2023

You Can't Avoid Risks - Even If You Save More


And that's the frustrating and super exasperating experience for risk averse savers, isn't it?

Imagine waking one day to discover there's a bank run on the bank you have most of your savings in!?

Or to learn the insurance company you have bought all your insurance policies from is going bankrupt?

And the kicker is you not even a speculator on the Earn More path!!!

Imagine telling your Save More family members they got to monitor the financial well-being of their banks and insurance companies (if CPF must follow Singapore's economy/population statistics)!?

They would probably tell you if they must do all these due diligences, they might as well just hop on the Earn More path and speculate on the shares or bonds of these financial institutions instead!!!

Wait a minute... 

Now that's a thought!



Saturday 18 March 2023

Don't Ever Say...


How to spot those "investors" who have decades in "retail investing" but actually are those "grey old lambs" that have 1 year "investing" experience times 30? 

"If this stock/listed company fails, Singapore will collapse too lah!"

Well, Credit Suisse is the no. 2 in Switzerland.

There's also Deutsche Bank but that's a story for another day... Rising interest rates in the Eurozone should help them out (for now). 

For those of us who went through Lehman 2008, remember AIG?

AIG was rescued, but the shareholders only got back 10 cents on the dollar.

The same for Silicon Valley Bank - the depositors were bailed out like those insurance policy holders at AIG, but if you were the shareholder or bond holder...

Then for our very own Hyflux, you'll see in the forums how some expected to be bailed out - thinking water is "strategic" to Singapore...

Bei kambings we don't say as it's their first crash got sound experience with major losses,

"Eh? Stocks don't always go up???"

But some who lost money in Hyflux have decades of "experience"...

How else to explain except first year experience times 30?

Equities and bonds are Earn More vehicles.

The problem is when we treat them as Save More vehicles...

Especially those who have been on the "passive" Save More path for decades. 

In their late 50s or 60s, flushed with lots of cash, suddenly feel they should Earn More as compared to their peers who made a lot more with properties or equities, they have fallen behind quite a lot... (Selective perception - only see those who made money, ignore those who lost until pants drop)

It's like the iceberg analogy. 

What you don't see when Earn More craftsmen made money are those chopped fingers (like Yakuza members), battle scars, and nights of stomach churnings when they bought while others sold; or sold while others bought...

Sure. Walk in nonchalantly with just a goal and a plan. 

Well, they worked for Save More, doesn't it?

Yup. It sure does!

But you forget. Save More most of it is within your control. Discipline anyone?

How many factors of Earn More are within your control?



Tuesday 14 March 2023

Deja Vu


Talk about volatility and whiplash!

A few days ago, markets were re-pricing higher interest rates for longer (no thanks to Powell), and now it's back to pricing in rate cuts before the end of this year!? 

For those of us who lived through 2000 and 2008, it's a bit like deja vu, no?

Over-priced tech and fears over the solvency of financial institutions - 2 in 1?


Mai lah!

Friday 24 February 2023

To play it safe or to take on more risks?


It's easy to set goals and make plans.

Come to think of it, anyone and everyone can do it!

Say, say only who cannot?

But when it comes to doing reviews and being honest with oneself, then not everyone and anyone can or willing to do it....

I like Real People Real Stories (stolen with pride from CW).

Below I'll link 2 interesting perspectives from 2 bloggers in our community:

1) Buying A Modest Home Has Been A Poor Wealth Building Advice For the Past 10 years 

2) 6 Lessons Learnt After Losing 551k In 10 Years Of Investing & Options Trading 


It's back to the Earn More or Save More paths to take right?

It would great if someone is willing to share their CPF voluntary contribution review versus if they had passively dollar-cost-averaged the extra funds into STI or S&P 500 ETFs over the past 10 years.

Or compare CPF versus dividend investing?

One thing is clear even without doing any reviews.

In bull markets, Earn More will beat Save More hands down. That's provided if you know when to take profits!

In bear markets, Earn More practitioners would have wished they never invested in the first place... 

So what if inflation is eating into your purchasing power long term since interest rates are negative in real terms?

The more you invest the more you lose hurts a lot more!!!

Then again, knowing Earn More is a necessary evil to beat inflation long term (you think why CPFIS was introduced if Save More was enough) is meaningless if you have the self-awareness that you are risk averse.

That's why is always back to KNOW YOURSELF.

Self-awareness is hard. We often own self lie to own self.

Harmony is when we are at peace with who we are and our chosen vehicles.

Jobs anyone and everyone can do, that's why they pay the salary they do.

Careers that few can do - like fighter pilot or surgeon - that's why they can command that kind of compensation.

We all know this intuitively. 

Then pretend it does not apply to the realm of Earn More....

Monday 20 February 2023

Big Daddy Volunteer CPF Contributions For You!


Big daddy good or what?


By raising the CPF limit from $6K to $8K, some who are already doing voluntary contributions to CPF today can save the trouble in future...

Big daddy will ask your employer to do it for you!

Now that's service or what!?

Good, better, best!!!

As for those who are transferring their CPF funds out to bank fixed deposits or treasury bills, presumably there are better vehicles than CPF out there, be glad you can still transfer them out!

Think of those who want to preserve more take home pay to speculate in cryptos, options, futures, overseas properties, baseball cards, Hello Kitty collectibles, antiques, fine wine; etc...

Well, sorry. 

It's for your own good.

Why does big daddy need to raise the CPF limit?

To keep pace with inflation.

I see.

To hedge against an asset that loses its purchasing power over time, the solution is to accumulate more of it???

Nanti dulu...


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